Tuesday, January 20, 2009

2009 Yamaha R1 riding impressions


The 2009 Yamaha R1. The ride of your life...

With its MotoGP-derived technologies, the 2009 Yamaha YZF-R1 is supposed to be the hottest ticket to superbike nirvana this year. Some of the world’s motorcycle press have had the opportunity to ride The One, and here are some interesting excerpts from what they have to say:

‘All you need to know is, the new engine has transformed the R1 into one of the best sportsbikes I’ve ever ridden, and that’s praise indeed when you consider just how good the current Honda Fireblade is,’ says Michael Neeves at MCN. ‘Revving the engine for the first time, it’s hard to comprehend just how quickly the rev needle dances around the dial; it spins more like a two-stroke 500cc GP machine than a litre-sized road bike,’ he adds.

‘The way the R1 leaps out of corners is incredible. As soon as you’re ready to accelerate, the Yamaha surges forward like it’s powered by an industrial-strength electric motor – it’s just seamless, instant torque and power, and impossibly easy to control,’ says Neeves. ‘Honestly the R1 accelerates like it has a racing engine; it has V-twin levels of torque down low and screaming four-cylinder power up top. The howl from the engine at full throttle is exactly the same as Rossi’s M1; it’s like your very own MotoGP bike for the road,’ he adds.

About the new R1’s handling, Neeves says, ‘A new chassis helps the R1 feel much lighter than the old one, and it steers much quicker and more accurately. As always for Yamaha, the handling is nice and neutral, although probably not as ‘pointy’ or fast steering as the Fireblade. In one stroke, it makes every other sports bike out there seem a bit old and wheezy. Impressed isn’t the word.’
 
The 2009 Yamaha R1 on test...
At Motorcycle-USA, Steve Atlas is no less impressed with the R1. ‘The throttle response is unlike anything I have ever felt. So instantaneous and so precise, it caught me off guard during our first session at the 12-turn Eastern Creek Raceway. On more than one occasion I twisted the grip a bit too far while still at high levels of lean, spinning the street-spec rear tire and popping my butt a few inches off the seat when it hooked up. Wake up time! It's spot-on, in-your-face good,’ says Atlas. ‘Overall, the feeling of the engine truly is hard to describe as is the distinct sound. You still get the sense it’s an inline-four once the revs build high, but in the low rpm it feels almost like a well-tuned V-twin race bike, and in a way, sounds like one as well. Vibration is far from what you are used to as well, feeling somewhat like a traditional V8 car. The most amount of disturbance is right off idle low in the rpm, smoothing out as revs increase and becoming almost nonexistent at top-end – completely opposite of any inline-four we have ever ridden. Strange initially, but one quickly gets used to it,’ says Atlas. Regarding the handling, Atlas says, ‘Front-end confidence is greatly improved from last year due to the updated weight distribution, giving the rider far more confidence to push deeper and flick harder as the fork gives ample feedback. Once on its side, the R1 continually feels as if you can lean it further and further, quickly approaching elbow-dragging territory.’ However, Atlas discovers that the R1 is not without its shortcomings. ‘Brakes are still the weak point of the R-Uno. Despite the changes up front the lever feels a bit wooden throughout its pull, lacking the outright power of some of the competition. Where in this day and age using anything more than two fingers to stop is almost unheard of, on more than one occasion I was in deep enough to require the use of my entire hand, even running off the track into the grass once, something I haven’t done since… well, the last time I rode an R1. That being said, they are slightly better than the previous model,’ he says. Hmmm… apart from the brakes, it all sounds pretty impressive. We don’t know yet how the 2009 R1 will stack up against this year’s GSX-R1000, but we suppose it’ll be close. Let the 2009 superbike dogfights begin…

Monday, January 19, 2009

Gordon Murray: “The MV Agusta F4 is so slow!”


Gordon Murray, the man who designed the McLaren F1, says the Ducati 916SP was much better to ride than the MV Agusta 750 F4...

John Cantlie of TWO magazine had the opportunity to talk to Gordon Murray, the man who designed the McLaren F1, perhaps the greatest, ‘purest’ street-legal supercar of all time. With its top speed of 386.7km/h, the McLaren F1 is still the world’s fastest production car with a normally-aspirated engine.

What some people may not know is that Gordon ‘Mr McLaren F1’ Murray is also an ardent motorcycle enthusiast. Speaking to Cantlie, here’s some of what Murray had to say about his bikes:

On the Ducati 916 vs MV Agusta F4

I own a 916SP and I love it. The only bike I like better, which was made by the same team, is the MV Agusta F4. I bought the 750 just because the styling and the engineering is so good. I love all the forgings and casting and just thought it was a fantastic motorbike. But I only kept it for two years.

Unfortunately I hadn't had a small engined bike for many years and that thing just didn't go, it was aggravating to ride and you had to get over 9,500rpm before it did anything. I should have hung it on the wall, that's what I bought it for. The F4 is so slow! The Ducati is a much better bike to ride.

On how he got into motorcycling

The bike thing started when I lived in South Africa. When you were 16 you could ride little 50cc bikes that we called 'buzz bikes.' For £10 I got a second-hand Maserati 50 and used to ride that around. In fact just this month I've bought another one to hang on my workshop wall at home to remind me of those early days. Unlike my dad I never raced bikes. Well, not formally anyway. The only bike racing I did was when we used to break into the circuit and race our 50cc bikes around, ha ha!

On his Honda VF1000R

In 1981, when I was technical director of Brabham, Nelson Piquet [who won the F1 world championship that year] was driving, and he gave me a Joey Dunlop Isle of Man replica VF1000R as a thank you. I had that for quite a few years and then I started getting into Ducatis…

On his Ducatis

Well I had a 750 F1, which I went down to the factory to order, then an 888 SP1 and now I have a 916 SP4. I sold the VF because it got to the point where I simply had too many bikes. I had loads of dirt bikes because I used to do trail riding. I wasn't riding them all, so I thinned down to one touring bike and one race bike.

Apart from all the dirt bikes, I still have them all over the place. Now I just have a 1300 Pan European for long distance and the Ducati for fun. I hate collecting. If I don't ride or drive something in 12 months I sell it, or hang it up.

On his best biking memories

Any one of the years at the TT, I love it. From the point of view of me riding? The first time I got on the 916. In those days the SPS used to arrive in a box and you had to assemble them yourself. I still enjoy getting my hands dirty...

See the full interview on Visordown here

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Friday, January 16, 2009

Kevin Schwantz on what he teaches, MotoGP, and whether Rossi can be beaten…


Schwantz says Rossi will win if there's a Rossi-vs-Bayliss match-up!

Crash.net recently did an interview with Kevin Schwantz, 500cc motorcycle GP racing world champ in 1993 and also one of our all-time favourite GP racers. Here are some excerpts from Schwantz had to say in the interview:

On what he teaches at the Kevin Schwantz Suzuki School, which recently moved from Road Atlanta to Barber Motorsports Park

The school has always been based around riding. It is not a racing school and although we hold it at a racing circuit, it is so we can control that 2.5 miles of race track. What I teach is what I learnt during my racing career, but mostly it is about basic handling skills, visual awareness, body position, braking technique… the things that can be applied to the race track or on the street.

On how his riding school tries to mould rider skills

The first and most difficult thing we have to overcome is visual awareness – we have to be out in front of that motorcycle, so we are not reacting to situations but anticipating what is going to happen. If someone gets into a corner too deep, they typically get on the brakes, startle themselves and look at what is on the outside of the track. Our instinct tells us we want to see what is out there, but nine times out of ten, where you look is where you go. So, you have to continue to look where you want to go, rather than the outside of the track where the trouble is.

On why he’s not back in MotoGP this year, as a team manager

It is a sign of the times, with the economy. I was recently in Japan and everyone is preparing for the worst. To build another bike and to get it out on the grid at extra expense is not financially viable, so Suzuki didn't think it was the time to be spending money. It might still happen, though.

On what Suzuki need to do to start winning in MotoGP

I wish I knew the answer. Having to watch from a distance, and not being there every weekend or seeing the progress made by the team and their rivals, makes it hard to comment on that. I think Chris and Loris are doing a good job. I think Loris has helped, especially in terms of direction and development, and Chris still has that fire inside him. We see when it is equal out there that the Suzuki is as capable as anything else out there in the wet, but the guys have to find a little bit more performance. There are lots of little things that need to happen, but to pin-point one thing is hard.

On the proposed Rossi vs Bayliss match-up

I have all the respect in the world for Troy Bayliss as a racer, a person, as a competitor – he is obviously a very smart person. I don't think that a man who has money to put on the line, though, can bet against Rossi. I have seen Valentino do some amazing things, like Bayliss, but I think Valentino would come out on top. It would be a very ferocious battle but Valentino would have the upper hand.

On whether Rossi can be beaten in 2009

I definitely think Rossi can be beaten – we have seen on certain occasions that he has beaten himself! Valentino is getting to the age where he is a really smart, savvy rider – he knows what he can do and what he cannot get away with. Stoner will be his biggest challenger, but I like to think Nicky Hayden on a Ducati will be able to step up and find that world championship winning form he had a couple of years ago. Pedrosa, as always, Dovizioso... There are a lot of guys out there that, with a little improvement, could challenge Rossi.

On Kawasaki's withdrawal from MotoGP

It is one of those things that, no doubt, has a big effect on the image of MotoGP. I don't think it is a sign of the demise of MotoGP, but more that it is a sign of how bad things are in the current economic state.

For the full interview, see the Crash.net website here

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MotoGP: Vittoriano Guareschi is impressed with the 2009 Ducati GP9 racebike


Vittoriano Guareschi says the Ducati GP9 is more predictable and easier to ride than the GP8. Finally, Ducati may have built a machine which riders other than Stoner can win races on!

Story via Motoblog

Kawasaki have left MotoGP (or have they?) and Suzuki are rumoured to be considering the possibility of either leaving MotoGP or drastically scaling down their investment in the sport. But one company that’s certainly steaming ahead is Ducati. The Italians are ready with their 2009 MotoGP bike – the GP9 – with which the big news seems to be its all-new carbonfibre chassis.

2009 will be the first year when Ducati abandon their traditional steel tube trellis type chassis and move to a carbonfibre unit. And Apart from the new chassis, other changes on the GP9 include a new airbox and revised fuel injection mapping for a flatter power curve and improved rideability. With an estimated 230 horsepower from its 799cc, liquid-cooled, 90-degree, DOHC, 16-valve V4, the Ducati GP9 is a formidable machine that can hit a top speed of about 330km/h.

The bike is fitted with a six-speed cassette-type gearbox and dry multi-plate slipper clutch. The engine is fed by an indirect Magneti Marelli electronic fuel injection system, with four throttle bodies and injectors above butterfly valves. The exhaust is a custom-built unit from Termignoni and fully-adjustable Öhlins suspension components are used at both ends.

Riding on 16.5-inch wheels shod with Bridgestone rubber, the GP9 is stopped by Brembo brakes – twin 320mm carbon front discs with four-piston callipers and single stainless steel rear disc with two-piston callipers. The bike weighs 148 kilos.

Vittoriano Guareschi, who’s been instrumental in developing Ducati’s MotoGP bikes from 2002 onwards, has also tested the GP extensively. ‘When they told me about the switch from the earlier steel tube trellis frame to carbonfibre, I was surprised. But now I’m impressed. The GP9 is the first racebike ever to have a chassis made entirely of carbonfibre,’ says Guareschi.

‘The carbon frame is definitely a step forward – the bike is now a little more predictable and is more intuitive to ride. It will be easier for more riders to take the GP9 to the limit,’ says Guareschi. ‘And the new bike has more torque and is more rideable, without losing any of its top-end power,’ he adds.

Hmmm… so does this mean the Stoner-Hayden duo will be challenging Rossi and Pedrosa for the 2009 MotoGP world championship? Stranger things have happened…

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Like this one? See here for another dozen of the coolest Monsters in the world!
Pics: PNW Riders

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Trillium Muir, the fastest woman in the world…


Trillium Muir, the lady who hit 239.36mph (382.98km/h) on her Turbo Hayabusa...

Pics: Trillium Muir

Last year, we spoke to Leslie Porterfield, who hit an impressive top speed of 234.197mph (374.72km/h) on her Hayabusa, at the BUB Motorcycle Speed Trials in the US. And while that’s a commendable achievement, it isn’t apparently enough for ‘The World’s Fastest Woman on a Motorcycle’ title. That’s because a Canadian rider – Trillium Muir – has gone even faster.

Twenty-eight years old and based in Sudbury, Ontario, Trillium has done an ECTA-certified 239.36mph (382.98km/h) on her Hayabusa, at Maxton, and that makes her the fastest woman in the world on two wheels. We wanted to know more about her, so we sent her a list of questions and here’s what she had to say:

On how she got into motorcycling

I have been riding for only four years. The first bike I rode was a 1977 Honda 500, around the yard. My brother John ran beside me yelling instructions on how to shift and stop…

On how she got into the motorcycle land speed racing scene

In September 2006, I went to watch a land speed event at Maxton NC. And at that meet I went from a being a spectator to becoming the first woman ever to go 200mph at that particular venue. Not bad for a girl, eh?!

On her 239mph Hayabusa

I rode our 2003 Suzuki Hayabusa that has a GT35R turbo from RCC turbos. The bike is also fitted with an Aims data logger, JE Pistons, Crower rods, MTC lock-up clutch, Elka shock, custom-built swingarm, RCC back cut transmission and much more. The motor and the turbocharger were built by RCC. I do most of our clutch work and have the patience for wiring. Anything that needs to be done, I can do it, and have.

On her favourite riders

I follow drag racing and some of my favourite riders are Angelle Sampey and the Gadsons.

On riding on the street

I ride my 2008 Blue/Gold Suzuki Hayabusa on the street. We have some really strict laws in Canada, so I try not to get too carried away. And the potholes are so big, I could get lost in them…

On how she prepares for the race

Everything a person does is 80% mental. I have a 20 hour drive to Maxton from Canada, so by the time I get to the track my mind is made up that I am going fast. There is no time to get scared when riding that fast, just hang on!

On how people react to her being the fastest woman in the world

Most men are really impressed and are very encouraging. I usually get, ‘Wow a little woman like you can handle a bike with that much horsepower!’ Most women are also very supportive and proud. But I do notice the odd bit of jealously from other female riders. My mother had the best reaction ever – ‘You go girl!’

On future plans

I have so many plans for next year – finish building my house, and go 250+mph. And I want to get really good at drag racing.

On some of her all-time favourites

Bike: Suzuki Hayabusa (of course…)
Car: Any older corvette
Book: Long Way Round
Racing heroine/hero: Danica Patrick, Bill Warner
Food: Greek
Drink: Anything fruity
Music: Nickelback, Rob Zombie
Movie: Tombstone
Holiday destination: Cayo Coco, Cuba


We wish Trillium all the very best for the future and hope she just keeps going faster and faster...!
Pic: Cliff

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Friday, January 09, 2009

2009 Yamaha XJ6 riding impression


The 2009 Yamaha XJ6, a good beginners bike that's not just for the ladies...

For those who don’t want an R1 or even an R6, Yamaha have the do-it-all XJ6. It won’t knock your socks off in terms of styling or performance, but it’s easy to ride, low on maintenance and even provides a reasonable amount of fun as long as you remember it’s an XJ6 and not the YZR-M1. The guys at Motociclismo recently tested the bike, and here are some excerpts from what they have to say about the new XJ6:

Right away, the Yamaha’s ergonomics work for most people. It’s a small, short bike that feels light and narrow, and offers a decent amount of legroom for the rider and the pillion seat passenger. The seat is comfortable, the suspension is soft-ish and the handlebar feels just right.

image host
Who says you can't have fun with 78 horsepower...?

The XJ6’s 600cc inline-four produces 78bhp and with its decent low-rpm torque delivery, it’s quite usable in town. Out on the highway, the Yamaha engine continues to impress – it’s low on vibration and does a mileage of about 16.4km/l, which, given the bike’s 17.3-litre fuel tank, means a range of around 285km.

The brakes work well, offering adequate stopping power even in streaming wet conditions. And things should be even better with the optional ABS installed. Even with its basic suspension – 41mm fork and monoshock (with adjustable preload) – and tubular steel chassis, the XJ6 offers good cornering stability. As you gain confidence in the bike’s abilities, you can safely increase your cornering speeds without any problem. Overall, it’s a good bike, especially for beginners. If you’re just starting off on two wheels, you definitely want to take a good look at this one!

Full riding impression on the Motociclismo website here

 
A video of the XJ6 on the move...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Naked Truth: BMW K1300R vs Buell 1125CR


The BMW is more powerful and looks more aggressive. But which, really, is the better bike?

This isn’t, perhaps, the most awaited sportsbike shootout ever. We doubt if too many BMW loyalists would ever leave their beloved Bavarian machines and switch over to Buell, while fans of the all-American Buell aren’t very likely to ever defect to the BMW camp. Still, Motociclismo recently had the opportunity to pit the K1300R against the 1125CR, and here’s what they have to say about how the two bikes stack up against each other:

The technology that’s gone into these two bikes is as unconventional as their styling. The 176bhp K1300R uses shaft drive, the 146bhp 1125CR uses belt drive. The BMW uses Duolever front suspension, which you won’t find on any other bike, while the Buell’s perimeter disc braking system at the front wheel entails the use of a single disc – unlike all other large-displacement sportsbikes, which use twin disc set-ups at the front.


Both bikes use unconventional chassis, suspension and braking systems...

The BMW is the better bike for riding in the city, thanks to its anti-lock brakes (ABS) and optional traction control – things which provide a lot of reassurance during hard braking and acceleration. The riding position is pretty comfortable too, though your shin will often hit the BMW’s engine casing on the right hand side, when you put your feet down while coming to a complete stop.

Riding the Buell in the city gets tiring within a few kilometres – the high footpegs, and the shape and the positioning of the handlebar sees to that. But while it affects low speed comfort, the 1125CR’s sports-oriented riding position is perfect for high speed cornering.

Another thing that goes against the Buell is its brakes, which work in a rather abrupt fashion. Initially, the brakes don’t seem powerful enough at all and then, when they suddenly bite, they can upset the bike somewhat.


What do you want - stable, or nimble? With these two bikes, you can't have both!

Developed by Rotax, the Buell’s v-twin is one of the most pleasant twin-cylinder engines current available in the market. Low-rpm torque delivery makes the bike very rideable at low speeds and the linear power delivery means the bike picks up speed smoothly and consistently.

The BMW’s four-cylinder engine is also much improved over its predecessor – it feels significantly more powerful, the roughness has disappeared and power delivery has been smoothened out very well. On the highway, the K1300R offers better wind protection than the 1125CR and feels more planted, more stable, while the Buell feels more nimble and responsive.


More than anything else, we suppose it's the 'image' you want that'll decide what bike you choose...

When it comes to high speed cornering, the Buell outshines the BMW. The K1300R isn’t bad – in fact it’s quite good considering it’s size and weight – but the Buell is in a different league. The Buell’s braking characteristics and suspension set-up are just more conducive to letting the rider push harder in the corners, and the bike is more supple and responsive in the bends than the BMW.

So there you are – most of the important questions regarding the two bikes’ behaviour have been answered. But, somehow, we doubt if too many BMW or Buell buyers were actually waiting for this shoot-out in order to decide which bike they want. No, they've made up their minds already...

For the full, original story, visit the Motociclismo website here

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A Yamaha R1 that's not scared of the Ducati 1098S


With 176bhp at the back wheel, this R1 can probably take on any Ducati it meets...
Pic: MCN

The interesting bit about this 2005 Yamaha R1 (with 2007-spec bodywork at the front) is that its owner has built the bike with the aim of making it better and more powerful than a 1098S, but without it costing more than the Ducati.

The R1’s engine has been tuned to produce 176.6bhp and 115Nm of torque. Aftermarket parts include a Graves exhaust, Dynojet Power Commander, Dynojet Quickshift, ACTIVE Quick action throttle, BORA BSB/WSB spec race radiator, Ohlins fork and shock, Ohlins steering damper, BST carbonfibre wheels, Brembo monobloc brakes with ceramic discs, STM slipper clutch… …and the list just goes on and on.

According to the owner, the bike does 300km/h without any trouble and is well up to the task of taking on any Ducati 1098S. Hmmm… so what’s next, then? The Yamaha man is now probably preparing to take on the 1198S

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Back on track: The Campagna T-Rex 1400R


The 200bhp Campagna T-Rex. Possibly one of the best ways to spend US$50,000...

Pics: Flickr

According to a report on Dealer News, Campagna have resumed production of the T-Rex 1400R. Powered by the 200bhp Kawasaki ZZR1400 engine, the Campagna T-Rex is the coolest, fastest, wildest three-wheeler currently in production, though the fact that it’s priced at US$50,000 is a bit of a dampener.

Merged with Cirbin last year, Campagna have now moved into their new headquarters in Montreal, Canada. The company has, reportedly, signed seven new dealers in the US and 16 in Japan, and is also looking at setting up dealerships in Europe and the Middle East.

Originally created by Daniel Campagna (an ex-F1 mechanic) in the mid-1990s, the T-Rex has evolved over the years and is now one of the best performance-oriented trikes in the market today. With more than 200bhp and 154Nm of torque on tap, it accelerates from zero to 100km/h in 3.9 seconds and is capable of hitting a top speed of around 220km/h.


Zero to 100km/h takes less than 4 seconds, top speed is 220km/h!


With its tubular steel chassis, fibreglass body panels, and carbonfibre windscreens and headrests, the T-Rex weighs 455 kilos dry and rides on 16-inch aluminium wheels, shod with 205/45 ZR16 tyres. Suspension is comprised of unequal opposed triangular arms with shock absorbers and roll bar at the front, and dual, adjustable shock absorbers at the back. And the gearbox is a sequential six-speed (plus one reverse gear) manual, with a foot-operated clutch.

For those who may be worried about its practicality, the T-Rex is available with optional luggage bags (removable, lockable and waterproof) that can be mounted at the trike’s sides, at the back. The ’Rex can seat two people and comes with seatbelts and a roll-cage, so it’s not only loads of fun, but also quite safe...


For more details, visit the Campagna Motors website here

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Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Repsol KTM 690 Rally: What lies beneath…


Repsol KTM 690 Rally, currently the best off-road racing motorcycle in the world

With Marc Coma and other KTM riders doing so well – and consistently so over the years – at the Dakar Rally, you’d sometimes wonder what is it about their machines that keeps them winning. Those riders’ grit, determination and talent is, of course, unquestionable, but the bike must be pretty good too, eh?

Taking a quick look at KTM’s Dakar-winning 690 Rally machine, it’s fitted with the company’s 654cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled LC4 engine. In production trim, this engine makes 65bhp, but here it’s been tuned to produce 70bhp at 7,500rpm and 70Nm of torque at 6,000 revs. The engine, which is mated to a six-speed gearbox, features a Keihin FCR 41 carburetor – no fuel-injection here!

The wet, multi-disc clutch is hydraulically operated, the chassis is made of tubular chromium-molybdenum alloy and WP suspension components are used at both ends. At front, the WP-USD 52 MA fork has 300mm of travel, the rear monoshock has 310mm of travel, and both ends are fully adjustable.

The Repsol KTM 690 Rally has to stop as hard as it goes, so it’s fitted with a 300mm disc brake at front, and a 220mm disc at the back. The front wheel is a 21-incher while the rear hoop measures 18-inches. The bike rides on 90/90-21 (front) and 140/90-18 (rear) off-road rubber. Ground clearance is 320mm – handy when you are travelling across 6,000km of rough terrain in Africa…

The 690 Rally carries about 36 litres of fuel, weighs 162 kilos and in the right hands, wins the toughest off-road rally-raids in the world. Unfortunately enough, you can’t buy one just yet. While KTM have various 690-series bikes in their line-up, they’re yet to do a full-blown 690 Adventure. A Repsol-replica Marc Coma special edition KTM 690 Adventure for the street? Later this year, perhaps!

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Monday, January 05, 2009

BMW K1300S riding impression


The 2009 BMW K1300S is, according to InfoMotori, much better than its predecessor...


Among current BMWs, our no.1 favourite is the naked, funky-looking K1300R. But we do suppose the fully faired K1300S would be a more sensible choice for long-distance touring. InfoMotori recently had the chance to ride the new-for-2009 K1300S, and here are some excerpts from what they have to say about the bike:

With its bigger engine (about 150cc up on the old K1200S unit), the K1300S has an 8bhp and 10Nm advantage over its predecessor. Other changes on the new bike include a modified shaft drive, lightened Duolever suspension, mildly reworked bodywork, improved gearshift mechanism and revised instrumentation for better visibility.

BMW have also fitted with K1300S with the all-new ESA2 electronic suspension, which is easy to fiddle with, but which doesn’t ‘remember’ your chosen settings when you switch the bike off. What’s really surprising on the new bike is how quiet the engine is – much, much quieter than the old 1200. All the mechanical noise seems to have been removed from that big, four-cylinder engine.


With 175bhp and 140Nm of torque, the K1300S should be quite all right on the street...

Unlike the K1200S, the K1300S offers smooth, seamless power delivery, with the engine and transmission working in perfect harmony at all times. The brakes are more powerful and effective than ever before, with two fingers on the front brake lever being quite sufficient to haul up the bike very quickly. The ABS system, which comes as standard equipment on this bike, also works admirably well, though we’re not as sure about the ASC traction control system, which is supposed to prevent wheelspin. We wish BMW had provided the option to switch the bike’s ASC system off…

As you might expect, the K1300S feels nimbler and handles better than its predecessor, though without losing its trademark high-speed stability. The bike’s quickshifter lets you change gears faster, without using the clutch or having to roll back the throttle, though it does work better at higher revs and is more useful on the highway rather than in urban use, in slow traffic.

Overall, the big BMW is much improved compared to the K1200S, though it still isn’t perfect. Then again, which bike is?

For the full test report, visit the InfoMotori website here


A video of the BMW K1300S in action...

Also see:
AC Schnitzer-tuned BMW F800GS...
Kawasaki ZX-10R: The future is bright orange...
Twisted: Fireblade-engined trike...
MV Agusta Brutale 989R riding impression...
Bandito: Hannigan Motorsports’ Kawasaki ZX-14 sidecar rig...
AC Schnitzer K1200R Sport...
From France: The Enzyme Icare concept...

Elsewhere today:
Metzeler Alpine Motorcycle Tour: The joys of riding in Europe...