Editor's Blog: An Update On Site Upgrade Progress

The updating of the MotoMatters.com website is making progress, but it is a time-consuming process. I have reached the point where I am ready to start migrating content and subscriptions, but I estimate completing this will take me all of the coming week. The objective is to have the new site up and running (perhaps in a basic form, without much formatting) by the time I leave for the Ducati launch next Sunday.

To complete the site update, the site will have to go down for some period of time. Probably at least a day, to prevent further content from being posted. I will give a day's notice once that is about to happen.

Because the process has been time consuming, I have added an extra 30 days to the subscription of all MotoMatters.com subscribers. All subscriptions still valid as of Sunday evening, January 15th 2023, will last an extra month. In other words, subscribers will be getting 13 months instead of their 12 months.

One change in the new site will be the introduction of auto-renewing subscriptions. Users will be able to choose whether to choose just for a single year at a time, or to buy a subscription which automatically renews at the end of the subscription period. Auto-renewing subscriptions will also be available on a monthly basis, rather than just annually.

Once again, my apologies for the lack of updates on the website. I hope to be back soon. I also hope this will be the last major upgrade for at least another five years.

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Question: would you like (focused/specific/thoughtful) user feedback? How/to where...comments section? Email? Other?

Just one single thing I want to prioritize sharing ASAP in your planning --- re the new Forum. Yes please have one here on the site we can pop in like a chat, and same sign in as the rest of the site instead of additional. Most importantly, the spot where you are during races or planned "Motomutterers connect with Krop, Neil, et al?" NOT Discord. 

When you announced that, my stomach dropped because I have found it so poor/counterintuitive/painfully difficult as to be unusable. Android phone. Android Notebook available. No computer.

Yes, I am low tech old school. I removed the ABS on my zero electronics Supersport too. If you don't have a simpler alternate, I will need to get linked to a Discord primer/how to for dummies.

Please and thank you. I know this is for later, just plz acknowledge you heard the message.

Looking fwd to the site upgrade. Auto pay eternally here, sounds great.

Take some time off mate!

:)

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WINTERTAINMENT Upcoming ADV dirtbike edition (10 mins). Did you enjoy Dakar? Go 2 articles back to bottom of comments for the full set of video links. Love it? Have a look at where the market is going...incl Honda getting a challenge from KTM India (aka CFMoto). Adventure motorcycles are mirroring Moto3 re Manu's and markets.

At 10:45 we get quite a good 2nd topic (8 mins), well done albeit right of center policy tone. Right now, the E-Dirt bike is arising that is the Yamaha YZ400 1997 Supercross watershed game changer. You saw 2 Strokes vanish? Get ready for E-Bikes. Tip of the hat to Trials where it is happening, and my next bike purchase. Yep, E-Trials. To run Mtb single track.

Feb MotoGP Test isn't far friends!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rNWwah7qpuA

Hi David

With the New Update on the website this year - Will there be Any New Subscriber Options or Initiatives ?

Could the returning Subs. for example also get  13 months instead of 12 months ?

This website update event might be a good time to entice Returning Subscribers or even nab some New Subscribers !

Cheers,

 

w i n t e r t a i n m e n t

Dirt bike/motocross curious but not yet found it to your taste?

Have a wee appetizer. An 8 min great cut of a beautifully dramatic title deciding American Supercross race. My favorite, the 250cc class ("Supersport/Moto2")

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=WIeq1Blqzvc

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9pm USA Pac time

New Yamaha livery? Still sucks. Too much black, lost it's red lower dash of character. Monster sucks. Concerned that the whole project still does. Won't change my mind until we see more motor and a smiling Quarty again. (Up close details of livery? Kind of neat what they did! Whole bike from a few steps away? Like Larry says v BLACK = BLECH. Yuck.

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FYI the "Drive To Survive" producers have just released "Break Point" on Netflix, officially making tennis, yes...tennis, more exciting, popular, engaging, human-story compelling and edge of your seat exciting than (yep, you guessed it).

Oh well, at least Motorcycle Racing is still "ours." Be careful what you wish for. Tik Tuk girls taking selfies whilst declaring Morbidelli's RIGHT to the be here because they LOVE Brazilian waxes after 4 Monster Meth Sodas is what we are missing.

Long live mediocrity in public opinion. Just like my "Wintertainment."

;)

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We really need to start talking about the Sprints. 

Balls and "Sunday Man" racecraft get a step up. We lose FP4 too. The methodical/cautious/particular rider won't benefit. Bikes aside for a moment, a plus for riders like Binder, Marc etc that ride the bike they have with adaptive flexibility and aggression. "They make their own luck." Paint swapping bold, but instinctual. Who gets hurt? Perhaps riders like Vinales needing things just so.

Bikes? Another story eh?

2023 JUST via adding Sprints? Arguably biggest single change since going 4 stroke. Really! Go ahead, look for another single change in MotoGP with dimilar impact and relevance. It's tough, isn't it?

Spec tire, big. Championship electronics? Big. Different Spec tire? Yep. Not CRT's, that was a grid filler stop gap aside. No single rule nor new bike tech matches it. Me? I am putting it there w Championship electronics in terms of quantitative change for the circus, and qualitatively different of course.

Here comes a deck shuffle! Except that Ducati has jokers. I'm taking Bastiannini. That kid has more in the tank, is on the right bike, and adapts well. Aggressive. Unflappable. Plus, uhm, I am a fan. 

;)

I think the new Yamaha livery is a step in the right direction. A little more blue and some grey to offset all that black. Hey, they even made the shifter rod blue this year! I'm still hoping they surprise us with more motor.

David -- I'm looking forward to the updated site, and no apologies are needed. Hope the update / migration goes well. It's normal for these things to suck, so hang in there. If I can help out somehow, whether that's automating things or just doing pure grunt work so you don't have to do it (as much), let me know. I'm pretty good at either end of that spectrum. I appreciate all you do.

February 5-7 Sepang shakedown Test at Sepang, YESTERDAY Dorna sent everyone a mssg:

“The tests will not be open to the press. Journalists will not be allowed to be in the press room, in the pit lane, in the paddock or in any other area of the circuit" (WhatsApp message). Asked why? “The teams made this request to IRTA last year and told us today”

Sheezus. Everyone was already booked to attend. We always get to see the bikes and rookies. The majority of Manu's voted for this? Tea leaves say the Japanese ones instigated, and got one Euro to agree (not KTM). Not pleased, wrong step and wrong timing. WTFook?

Is there a post-Suzuki power shift in IRTA to be concerned about? Has there been a regression on Dorna's part back into underfunctioning after their wonderful period of taking the reins of the sport from Honda/Yamaha into their own? Did they drop them again? Ducati has had at least one hand on them the last couple yrs. Starting to wonder, should we be concerned? More concerned? Angry and disappointed? Behavior is a language. This is more × expletives x

Dorna, it is YOU bringing us "MotoGP Limited"

Grrr!

Mutterings about this news?

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Gresini unveiling today -- bike is GORGEOUS, this is what a livery should be. Semi-gloss soft Lavender is so welcome a color splash!

Their added Red? A statement. Shot over the Ducati bow, that they are not to be trifled with.

Visually, too much Red on the riders when on the bike. Preferred last year's leathers.

Loving Pink #23 Bastiannini. He is a go for the pointy end, and much excitement for us this season. #23 in 2023! Hope he wins it all, but think that is 2024.

Alex Marquez? Don't inflexibly peg him low -- he may be ready for a blossom now that he is away from the meager cherry blossoms of this Era's Honda.

Gigi was there to highlight the brand new MotoE bike. I am interested! For now, at looking at it. An interesting big step for an infant to toddler motorcycle. But make no mistake, a huge deal. Bigger than going to 4 stroke. Rapid change, accelerating 2nd derivative upsweeping curve. Hitting hard in adjacent racing and recreational bikes/cars. If you bury your head in the sand, watch out. You won't hear the E-bike roosting over you until it is upon you.

There was a certain amount of excitement at this news when it came out, on a particularly slow news day. That has led to a degree of confusion. Here's what I know about testing.

Firstly, we are talking about the shakedown test, from 5-7th February. This is basically the test that the test riders use to make sure everything is working and get the new stuff ready to be tested by the official riders. A few years ago, in response to the reduction in the number of official tests, it was agreed that rookies would be able to ride at these tests as well.

The shakedown test is not organized by IRTA, in contrast to the official test, which happens from 10-12th February. It started when the factories decided they wanted an extra day or two to get the bikes ready for the main test.

The shakedown test was never particularly accessible. Very few media actually attended the test. One or two people from GPOne.com, and my friend and colleague Peter McLaren. Access was usually just to the media center. I think GPOne got into the pit lane one year by getting guest passes from Aprilia.

The Sepang circuit is rented by Yamaha for the shakedown test, and the other factories are invited to take part. It's surprisingly common for factories to test together, to keep costs down. You can imagine how expensive it is to rent a circuit for 3 days just for a single rider, or sometimes two. So it makes sense to have two or three riders there. But as it is nominally a private test, the factory renting the circuit make the rules, and if they decide they don't want journalists in attendance, that is their decision to make. When Honda rents Jerez or Ducati rent Misano for private tests, journalists don't get in there either.

The official Sepang test, organized by IRTA, from 10-12th February is open to media, with access to pit lane and the service roads to anyone with the appropriate accreditation. I believe it is also open to fans, who will be allowed in the grandstands, and guests are also allowed in the paddock.

I fly to Sepang for the IRTA test on February 7th, and hope to bring you full coverage of the test. I have a couple of interviews lined up.

There is a superbike test happening at Jerez. Starting today apparently.

Then then five factory SBK teams & riders (plus GYTR Yamaha) travel to Portimao for another test.

Then the SBK circus will be travelling to Philip island for the first round at least. Australian superbikes + the other ASBK classes will have a test before the race weekend on 24-26 February. Don't know if SBK get to do extra testing at P.I.

Probably not as they were at P.I. in November 2022. WRONG again Apical! There is a test at Philip island as well.

https://www.worldsbk.com/en/news/2023/TESTING%20CALENDAR%20whos%20on%20t...

"February marks the start of the 2023 season with the season-opening Australian Round taking place from the 24th-26th February. In the week leading up to that, there will be two days of testing for the entire WorldSBK and WorldSSP grid with these two days on the Monday and Tuesday before the round: the 20th and 21st February."

Sepang for the IRTA test D. Emmett, just a hop skip & a jump from Philip island SBK 12 days later. A mere 6,400 kilometres.

Are we there yet?

David, if you need someone to moderate the new forum (basically keep the spammers out) and am well versed in this gig - I am a moderator at ducati.ms and would be happy to help. I'm not the most tec-savvy person around but as long as it's fairly simple to navigate...

 

Wintertainment

Been following this for yrs, and it is happening: Brand new pre release E-Mtn Bike from Surron, the Ultra Bee? Almost a Dirt E-motocross. (16 min video below). And, mountain bike riders have started buying up E-Trials motorcycles and running them on bicycle single track. They are a few yrs old, and the NEXT generation is sure to have a smaller lighter option for the E-bicycle folks stepping up. 

Beautiful!

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vFs947OEhac

This is a very cool motorcycle. It is NOT an eBike and doesn’t belong on bicycle singletrack unless the trails are multi-use allowing motored vehicles. This is the law everywhere on public land in the US and is good etiquette as well. 

Is a disaster for the trails. Hopefully there will be enforcement of existing laws against such use. Cycles with motors, what I call motorcycles, are great and have thier place but confusion about appropriate use is very problematic.

The Ultra Bee seems like a very interesting trail bike. Quiet with low weight, decent range and adequate suspension. I wonder how much range variability exists since the top speed is so low.

Used to be focusing on what should be or could in BIKES, now getting to see what IS and it is good. The actual mid point between E-Moto and E-Mtn bike. (All your perspectives on what should or shouldn't be re riding them? Noted and valid! I am choosing the other focus at this time). 

Initially, Stealth B-52 Bomber E-Mtn bike grabbed attention in about 2015. Too expensive, but doing the business. Impressive! 50mph, 50 mi range, roughly 125lbs and about $10,000 US. "Has pedals" (related to the legality on streets/bike trails etc - yes, it causes disconcerting problems to address...but I am excited, take it to Moab!). 

Around the same time, KTM Freeride E-XC was coming on the scene. Been following intently since. No damn way I want one. But...captured my awareness.

Surron is an E-bicycle company, and this Ultra Bee thing looks good! Loosely calling it an equiv of a Yamaha TTR150 - TTR230? Silent. And cool. Wow!

Early in the story still friends! I want one, first off, and getting ever closer to it.

Take my Trek X-country mountain bike, and Suzuki DRZ250. Have a baby, make it electric. Boom. Seriously, wouldn't want the gasser nor pedaler anymore. Done.

Hoping a tad lighter than this Surron, a bit more bicycle esque in the stature continuum. And, suspension/brakes a bit towards the Motocross side of the spectrum. Just the fact that the Surron Bee is coming out is hugely exciting. It is HERE, and I'm finding myself just optimizing it rather than conceiving it altogether. Big jump.

Re Range and Top Speed: at this juncture, one might wonder too about the lens and expectations we have. And how it is changing. Gas dirt moto rider? These are slow and range is low. But for Mtn bicycle people, how far and fast are YOU thinking?! 

Application and use are changing. So am I. Fast and far, towards a middle. Think Slickrock Trail, Moab. Loops well in this thing's range and speed. I want lighter and better suspension. Not doing over 20 miles at this point, technical play rippers. 

:)

Energica wasn't, aside from the whole grid burning down. This E-Ducati? No money out, but popcorn out. 

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Crutchlow just made a comment indicating that Yamaha is doing a lot lately, and has found some power. Hope he's right.

Interesting discussion on the E front. I have an electric bicycle - it's the sort you have to pedal on to get any progress at all. Aka: Pedelec. As opposed to those which provide an independent thrust. It's interesting that the data suggests that are a LOT of accidents on the self thrusting variety and, at least anecdotally, fewer on the Pedelec variety. Also the Pedelec variety requires rider effort at any speed, so more cardio benefit all round.

Now I agree that I don't want to come across a well ridden, as in really quick..., Sur ron things on an E bike path. That scenario of something really fast coming across something a lot slower, add likely poor visibility and poor surface is going to lead to bad outcomes. But as pointed out here, there is in fact a lot of categorical overlap. As in; my bike is speed limited notionally to 25k, but many aren't. Hell where I live we have people doing 100k on E Scooters...

And the thing about the Sur ron and others is that they offer a lightweight and low maintenance option for off road use. I do think that keeping one's off road skills intact makes one a better rider on the road and these E enduro and mx offerings seem like a low fuss way to keep that option accessible. So I am so tempted. 

Also I think that it is worth mentioning whatever the E Enduro/MX specs are, that they absolutely fly. It is basically all of the torgue across all the rev range. I wouldn't mind betting that the average Joe would be faster on a Sur ron than any entry level ADV for example. Hell this ultimately is the reason that even E Cars and Hybrids are selling so well - because the drive-ability is really surprisingly good.

All up I want a Suron too. That's going to be an interesting garaging discussion though.

Pecco is running #1 plate and that is great!