Presentation of the Kawasaki Versys, KTM innovations
K’s turn today
Kawasaki and KTM: The two manufacturers with the K are refreshing the novelty scene. In the middle of the hot, lethargic summer, Kawa presents a new model, KTM shows the 690 single-cylinder and provides insights into the 1150 development.
A thick upside-down fork and a stiff aluminum swingarm, 17-inch wheels and double disc brakes at the front: anyone who knows a little about motorcycles will immediately assign these attributes to an athlete. And just as spontaneously say »Supermoto« when he receives the additional information »Long spring travel«.
Kawasaki names differently
At Kawasaki people think and name differently. Based on the middle grader ER-6n, the Japanese developed a motorcycle with many features of a street supermoto, dedicated to dynamic driving. However, instead of the sporty talents, they emphasize the all-round qualities of the concept. The model name Versys is an abbreviation of “versatile system”. On all types of roads from bumpy roads to curve parks with connoisseur asphalt, the Versys should pamper its drivers with its handiness and relaxed power development.
The MOTORRAD editor asked a Kawasaki spokesman whether that was enough to distinguish it from the ER-6n, and it was only after this objection that he said that the aluminum banana swing arm, the upside-down fork and their set-up were important would create significantly sportier driving behavior than known from the ER-6 models. The motorcycle appears stiffer and tighter when driving faster, gives better feedback. In connection with the sportiness, it was also important to him to point out that the width and height of the front section appear disproportionately large in the photo of the orange Versys. The 650 is actually slim and compact.
What about the optimization of power delivery in the lower speed range mentioned several times in the press release
the Lord of Kawasaki did not want to reveal in detail. The engine remains the familiar 650 with its under-engine-
Exhaust system. It is possible that the engine developers have improved the concentricity at low speeds even further with larger centrifugal masses.
It can be seen that the small windshield is mounted above the dominant headlight at different heights, so the air flow to the driver can be varied. A case system is offered not as standard, but also for versatility. Because of the higher quality chassis parts, the Versys should be significantly more expensive than the ER-6n. Estimated around 500 euros. The price would be around 6,865 euros, with ABS a further 600 would be added.
KTM makes a revolution
The constant fire of prototype and Erlkönig photos of the new KTM single-cylinder has made a difference: MOTORRAD received photos of the engine from the manufacturer for the first time. Obviously the Austrians want to steer what cannot be stopped at least in the right direction. These images confirm that a real revolution is imminent. Since it appeared in the off-road sports machines in 1986, the old LC4 engine has been in use in numerous variants, but always based on the same concept. The engine continues to achieve racing success on rally and supermoto slopes.
Nevertheless, apart from the bare construction principle of the cylinder head with a camshaft, nothing remains of it; The new 690 single should not only surpass it in the soft criteria of running smoothness and pollutant emissions, but simply in all respects. Power, torque, turning ability, even in terms of weight. Despite a fully-fledged balance shaft ?? the message that there are two turned out to be wrong ?? and six instead of five-speed gearbox and despite injection technology, it weighs three kilograms less than the old engine. A complex APTC clutch, which works as an anti-hopping clutch when overrun, but reverses this mechanism under load
and the pressure of the clutch disks on each other increased, the clutch springs could be very soft and thus the manual effort could be reduced by a third.
As with the new 1150 (see below), the
Isolation of the crankcase plays a decisive role in the search for performance. The term dry sump lubrication falls far too short here. Because the KTM engineers evidently not only suck the oil that has run down from the lubrication points out of the crankcase in order to avoid splashing losses, but also minimize the pumping losses caused by the piston racing up and down by sucking in air. This trick was also used on the V4 MotoGP engine. In view of such technology in a 690 single-cylinder and despite the Euro 3 emissions standard, the specification “over 60 hp” seems almost a bit deep.
1150 RC8: There is always more
The first test drives on the race track with IDM star pilot Martin Bauer were followed by countless test bench tests, and now the KTM developers, under the direction of Wolfgang Felber, are testing the brand new 1150 engine on the road. As usual, the supporting 75-degree V2 engine sits in an extremely light and delicate tubular steel frame? it is rumored to be less than 7.5 kilograms. Contrary to all suspicions, the 1150 is not a drilled 990, but a completely new design, which takes the KTM V4 racing engine as a model in many details.
He also has the already mentioned vacuum pump for
the crankcase. In addition, the valve actuation ?? so far about bucket tappets ?? switched to rocker arms, and the combination of chain and gear wheels as camshaft drive gave way to a simple tooth chain.
The new housing carries the oil tank of the dry sump lubrication as a ribbed sprue in front of the crankshaft, which the Austrian oil lines save a lot of weight and space. According to the latest information, the virgin unit presses almost 150 hp on the test bench.
At the moment, however, the tuning work is concentrating on the development of power and the occurrence of vibrations, although the RC8 should already show impressive form in both criteria. From reliable sources it can be heard that the new twin runs under 3000 rpm, with almost all V2 sports engines a rough jerk, extremely cultivated and free of annoying loud chain whips. Two balance shafts and a good portion of flywheel ensure peace and quiet at a slow pace. From 5000 rpm onwards, the dignified twosome changes-
cylinder Tone and temperament, then there is real steam in the boiler, which increases continuously up to the maximum speed of currently 10500 rpm and subjectively is hardly inferior to the established 1000cc four-cylinder athletes from Japan. In combination with the powerful acceleration and the spontaneous gas reaction known from the 990 Superduke, the 1150 engine guarantees the highest entertainment value with even more power.
That shouldn’t be a problem for the chassis. Because like the first RC8 prototype with a 950 engine, the 1150 also peps over patches and bumps with stoic composure. Because a lot of flywheel mass promotes the cultivated running of the engine, but not the maneuverability of a motorcycle, but KTM wants to achieve the best in both criteria, experiments with alternator rotors of different weights are still on the agenda until the start of series production at the end of 2007. “We want to take advantage of the V2 concept and, in return, eliminate the disadvantages as much as possible,” is how the development team outlines the goal for their first road racer.
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