New products from Kawasaki and KTM

Kawasaki and KTM innovations

Summer night dreams

When the Kawasaki fans dream of the coming season on mild summer nights by candlelight and a glass of wine, the picture of a new, again really crisp ZX-10R manifests itself. Fun bikers, on the other hand, are eagerly awaiting the big Versys. And KTM fans are looking forward to the 690 enduro.

While one of the dreams must remain a dream for the time being, the other two will soon become reality. One thing is certain: the new one will be in Paris in September KTM 690 Enduro (see page 12) presented. And a new ZX-10R comes every two years. This of course also applies to the 2008 model year. The best thing about it: The new 10 Series will be more of the old one again. Less pleasant: The big Versys, as our computer artist Guerin would like, will not exist for the time being.

If only because the Greens would have to develop a completely new engine for it. Point. So back to the ZX-10R first. After the current top athlete’s success, to say the least, one thing should be clear: the successor has to go back to the origins. Those of the 10 series ?? and those from Kawasaki. Aggressive, tight, crisp. This will definitely include burying the silencer hanging somewhere in nirvana between the rear wheel and the rear frame and presenting a Suzuki-like solution with a collector in the fairing keel and a short exhaust stub.

A plan that technically collides with another Kawasaki commitment, namely that of maximum peak performance. "The power rating is rather conservative," says Kawasaki circles, which shouldn’t seriously deter even horsepower freaks in view of the maximum power of around 180 hp achieved in this class. What else was written into the specifications for the new ZX-10R, Die-hard sports drivers, on the other hand, will be pleased: less weight, more delicate dimensions, greedy looks.

The new hard enduro class


High-flyer: the KTM 690.

On the other hand, the plans of KTM, which from 2008 will put the new LC4 single-cylinder series on a broad basis, are very real and clearly outlined. Three new variants are to follow for the coming season. The first model will be the 690 Enduro, already used in rally raid racing, of which the first official photos are now available. In terms of engine performance, the Enduro is largely identical to the Supermoto that was launched this spring, but with slightly different specifications.

On the one hand, this is due to the individual exhaust, which, due to the reduced volume, costs a little power at the top. On the other hand, when tuning the off-road variant, a lot of torque in the lower area is in the foreground. Even so, the enduro version will definitely exceed 60 hp, and quite legally. With open accessory dampers, something should even still be possible for sport. Serious competition use is by no means an illusion with the 690. It certainly does not compete with the light EXC sport enduro bikes, but with long-stroke suspension elements and features typical of KTM it returns to the hard enduro base, from which the old LC4 had moved quite a long way in recent years.


The hard enduro looks forward to sporty off-road use.

The 690 is also significantly lighter than its predecessor, around 150 kilograms with a full tank should be possible. The differences between Supermoto and Enduro are more profound than you might think at first glance. This is already proven by the approximately twelve liter rear tank of the off-road version, while the Supermoto conventionally bunkers its fuel supply in front of the seat. The frame geometry is also adapted to off-road use.

After the 690 Supermoto became a lifestyle machine with its ?? quite controversial ?? Mufflers should open up new groups of buyers, followed in 2008 for the typically sporty KTM clientele the 690 SMC. A more conventionally designed, lighter sport variant, presumably derived from the Enduro with an overhead exhaust. The driver can also explore the potential of the SMC on the kart track, it is probably hardly slower than the real racing machines. The 690 Duke with an exhaust under the engine was already shown as a prototype in MOTORRAD 17 /2007, it will also be presented at trade fairs in autumn and, like the other two versions, will be launched on the market in spring. However, it has not yet been decided whether an RC4, i.e. a fully disguised sports single cylinder for the knee slider group, will follow at some point later. The first prototypes (see MOTORRAD 15 /2007) are currently being tested. SoS freaks can still dream a little.

That comes from KTM in 2008

690 Enduro: real hard enduro for sporty off-road use
690 Duke: modern version of the classic fun bike
690 SMC: sporty supermoto racer
1150 RC8: radical superbike with 155 hp

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