Pur­suit of power

Three big play­ers at the Ital­ian show, Honda, BMW and Du­cati, take out­puts into the 150kW realm

Herald Sun - Motoring - - TWO WHEELS -

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.

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