We heard rumors of this tire at the beginning of the year, and finally we can talk about the new Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross AX41 tire. A knobby dual-sport tire made for adventure-touring machines, the AX41 means that Bridgestone finally has an offering for ADV riders.
It is surprising to think that the Japanese brand has been without a tire for such an important market segment for so long, but that is water under the bridge now, with the Battlax Adventurecross AX41 tire debuting at INTERMOT and coming to American dealers at the start of next year.
The INTERMOT show is done and dusted, and we have had some time to chew on the models that we saw in Cologne, Germany...or didn't see, as the case might be. The second largest trade show in the motorcycle industry, one can wonder though whether the INTERMOT show is the second most important.
Having two major shows on European soil, with INTERMOT coming every other year, creates a Sophie's Choice for motorcycle manufacturers. EICMA might draw the crowds and the press, but it is also a maelstrom of new models, and it is easy for a bike's launch and debut to be lost in the chaos.
To that vein, INTERMOT provides an opportunity for manufacturers to see the forest for the trees. It is less pressure, with most manufacturers choosing to debut more minor releases at the German show, but this makes it ripe for some surprises as well. For 2018, things were no different.
I had to check our coverage of the Moto Guzzi V85 TT, to see how many words we managed to use when talking about this new adventure-tourer – 398 words, if you wanted to know – which is pretty astonishing considering the complete lack of actual information coming from Piaggio on this new motorcycle.
Little more was revealed at INTERMOT as well, beyond what we could see physically on the machine. We know that the V85 TT will make 80hp from its 850cc v-twin engine. We know that it will have ABS, cruise control, LED lights, and a TFT dash (which looks great, by the way). Beyond that…well…it’s a very bright motorcycle.
One of the few surprises at the INTERMOT trade show in Germany, was Team Green’s release of two 125cc motorcycle models: the Kawasaki Ninja 125 and the Kawasaki Z125. The bikes are basic in their concept, and will be headed only to the European market.
Kawasaki hopes that the Ninja 125 and Z125 will be the ideal option for those with A1 or A2 licenses in Europe’s tiered motorcycle licensing program, though the Japanese company didn’t discount some interest from older riders who are looking for something smaller in their garage.
That is a fair goal from Kawasaki, because despite the budget-focus of these 125cc machines, the quality of the bikes is quite high, and we were most impressed with the fit and finish found on the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 125.
Ducati’s new model releases at INTERMOT was reserved, to say the least. Showing us some updates to the Scrambler Ducati lineup, the Italian brand debuted three new graphics for its Café Racer, Desert Sled, and Full Throttle models.
It might only be “bold new graphics” for these 2019 model year bikes, but the fresh liveries are very fetching.
The Full Throttle model is based off the Ducati Scrambler that is being raced in the Super Hooligan series in the United States, while the Café Racer design comes from the Ducati 125GP Desmo raced, with the blue and white livery a nod to racer Bruno Spiaggiari.
As for the white and red Desert Sled, well…that’s just delicious.
This means that the heart of this sport bike comes from the 2005 Suzuki GSX-R1000, which has been re-tuned for street duty.
Though Suzuki is light on details, this should mean a 147hp sport bike, with basic electronic aids. This should also mean an attractive sport bike for under $12,000 here in the USA, if our math is correct.
Kawasaki has two new motorcycles for young riders in Europe, the Kawasaki Ninja 125 and the Kawasaki Z125. We have already shown you the fully faired Ninja 125, and now here is the naked version of that platform, the Z125.
As you would expect then, this A1/A2 license compliant machine features a 125cc, water-cooled, single-cylinder engine that makes 15hp and 8 lbs•ft of torque. Wrapped in a steel trellis frame, the 2019 Kawasak Z125 tips that scales at 323 lbs at the curb, fueled and ready to go.
Debuting at INTERMOT, the Kawasaki Z125 represents Team Green’s commitment to new two-wheeled enthusiasts, and the motorcycle looks like a solid choice for beginners, as well as veteran riders who are looking for something smaller in their garage.
Kawasaki calls it “the toughest choice”, but we call it smart bike-building for the younger markets. Team Green’s big reveal at this year’s INTERMOT show was a Sophie’s Choice of 125cc machines, the Kawasaki Ninja 125 and the Kawasaki Z125.
As you would expect from the name, the 2019 Kawasaki Ninja 125 is a fully faired sport bike with a 125cc single-cylinder engine.
Designed for new riders, or veteran motorcyclists who want something smaller in their garage, the Ninja 125 looks like a strong offering for two-wheeled enthusiasts.
We got a quick teaser of the new Moto Guzzi V85 TT just a day ahead of this year’s INTERMOT show, but now the uniquely styled adventure-tourer is officially ready for its debut.
Surprisingly, Moto Guzzi is still being tight-lipped when it comes to specs on the V85 TT, choosing instead to wax poetically about the bike’s retro styling, and the brand’s longing to return to the Paris-Dakar rally of many decades ago.
Moto Guzzi’s launch at INTERMOT was equally as confusing, with the Italian brand making little of a presentation, and then referring the world’s gathered media to a press kit that had no discernible information.
The most aggressive street-tourer on the market just got more potent for the 2019 model year, as at INTERMOT today, the Austrians have updated the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT for next year.
As such, a host of updates come to the 2019 KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, the most notable of which is a styling change. Gone is the “Spy vs. Spy” front end, in favor of a fairing design that is closer in style to the current KTM 1290 Super Duke R.