Pursuit of power
Three big players at the Italian show, Honda, BMW and Ducati, take outputs into the 150kW realm
POWER plays dominated at last week’s Eicma bike show in Italy, the headline act on the motorcycle calendar. It was largely a case of bigger is better.
Honda rolled out a prototype of its streetoriented RC213V-S MotoGP replica; BMW launched a lighter and higher-specced S1000RR superbike and Ducati launched a 1299cc version of its Panigale.
Of the trio only the BMW is under the 150kW mark. Just.
It’s a case of chasing the limits of performance. European rider training is generally comprehensive but most Australian riders who haven’t had racing experience or California Superbike School levels of rider training will struggle to get to grips with these two-wheeled rockets.
That won’t stop them from keeping people awake revving ’em out in first gear, however.
The big-bore Panigale is good for 153kW/144Nm and will be the next top-spec Ducati when it goes on sale next year.
Aprilia followed a similar concept in announcing its naked version of the litre-class RSV4 sportsbike — the Tuono — would grow to 1100cc.
That’s been achieved by stretching the bore on the V4 engine to 81mm and results in 130kW/120Nm, putting it in the top echelon of naked machines.
Beyond the fettled S1000RR, BMW also launched the S1000XR to counter the Ducati Multistrada and Tiger Explorer. The 118kW/112Nm adventure bike uses the same engine as its sportier siblings but the chassis is new with an extended wheelbase. It can take panniers, to become a high-speed tourer.
Triumph has overhauled its 800cc Tiger range and now has distinct models for road and offroad biased duties.
The cast-wheel XR is the roadie, with the spoked XC for those who prefer their action off the beaten track.
The duo will have switchable ABS and traction control and will both come with “x” variants, adding three riding modes, four throttle maps and the ability to turn the traction control off or toggle between road and off-road.