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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ducati 1198

The Ducati 1198 evolved from the Ducati 1098 model introduced in 2007. The Ducati 1098 was a brand new model from Ducati, replacing the aging and little-loved Ducati 999 model. Designed by Pierre Terblanche, the Ducati 999 was a controversial motorcycle that superseded the legendary 916, 996, 998 series of Ducati superbikes designed by Massimo Tamburini. The Ducati 1098 and Ducati 1198 were designed by Giandrea Fabbro and share a visual commonality more with the 916 series than with the 999 model.
Although 2006 was the last year the Ducati 999 model was produced, and the 1098, 1098S and 1098 Tri-Colore were launched for 2007, Ducati raced the 999 in World Superbike competition because rules dictated that V-Twin engines be equal in displacement (1000cc) to inline four-cylinder bikes. World Superbike rules were changed for the 2008 racing season allowing V-Twins a displacement increase of 200cc for a total of 1200cc.
In 2008, to take advantage of the Superbike rule changes, the Ducati 1098R, displacing 1198cc, joined the standard Ducati 1098 and 1098S which only displaced 1099cc. Ducati won the 2008 World Superbike championship with Troy Bayliss, and in 2009 Ducati offered the last version of the 1099cc model, the Ducati 1098RTB Bayliss Limited Edition alongside new models, the Ducati 1198 and Ducati 1198S. Visually similar and sharing much of the same components, the Ducati 1198S featured lighter wheels, Öhlins suspension, a slipper clutch, a weight advantage (373 lbs. vs. 377 lbs.) and a steeper MSRP, $19,995 vs. $15,995.

2011 Ducati 1198 SP

\In 2010 there were four Ducati 1198 models: Ducati 1198, Ducati 1198S, Ducati 1198S Corse Special Edition and Ducati 1198R Corse Special Edition. Both the Ducati 1198S and Ducati 1198R Corse Special Edition models featured aluminum fuel tanks, traction control and a Ducati Corse paint scheme. The “R” model was a single-seat, street-legal bike with racing credentials. At a claimed 364-pound dry weight, the Ducati 1198R weighs 13 lbs. less than the standard model and 9 lbs. lighter than the “S” model. More importantly, the Ducati 1198R is equipped with a higher performance engine producing a claimed 180 horsepower compared to the “S” model’s 170 hp.
For 2011 Ducati reduced 1198 line to two models: the standard Ducati 1198 and Ducati 1198SP. The SP (Sport Production) insignia stands for production bikes that are race-kitted and ready for competition. The SP label first appeared on the 1989 Ducati 851 model. The SP features lightened chassis components, Öhlins suspension, a slipper clutch, a quick-shift transmission and a claimed dry weight of 370 lbs. There’s a significant price difference between the two models, $21,995 vs. $16,495 for the standard Ducati 1198.
Ducati was unable to regain the World Superbike crown with the Ducati 1198 in 2009 due to an amazing performance by Ben Spies on the Yamaha R1. The 2010 season was another disappointing year for the Ducati 1198, as longtime title contender Noriyuki Haga failed to deliver consistent results. For 2011 Ducati reduced its World Superbike involvement choosing to provide more support to satellite teams.

Ducati Motorcycles

Ducati motorcycles include the 1198SP superbike, the new Diavel sports cruiser, the Multistrada 1200 sport touring motorcycle, the Streetfighter naked motorcycle, motard models such as the Hypermotard 1100EVO and the Monster family of naked streetbikes such as the Monster 696. 

Ducati has been in the motorcycle game since 1950 and the Italian marquee has a reputation for building stylish, high-performance machines. One of those early efforts was the 125cc Grand Prix racer with the “Desmo” valve operating system launched in 1956 that was reliable up to a ten-shocking 15,000 rpm! Ducati’s list of sought after designs is long, but 916 (released in 1994) and MH900e SportClassic (released in 2000) are two fine examples of Italian motorcycle sex appeal. Even current models like the attainable Monster family, the versatile Multistrada and the truly ridiculous Desmosedici are some of the most sought after in the industry. 

KTM Motorcycles

KTM motorcycles include the 350SX-F motocross bike, 530 EXC off-road motorcycle and 690 Enduro R. KTM’s street motorcycles include the RC8R sportbike, 990 Adventure R dual sport, 990 Supermoto R and 990 Super Duke naked standard. 

KTM takes motorcycle racing very seriously and its consumer models are all built to win. The Austrian manufacturer is best known for producing race-winning and class-dominating off-road motorcycles. So serious is KTM about off-road racing that is offers motorcycles designed specifically for several different off-road disciplines, including motocross, cross-country, enduro, super enduro, supermoto and dual-sport. Also, while the other manufacturers have all but ignored two-stroke technology in recent years, KTM embraces these less expensive and easier to maintain motorcycles and continues to churn out new models. Simply put, nobody does off-road like KTM. However, in more recent years KTM has turned some of its attention to streetbikes – notably the impressive RC8R. 

Harley-Davidson Road King

The Harley-Davidson FL series of motorcycles, introduced in 1941 with a 74 cubic inch Knucklehead engine, designates the larger, touring bikes in Harley’s line-up, as well as the Softail models. For the 1994 model year Harley-Davidson replaced the FLHS Electra Glide Sport with the FLHR Harley-Davidson Road King. The original Panhead-powered FLH Harley-Davidson Electra Glide was introduced in 1965 and takes it namesake from the model’s electric starter.
The original FLHR Harley-Davidson Road King was powered by Harley-Davidson’s 1,340 cc Evolution V-Twin engine. The new Harley-Davidson Road King featured a host of upgrades over the Electra Glide it was replacing, including an improved wiring harness with waterproof connectors, detachable saddlebags and windshield, and taller gear ratios. Other features of the Harley-Davidson Road King included air-adjustable forks, dual front disc brakes, and a passenger seat that could easily be removed. So the Harley-Davidson Road King was positioned as a combination cruiser and touring machine.
In 1996 Harley-Davidson offered both the FLHR and FLHRI, the “I” indicating a Harley-Davidson Road King with fuel injection. The Weber Marelli fuel-injection system, standard on the 30th Anniversary Ultra Classic Electra Glide, allowed Harley-Davidson to pass California’s stringent emission system without adding catalytic converters to its bikes – better fuel mileage was an added benefit.

2011 Harley-Davidson Road King

In 1999 the Harley-Davidson Road King, as well as other Harley-Davidson models, came from the factory powered by the new Twin Cam 88 engine. The engine’s name came from the addition of second cam to actuate the push rods for the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves, thus the new engine had two cams, one cam with two lobes for each cylinder’s two valves, compared to the Evolution engine’s use of a single cam with four lobes. The gears driving the cams in the Evolution engine were replaced with a chain in the Twin Cam engine. The 88 represents the displacement of the engine in cubic inches (1447cc). The engine also incorporated other improvements such as oil jets positioned to spray the bottom of the pistons to help cool the engine, and increased cooling fin area. In 2000 Harley-Davidson offered a 95 cu. in. big-bore kit that increased Twin Cam 88 engine displacement to 1550cc.
In 2004 the FLHRSI Harley-Davidson Road King Custom was introduced. The Custom featured leather hard bags, wide handlebars, a wind-swept headlight and lowered rear suspension. By 2007 it was time for another engine upgrade, this time being the Twin Cam 96. Same basic engine as the Twin Cam 88 but displacing 96 cubic inches (1584cc).
The Harley-Davidson Road King enters its 17th year of production in 2011 and, as with most Harley-Davidson models, the Road King remains largely the same as it was when introduced. The Road King is also widely used in police and fire departments in the United States as well as foreign countries.

Harley-Davidson Motorcycles

Harley-Davidson motorcycles are divided into seven lines: Sportsters, such as the XR1200X; Dynas such as the FXDC Dyna Super Glide Custom; Softails such as the FLSTF Fat Boy; Touring like the FLTRU Road Glide Ultra; V-Rods such as the VRSCDX Night Rod Special; Trikes such as the FLHTCUTG Tri Glide Ultra Classic, and the limited edition Custom Vehicle Operations line which includes the FLHTCUSE6 CVO Ultra Classic Electra Glide. 

More than any other brand Harley-Davidson sells a lifestyle and its lineup of heavyweight cruisers, tourers and standards are some of motorcycling’s ultimate status symbols. While those with deep pockets and experience have their sights set on some of Harley’s most sought after bikes like the CVO Street Glide, the Wisconsin-based manufacturer has not forgotten the little guy (or gal). Harley-Davidson has made a concerted effort to lure new riders into the H-D fraternity by building motorcycles with low seat heights and affordable prices like the Sportster 883 Low. 

Victory Motorcycles

Victory motorcycles include the Cross Roads, Cross Country and Vision touring motorcycles, the Vegas, High Ball and Kingpin cruisers, and the Hammer muscle cruiser. Victory also offers special Ness Signature custom models such as the Arlen Ness Victory Vision, Cory Ness Victory Cross Country and Zach Ness Vegas. 

Victory Motorcycles was created by off-road giant Polaris Industries, one of world’s top producers of ATVs and snowmobiles. Victory’s first motorcycle, the V92C, debuted in 1997 and full scale production began a year later. The 1999 V92C featured a 92-cubic inch, 1500cc engine, the largest production engine available at the time and a testament to Victory’s strategy of producing big, powerful cruisers and tourers to compete with American motorcycle giant Harley-Davidson. Victory is unafraid to take styling risks as it proved by releasing bold new bikes like the Vegas, Kingpin and Vision. 

Triumph Tiger

The Triumph Tiger insignia can be traced in Triumph lineage back to 1936 when newly hired design chief, Edward Turner, revamped Triumph’s existing line of motorcycles. By applying better finishes, adding performance and creating new teardrop, chrome-plated fuel tanks and christening the new bikes “Tigers,” Turner created stunners and changed Triumph’s fortunes for the better.
The original three Triumph Tiger models, the Tiger 70, Tiger 80 and Tiger 90 (the numbers indicating each bike’s top speed), came in engine displacement sizes of 250cc, 350cc and 500cc, respectively. Differences between the models were minor and all were powered by air-cooled, pushrod, overhead cam single-cylinder engines and available from the factory in either high- or low-pipe versions.
In 1939 Triumph launched the Tiger 100 featuring the 498cc air-cooled parallel-twin-cylinder engine launched the previous year in the Speed Twin model. Destruction of Triumph’s Coventry facility stalled production of Triumph models for civilians until after the war. The Triumph Tiger 100 was re-launched in 1946 featuring a new telescopic fork, and in ’51 it gained the first swingarm rear suspension. From 1953 to 1961 the 650cc Triumph Tiger 110 was offered alongside the Tiger 100. In 1960 the Triumph Tiger 100 gained a “unit” engine (engine cases and transmission cases cast as one piece). Demise of the Triumph brand and the Tiger 100 began in the early ‘70s and was finalized in 1983 when the company went into receivership.

2008 Triumph Tiger

In 1993, a revived Triumph brand owned by real estate tycoon, John Bloor, and located in Hinckley, Great Britain, launched the first Triumph Tiger model in 20 years. The Triumph Tiger 900 was powered by a liquid-cooled, 885cc, inline three-cylinder engine. The new Triumph brand was utilizing three-cylinder engines because the original company had begun producing three-cylinder engines in the late 1960s and it was relatively simple to lop off one cylinder from the 1200cc Daytona sportbike. The odd number of cylinders also made the Triumph Tiger and other Triumph models unique.
The Triumph Tiger 900 was branded a dual-purpose motorcycle with long-travel suspension, high-mounted exhaust and a tall seat height but was biased more for street riding than serious off-road fun. In 2001 the Triumph Tiger 955i was launched utilizing the company’s improved 955cc, inline three-cylinder, fuel-injected engine. In the fashion of previous model, the new Triumph Tiger offered limited off-road capabilities. The new Triumph Tiger’s styling set it apart from the first generation Tiger model.
After six years in production the Triumph Tiger 955i was replaced in 2007 by the Triumph Tiger 1050. It was biased toward pavement use, now using a 17-inch tire up front instead of the previous version’s dirt-worthier 19-incher. Utilizing Triumph’s newest inline, three-cylinder engine producing 113 horsepower, the Triumph Tiger was available with optional ABS and color-matched hard luggage. Triumph also made available an SE version of the Tiger 1050 featuring a two-tone matte-grey-and-black paint scheme and standard ABS, handguards and color-matched luggage.
In 2010 a smaller version Triumph Tiger, the Tiger 800 joined the Triumph Tiger 1050 in Triumph’s model line-up.

Triumph Motorcycles

Triumph motorcycles include the Daytona 675 sportbike, Tiger 800 and Tiger 800XC adventure touring motorcycles, Speed Triple and Street Triple street motorcycles, Rocket III Roadster power cruiser, Sprint GT sport touring motorcycle and the classically-styled Bonneville T100. 

Few motorcycle manufacturers can match the heritage of Triumph. The British bike builder has more than 100 years of history behind it and a legion of devoted customers. Triumph produced its first motorcycle back in 1905 and just five years later makes its first major innovation – motorcycling’s first practical clutch. Triumph has a storied relationship with the military, providing motorcycles to the allies in both World Wars, including more than 50,000 in WWII despite the factory being demolished in the Blitz of Coventry in 1940. After the war Triumph’s reputation only grew, thanks in part to Marlon Brando riding a Thunderbird in the film “The Wild One” in 1954 and the release of the iconic Bonneville in 1959. 

Yamaha R6

In 1999 Yamaha had three different 600cc sportbikes for sale: the FZR600, YZF600R and the Yamaha YZF-R6. The FZR600 was a holdover model in production since 1989. At one time the FZR600 was the pinnacle of 600cc performance, winning the AMA Supersport championship in 1990. The YZF600R, introduced in 1994 and known in some countries as the Thundercat, was a more street-biased sportbike. In 1999, on the heels of the YZF-R1 launched the previous year, Yamaha introduced the YZF-R6 — a no-holds-barred 600 cc sportbike with performance as its utmost importance.
Like the R1, the Yamaha R6 didn’t utilize new technology to achieve its stunning performance. Yamaha put the bike through a stringent process of reducing weight in every area to give it the best power-to-weight ratio in the 600cc class. The Yamaha R6’s inline, four-cylinder, DOHC engine was the first Japanese 600 to produce more than 100 horsepower at the rear wheel.
The Yamaha R6’s first big change came in 2003 when it was given a new chassis and a new engine featuring fuel injection. The Yamaha R6’s weight dropped significantly from 399 lbs. dry to 357 lbs. dry. In 2005 the Yamaha R6 gained upside-down forks and radially mounted front brakes.

2008 Yamaha YZF-R6

A completely new Yamaha R6 came in 2006. The new R6 featured sharp styling and bodywork, its muffler was relocated to beneath the bike with only a short, MotoGP-esque exhaust pipe showing on the bike’s right side. The new Yamaha R6 engine was now producing 127 crankshaft horsepower and came with a slipper clutch as standard equipment.
In reality, the 2006 Yamaha R6 redlined at 16,500 rpm, but an error showed the R6 redlining at 17,500 rpm, the first production sportbike with a redline in excess of 17,000 rpm. Much to do was made of the engine’s ability to rev so high while also maintaining dependability, but it was later revealed that the bike’s true redline was 1,000 revs lower.
The 2006 Yamaha R6 also utilized Yamaha’s fly-by-wire Yamaha Chip Controlled Throttle (YCC-T) which controls the throttle valves by computing input from a variety of sensors and calculates the best combination of EXUP setting, throttle position and ignition advance to provide controllable power.
In 2008 the Yamaha R6 received Yamaha Chip Controlled Intake (YCC-I) which shortens the length of the intake tracks in only 0.3 of a second to increase engine performance. The R6’s subframe was now made of magnesium, engine compression ratio bumped to 13:1 and new bodywork gave the Yamaha R6 a fresh look. In 2010, to boost mid-range power, Yamaha changed internal engine settings and lengthened the exhaust pipe.
The Yamaha R6 has won two World Supersport titles: in 2000 with Jorg Teuchert and in 2009 with Cal Crutchlow. In 2009 and 2010 the Yamaha R6 won the Daytona 200 with Ben Bostrom and Josh Herrin, respectively.

Yamaha Motorcycles

Yamaha Motorcycles include the Yamaha YZF-R1 and YZF-R6, the Yamaha FJR1300 touring motorcycle, and the FZ1 and FZ6 Yamaha street motorcycles. Yamaha's off-road motorcycles include the YZF motocross and WR endurance models. 

Yamaha has been producing motorcycles since 1955 and they appeared on U.S. shores just three years later. Quickly adopted by racers, Yamaha motorcycles have been winning races at virtually every level for decades. Today Yamaha manufacturers a huge variety of motorcycles for just about every purpose. Newer riders can choose from the likes of the diminutive C3 scooter and unintimidating V Star 250 cruiser, while more experienced pilots can opt for the YFZ-R1 sportbike, the YZ450F motocrosser and dozens of other high performance machines. Yamaha is also aggressively adding to its already impressive fleet with models like the dual sport Super Tenere R1-inspired FZ8. Yamaha fans can also draw inspiration from its many championship winning racers. 

Suzuki Boulevard

In 2005 Suzuki revamped its cruiser line by eliminating its variety of cruiser names including the Intruder, Marauder, Volusia and Savage, and consolidating all the models under the Suzuki Boulevard banner and giving individual motorcycles alphanumeric designations. The alphabetic aspect of the new Suzuki Boulevard line included the S models which were the standard cruisers, the C series was reserved for more classically-styled cruisers while the M series was only for high-performance models. The numeric part of the designation stood for engine displacement in cubic inches. In 2006 the Suzuki Boulevard line included the S40, S50, S83, C50, C90, M50, and M109R.
The S models in the Suzuki Boulevard series were largely the rebadged Intruder models which can trace their roots back to the introduction of the original Intruder 700 in 1986. The Suzuki Savage was renamed the S40. The S40 Suzuki Boulevard is powered by a 40 cu. in. (652cc) air-cooled single-cylinder engine producing 30 horsepower. The Savage was introduced in 1986 and presently continues in the Suzuki line-up as the S40. The Intruder 800 was replaced by the S50, while the Intruder 1400 was replaced by the S83. The S50 is the cousin to the original Intruder 700, now with a new name and a 50 cu. in. (819cc) V-Twin engine. The S83 (Intruder 1400) is powered by a liquid-cooled, 1360cc V-Twin engine producing 72 horsepower.

2009 Suzuki Boulevard M90

The C50 Suzuki Boulevard was formerly the Volusia 800. New on the C50 Boulevard for 2005 was the introduction of fuel injection replacing the Volusia’s carburetors. The C50 Boulevard can trace its roots to the bike’s introduction in 2001 in Volusia County, Florida. The other C model was the C90, which the year before was the Intruder 1500. Launched in 1998 with classic styling and wide handlebar, the 1500 Intruder was unlike other Intruder models.
The M50 Suzuki Boulevard, like the C50 Boulevard, was also based on the Volusia 800. The M50 differed from the C50 with 41mm forks, the engine was painted black, and inside the 805cc V-Twin the M50 received split crank bearings (the C50 used single-piece bearings). The M50 also had different fenders and fuel tank, and the speedometer was mounted on the handlebar instead of on the fuel tank.
Introduced as a new model to the Suzuki Boulevard line in 2006 was the M109R. In the spirit of the Yamaha V-Max, the M109R was a power cruiser featuring a liquid-cooled, DOHC, fuel-injected,1783cc, 8-valve V-Twin engine producing 127 horsepower at 6,200 rpm and 117 lb.-ft. of torque at 3,200 rpm. For 2011 Suzuki offered a limited edition M109R Suzuki Boulevard with custom paint and custom gauges.
In 2009 Suzuki introduced the C109R Boulevard. Using the same engine found the M109R, the C109R delivers heady performance in a cruiser with classic styling. The C109RT Boulevard takes the classic look one step further with standard windshield, leather saddlebags and a passenger backrest.

Suzuki Motorcycles

Suzuki motorcycles include the GSX-R family of sportbikes such as the GSX-R1000 and GSX-R600 and the high-powered Hayabusa, cruisers such as the Boulevard M109R, Gladius and Bandit 1250S streetbikes, and the Burgman 650 scooter. Suzuki’s off-road motorcycles include DR-Z400E enduro and RM-Z450 motocross bike. 

Suzuki has been manufacturing motorcycles since 1952 and was all about two-stroke engines for more than two decades. In fact, Suzuki didn’t introduce a motorcycle with a four-stroke engine until the GS750 was produced in 1976. Just two years later Suzuki unveiled the GS1000E, which became the flagship model of the GS series and Suzuki’s first ever literbike. The United States was introduced to the esteemed GSX-R750 in 1976, hailed by some as the most important new motorcycle in a decade. The popular platform is alive and well today and received a full makeover for model year 2011. Suzuki also has a storied racing history, highlighted by Joel Robert who gave Suzuki (and Japan) its first World Motocross championship in 1970. 

Kawasaki Ninja

Not only did the first Kawasaki Ninja create a name that would become the default characterization for non-motorcyclists describing plastic-clad sportbikes, it was also the blueprint for sportbikes up to and including present day models.
Launched in 1984, the Kawasaki GPZ900R (also known as the ZX900A) was the world’s fist Ninja motorcycle. So groundbreaking was its design, the Kawasaki Ninja was faster than bikes with more displacement and lighter than bikes with less displacement. The motorcycle’s primary advantage was its engine: the first liquid-cooled, double-overhead cam, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder that Japanese OEMs continue to utilize as the preferred sportbike engine format. The Kawasaki Ninja’s 908cc engine produced nearly 115 horsepower at 9,500 rpm that propelled it to a top speed in excess of 150 mph (the first stock streetbike to do so) and to a standing quarter-mile time of 10.9 seconds.
The Kawasaki Ninja’s engine, combined with its aluminum-alloy sub-frame, 16-inch front wheel, triple-disc brakes and six-speed gearbox was such an advancement in motorcycle performance that three privateer Ninjas placed first, second and third in that year’s Isle of Man TT races, beating factory-supported teams from other manufacturers.

2010 Kawasaki Ninja 250R

Since 1984 the Kawasaki Ninja designation has graced the fairings of numerous Kawasaki sportbikes ranging in size from 250cc to 1400cc. So ubiquitous has the name Ninja become that non-motorcyclists often refer to any sportbike, Kawasaki or otherwise, as a Ninja.
In the 1980s 600cc and 750cc Kawasaki Ninjas did battle with Honda Hurricanes and Interceptors until Honda stopped using the names and instead went to the alpha-numeric insignias (see CBR and VFR). In 1988, the Kawasaki ZX-10 (1000cc) Ninja was launched and immediately claimed the title of the world’s fastest production streetbike with a top speed of 166 mph. In 1990 the Kawasaki ZX-11 (1100cc) Ninja replaced the ZX-10, upping top speed to 175 mph and retaining its top-speed title for years to come.
In 1993 Scott Russell piloted a Kawasaki ZX-7R (750cc) Ninja to a World Superbike title against Ducati’s legendary 916 ridden by Carl Fogarty. From 2003 to 2008, the Ninja name was even attached to Kawasaki’s MotoGP effort and its ZX-RR prototype. The GP bike struggled, however, never winning a race before Kawasaki’s withdrawal from MotoGP racing.
Of all the Kawasaki Ninjas, the diminutive Kawasaki Ninja 250 is one of Kawasaki’s all-time best selling motorcycles. Since 1986 the liquid-cooled, vertical twin-cylinder 250cc Ninja has been a part of Kawasaki’s model line-up and, with minimal competition from other manufacturers, has become the default sport-style bike for beginner riders. The Kawasaki Ninja 250’s combination of sporty looks, low retail price, light weight and non-intimidating performance make it the perfect motorcycle for novice riders to hone their skills before upgrading to a larger sportbike. In 2011 Honda introduced the CBR250, a sportbike with a liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine featuring fuel injection, to compete with Kawasaki’s littlest Ninja.

Kawasaki Motorcycles

Kawasaki motorcycles include its Ninja family of sportbikes such as the Ninja ZX-10R and Ninja ZX-6R, the entry-level Ninja 250R, the Z1000 streetbike, the Concours 14 sport touring motorcycle and Vulcan family cruisers such as the Vulcan 1700 Voyager. Kawasaki’s off-road motorcycles include KX450F motocross bike and KLX 140 enduro motorcycle. 

Kawasaki joined the motorcycle business in 1960 and is one of the major players from Japan. From the time it released the B8 125cc motorcycle in 1961 Kawasaki has seemingly never slowed down. Just five years later Kawasaki produced Japan’s biggest bike – the 650W1. The first Voyageur touring model, based on the liquid-cooled KZ1300, hit dealerships in 1978. In 1981 Kawasaki launched the hugely popular 600cc sportbike class with the GPz550 and just two years later the GPz900R “Ninja” is introduced to a stunned motorcycle press. The first ZXR-designated motorcycles reach the market in 1989 and are still going strong today. In addition to its vast lineup of street bikes, Kawasaki’s KX lineup of off-road motorcycles cannot be ignored, thanks largely to the racing success of James “Bubba” Stewart. 

BMW S 1000 RR

In recent years BMW has gone to great lengths repositioning its motorcycle division from a position of building motorcycles for bearded, pipe-smoking eccentrics to be more inline with its performance-derived automotive group. BMW silenced its critics with the BMW S1000RR, the company’s first modern sportbike that delivered more performance than established Japanese OEMs who have building sportbikes for decades.
In 2009, after months of teasing initial reports, BMW entered the brand new S1000RR in the World Superbike Championship finishing the season in 13th position with Troy Corser. In 2010 Corser gave the BMW S1000RR its first World Superbike pole position and two third-place podium positions. More impressive is the fact that, also in 2010, Aryton Badovini won the Wold Superstock championship on a BMW S1000RR, losing only a single race all season — an incredible feat for a brand new sportbike. The BMW S1000RR was also made available for public consumption in 2010.
Since its introduction the BMW S1000RR has been lauded by the motorcycle press due to the bike’s amazing performance in stock trim. With 175 rear-wheel horsepower generated from its liquid-cooled, dual-overhead cam, 16-valve, inline four-cylinder engine, the BMW S1000RR was substantially more powerful than its Japanese counterparts. The 999cc engine has a very oversquare bore and stroke of 80 x 49.7 mm. This is the largest engine bore of any liter-size sportbike on the market.
2010 BMW S1000RR
Its retail price of $13,800 wasn’t much more expensive than its Japanese rivals. For an additional $1,500 BMW offered an electronics package including ABS, selectable engine-mapping (Rain, Sport, Race, Slick) and traction control. In addition to wheel speed sensors, the BMW S1000RR also incorporated bank angle sensors and throttle position sensors making its traction control system the most advanced system on a production bike. The BMW S1000RR’s ABS system features a front-wheel-only mode allowing the rider to lock the rear wheel to help initiate a rear-wheel slide.
According to BMW, the S1000RR has an asymmetrical front fairing not just for styling purposes but also because the high-beam and low-beam headlights differ from each other in size and weight, and to emphasize each one’s performance BMW constructed the fairing accordingly.
The BMW S1000RR features dual front Brembo four-piston radial calipers gripping 320mm rotors, and in the rear a single-piston Brembo caliper grabs a 220mm disc. The instrument cluster is comprised of an analog tachometer and digital speedometer. There’s also a built-in lap timer that’s operated by the high beam light switch on the left handlebar. The lap timer also records brake pressure and throttle openings.
To help market the new BMW S1000RR and showcase the bike’s acceleration, BMW created a video where a tablecloth from a 20-seat dining table was attached to the S1000RR. The BMW S1000RR launched from a standing start, yanking the tablecloth from the table without disturbing the place settings. The video went viral with more than 3 million views, but its authenticity was later debunked by the television show MythBusters.

BMW Motorcycles

BMW motorcycles include the GS adventure touring motorcycles such as the R1200GS, F800GS and G650GS, S1000RR sportbike, R1200R street motorcycle, R1200RT sport tourer and six-cylinder K1600GT and K1600GTL touring motorcycles. 

BMW entered the motorcycle business only after it was forced to abandon the aircraft industry after Germany signed the Treaty of Versaillles. BMW’s first motorcycle – the 486cc R 32 – was unveiled in 1923 and since then it has garnered a well-earned reputation for producing machines that stand the test of time. BMW is best known for its hugely popular GS line of on- and off-road motorcycles – a segment that accounts for almost 30% of BMW motorcycle sales worldwide. Despite its success with the GS family, the German marquee has recently made a huge splash in the streetbike segment with its impressive S1000RR. In its very first year the S1000RR topped’s annual literbike shootout. 

Honda CBR

The Hurricane, released in 1987, was Honda’s first CBR and the company’s first inline, four-cylinder, liquid-cooled sportbike. Wearing a slippery, full-fairing covering the entire motorcycle, producing 83 bhp and weighing 397 lbs. dry, the new Honda CBR was an uncontested sportbike success. That same year the American Motorcyclist Association initiated a new racing class expressly for 600cc motorcycles and the newly minted Hurricane won every race that first season.
Launched at the same time as the 600cc Hurricane was its big brother, the Hurricane 1000. Much heavier than the smaller bike and with no national racing outlet the 1000cc motorcycle was regarded more as a sport-tourer. Like its sibling, the Hurricane 1000 utilized an inline four-cylinder liquid-cooled engine.
By 1989 Honda decided to drop the Hurricane name and go with just the alphanumeric designation, so the two bikes became known to the public as the Honda CBR600F and Honda CBR1000F.
By 1991 a new version of the Honda CBR was ready for introduction, the Honda CBR600F2 raised the bar for 600cc sportbike performance so high other manufacturers were scrambling to catch up. The Honda CBR600F2 struck an almost perfect balance of performance and comfort.
Right on the heels of the CBR600F2 was Honda’s next literbike, the Honda CBR900RR (the first Honda CBR to wear the double-R designation).2011 Honda CBR250R
Like the Suzuki GSX-R750 before it, the Honda CBR900RR was unmatched in terms of light weight and high horsepower – it weighed only a few more pounds than the CBR600F2 yet produced 122 hp at the rear wheel. Besides its stunning performance, the original CBR900RR was also known for its distinctive fairing holes (said to aid side-to-side transitioning) and its controversial 16-inch front wheel.
Over the years both bikes would be upgraded as they kept pace with the changing performance climate. The Honda CBR600F2 became the F3 in 1994, the F4 in 1999, and the F4i in 2001. In 2003 Honda launched the CBR600RR, a racier version of Honda’s middleweight. It was made lighter and faster in its 2007 redesign.
The bigger Honda CBR maintained its CBR900RR designation, despite receiving an engine upgrade in 1996 increasing from 893cc to 919cc. In 2000 another engine displacement increase came with a new designation emphasizing the new bike’s larger engine, and Honda CBR929RR was born. This only lasted until 2002 when another model, the Honda CBR954RR, displaced the one from only a couple years prior. The 900 series finally came to end when in 2004 Honda launched the CBR1000RR, a ground-up new model meant to compete in the changing atmosphere of superbike racing.
From 1996 to 2003 the Honda CBR1100XX Super Blackbird competed against top-speed sportbikes like Kawasaki’s ZX-11 Ninja and Suzuki’s Hayabusa. For a couple years the Super Blackbird held the title of world’s fastest production bike, but the Hayabusa relieved Honda of that title in 1999 and has held on to it ever since.
In 2011 Honda brought to the U.S. market the CBR250R, the first small-displacement sportbike from Honda meant to compete against Kawasaki’s Ninja 250.

Honda Motorcycles

Honda motorcycles include the CBR1000RR and CBR600RR sportbikes, Gold Wing touring motorcycle, VFR1200F sport touring motorcycle and Fury chopper. Honda’s off-road offerings include the CRF450X enduro and the CRF250R motocross bike. 

Honda produced its first real motorcycle, the Model D, in 1949. Since then Honda has gone on to become one of the world’s leading motorcycle manufacturers. In fact, more than 50 million units of the venerable Honda Super Cub were sold in less than 50 years, making it the most popular motorcycle in history. Today Honda offers an enormous lineup of class-leading motorcycles and is regularly adding to and improving its fleet. From it’s CBR line of sportibkes to its CRF line of off-road funsters to the luxurious Gold Wing Touring motorcycle, Honda has a bike for just about everybody. You can also see Honda motorcycles competing at almost every level of two-wheeled racing.