When Kawasaki introduced the Ninja H2 and H2R, it raised the bar for high performance motorcycle exotica with its supercharged 998cc engine. As impressed as we were by the H2, one superlative we would not use to describe it was “practical.” Kawasaki hopes to change that with the 2018 Ninja H2 SX, a supercharged sport-tourer that sacrifices some of the H2’s high performance aspirations for better everyday usability.
Eight new Softails weren’t enough, so here’s one more in Harley’s march toward 100 new motorcycles by 2027 – the FLSB Sport Glide makes it nine. Harley-Davidson pictures this one as “a quick-change artist, an aggressive factory-custom cruiser outfitted with a detachable fairing and saddlebags ideally suited for touring, cruising or commuting.”
On November 7th, 2017, Triumph Motorcycles showed updated Tiger 800 on/off road adventure motorcycles at Milan’s EICMA show, with a huge list of changes for each. Both the XC and XR models get engine changes, new electronics, new bodywork and other luxury and performance feature upgrades. It’s one of the most comprehensive updates to the 800, now in its ninth model year.
Triumph Motorcycles played its hand in the big Adventure-tourer market at Milan’s EICMA show, unveiling its heavily updated 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200. With over 100 updates each, both the XR and XC models have lost weight and received upgrades to help them keep up with their competitors.
While we don’t know if either the 2018 Honda CB125R or the 2018 Honda CB300R will make it to the American shores, they were announced today at EICMA in Milan. Sharing a family resemblance with the also-just-introduced 2018 Honda CB1000R, the little CBs are also a product of Honda’s Neo-Sports Café Concept.
Those of you who were intrigued by the Yamaha T7 Concept shown at last year’s EICMA show will be happy to hear that- wait, what? Oh, sorry. Make that disappointed to hear that the 689cc Twin adventure rally bike is still not ready for production, instead appearing at this year’s EICMA show as a prototype.
Where were you on November 5th, 2013? I can’t remember, but if you’re an NC700X fan, like many of us here at MO, you may remember it as the day the European market got an upgraded bike – but those of us here in the USA didn’t. Well, better late than never, because American Honda announced the NC750X as a USA model, with all the improvements and new features of the Euro-bike.
Here it is in the flesh, the first mass-produced Ducati motorcycle to mount a four-cylinder engine, and it’s derived, Ducati says, directly from the MotoGP Desmosedici. Actually there are three of them: Panigale V4, Panigale V4S and V4S Speciale – the latter two with electronic Öhlins suspension featuring a new Smart EC 2.0 system, plus forged aluminum wheels, lithium ion batteries, and other assorted exotica. If that’s not rich enough, the Panigale V4 Speciale is a numbered, limited-edition bike with dedicated livery, titanium exhaust and CNC-machined from billet components. If you have to ask how much, don’t ask.
With a long list of upgrades over the last generation of Multistradas, this year’s ’Strada is pretty much all new for 2018. It gets an upgrade with the new Ducati Testastretta DVT (Desmodromic Variable Timing) 1262cc engine, a new chassis, more advanced electronics, and an aesthetic update that includes new fairing panels and lighter, sportier looking wheels.
This one should go some way in comforting the bereaved mourning the passing of the Panigale 1299. Though this smaller L-Twin is but a measly 955cc, the 2018 Ducati 959 Panigale Corse arrives rated at 150 hp @ 10,500 rpm and 75 pound-feet of torque @ 9,000 rpm. Which is really quite a bit more than enough for most people, all in a package Ducati says weighs 435 pounds (wet, with a 90% fuel load). This special Corse model also gets suspension by Öhlins, some street-legal Ducati Performance Akrapovič titanium silencers, a lightweight lithium-ion battery, and a MotoGP-inspired matte paint scheme. Ducati says the 959 Panigale Corse is ready to race, (Isn’t that KTM‘s line?) but the valve clearances still only need to be checked every 15,000 miles.
We here at MO often cite a “more is more” attitude, so perhaps we should’ve seen this coming: a new Ducati Scrambler fitted with a large 1079cc air-cooled Desmodue V-Twin that’s been retooled from the old Monster 1100. And not only is the engine bigger than the 803cc mill in the earlier Scramblers, but so is its new trellis frame, which opens up the riding position to better suit larger riders. And joining the standard version will be a Scrambler 1100 Special (“which draws its inspiration from the custom world”) and the Scrambler 1100 Sport, which is equipped with Öhlins suspension.