The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic has got us depressed for the fact we are stuck inside and can’t ride. Days now consist of watching MotoGP repeats, binge-watching the office, and eagerly awaiting the arrival of press releases.
2020 is on hold until ____(Fill in the blank).
As 2019 ended, 2020 looked like it was going fun-packed and even better than 2019 was. New bikes came to shake up the market, new revolutionary kit to test, and best of all, the racing looked like it was going to be as unpredictable as ever. Unfortunately, the world has gone into lockdown, and while 2020 isn’t entirely written off, it is certainly on hold, for how long we don’t know. We have decided to compile a list of things we are looking forward to when 2020 finally gets underway.
The 2020 Supernaked showdown
2020 was/is set to be the year of the Supernaked. With updated offerings from manufacturers and new entrants to the ring, the super naked royal rumble was ready to begin.
KTM updated the 1290 Superduke R. The new 2020 model promises to be more beasty than the previous beast, with KTM making it leaner and more torquey. Despite this, it’s 178 horsepower does seem measly compared to its rivals.
Ducati teased, we knew it was happening, but we didn’t know when the roadgoing Ducati Streetfighter was going to be available. It turns out it is the same year nearly every other manufacturer brings out their new naked big hitters too. With Ducati adamant, the bike has been entirely overhauled despite it looking like a V4S with the fairings taken off. The 208hp super naked will undoubtedly ruffle some feathers. We genuinely can’t wait for this one.
Supercharged Kawasaki Streetfighter ZH2
Kawasaki also has a new entrant, the ZH2. The 3rd (or maybe 4th if you count the H2R) supercharged bike in their range. With 197hp on tap, it’s right up there with the Ducati Streetfighter at the sharp end of the power list. It uses the same engine as the other three bikes (H2R, H2 and H2 SX) with a different tune producing more torque sooner in the rev range.
Maybe the Brutale will be a contender
MV Agusta has also updated their super naked with the new Brutale 1000, and the limited edition Rush 1000. 209hp takes the title power from the Ducati Streetfighter by 1hp. I imagine that extra 1hp is a ‘Paper Pony’, but we can’t verify this until they both get on the dyno. With multiple versions available including the rush, a Serie Oro and RR each has its unique spec and upgraded parts. Stay tuned after lockdown as we have the Brutale in for test!
These new heavy hitters which break the 200hp mark is certified lunacy on a naked bike, but we can’t wait to try!. It means some other manufacturers need to update existing models to carry on being competitive in the naked segment. Will Honda come out and give us a PROPER naked Fireblade? Has Yamaha been building a new and updated MT10? We hope so!
The racing season starting (hopefully)
Be it MotoGP, World superbikes, British superbikes, or any other form of racing, we are just craving seeing some racing. 2020 had some much promise before all the postponements, for all the championships.
What is going to happen in Moto GP? Will the Marquez brothers fight it out for the championship? Will Rossi win his 10th world championship? Who is going to get the wooden spoon, will Johann Zarco, ride for his 4th and 5th constructors?
World Super Bikes left us with the question, will World champion Johnny Rea can make it 6 in a row? Can the new Honda Fireblade take some victories this year? How will BSB Champ Scott Redding will get on after dominating last year?
And speaking of BSB, who will reign supreme now the champion has moved upwards, Will Josh Brookes take the crown, or will a hungry young gun give him a run for his money and of course will fans favourite Moto Rapido get their first Superbike victory?
2020, a new year means new bike gear!
Not just content with new bikes, but we also get new gear to play with, and 2020 is no exception. With new clothing, safety equipment and of course bike accessories to test out lockdown means we are going to have our work cut out when everything returns to normal. Highlights include Metzelers new M9RR tyres now fitted to the R1 waiting for the lockdown to end, RST’s new X-Raid textiles and the new Visorcat Streetfighter.
2020 looks like the year when airbag technology, previously only available to pro racers, or those with deep pockets will become affordable to everybody else. Mass market advances have been driving down the price of airbag compatible garments, with many off the peg sizes on sale. A lot of the progress being made through 2019 and 2020 sees brands working together but also the now mandatory CE standards increasing protection levels.
Lockdown has got us all cooped up inside, and while so of us are perfectly fine with this arrangement, bikers are a friendly bunch who like to go outside, ride bikes and eat cake and ice cream. Lockdown, makes this hard, so as soon as lockdown ends, we have lots of cake, ice cream, fish and chips and of course full English breakfasts to catch up on.
Trying something new
The new year provides an opportunity to give new experiences a try. Take your pick from off-road experiences, flat tracking days, trials days, or maybe even have a go at the iron butt challenge. Perhaps a European adventure, a tour of Scotland, or a trip across to the emerald isle.