KTM’s 790 platform is a marvelous thing. It brought us the potent KTM 790 Duke sport bike, and this year sees the arrival of the hotly anticipated KTM 790 Adventure R dual-sport.
Compact, powerful, and affordable – those are the three words that best describe what the Austrian motorcycle house has created, and we knew from the get-go that the 790 platform was destined to bring us several motorcycle models.
Now, the time has come to ask where is our KTM RC790?
As we predicted in our EICMA round-up on the Noale brand, it looks like we won’t have to wait long to see the production version of the Aprilia RS 660 sport bike, as photos on Facebook show that the Italians have been caught testing the machine at the track.
With two bikes spotted, one in street trim and one in race trim, the Aprilia RS 660 looks surprisingly production-ready, which tips a debut at next year’s EICMA show, and the bike being a 2020 model year machine.
Last week, we showed you two new motorcycles from Norton, the Atlas Ranger and the Atlas Nomad. Today, we bring you a third bike from this 650cc parallel-twin platform from the British brand, the Norton Superlight.
Based off the same road-going platform as the Atlas, the Superlight is really a race bike in disguise.
This is because the Norton Superlight takes the mild-mannered engine from the Atlas bikes, which makes 84hp and 47 lbs•ft of torque, and cranks them up to “11” for an engine that produces 105hp (78 kW) of peak power and 55 lbs•ft (75 Nm) of torque.
We have been waiting for quite a while to see Norton’s Atlas street bike project in the flesh, and now it is here…in two varieties.
The two machines are called the Norton Atlas Ranger and the Norton Atlas Nomad, and they are both scrambler models. The Nomad is geared more towards road use however, with its 18″ front wheel; while the Ranger has taller suspension for better off-road capabilities, along with a 19″ front hoop.
Both bikes share the same 650cc parallel-twin engine with a 270° firing order, which makes 84hp and 47 lbs•ft of torque. The motor was co-developed with Norton’s V4 project, and it is essentially the four-cylinder engine with its rear cylinder bank lopped off.
We first broke the news about the Aprilia RS 660 a few months ago, tipping that the 600cc class parallel-twin would debut soon, but even we didn’t know what we were in for until the Noale brand took the covers off this amazing machine at EICMA today.
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.
Kramer Motorcycles is ready to make its sequel to the potent single-cylinder Kramer HKR EVO2 track bike, and again the German manufacturer has tapped a unique KTM engine to power this next edition race-focused motorcycle.
Debuting today at the Barber Vintage Festival, the Kramer GP2 prototype has broken cover, and it features the 790cc parallel-twin engine from the KTM 790 Duke. The Germans plan to develop the bike over the next 12 months, with an eye on providing a potent twin for those who are racing inclined.
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.
Today we get another look at Norton’s 650cc project, now named the Norton Atlas. We have already seen concept sketches for this British scrambler, and now Norton is showing us some engineering renders. This is because the physical machine should debut later this year, at the NEC bike show in November.
Details are still vague and light, but we do know that the 650cc parallel-twin engine will piggyback off the work done for Norton’s V4 superbike. Essentially the using the V4 engine with its rear cylinders lopped off, the parallel-twin engine shares the same head, pistons, valves, etc as the V4 bike.
Several flavors of the Atlas are expected to come to market, with 70hp and 100hp naturally aspirated versions already planned, as well as a supercharged version that is said to clear 175hp.
Triumph is sending a major wakeup call to its colleagues down south in Bolonga, as the revamped 2019 Triumph Scrambler 1200 just broke cover in spy photos, and the bike looks to be a direct competitor to the Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled.
Abandoning its previously frumpy British roadster-with-knobbies design, the new Triumph Scrambler 1200 looks the part, and seems focused on actually going off-road, like a good scrambler should.
It is a big surprise from the British brand, and a bit of a new direction for Triumph, but clearly the Brits have been feeling the post-authentic pressure from Ducati, and are thus responding in kind.
Norton is getting closer to releasing its next motorcycle, this one being a 650cc twin-cylinder street bike. As you can see above in the photo, courtesy of our friends at MotoFire, the Norton 650 will take a roadster form, with a positively vintage vibe.
The bike will serve as a platform though, for several 650cc motorcycles, one of which will be the basis for an Isle of Man TT race bike.
Said to make around 100hp, the Norton 650 would be a potent weapon in the Lightweight TT race class. It would also serve as a good counterpoint to Norton’s 1200cc superbike project.
We are rapidly coming to the conclusion that the new KTM 790 Duke is the bike of this year’s EICMA show.
Making a potent 105hp from its 799cc parallel-twin engine, packed into a 418 lbs (wet)steel trellis body, the 2018 KTM 790 Duke brings a host of features to the middleweight sport bike category.
In typical KTM fashion, the 790 Duke left no angle behind in its high school honors geometry course, and the LED headlight builds upon the common design features that KTM has been putting together on its street-going machines.
Not quite the vision that was the KTM 790 Duke prototype, the production model still evokes the same emotions, and is handsome in its own right – allaying our fears when seeing spy shots of the machine.
Adding a TFT dash, IMU-powered traction control, cornering ABS, launch control, and an up-and-down quickshifter are all strong moves from the “Ready to Race” brand, making the KTM 790 Duke have not only the best power-to-weight ratio in its class, but it is also one of the most feature-packed.