Oct 20 2008 Harriet Ridley
BMW sparkles on home turf
BAVARIAN manufacturer BMW couldn't fail to show off its new models at the bi-annual Cologne Show. And it didn't disappoint - unveiling a stunning S1000RR superbike in race trim and paint.
BMW claims the 1,000cc inline-four engine kicks out 190bhp and weighs less than 190kg. If these figures are true, the S1000RR will weigh 10kg less and produce 10bhp more than its Japanese competitors!
In production form, the bike will have ABS and traction control to help owners harness the performance. Ruben Xaus and Troy Corser will be racing the BMW S1000RR in the 2009 World Superbike Championship.
BMW also unveiled revamped versions of its K-series motorcycles: the K1300S, K1300R and K1300GT. These all get a bigger bore, 1,293cc engine good for 175bhp; an all-new version of automatic suspension adjustment system called ESAII; optional quickshifter - the first on a mainstream production bike - and most importantly, conventional indicators, so no more oddball BMW flasher switches.
The fully-faired K1300S is BMW's answer to Suzuki's Hayabusa and this year will be available in two new colour schemes, orange and black/silver. The K1300S produces 175bhp and will come with optional quickshifter and self-adjusting suspension.
BMW's most powerful naked bike, the K1300R gets the same mods as the faired S version, plus a newly designed front fairing, headlight, radiator cowling and modified side panels for better wind protection.
Meanwhile, the K1300GT touring machine gets a slightly detuned version of the engine good for 160bhp, electrically adjustable windscreen, new dash, dual seat, adjustable handlebars and new panniers.
Triumph flew the flag for the Brits with the unveiling of the updated Daytona 675, restyled Bonneville and the recently launched Street Triple R, plus the new Thunderbird and a special edition Tiger.
Royal Enfield was there too with its all-new Bullet 500 Classic. Its predecessor, the four-speed iron-barrelled 500cc Bullet, had been in continuous production for more than 50 years and the original Royal Enfield Bullet was created in 1932, so this new model has an impressive heritage that stretches back over 76 years.
At the heart of the new Bullet 500 Classic is an all-new, fuel-injected 500cc Unit Construction Engine. Frame and bodywork are new too.
Most of the Italian manufacturers will be unveiling their new models on their home turf at November's Milan Show, but there were exceptions.
Aprilia showed off changes to its 2009 line-up in Cologne, starting with the Shiver GT, the half-faired version of last year's Shiver. The semi-fairing gives some wind-protection to make this Shiver more of a sports tourer.
Tweaks to its Dorsoduro 750 include changes to the 750cc, 90° engine to make it more 'aggressive'. Sounds promising. The bike now also comes with optional ABS, as does Aprilia's twist and go 839cc Mana.
Meanwhile, the MXV and RXV enduro and supermoto bikes have been overhauled. The V-twin 450 and 550 competition bikes have seen 2kg slashed and a switchable ignition mapping system that can be adjusted for hard or soft terrain.
Most exciting is the road-going version of the RSV4, the bike that will take on Ducati's 1098, the Japanese litre bikes and of course BMW's S1000RR in the 2009 World Superbike Championship.
The production version will be powered by a 999cc 65° V-four engine that should punt out 180bhp to keep it competitive against Ducati's 1098R. It too is packed with technology including multi-mapping ride-by-wire and traction control. It comes with Öhlins forks, rear monoshock and steering damper, Brembo monobloc radially mounted brake callipers and forged aluminium wheels.
We're expecting Ducati to make an almighty splash at Milan, although it still graced the Germans with its presence and proudly displayed its new Monster 1100. The 1100 shares its frame and styling with the 696 Monster unveiled at last year's Milan show, but with improved suspension and a larger, air-cooled engine.
We also got a good view of its new GT1000 Touring, a touring version from the Sport Classic family. And who knows what Milan will bring from the Bologna manufacturer.