I am, and forever will be, a complete sucker for a good rendition of Kaneda’s motorcycle from the cult Japanese anime movie Akira. Growing up as a kid (versus growing up as an adult, which is my current state), Akira‘s portrayal of motorcycles was one of the few things that got me interested in two-wheels.
I was a “car kid” growing up, with pictures of Ferrari, Lamborghini, and Porsche automobiles hanging on my walls. But, Kaneda’s bike was an influence too, and judging from the comments section when we post about this bike, it was a transformative machine for many others as well.
The Bimota story is about to get another chapter added to its pages, this time in the form of the the Bimota KB4 motorcycle.
It seems like a lifetime ago since we first heard about the KB4, though the bike was only briefly talked about at the EICMA show in Milan, just a handful of months ago.
An eventful week for the Italian brand, the headline for EICMA was Kawasaki’s purchasing of 49.9% of Bimota’s stock, and the unveiling of the Bimota Tesi H2.
While the Tesi H2 was on display for all to see, and was very provocative with its hub-center steering layout and supercharged inline-four engine, there was also a very quiet murmur about a second bike that would come from the business acquisition, the Bimota KB4.
While the Ducati Streetfighter V4 was the crown jewel of the Ducati unveiling event in Rimini last week, the items that everyone seems to be still talking about after the media launch are something else, they are the two concept bikes for the Scrambler range.
For those that didn’t watch the live stream, Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali presented two different Scrambler models that have the potential to go into production, an ADV bike and a supermoto.
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.
When we first heard that Ducati was bringing back the Supersport line, we were excited. The original SuperSport wasn’t exactly the best selling model for the Italian brand, but Ducati created some loyal enthusiasts with the half-faired sport-touring machine.
The new Ducati Supersport does a good job of tapping into the ethos of the old model, but visually it draws too close to the Ducati 1299 Panigale Superbike, rather than the lines of yore.
Here, Oberdan Bezzi plays another one of his “what if” games, drawing an air-cooled Supersport model (based off the current Scrambler platform), complete with the more classic half-fairing design.
One item we might expect to see at EICMA later this year is BMW Motorrad’s alleged “XDiavel killer” – as the German manufacturer is expected to continue expanding its lineup of motorcycles into new model segments.
Not much has been said about the rumor, since it was first published 16 months ago by Motorrad Magazine, but BMW has several options on the table for this power cruiser.
In this concept sketch, Wunderlich and Nicolas Petit have teamed up to create an “R1600C” motorcycle, with a new boxer engine design. Students of the BMW brand will surely remember the now defunct R1200C cruiser model.
I’m a sucker for a good concept sketch, and these Ducati motorcycle renders by Jakusa Design have been fueling my imagination lately, so I thought it would be worth sharing them on the site.
These concepts are of particular note because of how Ducati uses its v-twin engine designs to power multiple motorcycles, across multiple riding segments, which adds to Ducati’s reputation as a v-twin brand, but more importantly helps the Italian manufacturer control costs.
This is something that is about to get more interesting though as Ducati introduces its V4 engine, which as Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali told us, will also power multiple bikes as a platform engine.
A year ago, to the day, Norton announced that it was working on a street-going superbike that featured a 200hp, 1,200cc, V4 engine. Now, Norton confirms that news, saying that we will see the limited-production (200 units) machine later this fall. Yay.
On the bright side, Norton posted a concept drawing of the new bike to its Facebook page, giving us at least something new to whet our appetites on the new motorcycle.
The concept looks very similar to the sketch we saw last year, making today’s new a little bit about nothing. But, our friends at MotoFire report that Norton is still working on a 650cc project, which will debut later this year as well.
I’m not a fan of the Monster line from Ducati. There, I said it. There is just something about the Monster models over the years that has failed to strike me as appealing, though I must say the latest crop of liquid-cooled Monsters has certainly been a step forward for me, visually.
I’m more of a fan of the Ducati Streetfigther lineup, and I still hope that Ducati has a new Streetfighter design somewhere on its design boards. Ideally, such a machine would have a Superquadro engine at its heart, and accordingly make big horsepower numbers that rip our eyeballs from our sockets.
The fate of the Streetfighter line remains to be seen though, and with each passing model year I expect to see the Streetfighter 848 finally leave the Italian company’s lineup. It would seem the Streetfighter is kaput as of the 2016 model year. -JB
As such, the Monster line could be Ducati’s only naked bike model, any year now. So, if time is really against us, and if the Monster really is to be the only naked bike from Ducati, I hope the future iterations take a lesson from this concept.
Things are about to kick-off in Japan, with the 2015 Tokyo Motor Show, and we expect to see some interesting things from the Japanese OEMs there…finally.
One of those items of interest is Kawasaki’s next supercharged motorcycle, widely expected to be the Kawasaki Ninja S2 – a 650cc machine with liter-class horsepower figures.
The above is certainly not what we expect the Kawasaki S2 to look like, though it might not be too far off the mark.
Oberdan Bezzi has been on a roll lately, making some intriguing concept sketches for two-wheeled fans. And his latest render, the BMW S1000 “Lightburner” concept doesn’t disappoint, either.
Based off the BMW S1000R streetfighter, Bezzi sees another naked model in the BMW stable – one that would roll on 16″ rear wheel, and have a 230 sized tire mounted to it.
We are not sure what purpose a 16″ rear wheel would serve on a street bike, or if you could even find good street rubber in a 230 size, but the visual affect of the Lightburner is what draws us to this design.