Custom Ducati SR2 from Kickass Tuning

The influx of customized motorcycles has increased by 45% since 2015. Numerous manufacturing shops have opened to cater to motorcyclists worldwide. This includes Kickass Tuning, a customizable shop operated in Estonia. They released their Ducati SR2 – Custom, which has an emphasis on Italian design. Whoever purchases this specialized model will acquire an 803cc engine, similar to the 2015-Edition of the Ducati SR2 Monster 800. An Air-Cooled L Twin controls this powerhouse-engine with a High-Zoot Slipper Clutch. Subsequently, you receive a vehicle that can make 60mph is less than two seconds.

When the updated 2019 Ducati SR2 was released, it wasn’t a consumer favourite and saw declining sales. This was because it implemented a lower-grade 600cc engine, which was considerably lower than the previous iterations of this motorcycle. The Ducati Goldilocks Monster SR2 – 2005, offered more than 1000cc with 800 horsepower. This prompted the Estonian-based custom shop to create a specialized version of the 2019 Ducati SR2. Included with this upgraded was an entirely new paint job, which implemented a deep green hue. However, this extended to a new gas tank that was completed by new handling-bars and gold-plated rims — adding to the luxurious nature of this motorcycle, Kickass Tuning adding a Gucci-embroiled leather saddle. Slight alterations were also made to the panelling, providing a super-sport essence to the 2019 Ducati SR2.

Additional Details on the Ducati SR2

The original parts kept with this model include the Single-Sided Swingarm, Upside-Down Forks, Wheels, Read Subframe and Suspension. However, all original parts have been coated in gold-powder and have been lowered by Kickass Tuning. This provided a bobber-style drive when engaging with highway or city driving. Kickass Tuning noted that for an agreed-upon price, shock-extensions could be implemented. This means consumers could lift the shocks, acquiring a super-sport mode to the Ducati SR2. Subsequently, whoever purchases this specialized model will have multiple uses for this model.

Additional upgrades to this custom Ducati SR2 include an AI-Assisted Speedometer. This speedometer enables riders to receive their GPS Directions, Radio Controls, Motorcycle Systems and overall speed. Kickass Tuning placed low-end mirrors on their customized handlebars, which extended to a similar design with the front fender. The result is a motorcycle that doesn’t resemble its older-counterpart. Those parting to purchase the Kickass Tuning-Ducati SR2 can apply for the waiting list today. Kickass Tuning confirmed that it would take upwards of twelve months to create a custom SR2 and that paint jobs could be altered going forward.

Autonomous Vehicles in the New Decade

The last decade has passed, and new questions are arising for the next ten years. The most crucial subject regarding this upcoming decade is autonomous driving, meaning that worldwide citizens won’t be required to have personalized skills when operating a motorized vehicle. Technological advancements will enable consumers to use smartphones to book ride-programs, which won’t have any assisted drivers. One of the leading companies focusing on the development of this technology is Mavericks Electric Vehicles, who introduced an electric motorcycle that features three-wheels. It’s named the TOI and is assisted with the second level of autonomous driving that is reviewed by human supervision at various offices located worldwide. It’s been one of the most mentioned products for the 2020 Consumer Electronics Show.

Customers that use this service will notice that the vehicle has multiple features. This includes Steering and Controlled Vehicle Braking via the adaptive cruise control system. Vehicle features extend to the Automatic Parking and Pre-Collision System, which is engaged whenever the vehicle is operating, with 360-Degree Monitors for assistance. Those monitors include Radar, Sensors and Cameras. Another unique aspect of the TOI Electric Motorcycle is that the front-wheel maintains dual types for better balances. These front-wheel tyres keep specialized sensors which control the balancing and inform guests when the vehicle is on an inclination. Subsequently, with proper control, this electric cycle can remain continuously balanced.

The Safety & Application

Maverick Electric Vehicles main concern is the safety of future consumers. That’s why the TOI Electric Motorcycle maintains SRS Airbags, Traction Control, Anti-Lock Braking Systems and Telescopic Balancing Systems. Combining these four safety features guarantees that consumers won’t be critically injured in the case of minor accidents. Unfortunately, testing ratings for substantial actions can lead to life-altering or ending situations. Maverick isn’t allowing for high-rates of speed with the TOI Electric, allowing for a maximum speed of 80km/h. The range for its battery will extend to 200km, with smart charging capabilities enabled.

Those interested in purchasing the TIO Electric Motorcycle or using it for a ride-sharing program can download its respective application from Maverick. It should be noted that these vehicles are located in specific metropolises in the European Union, such as Paris or Amsterdam. Maverick Electric Vehicles haven’t provided any details regarding the potential release in North America. Considering that Uber and Lyft hold priority market share in North America, it’s best to focus on European Nations. Their mobile application is downloadable via the Google Play Store or Apple Marketplace.

Peter Hickman Switching to Yamaha

Fans of international road racing were shocked to find out that Peter Hickman will be switching from Triumph to Yamaha in 2020. This marks the first time in three years that Hickman will be changing the manufacturer of his Super-sport motorcycle. Throughout the 2017 to 2019 seasons, Hickman rode for Smiths Racing on a Triumph 675cc K2 motorcycle. It allowed him to become the championship titleholder for the international circuit for three consecutive years, with previous victories under his belt while riding the BMW S1000RR Super-sport motorcycle.

The change was prompted by the lack of innovation with Triumph. For the last several years, the K2 model has hardly been revamped. The Yamaha R6 was the most challenging motorcycle in the 2019 season, which made the championship title for Hickman that much harder to acquire. Seeing the domination that the R6 had last year, it prompted Smiths Racing to join forces with Yamaha for the 2020 season. Smiths Racing PR noted that this decision was made due to the upcoming changes in regulations. They also provided their thanks to Triumph for being a brilliant partner and giving them an admirable racing machine.

Hickman’s Future in 2020

Peter Hickman adamantly has expressed that he’s looking forward to experiencing the Honda R6 on track. When asked how he felt about the switching of manufacturers, Peter mentioned that Smith Racing had to move forward with the changing times in International Road Racing. It should be noted that numerous teams have begun moving to Yamaha, dropping previous providers like Suzuki or Honda in the process. Yamaha is the most significant manufacturer in IRR with the 2020 season.

Peter Hickman maintains driver positions in multiple other racing classes, including the Superstock and Superbike classes. BMW will remain as the head manufacturer in these circuits, with the German Car Manufacturer becoming the primary owner of Smiths Racing in 2020. This has made numerous analysts wonder if BMW will drop Yamaha in the 2021 – 22 seasons, with an international road racing setup in development at their factories. When it applies to the lightweight class, Smiths Racing will maintain the 650cc Superlight Norton motorcycle.

The last season for Peter Hickman was one of his best in international road racing, maintaining a domination position for most of the season. This includes several victories at Ulster GP, three victories at the TT Championship, and one title at the North West 200. Subsequently, he was nominated for the 2019 Rider of the Year Award. Unfortunately, he lost to Marc Marquez.

Lorenzo Leaving Retirement for Yamaha

The world of MotoGP was saddened when Jorge Lorenzo announced his retirement at the end of the 2019 Season. However, there are already rumours circulating this professional motorcyclist could be making his return to the sport in 2020. This comes after Lorenzo confirmed that he wouldn’t return to the MotoGP paddock again as his contract with HRC ends on December 31st. However, the five-time world champion could see himself becoming a testing driver for Yamaha in 2020 if the rumours are correct. These rumours also speculate that Lorenzo will take on a TV personality role or assist the rider management team.

This announcement hasn’t shocked long-time fans of MotoGP, who saw Jorge Lorenzo win three world titles with Team Yamaha. He earned more than 44 Grand Prix titles while racing for them between 2008 – 2016. The previous experience gained with team officials makes him the perfect option for a testing driver. These rumours were almost confirmed when Yamaha stated that their interest in a non-Japanese test rider for 2020.

Previous Interests

Team Yamaha have expressed their interest in numerous test drivers, with the majority of them being from Japan. Non-Japanese drivers include Johann Zarco, who would’ve made a formidable choice as well. He is the two-time champion for Moto2, the lower-grade version of MotoGP. However, he denied the role when he selected to continue racing in Moto2 until a full seat is confirmed for MotoGP. The current testing riders that are employed by Team Yamaha include Kohta Nozane and Katsuyuki Nakasuga. Unfortunately, they performed less than expected in Europe and Japan. Subsequently, Jorge Lorenzo would be the logical choice to replace both these individuals.

Lorenzo’s Retirement

Nobody had anticipated this young superstar from retiring, with him being one of the few motorcyclists that can rival Marc Marquez. When this announcement was made, numerous teams paid tribute to the formidable champion. The Head Manager for Team Yamaha expressed his fond memories of Lorenzo, mentioning that nobody has acquired championships for him like Jorge

The potential for Jorge Lorenzo to return with Yamaha in a testing role is growing larger, which would mark the second consecutive year that this MotoGP Team has switched their testing driver. Typically, this is a decision that isn’t usually made, with testing drivers remaining in position for two to three seasons. Fanatics could also see Lorenzo return to the paddock in a TV personality role. He is rumoured to be working with MotoGP for an on-air reporter position. However, there hasn’t been any confirmation regarding these rumours.

Suzuki Finalizes MotoGP Engine Design

The MotoGP Winter Break has begun, which means every team is working day and night to create the best possible engine design for the upcoming 2020 season. One team that claims to have finalized their engine for the testing period is Suzuki. Their new GSX-RR 2020 MotoGP motorcycle is a step in the right direction for the team. Suzuki, Yamaha and a few other teams aren’t allowed to design their engine throughout the regular season. Subsequently, non-concession organizations must evaluate and maintain their newest modifications during the testing period throughout November. Though this creates almost immediate new engines, it also creates multiple issues throughout the regular season. For instance, Suzuki, for the last four seasons, has cited top speed and grip as two of their most significant weaknesses.

This could change, though with the 2020 design. Throughout the Valencia Test, Suzuki’s drivers were able to place in the top sixth. Both Joan Mir and Alex Rins moved throughout the grid on the second testing day in Valencia, making their way into the top four. The Team manager claims that the feedback provided from the drivers have all been positive and that the Suzuki MotoGP Organization is in a good mood going forward. He finished comments by noting that the next two steps are to create a spec list for the upcoming season and to try various other modifications during the Sepang Testing in February. The two month period for winter break will enable Suzuki to emphasis on the qualities that will allow them to perform to highly during Valencia. The only concern for the team is the chassis, which is not at the carbon-strength required for their potential spec sheet.

Potential Championship Contenders

The Technical Manager for the Suzuki MotoGP Racing Organization, Ken Kawauchi, spoke on behalf of the team as well. He mentioned that the GSX-RR is beginning to form in unexpected ways that could lead to consistent podium placements. He noted that the first parts used have confirmed their hopes and that they’ve made a big step into the future. It should be noted that Suzuki has a few podiums throughout the 2019 Season, but not at the level they’d anticipated during last years winter testing. Subsequently, the new vehicle will allow Rins and Mir to both acquire higher positions in the world championship. This year Rins earned fourth, with next year he’s hoping for first.

Marquez Injures Shoulder During Testing

There is nothing more terrifying than following off a motorcycle at any rate of speed. Unfortunately, Marc Marquez had to experience this horrendous situation on November 26th during a testing session. The MotoGP Racer was testing the new ’20-Spec RC213V Motorcycle in the morning. There were several damp patches littered throughout the track, where Marque hit one of them while running wide in the Lorenzo Hairpin. The crash was relatively low speeds for the driver, but still causes for an awkward landing and forced an injury onto his shoulder. Marc Marquez was immediately taken to the local medical facility for evaluation, where he would be cleared a few hours later.

The incident was explained in full by Marquez. He noted that the crash was his mistake by going wide into the 5th, 9th and 13th corners. While speaking with reporters he mentioned that be going giving up the lap and going wide, his pace was slow. Unfortunately, he lost the front and landed into the gravel. Marc confirmed that this caused for subluxation in his shoulder.

Surgery Forces Marc Marquez to Finish Weekly Testing

Marc Marquez has faced significant issues throughout the 2018 and 2019 Seasons when it pertains to his left shoulder. It has continuously dislocated, requiring the driver to receive extensive surgery over the off-season break. It’s unknown how this incident will affect the prolong healing of his extensive surgery. This also marks the second crash for Marquez in less than two weeks, where he also took a significant fall during the Valencia Testing last week. The failure of the new engine prompted his first fall during the testing period.

Continuing his comments with reporters, Marquez mentioned that the difference between the test programme motorcycle and his ’19 Model was the chassis. Marc confirmed that the team is looking into the concept that this new chassis was the error that prompted his crash. However, Marquez feels like this is a waste of resources and believes its entirely his fault. Regardless, it’s essential to determine if the grip was altered or if conditions couldn’t be handled because of the new chassis.

Marc Marquez proceeded to not participate in the following testing sessions throughout the next day, as the weather was slated to be worse than the day before. From all accounts, the testing period for Honda’s Marc Marquez is seemingly off-pace. There hasn’t been any confirmation if the surgery will prompt Marc Marquez to miss the 2020 opening race.

Norton Motorcycles Begin Crowdfunding Campaign

Norton Motorcycles, one of the longest standing manufacturers of bikes in Britain, announced that they have started a crowdfunding campaign. This comes after rumours circulating online indicated that Norton Motorcycles was losing percentages on yearly profits. This hasn’t stopped the manufacturer from working towards new solutions that will enable them to continue operations. This corporation has been operational since 1898 and is a staple in British Culture. They have a long and proud history that defined the motorcycle industry. Their skilled workforce builds each motorcycle by hand, with a management team that works extensively to guarantee the brands thriving survival.

This crowdfunding campaign comes after the corporation has received multiple backorders from 26 Territories, which has caused for major backlash with the company. Solving this issue has been challenging for the manufacturer, who crafts all motorcycles by hand. Increasing the rate of production means hiring new employees that operate in this skilled workforce, which costs substantial sums of money. Another way that the motorcycle corporation is gaining the funds necessary to resume regular production schedules is by offering a new shares program to staff, which will be limited to £1 Million in total shares. This would enable Norton Motorcycles to gain a group of long-term shareholders, while also pleasing their patiently waiting consumers.

Norton’s Promise

Norton Motorcycles has publicly recognized their delays with production, noting to consumers that they’re doing everything possible to resolve the problems. The company released a public statement that mentions their design quality has improved over the last ten years, which has developed a new niche in the motorcycle market. Norton Motorcycles noted that they produce them in low volumes, with limited editions that are all hand-built.
The exposure of global distribution across 26 Territories has caused production problems, with the company acknowledging that they have to accept new forms of innovation and forward-thinking to meet consumer demands. Regardless, Norton continues to emphasis their desire to produce these exclusive motorcycles and their goal to have customers happy with the end result.

Since the decline in production, the profits for Norton Motorcycles have declined. The corporation saw a year-by-year decline in production profits between 2018 and 2019. Their financial reports for those years saw a turnover decline of £6.7 Million. This crowdfunding campaign could enable Norton Motorcycles the chance to bounce back and return to profits. Considering that this corporation is more than 100 years old, it would be a significant loss to see Norton go bankrupt.

SEAT Creating New Urban Mobility Options

SEAT, one of the largest urban mobility corporations worldwide, has announced their strengthening their commitment to eco-friendly transportation. This commitment will extend to the development of two new products, a fully electric scoot and motorcycle, which is slated for release in 2020. This announcement came after an official presentation at the Barcelona Smart City Expo World Conference.

The upcoming SEAT Motorcycle and Scooter is part of a broader strategy to ensure urban mobility can move beyond its standard concepts. Sustainable solutions are required for large metropolitans like New York, Rome, London, Paris and many others. SEAT is partnering with the Volkswagen Group’s Electronics Division to create a micro-mobility service. SEAT has already mentioned that they hope after developing the scooter and motorcycle, they can develop a concept car that’s eco-friendly and similar to the smart car. Ultimately, the goal is to lower emissions on a dramatic scale globally.

The Test City for the upcoming Scooter and Motorcycle will be Barcelona itself, which is an infamous European City and well known for having the most motorcycles per capita. It’s for this reason that SEAT is also including Silence Manufacturer into the partnership. This Barcelona-based Electric Motorcycle Maker and Volkswagen Group’s Electronic Division will work in unison with SEAT to develop new models for private customers and business fleets.

The Sharing Services

Subsequent from the upcoming electronic vehicles from SEAT, this corporation also maintains share riding services in major cities worldwide. Their statement as a company is to provide a collaborate, shared, and sustainable economy for individuals in Europe or North America. Their car-sharing services are maintained in Europe through Respire, with Segway Services in American Cities through the KickScooter App. Before making the electronic vehicle announcement, SEAT was going to develop a service similar to Uber for climate change enthusiasts. However, after projected numbers failed expectations, the project had to be abandoned, and the company reworked.

SEAT has also built a proof-of-concept car that works uniquely, with adapting capabilities for almost every environment. Its dynamic nature enables for more features and modes for driving, while the combination of car and motorcycle makes for a unique design that can assist in traversing large cities. Use Car Mode for the main streets, motorcycle mode for side roads and scooter mode for the sidewalk. SEAT’s ultimate goal is to create a vehicle with limitless options for consumers.

Motorbike Riding in Japan

Riding in a first world country certainly has its perks. Very little crime means you won’t have to keep an eye on your bike at all times and your belongings back at the hotel are relatively safe – but don’t tempt fate – keep your important stuff on you at all times. The people of Japan are welcoming, friendly and helpful, even if you don’t speak the language. The scenery in Japan is unique to Japan and awe-inspiring to the visitor. The coastline is worthy of a trip of its own, dotted with small villages and towns, each of these settlements has a history of its own from fishing to warfare. The island routes take the rider through winding passes and past mountains as high as the Alps. The roads are immaculate and well maintained.

Seasons

It is essential that you choose the time of your trip – arriving during the typhoon period will mean an extended stay in your hotel room, trying to dry out your wet kit. So, it seems that May and November would be the best times; the roads will be slick and the temperature high. Stay away from over the cold first two months of the year. If you’re willing to brave the last of winter months, March and April, the cherry trees in bloom are out of this world, but they only stay in flowers for a few weeks. The mountains are still capped with snow at this time, so stay south and visit the coastline. The northern areas are still bitterly cold and the roads, if open, will be slippery. June/July is the rainy season, and October is the typhoon period.

Travelling

If you intend staying in small hotels, these will be booked out over the holidays when Japan goes on vacation for short visits. Roads will be busy and hotels booked – so book before you depart for Japan to avoid sleeping in the open. If you are travelling outside of summer, be sure to pack rainproof clothes, including boots. Make sure your electronics are sealed and dry. If necessary, make sure your International Drivers Permit is valid.

Routes

From Tokyo, travel the Izu Peninsula to get a close up of Mt Fuji and experience the mountain passes. Plan on a daily distance of 250 to 300 km for rides on lesser-used roads. While in the area, visit Shikoku via Mie and Wakayama. Shikoku is the smallest of Japan’s larger islands. It is about 220km long and a maximum of 150km wide. This small island is home to a population of nearly 4 million people. Mie is in the Honshu area and has a population of just under 2 million. Mie has historical Shinto holy sites and also is home to the Suzuki International Racing Course.

Motorbike Speed Attempts and Records

To claim a land speed record on two wheels, it will have to be attempted twice over a fixed length of a mile or a kilometre in opposite directions on the same day. These are the requirements of AMA National Land Speed Records. The FIM Land Speed World Records requires the same as the AMA, but both attempts must be within two hours of each other. These bikes are specially designed or modified motorbikes – not production bikes.

First Attempt

The first motorcycle speed attempt was in 1903 when Glenn Curtis, using aircraft engines, attained the top speed of 103kph. In 1907 he reached 219 kph riding a tubular frame fitted with a V8 engine. The drive shaft driving the rear wheel came adrift in his second attempt and nearly ended in disaster. At this time the air-speed record by the Wright brothers was the only 61kph.

FIM’s first adjudged speed attempt was in 1920 at Daytona Beach. Riding an Indian, Gene Walker achieved 168kph. Various other efforts were made, and records were broken until 1937 when Ernst Henne on a BMW set a record of 270kph. After the Second World War, many companies entered their motorbikes, from Triumph to Harley-Davidson and in 2006 Suzuki achieved 552 kph. In 2010 Suzuki has the unbeaten record of 605kph.

Iconic Endeavours

In 1967 the quiet, unassuming, bike-loving Burt Munroe, a New Zealander, shipped his 47-year-old Indian to the States to attempt the under 1000cc land speed record. His 1920 Indian, which was hardly recognisable as one, had taken twenty years to modify to his demanding standards. Changing whatever he could to improve on, including homemade pistons, he attempted and achieved New Zealand speed records, but his aim was always Bonneville. His first trial nearly didn’t take place as he had not registered in advance. After convincing the organisers, he broke the records with an astounding speed of 296kph, won with a painful burn on his leg from the exhaust, and without a visor which had blown off! He was 67 years old!

Fifty years after Burt’s first speed attempt at Bonneville, his great-nephew, Lee Munro, modified an Indian Scout and Burt’s record was broken, but in a different category – his bike being an MPS-G and the speed achieved was 301kph. The engine was 1350cc V-Twin with a streamlined body. Corey Bertelsen, another New Zealander, (inspired, perhaps by Burt Munro) has also broken a speed record. Confirmed by FIM, he achieved 435kph on his GSXR 750.

Female Speedsters

The fastest ever female motorcyclist is Valerie Thompson. With eight land-speed records to her name, she is in the Sturgis Motorcyclist Hall of Fame, and she is a member of 7 200mph Clubs and one 300mph Club and is the only woman to compete with men for the fastest motorcycle title, and in 2018 she rode the BUB7 Streamliner to a speed of 529kph!

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