BMW S1000RR: 200HP+?

BMW S1000RR Dyno Chart
BMW S1000RR Dyno Chart

Motorcycle Daily reports that the BMW S1000RR appears to be a real superbike.

Apparently, our Brit cousins at MCN strapped the S1000RR to a dyno, and got the HP/Torque results shown over at the right (click to enlarge).  The results show 183HP at the rear wheel with stock exhaust, and 185.5 with an Akraprovic setup.

Oh, and about 81 lb-ft of torque, if anyone cares.

So, if they’re putting out 185 at the wheel, then they’ve got to be pushing 200+ HP at the crank, which is…a lot.  A lot more, in fact, than BMW even admits to.

As Gabe Ets-Hokin notes:

Used to be 180 hp at the back wheel was the result of tens of thousands of dollars of soup-up work: a turbo or nitrous, or just getting your hands on a megabucks works racebike.

Back when I was a kid in the 70s, we thought a 70HP bike was wicked fast.  200HP would have been seen as…insane.

BTW, the nearest competitor–according to the dyno-tested models, at least–to the S1000RR was the Suzuki Hayabusa at 179.5 HP.

Yet, with all that horsepower on tap, Troy Corser is being beaten like an egg-sucking dog in WSBK by guys riding 170.6 HP Fireblades.

Loser.

Electric Motorcycles Are Not Practical

Paul Crowe, over at the Kneeslider, addresses one of my personal hobby horses: electric motorcycles, and makes a key point.

The engineering expertise available today made short work of the obvious, designs began to make the bikes look good, powerful electric motors were built, the suspension is just adapted from standard models, nothing unusual there, it’s those pesky batteries. We need a small, light, fast charging, long lasting battery with big capacity. That, definitely, is not one of those easy parts, that’s a real head scratcher and, though there is a huge reward waiting for anyone who can design one, we’re just not there yet, which, itself, tells us a lot. Anyone who takes a cursory look at electric vehicles quickly sees the potential and monetary windfall waiting and still, no battery that takes the performance leap has been developed.

That last phrase is the key point.  No matter how much we might want or need electric vehicles–or some other zero-emissions technology–it will not magically appear simply because we want it…or because politicians mandate it by fiat.

Back in the 90’s, when I was hosting The Business Day on KMNY in Los Angeles, the state of California approved a mandate that required something like 40% of all vehicles be zero-emissions by 2006.  I spent an entire week talking to the big electric and alternate fuels execs at GM, Chrysler and Ford, and they all told me the same thing.  The technology to make electric vehicles with range and performance similar to internal combustion engined vehicles does not exist.

It didn’t exist in 1995.  It doesn’t exist today.  And despite the Olympian pronouncements of politicians in Sacramento, the zero-emissions mandate was superseded by that reality. And even if you get the range and power, there’s still the inconvenient 8-hour wait for the battery to recharge.

Somewhere, there’s a breakthrough in zero-emissions technology waiting to be found.  Until it is, though, all this electric motorcycle stuff is pure, feelgood, hype

Light Holiday Posting

I‘m sorry that the posting has been so light here the last several days.  I haven’t gone away or lost interest or anything.  There just hasn’t been all that much to report that caught my eye.  I suppose it’s natural during the holidays for thoughts of motorcycling to turn to other things, and, of course, the industry itself is gearing down for the holidays.

Hopefully, after the new year, the news will pick right back up.

Kawasaki Police ZG1400

I have an update to the post on Mesa, Arizona ‘s police department switching to the new Connie for duty motorcycles, thanks to a reader.  Apparently Kawasaki has nothing to do with kitting out a police version of the bike.  Instead, Wattco/Whelan is offering a ZG1400 kit for police work.  Click on the image below to enlarge it.

Kawasaki Police ZG1400
Kawasaki Police ZG1400

Wattco has lots more info here, including a video of drop-testing the crash bars.

Honda VFR1200F Pricing Announced…Partially

Honda USA has announced the pricing for the manual-transmission version of the VFR1200F as $15,999.  Still no pricing for the dual-clutch model, but we can expect it to be significantly higher, I suppose.

I guess I still don’t get it.  Who is this bike for? Certainly not touring people, who will hate its “fuel-suckery +_small tank = limited range/no standard luggage” equation.  Not sport-bikers, who’ll hate dragging around it’s lardy bulk.  Honda had the chance to bring out a really game-changing sport-tourer or hyperbike.  People who’ve rode it say it’s nice, but not spectacular.

Even the old VFR fans I’ve talked to seem disappointed by the specs for the 1200.

And, for 16 grand–probably 17 grand for the duel clutch version…well, that’s almost in BMW territory.

Somehow, I don’t see K13GT riders making a switch to the VFR any time soon.

Kawasaki Police C-14?

I wasn’t aware that Kawasaki made the Concours 14 in a police version, but I stumbled across this story tonigh, which says the city of Mesa, AZ will be shelling out a cool half-million to completely replace its current fleet of 1000Ps with C-14s.

Historically, the department has used a Kawasaki 1000 P, which has largely remained unchanged since it was introduced in the 1970s.

“Incidents where there were very serious conditions and collisions could be related to the lack of ABS and poor lighting,” Wessing said. “Those were the major safety downfalls of those motorcycles.”

Technology and safety features, such as anti-lock braking systems (ABS), on the new Kawasaki Concours’, which will replace the 1000 P, mean officers will be able stop their bikes within half the distance.

So, apparently there is a Concours 14P.  I can’t seem to find any images of one, but I have to admit, I’m curious.

The Commando is Back

The Norton Commando is one of the iconic bikes of motorcycling.  Back when I was a kid, and the average rider was tooling around on a 500cc BSA, the Norton Commando was the bike to have if you wanted a big, hellishly fast–in 1970 terms–motorcycle.  Sadly, when Nortun went TU several years ago, the Commando disappeared…until now.

2010 Norton Commandos
2010 Norton Commandos

Stuart Garner’s revived Norton Motocycles is now offering the 961cc Commando for the 2010 model year.

The 961 Commando will come in three models: the SE, Cafe racer, and Sport models shown here.

The differences are mainly stylistic, as all three models come with a 961cc parallel-twin, dry sump, pushrod engine, much like the venerable original, which is rated at 80HP at 6,500RPM, and 59 lb-ft of torque at 5,200 RPM.

They all sport Öhlins suspension with full adjustment. Stopping power is provided by twin Brembo 320mm semi-floating hi-carbon stainless steel discs & Brembo 4 piston radial calipers up front, and a single Brembo 220mm disc, with Brembo 2 piston “Gold Line” calipers out back.  A 5-speed gearbox sends the power to the rear wheel via a 525 O-ring chain drive.

The three models have minor weight differences, but the ball park is 415lbs dry, although oil, hydraulic fluid, and enough gas to fill the 4.5 gallon tank will add another 50 pounds or so.