BMW K1600R?

Photoshop of a rumored BMW K1600R

Where would we be without new model rumors, and the photoshops that make them seem true, or, at least, plausible.

In this case, the rumor is of a coming roadster version of BMW’s new flagship sports-tourer, the K1600GT, which would be called the K1600R.  It would look something like the photoshop image here. Or not.

It sounds attractive. Still, there are some questions that would have to be answered:

But… The K1600GT starts at £15,300, a full £1800 more than the old K1300GT (which it effectively replaces, as well as superseding the mammoth K1200LT). Would it be possible to make a six-cylinder machine that could match, or even come close to, the K1300R’s £10,450 price? And would the bigger engine offer a significant advantage over the existing four? Finally, could a six-cylinder BMW out-pose and out-muscle the Ducati Diavel that’s scrambled the “big naked” market this year?

Having said that, BMW doesn’t really compete on price, much. and if they can pump up the power of the K16, the same way they did with the K13 for the S model, I can foresee a 180HP+ version making its way into the lineup as an S or R model.

I can dream, anyway.

A New “Corse” version of the Multistrada? No.

The motorcycling press got into a bit a of a tizzy today, heralding the arrival of a new version of the Multistrada, the “Corse” package, for the 2012 model year.

As it happens, however, that model already exists as the “Pike’s Peak” edition. Ducati was just using “Corse” as a fallback name in case they couldn’t acquire the rights to use the “Pike’s Peak” name. Nothing to see here. Sorry.

Liquid-Cooled Boxer for BMW?

Asphalt & Rubber has an image of what appears to be a new BMW RXX00GS in the wild.  Sure it looks like a R1200GS, but the thing is…the shaft drive is on the wrong side.

BMW liquid-cooled boxer?
BMW liquid-cooled boxer?

BMW’s boxer engines are air/oil-cooled, but the end of the road is surely in sight for air-cooled engines, due to both emissions compliance issues and the consumer demand for a bit more power. So, the best guess here is that this is a GS testing a new liquid-cooled boxer engine.  we don’t know the displacement, or anything else.  We don’t even know if this engine is liquid-cooled, based on the picture.

Still, the rumor is the BMW is water-cooling the boxer, and if this GS with what is obviously a different motor is already testing on the road, the chances are pretty good that it is the water-cooled boxer, and if its in this advanced stage of testing, i.e., running around on a bike in the wild, then we can look forward to a brand new RXX00GS for 2012.

We might know more, but this picture appears to have been taken by a 1930s Kodak box camera, using film that’s over its expiration date.

2010 Sport Touring Shootout Gen III FJR?

Motorcycle USA has published its annual sport-touring shootout, but sadly, this time, two of the top contenders aren’t even being tested.  Instead, the shootout is limited to just three bikes: The Kawasaki Concours14, The Triumph Sprint GT, and the Honda VFR1200F.  The final results were…interesting, and I can’t say I agree, as the winning bike has some serious touring shortcomings.  But I won’t spoil the surprise any more than that.

What I found more interesting was that both BMW and Yamaha refused to make their sport-touring bikes available.  The BMW refusal to supply a K1300GT is understandable, as it’s a dead motorcycle, with the new K1600GT I-6-engined bike already announced as a replacement.

The lack of an FJR1300 in the line-up, however, makes me go, “Hmmmm.”  I take it that this means that Yamaha is about to release a Gen III FJR, or an FJR replacement bike.  Now, that really does interest me, because as an FJR rider on a daily basis, I really do like that motorcycle.  But Yamaha has kept the performance pretty much the same for almost a decade, while BMW, Honda, and Kawasaki have all produced more horsepower-charged mounts. So, I’m fascinated to see what Yamaha has planned for the third generation of what used to be the gold standard of sport-tourers, but now is the most underpowered of them, except, of course, for the Triumph Sprint GT.

There’s been tons of speculation about what the Gen III FJR might be.  Everything from an updated FJR1300 as hinted at by Cycle World:

2011 Yamaha FJR1300 Mockup
2011 Yamaha FJR1300 Mockup

To the rumored FJR1400 reported by the (not always reliable) French site, Moto Revue:

2011 Yamaha FJR1400 Mockup
2011 Yamaha FJR1400 Mockup

Both of these mockups are obviously computer-generated, and may or may not have anything to do with the actual motorcycle Yamaha actually produces.  Of the two imaginary motorcycles, though, I prefer the imaginary motorcycle on the bottom.

Huh.  This post ended up being about something entirely different than what it started out being about.

Honda ST1300 replaced by an ST1200F?

The Spanish Motorcycling web site SoloMoto is touting an exclusive (in Spanish), which is that Honda will replace the venerable ST1300 with a touring version of the new V-4-engined VFR1200F. They state that their information is that a presentation of the new model will be held at the international motorcycle shows in Cologne or Milan (October or November respectively).

They report that the new model will be available with or without bags, as well as with or without the new DCT transmission option.  Compared to the new VFR, this touring model will have higher handlebars and more relaxed seating position, suitable for touring.  Based on the drawings they show, the preload adjustment for the rear suspension will be moved to the right side of the bike, and the front braking system my be different from the current VFR, due to having inverted forks.  They also speculate that the rider’s seat height will be adjustable, and that the windshield will have electrical height adjustment. The new bike also seems to keep the dual-layered fairing of the current VFR.

So, for all you ST1300 lovers, Honda may be providing you with something to love even better.

Let’s just hope that while they’re piling on all these touring amenities, they give us a fuel tank larger than the VFR’s 4 gallons.

Buell: Sadness, Anger and Rumors

For a motorcycle brand with such a relatively small group of owners, Buell Motorcycles evoke fierce loyalty.  So, H-D’s decision to kill the brand hasn’t been well received.

As an expression of that displeasure, Hell For Leather Magazine is offering special T-shirts, for both men and women.

"Free Eric Buell" T-Shirt
"Free Eric Buell" T-Shirt

That’s the anger.  Now comes the sadness.  Hell For Leather also has this picture, taken of a dumpster outside Buell’s East Troy factory.

Not all of the baby turtles make it to the ocean.
Not all of the baby turtles make it to the ocean.

And now, finally, we come to the rumors.

I got a call this evening from a fellow who related a rumor that, just prior to the decision to eliminate Buell Motorcycles, Harley-Davidson had gotten an offer–or, at least, the proposal to make an offer–from Bombardier (the parent company of Victory Motorcycles and Can-Am Spyders) to purchase the Buell Division from H-D.

Now, nobody else I know has mentioned this, but I did find a mention of this rumor, or, rather, a similar one, at Motorcycle Daily:

There are of course rumors about Erik Buell traveling to Canada to meet with Bombardier (makers of the Can-Am Spyder). The font of this rumor, a guy posting on a chopper forum, claims a reliable source, but his credibility is undermined, as he lists his hometown as “Bonertown” in his profile.

So, I can definitely confirm that there is a rumor about Buell and Bombardier, for all the good that does you.  Unfortunately, that’s all I can confirm about Bombardier.  Unless Chopper-Boy from Bonertown has really good sources, it’s probably just an internet rumor, so you shouldn’t get your hopes up about Erik Buell applying for Landed Immigrant status in Montreal.

I can say this, however:  I do know that there are a couple of people outside Milwaukee who are very interested in talking to Erik Buell about…ummm…pursuing new challenges.  As soon as his 15-month non-compete agreement with H-D expires, of course.

And, for right now, that’s all I have to say about that.

UPDATE: What was I thinking?  Victory’s parent company is Polaris, not Bombardier.

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Another BMW Rumor

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I‘ve been seeing this pop up for the last few days.  Oberdan Bezzi is an Italian motorcycle designer.  Sometimes his notions of what a future bike model would look like are just that: notions.  But, he is a guy who has some hooks into the major bike shops in Europe, so, sometimes, he’s spot on.

Oberdan Bezzi's BMW GS12500R Concept.
Oberdan Bezzi's BMW R12500GS Concept.

In this particular case, the rumor is that BMW is working on a 12500cc successor to the current 1200cc boxer in their R-Series bikes.  It would give the bike maybe, what, 10-15 more ponies, and an extra lb-ft or two?  And, it would keep in tradition with past incremental shifts for the R-Bikes, from the 110 to 1150, to 1200.  maybe it;s shave a few punds of weight off, too.  I dunno.

If I was BMW, though, I’m not sure why I would.  Instead, I think the move towards the HP2 boxer engine, with the dual overhead cams would be a better move.  They already get 130HP out of that engine.

Of course, if you bumped up that engine to 1250cc, you’d probably get to 140+ HP out of it in the HP2 series.

And, lets’ not forget my previous trip down BMW rumor lane, which is that there will be a 1300cc HP2 boxer, and it will go into the RT and GS.

Rumblings From Harley?

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A few months ago, in April, the May edition of Cycle World magazine (link unavailable, it was print) printed a rumor on page 24 that Harley-Davidson was working on a V-4 power plant for…something.  Even Cycle World didn’t know:

Harley-Davidson is rumored to be working on a new V-Four engine. It is unclear whether the engine is for use in traditional H-D products and/or for Buell.

It was an interesting rumor, but nothing’s come out of it yet.

Now, there’s a new rumor floating around, which is that the MoCo is working on a brand new café racer bike.

There might be a pulse after all in the town of Milwaukee. A&R has gotten word that the Sultan of Slow is working on a cafe racer motorcycle, similar to the classic XLCR 1000.

If true (and not flubbed like the V-ROD), Harley-Davidson may have found the happy merger of maintaining its brand identity, and manufacturing a motorcycle for people that never owned a black & white television. We secretly hope this rumor is associated with the Harley-Davidson V4 rumor we heard not so long ago, but that may also then indicate Hell freezing over and the Earth collapsing in on itself like a dying star…

We’re always cautious about rumors here, and even more so when they involve H-D doing something right; so as usual, time will tell on this one.

I, for one, hope so.  H-D has such a great brand with so much potential energy, that they could be a powerhouse in motorcycling, if they’d just step out of the 60s.

Scooter + Ducati Monster = Scootster?

Italian motorcycle designer Oberdan Bezzi is convinced that Ducati will be revealing a new scooter at the Milan EICMA Motorcycle show in November.

Oberdan thinks the motor will be an 850 and offer a multi-mode transmission like the Aprilia Mana. That’s not a bad assumption; I just had a conversation with a source at Piaggio, who told me Piaggio loves to sell powertrain units to anyone who’ll buy them. “Would they sell one without heads so Ducati could install Desmo heads,” I asked? “Sure” was the answer. Oberdan’s drawing shows the Testastretta motor’s deep sump, so maybe that’s not what he had in mind, but it’d make sense, no? He also envisioned an “S” version, with Öhlins suspension and maybe some lightweight 16-inch wheels as well.

Bezzi also has a concept drawing of this supposed cross between a scooter and a Ducati Monster.

Ducati Scooster
Ducati Scooster

Huh. We’ll see.