ArenaCross Press Release: The 2015 season of AMSOIL Arenacross, featuring Ricky Carmichael’s Road to Supercross, is fast approaching and while marquee names like Zach Ames, Jacob Hayes and Michael McDade are all preparing for the highly anticipated opening round, the talented contingent of Road to Supercross riders are also setting their sights on the upcoming season. Venezuela native Lorenzo Locurcio is a sign of the sport’s bright future on a global scale. Competing for Yamaha‘s bLU cRU factory race team, the 17-year-old rider recently became an AMA Amateur National Champion this past summer and went on to compete in the Amateur All-Stars at Las Vegas’ Monster Energy Cup in October. “AMSOIL Arenacross should be pretty fun. It’s just like supercross, but it’s a little bit tighter and in an arena,” said Locurcio. “There’s a lot of fast guys so it should be really fun. Racing with [Arenacross riders] is going to be pretty tough because they’re fast, so I don’t know where I’ll stack up.” Read MoreCurrently residing in Georgia and training at the legendary Millsaps Training Facility, Locurcio was competitive in his first ever supercross-style race at the Monster Energy Cup and will use that experience to his advantage when the AMSOIL Arenacross season gets underway. The 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross season kicks off on Saturday, January 10 from Cincinnati’s U.S. Bank Arena and will travel the country over the course of 15 rounds before coming to a dramatic conclusion at the season finale in Las Vegas on May 1. The television package on FOX Sports 1 will be announced soon. 2015 AMSOIL Arenacross Schedule: Jan. 10-11 – U.S. Bank Arena – Cincinnati Jan. 16- 18 – Van Andel Arena – Grand Rapids, Mich. Jan. 23-25 – World Arena – Colorado Springs, Colo. Jan. 31- Feb. 1 – Bridgestone Arena - Nashville, Tenn. Feb. 6-8 – Mohegan Sun Arena – Wilkes-Barre, Pa. Feb. 21-22 – Amalie Arena – Tampa, Fla. Feb. 28- Mar.1 – Sprint Center – Kansas City, Mo. Mar. 6-8 – Mid-America Center- Council Bluffs, Iowa Mar. 13-15 – Landers Center – Southaven, Miss. Mar. 21-22 – Smoothie King Center – New Orleans Mar. 28-29 – Frank Erwin Center – Austin, Texas April 11-12 – Spokane Arena – Spokane, Wash. April 18-19 – Tacoma Dome – Tacoma, Wash. April 25-26 – Save Mart Center – Fresno, Calif. May 1-3 – South Point Arena – Las Vegas For more information: www.arenacross.com
For a brief moment in time, the world faced the prospect of no air-cooled Ducatis rolling off the assembly line in Borgo Panigale, home of air-cooled Ducati engines since time immemorial (well, the 1940s, anyway). Yes, the launch of the liquid-cooled Monster 1200 in 2014 and the removal of smaller air-cooled Monsters from Ducati’s website caused a bit of a stir. But rumors of a scrambler-type bike, maybe a single or a twin, gave us hope that the venerable air-cooled powerplant would motor on. Particularly when the massive teaser campaign got under way well in advance of the 2015 Ducati Scrambler’s launch at the Intermot show in Cologne, Germany, where it was revealed as the simple air-cooled machine we hoped it would be. As the motorcycle market has changed, three distinct trends have emerged. One is high-end bikes like the new supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2R and H2, inline-six-powered BMW K1600GT/GTL, and Ducati Superleggera. Next has been low-price machines for those who do have enthusiasm but don’t have a large amount of disposable income. Think KTM RC390, Honda CBR300/500s, or Yamaha FZ-07/09. Then there are these “spirit” bikes, like the R nineT and its brethren on the preceding pages, hoping to trigger a desire for simplicity and style and, perhaps, even a feeling of nostalgia for times that might not have actually existed. The Scrambler, of course, fits the latter, and with an MSRP of $ 8,595 for the yellow Icon version shown ($ 100 cheaper in red) it also flirts with some of the lower-cost alternatives. When we got the bike in the CW photo studio prior to the unveiling, it was heartening to see how “human” size the bike is. Like the “Heartstring” machines on the preceding pages, it has been made compact and low without much compromise. The handlebar was surprisingly tall but works with the ergos. A nice touch was the “vintage” routing of the front brake line and other cables—very 1970s dirt bike. Three other versions join the Icon: Urban Enduro with a high front fender; Full Throttle, inspired by dirt trackers; and the Classic with a bit more retro flavor (all are priced at $ 9,995). Ducati describes the bike as “post heritage” and said it aimed to build the Scrambler as though production had continued since 1975, last year for the old 450cc single. Styling is a successful channeling of Ducati’s later Scramblers, with the steel fuel tank a particularly good piece. Tank-side aluminum “inserts” are actually replaceable panels.
“Ducati describes the bike as “post heritage.”Ducati claims 75 hp from the air-cooled 803cc 90-degree V-twin, a bit down on the 87 claimed for the Monster 796 that uses the same basic engine. New tuning (with 11 degrees of valve overlap) has boosted torque to 50 pound-feet at 5,750 rpm. Still, with a claimed dry weight of 375 pounds, performance should be lively. The tubular steel trellis frame is Scrambler specific, with 24-degree rake and 4.4-inch trail. Aside from rear spring preload, the KYB suspension is not adjustable. Ducati said there was quite a bit of debate about using a silver-colored spring at the rear (Ducs traditionally are yellow), but I have to point out the Superleggera’s silver (titanium) spring. There will be more bikes to go with these. “The Scrambler will be a brand within the Ducati brand,” a spokesman said. “No other models or displacements have been mentioned, but you’ve seen how Ducati operates.” Hey, how about a 402cc single for a bargain-basement price? Air-cooled, of course. Read More