For the 2019 model year, Kawasaki is upgrading the Versys 1000 platform, and giving us a new model variant in the process, the Versys 1000 SE LT+, which just debuted at EICMA for the US and European markets.
At the core, the 2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+ is the same machine as before, but right away we can see that Team Green has made some changes, with the design language of the bike falling in line with the Kawasaki Ninja 400 and Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R. It also has the self-healing paint that first debuted on the Kawasaki Ninja H2.
This means that the Kawasaki Versys 1000 SE LT+ retains use of the 1,043cc inline-four engine, which puts out 118hp (88 kW) and 75 lbs•ft (102 Nm) of torque.
She is a big girl though, with a Curb weight that will be 567 lbs, without the saddlebags, handguards, and other optional hardware. What’s makes this bike new is harder to see, besides the bodywork, of course:
Kawasaki has added its KECS electronically controlled suspension pieces; the engine has been updated with electronic throttle valves and a quickshifter; there is a five-axis Bosch IMU that provides cornering ABS; and the dash is a color TFT unit with smartphone connectivity.
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.
One of nine new motorcycles coming from BMW Motorrad for the 2019 model year, the new BMW R1250RT is one of five BMW models getting an updated boxer engine that uses “ShiftCam” variable valve timing (click here to see the BMW R1250GS).
The new engine promises better throttle response when touring and at lower speeds, while still providing a sizable power increase at full throttle, to the tune of 134hp and 92 lbs•ft of torque.
The rest of the BMW R1250RT goes largely unchanged from the previous model, however, though BMW Motorrad has added a few notable enhancements beyond the new boxer engine. Specifically, dynamic traction control (DTC), automatic stability control (ASC), and hill-start control (HSC) are now all standard on the 2019 BMW R1250RT model.
The MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 sits in a precarious place on the motorcycle continuum. It is what we would call an adventure-sport motorcycle, a sub-category of bikes that has sprung out of the ADV movement, but with a complete on-road bias.
The ADV segment has been the death of sport-tourers, with the upright seating positions proving to be more comfortable for long-range riding, while the large-displacement engines provide the power that sport riders are looking for.
While ADV bikes are designed to take the road (or trail) less traveled, adventure-sports began showing up for riders who wanted to stay firmly on the tarmac (as was the reality for many adventure-touring machines).
This gave rise to machines like the Ducati Multistrada 1200, BMW S1000XR, several KTM bikes, and Triumph’s fractured Tiger lineup.
The big 1200cc+ bikes have now given way to smaller bikes in the adventure-sport category, the first proper example being the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800, which first debuted in 2013.
Now Euro4 compliant, and coming in a variety of trim levels, we recently swung a leg over the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso SCS (read our review here).
The only motorcycle in MV Agusta’s lineup with a tall windscreen, bags, and a passenger seat designed for a human, it would be easy to call the Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso a sport-tourer or an adventure-sport, and indeed we do.
But for the Italian brand, the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso is treated like a sport bike…a sport bike that one can ride all day, with bags and a pillion, if you so choose.
It seems like a fine distinction, or perhaps even splitting hairs, but in reality it is a subtle nuance that shows how MV Agusta thinks of its business, what sort of motorcycles it wants to produce, and for which riders it has in mind when it produces them.
Riding the Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso near MV Agusta’s factory in Varese, Italy, Asphalt & Rubber got to see first-hand how this “sport bike with bags” works in the real world.
And while the motorcycle looks no different from the last time we saw it, at the base model’s press launch in the South of France, there have been subtle changes to refine the Turismo Veloce, and to make it compliant with Euro4 regulations.
Getting now to see the premium “Lusso” trim level, as well as MV Agusta’s new “Smart Clutch System”, there was plenty to try on this motorcycle, and while we have a few criticisms, the result with the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso is an ideal machine, if you could only own one motorcycle in your garage. Let me explain.
Out riding bikes, because that’s what we do, for this edition of “Gone Riding” it is the last three letters of the name “MV Agusta Turismo Veloce Lusso 800 SCS” that you want to pay most attention to.
Those three letters stand for “smart clutch system” and they represent the new semi-auto clutch technology that MV Agusta has developed with Rekluse for its street-going motorcycles, and it is the main reason that we are in Varese today, riding the Italian brand’s up-spec sport-tourer.
The Lusso line of the Turismo Veloce 800 features integrated panniers and semi-active suspension over the base model, and of course the SCS in the name adds the new clutch design, with its attractive clear clutch cover. The special clutch also adds €700 to the price tag, over the regular Lusso.
We have already had some seat time on the base model, a few years ago, and found the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 to be a capable and fun sport bike that was comfortable for longer trips, though we would have liked a few more ponies coming out of the three-cylinder engine.
Getting to see this motorcycle again, our focus today will be on the changes that have been made with the new clutch and the move to Euro4 emission standards, as well as the more premium elements that come with the Lusso name.
Per our new review format, I will be giving you a live assessment of the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 SCS right here in this article (down in the comments section), and there he will try to answer any questions you might have.
So, here is your chance to learn what it’s like to ride the Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso SCS, before even my own proper review is posted. As always, if I don’t know an answer, I will try to get a response from the MV Agusta personnel on-hand. So, pepper away.
Kawasaki’s newest supercharged motorcycle is also its most affordable supercharged motorcycle, with the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX coming to the USA with an MSRP of $19,000.
Even the better-equipped 2018 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE is an “affordable” $22,000, when compared to the more sport-focused H2 models.
Featuring a 200hp version of Kawasaki’s supercharged, four-cylinder, 998cc engine, the Ninja H2 SX is a fully faired sport-tourer, with an emphasis on the sport side of the equation.
The base model comes in any color you want, so long as it’s black, while the Ninja H2 SX SE comes in the traditional Team Green color scheme of Kawasaki.
Kawasaki has made a significant investment in supercharging technology for motorcycles, and the Japanese brand is intent on using its forced-induction prowess on as many models as possible. As such, say hello to Team Green’s third supercharged model, the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX.
Built to be a sport-tourer, with extra “sport” under the hood, the newest Ninja comes in two flavors: the Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX (black paint) and the Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE (green paint). The latter boatss Kawasaki’s first TFT color dash, as well as cornering lights, launch control, and a quickshifter.
The rest of the specs? How does 201hp strike you from the 998cc four-cylinder engine? All the while giving strong fuel consumption savings, on par with the Kawasaki Versys 1000.
It appears that the rumors are true, and that Kawasaki is set to debut another supercharged motorcycle at the upcoming EICMA show.
We have reported already that Kawasaki is rumored to have a sport-touring model of the supercharged Ninja H2, and it seems that rumor is close to the mark.
Releasing a teaser video today, the new Kawasaki model appears to be less about outright performance, and more about enhancing the journey. In short, it sounds a lot like a sport-touring model is nigh.
Whether or not this new supercharged model, the third in Kawasaki’s lineup, is based off the H2 platform remains to be seen, however.
I like this rumor. I like what this rumor says. And, I like that this rumor doesn’t seem to go away.
The scuttlebutt of the motorcycle industry right now is suggesting that the street-shredding Kawasaki Ninja H2 might be joined by a sport-touring variant.
This Kawasaki Ninja H2 GT – as some are calling it – takes the potent supercharged liter-bike, and makes it a little bit better suited for long-distance riding…well, as better suited to touring that a 200hp+ fire-breathing motorcycle can be.
The Motus MSTR is a burly beast of a bike. The American-made sport-tourer comes with ergonomics designed to eat up miles of riding, and its 1,650cc V4 engine helps make passing those miles a quite the spirited event.
We have always wondered what the Motous MSTR would be like as a streefighter though – sans the production bike’s sweeping fairings, and with a bit more ‘Merica in its attitude. Now we have a glimpse of that, with Fuller Moto giving the Motus MSTR some customizing love.
If you are a fan of Fuller Moto, then you should find his design on the MSTR both visually appealing and strikingly familiar. The color accents (red, white, and blue…obviously) start with the MSTR’s stock red-painted heads, though don’t stop there.
Just in case there was any question about the Motus / Fuller Moto collaboration being all show and no go, the bike puts some impressive 155+ horsepower figures down to the dyno drum, in the attached video.
If you happen to be in Austin for the MotoGP round, you can catch this Motus down at the Handbuilt Motorcycle Show.