2011 Ducati 848 EVO

2011 Ducati 848 EVO
2011 Ducati 848 EVO

Ducati has announced the first of its 2011 motorcycles, the new version of the 848, now christened the 848 EVO.  The EVO designation denotes that its a refinement of an existing model, rather than anything really new.  But that isn’t meant to sound dismissive, as the Italian manufacturer has created some added value.

First, performance increases over last year, with 140HP and 72.3 ft-lbs of torque, compared to last year’s 134HP and 70.8 ft-lbs. Second, chassis upgrades are included, with a standard steering damper and the brakes being upgraded to Brembo monobloc racing calipers.

Hard to believe that, just a few years ago, an Inline-4 literbike claimed 140HP as a respectable output.  Now, Ducati’s putting that out in a mid-sized twin.

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Something’s Up at Ducati

Ducati Project 0803
This Ducati Project 0803 sketch purports to be from a North American Ducati dealer who got it straight from the horse's...uh...mouth.

There’s been a lot of talk of a new Ducati model coming up for 2011. Maybe a big, new Monster. Or something.  Apparently that talk has some basis in fact, because we’re now seeing both spy shots–whether from interested bystanders or directly from Ducati PR isn’t clear–and an interesting concept sketch of “Project 803”. That sketch is on the right, and is clickable for a hi-res image.

The PR department at Ducati is responding to all the rumors of a new bike with this statement:

As many you may have noticed, there has been quite a bit of activity in the past few weeks surrounding a supposed new Ducati model. I wanted to take this opportunity and send you a note saying indeed we do have a surprise in store for this year’s EICMA show. Our R&D department is working around the clock to complete development of this radical new motorcycle, for which time to complete final design and engineering elements will surely come down to the wire.

Ducati Project 0803 Spy Shot
Ducati Project 0803 Spy Shot

I’m sending this letter today in order to inform you of our communication plan. Since many details of the bike (big and small) are still being sorted out; I have elected not to forward information or photography until the rolling prototypes come close to resembling what the final product will look like.

Stay tuned for further information from the Ducati Press Department; and I can assure you the final bike will impress all with the design, performance and technology everyone has come to expect from Ducati.

It looks like at Italian V-Max. And that “Testastretta 11 degree” engine says it probably comes off the 1198.  So, an 1198 V-Max.  Nice.

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The Triumph Adventure Bike

For 2011, Triumph will be releasing at least one new adventure bike.  We have no idea what the specs are, although it seems that it will be using something smaller than the 1050cc triple in the Tiger, so, just as a guess, I’d imagine it will be based on the 675.  Triumph has, however, released a fantastically shot, artistic video preview, which reveals precisely nothing about how the bike will look, or what its major components will be.  Except that it has two headlights.

Enjoy.

httpvh://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuGIrvrQvNM&feature=player_embedded

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Suzuki Comes Back to the US for 2011

The bad economy and poor sales forecasts for 2010 led Suzuki to suspend sending any new 2010-model bikes to the US, in lieu of reducing the inventories of 2009 models.  But, this afternoon, Suzuki announced that, for 2011, they’ll be back on our shores, and they previewed the first wave of  what they’ll be bringing with them next year.

First up, new versions of the Boulevard M109R and M109 Limited power cruisers–in my opinion, some of the most beautifully-designed, modern-looking cruisers in existence. Next, the Hyabusa is back, although with what appears to be mainly mild cosmetic changes. The V-Strom is also back with a new 2011 model, as well.

Welcome back, Suzuki!

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2011 Brammo Empulse

The motorcycle press is touting the newly announced 20100 Brammo Empulse, and electric motorcycle that is “revolutionary”, in that it has a 100-mile range and can exceed 100 MPH. Using a liquid-cooled, brushless AC motor, with an estimated output of50 hp and 59 ft-lbs torque, the power comes from three different battery pack options, although only the top of the line Empulse 10, with a 10KW battery pack will get you the 100/100 combination.  There is also an 8KW and 6KW option, with 80- and 60-mile ranges respectively. Pricing starts at $10k for the 6KW, up to 15K for the 10KW.

*shrug*

For the price of an FJR1300, next year you can own a 60HP bike that travels 100 miles, then sits around recharging for several hours.

2010 Brammo Empulse
2010 Brammo Empulse

I rode a lot today…

Even though today was a workday, I’ve spent about three hours on my FJR. I got to the office at about 7:15, after my 40-minute commute. Sauntered over to the microwave, and popped in some food. When it was done, I pulled it out…and spilled it on my thumb.

This kicked off a major fricking crisis. First, four paramedics had to come over and look at it. Then I was directed to go to the emergency room and get my thumb looked at. So I hopped on the FJR, and took my horrific injury to the hospital, whet a doctor looked at it and said, “You should probably put some ice on that.”

Wow. Great. Thanks, doc.

That took up the first two hours of the day, all because everybody gets paranoid about workman’s comp.

After work, I needed to go to traffic court and drop off some paperwork. A buddy told me this great new shortcut for getting there. The shortcut turned what is normally a 45-minute ride into a 2-hour one. I got lost in these tiny twisty roads, and finally had to go to the GPS to find out where I was, and how to get to the courthouse.

Worst. Shortcut. Ever.

So, I didn’t get home until 7.

But, I finally got home, got comfy, and turned on my computer…only to find out we have no internet access. It turns out that sometime before I got home, one of the dogs ripped the cable access line for the high-speed internet out of the wall. So now I have to pay Cox to send out a service tech tomorrow to run new cable.

I’m writing this via my HTC incredible, because I have no other contact with the outside world.

So, despite spending three hours on the bike, the day totally sucked. Oh, and the three hours on the bike were all at low speeds, in city traffic, and 90-degree heat.

I could strangle a kitty right now.

WANT!

BMW has announced two new motorcycles built on a brand new Inline-6 powerplant.  The K1600GT will presumably replace the K1300GT, while the K1600GTL will replace the K1200LT.

The powerplant is definitely the atttraction on these bikes. Weighing in at only 226 lbs, the motor puts out 160HP at 7,500 RPM and…wait for it…129 lb/ft of torque at 5,000 RPM.  BMW also indicates that over 70% of maximum torque will be available from 1,500 rpm.  So, right from a standing start, we’re talking 90 lb/ft of torque. That’s arm-wrenching acceleration worthy of a literbike.  Indeed, compare and contrast to the 193 HP S1000RR, whose maximum torque is 83 lb/ft at 9,750 RPM.

Alas, there are no pictures of the bikes from BMW yet, except for a couple of crappy concept drawings that I’m uninterested in showing, as they are probably more misleading than accurate.

But from the specs, it looks like a monster power-tourer, with about 5 more horsepower hitting the ground at the rear wheel, and 27 lb/ft more torque than the current power king of sport-tourers, the Kawasaki Concours14.

The only remaining question will be how much it’ll set back your wallet to acquire the Beemer.