Triumph unveiled a new addition to its cruiser line at the INTERMOT show in Cologne, Germany today, with the introduction of the 2011 Triumph Thunderbird Storm.
Once again, Triumph follows the “Dark Custom” styling movement with the Storm’s blacked out engine case and radiator cover. The dual headlights are another stylistic difference from the base Thunderbird. the chassis and components are essentially the same, however. The big difference is that the standard 1600cc Thunderbird’s parallel-twin has been bored out to 1700cc for the Storm, resulting in an engine output of 100HP, and 115 ft-lbs of torque. Previously, this engine was available as an $899 option on the standard Thunderbird, but now it’s in a model of its own.
Ducati’s big news at the German INTERMOT show was the 1198 SP, which replaces last year’s 1198 S.
The updated 1198 now comes with a standard slipper clutch and quick shifter, as well as an Öhlins TTX rear shock. Upgrades to the base 1198 model have not been slighted either, as it now comes standard with the Ducati Traction Control (DTC), Ducati Data Analyzer (DDA), and the Ducati Quick Shift (DQS). Interestingly, despite the addition of the $1,400 Öhlins TTX, the price of the SP model is only $200 more than the S model it replaces. The base model 1198′s price is also unchanged.
In both cases, the upgrades are terrific additions to an already terrific sportbike.
Suzuki might have sat the last model year out in the US, but they unveiled new Gixxers at the German INTERMOT Bike Show to announce their triumphant return with slimmed-down models of what is probably the most popular sportbike in the world.
Visually, there’s no difference, other than paint schemes, between the 600cc and 750cc model Gixxers. Indeed, they look similar to previous model years, too. Underneath the plastic, of course, it’s a bit of a different story. Suzuki has given the GSX-R series a new chassis, different ergos, and updated motors. A Showa Big-Piston Fork (BPF) replaces the conventional cartridge fork of previous years, while the wheels come with new hubs, axles, and bearings–which are incompatible with previous models, by the way. The brakes are now full-bull Brembo monoblocs. But the big difference shows up on the scales, with the new GSX-Rs shedding 18 pounds.
The bikes come equipped with the Suzuki Drive Mode Selector (S-DMS) system, which Suzuki says…
…allows the rider to use a button mounted on the left handlebar switch module to select one of two engine control maps, regulating the fuel injection, secondary throttle valve and ignition systems. The two maps are designated A and B, with Map A delivering full power and acceleration and Map B producing more moderate acceleration. The S-DMS system allows the rider to select a map to suit various riding conditions and personal preference on the road, for example choosing one map for highway cruising and the other map for tight country roads. Switching from one map to the other is instantaneous.
Sadly, a full spec sheet on the new Gixxers isn’t available yet, so we don’t know exactly what engine power increase goes along with the lower weight.
I have to say, the looks of the new Gixxers are an improvement on what was not an unattractive motorcycle to begin with.
KTM’s releases at the INTERMOT show in Germany come in two flavors, neither of which will be seen tooling around American streets any time soon.
2011 KTM Duke 125
Designed with entry-level riders in mind, especially with Europe’s rigorous graduated-license scheme, the long-awaited–and long-seen–Duke 125 got its official unveiling today. The Baby Duke has a four-stroke, liquid-cooled, 4-valve, DOHC, single-cylinder engine. It weighs in at a featherweight 282 pounds wet, with an output of 15Hp and 8.9 ft-lbs of torque–both at fairly high RPMs. Alas, this model is meant for European riders only, so it won’t show up on this side of the pond.
2011 KTM 1190 RC8R Track
Not street-legal anywhere, any way, this track-only version of the RC8 boast nothing in the way of street-legal devices. It comes ready to race at the your local track day. You’ll just need a trailer to get it there. And, considering the money you’ll save by not having to convert a street bike for track use, you’ll probably be able to afford the trailer. Or, rather, you would, if only the track-only version of the bike didn’t cost more than the street version.
Kawasaki’s 2011 line-up became a little clearer today, with the release of some new models at the INTERMOT show in Köln (Cologne), Germany.
2011 Kawasaki ZX-10R
First up is the new ZX-10R, which Kawasaki claims is a new bike from the ground up. Topping the list of features on this bike is the introduction of Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC), Kawasaki’s answer to the BMW S1000RR’s DTC, which has been ported over from the Concours14. In addition, Kawasaki adds an ABS option for the ZX-10R. We don’t know much about the power output, but we do know that the the compression ratio has been raised to 13:1, the airbox capacity has been increased,injectors enlarged to 43mm, etc., so, while it may not do it in stock trim, a little tinkering with the exhaust and ECU mapping could result in around 200HP at the crank. Kawi has also put it on a serious diet, with a wet weight of 436.6 pounds, which is 22 pounds less than the 2010 model.
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, four valves per cylinder, inline-four
Bore x stroke: 76.0 x 55.0mm
Compression ratio: 13.0:1
Fuel system: DFI with four 47mm Keihin throttle bodies with oval sub-throttles, two injectors per cylinder
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance and Sport-Kawasaki Traction Control (S-KTRC)
Final drive: Chain
Rake / trail: 25.0 degrees / 4.33 in.
Front tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: 190/55 ZR17
Wheelbase: 56.1 in.
Front suspension: 43mm inverted Big Piston Fork (BPF) with DLC coating, adjustable rebound and compression damping, spring preload adjustability / 4.7 in.
Rear suspension: Horizontal Back-link with gas-charged shock and top-out spring, stepless, dual-range (low-/high-speed) compression damping, stepless rebound damping, fully adjustable spring preload / 4.9 in.
Front brakes: Dual semi-floating 310mm petal discs with dual four-piston radial-mount calipers
Rear brakes: Single 220mm petal disc with aluminum single-piston caliper
Overall length: 81.7 in.
Overall width: 28.2 in.
Overall height: 43.9 in.
Seat height: 32.0 in.
Curb weight: 436.6 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 4.5 gal.
Color choices: Lime Green / Ebony, Ebony / Flat Ebony
MSRP: $13,799 / ABS $14,799
Warranty: 12 Months
2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000
For the less pure-sport-minded, and more sport-touring inclined, Kawasaki has essentially slapped a fairing on the new Z1000, and kitted it out for taking the long road, with optional hard bags and trunk, as well as heated grips. The result is the new Ninja 1000, which presumably has the same 122 horsepower and 72 lb-ft torque at the rear wheel as the Z1000. The relatively tall windscreen is also manually adjustable at three different positions for even better wind protection. No MSRP has been announced, but this seems like quite a nice potential sport-tourer for those on a budget.
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, DOHC, 16 valve Inline Four
Bore x stroke: 77 x 56mm
Compression ratio: 11.8:1
Fuel system: DFI with four 38mm Keihin throttle bodies, oval sub-throttles
Ignition: TCBI with digital advance
Transmission: X-ring chain
Final drive: Chain
Rake / trail: 24.5 degrees / 4 in.
Front tire: 120/70 ZR17
Rear tire: 190/50 ZR17
Wheelbase: 56.9 inches
Front suspension: 41mm inverted fork, adjustable for compression, rebound and preload, 4.7 inches travel
Rear suspension: Horizontal monoshock, adjustable for rebound and preload, 5.4 inches travel
Front brakes: Dual 300mm petal-type rotors with radial-mount four-piston calipers
Rear brakes: Single 250mm petal-type rotor with single-piston caliper
Seat height: 32.3 inches
Curb weight: 502.7 pounds
Fuel capacity: 5 gallons
Color choices: Ebony, Candy Fire Red / Ebony
Warranty: 12 Months
2011 Kawasaki Vulcan 1700 Vaquero
The popularity of the Harley-Davidson Street Glide has led Victory, and now Kawasaki, to come up with a close analog. In Kawasaki’s case, it’s the new Vaquero, although the fixed, frame-mounted fairing makes it a closer analog to the Road Glide. In any case, the new Vaquero sports lots of blacked-out metal, following–once again–Harley-Davidson in catering to the “Dark Custom” craze so popular in today’s cruiser community. Kawasaki’s updated 1700cc (104ci) SOHC V-Twin is said to put out 108 ft-lbs of torque, a number signifigantly superior to the H-D twin, and on a par with the torque produced by the new 109ci Victory powerplant. In addition to large, easy-to-read gauges (which Kawasaki says are inspired by American muscle cars) on the dash of the fairing, there’s also a multi-function LCD display for mileage, clock, temp, etc., which is manipulated by a handlebar switch. Of course, no cross-country cruiser would be complete without an audio system, so Kawasaki has made certain that the Vaquero’s AM/FM/WX system is also compatible with an iPod, an XM tuner, or a CB radio.
Engine: Four-stroke, liquid-cooled, SOHC, four valve per cylinder, 52° V-twin
Displacement: 1700cc / 103.7 cu. in.
Bore x stroke: 102 x 104mm
Compression ratio: 9.5:1
Maximum torque: 108 lb-ft @ 2750 rpm
Cooling: Liquid, plus cooling fins
Induction: Digital fuel injection, dual 42mm throttle bodies
Ignition: TCBI with Digital Advance
Transmission: Six-speed with overdrive and positive neutral finder
Final drive: Belt
Frame: Steel, double-cradle with box-section single-tube backbone
Rake / trail: 30 degrees / 7.0 in.
Front suspension / wheel travel: 43mm hydraulic fork / 5.5 in.
Rear suspension / wheel travel: Swingarm with twin air-assisted shocks, with 4-way rebound damping / 3.1 in.
Front tire: 130/90×16
Rear tire: 170/70×16
Front brakes: Dual 300mm discs, dual twin-piston calipers
Rear brakes: 300mm disc, twin-piston caliper
Overall length: 98.8 in.
Overall width: 38.2 in.
Overall height: 50.8 in.
Ground clearance: 5.7 in.
Seat height: 28.7 in.
Wheelbase: 65.6 in.
Curb weight: 835.7 lbs.
Fuel capacity: 5.3 gal.
Colors: Ebony, Candy Fire Red
MSRP standard / two-tone: $TBD
Warranty: 24 Months
BMW has unveiled their new 6-cylinder touring motorcycles at INTERMOT, and also came up with a dedicated micro-site. The site is chock full of details on the new bikes, as well as the first official photographs, shown in the thumbnails below.
The BMW K1600GT will replace the current K1300GT, while the K1600GTL will replace the current K1200LT. The new model seems like a huge step up for both bikes. Interestingly, the GT model now integrates a stereo system, something which was only available on the R1200RT and K1200LT, but was not available for the GT model at all.
The rather irritating flash site presents lots of information about the bikes, in frustratingly tiny pieces. Among the available information is the following:
Engine output 160 HP at approx. 7500 rpm and a maximum torque of approx 129 ft-lbs at approx. 5000 rpm. Over 70% of maximum torque available from 1500 rpm.
Three drive modes to choose from (“Rain”, “Road”, “Dynamic”).
Traction control DTC (Dynamic Traction Control) for maximum safety when accelerating (optional extra).
Electronic Suspension Adjustment ESA II for optimum adaptation to all uses and load states (optional extra).
World premiere for a motorcycle: Adaptive Headlight (optional extra) in conjunction with standard xenon headlamp and lighting rings for increased safety at night.
Integrated operating concept for the first time with Multi-Controller, TFT color screen and menu guidance.
The instrument panel based on digital technology comprises a speedometer and tachometer as well as an information display which takes the form of a powerfully lit 5.7-inch colour monitor. This display enables user-friendly presentation of text and graphics over several lines.The information unit is operated using the Multi-Controller. As a component of the integrated operating concept it is placed ergonomically favourably on the left handlebar grip. Unlike individual operating keys, this set-up means that the rider does not have to take his eyes off the road.
Audio system with preparation for navigation device and controllable interface for iPod, MP3, USB, Bluetooth and satellite radio (only USA and Canada) (standard in the K 1600 GTL). BMW Motorrad Navigator IV available as a special accessory is also integrated in the vehicle electrical system directly ex works. This means that the most important functions such as zoom or voice command repetition can be operated conveniently from the handlebars using the Multi-Controller.
Innovative design with outstanding wind and weather protection.
K 1600 GTL with very comfortable, relaxed ergonomics set-up for long trips with pillion passenger as well as luxury touring features.
With a total width of just 22″, the engine is only slightly wider than a current large-volume 4-cylinder in-line engine. In order to keep the width as low as possible, the electrical ancillary units and their drive units were moved behind the crankshaft into the free space above the gearbox. The ideal concentration of masses at the center of the vehicle makes for an optimum center of gravity and outstanding handling. The engine of the K 1600 models is about 3.9″ narrower than all 6-cylinder in-line engines previously used in serial motorcycle production. This makes the engine not only the most compact but also the lightest 6-cylinder in-line engine for a serial production motorcycle, weighing just 226 lbs.
When the rider activates the free-moving clutch lever, torque is transmitted from the crankshaft to a self-energising 10-disc wet clutch with anti-hopping function via a straight-toothed primary drive – so as to ensure that the high level of force is delivered gently.
Obviously, there’s much more there, but you get the idea. If you’re like me, your only question now is, “When can I ride it?”
Via Hell For Leather, the details of the new 2011 Triumph Speed Triple have leaked the night before its official unveiling.
The look of the Speed Triple is all new, most notably with the headlights changing from the traditional round headlamps to an excitingly chunky and angular shape. In addition, an entirely new aluminum frame holds it all together. the riding position has also been shifted slightly forward. There’s also the new 43mm USD forks, which are now fully adjustable. Triumph claims the improvements to the frame and ergonomics improve the bike’s handling.
Many of the improvements, however, are under the hood, not out in plain sight. Among them is a weight loss of 5 lbs, bringing the weight weight down to 417lbs. At the same time, the engine’s output has been increased from 128HP to 134HP at 9,400RPM, while torque has been boosted from 76 ft-lbs to 82 ft-lbs at 7,750RPM.
Finally, for the first time, ABS brakes are available on the Speed Triple as an option–although if you choose them, that kind of throws out the 5 lb weight reduction.
No word yet on pricing, but given Triumph’s commitment to value, something close to the current year’s price range of $8,899-$9,599 seems likely.
Motorcyclist has named the new Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT) on the Honda VFR1200F to be the best new technology of 2010. The magazine gushes:
The DCT is not the first automatic motorcycle transmission, but it is the first to offer performance that will satisfy even the most demanding sport rider. Borrowing heavily from Formula 1 racing technology-and generating more than 100 patents in the process-Honda has created a transmission that offers full-auto or semi-auto (the rider selects shift points using finger triggers) operation and delivers quicker, smoother, more transparent shifts than any manual gearbox. Honda’s DCT is everything a conventional automatic transmission isn’t. It’s light, fast and intuitive, and genuinely enhances the sportbike experience.
That seems like pretty high praise, and you have to assume that, being motorcycling professionals, the folks there know what they’re talking about.
I have no direct experience with the DTC. Indeed, I don’t know of an shop in the local area that even has a VFR in stock that has it, so I don’t even know where I could go to test it.
Having an FJR1300AE model with the electronic clutch probably isn’t a close enough comparison to make an educated guess, but I’d like to try out the DTC, though, to see how it compares.
One of the more interesting concepts that will be shown at the EICMA show in Italy this year are what appears to production-ready prototypes of a new scooter concept from Quadro Technologie, a new arm of Marabese Design. Marabese was the designer for the Piaggio MP3 scooter, but now they’ve gone one step beyond that with a 4-wheeled concept. The video makes it look very interesting.
Essentially, what you have here is a 4-wheeled vehicle, but with each wheel independently suspended, allowing it to lean like any other scooter or motorcycle. What you get from that combination is a much more sure-footed vehicle, with loads more traction, and more abilioty to take bad road conditions in stride. At the same time, the ability to lean makes cornering safer by balancing the forces of gravity and inertia–unlike a normal trike, where cornering can be a bit riskier business.
I can certainly see the advantages this offers for a commuter bike. Keep an eye on this technology.