Intermot 2007 Special MO Preview! Staff
by Staff
It's Intermot time! sent contributing editor and photographer Bob Stokstad to Germany to check it out for us. Here's his report, gallantly posted just hours after he attended a record 9 press conferences in one day.

Intermot 2007 Press Preview

by Robert Stokstad, Contributing Editor

The biannual International Motorcycle Exhibition has moved to Cologne after four in row at Munich. When I compare this show to the one two years ago (which was bigger than anything I'd ever seen)this is gargantuan. The organizers love to tout their statistics, and with good reason: 1,132 exhibitors from 36 countries, with 778 from out side Germany.

Well, here it is, and if it's as good as the fanfare was intense, it should do fine. Not sure when it will be available - it's not listed in the 2007 product brochure. Suzuki's presentation gets the prize for the most glitz and the corniest musicians to entertain between model introductions.

Suzuki's new "B-King." The 1300cc engine is from the Hayabusa, but the frame is all new, including an aluminum swing arm. Light alloy is used in other places, too. This new entry in the Naked Bike category was floated to the publilc in 2001 as a study to test the waters.

The seven halls housing the exhibition cover 120,000 square meters, or more than 25 football fields. So much for the stats; what counts even more is the importance the major manufacturers attach to this event.

October 10 was Press Day. Here's where that importance shows. There were ten press conferences. I went to nine. I hope those loyal Benelli

riders will forgive me for skipping the tenth in favor of ein Parr Wuerstchen und ein Bier in the press room. There is only so much one person can do.

Yamaha's top-of-the-line YZF-R1 sportbike is all-new for 2007. Technical advances like a variable air intake length (changed by an electric motor), an improved front and rear suspension and an all-new delta box frame add up to bolster the claim of an "all-new" generation bike. Oh yes, they claim 189 hp at 12500 rpm.

KTM's press conference featured a new street SuperMoto, the 690 SM . Those potential customers intimidated by the bigger 950 SM will be at home with this model. However, the new engine puts out over 60 hp, so it's not exactly underpowered. One of the ways this higher output was obtained was by designing the new, large-volume exhaust system, prominent in the photo. KTM's presentation was purely technical, which by this time was something of a relief.

Here's a sampling of what I experienced today. I've selected (only) one photo (not an easy task) from each of the larger press presentations with an eye toward piquing your interest in this motorcycling extravaganza in Cologne.

A new 1200 Sportster from Harley.(NOTE: See below for more on the H-D--MO) It's starting to look good, what with its flat-track heritage. But wait - it's a prototype. You can't buy it. It's being introduced at INTERMOT to gauge reaction, particularly from the Europeans. Harley wants to use this bike to increase sales abroad and says they'll bring it to the production line in 2007 if the public's reaction is right. The fine print is a little more careful, stating that specifications may change "if and when development continues on the XR 1200 Prototype." What are those specs? 85-90 hp, fuel injection, Showa suspension -- ncluding 43 mm inverted forks -- and some good-looking pipes at the back.

Ho-hum. We've already read about the new Tiger in the USA. This was Triumph's big thing at INTERMOT. Triumph, the smaller member of the majors, is surviving by its wits - inside of a year they've doubled their investment in R&D. I'm rooting for these guys. And not just because my other bike is a Triumph.
Kawasaki - the best show of all. They bussed us to a theater. Each new model was preceded by an artistically and technically superb video to warm up the audience before a cool rider in proper gear rode it down the runway. No babes required to gussy up the already beautiful bikes. This is the 1400 GTR sport touring bike known in the US as the Concours14. Kawi has added to the sport side (aluminum frame, inverted forks, radial-mounted calipers, more cornering clearance) and the touring side (electrically adjustable windshield, 12v outlet, hard luggage).
Dr. Herbert Diess, Chief of BMW Motorrad on the new HP-2. BWM brought out four new models, three based on the 650 single, and a better-faired K1200R, called the K1200 R Sport. A fifth bike (not in the press kit) was the HP-2, a supermoto version of the R1200 HP, which besides the Supermoto-sized front wheel, makes 113 hp and weighs 178 kilo, dry. There's a bit of name-inflation going on here, though. This bike isn't labeled Supemoto, it's called Megamoto. There's also a line of performance parts (many in carbon fiber) available for individualizing this motorcycle.
Yours truly, also having a good time on a BMW, this particular one belonging to stunt guru Christian Pfeiffer. This was done on a closed course with a professional rider. No animals were harmed in the production of this story, unless you count whatever animal was in the wuerstchen.


From Harley:

Sportster XR 1200 Prototype Developed with European Focus

Cologne, Germany (October 10, 2006) – Harley-Davidson revealed a prototype Sportster XR 1200 motorcycle aimed at the European market today at the INTERMOT International Motorcycle Show in Cologne, Germany. The XR 1200 prototype places an emphasis on performance and handling with styling inspired by the Motor Company’s legendary XR 750 dirt track racer.

Created with the demands of the European market in mind, the XR 1200 prototype’s development goals include a powerful air-cooled V-Twin engine, agile handling, and high performance suspension and brakes.

“As Harley-Davidson seeks to further grow its presence and sales in Europe, INTERMOT and subsequent major European events will be used to carefully evaluate media and public reaction to the XR 1200 prototype,” said John Russell, Vice President, Harley-Davidson Europe. “If the prototype is well received, we hope to bring the XR 1200 to Europe in 2007.”

The Sportster XR 1200 Prototype features:

*XR 750-inspired styling

*1200cc air-cooled V-Twin with downdraft fuel injection (85-90 HP target)

*Specially tuned Showa suspension with 43mm inverted front forks

*High performance four-piston caliper Nissin brakes

*Unique lightweight cast wheels with dirt track-inspired design

*Specially developed Dunlop Qualifier tires:

- Front 120/70ZR18

- Rear 180/55ZR17

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