A newish Monster 1200 was launched at EICMA today, boasting a sleeker fuel tank, a redesigned tail section, and an all-new headlight. Oh, and also revised footpegs that will allow feet to better fit active riding positions. The new 1200 Monster and Monster S feature the latest Testastretta 11° DS engine, and, due to new throttle bodies and exhaust, the base model Monster enjoys 15 ponies more than the previous Monster 1200 (150 hp at 9,250 rpm), while the already more powerful S model enjoys a more modest 5-horsepower bump.
A couple of weeks ago, Yamaha announced several U.S. models returning for 2017 with minor updates (i.e. Bold New Graphics) including several scooter models. While the SMax, Vino Classic and Zuma scooters were confirmed, Yamaha’s range-topping TMax was conspicuously absent from the announcement.
The latest trend among in motorcycling is introducing a new superbike alongside a higher-spec premium versions. European manufacturers like Ducati and MV Agusta had been doing this for a while but the Big Four Japanese OEMs are now joining in, first with Yamaha and its YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M. Earlier, Tom Roderick gave us a look at Honda’s CBR1000RR SP and SP2 and now he takes us through Suzuki’s new 2017 GSX-R1000 and GSX-R1000R.
Some of you may not be familiar with SSR motorcycles, but with 200 dealerships across America, the company is steadily establishing itself within the industry. At AIMExpo 2016, Tom Roderick visited the SSR booth, where he saw first hand some of the cool new models the company will be releasing soon, including the Buccaneer Cafe and Buccaneer Classic. Both are powered by 250cc, air-cooled V-Twins with stylish designs and attractive price tags. Other models include the scrambler-style XF250-DT and custom-looking XF250 Snake Eyes. Both are powered by a 250cc Single. Rounding out the range are the Lazer 6 moped and SEEV-800 electric scooter.
The beginning of new model season is always exciting for motorcycle enthusiasts. We’ll spend hours pouring over the details of the all-new bikes (namely the 2017 YZF-R6 and FZ-09) and hotly debate the changes to the merely upgraded ones. However, manufacturers can’t afford to improve every model motorcycle every year, and the perfectly good motorcycles that return with little more than color changes are often mocked as having Bold New Graphics! While these motorcycles are just as competent – or even as exceptional – as they were in the previous year(s), we should give them the respect they deserve for sticking around.
If you like the looks of the FZ-10 but prefer a Triple instead of an inline-Four, you are in luck! This morning at the AIMExpo, Yamaha took the wraps off of the 2017 FZ-09. The styling influences of its larger sibling are immediately apparent. Four aggressive, “floating style” headlights give the FZ–09 an pugnacious, insect-like visage that hints at impending trouble. The swoopy radiator shrouds and the updated air scoops add to the visible tension.
BMW hasn’t slated a ton of changes for the 2017 K1600GT, but then it didn’t need to. The K16’s inline Six engine delivers power, sound, and smoothness that other touring bikes can only dream of. In 2015, the GT and the GTL gained traction control for the claimed 160 hp and 129 lb-ft cranked out by the six cylinders. For 2017, the engine stays functionally the same as last year with the exception of meeting Euro 4 emission requirements. If that were the only change for the GT, it’d still be on the short list of bikes we’d want to take on a cross-country tour. Fortunately, BMW added a few changes that make the GT even more desirable.
Moto Guzzi clearly believes that naked carbon fiber is the new black. Just look at the 2017 MGX–21. Well, the Audace Carbon is following the same eye-catching design cues – which makes sense since both motorcycles are based on the same California 1400 platform.
Change comes slowly in the world of Harley-Davidson. The faithful will say that is a feature, not a bug. Still, change does come, and when any manufacturer introduces a new engine line, it’s a big deal. When Harley introduces a new engine and summarily whisks away the old engine in an entire category of its motorcycle models, it’s a sea change. You can almost feel the earth shifting on its axis. While we’d like to think that the performance of the new engine – which is impressive – could be the cause, the gravitational adjustment is most likely from the sheer number of motojournalists the Motor Company flew from locations around the globe to northwestern Washington state for the Milwaukee-Eight’s riding introduction.
The first Harley-Davidson V-Twin engine was released in 1909 in the form of the Atmospheric V-Twin. Since that time the Motor Company has sold a total eight V-Twin engine designs – Atmospheric V-Twin, F-Head, Flathead, Knucklehead, Panhead, Shovelhead, Evolution, and Twin Cam – most of these names are instantly recognizable to almost any motorcyclist. So, when considering the relative rarity of Harley engine redesigns and the importance of the engine to one of the world’s biggest motorcycle manufacturers, you can bet that any major changes are well thought out and refined to a degree that lesser OEMs might have a tough time matching. With all that’s literally riding on a new engine, Harley’s project planners turned to the tools that have worked the best in recent years.
With the addition of two new models for 2017, AJP is nearly doubling its lineup. Joining the already established PR3 Enduro 240 ($4,799), PR4 Enduro 240 ($4,995), and PR5 Enduro 250 ($6,199) are the all-new PR4 Extreme 240 ($5,995) and PR5 Extreme 250 ($7,299). The two new Extreme models include performance upgrades including lighter weight, more powerful engines, stronger brakes and better suspension. According to AJP’s website, the anticipated launch of the company’s 600cc PR7 Adventure Bike isn’t likely to happen until Fall 2018.
When Yamaha made new-model announcements at its big EICMA show shindig last fall, MotoGP world champion Jorge Lorenzo rode onto the stage on the MT-10, an ultra-modern, anime-influenced streetfighter based on the seductive R1 supersport introduced the year prior. In the meantime, Yamaha has introduced the MT-10 to global markets while we have been left sitting on our hands waiting for the day when the American arm of the tuning-fork brand announces it will come to our shores.