topbanner ad

Wednesday 16 December 2020

News Briefs

 After its AFT debut, Royal Enfield has announced a second phase for its well-received Build, Train and Race program - it is to go road racing in 2021. Four female riders will convert and prepare Continental GT 650 motorcycles for road racing. The participants will have the opportunity to learn from world class professional racer Melissa Paris and be among the first people in the world to road- race the Continental GT 650 platform, "so the motorcycling world will be watching."

Royal Enfield is thought to be developing another new iteration of its popular Interceptor 650 cc parallel twin platform. The KX650 would be a cruiser-style street bike - similar to the KX concept that RE showed a while back. Features are said to include upside downies and dual shocks.


Polaris India Country Manager Lalit Sharma says the company has big plans for the sub-continent. Indian Motorcycle will be launching a B26 complete range there in December 2020 (Scout, Scout Bobber, Chieftain, Springfield and Roadmaster; Challenger in January 2021), and will be continuing to supply some ATVs and UTVs to the Indian military. There is speculation that the company "may be working on a smaller, less expensive, volume-selling model for the Indian market." At present there are no plans to expand beyond Indian's current eight dealerships across the country. Indian motorcycles sold in India continue to be imported as completely built units (CBUs). Polaris exited from a 50% JV in India with Royal Enfield parent Eicher Motors three years ago after its co-designed 'Multix' urban utility vehicle failed to sell.

Taiga Motors of Montreal is set to launch 'Orca' (and the 'Orca' Carbon) electric PWC in the U.S. in 2021. The machine will be based on the same Taiga RADIX powertrain platform that powers its TS3 electric snowmobiles.

British weekly MCN has named the H-D LiveWire as its 'Best Electric of 2020' in its annual awards.

Under the new ownership of Indian conglomerate TVS, Norton Motorcycles in the UK has filed Europe-wide trademark apps for five new model names - Ranger, Electra, Fastback, Navigator and Nomad.

The On/Off will they, won't they, never ending Audi/VAG selling Ducati rumors are back on again with the announcement of a November 2020 Volkswagen Management Board Meeting at which, among other strategic topics, "evaluation of Ducati, Lamborghini and Bugatti ownership" will be on the agenda. Maybe that's just routine management practice, maybe it isn't. Either way, memo to Jochen Zeitz - don't even think about it!

Ducati has unveiled a new 1,158 cc 2.6 lb lighter V4 Granturismo 90-degree engine - initially for a new version of the Multistrada. It is said to make 170 hp and 92 lb-ft of torque and is described as having the longest service intervals of any current production motorcycle at 37,300 miles between major maintenance. The engine features a new spring-loaded valve return system, special profiles of the camshafts and the valve lift speeds.

After some ten years in the wilderness, where hybrid motorcycle technology is concerned, Yamaha has filed patents in Japan that show the company exploring the technology again. A strong proponent of hybrid platforms in the past, the financial crisis' impact on R&D budgets is said to have dulled its interest. The new patent suggests a series rather than parallel hybrid engine design. The new patent shows a single-speed gearbox as a structural element.

The Quebec government is considering new ATV and snowmobile laws that would impose stricter restrictions on their use. As proposed, the new laws would require users to be no younger than 16 yo and to have completed a mandatory training course, with heavy fines for those who permit or facilitate violations. There were nearly 600 fatal accidents in Quebec involving such vehicles in the last ten years.

Sources: AMD, IDN, FT, Reuters, PSB, MPN, B&B, BDN, MCN, AP, Bloomberg, MSNW, Electrek,,,