Innovations: INTERMOT Cologne

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Innovations: INTERMOT Cologne
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Innovations: INTERMOT Cologne

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Innovations: INTERMOT Cologne

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INTERMOT in Cologne was good for a few surprises this year. A lot is happening in 2017 in the super sports area in particular. From BMW to Suzuki there is a lot of news, Honda is very strong.

Michael Pfeiffer, Uwe Seitz



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Who thought Honda would now be from Suzuki & Co. finally left behind, feels pleasantly disappointed. The new fire blade has been properly sharpened. 11 HP more and a sensational 14 kilograms lighter: respect!

When the first pictures of the new Honda Fireblade recently roamed the worldwide network, there was little that could be done with them. The design with the fairing pulled far back looked strange, but underneath it seemed to be the same engine and the same chassis. Not even close! Honda not only fundamentally revised the inline four-cylinder, but also the chassis. The result is a new generation of superbikes that has it all. The engine should now deliver 141 kW, i.e. 193 hp, and to make it lighter, the new one weighs only 196 kilograms with a full tank. The even sharper SP-2 version should even weigh a kilo less. These are strict values, but by no means everything. For the first time, Honda uses a drive-by-wire system for engine control and an electronic chassis with variable damping. So nothing is missing for the time being, not even a blipper function, race ABS, selectable engine braking torque, TFT dashboard and various riding modes. Finally.

Honda has been torturing its supersport fans for a long time. Yes, after the last two world fairs one could already assume that the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer would finally disengage from the high-tech race of expensive motorcycles. Especially since it was only recently leaked that the CBR 600 RR would be discontinued. It was not until the presentation of the V4 racer RCV213-S and the significant increase in performance of the Honda in the Superbike World Cup that there was hope for a new speed. Now you can look forward to a really well developed and neatly processed superbike with some unique features.

On the subject of weight: How did the Honda engineers manage to save 14 kilograms on the Fireblade? With a lot of effort, but also clever decisions. The starter draws its juice from a very light lithium-ion battery. Makes sense, saves at least a kilo. The new tank, which is made of titanium for the first time, saves almost three pounds. Just like the muffler, which is two kilograms lighter as a result. Lighter wheels, a lighter but more torsionally stiff swing arm, a lighter but stiffer rear frame and a lighter main frame are all part of the diet. The latter was equipped with thinner walls, which not only save 500 grams, but also allow ten percent more flexibility. So the fast 1000 should be better. We will see. The engine has been slimmed down by a good two kilograms, although it has gained significantly in strength. Sounds good.

The four-cylinder was given a higher nominal speed by means of sharper camshafts, whereby the 12,500 rpm, at which it is supposed to achieve its maximum output, are even more tame. Reason: bore and stroke remained the same at 76 to 55.1 millimeters. The full electronics package controls it for this purpose. Throttle-by-wire with now 48 throttle valves, electronic throttle, three performance curves, five-axis sensor box, torque control in nine stages, wheelie control, adjustable engine brake, quickshifter, blipper, various riding modes. The logic of the driving dynamics control should be based on the algorithms of the control of the humanoid Asino. That nice robot that Honda keeps saying funny things like climbing stairs or “hello”.

The electronic landing gear is supplied by Ohlins. The finest spring material that adapts the damping to the current requirements in milliseconds. Here, too, you can choose between three basic settings that can be fine-tuned manually. In addition to the wheelie control supported by the lightning-fast optimized damping, the dangerous lifting of the rear wheel when braking is also prevented. Braking properly is definitely fantastic thanks to the Brembo monoblocks and sensitive ABS cornering.

We don’t know anything about the price yet. But one thing is clear: this high-tech machine will not be available on special offer. The aggressive use of expensive titanium speaks against this. But at Honda you can be sure that the next Fireblade generation won’t be in the store in two years. Let’s look forward to the next season!

The versions Fireblade SP and SP-2 are shown here. The SP-2 differs from the slightly less high-quality version with Marchesini forged wheels, a special cylinder head with enlarged valves and a narrower valve angle and special, lighter pistons. With this, the SP-2 should be perfectly prepared for the use of the HRC racing kits and fully suitable for the race track. The HRC racing department wants to offer two different kits, that will certainly cost a lot of money. Honda wants to build only 500 copies of the SP-2. That’s enough to get homologation for the Superbike World Championship. So the SP-2 will also be the basis for racing. The future work equipment of MotoGP riders Stefan Bradl and Nicky Hayden, so to speak.

The basic Fireblade will probably be presented in four weeks at the trade fair in Milan (EICMA). Nothing has yet to be learned about the third blade. But you can imagine that this version will have to do without the expensive Ohlins landing gear, but will be fully pillion compatible. Seat cushions and footrests for the front passenger will then push the weight back over 200 kilograms.

Honda CB 1100 RS: big retro boom

The retro four-cylinder CB 1100 RS appeals to a completely different clientele. Admirers of air-cooled engines will be presented with a beautifully crafted 1100, which does not seem overly motorized with 90 hp, but has a significantly upgraded chassis compared to the previous CB 1100. Honda is particularly proud of the seamlessly processed tank and the high-quality paintwork of the 252 kilo chunk.

The CB 1100 EX is designed to be even more conservative. With it, wire spokes connect the rims to the hubs, and the spring elements come in the classic chrome and polished aluminum. The new Fireblade and the 1100s show that Honda is now listening to the European market again. Which is good, as you can see from the great success of the Africa Twin. Keep it up, keep on racing!


GSX-R 1000 R

Finally – one can say about the presentation of Suzuki, because the new one GSX-R 1000 after all, was seen as a concept in Milan last year. But now the Gixxer is finally real and tangible. Various technical solutions leaked out at EICMA 2015, such as the variable valve control and the ultra-light rocker arms, or the complex electronics package and the chassis with the free-balance dampers, as we have already seen in practice from the current Kawasaki ZX-10R know. But the new Suzuki superbike has a lot more to offer.

First there is the performance, which is stated with a brutal 202 hp at 13,200 rpm. That would be about the same power as the last BMW we measured S 1000 RR – just a few turns earlier! Compared to the previous GSX-R 1000, the performance increases by a whopping 17 hp. In terms of torque, too, the new Suzuki, with 117.6 Nm at 10,800 rpm, is in the range of the previously dominant BMW. Should the performance curve be correspondingly linear, we were happy to have waited a little longer for a worthy successor to the legendary K5 / K6, which canned all the other superbikes ten years ago.

The new inline four-cylinder

The engineers have not changed the basic concept of the inline four-cylinder with regular firing order, while the latest MotoGP bike has staggered ignition times. But the GSX-R engine is completely new. The system of variable inlet timing still comes directly from MotoGP and worked splendidly in the GSV-R 800, as the project manager of the new GSX-R, Sinichi Sahara, explained to PS. Sahara was chief technology officer in the MotoGP team at the time and was also responsible for the new type of rocker arm, which, with its moving mass of just three grams, allows even sharper control times. Right at the top of the new airbox is a new secondary injection nozzle, the primary nozzle is below the ride-by-wire controlled throttle valve.

The real highlight here are the intake funnels, because in addition to two conventional funnels over cylinders two and three, the two outer ones are designed in such a way that they function like variable intake funnels completely without a servomotor (see page 14). At lower speeds, the mixture mainly comes over the long funnel path and thus helps to more power on low tours. At high speeds, however, the air pushes sideways into the funnel, generating a lot of top-end power. The exhaust system with interference pipes in the manifold including servo-controlled valves also supports this goal of a broad range of performance. Thanks to a completely new housing with more effective water cooling, the new motor is 6.6 millimeters narrower and also 22.2 millimeters shorter thanks to a lower inclination to the front. In the upcoming PS we can explain even more exciting details about the GSX-R engine in our novelty special for the superbikes 2017. About the new bore / stroke ratio and the increased compression.

Frame and electronics

The new aluminum frame is much more filigree than that of the previous model, and it is also narrower, which is immediately noticeable on the motorcycle. The new GSX-R looks very compact and is three kilos lighter in total than the current, much less extensively equipped GSX-R 1000. The new tank’s tank is also much flatter. The swing arm is also completely new. There is also more information on this in PS 12.

So let’s come straight to the electronics of the GSX-R 1000, whereby one has to differentiate between the GSX-R 1000 and the second model, the GSX-R 1000 R, at the latest. Both share the new IMU with the tilt, lean and breakaway sensors. As a result, the GSX-R 1000 generally has ten-level traction control from now on. Both variants also have three driving modes in common, all of which release the 202 hp. However, the performance curve is programmed accordingly, starts very gently in mode C and allows you to accelerate safely with the 202-hp boom even in the rain. Incidentally, so that stalling at traffic lights or in city traffic is virtually impossible, Suzuki has built in an aid that automatically increases the engine speed during such maneuvers. A feature that is supposed to make city driving more pleasant with mode B, but is active in all modes. Absolutely linear and uncompromising, the Gixxer should then get down to business in mode A..

The lean angle-sensitive ABS is also part of both models, as are the new 320-millimeter brake discs and the monoblocks from Brembo. When it comes to the electronics package, however, the two models differ in terms of the automatic gearshift and launch control, which is reserved exclusively for the racing base, the R model. This automatic switch then also works in both directions. The launch control is programmed in such a way that it switches off automatically in third gear after the start process. With the electronics it was with the difference, apart from the LCD dashboard, which is more extensive on the R and has a black background for better readability in racing action.

The landing gear

The most obvious difference between the “simple” Gixxer and the GSX-R 1000 R is the chassis. If the former manages with a conventional Showa upside-down fork and a shock absorber from the same company, the R has the Balance Free dampers from Showa. How well these work is something we can already do with the Kawasaki Experience the ZX-10R, which shines with very good feedback, fine responsiveness and sporty, crisp damping.

The prices for the new 1000 are not yet known. But during our exclusive visit to Japan a few weeks ago, Suzuki was optimistic about putting the former credo of “lots of bikes for a good price” back into practice with the new superbike. The basic model for around 15,000 euros would be a real challenge to the competition. It goes without saying that in such an ambitious project special compromises are necessary in some areas. And that certainly explains why Suzuki uses a front silencer like BMW, Yamaha or use Kawasaki to comply with the Euro 4 standards for exhaust emissions and noise and still be able to install a comparatively slim rear silencer. The series damper of the GSX-R 1000 is correspondingly massive. Racers will not care much about that, they will fall back on significantly slimmer, lighter and also performance-enhancing accessory pots anyway. In any case, we are really looking forward to the first trip, which should take place shortly after the turn of the year.

The baby gixxer is coming!

We have suspected for a long time that Suzuki would want to offer a super sporty entry-level bike. But then we were surprised that such a “Baby-Gixxer” was already being presented at the trade fair in Cologne. The brand new GSX-R 125 is then the perfect first step for future super athletes.

Visually, the 125cc is already a complete success – especially in the MotoGP look. In addition, a few technical features such as a remote control key, with which the bike is started with just one push of a button, and an LCD cockpit designed for the class very adult, attract the youngsters.

The water-cooled single cylinder has a significantly larger bore (Suzuki: 62 mm / Yamaha: 52 mm) compared to the established competition – such as the Yamaha YZF-R 125 -, but less stroke and could therefore generate higher speeds. Here we are of course in the range of speculation, because so far Suzuki has been hiding the performance data of the 125cc. But class-typical 10 to 11 kW (around 15 hp) should bring the dohc engine with injection. The weight of the Flea Gixxer is not yet public. The competition from Aprilia and Yamaha is 140 and 145 kilos, respectively. The Suzuki should be classified accordingly. The exhibition information from Suzuki promises the most potent engine in the class and the best weight / performance ratio. We’re excited about that.

Suzuki specifies the seat height as 785 millimeters. Among the fully faired 125s, only the Honda CBR 125 R comes close with 793 millimeters. Everyone else, including them KTM RC 125, are well over 800 millimeters. As a Euro 4 bike, the GSX-R 125 naturally has an ABS. Afterwards, the Suzuki lags behind the sharp 125s from Austria, Italy and Japan when it comes to the fork. The competition there relies on a very mature upside-down fork, the Suzuki youngster has to be satisfied with a conventional telescopic fork.

GSR 750 becomes GSX-S 750

The previous top seller in the Suzuki motorcycle range, the GSR 750, has been significantly modernized for 2017. The bare street car now not only meets the Euro 4 standard, but also makes you want to look at and technically great from the point of view of horsepower. The new one not only looks more dynamic and has got a much more aggressive exterior in the style of its big sister GSX-S 1000, even with the performance data everything points to a much more sporty orientation. Compared to its predecessor, the GSX-S 750 have increased by eight horsepower despite Euro 4. Interestingly, for the engine, the technicians resorted to the GSX-R 750 from 2005, instead of further adapting the current four-cylinder for a naked bike. The main reason, however, lies in the external design of the older engine, which enables the new model to have a short wheelbase of 1,455 millimeters. The series tires already show that Suzuki depends on sporty, agile handling. The GSX-S comes with Bridgestones hypersport tires S 21 on new cast aluminum wheels.

But briefly back to the drive. It got new and more effective injectors. The exhaust system became lighter and more exhaust-efficient. There is also a shorter gear ratio so that the 750 sprints properly.

The electronics of the naked bike have been properly upgraded. The GSX-S 750 got a three-stage traction control. This works by comparing the front and rear wheel speed, the throttle valve sensor and sensors for the positions of the crankshaft and gear. This data is compared every four milliseconds. If this data contradicts the stored pattern, the traction control regulates via the ignition. The same system is also found in the large 1000cc naked bike and can be adapted to the road conditions and rider preferences using a selector switch. Similar to the 1000, the GSX-S 750 now also has an LCD display in the cockpit. Like all Suzuki models since 2016, the 750 also has the Easy-Start-System, where a quick press of the start button is sufficient. The electronics do the rest. The starting aid is also on board.

Not much has been changed on the chassis compared to its predecessor. The swing arm is new and the damping has been slightly redesigned. It remains to be seen until the first test drive whether the optical retouching at the rear and an obviously new handlebar have improved the somewhat inactive seating position of the GSR in a more sporty way. In any case, Suzuki now apparently has another hot naked bike in its range with the GSX-S 750.

The other two new products from Suzuki at INTERMOT are not quite in the PS focus. The V-Strom 1000 and 650 have been significantly revised. The long-legged tourers are not the last new products from Suzuki, because the Japanese promised four more new models for EICMA in November. Let’s hope that there is still something sporty to be found. In any case, one can say: Suzuki is back!


Supersport / S

The others don’t do that? Then we do it all the more! That is obviously the motto at Ducati. Because while most manufacturers have practically given up the segment of moderate super sports cars, they want to Ducati set a trend with exactly such a model. Of course, the new one cannot be called anything other than “SuperSport”, based on the famous SS from the 1990s.

“Sport Road Bike” is what they call the concept in Bologna, and this is, as those responsible emphasize, by no means a sport motorcycle for beginners, but for experienced riders. It differs from the mighty Superbike Panigale primarily in its significantly more comfortable seating position and controlled power. “Of course you can also go to the racetrack with the SuperSport,” explains product manager Paolo Quattrini. “But the great strength of the motorcycle is that it works perfectly on the country road. A whole day on Alpine passes, one curve after the other – that’s really fun with the SuperSport. ”While such a day with the Panigale would tend to degenerate into torture, even if Quattrini doesn’t say so, of course.

The engine comes from the Ducati Hypermotard and makes 113 hp, but has been redesigned for use in the new model and is supposed to push powerfully from the speed cellar. “At 3500 rpm, the SuperSport already brings 80 percent of its maximum torque,” says Quattrini. This is 96.7 Nm and is already reached at 6500 rpm, after which it gradually falls to a good 90 percent until the limiter kicks in at 9000 rpm. Those who like classic two-cylinder engines will be particularly pleased with these engine characteristics.

As precise as a superbike, but easier to control

The tubular space frame, which integrates the motor as a load-bearing element, is a completely new design. With a wheelbase of 1478 millimeters, a steering head angle of 66 degrees and a caster of 91 millimeters, the SuperSport is fully trimmed for agile handling, supported by a 180/55 rear tire and a moderate weight of 210 kilograms. The motorcycle rolls on 17-inch wheels, and Ducati is donating the high-quality Pirelli Diablo Rosso III tires as original equipment. The brake system comes from Brembo and uses radially mounted brake calipers and two 320 mm discs at the front and a 245 mm disc at the rear. ABS and traction control can be adapted to the respective situations via the Sport, Touring and Urban driving modes, whereby the power is reduced to 75 hp in Urban mode.

“Our goal,” says Paolo Quattrini, “is a perfect balance between engine and chassis.” Test driver Alessandro Valia, who chased the SuperSport for days around the test course in Nardò in southern Italy, has also confirmed that it was a success. “It’s as stable and precise as a superbike, but easier to control.” The new one creates a measured 48 degree incline; that should be enough for both the country road and occasional trips to the racetrack.

Ducati based the design on that of the Panigale, but paid attention to an independent line. This is due to the exhaust tailpipes positioned on the side. They appear compact, light and appealing; In addition, they give hope that the SuperSport, unlike the Panigale, does not develop undesirable seat heating. The seating position is quite sporty, but thanks to the higher clip-on handlebars and the footrests placed further forward, it puts much less weight on the wrists than the Panigale. Recesses in the fairing ensure that even tall drivers can find a comfortable position with good knee grip. And – be careful, a novelty for a Ducati athlete! – There is even an amazingly comfortable place for the pillion passenger, with easily accessible handles under the seat. Even side cases should come so that the SuperSport is suitable for a weekend trip for two. But it doesn’t mutate into a sports tourer. “Our sports tourer is the Multistrada,” emphasizes Paolo Quattrini, “the SuperSport is an athlete of the purest water.” Just less complicated than the Panigale.

S version with more features and lots of accessories

The chassis is solid, with a fully adjustable 43 mm Marzocchi fork at the front, a Sachs shock absorber at the rear, with which the spring base and rebound damping can be adjusted. Those who want an even higher quality can choose the S version, the Ducati at the same time as the base brings to market. It has a fully adjustable Ohlins chassis with a thick 48 fork and a standard up / down quickshifter that enables up and down shifting without using the clutch. The Quickshifter is also available as an accessory for the base.

Which means that the conversion and expansion options for the SuperSport are by no means exhausted, because Ducati offers several equipment packages. The sports package includes carbon mudguards and racing hand levers, the touring package has a higher windshield, heated grips and the aforementioned side cases, and the urban package includes a small magnetic tank bag and an alarm system. The standard bench with a seat height of 81 centimeters can also be exchanged for two centimeters lower or higher models. And if one or two SuperSport drivers are irresistibly drawn to the racetrack, they can use the non-homologated Akrapovic exhaust with mufflers under the seat, which increases performance by two percent.

So it seems that Ducati has really thought of everything to make sporty drivers happy. The price also seems reasonable: the base costs 12,990 euros, the S version 14,590 euros. The fast-paced new beauty from Bologna is available from March.


S 1000 RR

In the course of the Euro 4 regulations, BMW also had to tackle the superbike. That is why the S 1000 RR has had a few changes that separate it from its predecessor, especially in terms of appearance. In terms of performance data, BMW makes no differences between the new RR and the direct predecessor model. As before, there are officially 199 horses that drive the Beemer forward at 13,500 rpm. The most noticeable innovation is actually the changed front silencer and the connection to the rear silencer, which thankfully has not changed much. For the measures, however, the fairing of the RR had to be broken open at the rear of the keel pan.

Otherwise nothing has really changed, except that BMW now always delivers the RR with a passenger cover. The “ABS Pro” has also been added as an option. This is the system often referred to as “Cornering ABS”, which BMW offers in three modes for the RR, which are then called the same as the well-known but standard power modes, namely “Rain” and “Sport.” “And” Race “. And RR customers can also order a blipper.

The naked four-cylinder

More went into the revision of the R and XR. Its four-cylinder engine increased by five hp despite Euro 4 and the same front silencer solution as on the RR and is now expected to produce 165 hp at 11,000 rpm. The R has also become two kilograms lighter. Also new is the titanium rear silencer, which is supposed to make the sound sportier in the long term. We are impatiently waiting for the first listening test, but above all the driving test, which will probably last until January. Two driving modes and the stripped-down ASC traction control are just as standard on the R as the Race ABS, which are all coordinated with one another.

The BMW engineers have saved weight on the chassis and have also changed the rear section of the swingarm and rear of the main frame. In the course of this, the footrests were redesigned. the S 1000 R is available ex works with forged wheels that are 2.4 kilos lighter.

And that brings us to the new look of the R. The lamp mask and the aprons on the side have received a moderate but visible fine-tuning. The former has become significantly smaller. The fork bridge
is new and takes on the new handlebar, which is decoupled from vibrations.

Boxer with sport

The BMW boxer was certainly not in the PS focus for years. But with the recently modernized R 1200 R Roadster, BMW already proved that this two-cylinder concept is already suitable for a sporty country road sweeper. The boxer also put himself in the limelight in the R nineT, Bavaria’s first retro bike from 2015. While it is now water-cooled in the modernly styled models and has an output of 125 hp, BMW installs the air / oil-cooled version in the retro series, which, with a little overhaul, also meets the Euro 4 standard. The retro range is now being expanded to include two more models. The one that certainly catches the eye the most R nineT Racer. Even as a study with the participation of design star Roland Sands, the Racer relied on the look of the sport bikes of the 70s (see also PS 10/2016). This basic idea really made its way into the series. In view of the beautiful rideability of the R nineT, we expect a bike with a strong character that not only hunts for a zeitgeist, but actually combines sporty genes with a cool look. The 110 hp peak power at 7750 rpm from the 1170 cc, air-cooled twin is not quite as powerful as the 125 hp from the roadster. But if you don’t apply current athlete values ​​to the Racer, you can feel like a racer behind the round half-shell that extends far forward. Even if a bit old-fashioned, because the handlebars are far forward and stretch the R nineT Racer driver old-school way over the massive tank. The clientele wants it this way and not otherwise.

The chassis should be able to withstand sporty attacks, because as with the first retro bike, the R nineT, BMW has dispensed with the Telelever, which was otherwise practically mandatory on the naked bikes from Munich up to the R 1200 R. However, in the case of the Racer, it is not the massive and high-quality upside-down fork of the R nineT that is installed, but a conventional telescopic fork. This fits perfectly into the image of the 70s, but is a bit at a disadvantage in terms of performance. However, this also helps to keep the price at 13,300 euros.

If you need it cheaper, but still want Bavarian retro style, you can order the R nineT Pure for 12,300 euros. The naked bike does not have any frills and is BMW’s “cheapest” invitation to convert the motorcycle as the mood takes you – of course from the wide range that the Bavarians have in store for it. Even the modular frame, with its easily removable rear, calls for customization.



The Ninja ZX-10R was launched as a brand new superbike from Kawasaki earlier this year. The in-line four-cylinder is causing a sensation in the Superbike class, has now also been successful in the Austrian championship (see Zonko’s attack, p. 44) and, as a kit bike in the PS TunerGP and PS 10, showed what a hot potato the Greens are is. But now Kawasaki has fine-tuned it again and presented the ZX-10R as a double R version at INTERMOT. The special thing about the bike is the emphasis on use on the racetrack, which is already indicated by the single-seat design. Nevertheless, the RR has all the necessary prerequisites to be an extreme athlete on the road.

Nevertheless, it is mainly racetrack riders who are likely to enter their customer lists, because the improvements to the four-cylinder will benefit those who want to add kit parts and other tuning measures to the RR base. The first important measure then also affects the cylinder head. As with the extremely successful Kawasaki works team in the Superbike World Championship, it now offers special space for sharper camshafts that allow higher valve openings, and which Kawasaki sells as kit parts. In addition, the RR’s rocker arms are now DLC-coated to further reduce friction loss.

In contrast to the production bike, the RR has been given a more robust crankshaft housing that is supposed to cope with the higher demands of a racing engine. The connection openings to the cylinders are now narrower and the wall thicknesses in this area have been increased.

The rims from Marchesini are lighter than the standard wheels. Instead of light metal castings on the ZX-10R, there are forged seven-spoke aluminum wheels on the RR. These are now also available as accessories for the standard ninja. Kawasaki keeps the necessary parts, such as the speed sensor ring, in stock. Since the RR is already a bit lighter due to the single seat design, which makes the pillion footrests superfluous, for example, the Kawasaki testers have come up with a new setup that should be crisper. However, this does not affect any technical changes to the free balance fork and the shock absorber. The quickshifter of the RR has a blipper function as standard, which can only be activated on the standard ZX-10R with the kit ECU.

Kawasaki leaves it with changes, except that the RR will only be available in black with the snowflake logo of the World Cup team from the winter tests. This is located on the windscreen and on the single rear cover, which is only standard on the RR. If you want to have such a RR, you have to shell out almost 20,000 euros.

New sports tourer

The renovation work on the was much more extensive Z 1000 SX off. The very sporty tourer is one of the most successful Kawasaki models in recent years and was able to establish itself at the top of the PS readers’ choice in the sports tourer category and thus in the reader’s popularity for three years. That should certainly not change with the new model, as the Z 1000 SX has apparently increased its sportiness again for 2017. First of all, that applies to their appearance. The full fairing is said to offer even more wind protection and aerodynamics have been improved, but the front is cut much sharper and looks very similar to the superbike. The cladding on the new SX is up to 28 millimeters wider on each side. The new disc can still be adjusted in height in three stages, but is actually larger (plus 15 millimeters) than the previous one.

Smaller LED lights are now embedded in the cladding, which should nevertheless provide better illumination. The new cockpit of the SX offers a gear indicator for the first time. The analog speedometer now uses the information from the gear sensor as a shift aid. Depending on the speed and gear, the speedometer needle changes its light from white to pink and then to red to indicate to the driver to shift into the next higher gear. This happens 500 rpm before the stored ideal speed for the gear change. However, the SX driver can adjust this display according to its own taste or switch it off.

The cockpit display also had to be expanded to include the information for the riding modes and the traction control function, because the Z 1000 SX for 2017, like the superbike ZX-10R, also has the 40 gram IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) from Bosch. The driving status is determined every five milliseconds and the ignition intervenes if data deviate from the normal status. There are three power modes for the SX. The traction control can also be set in three ways, with modes one and two being designed to be sporty and the system allowing slip in different forms. In any case, unwanted slides are eliminated. The system also allows power wheelies in these modes if it is used for full propulsion, but intervenes immediately if the bike climbs too high. If that’s too exciting for you or if the weather is absolutely not suitable for real sports use, the TC should set to mode three, which should prevent any attack. The SX pilots can create their respective setup themselves, so that many combinations can be selected from three traction control modes and the three power modes as well as the option to deactivate the TC.

The “cornering ABS” is also new. The Z 1000 SX has the same system as the ZX-10R, but the parameters of the orientation of the SX have been adjusted. The rear wheel lift-off detection also plays a role in the control interventions, as does the speed at which the brake pressure increases. With the help of the IMU, drivers can now brake into bends much more safely or slow down in the case of a surprising object in the bend without the motorcycle suddenly standing up and the line no longer fitting. Among other things, the chassis of the SX has been adapted to the new fairing. As a result, the seat height has been reduced by another five millimeters. Both the pilot and the passenger should benefit from new seat cushions, which are supposed to make longer journeys more comfortable. At the back alone, the new filler makes the padding three millimeters thicker. But SX passengers should be even more pleased that the rear seat has become 25 millimeters longer. The rearview should be improved by the newly placed mirrors, and the five-way adjustable clutch lever can be rated as a feature plus.

The price of the Z 1000 SX is only expected to increase slightly in 2017 compared to its predecessor, so that the sales price should be less than 13,000 euros.

Little athlete

The third model of the Kawa innovations from Cologne is the Ninja 650. It is based on the in-line twin cylinder of the ER series, but will come in a much more aggressive look with full fairing from 2017 and will replace the ER-6f.
That’s a good thing, we think, and recognize the similarity to the popular ER-6 conversions for the lightweight races on the Isle of Man, for example. This means that the twin is out of the boring everyday bike sector and is now in the center of the sports focus, although not much has changed on the 649 cm³ twin. 72 HP should also deliver with the new Euro 4 exhaust system, but should have increased propulsion in the middle speed range. Still not the very big sport, but for beginners in the sports segment or fans of the German Twin Trophy, for example, the right basis and for a brisk home-track round for the numerous ER fans of the past always good.

In addition to the relatively high handlebar stubs and the more relaxed knee angle, the fairing screen, which can be adjusted three times by 60 millimeters and thus also creates the relationship to the sports tourer SX, indicates that things are not quite as super sporty as on a real horsepower burner. On the other hand, the low weight of the new tubular space frame of 15 kilos speaks for sport again. Almost 20 kilos should be Ninja 650 now be lighter than its ER-6f predecessor. The swing arm and the rear damping are completely new, because the ER’s horizontally external spring strut has given way to a new damper that is again located in the center of the vehicle.

The new small twin burner is upgraded by a sophisticated cockpit that houses an analog speedometer and an LCD cinema including gear indicator. In the Ninja 650, too, the speedometer needle changes its color to indicate when it is time to change gears. This can also be changed or switched off as you prefer.

A naked version of the Ninja 650 will then come as the Z 650 at EICMA next month. Of course, an attractive price is always important for fans of the 650. Kawasaki can’t say anything about this at the moment, but the ninja should ideally stay under 7,000 euros.


Street Cup

We know from Erlkonig pictures that Triumph has developed the successor to the Street Triple as good as finished. However, this sporty naked bike was unfortunately not yet to be admired in Cologne. Instead, the British are consistently continuing the renovation of their retro models and presented the Bonneville T100 in two versions and the Street Cup in front. The latter, like the BMW R nineT Racer, appeals to fans of cafe racers and, like the Bonneville T100, is equipped with a 900 twin that should produce 55 hp. So not a real athlete, measured by the performance and weight of over 200 kilos, ready to drive. But that’s not what the Street Cup wants to be either – even if it looks like it. Her attractants are the styling, the high-torque, water-cooled motor with 80 Nm and a rather extensive equipment, for example with traction control and ABS. With it, the Street Cup customer should swing coolly through the city and occasionally dare to ride into the surrounding area. The Cup is not only in terms of price, but also dynamically below its big sister, the Thruxton R. But if you want something really sporty from the British, you will have to wait a while for the Street Triple, which will then be larger.


1290 Super Adventure R

Like Triumph, KTM has an 800 cc naked bike close to being ready for series production. But the row win for the next Duke variant was not in Cologne. KTM only presented the big Adventure models there, of which the 1290 Super Adventure R with the headline “Most powerful off-road travel enduro” made a name for itself. The twin, also known from the Super Duke, has 160 hp. The motorcycle, whose eye-catching front is completely new, comes in three model variants in 2017, an S, more for the road, the R and a Super Adventure T with touring equipment.

The situation is similar with the new 1090 Adventure, which is at least less noticeable at the front. Here the Twin with 125 PS comes in two versions, a standard model and an R-Adventure for everyone who wants to attack off the asphalt route.

In general, the R models from KTM are suitable for off-road use with heavy equipment. We tried it out (see test from page 30) – it’s great fun.


MT-10 SP

At Yamaha we waited in vain at the booth for the presentation of the new R6 announced on the Internet. Unfortunately, it was in the USA after the editorial deadline. But with the new MT-09 and the MT-10 SP, two sporty naked bikes from Yamaha were presented at INTERMOT. The MT-09 three-cylinder got a different outfit, an anti-hopping clutch, an automatic gearshift and Euro 4 necessities. The MT-10 SP is actually an R1M in naked bike regalia, is characterized above all by the electronic chassis from Ohlins and has all the other technical features of the R1M on board. The naked racer will hit dealerships in February.

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