All these attributes contribute to the new Rocket 3 GT’s sublime touring capability and comfort for every day, any gear, easy riding. As a pure Triumph original, the new Rocket 3 GT is the pinnacle in style, muscular presence and finish and it comes with 50 optional accessories to further enhance the style, practicality, and functionality.
Pricing in the United States has been announced and the GT is available for $22,600 while it’s stablemate, the ‘R’ model, is available for $21,900 as early as January.
ROCKET 3 GT
This is the genesis of an all-new generation of Triumph’s ultimate motorbike legend. Equipped with the revamped 2500cc Triumph Triple, the new Rocket 3 line-up delivers the highest torque of any production motorbike and unparalleled acceleration with a beautifully smooth, responsive and incredibly refined ride. The new Rocket 3 motorcycle range is in a class of its own with a truly imposing muscular presence and magnificent style. Combining the highest level of specification and technology with all of Triumph’s incredible handling, the Rocket 3 brings a sublime feel and comfort for all-day easy riding.
The world’s largest production motorcycle engine is an all-new 2,500cc Triumph triple, with even larger capacity and more performance than its legendary predecessor. An increase in capacity doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in weight, because multiple mass optimized engine weight efficiencies were designed into this new Rocket, including weight savings of 39.68 pounds achieved from a new crankcase assembly (saving 24.25 pounds), a new lubrication system comprising dry sump and integral oil tank (saving 8.6 pounds), and new balancer shafts (saving 7.94 pounds). With a peak power of 164 hp at 6,000 rpm (11% up on the previous generation), the new Rocket 3 offers a thrilling ride with more power from a low 3,500 rpm and all the way up to a new higher redline of 7,000 rpm. Its new peak torque of 163 lb-ft is a world highest production motorcycle torque figure – an amazing 71% higher peak torque than the closest competition, and more than the previous generation Rocket with its incredible flat, rich torque curve that reaches a peak at 4,000 rpm, then holds maximum torque all the way through the mid-range to deliver effortless acceleration and response in any gear. This torque, combined with the bike’s power and chassis set-up, delivers incredible acceleration figures of 0-62 mph in a mere 2.89 seconds.
A transformation in handling capability is delivered by major weight savings achieved by an all-new aluminum frame and premium cast and forged components. Specially designed for the Rocket 3 R and GT motorcycles, an all-new high-specification mass-optimized aluminum frame features a forward-facing air intake with premium cast and forged components. With the engine performing as a stressed member, the frame’s innovative design contributes to the new Rocket 3 lineup’s weight savings of over 88.18 pounds, more than 15% lighter than the previous Rocket providing the new generation with an absolutely incredible torque-to-weight ratio. It also features a fully adjustable Showa mono-shock rear suspension unit with piggyback reservoir (adjustable for rebound, compression and preload), and 47mm adjustable Showa front forks (with rebound & compression adjustability) to deliver superior riding comfort, exceptional handling and touring capability. Additionally, it’s also equipped with the highest available specification Brembo Stylema calipers. These are lightweight, compact, beautifully-sculpted high performing calipers which have a smaller volume around the pistons and brake pads, reducing the internal space occupied by brake fluid to deliver a more immediate braking response.
2020 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R
KTM is making some major upgrades to their Super Duke R in 2020, focusing mainly on shedding weight and adding horsepower, a perfect blend of ingredients for their aggressively modeled contribution to the super naked market. The Austrian manufacturer has got to be on their “A” game as the Ducati Streetfighter V4, MV Agusta Brutale 1000, and Kawasaki ZH2 are all bringing a healthy dose of competition to the table in 2020.
Boasting increased horsepower and torque, the 1301cc LC8, V-Twin has undergone a subtle yet impactful development. Optimized to be lighter but retaining its torquey character, this powerhouse is the benchmark of V-twin evolution and with new engine and linkage mounts that add to the overall structure of the entire package. Thinner engine casings and revised water and oil cooler mounts have resulted in a 0.8 kg (1.7 lbs) weight saving. Oil delivery has also been improved by way of a lightweight aluminum oil line, eliminating the need for a double wall system. Additionally, the engine carrier bracket and linkage mount have been integrated into the engine case, allowing for a stiffer connection. This has also resulted in a 5mm higher swingarm pivot for improved stability and anti-squat. There have been a few small tweaks to the PANKL gearbox which result in quicker shift times, shorter shift action and lighter lever modulation. Smoother shift action also comes courtesy of an improved spline shaft and bronzed copper coating on the shift forks.Formula1-inspired forged piston technology means KTM can push the limits of load capacity despite the extremely short and lightweight design. This results in a minimized reciprocating weight and maximized responsiveness. The piston skirts also feature a state-of-the-art, hard-anodized finish which minimizes friction, adding to the engine's free-revving nature.
2020 KTM 1290 SUPER DUKE R
The core of the new KTM 1290 Super Duke R is an all-new frame with three times of torsional rigidity of previous models, stickier tires, smarter WP suspension, an aluminum and carbon composite subframe and completely revised geometry. This allows for an effortless, confidence-inspiring riding position which translates into an ultimately faster ride. This is achieved by maximizing the feedback from the chassis and the front tire. The frame also makes use of thicker diameter tubes with thinner walls, which is the single biggest weight-saving measure on the bike - saving nearly 5 lbs compared to the previous model. An all-new and lighter composite subframe combines a number of functions to save weight and increase functionality. The passenger seat, license plate holder and taillights bolt directly onto the subframe structure with no additional brackets or attachments needed. In order to increase feel and traction, the pivot point of the single-sided swingarm has been repositioned 5mm higher relative to the output sprocket for more control when putting the power down. Combined with the repositioning of the engine in the frame, a steeper swingarm angle has been achieved, increasing anti-squat.
The 2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R has been sculpted for spirited performance riding without compromising rider comfort. A restyled tank gives the rider better support, while lower, variable handlebars and adjustable footpegs make for improved comfort on the road and more control on the track. Finding the optimal seating position is made easy with an adjustable 760 mm wide handlebar. Riders can tailor their preferred reach with 4 positions over 21 mm, front to back, making it easy to attack corners and crucial for hanging on down the straights. Aggressive and menacing, the bodywork and panels had to achieve two objectives - tick all the ergonomic boxes and shave weight wherever possible. As such, every panel and plate has been calculated for optimum thickness and minimized where possible.
A new angle-adjustable 5 inch TFT screen takes center stage ahead of the rider, featuring a fresh design and innovative new functionality. An updated menu structure gives riders faster access to the various features and allows for more customization of preferred riding setups. The scratch-resistant bonded glass display also helps to combat glare. In a bid to give riders more feedback and ultimately control, the ride modes (Rain, Street, Sport, Track) have been completely reworked and updated. This has resulted in less intrusive traction control in all modes and smoother anti-wheelie functions.
The 2020 KTM 1290 Super Duke R will be available at an MSRP of $18,699.
The 2020 Yamaha YZ-F R1 will be available starting at $17,399 MSRP and offers both Team Yamaha Blue and Raven color schemes.
2020 INDIAN CHALLENGER
Early in 2019, Indian restructured their heavyweight Thunder Stroke lineup and added a multitude of new features to their cruiser, bagger, and touring models as well as the unveiling of the Roadmaster Dark Horse model. Their first major launch of 2020 is the reveal of the new liquid-cooled PowerPlus engine along with the fixed-fairing Challenger bagger that goes with it. We got a chance to take the Indian Challenger for a spin and put the 108ci, liquid-cooled, V-twin to the test on some picturesque mountain roads. Indian claims to follow in the footsteps of the Scout with many similarities in design as well as the common denominator of being a part of their liquid-cooled family. The Challenger will be a little beefier and modernized while still hanging onto its historic American aesthetic.
There aren’t any massive strive forwards in terms of the development; the main purpose of the Challenger is to directly compete with Harley’s Road Glide, so the biggest facelift is coming in the performance department. It’s meant to serve as the big brother to Indian’s popular Scout model with a little bit more muscular styling and a massive frame-mounted fairing.
Indian is prepared for an all-out duel with their longtime rivals, Harley-Davidson, in an effort to gain performance supremacy by way of their PowerPlus 60-degree V-twin; their first liquid-cooled large-displacement motor. It’s said to churn out 122 hp and 128 lb-ft of torque. All of Indian’s heavyweight baggers and tourers have been traditionally powered by their air-cooled Thunder Stroke 111/116 V-twin, but they decided to take the same configuration from their Scout barring the single overhead cam. Indian claims that it was “developed with a big-piston, big-torque mindset with an end game of maximum power delivery across the entire curve,” and when it comes down to the numbers it seems they’ve achieved just that.
In terms of the handling and suspension, the star of the show is the new Fox shock that Indian custom designed specifically for the new Challenger. The gas-charged 46mm monotube has an internal floating piston separating the gas pressure and oil that gives more consistently controlled damping compared to other brands according to Indian. It features a remote hydraulic preload adjustment that requires a 10mm wrench behind the side panel. Meanwhile, hidden underneath the gargantuan fairing is the inverted 43mm fork with 5.1 inches of travel. In addition to the comfort provided by the suspension, the electronics suite has been revamped to offer the most comprehensive list of amenities possible in order to keep the rider at ease in any situation. It also received a new quad-core processor for quicker response times and a faster start-up. Additionally, there are three different ride modes available -- Rain, Standard, and Sport.
The first noticeable aspect of the motorcycle was the weight and just how much effort it actually took to hoist the bike off of the side stand. There was a fair amount of time spent on feeling the bike out and getting familiar with all of the controls, but the feeling of weight disappeared immediately after the bike started gliding along. Indian masterfully achieved the sensation they were aiming for with the new PowerPlus 60-degree V-twin, delivering a fairly effortless response across the entire power curve.
2020 INDIAN CHALLENGER
No matter what speed or gear you found yourself in, it seemed like there was endless power with just a flinch of the right wrist. The 43mm inverted fork felt planted and comfortable in the many twists and turns and the rubber-mounted handlebars did their part in decreasing bad vibrations. The riding position was at no point uncomfortable and it lasted for the entire day, proving that it lives up to its reputation as a companion for long rides and adventures.
The MSRP for the 2020 Indian Challenger base model starts at $21,999 with a Titanium Metallic colorway, while the Challenger Dark Horse comes available in Thunder Black Smoke, Sandstone Smoke, or White Smoke starting at $27,499. The Challenger Limited begins at $27,999 and comes available in Thunder Black Pearl, Deepwater Metallic, and Ruby Metallic.
We’re living in unprecedented times right now in the midst of the global Covid-19 outbreak. It has essentially brought our country to a standstill and in the same token, it has brought all of the major sports leagues to a halt nationwide, including the sport of motorcycle racing. Monster Energy Supercross and Pro Motocross have announced temporary changes to their schedules, but such a rapidly changing climate surrounding the pandemic leaves lots of questions still unanswered. We decided to check in with a couple of our LS2 athletes to see what they’ve been up to since the start of the quarantine and how they’re coping with this entire situation while attempting to stay race ready when their number is called.
LS2: First of all, with all of the shelter in place mandates and quarantining happening worldwide. What have you been doing to keep yourself sane and entertained?
Josh Greco: First, I’m starting my printing business back up. I got a 3D printer I’ve been learning and ordering a decal machine soon to do some small stuff with as well. I’ve been taking the time to build my moto-van out and make it travel-worthy. Other than that, just a little bit of free riding in the sand.
Bubba Pauli: I’ve been needing some entertainment. I’ve been super busy without racing, it’s almost like I’m living my exact same life as I was in November with the preseason training.
Cade Autenreith: I’ve been mostly working out, playing video games, and doing some projects around the house with my dad.
Scotty Wennerstrom: I have plenty to do on the fifty acres I live on to keep me sane. Besides not going racing and working at our gym, my life has probably been affected less than most with all this virus stuff going on.
Addison Emory IV: I was going into work making like ninety bucks per day and I need some money, but it’s a frustrating deal because the restaurant I was working at isn’t open and racing is non-existent, even local races here. They’re not canceled but there aren’t any pro guys that show up so I wind up losing money by going out there. Right now I’ve just been doing my training and doing school work to stay busy.
LS2: Have you been cooking at home or getting takeout/delivery?
Josh Greco: That’s 50/50, it’s usually dinner at home and lunch takeout. I’ve been taking advantage of the no lines at chipotle and they stack on the steak at the moment, basically double scoops! (laughs)
Bubba Pauli: I normally don’t eat out too much unless we’re on the road so anytime I get to be at home I always prefer home-cooked meals.
Cade Autenrieth: I’ve just been cooking at home, I’ve only gotten takeout a couple of times.
Scotty Wennerstrom: About the same as usual, getting some takeout when I’m busy and going out just for the essentials, but eating mostly at home.
Addison Emory IV: I’m not a huge fan of getting take out delivery, so I haven’t been doing that. Why order out when you can make it better at home? (laughs) I’ve been changing it up a lot and working on my vegan meals.
LS2: Both Pro Motocross and Monster Energy Supercross have announced amendments to the schedule, what’s your opinion on an eleven round outdoor series and racing supercross in the fall?
Josh Greco: I was planning on running about five rounds of the outdoor but with supercross being canceled early, it cost me a decent amount of money. We’re not sure what to do about funding outdoors now, so we’re just waiting for supercross to be back.
Bubba Pauli: I am obviously bummed we are not racing supercross right now but I’m looking at it as a great opportunity to fine-tune everything we’ve been needing to do throughout the season so far. It’s a very cool position to be in going through half of the season and having a huge break. Most of the time when guys get done with supercross they don’t continue to test so being able to test and improve the bike and our fitness while all of the stuff is still fresh in our minds is a great opportunity. The season so far for myself has not been going as planned so it’s almost surreal for me to have a second chance at the 2020 Supercross Season!
Cade Autenrieth: I think it’s a good idea, it’ll be cool racing supercross in the fall and it will make the outdoor season a bit different because we’ll have to be prepared for supercross afterward. There won’t be much of an off-season now, too.
Scotty Wennerstrom: I sure hope racing is back and all-a-go for the start of the Pro Motocross season. I’m looking forward to supercross in the fall as that is my favorite season of the year. It will be nice to see some parts of the country in the fall versus wintertime.
Addison Emory IV: Personally, I don’t feel like it’s going to change up my routine too much because I’ve never really had a supercross track to regularly ride except ACP and that’s only recently. Usually, during the week I ride outdoors so I don’t really feel like much would change for me, but I also don’t do much testing just because I don’t have the opportunities. So I don’t feel like for me it will change much.
LS2: Obviously the focus now switches to outdoors, but with so many races now being run at the end of the year and SX traditionally starting in January, do you have to treat this a little bit like an off-season?
Josh Greco: As I said we’re still not positive about outdoors, so it’s a waiting game for sure and we just have to plan for whenever the next race may be.
Bubba Pauli: Yeah, most guys will have an off-season during September and part of October before they start preparing again for Supercross, but for myself the last few years I have not truly had an off-season. Last year I raced forty-two races around the world and the year before I was at forty-five races, so this is pretty unique, especially for myself. Like I said before I plan on keeping on the SX grind for at least the next month then maybe backing down a little bit. My original plan this year was to go to Europe and race the Spanish Supercross Championship as well as some French Supercross races throughout the summer but I am unaware of how their schedule is going to play out. If they have to change that schedule, I may end up racing the Pro Motocross Nationals here in the United States. Regardless, we have about twelve weeks before any of that kicks off. I really just want to take advantage of the time right now and improve on all my weaknesses I’ve been having this season, so when we go back to the supercross in the fall we will have all those kinks worked out. I am extremely confident that the remaining rounds of the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross series will be better than ever for myself with this time to improve!
LS2: How did all of this affect your ability to train and stay prepared for getting back to racing?
Josh Greco: Other than the amount of riding time I’m able to get, my schedule hasn’t changed much. I’m just missing racing, there’s nothing like the intensity of the gate drop.
Bubba Pauli: Like I said before I am pretty much living my exact preseason life with the only exception being I have to do more workouts at home as opposed to having access to the gym since it’s closed but I try to do most of my workouts from home anyway. I have a supercross track in my backyard and a workshop here as well. So I pretty much wake up stretch, eat, work on the track, prep my bikes, ride or test, do a workout, work on the track again, make sure my bikes are good for the next day. Then I come into the house, eat, shower and go to sleep (laughs). So the only real place I go to is the suspension shop and the gas station and both of them are still open.
Cade Autenrieth: It has affected some of the tracks shutting down and my gym is closed too, so it makes it hard to get in good workouts.
Scotty Wennerstrom: We closed our gym down for the time being but we’re still offering training online to our clients to keep everyone moving and on track! Also, I have a supercross and outdoor track at my house so it doesn’t affect it all! If anything, with our gym being closed at the moment, it gives me more time for moto related work.
Addison Emory IV: I’ve been going out to the desert to do motos, probably been about three times since the quarantine started. I’ve been doing two 15 minute motos and two 30 plus twos, so I’m getting ready for the Nationals. I just found out about the desert tracks; I was going out to Arizona Cycle Park but it felt like I was just turning laps and it wasn’t really doing anything beneficial for me, because the track wasn’t rough and I was riding amateur track with amateur lines. My buddy showed me a few tracks out in the desert that are in the middle of nowhere with no cell service, so I have the location saved in my phone.
Cade Autenrieith: Now that we have the time off, I’m definitely putting in harder work because there are no races. I made a lot of gains in the off-season so there aren’t too many big strides to gain right now for me, but it helps with working on little things and getting testing in for the Pro Motocross season.
Scotty Wennerstrom: Yes, a second off-season! I think it will work better for me as I can make some progress through the summer and be race-ready after the completion of 2020 supercross heading into the 2021 supercross season.
Addison Emory IV: I’ve never really done a full season of outdoors, so it doesn’t affect me as much. I’ve tried my hand out a few outdoors, but it’s not as good money-wise for me. I can’t afford a 250 for outdoors and I’m not big enough for a 450, I’ll be sitting on the air cover and I can’t even keep the front end down. I’ve been doing more this year to bulk up and put on muscle mass, so hopefully I can try a few this year that are close but it’s all kind of up in the air.
The design of the Kawasaki W800 can be traced all the way back to 1966 when Kawasaki Aircraft acquired the Meguro motorcycle manufacturing plant, borrowing aesthetics from the BSA A7 which was already produced by Meguro. The design hasn’t changed much in the years between now and then as its relatively the same, sporting an incredibly vintage riding posture. A single bold, round headlight leads the charge at the front of the bike and encapsulates the retro vibe with a minimalistic approach while the LED technology makes things a little more contemporary. All of the instrumentation is fitted into dual-round housings in an organized and compact package and the shape of the 4-gallon fuel tank adorned with chrome badges contributes to a comfortable feel in an active riding position. A one-piece bench-style seat sends a love letter back to the original look from the 1960s and the fold-up passenger footpegs perfectly coincide with the added room for some company on the back of the bike.
A double-downtube/double-cradle frame on the W800 sets the stage and completely supports the drivetrain with a 50mm, square cross-section spine serving as the support and rigidity. In order to keep the uniformed vintage vibe, Kawasaki threw on a set of standard forks with little-to-no adjustability, keeping it simple. On the back of the motorcycle, a pair of coil-over shocks support the rear end and tame the swingarm with old school, collar-style preload adjusters which act as the sole adjustability metric for ride quality. Rake and trail measure at 26-degrees and 3.7-inches long, striking quite an agile and aggressive nature in the corners. One of the updated components that you wouldn’t find in the 1960s are the hydraulic discs with a 320mm rotor up front opposite a 270mm disc. Twin-piston calipers at both ends do the job and ABS protection is an obvious electronic aid that helps to build the confidence of those who choose to pilot the Kawasaki W800. Wire wheels complete the retro aesthetic and round out the rolling chassis, mounting a 100/90-19 and 130/80-18 on the front and rear, respectively.
The 773cc air-cooled vertical twin with its distinctive exterior cam shaft-drive is unchanged except for the polished aluminum finish, as opposed to the blacked-out look on the W800 Cafe. This compact engine pumps out 46 lb-ft of torque and has a deep exhaust note from its dual chrome exhaust pipes that are a byproduct of the 360-degree crank. Dual 34mm Keihin throttle bodies manage the induction and Kawasaki also put extra effort into engineering a particular exhaust note with peashooter pipes that fall into the classic styling profile. A slipper clutch helps to modulate the power and provides another user-friendly aid to help promote rideability and ease of use, presenting back-torque from forcing the rear wheel to lose traction. A five-speed transmission and o-ring chain connect to the rear wheel and lay down the power with an estimated top speed said to be approximately 110mph.
The all-new 2020 Kawasaki W800 starts at an MSRP of $9,199 and is available in Candy Cardinal Red for its inaugural release.
At the 2019 EICMA show in Milan, Harley-Davidson revealed one of their brand-new, strategically developed machines which is a part of their “More Roads to Harley-Davidson” growth plan through 2022 -- the Pan-America. The Milwaukee manufacturer is attempting to broaden their horizons in 2020 and the Pan-America is their first addition to the Adventure Touring category along with the aforementioned Bronx in the Streetfighter market. The powerplant. Both motorcycles will feature their brand new 60-degree V-twin Revolution Max engine, supposedly flipping the script from their normal run of the mill powerplants. Although there isn’t a bevy of information available at the moment, there’s enough to roundup a preview of what to expect when the Pan-America is released at the end of 2020.
Considering that this is Harley-Davidson’s first contemporary attempt at an Adventure Touring model, the Pan-America looks fairly solid in terms of the styling. Although it is a little boxy at first glance, it has a very practical design and a smart profile that stays true to their nature with their trademark orange paint scheme. It’s important to note that everything that has been released to the public so far is still only a pre-production model, so nothing is finalized at this time. It bears a massive fuel tank and some monumental luggage compartments on the rear of the motorcycle. The rear subframe kind of resembles something similar to the Triumph Tiger and has no problem supporting the carry-on space and it all molds well into the fairing. It may not visually sleek but it’s practical in the sense that it houses all of the LEDs with signature daytime running lights and also features a large adjustable screen for better protection.
Harley-Davidson has developed a chassis with a Tubular steel Trellis frame in order to improve off-road agility and dynamic handling on multi-terrains. Softer saddle compounds, handlebar positions, and the geometry of the frame were all specifically designed to enhance rider ergonomics and comfort. The V-Twin acts as a stressed member with the frame attaching the steering head to the engine, and the swingarm pivots in the crankcases. Some of the preproduction photos that have been released along with Harley-Davidson’s exclusive contract with Brembo and Michelin indicate that the Pan-America will be sitting on Michelin rubber and utilizing Brembo brake technology, sporting dual Monobloc radial calipers and giant 320mm discs to be specific.
2020 HARLEY DAVIDSON PAN-AMERICA
There should be a plethora of different adjustable rider aids and electronic modes on offer in order to cater to different conditions, especially some sort of off-road setup, due to the electronically adjustable suspension modules. The total dry weight of the bike is expected to be somewhere near 500lbs.
There are no solid figures released to the public at this point specifying the price, but the Pan-America will probably land somewhere in the vicinity of $19,000.