News from BMW and Honda


News from BMW and Honda
Drawing: force

News from BMW and Honda

Half naked, half disguised

The two most important motorcycles in this story, BMW K 1200 SR and Honda CBR 600 RR, approach the subject of half-shell fairing from opposite sides. The other two don’t even do things by halves.

The seller acted quickly and decisively. He recommended to his interlocutor that a K 1200 S with full fairing was too conservative and a K 1200 R without fairing was too “naked”, a motorcycle that he should actually keep a secret: a K 1200, let’s call it SR, the one with a frame fixed Half-shell cladding hit exactly between the two offers that were out of the question for the potential buyer. Exceptional circumstances require exceptional measures.
The capable sales advisor could not have known that his customer would call MOTORRAD immediately to report his discovery and to ask whether an editor had already driven the machine and could give a brief report. Although the editorial team cannot yet provide an official photo, not to mention the first driving impressions, they now know for sure that a half-clad K 1200 will actually be presented soon. The K 1200 R serves as the technical basis, which is particularly important with regard to the seating position and the engine variant. Because the naked bike carries the handlebars a little further forward and up than the fully faired S, its engine has been slightly reduced in power from 167 to 163 hp, in favor of a full torque curve.

Because the half-disguised K is to be sold this year, i.e. before the VAT increase on January 1, 2007, production will probably start in these days. In August, there were holidays at the BMW plant in Spandau, this time is traditionally used to maintain the systems and possibly to rebuild them. After that, according to the official BMW count, the next model year begins and is already in production. Let’s see how long the press department of the Bavarian manufacturer will be able to keep further detailed information about the new K under the covers.

Honda acts differently, providing the information long before the bikes are available, giving it plenty of time to penetrate the awareness of those interested. This is advisable in the case of the 2007 CBR 600 RR as there is a lot to learn and know about this motorcycle. If you look at the machine from the side, it quickly becomes clear why it should actually be one of the half-faired motorcycles: The frame-fixed upper part of the fairing is clearly separated from what sits underneath and also set off by the color. What sits underneath shows more than it conceals, has little “positive surface”. Apparently, with this construction, Honda is practicing aerodynamics in its true sense. Instead of wrapping the rider and the motorcycle in a plastic jacket, wing-like and fin-like parts should direct the airflow so that it sits in a zone with a slow, turbulence-free flow. Presumably, this approach also helps to get the heating of the increasingly compact combined drive units under control. Honda calls this “air management”. How well the new CBR 600 RR can manage its ambient air is an exciting question. It is a curious coincidence that a CBR 600, of all things, which is directly descended from the forefather of all completely boarded plastic bombers, has experienced this development.

The 599 four-cylinder is referred to as “all new”, which certainly does not apply to its basic design. The bore and stroke as well as the external appearance are familiar from the previous models, and a large number of parts have been optimized on the inside. The pistons have a new coating and thinner oil control rings; Rotating and oscillating masses have been reduced through new connecting rods, the foot bearings of which are screwed together without nuts, a lighter alternator and a lighter clutch. A ram-air system, known from the VTR-1000-SP models, in which the air is guided past the steering tube through the frame, optimized inlet and outlet channels, sequential injection and knock control, which is always for the provides the best compromise between performance-enhancing advance ignition and reaching the knock limit, which kills the material. The CBR 600 RR is said to have increased nominally three horsepower from 117 to 120, and it was heard that the »power loss« that usually arises between the prospectus and reality is extremely low.
This also applies? such a Honda spokesman? for the almost sensational weight indication. The 600 should weigh 184 kilograms with a full 18-liter tank, which would be ten less than its predecessor. For this, the frame and exhaust system had to give up material, and the engine received a valve cover made of magnesium. In order to avoid an increased kickback tendency despite the considerably lower weight, the 600 series has the electronically controlled steering damper from the 1000 series-
Fireblade taken over, but hides it discreetly on the front left under the dummy tank. The CBR did not have another feature suitable for racing, which is standard in the competition: an anti-hopping clutch. Instead, Honda relies on a bypass valve, similar to MV Agusta, which is intended to reduce the braking torque of the engine in overrun mode and thus prevent the annoying hacking in the drive train when braking sharply into corners.

An appearance with which the VTX 750 Shadow Spirit will rarely have to fight. First of all, thanks to its chassis geometry, it usually keeps its rear wheel firmly on the ground, and secondly, it is not even moved in such a way that it would have to be brutally braked before cornering. On the contrary: As the close visual approach to the Dyna Low Rider from Harley indicates, their preferred driving program is casual cruising. Thanks to the 21-inch front wheel and Gunfighter seat, it is the alternative to the well-known VTX 750 Shadow, which is closer to the Softail Springer Classic with its wide front tires and powerful fenders. Technically unchanged, the third Honda in this story remains. The Fireblade is now available in the corporate colors of the Honda Racing Corporation (HRC). There are also rumors of another special edition Blade in case Nicky Hayden wins the MotoGP World Championship.

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