New metal

New metal: Aprilia launches Misano Limited Edition RSV4 and Tuono V4 1100 liveries for US market

Screen Shot 2019-11-27 at 21.40.55

Aprilia has announced it will produce 100 numbered units of both the 2020 RSV4 RR Misano Limited Edition and the 2020 Tuono RR 1100 Misano Limited Edition for the US market.

Both Limited Editions feature exclusive race-derived liveries in the classic Italian Tricolore scheme.

Inspired by the 1987 championship of Aprilia racer Loris Reggiani, the RSV4 RR will bear its special limited edition numbering on its top triple clamp, while the Tuono RR will instead it on its fuel tank cover instead.

We like. A lot. Come on Aprilia, make the paint available for the European market too.

New metal: 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP


Meet one of the most eagerly-awaited bikes of the modern era; the 2020 Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP.

The bike is all-new, with Honda’s engineers focusing on dragging the flagship Blade out of the doldrums and back to the very top of the litre sportsbike class.

Using technology from Honda’s involvement in MotoGP, the bore and stroke of the oversquare 999cc powerplant are identical to those in the RCV213V-S, with Honda claiming the engine will produce 214hp at 14,500rpm and 83 lb-ft. at 12,500rpm.

The cylinder head features new DLC-coated camshafts that actuate finger-follower rocker arms, replacing the shim-under-bucket design to reduce drivetrain friction by 35 percent and cut inertial weight by 75 percent. There are also new titanium connecting rods that are half the weight of the previous chrome-moly steel units and new forged pistons which are five percent lighter with improved durability and strength.

The Fireblade is equipped with electronic rider aids that increase rider control through a throttle-by-wire system derived from the RCV213V-S. The bikes comes with five power modes and nine levels of Honda Selectable Torque Control to allow riders to set engine response and rear-wheel slip to their liking, while a Bosch six-axis IMU monitors lean and pitch angles to control power delivery.

There’s also and an up-and-down quickshifter, three levels of three engine braking and two ABS modes: Sport and Track. Sport is calibrated for on-road performance, while track is suited to the higher speeds and demands of closed-circuit competition.

The new fairing features winglet structures with three internal ducted wings to generate maximum downforce without affecting yaw and roll, and Honda claims these winglets generate the same downforce as those used on the 2018 RCV213V MotoGP racebike.

The litre bike class just became a whole load more competitive.

New metal: Ducati Streetfighter V4

01_Ducati_Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 2019_Streetfighter Prototype_UC74719_High

Here it is, the Ducati Streetfighter V4, the bike racer Carlin Dunne will race at Pikes Peak.

The course is a challenge: there are 156 turns and thousands of feet in elevation, and is the perfect testing ground for the prototype machine ahead of the 2020 launch of the Ducati Streetfighter V4 production bike.

In keeping with tradition, the Streetfighter V4 derives directly from the sporty Panigale V4 stripped of its fairings, and fitted with high and wide handlebars, while the high performance of the 1100cc Desmosedici Stradale will be kept in by aerodynamic profiles specifically designed for this model.

The prototype will race with a “pixelated” livery, designed by the Centro Stile Ducati; unlike the normal practice with prototypes, the livery does not hide the lines, but accentuates them by deliberately revealing how the bike will finally look.

New metal: Aprilia celebrates 10 years of the RSV4 with the RSV4 X

Screen Shot 2019-03-25 at 19.43.47

Aprilia has unveiled a new, track-ready version of its hugely successful RSV4 to celebrate 10 years of production; the RSV4 X.

As part of the 2019 Aprilia All Stars event at Mugello, Aprilia unveiled a track-only version of its RSV4 sportbike; the 225hp X. has been tailor-made by Aprilia Racing – and if you delve into the bikes technical specification, it’s obvious that it’s serious about its performance on track.

The bike is the creation of Aprilia Racing and makes use of a selection of lightweight components, including a carbon fairing, a lightweight fuel tank, a billet aluminium clutch lever, front brake lever guard, engine sump guard, adjustable foot pegs, upper steering plate and Marchesini forged magnesium wheels. All in this extensive weight saving programmer means the bike weighs just 165 kg.

The RSV4 X is powered by a hand-built 1100cc V4 engine that’s been breathed on by Aprilia Racing and boasts new intake camshafts, new valve return springs and caps and new convex bucket tappets.

The bike comes with a titanium Akrapovic exhaust system, a MotoGP-spec air filter and it receives an ECU map complete with dedicated track settings. It’s also equipped with the ANN (Aprilia No Neutral) system – essentially a gearbox with neutral positioned below first gear that speeds up shifting from first to second and prevents any up-shifting errors. It’s another clever piece of technology derived from Aprilia’s experiences in WSBK and MotoGP.

Brembo GP4-MS callipers complete the factory feel.

Just ten Aprilia RSV4 X bikes are available, priced at 39,900 Euros.

The new RSV4 X can be reserved online during the second half of April.

New metal – Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition


Meet the Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition – the company’s farewell to its desmodromic V-twin platform.

However, this isn’t a limited edition, but instead a numbered edition machine – Ducati will continue to manufacture the Panigale R Final Edition for as long as there is consumer demand for it.

Looking at the bike’s spec list, it’s clear that this bike is a celebration of the Panigale, and the bike features the best bits of the model range.

Each 1299 Panigale R Final Edition is individually numbered and will be offered in a dedicated tri-colour scheme. An offshoot of the 1299 Superleggera engine, the Final Edition Superquadro packs nearly 209 bhp at 11,000rpm and peak torque of 142Nm at 9,000rpm. It features a lighter crankshaft with a larger crank pin and tungsten balancing pads, while the con-rods, like the intake-exhaust valves, are made of titanium. As on Superbike engines, the two 116 mm diameter pistons have just two segments and slide on steel cylinder liners.

It’s also Euro 4 compliant.

The chassis set-up on the Ducati supersport is the same as that of the Panigale R, and features an ultra-compact monocoque and Ohlins suspension. The bike also gets the Euro 4 compliant all-titanium Akrapovic exhaust with dual silencer, just like the one on the WSBK Panigale R racer.

The electronics package features the Bosch Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU) and is equipped with cornering ABS, Ducati Wheelie Control EVO (DWC EVO), Ducati Traction Control EVO (DTC EVO) and Engine Brake Control (EBC). These systems have default settings linked to the selected Riding Mode (Race, Sport and Wet) but can be personalised as desired.


New metal – BMW HP4 RACE


Meet the BMW’s HP4 RACE carbon superbike – the first BMW motorcycle to feature a full carbon fibre frame.

The HP4 RACE will be strictly limited, and just 750 bikes will be produced.

BMW’s engineers have gone to town making the bike as light as possible, and to this end the bike uses a monocoque construction frame which weighs just 7.8kg and has carbon wheels, which BMW says are 30 per cent lighter than those made of conventional materials.

This weight saving programme means the bike weighs just 171kg fully-fuelled – about the same weight as a MotoGP bike – no mean feat for a bike making 212bhp.

This bike has been designed solely for the track and it shows in its impressive spec, much of which is the same spec as the BW WSBK machines: Öhlins FGR 300 upside-down forks and TTX 36 GP rear suspension, Brembo GP4 PR monoblock brake calipers, 320 T-type racing steel brake disks, Dynamic Traction Control DTC (programmable for selected gears at 15 levels), Engine Brake EBR (programmable for selected gears at 15 levels) and Wheelie Control (programmable for selected gears).

Then there’s the 2D dash complete with data logger, a weight-optimised electrical system featuring light lithium-ion battery with 5 Ah, and self-supporting carbon fibre rear frame with three-stage height adjustment function.

This is a very trick bike, essentially a customer version of the BMW WSBK machine, and this is reflected in the price tag; the HP4 RACE will cost £68,000 when it hits the market in September. Bikes will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis and can be ordered at all BMW Motorrad Centres in the UK.

New metal – Honda CB650F/ CBR650F

On the surface, the 2017 Honda CBR650F and its naked sibling, the CB650F don’t look much different than their 2016 versions apart from their new graphic schemes.

The overall visual design, including their cascading header pipes are back, and the underslung silencer has only a slightly different shape. Underneath the familiar skin, however, are a few updates that further refine Honda’s two 650 models.

Honda has shortened the air intake funnels for the 649cc inline-four while adding a dual-pass internal structure (rather than triple-pass) in the exhaust to improve the overall intake and exhaust flow management.

The result is a four bhp increase in peak power output to 89.8bhp at 11,000 rpm, while maximum torque increased by three-quarters of a pound-foot to 47lb.ft at 8000 rpm.

Shorter ratios from second to fifth gear improve acceleration with Honda claiming the 2017 models can beat the previous model in a second gear roll-on by three bike lengths over 400m.

Honda has also added a new 41mm Showa Dual Bending Valve fork, which claims to improve rider comfort and handling, and which delivers proportional rebound damping with firmer compression damping while offering more travel (up to 4.7 inches from 4.3 inches). The rear suspension remains the same monoshock with seven-stage preload adjustment which is mounted direct to the aluminium swingarm.

Both models feature revised Nissin front brake calipers and 320mm wavy discsw, and two-channel ABS is standard.

The 2016 models already had LED taillights but the 2017s receive LED headlights as well.

The CBR650F’s fairing looks very similar to the outgoing version but now features some open gaps in the side panels under the seat.

The CB650F on the other hand has a much smaller radiator shroud, further emphasizing the angular shape of the fuel tank while showing more of the engine.


New metal – Ducati 1299 Superleggera

HyperFocal: 0

Meet the Ducati 1299 Superleggera, the latest word in desirable, two-wheeled exotica.

The bike is a limited edition version of Ducati’s superbike, and its engineers have gone to town breathing their magic on the bike – this is the lightest and most powerful, street-legal machine that the Borgo Panigale factory can produce.

The quest for lightness has been relentless and this bike uses a carbon fibre chassis (frame, swingarm, wheels, and bodywork) to make it as lights as possible – it weighs just 162kg wet.

Then there’s the Akrapovic race exhaust, which mirrors the system used on Chaz Davies’ WSBK winning bike.

In race trim the bike makes 220bhp, and this has been achieved through titanium valves, a crankshaft with tungsten inserts, and lighter con-rods.

Suspension is handled by Öhlins, with fully adjustable FL963 forks and TTX36 rear shock. Meanwhile, braking is handled by M50 Brembo calipers up front, mated to 330mm discs.

The electronics on the Ducati 1299 Superleggera have been upgraded as well, with an inertial measurement unit (IMU), being fitted to the superbike. The IMU not only powers the Superleggera’s anti-lock brakes, which have a special algorithm to work on the race track, but it also powers electronics that affect the rear wheel. This means that the Ducati 1299 Superleggera effectively has slide and spin control, which can be set independently of each other, in the traction control package. This upgrade comes courtesy of Ducati’s MotoGP and World Superbike racing efforts, and is a derivative of what Ducati Corse uses in those series.

Ducati Launch control (previously seen on the Ducati XDiavel) has also been added to the 1299 Superleggera, enabling flawless starts from a standstill.

The 1299 Superleggera costs £72,000 and only 500 units will be produced worldwide.



An eclectic mix of funky retro and contemporary design, the Scrambler Desert Sled is the most ‘scrambler’ model in the Scrambler range.

The bike uses the same 803cc air-cooled Desmodue L-twin motor as the rest of the range, but it has a gold 19in front and 17in rear with both wearing Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR rubber.

The steel trellis frame has been strengthened to cope with off-road work, and the Desert Sled also has a bashplate and bear-claw footpegs with removable rubber inserts.

Up front there’s fully-adjustable 46KYB forks, while the rear is also fully-adjustable.

New metal – 2017 MONSTER 1200/ 1200S / R


The 2017 Monster gets more power, concerning ABS and a new, sleeker tail and tank.

The new aesthetics bring the new bike ever closer to the original Monster in terms of looks, and there are three versions to choose from – the 1200, the 1200S and the R.

The entry-level 1200 sees the latest version of the Testastretta breathed on, and the engine now pumps out 150bhp at 9250rpm – a 25bhp boost over the outgoing model.

The 1200S receives upgraded Brembo M50 calipers and 330mm discs, fully adjustable Öhlins forks and rear monoschock, three Y-spoke wheels, a carbon front fender and LED front indicators.

The R has a further 10bhp to enjoy and a wider rear tyre.

All versions still sport Ducati’s comprehensive electronics package including cornering ABS and Ducati Wheelie Control.