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.


Suzuki Gladius
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.


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13 Responses to “New motorcycles for 2009 – the year of the funny fairings”

  1. buebo  February 19th

    How about both the Triumph Speed and Street Triple. At the moment I am kind of a Triumph Fan Boy, so take this with a grain of salt, but whatever you can say about these bikes, they do not have the Spaceship Looks! 🙂

  2. Jesper  February 19th

    You’re right Buebo. Triumph had the guts to stand out and create something different on the Speed and Street Triple. I liked them from first sight. But they where also from before the spaceship look became an industry standard.

  3. Open Road Biker  February 19th

    I like that S1000 a lot! One of these days I will have a Ducati sitting next to my Harley. My dad purchased a Ducati new back in the 60’s when he was around 15. I sure wish he still had it now.

  4. reffect  February 20th

    What about the coming Honda CB1100F? Now that’s what a motorcycle should look like.

  5. Jesper  February 20th

    I agree, the CB1100F looks sweet. Not to mention the CB1100R that Honda introduced together with the F model.

  6. Bikegaming  February 22nd

    Maybe it’s just me, but all those bikes look ugly as hell! Except maybe the ER-6, though it does look like the offspring of a Cylon and a Transformer.

  7. Gareth  February 23rd

    Interesting post, but it’s nothing new.
    One day when I was out on the busa an old guy wound his window down at the lights and asked: “what kind of bike is that? It looks like a spaceship.”

  8. Jesper  February 23rd

    It’s new to standard/naked motorcycles. They used to look like motorcycles.

    The weird thing though is that now they all made them look like the same kind of spaceship.

    As I mentioned. On sports bikes (like the busa) there’s aerodynamics involved. So naturally they will appear similar.

    On standard bikes however there’s no argument, I know of, for why they should be identical.

  9. Greynomad  February 23rd

    Naked bikes should be like Scandinavian kitchenware–purely utilitarian–nothing there which does not have a function. If they took the fairing off the Ducati Sport it would be getting close, like the little Yamaha SRV250 Renaissa I had a while ago. Indeed,the form of some recent offerings from Nippon (with a little fashion help from Italy) might cause the supercilious raising of an eyebrow among those suspicious of motorcyclists. In particular the Bking, and to a degree the CB1000r. Headlight is head, tank torso, forks arms, and side-members legs. A rider has the appearance of a person publicly breaching the biblical injunction found at Leviticus 18:22!!

  10. motorcycle camera  February 26th

    How about the Aprilia SMV750 Dorsoduro 2009, Rides sweet and looks great!

  11. motos recambios  March 5th

    I realy love de Ducati Streetfighter…its amazing relly..sorry for me englis

  12. MotoViews.com » New motorcycles for 2009 - the year of the funny fairings » Your guide to motorcycling - biking news, database, latest models and related information  October 29th

    […] Read full post at Jesper. […]

  13. HeadGriper  June 15th

    Love the Ducati Streetfighter. It looks like the kind of thing Batman would ride!

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