Harley-Davidson has introduced another cruiser to their Dark Custom line at the NY Motorcycle Show. This time, it’s a Softail model called the Blackline.
Unlike most of Harley’s Dark Custom line, the Blackline sports a fair bit of chrome, including the redesigned, round air intake cover. Also redesigned is the shaved down fuel tank.
Like most Harley’s, the Blackline is powered by the standard 96ci V-Twin, which outputs 89 ft-lbs of peak torque at 3,250 RPM.
The H-D web site doesn’t have any information about the bike, but a motorcycle journalist from the Milwaukee Sentinel who was there, offers this info he received from H-D:
Key features of the 2011 Blackline include:
New Powertrain styling
Powertrain is finished in gloss black powdercoat on the rocker box covers, the crankcase, the outer primary cover, and the transmission side cover. The cylinders are silver powdercoat with machined highlights. The derby cover and timing covers are chromed.
Rigid-mounted, counter-balanced Twin Cam 96B™ V-Twin engine with Electronic Sequential Port Fuel Injection (ESPFI), rated at 89 ft. lbs. peak torque at 3250 rpm.
6-Speed Cruise Drive® Transmission.
New round air cleaner cover in brilliant chrome.
New Black Denim powdercoat frame and swingarm.
New Profile Laced Aluminum wheels with black anodized rims. Front wheel is 21 x 2.15 inches; rear wheel is 16 x 3 inches. Dunlop® D402 tires are MH90-21 front and MU85B16 rear.
New FX front end with black powdercoat triple clamps and black painted fork lowers.
New Split Drag™ internally-wired handlebars mount directly to the top triple clamp.
New Asymmetric five-gallon Softail fuel tank is clean on the left side, with a low-profile fuel fill on the right. Die cast “Blackline” trim panel flowing down the center of the tank is just high enough to cover the fuel pump hardware.
New Analog speedometer on a triple-clamp mount that also holds indicator lights. LCD screen on the speedometer includes low-fuel warning and “miles to empty” display function.
New Bobbed rear fender with combination stop/tail/turn lights in black housings, and a new composite license plate holder and light module that mounts on the lower edge of the fender.
New Raw forged rear fender supports are finished in Black Denim powdercoat.
New One-piece, two-up seat and passenger pillion. Laden rider seat height is 24 inches, the lowest two-up seat offered by Harley-Davidson. Gap between the nose of seat and fuel tank exposes the top of the frame.
New headlamp in gloss black shell.
Ducati announced the updated Monster today, known as the Ducati Monster 1100 EVO.
For the first time, the Monster breaks the 3-digit horsepower wall, with the Desmodue engine putting out 100HP at 7,500RPM, and 76 ft-lbs of torque at 6,000 RPM. It puts that upgraded power to the rear wheel through a 6-speed transmission hooked up to a chain drive. That’s a pretty decent power output for a bike that only weighs 373 lbs (dry).
With the extra power comes some extra safety, too, with the Monster coming equipped with Ducati Traction control and a Brembo/Bosch ABS braking system.
Ducati has also redesigned the seat and moved the handlebars up, in order to increase rider comfort.
At least, as comfortable as a naked standard can be, anyway.
More info is available at Ducati’s web site.
Since BMW announced the new straight-6 K1600GT and K1600GTL models, they’ve become one of the most hotly-anticipated motorcycles of 2011. So much so, that BMW has announced that they will take pre-sale orders for them, starting today. All you have to do is go to the BMW web site and fill out this pre-sale form. Just so we’re clear, you’re entering the pre-sales program for a motorcycle that isn’t actually in production yet. They also have another form to fill out if you just want to receive updates about the bikes from BMW.
It takes quite a lot of confidence to start taking pre-sale orders for a bike you haven’t actually built yet, but it seems that BMW’s confidence is warranted. BMW Motorrad USA announced their 2010 sales results today. Somehow, in a year of economic recession, plunging motorcycle sales, and despite making about the highest-priced motorcycles one can buy, BMW did…good.
BMW Motorrad reported a 12.3% increase in motorcycle sales in 2010.
The German manufacturer shipped 98,047 units in 2010 compared to 87,306 motorcycles in 2009. BMW reported growth in almost every market including a 4% increase in the U.S. despite a double-digit downturn for the industry.
Leading the sales charge for BMW was the S1000RR, their new–and conventional–literbike, which sold 10209 units to become BMW’s highest-selling model.
The BMW F800S is not the the only 800cc European naked standard making its way to our shores this year. Yamaha is following up with the FZ8.
The FZ8 is powered by a 779cc I-4 powerplant that puts out a reported 105HP and 61ft-lbs of torque, which is plenty peppy for an urban bike that weighs 464 lbs. The engine itself is derived from the pre-crossplane R1.
It’s nice to see the manufacturers bringing back a lot of these mid-sized commuter-capable bikes back to the US. And who knows, with oil prices on the rise again, it might be the perfect environment to do so.
Via A&R, it seems that Ducati has been listening to prospective owners about what they’d like to see in the new Diavel. As a result, Ducati has moved towards the Dark Custom movement with a new model of the Diavel called the Carbon Black.
Instead of bright paint and chrome, Ducati has gone to matte colors and black anodized metal. Additionally, they’ve dropped the white color from the line-up completely, in favor of this new black model.
To my eye, it’s certainly more attractive.
One day ahead of tomorrow’s EICMA SHow opening in Milan, Ducati has unveiled the new Diavel–formerly known as the Project 0803 motorcycle. I’ve written about it a bit over the past few months as spy shots and finally an official photo was leaked, but now we can officially see the Diavel in all its glory.
We can also officially see the specs now, too. Ducati has closely held them, but now that we can see them, they look pretty good.
There are some notable points to be mentioned. First, while the Diavel uses the same 11° Testastretta engine that the Multistrada 1200S uses, power output has been upped to 162HP, while torque has been raised to 94 ft-lbs, compared to the Multi’s 87.5 ft-lbs. At the same time, while no lightweight, the Diavel is only 35 lbs heavier than the Multistrada, weighing in at 463lbs dry.
All things considered, the Diavel should be a screaming street machine. It might not have the same raw, straight-line power of the Yamaha Star V-Max, but I’d be willing to bet the Diavel will eat its lunch in the twisties, with its advertised 41° lean angle. And, who knows, maybe on a straight-line, the comparison isn’t that far off, either. After all, despite the V-Max’s 197HP and 123 ft-lbs of torque, it also weighs 685 lbs. It’d need all that extra horsepower just to keep up with the Diavel.
I’d suspect that with two riders of equivalent capability, the one on the V-Max would be watching the Diavel’s tail lights. Until they disappeared ahead of him, anyway. I do know that’s a comparison I’d like to see.
Like the Multi, the Diavel also boasts the the three-mode output/suspension settings, allowing the rider to choose the restrained 100HP output of the Urban mode, the full power, but less aggressive throttle response and softer suspension of the Touring mode, and the full-on power and stiff suspension of the Sport mode.
And I can tell you, from personal experience, that the three settings really do transform the feel and operation of the bike. And when you hit sport mode…watch out!
The drawback to the Diavel, from a US sales point of view, is that Americans seem to hate naked standards. This might be a bike that sells like hotcakes in Europe, though.
There’s also one more question about the Diavel that needs to be answered. What’ll it cost?
Hell For Leather has what they say is the first full photo of the new MV Agusta F3, the long-awaited 675cc triple that expands MV’s product line into supersport bikes.
HFL’s Wes Siler writes that the price is a relatively lofty €11,500, but MV is planning on giving you 140HP at the crank, in return.
The official unveiling of the F3 is scheduled for Tuesday at the EICMA show in Milan, Italy.
Well, this isn’t something you see every day. Motorcycle USA, Motorcycle.Com and Motorcycle Daily all have the same featured top story. Each of them have test ride reports for the new Kawasaki Ninja 1000. And they all seem to like it.
I’m curious to see how this bike will do in the US. The Z1000 on which the Ninja is based probably won’t sell well, because Americans really don’t like naked standards.
But the fully-faired Ninja is different. The power and performance of the Ninja 1000 slots it between the ZX-6 and the ZX10. So it has at least supersport performance. What is doesn’t have are the tortuous ergonomics. Kawasaki seems to have made it comfortable enough for touring, withut neutering the performance.
In recent years, sport bike ergnomics have gotten increasingly tortuous. The handlebars are low, requiring the rider to lay across the tank. The footpegs are high, to allow for extreme lean angles, but that means the riders knees are pulled up to massage the ribs. Nice for a track day or 20-lap sprint, but not so nice for a daily commute. and touring, of course, is right out.
What Kawasaki has done is created a motorcycle with the full-on performance of a sportbike, but a more upright, comfortable perch. Street performance can never really match track performance, so the race-inspired ergos aren’t really necessary. In most categories in which the Ninja 1000 competes against the ZX-10 in terms of street performance, the Ninja seems to be the equal, if not the superior bike, though the ZX-10 would undoubtedly stomp it on the track.
Kawasaki also has touring in mind for the Ninja 1000, offering full sets of color-matched hard luggage. It’s hard to imagine doing any serious touring on any of the ZX line. At least, not with an on-call masseuse and unlimited supplies of Tylenol.
It seems to have more than reasonable performance for the street–indeed, more performance than most riders can even use. At the time time, it’ll have comfort and touring capability that no pure race-bred sport bike can possibly offer. So, the question is, will American motorcyclists buy it? Or will they stick with the high-revving, pain inducing ZX line?
Honda is planning to unveils a new adventure bike at EICMA next week. This new bike is based on the new V-4 platform that is currently embodied only in the VFR1200F. Honda has been saying that this new platform will be the basis for a number of different motorcycles, and this new adventure bike will be the second. There’s only a sketch of it, no photos or anything else.
You can tell it’s an adventure bike, because it has a beak. Despite being an “Adventure” bike, Honda has indicated this will be an on-road bike. Other than that, we’ll have to wait for EICMA next week in Italy to learn more. So, I guess this doesn’t actually count as an unveiling yet, especially as the new bike probably will vary a fair bit from this sketch. In particular, the rear looks like they just slapped a CBR100RR rear end on it. Surely, for an adventure bike, those pegs will be thicker and wider. As always, I love me a single-sided swingarm.
What we do have firm details on, is the new CBR250R, an entry-level street bike that incorporates what appears to be a new design direction for Honda, following the controversial looks of the VFR1200F.
Note the multi-layered fairing and the frog-shaped headlight–design features shared not only by the VFR, but the adventure bike sketch above. I guess this is a look that will define the new generation of Hondas. In this case, the design is wrapped around a 250cc four-stroke thumper that puts out about 26HP through a 6-speed transmission. I really like the looks of this bike a lot, and it should be a great beginner bike, especially as this little guy also comes with optional ABS brakes.
A&R has a couple of more pics with the different color schemes.
Honda provided the tech specs below.
2011 Honda CBR250R / CBR250R ABS Technical Specifications:
Engine Type: 249.4cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder four-stroke
Bore and Stroke: 76mm x 55mm
Compression ratio: 10.7:1
Valve Train: DOHC; four valves per cylinder
Induction: PGM-FI, 38mm throttle body
Ignition: Computer-controlled digital transistorized with electronic advance
Front: 37mm fork
Rear: Pro-Link single shock with five positions of spring preload adjustability
Front: Single 296mm disc
Rear: Single 220mm disc
Front: 110/70-17 radial
Rear: 140/70-17 radial
Wheelbase: 53.9 inches
Rake (Caster Angle): 25.0°
Trail: 95mm (3.74 inches)
Seat Height: 30.9 inches
Fuel Capacity: 3.4 gallons
Colors: Metallic Black, Red/Silver
Curb Weight*: 359 pounds / 368 pounds (ABS)
*Includes all standard equipment, required fluids and full tank of fuel—ready to ride.
KTM will be unveiling a new version of the 990 at EICMA next week. Although, since an official image got leaked today to Bikes in the Fast Lane, I guess it won’t be so much unveiled as confirmed.
This new version is known as the “Dakar”. See? it even says it on the tail, along with a catchy graphic of a fellow wearing a burnoose as protection from the burning desert sands.
It is also mind-numbingly–almost gloriously–ugly. The bodywork is a steel blue that is made hideously unflattering by the orange highlights of the frame, crash bars, and rear-views. from the front, it looks like some sort of monstrous, child-eating robot. I’m sure uglier bikes have been spotted for the 2011 model year, but not by reliable obeservers.
We also know nothing about the bike that can’t be seen in the photo. No specs, performance numbers, or anything else.
Just this threatening lump of blue and orange.
Usually, I am a lover of all types of motorcycles, and I usually like the angular nature of KTM’s design motif, but this thing just frightens me. I can’t imagine having it in my garage. I’d be afraid that late one night, I’d hear it repeating over and over, “I am Nomad. Sterilize.”
While there’s still no word from Triumph on the specs of the new Tiger 800, there are new pictures. Both the Tiger 800 and 800 CX are shown below. Click on the thumbs for full-sized pics.
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:
To the rumored FJR1400 reported by the (not always reliable) French site, Moto Revue:
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.
The first official image of the 2011 Ducati Diavel has been released by the manufacturer.
You really do need to click on the image to see the full-sized version. Because what you can’t really see in the small pic above is that the rear section hides a little trunk in there.
About the only detail we know so far is that the Diavel uses the same Testastretta 11° 1200cc engine used in the Multistrada 1200. In the MTS, that engine outputs 150HP, but this is, remember, essentially the same 1198cc L-Twin that powers the 170HP 1198 sportbike, although the 1198 has a 41° Testastretta. In any case, the key takeaway is that the Diavel will put out at least 150HP. That’s less than the massive grunt of the V-Max, but 50% more power than the V-Rod.
And I bet it’ll be considerably lighter than both.
Triumph has released the first official picture of the new adventure bike they’ve been touting, the Triumph Tiger 800 XC.
Still no specs or details, other than that this is the off-road version that has a 21″ front wheel with knobbies. The more street-oriented version will have a 17″ front wheel and street tires. other than that, we’re still waiting on all the tech specs for these two models of the new Tiger.
Like all modern enduros, it has a beak, too, a la the BMW R1200GS. I still don’t know what BMW did to get that passed into law.
After taking a leave of absence from American shores last year due the economic downturn, Suzuki is back in a big way for 2011. In addition to the redesigned Gixxers I covered last week, Suzuki is bringing a new, fully-faired model of the Bandit to the US for 2011.
Introduced last year in Europe as the GSX-1250FA, Suzuki has done much the same thing with the Bandit that Kawasaki did with the Z1000, which is to transform it from a naked bike to a sporty, fully faired one–without the more tortuous ergonomics of the GSX-Rs, albeit with a little extra weight thrown in, too. But the main idea is to build a sportbike that can tour, like the Ninja 1000.
Engine: Liquid-cooled, DOHC Inline Four
Bore x Stroke: 79.0 x 64.0mm
Compression Ratio: 10.5:1
Final Drive: Chain
Front Suspension: 43mm fork, 5.1 inches travel
Rear Suspension: Single shock, adjustable for preload, 5.4 inches travel
Front Brakes: Dual 310mm disc, four-piston calipers Rear Brakes: Single 240mm disc, single-piston calipers
Fuel Tank: 5.0 gallons
Wheelbase: 58.5 inches
Seat Height: 31.7 inches / 32.5 inches
Curb Weight: 567 pounds
In addition, Suzuki has unveiled the 2011 Cruiser line-up, of which, two new things stand out for me. The big-bore M109, with it’s unique, attractive, and modern styling cues now has a much more modern cockpit, with the instrumentation being tucked inside the cowling, rather than handlebar mounted.
The M109 is one of my favorite cruisers, in terms of styling, mainly because it looks like a cruiser that actually designed in this century, rather than back when Elvis was in the Army. The big 1800cc mill that poweres the thing isn’t bad, either.
Another standout item is that the new version of their smaller, 800cc cruiser, dubbed the C50T, comes fully set up for touring, with bags, windshield,and even a passenger backrest.
I suspect, however, that a small bike like this might get a little cramped with two-up riding over long distances. It’s a nice option for the single rider who wants to tour, without breaking the bank, though.