BMWs new 300cc bike revealed in concept form

BMWs new 300cc bike revealed in concept form

BMW Concept Stunt G 310

BMW HAS just done its usual trick of unveiling a future production model as a concept, this time the ‘Concept Stunt G 310’ seen above. 

Revealed this afternoon at a bike show in a Brazil, it’s clearly a preview of the much-anticipated small-capacity model the firm has been developing in partnership with Indian manufacturer TVS

Codenamed the K3, the BMW/TVS project has long been thought to be around 300cc, and spy shots earlier this year revealed it had an unusual back-to-front cylinder, with the exhaust exiting from the rear – as has this concept. 

BMW is expected to produce several models based on the K3 platform. The firm said as early as 2013 that it would develop a range of sub-500cc bikes. 

See our full gallery of pictures of the Concept Stunt G 310 below and expect the production version to appear at the Eicma Milan show next month. 

BMW’s press release said: ‘BMW Concept Stunt G 310 – Street. Style. Stunt.

Munich/São Paulo. With the world premiere of the BMW Concept Stunt G 310 at South America’s largest motorcycle show, BMW Motorrad is presenting a completely new side: the uncompromising interpretation of an aggressive and agile stunt bike based on a single cylinder study.

Thanks to his experience as a four-times World and European stunt riding champion, Chris Pfeiffer, contributed to the realisation of the BMW Concept Stunt 310. “Stunt riding is a demanding and multi-faceted sport. Ideally you need a compact, agile bike which is also stable and robust at the same time. You have to achieve the ideal balance between aggressiveness and control”, explains Chris Pfeiffer.

Compact proportions, highest-level agility.

The BMW Concept Stunt G 310 combines all these qualities and makes clear at first sight: the newly developed 1-cylinder engine allows for very compact proportions thanks to its innovative concept. The special feature is the cylinder which is inclined towards the rear and the cylinder head which is rotated by 180 degrees. This permits optimum placement of the engine in the motorcycle and a short wheelbase in spite of the long swinging arm thereby making the motorcycle very agile. The low-slung front and the raised tail section promise fast and nimble changes of direction as well as dynamic riding. By shifting the intake area towards the front while also moving the exhaust system towards the rear it was possible to place the rear silencer in an upright standing position underneath the seat between engine and spring strut. In this way the silencer is optimally protected and does not limit the stunt rider’s freedom of movement. Even though you may hardly see it, you will not overhear it. Once started, the sound of the BMW Concept Stunt G 310 is sure to attract attention.

Emotional surface design in typical BMW Motorrad style.

The emotional side view of the Concept Bike is characterised by the powerful three-dimensional design of its surfaces. The precise lines and the expressive interplay of the contours create a sense of movement and speed even when the bike is stationary. What is especially striking in this respect are the side wing contours of the fuel tank which significantly emphasise this effect. All lines seem to generate a sense of movement towards the front wheel and underline the playful ease of handling of the BMW Concept Stunt G 310. Simultaneously the bike’s surfaces create a compact and distinctive silhouette emphasising the favourable centering of masses around the engine block.

The slim front view of the BMW Concept Stunt G 310 also draws attention to its high level of agility. The expressively modelled surfaces of the fuel tank result in a broad shoulder section which is underscored further by the design of the front facia. Similar to its front, the raised, filigree tail promises playful cornering and handling. It shifts the visual centre of gravity to the front even further and in combination with the engine spoiler emphasises the front wheel even more.

Extensive stunt modifications.

The numerous modifications are typical for a stunt bike; in making them Chris Pfeiffer brought his many years of experience as a stunt professional to bear in cooperation with the BMW Motorrad Design Team. Their single aim is to provide the best possible handling properties for the stunt rider’s feats on the asphalt. The lockable throttle ensures constant propulsion even when the rider’s hand has to let go of the throttle grip. In addition a slightly altered gear ratio secures greater propulsive force to the rear wheels at low engine speeds while the intentionally oversized rear wheel brake ensures reliable deceleration in every situation. A second, even larger rear wheel brake allows the rider to brake the rear wheel using only his middle finger, in case his right foot is not on the footrest in certain stunts. The additional brake lever is specially placed on the left side of the handlebars and can even be operated at the same time as the clutch. So-called axle pegs on the front axle and in the seat area give the rider additional options for placing his feet which go way beyond the possibilities offered by normal foot rests. The distinctive red crash bars provide additional protection for the engine. A special highlight on the BMW Concept Stunt G 310 is the “stunt tail” which was specifically developed by BMW Motorrad and which has not been seen in this shape on a stunt bike. It is milled from solid aluminium and features an opening in the centre, which offers the stunt rider a hold for his foot. Together with the non-slip seat, the aluminium component also ensures a stable seating position when riding thanks to its shape.

Modern colour and material design.

The colour concept features the classic BMW motorsport colour white as the base colour as well as red and blue in combination with the national colours of the Brazilian flag in a modern interpretation. The spectacular neon green and yellow colour and material design is certain to attract attention. The bright neon colours extend along the entire body thereby emphasising the dynamic lines and surfaces of the bike. The core of the bike, the drivetrain, features darker colours and moves the visual centre of gravity even lower. Edgar Heinrich, Head of BMW Motorrad Design sums up: “The BMW Concept Stunt G 310 is a real eye-catcher. Everything on this concept seems to be shouting out to ride it and defy the laws of gravity.”’

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New Triumph Speed Triple R revealed

New Triumph Speed Triple R revealed

2016 Triumph Speed Triple

HERE’S Triumph’s revised 2016 Speed Triple R spotted out testing in production-ready trim. 

Last seen in a spy shot in June, this latest photo provides a better look at the high-spec R version of Triumph’s super naked, with added styling details including a red sub-frame and wheel rim tape. 

Updates for 2016 include a new fuel tank, different radiator side covers, a smaller tail unit and a reshaped fly screen featuring a new air scoop. Separate rider and pillion seats replace the single unit for both on the current Speed Triple R. 

The R version’s Brembo brake calipers are now shared by the base edition Speed Triple, as seen in a spy shot back in February.

The logo just visible on the fork bottom in our picture shows the Speed Triple R is keeping its high-spec Öhlins suspension, while the base edition retains Show units.  

Triumph sent a survey to Speed Triple owners earlier this year which suggested the 1050cc three-cylinder engine could get a power hike from 133hp to 140hp. The survey also suggested the new bike’s tech will include traction control, multiple engine ‘modes’ and electronic throttles. Triumph made similar changes to the Tiger 800 this year.

Other technical changes, including a new exhaust system and catalytic converter, are thought to be targeting lower emissions to increase the model’s lifespan.

The frame, which was new for the 2011 model, is unaltered.

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KTM 1290 Super Duke GT first official pics

KTM 1290 Super Duke GT first official pics

KTM 1290 Super Duke GT right side front
The KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

THESE are the first official pictures of the forthcoming KTM 1290 Super Duke GT, the tourer based on the 180hp 1290 Super Duke R. Although the bike is still wearing the camouflage present in the earlier sightings from May this year, we expect little else to change before the official unveiling at Eicma next month.

It’s the first time we’ve seen the bike with an orange frame and black subframe. Unlike the previous versions we’ve seen, the exhaust heat shield is now black. We don’t expect the production version to be missing its pillion pegs and KTM has added a guard to protect the bottom front of the engine block.

Although the GT shares the same 1301cc LC8 twin that’s in the Super Duke R, we understand that it features different engine maps to help it meet Euro 4 regulations and provide improved fuel economy. The rear subframe is longer and lower than the one found on the R and the seat is also wider.

The Super Duke GT is going to be packed with technology – heated grips, semi active suspension with four modes, cruise control and self-cancelling indicators. We believe it’ll have a quick-shifter as standard and Sport, Street and Rain riding modes.

It’s highly likely to have KTM and Bosch’s MSC (Motorcycle Stability Control) cornering ABS system, which will feature four settings – Street, Sport, Rain and Supermoto – for when you’re carrying panniers but absolutely must back it on a winding alpine pass. It’s also said to have a hill start feature called Hill Hold Control (HHC) and a system called Motor Slip Regulation (MSR) which improves engine braking when climbing.

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Source: KTM 1290 Super Duke GT first official pics

Barnfind British classics up for sale

Barnfind British classics up for sale

Bonhams Stafford Sale
Two-wheeled classics don’t get much better than… that wooden cart on the left

BONHAMS is to auction a forgotten collection of 45 classic bikes in its Stafford Sale at Staffordshire County Showground on October 18.

The massive collection of unrestored bikes been untouched for a quarter of a century and includes a 1928 Triumph 494cc Model P (estimate £4,000–£5,000) and a 1934 Brough Superior 1,096cc 11-50hp (estimate £30,000–£50,000) with its original and matching frame, engine, gearbox and a**ociated accessories. 

The collection also includes a host of motorcycles from the early 1900s, along with models from the interwar and post-war periods. The brands include BSA, Velocette, Norton, Sunbeam, Ariel, Triumph, Douglas, Brough Superior, New Imperial and Zenith. 

They were owned by the late John Keeley from Knowl Hill near Maidenhead, Berkshire, who is described by a close friend as a man with ‘a love of old machinery who started his working life in the village garage.’

The collection is being sold as part of the same auction that includes bikes owned by James May and Steve McQueen.

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Royal Enfield Himalayan spied again

Royal Enfield Himalayan spied again

Royal Enfield Himalayan spy shot

HERE’S another photo of Royal Enfield’s Himalayan caught on test, offering perhaps the sharpest view yet of the new adventure bike.

Details are unconfirmed but the machine is believed to use a 410cc single-cylinder engine in a modified version of the Contintental GT’s Harris Performance-designed frame. It’s expected to make around 30hp.  

Royal Enfield believes there is untapped potential in the adventure bike market for machines offering rugged simplicity, in contrast to the complex electronics of high-end models like BMW’s R1200GS and KTM’s 1290 Super Adventure.

The Himalayan is one of at least three new Royal Enfield models expected in 2016 using two new engine platforms including a parallel-twin of around 750cc.

We’ve seen several spy shots of the Himalayan already but this one, from the Facebook page of an Indian website, is probably the sharpest, clearly showing the dual-sport tyres, large front wheel and raised rear sub-frame. In September a photo leaked of the bike on Royal Enfield’s production line.

Modifications to the Continental GT’s frame are likely to have been made with further input from Harris Performance, which Royal Enfield bought earlier this year after revealing plans for an engineering facility in the UK.

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Top 10 most common bikes

Top 10 most common bikes

WHILE sales figures always give an indication as to what’s popular with new bike buyers at any particular time, it’s not necessarily the best way to get an indication of what people are actually riding. 

Fortunately, the mechanism exists to find out exactly that, thanks to government figures that show exactly what’s taxed – and therefore MOT’d and insured – at one particular time.

Since the figures for the second quarter of 2015 have just been released, we thought we’d have a look at what the most popular bikes on the road, in terms of sheer numbers, really are.

These figures are based on ‘generic models’ rather than a precise breakdown (that’s something that’s also available, but only annually, not quarterly), but in many ways that’s better than a more detailed version, which would, for instance, separate a Bonneville T100 from a Bonneville, or an R1200GS Adventure from an R1200GS.

One proviso is that many of the largest figures on the official documents are listed as “model missing”. Those figures just lump together all the bikes that don’t have their model names or designations correctly filled out on their registration documents, and so cover a huge number of disparate models. We’ve eliminated all the ‘model missing’ figures from our list, since they’re unlikely to make an impact on the overall ranking of the correctly-named bikes in this top 10.

As well as proving popularity, the list could also give a bit of insight into which models are bearing up to use better than others – if they’re on the road rather than scrapped or SORN, that presumably means they’re still working.

Suzuki SV650

10. Suzuki SV650 (10,179)

Given that the SV650 has been the obvious choice for anyone looking for a bargain middleweight for more than a decade-and-a-half, perhaps it should be no surprise to see it here. Sure, lots have been crashed, scrapped or otherwise abused, but the faithful SV can take a lot of punishment and earns its place on this list as a result.

Suzuki GSX-R600

9. Suzuki GSX-R600 (10,356)

This is an interesting one. The GSX-R600 has rarely been the best-selling 600-class supersports machine, but it’s been around a long time in various guises (the first UK-available bikes date back to 1997) and clearly manages to keep on going since it’s the only machine in its class to make this list. The one you might have expected to see here – the CBR600F – misses out on the top 10 by a whisker with 9462 remaining on the road (although there are also 5244 CBR600RRs, so the combined CBR600 figure would make it the top 600.)

Suzuki GSF600 Bandit

8. Suzuki GSF600 (10,524)

The good old Bandit 600 might not make many headlines these days, but more than 10,000 of them are still plugging along the country’s highways and byways. It’s interesting that while Suzuki these days struggles to make a dent on the top-sellers lists with any of its models, the firm has grabbed more places in this top 10 than any other.

Honda CBF125

7. Honda CBF125M (11,403)

It doesn’t take a lot of explanation to understand why the CBF125 is here – it’s one of those bikes that has been a mainstay for motorcycle training and learners for years, and they’re clearly hard to kill.

Yamaha YZF-R1

6. Yamaha YZF-R1 (12,295)

Once upon a time, in the dim, distant past, superbikes roamed the earth and dominated the UK roads. Today, not so much. But the R1 – in production in various guises since 1998 without a name change – is the most common single model of superbike current on the road. Again, you might have expected to see a Honda here, but of course the CBR1000RR (8470 on the road) only dates back to 2004, before that there was the CBR900RR (5861 remaining) – together they outnumber the R1, but if we start playing that game we’d have to add Thunderace and FZR1000 figures to the Yamaha.

Yamaha YBR125

5. Yamaha YBR125 (14,201)

Like the Honda CBF125, the YBR is here due to its faithful service to generations of learners, and the fact that they sell in big numbers to training schools.

Triumph Bonneville

4. Triumph Bonneville (14,324)

Would you have expected to see the Bonnie ranking this high? Of course the number includes all versions – from 1960s originals to the latest Hinckley models (although these are bikes that are taxed and MOT’d, remember, so there aren’t likely to be zillions of the originals counted here). A more detailed breakdown, dating back to the end of 2014, puts the Hinckley-made, 865cc T100 as the most popular version with 3293 on the road. Thruxtons, Scramblers, Americas and Speedmasters are also included under the generic ‘Bonneville’ number.

Triumph Tiger

3. Triumph Tiger (15,627)

This one is another surprise, but proves that of all the bikes out to have a go at BMW’s R1200GS, Triumph’s various efforts – the Tiger Explorer, Tiger Sport, Tiger 1050, Tiger 800 etc – come closest. All those machines are included under this heading, despite being quite separate models (these are government figures and it’s their choice to combine them, so don’t blame us), which arguably explains why the Tiger ranks so highly on the list.

BMW R1200

2. BMW R1200 (24,389)

Speaking of combined numbers, the BMW R1200’s position in 2nd also comes from adding together all the various versions of that bike. But it’s still impressive, since it doesn’t include earlier R1150 and R1100 models. Of course, the more detailed breakdown from the end of 2014 shows that lion’s share are GSes and Adventures, followed by the RT and then the R, although even if we were to only count the GS models, they’d still be placed just as high (with well over 15,000 currently on the road).

Piaggio Vespa

1. Piaggio Vespa (24,961)

Did we mention that this list includes scooters as well as ‘proper’ bikes? No? Well it does – and it’s something of a surprise that they don’t feature more heavily. But the Vespa – benefitting from the fact that it’s a named that covers a multitude of models and has been around since the dawn of time – just scrapes ahead of the BMW R1200 to reach the number one spot.

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Ducati 959 Panigale revealed

Ducati 959 Panigale revealed

Ducati 959 Panigale 2016

Ducati 1299 Panigale fairing nose
The 959 Panigale has the fairing, lights and mirrors of the 1299, shown here.

Ducati 899 Panigale fairing nose
Which differ slightly to the 899’s, seen here.

Ducati 1299 Panigale front-left
The 959 also has a gap in the fairing side panel showing off a Ducati badge on an engine case, seen here on the 1299.

Ducati 899 Panigale left side
The 899’s fairing has no such gap.

HERE’S Ducati’s new 959 Panigale photographed undergoing testing near the firm’s factory in Bologna, Italy.

The new model looks nearly identical to the existing 899 Panigale, with the same brakes and suspension, but close inspection reveals differences in the detail.

The 959 has been given the fairing of the 1299 Panigale, with a different-shaped nose. Where there is a gap in the bodywork under the twin headlights of the 899, the two sides meet on the 1299 and 959.

The scoops are bigger than the 899’s and the lights are a slightly different shape. The mirrors are positioned differently and each has two stems instead of one.

The picture also shows a gap in the left-hand fairing side panel showing off a Ducati badge on an engine case, a detail shared by the 1299 but not the 899. 

Otherwise the 959 appears to share major components with the 899. The front brake looks exactly the same as the 899’s, with radial-mounted Brembo monobloc calipers. The 959 appears to share the 899’s fully-adjustable Show big-piston fork and Sachs shock, and it’s got the smaller Panigale’s doubled-sided swing-arm instead of the 1299’s single-sider.

The new ‘959’ badge is just visible through the masking tape on the fairing.

The existence of the machine emerged last week when it was named in an emission certificate, which revealed its exact capacity as 955cc. Another certificate refered to a new Hypermotard 939, of 937cc.

The two are among nine new models which Ducati has promised to display at the Eicma Milan show on November 16, some of which will take the Italian marque into new market segments according to CEO Claudio Domenicali.

The firm has confirmed that one of the nine is the new Monster 1200R which Visordown has just tested at the Ascari circuit in Spain.

Another could be the belt-drive cruiser which has been seen in spy shots.

Last week the firm published an ambiguous teaser video which gave away little but hinted we should expect something black. Probably not the machine we see here, then. 

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Source: Ducati 959 Panigale revealed

Start the day the Yamaha way

Start the day the Yamaha way

Yamaha rev stretch

HERE at Visordown Towers we never fail to start the day with a rousing rendition of the company song, but we understand that for many others a Monday morning involves stumbling bleary-eyed into the office in the full knowledge that nothing will be achieved until at least the third cup of coffee lies empty in front of them.

Not so at Yamaha. Today the firm has introduced a new ‘Rev Stretch’ exercise routine for its workers, combining the brand slogan (‘Revs Your Heart’) with a soundtrack from the firm’s music publishing arm. Apparently it’s aimed at cutting down on stiff necks and lower back pain.

Obviously there’s a bike-related theme in there, albeit a rather forced one as illustrated in the attached picture.

No doubt you’ll be keen to give the routine a try yourselves, and fortunately Yamaha is giving us all the opportunity to do so with a special microsite that details the exercises involved and includes a video for you to follow.

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Source: Start the day the Yamaha way