Five bikes from EICMA you need to know about
Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda and Yamaha Bring Performance To Milan
We've selected five of the coolest motorcycles shown at this week's show, including models from Aprilia, BMW, Ducati, Honda and Yamaha. Join us down below for a high-performance, two-wheeled Italian journey.
Fresh off a World Superbike Championship victory, you might think that the team from Aprilia would be content that they had the best race-ready 1,000cc motorcycle available. Fortunately, the Italian manufacturer doesn't see things that way. Enter the new 2015 Aprilia RSV4 RR.
With a peak output of 201 horsepower and 85 pound-feet of torque from its 65-degree V4 engine, the new RR boasts 16 more ponies than before. Just as importantly, it sheds three pounds from its overall weight, which further helps the RSV4 RR achieve a much greater power-to-weight ratio than ever before. Not like it really needed it, but who are we to complain? And if you want even more performance, consider the RSV4 RF, which also debuted at EICMA, and its higher-spec suspension and wheel package.
Other bits worth noting include a redesigned fairing, a slightly longer swingarm and the latest version of Aprilia's APRC technology package that offers varying levels of rider aids – traction control, wheelie control, launch control – to make the bike easier to ride in a wide variety of conditions.
Plus, it's gorgeous. See for yourself.
Clearly not content to let the Ducati Multistrada walk away with the on-road-oriented adventure touring category, BMW has seen fit to unveil the new S 1000 XR. Based on its hugely successful and supremely awesome S 1000 RR superbike and its S 1000 R roadster sibling, the new XR boasts a 998cc inline four-cylinder engine that puts out 160 hp and 83 lb-ft of torque.
Weight is listed at 502 pounds wet, and while we're all aware that manufacturers don't all weigh their machines the same, the BMW should offer a similar amount of thrust as the Multistrada 1200 and KTM Adventure series. Also like its competitors, the S 1000 XR is equipped with a full suite of rider technologies tailored for all-road riding, including stability control, traction control and the firm's well-regarded anti-lock brakes.
The BMW S 1000 XR is clearly biased more for the road than the off-road, but considering how successful the brand has been with its GS series of off-highway specialists, that's clearly not a bad thing for riders interested in going fast over a wide range of roadway conditions. While its looks won't be for everyone, its rider-friendly ergonomics and built-in protection from the elements will surely make this a well-balance bike for all-weather owners.
Ducati is a name synonymous with performance, and so it comes as little surprise that the Italian manufacturer has updated its range-topping Panigale superbike for 2015. Whereas it used to be called the 1199, it's now the 1299 Panigale, but that promise of increased displacement (actually 1,285cc) is actually only delivered in the base and Panigale S trim levels. The top-level Panigale R model remains at 1,198cc in order to comply with World Superbike requirements.
There's no need for Panigale R buyers to feel let down, however, as their chosen mounts come with all the race-spec goodies their hearts could ever desire, including a tungsten-balanced crankshaft and low-friction two-ring pistons to go along with Öhlins suspension bits and a full titanium exhaust system from Akropovič. The engine is rated at 205 hp and 100.5 lb-ft, and wet weight is listed at 406 lbs.
Moving down a rung on the ladder, the 1299 Panigale S also boasts 205 ponies, along with a bit more torque at 106.7 lb-ft. Wet weight is 420 lbs, due in part to heavier electronic suspension components. The base Panigale (if you can call it that...) has matching power and weight figures, though lower-spec suspension bits, and all models come with Ducati's new Quick Shift clutchless shifting transmission.
Like the Aprilia, it's typically Italian, which is to say, beautiful.
One of the most hotly anticipated upcoming motorcycles over the last year or so has surely been Honda's street-legal MotoGP motorcycle, which is now officially known as the RC213V-S. Very little is actually confirmed about the V-S, other than the fact that it is basically a Honda RC213V, as seen on race tracks around the world wherever MotoGP racing takes place, with the bare necessities to make it legal for street use. In other words, it has lights, mirrors and a place to put a license plate.
We'd likely be impressed no matter what livery the bike was debuted with, but we're absolutely in love with the Japanese-flag-inspired look of the machine that was unveiled at EICMA, ridden on stage by 2014 MotoGP champion Marc Marquez himself.
Expect more details to emerge by the time the RC213V-S debuts a second time at the Tokyo Motor Show.
If the Honda RC213V-S was hotly anticipated (and it was), the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 is perhaps the most significant. Yamaha has a history of innovation baked into the new R1, with past editions introducing the world to stacked gearboxes, valve-controlled exhaust, five-valve cylinder head (which was later reduced to the more typical four) and, most recently, a cross-plane crankshaft. All that's in the past now, though, as the 2015 R1 is a completely redesigned machine, with a slew of high-tech wizardry of its own on display.
The 998cc inline-four engine still employs a cross-plane crankshaft, but most everything else has changed, with a longer bore and shorter stroke joining fracture-split titanium connecting rods standing out as notable features. A peak of 200 horsepower is recorded without the help of ram air, and Yamaha promises that overall power has been boosted both at the bottom and top ends of the rev range.
New for 2015 is an advanced electronics package that includes a six-axis Intertial Measurement Unit with gyros tracking the bike's angles in pretty much all directions at all times. Innovations include (take a deep breath): a Slide Control System, Traction Control System, Front Lift Control, Launch Control System, Quick Shift System and Yamaha Ride Control. Four presets can be selected for these electronic doodads using switches located on the handlebars.
Chassis updates include a new magnesium subframe, which joins magnesium wheels in an effort to cut 16 pounds from the last R1, and revised geometry to add more steering feel. Want one? Expect the 2015 Yamaha R1 to hit dealerships early next year for $16,495. And if that's not enough for you, perhaps you can be one of 500 lucky souls to acquire a YZF-R1M.
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