The 2016 Triumph Street Twin set to take on the Ducati Scrambler

As part of its Bonneville refresh, Triumph has announced an all new machine – the 2016 Triumph Street Twin. While the bike isn’t a scrambler, given the engine configuration and Triumph’s emphasis on customisation, it’s clear that the British firm is intent on stealing some of Ducati’s younger customers away from them.

The Street Twin gets a 900 cc ‘high torque’ 8 valve, parallel twin motor producing 80 Nm at 3200 rpm. That’s up 18% over the previous engine. Connected to a ride by wire throttle, it has a 270° firing interval and is all controlled by, yes, a six-speed gearbox. Hooray! In addition to that extra torque, the water cooling sees fuel economy improve by 36%.

Other features of the Triumph Street Twin include ABS brakes, traction control, a slipper clutch, USB socket and a gear position indicator on the dash. Triumph has stated that there will also be a big emphasis on customisation with the bike with over 150 dealer fitted options available.

One of the kits available is – surprise, surprise – a Scrambler kit. It includes a brushed high-slung Vance & Hines exhaust system (off-road use only), rear mudguard removal kit with compact rear light, brown ribbed bench seat, brown ‘barrel style’ handlebar grips, compact LED indicators and brushed aluminium sump guard. Other ready made kits include the ‘Brat Tracker’ and ‘Urban Inspiration’.

Given the look of the machine and its specifications, if correctly priced Triumph may well have a new best seller on their hands.


2016 959 Panigale and 2016 937 Hypermotard Discovered

New filings made with the California Air Resources Board indicates that two of the new motorcycles to be unveiled by Ducati later this year will consist of displacement bumps for the 899 Panigale (increasing to 959cc), while the Hypermotard gets a fairly large increase in capacity from 821cc to 937cc.

No other information other than the fact that these two bikes will increase their displacement is known, but we’d sure hope that there would be some other upgrades or modifications to both bikes other than what some might see as a cynical way to boost sales.

It’s also a little sad to see Ducati’s supposed middleweight bike now only 41cc away from hitting the literbike mark. We’d dearly love to see a true middleweight from Ducati, even if it was around the 800cc mark. But alas, the market wants displacement and so that’s what the market gets.

The other possibility is that these increases in displacement are in fact due to the upcoming Euro IV regulations. In order to maintain the horsepower of their respective machines, Ducati may have needed to increase displacement while turning down the wick in order to meet the new, stringent tests. This would be a cheap way to keep the bikes on sale before their engines are completely redesigned in a few years time.

In other Ducati related news, they have launched a new teaser campaign called “What is Black?” We’ll give credit to Ducati – the campaign looks like it could be potentially even more annoying than their promotional efforts for the Ducati Scrambler last year. The video (below) and accompanying website probably raises more questions than it answers, but then again one would have to care what the answers are in the first place. We’re hoping the end result will be a bike reveal and not some new clothing/lifestyle line that has been rumored.

Ducati to Unveil Nine New Bikes at EICMA. Let the Speculation Begin!

A press release from Ducati today states that the Italian manufacturer will release nine new models at this years EICMA show in Milan in November. One of those will be the just announced Monster 1200 R, but the other eight are unknown at this point. But the most interesting thing about the announcement is that two of the bikes to be unveiled will be in segments Ducati currently does not have a presence in.

That means two brand new bikes and not just upgraded bikes like the Monster 1200 R will be released. And what about the other six bikes? We know that Ducati is working on a heavily reworked Diavel which will no doubt be shown in November. Could we see some love for the 848 Streetfighter or perhaps an S or R version of the 899 Panigale?

The other big possibility is a Ducati scooter. Parent company, the Volkswagen Group would no doubt love to see a volume selling commuter option from Ducati and there’s no doubt that if done right, it would become a huge brand winner for the company just like the Scrambler has been. A Ducati scooter has long been rumored and given that Ducati’s sales volume has continued to rise over the past few years, a scooter may just be what is needed to continue that momentum.

So, here’s our predictions/guesses/wild hopes for Ducati’s EICMA lineup – feel free to post your thoughts too.

  • Monster 1200 R
  • Ducati Scooter
  • Brand new Diavel
  • 899 Panigale S and/or R
  • Brand new Streetfighter
  • Larger or smaller capacity Scrambler

Here’s the full press release:

Ducati 2016: taking the market by storm
  • Nine new models for the Ducati 2016 range to be presented at EICMA 2015 (17-22 November, Rho/Milan)
  • New Monster 1200 R wins public and media acclaim after its unveiling at the Frankfurt IAA
  • Positive growth trend continues for the made-in-Bologna bike brand: before the end of the year the symbolic figure of 50,000 sales will be exceeded

Borgo Panigale (Bologna), 17 September 2015 – The first of a major series of new bikes that will join the Ducati 2016 range has been presented at the Frankfurt-held IAA (Internationale Automobil Ausstellung). The new Monster 1200 R, the most powerful supernaked ever built by Ducati, made its official debut at this prestigious international showcase where it was immediately given a warm welcome by the public and media alike.

With its 160 hp, a new, even sportier look and an array of components worthy of a real “superbike”, this latest Ducati is just the first in a long, exciting series of new models to join the “made in Bologna” 2016 range – a range that represents, beyond any shadow of doubt, the biggest, most decisive attack on the market ever to have been launched by Ducati.

The year 2016 will see continued growth at Ducati,” stated Claudio Domenicali, CEO of Ducati Motor Holding, at the Frankfurt fair. “No less than nine new models, including the just-unveiled Monster 1200 R, will be joining the 2016 range. Never before has Ducati presented so many new bikes and EICMA will provide the perfect platform on which to show them to all to our enthusiastic customers.

Two of these will take us into segments in which we’re currently not present and this is going to be one of the greatest challenges of 2016: to extend the Ducati hallmarks of style and performance to motorcyclists who were – until now – beyond our reach.

Following a highly positive 2015, we look to the future with optimism and confidence. Given the results achieved during the first six months of the year, with 22% growth and 32,600 bikes delivered, we can already state that 2015 will see us attain another absolute record as we expect – for the very first time in our company’s history – to break through the symbolic barrier of 50,000 bikes sold before the end of the year.

Nevertheless, our main goal is not so much the pursuit of ever-greater volumes but, rather, to keep on surprising our customers with awe-inspiring bikes. The increase in sales is simply a consequence of just how incredibly well-received our products are – products that stem from implementing strategies that are in keeping with our identity, looking to new markets and taking on tough new challenges every day”.

2016 Yamaha XS700 is an MT-07 Based Retro Motorcycle

We knew a retro styled motorcycle based on the Yamaha MT-07 (FZ-07) was coming after Yamaha Europe showed off a concept just last month. Now the official motorcycle has been unveiled and it’s a beauty and no doubt will compete directly with the Ducati Scrambler in the ‘new’ retro market – albeit it with a likely big price advantage.

Yamaha describes the bike as “a casual, retro styled street bike that pays tribute to the iconic Yamaha XS650”. It will join Yamaha’s ever expanding Sports Heritage range and given the dynamics and power of the donor MT-07, it will definitely succeed in the sport category.

What impresses us most is that Yamaha has gone to a good deal of effort to make this a proper standalone motorcycle. It would have been easy for them to just change the fairings and headlights and call it a retro styled machine, but they’ve done much more than that. In addition to the new front and rear lights, the aluminium fuel tank is totally new as is the seat. There’s also a brand new dash that takes obvious inspiration from the Ducati Scrambler

Less flattering however is the radiator. Obviously going air cooled was not an option but it does stick out like the proverbial. Perhaps making it black in color would have hidden it better. There’s also undoubtedly major parts of the MT-07 still visible which does at times make this appear to be an awkward combination of old and new but overall we feel it works – and it’s definitely great to get a retro styled bike with a modern engine and other parts.

The modern technology complementing the retro style continues with lightweight 10-spoke aluminium wheels and stopping power – ABS will be standard. Engine specifications remain unchanged from the MT-07. Again, just like Ducati there will be a plethora of aftermarket accessories and yes, a clothing range. Wet weight comes in at a fairly respectable 186kg. Full specifications are listed below.

The bike will be released in Europe in November this year. Australia will get it in the first quarter of 2016 and while we haven’t received confirmation on a specific release date in the USA, it has been confirmed it will be coming to North America in the near future.

2016 Yamaha XS700 Specifications

EngineLiquid-cooled, DOHC, 4-stroke, 4-valves, 2-cylinder
Capacity689 cm³
Power55.0 kW (74.8PS) @ 9,000 rpm
Torque68.0 Nm (6.9 kg-m) @ 6,500 rpm
Gear Box6 gears
Front BrakesHydraulic dual disc, Ø 282 mm, ABS
Rear BrakesHydraulic single disc, Ø 245 mm, ABS
Front SuspensionTelescopic forks, 130 mm travel
Rear SuspensionSwingarm, (Link type suspension), 130mm travel
Front Tire120/70 ZR 17M/C(58V) (Tubeless)
Rear Tire180/55 ZR 17M/C(73V) (Tubeless)
Wet Weight186 kg
Tank Capacity14 L

2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber On The Cards

Triumph’s updated Bonneville range, expected to be unveiled later this year for a 2016 release is already expanding. Reports from our sources within the company indicate that Triumph will release a number of retro models based on the new Bonneville, including an updated Scrambler, Cafe Racer as well as a Bobber – a type of motorcycle currently not seen from Triumph in many, many years.

EDIT: – MCN has posted a story on the new Bobber as well along with spy photos, one of which is below. Check out the rest here.

2017 Triumph Bonneville Bobber On The Cards

For those unfamiliar with the style, bobbers are a style of motorcycle that usually has had the front fender removed, the rear fender “bobbed” (made smaller), and all superfluous parts removed to reduce weight. That generally means no pillion seat and it can also mean that the bike goes without a rear shock (i.e. a hard-tail) – though that seems unlikely in the case of Triumph trying to sell a modern motorcycle.

As we’ve previously reported, the updated Bonneville range will feature a brand new 1,100cc parallel twin engine. Further from that though, it looks like water cooling will be a far bigger feature than previously thought. Early indications had been that the new Bonneville would use only partial water cooling as BMW Motorrad has done with its current generation of boxer engines. Sadly for purists, it would seem that while the new Bonneville’s engine will look authentically “old-school”, a big slab of radiator will sit in front of it to keep it cool. It’s an unfortunate consequence of ever stricter emission laws.

Our sources further suggest that horsepower will jump from the current incarnations 67 hp to about 91 hp with a similar percentage increase in torque. The new Bonneville will likely retain the current 5-speed gearbox but with some modifications. The frame, suspension and brakes are also all completely new – in fact there will be nothing carried over from the current model onto the new Bonneville. ABS, though most certainly not traditional will be standard due to European Union regulations.

Ducati Sales Up 22% In First Half 2015 Thanks To Scrambler

Ducati has announced a massive increase in sales for the first half of 2015 of 22%, leading to all-time record sales of 32,600 bikes worldwide. The biggest contributor to that figure is unsurprisingly the success of the all new Ducati Scrambler – over 9,000 units of the retro bike were sold in the first six months of 2015.

That accounts for over 25% of total sales by Ducati – a staggering amount for a machine that didn’t exist last year. Other models making up the bulk of the sales figures included 4,700 of the Multistrada 1200, 3,700 Monster 821 and over 3,000 Panigale, not to mention good sales figures for the Diavel, 899 Panigale, Hypermotard and Monster 1200.

Growth was observed in all countries. Performance during the first six months of 2015 confirms the USA as Ducati’s leading market with sales rising about 10%. The biggest percentage increase was recorded in Italy (+51%), followed by Spain (+38%), the UK (+36%), Germany (+24%) and France (+23%).

There would appear to be a bit of sales cannibalization happening with the Scrambler because if its figures were removed, total sales for Ducati would have been down for the year to date. It’s likely that some buyers are choosing the new Scrambler over perhaps the 821 Monster.

But the Scrambler is here to stay and it will continue to be a massive driving force for Ducati. Just this week, Ducati opened a dedicated showroom for the Scrambler in Padua, Italy. All four versions of the bike, along with accessories and apparel from the wide Ducati Scrambler range are available.


BMW Path 22 Concept Points Way to R nineT Based Scrambler

It’s no secret that BMW Motorrad is working on a upscale rival to the Ducati Scrambler. It’s been mentioned now in several interviews that BMW plans on developing a scrambler style motorcycled based on the R nineT (as well as a cafe racer) and at the Wheels & Waves Festival we’ve seen our strongest clue yet as to what the bike will entail.

The name “Path 22” refers to one of the insider secrets among Europe’s surf spots. This particular stretch of beach is inaccessible to cars, located on the Atlantic coast of southern France, half an hour’s walk through one of Europe’s biggest pine forests. The path leading to this spot bears the number 22.

“The Concept Path 22 is based on the BMW R nineT, which we see as the epitome of a custom bike. It is actually designed to be modified – customised according to individual preferences. The idea of a BMW scrambler is not new to us. Now seemed to be the right time to present our interpretation of this legendary vehicle concept,” says Ola Stenegard, Head of BMW Motorrad Vehicle Design.

Leading credence to the fact that this machine is the basis of things to come, the press release states that Roland Sands Design was involved in the concept – something mentioned previously by BMW Motorrad CEO Stephan Schaller.

We’re big fans of the R nineT. It’s a beautiful machine and works brilliantly as a package. But there just seems to be something ‘off’ about the look of this concept. While we don’t have any misapprehension that the scramblers that Ducati and Triumph build are meant to be taken seriously off road, this concept looks too massive to be even considered for such ventures. The tank needs to be reduced in volume by at least half to work as a Scrambler, either in name or in practical application.

Let’s hope BMW won’t take the cheap route with their R nineT based Scrambler and just throw some trails tires and a new exhaust along with a Scrambler badge.


Yamaha Yard Built MT-07 Retro Bike To Be Unveiled Tomorrow, Built By Years’ End

Rumors have been floating around for a few weeks now that the latest in Yamaha’s Yard Built series will use Yamaha’s brilliant MT-07 (or FZ-07 in the USA) as a base. But best of all, this ‘concept’ bike will be the inspiration for an actual model that will  go on sale by the end of this year. The bike is to be unveiled tomorrow at the Wheels & Waves custom show in Biarritz, France but a video uploaded yesterday shows it off already.

You’d be hard pressed to see from the images that this is an MT-07 in new clothes, but the giveaway is in the shot of the dash. The bike has been designed by famous Japanese customizer Shinya Kimura and certainly builds upon elements of the Yamaha XJR1300 Racer released late last year. It’s a bold move by Yamaha, as the hooligan nature of the MT-07 seems pretty far removed from the retro scene. But on the other hand, it’s wonderful to get a retro styled bike that hasn’t been shoehorned into a cruiser for a change.

As you can see from the pictures, there will be a lot of changes from the appearance of the concept bike to the final product, but our understanding is that the basic shape of what you see here is what we’ll get come final release.

Given the massive success of the Ducati Scrambler, we have no doubt that an even cheaper yet stylish motorcycle will become a smash hit. Yamaha is continuing to absolutely storm ahead in recent years and this latest move is no exception.