February 19th, 2009 13 Comments » | View blog reactions
Riding season is about to start here in Denmark so it’s time to take a look at what new motorcycles the manufacturers is tempting us with this year.
I believe the biggest difference, compared to previous years, lies in the naked bike, streetfighter, standard (what ever you want to call it) category. The difference being, that there is no difference anymore.
Sport bikes has looked more or less the same from each manufacturer for years. The strongest difference being various styles of exhaust setup. I’m ok with that since sport bikes are made to go fast and there’s a limit to how many substantial different ways you can go in terms of aerodynamics.
Now it seems that some sort of design standard have emerged for naked bikes as well. Everyone has adopted the same style of headlight – a spacey looking plastic box with a blob on top for gauges. They all have choice of futuristic aggressive zig-zag plastic covers and a minimalistic upward pointing rear section.
I’m not really into that look, but I understand if someone is. I’m not arguing against that. What I don’t get is why the heck none of the manufacturers have some balls to set them selves apart from the competition. Did they get a group discount at the motorcycle design office or how’s that?
Motorcycle riders are different people and they have different tastes and ride different motorcycles. But is it really so that streetfighter riders all have the same taste?
The new Ducati Streetfighter
It has the bells and whistles for sure, hydraulic clutch, radial brakes and all. No doubt it’s an awesome machine.
Honda CB 1000 RA
This is the replacement for my trusty Honda 919. Honda makes great bikes. Did I hear anyone say Suzuki B-King?
Updated Kawasaki ER-6
The first ER-6 was sort of among the starters of the spaceship look. It’s a pity everyone else went in the same direction. Making this otherwise pretty cool bike not stand out as much anymore.
A new V-twin to take over from the SV650? Probably a descent motorcycle, not much of a looker. But I bet that engine in that bike goes high on the fun factor.
New Yamaha XJ 6
The old XJ 6 and Diversion was every couriers dream. The new model is supposed to have a new engine and ABS. It follows that exact same design trend as the others. But for city commuting I wouldn’t make my choice without having tried this little critter.
Ducati Sport S 1000
It’s not new. But this motorcycle looks so much more bad than all the other spaceship streetfighters put together. Admitted though, it’s more of a cafe racer.
Maybe the cafe racer category is where the innovation is hiding these days. Concept models have been popping up here and there for a couple of years. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a new category of modern cafe racers emerge from the major manufacturers in a couple of years.