Just the Facts for October 2019

Hoo boy, it’s been an exciting month – this is the FIFTH episode this month! I hope this pace doesn’t do me any harm.

Harley-Davidson leads things off, but it’s not all really great news. Actually, this time around the only good news is that the stop-production order on their brand-new electric model, the LiveWire, only lasted a few days and was over before it caused much disruption to the production schedule.

That doesn’t mean everything is rosy for The Motor Company; indeed, analysts are saying they’re struggling to attract new riders and that the trade war is hitting them harder than anticipated. (Bonus Link: Harley teams up with Chinese, Indian companies for overseas production.)

If you only ever thought of Hertz as a car rental company, don’t forget they’ve been renting motorcycles in Europe for a while. That program is now coming to the USA, and it could be an interesting – if expensive – way to check out a number of BMW motorcycles. The website is HertzRide.com.

Spy photo of BMW R 1800 cruiser/bagger from BHM-Images.

However, if you’re looking to rent a K 1600 of any sort from Hertz, you’re probably going to have to wait a while. BMW Motorrad NA issued a recall of over 4,600 K16s because of problems in the transmission, and there’s a recall out 2020 S 1000 RR as well. Tough time for Das Motorrad Firma and their premium models.

Never fear, though – we may see an F 850 R, RS or XR variant in the near future. That info comes from a patent application filed in Brazil. Unfortunately, we don’t know if those bikes (if they even come to exist) will be sold in the US. The F 800 R wasn’t a big seller in North America, so we’ll have to wait and see.

One bike we definitely know is coming to America is the retro-styled Kawasaki W800, and thanks to the Tokyo Motor Show, we have photos of this classic-looking bike to drool over. Provided, of course, you’re into that kind of thing. I don’t judge. We’re also looking forward to BMW’s R 1800 bikes – spy photos of which continue to hit the internet.

Big Green also debuted their new Baby Ninja – the ZX-25R – in Tokyo. It might not come to the US, but it sure does look like an up-spec bike for one with such a small engine.

I didn’t leave much room for electric bike news other than the LiveWire shenanigans from Harley, but I did want to note we may see more from Alta in the future. Bombardier bought up all their intellectual property and released a bunch of concept vehicles based on that technology – including, of course, a motorcycle.

Please don’t forget to check out our sponsors – the BMW Motorcycle Owners of America and Dunlop Motorcycle Tires. Between Dunlop’s tires and the MOA’s roadside assistance program with tire replacement (which I had to use recently), you’ll be well set for your ride down the road.

Speaking of which – we’ll see you out there somewhere on the road – or off it! Ride safe.