2011 BMW K1600GTL first look

The first–grainy, low-res images of the 2011 BMW K1600GTL have been leaked.

2011 BMW K1600GTL
2011 BMW K1600GTL
2011 BMW K1600GTL - Front View
2011 BMW K1600GTL - Front View

Being the flagship BMW tourers, it will have all sorts of goodies on it.  Over and above the I-6 engine with 160HP and 129 ft-lbs of torque.  One thing it will have is adaptive headlights that sense when the bike is leaning into a turn, and pints the headlights into the turn. Another fancy bit is the motorcycle version of the iDrive system in BMW cars: a full-color screen that incorporates the integrated GPS, audio display, and probably the setup screen, showing what you’ve set the suspension settings to, tire pressure, etc.

No real specs on the bike as to dimensions and whatnot are available yet.

But really, what I’m waiting to see are the specs for is the sister GT model, which is replacing the K1300GT.  It should be a lot lighter than the GTL, and a lot faster than the current GT.

129 ft-lbs of torque.  I bet it’ll have arm-wrenching acceleration. I can’t wait to test ride it.

UPDATE: More info and official pics can be found at this entry that offers a rundown from the official unveiling at INTERMOT.

California outlaws loud pipes

I guess now we’ll see if loud pipes really do save lives.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Senate Bill 435 yesterday that will authorize state law enforcement to ticket motorcyclists who have swapped out their stock pipes for an aftermarket exhaust. The new law will make it a crime to operate a motorcycle manufactured after January 1, 2013, that does not meet federal noise-emission standards. Motorcycles will be required to display a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) label certifying that the exhaust system is clean burning and does not exceed 80 decibels. First-time offenders will face fines up to $100 while subsequent infractions can run up to $250.

Now that it’s become law in California, you can expect this to be implemented in other states as well.

2011 Triumph Tiger 800

2011 Triumph Tiger 800
2011 Triumph Tiger 800

Via Motorcycle Daily, it appears that Triumph is finally unveiling their new adventurer tourer.  It’s an 800cc triple version of the Tiger. As noted previously, it will come in two versions, one with a 17″ front wheel for mainly on-road use, and one with a 21″ front wheel designed for better off-road performance. They’ll probably have quite different tires as well, with the off-road focused version perhaps coming with stock knobbys.

Essentially, Triumph has taken their existing 675cc triple and bored it out for the new bikes, to give it a displacement similar to–and probably power superior to–the BMW F800-series bikes.

In addition to the new Tigers, Triumph also released detail images–though nothing that shows the whole bike–of accessories for the 2011 Speed Triple.  From the looks of those photos, the Speed Triple has been completely redesigned, as well, giving it a more modern, updated taste of styling–insofar as a naked bike can be said to be styled, at any rate.

Triumph has been doing better financially than many other manufacturers, which I suspect stems from the value pricing of their products.  These two new Tiger models are only the beginning of the expansion of Triumph’s lineup, as they expect to launch four additional models by the 2012 model year.

Good for them.

It seems I’ve been doing a lot of Triumph cheerleading lately, huh?

Adventure-Tourer Shootout

Motorcycle USA runs a head-to-head adventurer tourer test between the BMX R1200GS, the new Ducati Multistrada 1200S, and the Triumph Tiger 1050, a bike that looks to be making an exit from the Triumph line-up this next year, with the advent of two brand new Triumph adventure bikes.  Read the full review for the details, but the Triumph, as always, gives you full value for the money you spend on it.  Does it beat the Panzerkampfwagen that is the GS or the hyperdrive-powered MTS?  Tough question.  It beats the GS on the street, and the Multistrada off-road, so it’s probably a better all-rounder.

But, though I’ve never ridden the Tiger 1050, I’d throw my personal lot with the MTS1200.  It’s an unbeatable streetbike in this category.  Occasional forays on well-maintained dirt or gravel roads won’t rouble it, but I’m not really likely to do much of that.

I’d pick the MTS, for the lighter weight and amazing quickness and maneuverability on the street.

But, I have to say, for the price, Triumph is about the hardest brand of bike to beat.  They really do make value-priced bikes that do what they’re advertised to do.  And, with the money you save, you can always farkle them up.

2011 Triumph adventure bike video

Triumph has released another video of its upcoming adventure bikes, giving us a bit more information about them, as well some better glimpses of what they’ll look like.

httpvhd://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2WWmp38kBI

There will be two models–one focused on on-road adventuring, and one emphasizing off road capabilities.

2011 MV Agusta F3 begins to go public

For the past few months, MV fans have been waiting for something concrete about the new 675cc triple, the F3, from MV Agusta.  There’s been lots of spy shots, though mostly those were of a bike with F4 fairings, preventing us from getting a good look at the bike’s final appearance.  That’s changing now, as MV begins releasing some images of what appears to be the final pre-production version.

We’re still short of performance specs for the F3, but Motociclismo, in Italy, is reporting the bike will have radial valves like the F4, a cassette transmission, and will weigh in, dry, at 354 lbs. As a 675 triple, this bike’s obvious performance comparison will be with the Triumph Daytona 675. The Daytona is 407 lbs., wet, with an engine output of 124HP at 12600 rpm and 53 ft.lbs of torque at 11700 RPM making for a pretty revvy bike, although not unusually so for a SuperSport.

So, the real question is whether MV is going to be satisfied with simply matching those specs…or try to better them. A 10% increase in power would give the F3 an output of 136HP. That would be…fun. How they’d get that much of an increase is a bit problematic, though.

The Daytona 675 already has a compression ratio of 12.65:1, so there’s not a lot of room to grow there, and a compression ratio of 20:1 to get to 136 HP is right out. An increase to a race-spec compression ratio of 14:1 yields an output of 127HP, so I think we’re pretty much done, there. Exhaust restrictions are probably going to limit any increase by preventing a freer-breathing–hence more polluting–system from being implemented. We’re already at 4 valves per cylinder, too.  So, we’re pretty much down to really hot cams, I guess.

I can hardly wait to see what the final specs look like.

Rear-view helmet

Reevu Helmet
Reevu Helmet

A British company is set to bring a brand new helmet concept to market.  Called the Reevu MSX1, this new helmet allows the driver to see the road behind him through a small mirror inserted into the visor.

The mirror reflects the image of whatever is to the rear of the helmet, and to see it, the rider merely has to glance up slightly to see the mirror.  The helmet liner is sculpted to fit the rider’s line of sight to the mirror.

Sadly, there is no word as to whether this helmet will be marketed in the US, or only in Britain.  At £249–approx $400–it isn’t an especially cheap helmet, but it is available directly from Reevu, and their web site has more info.

If you’re interested in what you see as a rider when wearing the helmet, Reevu has obliged us with a demonstration as well.  Click the image below to see a larger view.

Reevu MSX1 Riders View
Reevu MSX1 Riders View

At first glance, it seems like a massively useful idea, and one that really does offer some safety advantages.  It’s a neat idea, and I’d like to see that helmet over here in the US.

I’m exhausted

In the past three days, I’ve had to work 14 hours a day on a video project I was assigned.  It’s been a nightmare.  I’m punchy from lack of sleep.  Thank goodness, the weekend’s over, and I can go back to a normal workday tomorrow.

Honda returns to EICMA

Honda didn’t show up at last year’s EICMA show in Italy, citing the world economic crisis.  This year is going to be quite the reverse.  Honda has announced that it will not only be returning to EICMA, but it will be debuting eight motorcycle models at the show as well.

There’s no official word on the bikes that will be unveiled, but one of the most likely candidates will be the new VFR1200 model that is slated to replace the ST1300, which has long been Honda’s flagship sport-tourer.  The new model of the VFR will probably include both the dual-clutch transmission, and the cylinder management system that has been touted by Honda for the last year.

2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200

2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200
2011 Aprilia Dorsoduro 1200

A few weeks ago, some eager beaver at Aprilia posted the owner’s manual for the new Dorsoduro 1200 on Aprilia’s web site, which I reported here.  That was odd, because the existence of the bike hadn’t actually been announced by Aprilia.  That’s all changed now, as Aprilia has announced the bike, and given us the first official picture.

The Dorsoduro is sort of the Aprilia version of the Multistrada, that is to say, kind of a dual sport/megamoto kind of bike that’s considerably more comfortable on road than off. Think streetfighter built along supermotard lines.

The specs from Aprilia say the 1196.63 cc L-Twin spits out 134.5HP at 9,oo0RPM, and 76 ft-lbs of torque at 4,000RPM. Dry weight is 467 pounds, however, so that comes out to something around 520 pounds ready to ride. So, it’ll be quick, but not quite a bike that will leave you slack-jawed with stupefaction is twist the throttle a bit too much. Compression ratio is also 12:1, so get ready to shell out for premium fuel.

The seat height is decently low, though, at 29.5 inches, which means that, unlike some of the taller offerings out there, the average person doesn’t have to worry about tippy-toeing it at a stop sign.

Full tech data follows below, all presented, sadly, in the metric measurements so favored by heathen foreigners.

TECHNICAL DATA

Engine Type 90 ° V-Twin DOHC 8V LC

Bore x stroke 106 x 67.8 mm

Displacement 1196.63 cc

Maximum power 134.5 bhp at 9500 rpm

Maximum torque 10.5 kgm at 4,000 rpm

Compression ratio 12,0:1

Electronic Fuel Injection (Multi)

Electric Start

Digital Electronic Ignition CDI

6-Speed

Multi-plate clutch in oil bath and hydraulic

Chain final drive

Steel and aluminum chassis with high strength bolts and aluminum side plates

Swingarm in cast aluminum

Front suspension fork 43 mm inverted telehydraulic, three-way adjustable

Rear suspension Hydraulic shock absorber adjustable rate. Wheel travel 150 mm.

Front brake Dual discs 320 mm, 4 piston radial calipers

Rear brake 240 mm disc, single piston caliper

Tyres 120/70 x 17 “and 180/55 x 17″

Total length 2248 mm

Maximum height 1205 mm

Maximum width 925 mm

Wheelbase 1528 mm

Seat height 750 mm

Empty weight 212 kg

Fuel tank 15 liters