Intermot motorcycle show review
There was a reminder of past superbike battles when the motorcycle manufacturers unveiled their 2017 machines at the biennial Intermot show in Cologne earlier this month. Honda’s Fireblade and Suzuki’s GSX R1000 are new, eagerly awaited versions of the models that dominated the Nineties and the Naughties, respectively.
Both the ‘Blade and GSX R incorporate more powerful engines, lighter frames, and electronic systems that introduce multiple riding modes and traction control. Both are overdue, Honda and Suzuki having taken longer than most rivals to reawaken from the credit crunch induced hibernation that slowed super sport development, in particular.
That hiatus is clearly over, as also emphasised by Ducati’s new SuperSport, a 937cc V twin. But a relatively quiet Intermot reflected a cautious motorcycle industry. summit fairings review There was no sign of the spectacular concept machines, innovative leaning three wheelers or bold electric prototypes of previous shows. Most «new» models were updates rather than anything radical.
Honda’s Fireblade SP, however, represents the famous four’s first comprehensive redesign for nine years. Its 999cc engine produces 189bhp, an increase of 11bhp. At 195kg the SP is 15kg lighter than its predecessor, features semi active hlins suspension plus Brembo brakes with cornering ABS, and will cost close to 20,000. An even more exotic SPS variant will be produced in limited numbers, mainly for racing, ninja 300 fairings but many Fireblade fans will be awaiting the less expensive standard model, due to be unveiled in Milan next month. Both models feature fresh styling and a new aluminium frame; the more expensive GSX R1000R’s extras include a gearbox quick shifter and more sophisticated (though not semi active) Showa suspension.
Other Suzuki highlights included a naked four, the GSX S750, plus revised versions of its V Strom 1000 and 650 V twin adventure bikes. KTM also enlarged its family of dual purpose V twins with new 1290 Super Adventure and 1090 Adventure models. Each comes in both road biased S and off road oriented R forms, the latter with wire spoked wheels and other strengthening features.
BMW’s most striking newcomer is bang on trend: the R nineT Racer is a caf racer derivative of the popular R nineT, complete with half fairing and sporty riding position. A simpler roadster version of the 1,170cc air cooled boxer, 05 gsxr 600 fairings the R nineT Pure, will sell for under 10,000. BMW also used its home show to display tweaked versions of its super naked S1000R four and six cylinder K1600GT tourer.
Triumph also concentrated on classic themed twins. The smaller, 54bhp engine is shared by the Street Cup, a caf racer version of the entry level Street Twin, complete with fly screen and pillion seat cover.
With several key models held back for next month’s EICMA show in Milan, perhaps the newcomer that best summed up this rather downbeat Intermot was another bright blue MotoGP replica on Suzuki’s stand. The learner legal GSX R125 makes only 15bhp but features keyless ignition and stacked LED headlights, and will provide change from 5,000 when it reaches showrooms next year. motorcycle batwing fairings aftermarket