▲ Triumph Street Triple RS for 2017. The old 675cc engine is history. The new 765cc motor will arrive in March 2017. But Hinckley has done more than simply rearrange the digits. There are 3 basic models: the Street Triple S (113hp), the R (118hp); and the top-of-the-range RS (123hp). Eighty new engine parts, more power, more torque (53lbsft for the S and 56lbsft for the R and RS) and slightly less weight (2kg or so). The R and RS feature a new TFT dash and a slipper-assist clutch. All the models feature ride-by-wire-throttle, traction control, multiple rider modes and ABS (not switchable on the S model). And all have shorter 1st and 2nd gears. These bikes are dangerously closing the gap between the Street Triple and the Speed Triple. But Triumph has no doubt factored that into its sales strategy. Prices start at £8,000. More details from Triumph as and when.
Yamaha YZF-R6 - 2017
According to Yamaha, the price for the new YZF-R6 will be £10,999. Or, if you prefer, eleven grand. And that's a lot of money for a 599cc supersport motorcycle. Then again, Yamaha has been busy telling us that this is a lot of motorcycle for the money and is worth every penny. But eleven grand?Aside from the R1-esque styling, the buzz words around this bike are features such as (6-position) traction control, a quickshifter, revised KYB front fork, new radial front brake calipers, a (die-cast) magnesium sub-frame, twin LED headlights and LED indicators. Naturally, there's ABS and various rider modes. And naturally, the bike is lighter (by a kilogram or so), slimmer here and there (by a few supposedly precious millimetres), and is said to have better weight transfer when throwing it around in and out of bends. The 17-litre fuel tank is aluminium. The "face" is "aggressive" (yawn). And apparently one ride on this MotoGP-inspired racer will launch you into orbit or something. Yamaha's marketing people have even managed to trot out the tedious old "in the DNA" cliché. [More...]
... we're talking about the fashion firm, Diesel, and not diesel as in Rudolph Diesel's oil-fuelled engines. The news is that the two companies (Ducati and Diesel) have recently teamed up to produce what's been described as a "'hyperkinetic dynamism of a post-apocalyptic, retro-futuristic world.' But no doubt some would describe this statement simply as "another pile of pretentious marketing crap aimed at pretentious crapheads living a way-too-cosy lifestyle in a soft, self-indulgent pre-apocalyptic fantasy world." We wouldn't be so unkind. All of us, after all, have our foibles and idiosyncrasies, and if that revolves around gunning it down the High Street astride one of these motorcycles whilst dressed in combat trousers, a flak jacket and a Darth Vader mask, that's you're own business, and the world can suck it up. Meanwhile, while we can (just about, if we squint) see the appeal of this limited-edition urban assault weapon, it wouldn't find a spot in the Sump garage, not unless it arrived there for free. [More...]
Yamaha XSR900 Abarth
Yamaha has launched a limited-edition 847cc XSR900 Abarth which, by the time you read this, will be on sale in the UK. The bike, a joint collaboration between Yamaha and Italian car maker Abarth, was first announced in November 2016 at the Milan Show, Italy. The idea was to replace the very worthy Yamaha XJ1300 muscle bike with a scrawnier, but more emissions friendly, liquid-cooled retro CP3 triple. To consolidate its grip, or foothold, upon whatever sector this "First factory-built café racer special" is really aimed at, Yamaha will be offering this limited-edition variant boasting a carbon front cowl, a carbon fibre front mudguard, a carbon tailpiece, an Akrapovič exhaust and ... wait for it ... a VIP tour of the Abarth factory in Turin including a few joyrides around a test track on the latest or significant Abarth models. "Inside every rider," says Yamaha, "is the burning desire to own and ride the kind of bike that will always make you feel good inside. And this is it."
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