New motorcycles: The best of Intermot 2014
Intermot Cologne is going full steam, with a raft of new bikes, concepts and upgraded models from just about every manufacturer. Here's our roundup of the significant models, and a giant photo gallery to enjoy for those who can't get there!
Already a leader in the superbike class, the S1000RR is completely revised for 2015. It packs 6 more horsepower, is 4 kg (8.8 lb) lighter and boasts a couple of firsts for the superbike segment, including current and max lean angle readouts (!) and my favorite gadget: cruise control. Lots more information and pics in our full 2015 S1000RR overview.
R1200R and R 1200RS upgrade
The R1200R naked roadster and R1200RS semi-faired sports tourer get nice-looking upgrades for 2015 with the addition of the water-cooled Boxer engine from the R1200GS. That'll give both bikes a solid 125 hp (93 kW) and extra torque all the way through the rev range. ABS and traction control are now standard and there are options for lean angle-sensitive traction control, electronic suspension and keyless ignition, among others. The naked model in particular looks absolutely gorgeous, with an aggressive look reminiscent of the outstanding Concept Roadster we saw at Concours back in May.
Suzuki was fairly quiet this year. The GSX-R1000 got an ABS upgrade, the V-Strom 650 got larger, spoked wheels and the Bandit got a bit of a facelift. The only big news from Team Suzy was two new streetbikes we all saw coming about a year ago:
GSX-S1000 and GSX-S1000F
One of the worst kept secrets of 2014, the naked Gixxer and its semi-faired stablemate finally had its covers pulled off at Intermot. The GSX-S bikes share a "street tuned" version of the legendary 2005-08 GSX-R motor that was so revolutionary nine years ago. The K5-K8 model was chosen due to its longer stroke and torquier character than more recent Gixxer motors.
Power and torque figures are yet to be announced, but the engine made a healthy 176 crank horsepower (131 kW) in its day, so even in street tune we can expect these new road bikes to boogie. Both bikes feature standard ABS and 3-mode traction control, as well as a pretty accessible 815 mm (32 in) seat height. Styling is a little anonymous, evoking Honda's CB1000R but without the funky single-sided swingarm.
1290 Super Adventure
The Super Adventure gets the batsh*t-crazy engine from the psychopathic Super Duke R, but it's detuned from 180 hp (134 kW) down to 160 (119 kW). That's still a heck of a lot of shunt, but the Super Adventure packs in some very tasty safety gear, including traction control, hill start assist and Bosch's Cornering ABS, a braking system that's sensitive to your lean angle and helps to avoid lowsides and stand-up/run off crashes. KTM calls this "the safest bike in the world." It also gets semi-active suspension, tire pressure monitors, cruise control and LED cornering lights that respond to your lean angle to light up around bends. Your move, BMW!
KTM's electric bike line expands with the supermoto version of the Freeride E. Derived from the E-XC street-legal enduro model, the SM features road tires and suspension, and taller gearing. Maximum torque is 31 ft-lbs (42 Nm) – which is a healthy figure given the bike's 110 kg (242.5 lb) weight – and peak power is around 22 horses (16.4 kW). But as we discovered with the Zero SR, peak horsepower figures for electrics can be deceptively low, and a little can go a long way.
The Freeride E-SM won't go an awful long way though, as its battery pack is a fairly miserly 2.6 kWh. So it's best viewed as a short range commuter and back-blocks fun machine, and it should be quite a giggle when used in that context. As a side note, the KTM Freeride website is an absolute cracker and worthy of a visit!
After a drawn-out buildup to Intermot, we finally got a good look at the Ducati Scrambler, a throwback to the flat track-inspired 1970s Scrambler that Ducati designed to crack the American market. The 2015 model looks the goods, with four different models to choose from, each putting a different spin on this retro machine. All four share a detuned, 75 hp (56 kW) version of the air-cooled Monster 796 L-twin engine, as well as nice high, wide bars, light weight and a very accessible 790 mm (31 in) seat height. Take a closer look at the Ducati Scrambler in our full writeup.
Without a doubt, Intermot's marquee attraction this year is Kawasaki's H2R. With the rest of the motorcycle world creeping toward 200 horsepower engines, Team Green took a steaming dump on the superbike class by announcing a track-only, supercharged exotic with three hundred horsepower (223.7 kW), a figure so astonishing it has to be spelled out in full.
Kawasaki has always had a reputation for building bikes for drooling maniacs, and the H2R is a brand-defining move that will send shockwaves through the industry – unconfirmed rumour has it the US government is so shocked by this machine that it's moving to ban forced induction on motorcycles altogether. Anyway, it's an astonishing machine, and you should definitely check out our full H2R writeup for more details.
Versys 1000 and new Versys 650
Back in the real world, Kwaka's popular Versys 650 adventure tourer has been joined by a big-bore counterpart (new to the USA) featuring the 1043cc motor out of the Z1000 – detuned from 143 horses (106.6 kW) down to 120 (89.4 kW). The Versys 1000 features two riding power modes, traction control and ABS. There's not a lot of adventure-styled inline fours out there so it'll be interesting to see how the smoother power delivery fares off-road.
The Versys 650 parallel twin gets an all-round touch up with a little extra power – 69 hp (51.4 kW) up from 60 (44.7 kW) – and ABS as an option. The suspension travel is a little longer, the screen and fairing are extended, and the rear shock gets a remote adjuster. A solid upgrade for a great mid-sized bike.
Street Triple Rx Special Edition
Triumph's 675cc Street Triple nakedbike has been one of the British brand's strongest sellers, and deservedly so. New for 2015 is the Rx Special Edition, an upgrade from the R model that features a racier tail section basically taken from the 675 supersport machine, a standard front cowl and bellypan, a red and silver paint job and a quickshifter thrown into the mix. The 675 tail designates the Rx as a significantly less passenger-friendly model than the standard Street Triple, but looks about 2.5 Fonzies cooler, so there's that. Engine and fully adjustable suspension are the same as the Street Triple R, and no bad thing.
Bonneville Newchurch, Spirit and T214
Three new special edition Bonneville bikes round out Triumph's contribution to Intermot. The T214 commemorates the 214 mph (344 km/h) land speed record set by Johnny Allen in 1956, the Newchurch is named for Neukirchen in Austria, where there's a big Triumph festival, and the Spirit is named after spirits, which I'll need once I've finished this roundup. Each is a cosmetic custom-style upgrade from the standard Bonneville line, and each has its own color scheme.
Yamaha used Intermot to double down on its tilting 3-wheeler aspirations. Having already launched the 125cc Tricity back in March, Yamaha unveiled the 01GEN concept, which looks to be a bigger, meaner and sportier version of the Tricity platform, with that sweet tilting two-wheel front end that should deliver excellent handling and stability on most surfaces. Sadly, there's no information on the engine and presumably no plans to move forward with it. We can tell you it has very funky rims and blue chunks on the sides of its tires, though, so that's nice.
XJR1300 and XJR1300 Racer
Yamaha's retro muscle bike gets a medium-sized makeover this year.The 1250cc air-cooled 4-cylinder engine remains the same, as do the twin Ohlins shocks, but the exhaust, bars, headlight and subframe are updated for a chunkier, stubbier style. The Racer edition switches out the handlebar for clip-ons in search of a cafe racer look, which is followed up with a bikini fairing, front mudguard and seat cowl in carbon fiber.
MT-07 'Moto Cage' edition
Yamaha is making its intentions for the MT-07 very clear with a stunt-inspired Moto Cage edition. It's more or less a cosmetic upgrade, with a sweet red and grey paint job, a flyscreen, bash plate and knuckle protectors similar to the MT-09 Street Rally. But in a nod to the MT-07's deceptively wild character, there's also a frame-mounted set of crash bars similar to the stunt cages used by wheelie maniacs the world over. The MT retains its torquey 689cc parallel twin engine and gets a couple of extra stickers. A good bike made better, but the MT-09's Street Rally upgrade was too expensive for what is essentially a cosmetic makeover, and the Moto Cage edition might suffer the same fate.
Lots (and lots) more photos in the gallery.... Enjoy!
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As far as I know, the primary reason to detune these bikes is to improve the power delivery, making the power less peaky and giving more torque lower in the rev range. It likely also improves longevity and reliability, both useful for bikes that will be doing a lot of long-distance riding, especially when that might be a long way from repair facilities. I don't think that the manufacturers don't trust people with the full power, they just tune the engines to better suit the application.