Sometimes, I wonder why brands debut their machines at the EICMA, or any trade show for that matter, but especially the one in Milan.
Asphalt & Rubber published close to 50 new bike stories from Milan, and we still have a few more minor announcements to get out the door, so imagine for a minute that you are the marketing manager for a brand which is trying to stand out in that crowd.
This EICMA marked the first year where we really saw some brands abandoning the rat race of EICMA, choosing to release their new models ahead of the show, in order to generate some buzz, and dominate the headlines for a day or two.
And, no one executed this strategy better than Aprilia.
True to rumor, the bike is basically powered by half of an Tuono 1100 / RSV4 1100 engine, with the forward bank of cylinders making the engine platform. Building from there, Aprilia has begun to play with an active aerodynamic system as well, taking the current trend in the two-wheeled space to the next level.
Called Aprilia Active Aerodynamics (A3), the name pretty much tells the story. As such, the Aprilia RS 660 concept explores using aerodynamic forces in new ways, which sees the machine capable of changing its front aerodynamic profile, as well as how much downforce it creates.
In a few hours, the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is going to debut at the AIMExpo in Las Vegas…so of course here are some photos and details on this “new” supersport, a bit early.
While there was much anticipation for this new machine before the trade show, it looks like Team Green is giving the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R more of a modest refreshing, rather than an all-new treatment.
For American readers this news will be a bit of a yawn, but for our friends across the pond, this means that Kawasaki is re-entering the supersport market in Europe, which is of course welcomed news.
If you believed that hype from across the pond, the 2019 model year was set to see a new Honda CBR600RR debut, with a serious weight reduction. Our sources told us a different story, however, and now we have the proof from that pudding.
Debuting some its 2019 model year motorcycles early, we see that the Honda CBR600RR goes unchanged for the American market. Meanwhile, our European friends will have to live without Big Red’s venerable supersport model, as the current generation supersport has lost its Euro4 waiver for the EU market.
If you read publications from our colleagues in Europe, then you will know that Honda must surely have plans for a new CBR600RR for the 2019 model year. The proof that they offer is that the recent CARB filings by American Honda show a CBR with a significant weight drop for next year.
First spotted by our friends at Nieuwsmotor, the CARB filings quote a 10kg (22 lbs) weight difference between the listed Honda “CBR600RA” and Honda “CBR600RR” motorcycles, which makes it seem like a lighter and more focused supersport is on the way.
It is an interesting dream – and a funny one for European journalists to spot, since the CBR600 series is all but dead in Europe. But what is the reality of this discovery?
Do you want further proof that the supersport segment isn’t dead? I mean, besides the fact that both Suzuki and Kawasaki have plans to released new 600cc sport bikes later this year, for 2019?
Our Bothan spies have been hard at work in Noale, and they bring us word of a project brewing at Aprilia: a two-cylinder supersport model, that should debut for the 2020 model year.
The concept for this new model is pretty simple: take the class-leading Aprilia RSV4 superbike (which is also set for an update in 2019), lop off the rear cylinders, thus making it a parallel-twin engine. Boom goes the dynamite.
Something as ubiquitous as traction control is still slow to come to the supersport space, while it remains a standard feature on virtually every new street bike model. The concept is so foreign in this segment that less than half of the available supersports on the market have a traction control option.
One of those brands is MV Agusta, which was the first motorcycle marque to bring TC to the supersport class. Now, the Italian brand is ready to raise the bar another notch further, bringing the power of an inertial measurement unit (IMU) to supersport riders.
There will be a new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R for the 2019 model year, of this much we are certain.
It is a story that has been floating around for over a year now (I thought we had reported it already, but apparently not), but now this rumor is heating up, and we have some details to share.
First off, the confirmation. Making filings with the California Air Resources Board (CARB), we see that Kawasaki has plans for a new ZX-6R. It will have a 636cc (cheater) displacement, and produce roughly half the emissions of the previous model.
Likely ready for the coming wave of Euro5 emission regulations, details from across the pond show a power decrease and weight increase for the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R, and point to a whole-new motorcycle coming from Team Green.
For those who don’t know, the Dunlop KR451 slick tire has been the spec-tire for the MotoAmerica Supersport classes, in a 180/55 R17 configuration for the rear wheel.
Choosing now to develop the race tire specifically for supersport riders, Dunlop is releasing the KR451 to fit the 5.5-inch rim used on modern supersports. This has lead to the creation of a 180/60 R17 rear tire size for the new KR451 slick – in soft and medium compounds.
Monday’s racing action at the 2017 Isle of Man TT saw the supersport machines taking to the Mountain Course, for the four laps of the Monster Energy Supersport TT Race 1. Despite the change in the machinery, the narrative remained focused on two men: Ian Hutchinson and Michael Dunlop.
With Hutchinson already taking the honors in the opening Superbike TT, the question remained whether Dunlop would respond on the 600cc machines – a class where he typically goes quite well around the TT course.
The was a resounding yes, with Michael Dunlop taking Race 1 of the Supersport TT in a convincing fashion, making this his 14th Isle of Man TT race victory.
After the debut of the GSX-R1000, there has been a bit of talk about Suzuki’s plans for the rest of its sportbike lineup, namely the GSX-R600 and GSX-R750. A story from AMCN pointed to a new GSX-R750 for the 2019 model year, but said that the GSX-R600 would be no more.
We would be on the wrong side of confirmation bias if we said that today’s news supports our claim, but what we can tell you is that it doesn’t look like new GSX-R600 or GSX-R750 models will be coming for the 2018 model year, as Suzuki Motor of America just filed some interesting paperwork with the California Air Resources Board.