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.
When the Yamaha Niken debuted, we didn’t know what to make of this leaning three-wheeler. Yamaha pitched the Niken as a sport bike, but our time riding it in the Alps showed a machine that was better suited for touring.
Seemingly following that feedback, the Yamaha Niken GT has come for the 2019 model year, debuting at the EICMA show in Milan, and it offers more touring-focused features for three-wheel enthusiasts.
Perhaps the perfect touring platform, the move makes sense for Yamaha, and the Niken needs few changes in order to adapt to this new concept.
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.
What you are looking at here is the BMW Motorrad Concept 9Cento. It is a middleweight adventure-sport motorcycle concept that BMW showed off this past weekend in Lake Como, Italy – at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este.
The 9Cento Concept is an interesting look into BMW Motorrad’s mindset, with the German brand showing a new platform for its parallel-twin engines. The bike is sporty in nature, and focuses on providing a motorcycle that can do it all: fast canyon-carving, long-distance touring, and urban riding.
The adventure-sport is a crossover concept that BMW has latched onto already with its S1000XR model, and now it seems that the folks in Berlin are looking to add to that lineup even further, with chatter that the 9Cento is likely to become a production model in the near-ish future.
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.
Suzuki has registered the “Katana” name here in the USA, and if that sounds like familiar news to our regular readers…well, it should.
This is the second time that Suzuki has registered the venerable Katana name with the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and there is good reason for that.
But, before we get into what Suzuki is and is not doing with the Katana name, we should first understand what this motorcycle means to long-time motorcyclists, especially in different markets.
This is because the Katana name evokes different ideas to different motorcyclists, because Suzuki has used it in different ways throughout the years, and in different countries.
Apologies if things have been a bit sparse here the last few days, as I’ve been making yet another trans-Atlantic crossing…my third in just seven days.
The trip has been worth it though, as I have been fortunate enough to ride in Morocco with Bridgestone the last few days, testing out the new Battlax A41 adventure-touring tire, and the Battlax T31 sport-touring tire.
Because of the schedule, we are going to have to Tarantino this “Gone Riding” post a little, and do thing in reverse, but there is plenty to talk about.
Our routes have been based out of Ouarzazate (productions like Gladiator and Game of Thrones have been filmed here), and it is a high-desert terrain with red rocks and plenty of sand and wind.
With two different tires, I have been on a host of bikes as well. On the Battlax A41, it was the BMW 1200GS Rallye, KTM 1290 Adventure S, and the Honda Africa Twin; while for the Battlax T31, it was the Suzuki GSX-S1000F, BMW R1200R, and KTM 1290 Super Duke GT.
Feel free to pick my brain about the new Bridgestone tires, the bikes I have been on, and what it is like to visit Morocco and the Ouarzazate region.
As always, you can follow our thoughts on the tires via Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and you can see what our colleagues are posting on social media by looking for the hashtags #BattlaxA41 & #BattlaxT31
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.
We have already seen the Yamaha Niken at the Tokyo Motor Show, the Tuning Fork brand putting a name to its leaning three-wheeler, but little was said about this radical machine.
Now ready to talk about the future of sport riding at the EICMA show in Milan, Yamaha sees a future where riders will want the added stability and handling that comes from a leaning multi-wheeled vehicle.
At the core of the Yamaha Niken is an Ackerman steering design, which uses two sets of upside down front forks, held along a parallelogram brace that attaches to the front of the motorcycle.
This allows the Yamaha Niken to corner with serious lean angle, up to 45° degrees according to the Japanese brand. Of course, with the two 15″ wheels at the front, this cornering is done with a lot more confidence that a normal motorcycle at such a lean.