Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Motorcycling flights of fancy: The bikes we want in 2012!
Once in a while, we suppose it’s all right to indulge your motorcycle-related flights of fancy. Right now, we’re bored with the way things are. Nothing new or particularly exciting seems to be happening – there’ve hardly been any new bike launches in the last few weeks, and motorcycle manufacturers seem to have slipped into a state of somnolence. So, to stir things up a bit, we’ve come up with a list of six bikes that we’d like to see on the streets sometime soon. Forget logic and commonsense for a bit and just think about how fun these machines would be, if they were to exist...
Suzuki Hayabusa 1100
It’s time Suzuki gave the Hayabusa a proper makeover. Do away with that bulbous bodywork and give it a new heart. We’d like to see a brand-new Hayabusa in 2012, with razor-sharp styling, an 1100cc six-cylinder engine (from the Suzuki Stratosphere concept bike), ABS and traction control. The engine should be producing at least 220bhp and Suzuki should fit the bike with electronically adjustable suspension, with touring, street and track modes. Kerb weight must be kept down to 170 kilos and a top speed of around 340km/h should be just about all right.
Honda used to make brilliant V4-engined bikes – remember the VF1000R, VFR800, RC30 and RC45? The new VFR1200F, though, simply isn’t in the same high-performance league. It’s too big, heavy and complicated. So we hope Honda will soon launch a new V4-engined superbike – the RVF1000RR – which will be light, racy and good looking. Our wishlist for this bike includes a single-side swingarm, track-oriented ABS and traction control systems (which the rider should be able to switch off completely if he wants to), a dual-clutch DSG-type gearbox and a red-white-and-blue paintjob. The V4 should produce at least 190bhp and Honda should make extensive use of aluminium, titanium and carbonfibre for the bike, keeping dry weight down to 150-160kg. And the exhaust note must be tuned to sound like those RC30s which Joey Dunlop used to race around the Isle of Man...
In 2012, we’d like to see an all-new Yamaha R1 that can take on machines like the BMW S1000RR and Aprilia RSV4 Factory APRC. So, the new R1 would have to have drop-dead-gorgeous styling, an inline-four that produces at least 205 horsepower, ride-by-wire controls for everything, switchable race-ABS and traction control, fully adjustable chassis, active suspension that responds to road surface and throttle inputs and even two-wheel-drive that boosts traction and cornering ability beyond what any other sportsbike can offer. Hey, why not? This is a wishlist, remember...
What we want from Kawasaki is a completely outrageous, over-the-top streetfighter. The engine from the ZZR1400 should be a good starting point – bore it out to 1600cc and add a supercharger, then build a motorcycle around that engine. The styling should be mean and minimalist, something that showcases that 1600cc supercharged engine. And while top speed isn’t very important here, the Z1600R should be able to accelerate hard enough to put the fear of god into Yamaha VMAX owners. And apart from ABS, the Kawasaki should have no other electronic rider aids – no traction control, no wheelie control and no stability control. And finally, to anyone who buys one of these machines, Kawasaki should give a free set of Mad Max movie DVDs.
We’d like Aprilia to distil the RSV4 Factory’s litre-class racy goodness into a 600cc supersports package. Keep it simple – light, stiff, aluminium beam frame, fully adjustable high-spec suspension components, track-oriented ABS and traction control, big and powerful brakes, and a red-white-and-green Alitalia paintjob. It should handle like a 250 GP bike and, with about 120bhp from its 599cc V4, the RSV600RR should be able to keep up with most litre-class machines around mountain twisties. In addition to outright performance, Aprilia should aim to have the world’s sexiest styling for the RSV600R and they should make sure Rosie Huntington-Whiteley rides one of these for the next Transformers movie.
BMW K1600R Turbo
BMW should put that six-cylinder 1649cc engine, which they already have on the K1600GT touring bike, to good use by building a naked streetfighter around it. Keep the K1300R’s styling and suspension components – just replace its engine with the 1.6-litre unit, and bolt a turbocharger on for good measure. Electronically adjustable Paralever and Duolever suspension, race-ABS and traction control, automotive-style DSG-type dual-clutch gearbox, ride-by-wire controls for all functions and a switch that allows the rider to adjust turbo boost on the fly. The K1600R Turbo should be a completely mad, totally bonkers Bavarian rocket-ride and it should be proud of that.
We understand that almost none of these bikes really stand any chance of getting built. Not in the real world. Not in 2012. And probably, not ever. But that’s not stopping us from dreaming about these machines!