Our thoughts on the 2018 INTERMOT trade show in Cologne, Germany and what it means for the motorcycle industry.
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?
As of yesterday, JEFTA is finally law in Europe and Japan, and the trade agreement is a big deal for both parties involved, as well as motorcyclists. What? You haven’t heard of the Japan Europe Free Trade Agreement (JEFTA)? For our European readers, it is a critical piece of legislation, as this treaty of trade is set to make Japanese motorcycles a bit cheaper in Europe. Agreeing to a schedule of tariff reductions, JEFTA achieves two goals that affect the motorcycle industry. First, it reduces the modest taxation of Japanese motorcycles, mopeds, scooters, and parts into the European Union. Second, JEFTA helps align the European and Japanese emission standards for vehicles, thus unifying both countries under a single emission criteria for vehicles.
Ever since Triumph was tipped to become the new engine supplier for the Moto2 Championship, there have been rumblings and speculations about what the British brand’s over-arching plan was for the sport biking space. The engine being used for Moto2 is the same 765cc power plant found in the Triumph Street Triple 765 – lightly massaged for racing duty, of course. Coupling that to the fact that Triumph quietly killing the Daytona 675 motorcycle earlier this year, the British brand seemingly has all the ingredients it needs in order to make a new middleweight sport bike – something that could give the Suzuki GSX-R750 or MV Agusta F3 800 a run for their money. In what will surely be an unpopular report, however, we regret to inform you that there will not be a Triumph Daytona 765 motorcycle for the 2019 model year.
If you go to Triumph’s North American website, you will notice that the Daytona 675 is missing from the lineup. Similarly, the three-cylinder supersport machine is nowhere to be found on the Triumph Motorcycles UK site. And even an intrepid look at Triumph Japan, Triumph India, and Triumph Brazil websites gives no joy, despite the latter’s still having the now defunct Tiger 1050 model. So what’s the beans? The answer of course is the Euro4 homologation standard, which came into play for the 2016 model year, and has been killing motorcycle models ever since. To be fair, we saw some Euro3 bikes still on the market in 2017, however, this is because they were sold on a waiver from the Euro4 standard, mostly for final production runs.