New OEM Bike Steal Spotlight at INTERMOT

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INTERMOT Motorcycle show Motorcycle expo European motorcycles

COLOGNE EXPO NETS MORE THAN 200K VISITORS

ORGANIZERS OF INTERMOT, the international motorcycle show held last month in Germany, say the event attracted more than 200,000 visitors from 110 countries — a 7 percent increase over the 2006 show. Trade visitors again accounted for around 30 percent of this year's total, and 35 percent of the trade visitors came from outside Germany. Our estimate: about 21,000 non-German trade attendees were there this year

Honda enlarged its stand from the 2006 event to a total of about 26,909 sq. ft.; Suzuki and Yamaha both had displays of well over 20,451 sq. ft.; BMW and Husqvarna took over 21,527 sq. ft.; and Kawasaki filled 12,916 sq. ft. The Italians were there, too, with the Piaggio Group — represented by the Piaggio, Vespa, Aprilia, Moto Guzzi and Derbi brands — Ducati, MV Agusta, Malaguti and Benelli. Here's a glimpse of some of the new vehicles visitors had a chance to inspect:

  • Honda's V4 Concept celebrating the 30th anniversary of its V4 four-stroke engine. It's a unit the OEM says "expresses functional beauty as well as a more sensual image to appeal more to the emotions."

  • Aprilia's forthcoming RSV4, the competition version of which will be raced in WSBK by Max Biaggi and Alex Hofmann. Powered by a 999cc, 65-degree V-four engine mated to a six-speed gearbox with slipper clutch, the 418 lb. consumer model also features a fully adjustable öhlins fork, rear monoshock and steering damper, Brembo monobloc brakes and multi-mapping ride-by-wire technology (a solution that offers infinite opportunities for power delivery).

  • Ruben Xaus helping BMW unveil its S 1000 RR Superbike. BMW also took the wraps off of its 2009 K1300S, K1300R and K1300GT. The BMW S 1000 RR, shown only in race trim, is a precursor to the bike the company plans to race in the 2009 World Superbike Championship (WSBK) with Xaus and Troy Corser. The street version, with dynamic traction control and sport ABS, is scheduled to debut in the spring. BMW calls the 1300S — weighing 560 lbs. and producing 172 hp — the strongest and fastest production BMW ever built. Weighing 535.7 lbs., the naked K1300R produces 170 hp; the K1300GT produces 158 hp.

  • Suzuki's redesigned GSX-R1000 and new Gladius 650 V-twin, introduced to U.S. dealers in September. The GSX-R1000 boasts an all-new compact engine, a shorter wheelbase, new styling and a revised Suzuki Drive Mode Selector. The big Gixxer's powerplant is 59 mm shorter from front to rear; the new chassis features a shorter, twin-spar cast cradle frame and a new longer, arched swingarm made of three castings; and suspension duties come via Showa's new Big Piston Forks (BPF) and a new rear shock absorber. The Gladius' package consists of a 650cc fuel-injected, twin-plug head V-twin made famous in the popular SV.

  • Yamaha's new-for-2009 R1, unveiled in the U.S. at the OEM's dealer meeting in August. The '09 R1 is the world's first production motorcycle with a crossplane crankshaft. Originally pioneered in MotoGP racing with the M1, crossplane technology puts each crank pin 90 degrees from the next, with an uneven firing interval of 270-180-90-180 degrees. The result is smooth, roll-on power delivery with generous torque. Also included: D-MODE variable throttle control function that enables the rider to adjust performance characteristics to match a variety of riding conditions. The three different maps, available at the push of a button, allows rider to choose the optimum power character for their riding situation.

  • Buell's 2009 1125CR alongside Harley-Davidson's 2009 V-Rod Muscle. The belt-driven CR is powered by a Rotax-sourced 1125cc liquid-cooled 72-degree V-twin producing 146 hp and 82 ft.-lbs. of torque. The new 673-lb. V-Rod gets its muscle from a 1250cc liquid-cooled 60-degree V-twin, features a 240 mm rear tire and is available with optional security system and ABS.

  • Ducati's new Monster 1100 and 1100S. Both bikes are powered by the two-valve 1100cc Desmodromic twin-cylinder engine that delivers 95 hp at 7500 rpm and 79.5 lb-ft of torque at 6000 rpm. The Monster 1100 weighs 372 lbs. whereas the Monster 1100 S — outfitted with a fully adjustable 43 mm titanium nitride-coated öhlins fork; progressive öhlins rear shock with adjustable pre-load and return damping; and carbon fiber cam belt covers, silencer guards and front fender — loses 2.2 lbs. compared to the base model. Both versions come with removable single seat covers and micro-bikini fairings.

  • Triumph's forthcoming Thunderbird 1600 outfitted in a chrome touring kit. The bike, destined to be an early-release 2010 model, is powered by a 1594cc liquid-cooled parallel twin with a six-speed transmission and a belt driving a 200/70-18 rear tire. — Guido Ebert