This the KTM 1290 Super Duke GT

American magazine CycleNews has shown off the all new KTM 1290 Super Duke GT – a sport touring bike based on the brilliant 1290 Super Duke. The bike is still in prototype form as can be seen from the camouflage livery it still sports but there’s nothing major to change on the bike before it goes into production.

For the full story, you can access Cyclenews’ online magazine here and it’s full of great information, but highlights from the article include:

  • It will be officially unveiled at EICMA in November before hitting dealerships in around April 2016.
  • Fairing is mounted to the frame, larger tank capacity of 6.5 gallons and designed to accommodate luggage.
  • Height adjustable windshield with 5.5 inch range of travel
  • Stronger rear subframe
  • Will feature many of the 1290 Super Adventure’s goodies, including LED running lights and cornering lights as well as semi-active WP suspension.

But perhaps most  surprising news of all is that the new Super Duke GT will actually be more powerful than the Super Duke R. While KTM hasn’t specifically given away figures yet, they have stated it will have north of 180 bhp along with providing more mid-range power and torque.

The Super Duke GT will be yet another bike in the now incredibly competitive sport adventure/touring market that has seen Ducati, BMW and Aprilia all try and one-up each other over just the past year. And the great thing is, it’s the riders who keep reaping the benefits.

2015 Benelli BN 600GT Review

We all love to dream about buying the latest top of the range Japanese or Italian sportsbike but when it comes to reality, something more practical is often the wiser choice. The Benelli BN 600GT is the type of motorcycle you choose using your head rather than your heart. It’s not the prettiest bike built, its specifications while strong aren’t extraordinary and you could hardly say it carries the soul of a traditional Italian bike. But we’d argue it was never trying to.

The Benelli BN 600GT is only the second bike from the Italian marque to use their all new 600cc inline four cylinder engine (the first being the naked BN 600R). Designed as a sports-tourer, it’s probably fair to say the BN 600GT won’t win any beauty pageants. There’s a lot of styling cues from the Kawasaki Versys here (the previous model, not the current decent looking one) such as the front stacked headlights and the laydown rear shock absorber. Despite being designed and developed in Italy, it looks more like something from Seoul than Pesaro.

That said, it does actually look better in person than in still images. Even in the metal, one wouldn’t call it elegant but at least it is different and doesn’t look like a cookie cutter version of every other bike out there. We’d probably choose the darker colours over lighter options in the interest of appearances.

The fit and finish of the bike seems excellent. While only long term ownership of the bike would reveal any flaws, we’ve spoken to owners in India and parts of South East Asia which have had access to the BN 600GT since last year and according to them, it’s performed flawlessly.

Negatives from a design perspective include the dated dash (as used in the Benelli BN 302), fairly cheap feeling controls on the bars (another Benelli BN 302 flaw) and the stupidly shaped rear view mirrors which taper off where your actually want to see – a clear case of form over function.

Despite it being a 600cc, don’t take it for a ride expecting supersport performance. Producing a fairly modest 60 kW (82 hp) at 11000 rpm and maximum torque of 55 Nm at 8000 rpm, it would seem Benelli has very conservatively tuned the engine. It’s not a rocket, but then it isn’t a complete slouch, either. Its performance is roughly comparable to the Kawasaki Versys 650 or Suzuki V-Strom 650, though unlike those two bikes the engine feels more mature and grown up.

By that we mean that it seems Benelli has decided to build a refined machine rather than a sports bike masquerading as a tourer. In this respect the engine is smooth and vibration free and dare we say a little bit quiet. We sometimes struggled to hear the engine note over wind noise. Being a four, the engine comes on strong higher up in the rev range, though there’s enough flexibility that you don’t need to downshift for most overtaking manoeuvres.

That refinement extends to the chassis and suspension. A very rare feature for this segment (and price range) is the inclusion of big 50 mm front Marzocchi forks. In theory, bigger diameter forks provide better front end feel and in practice, that’s the case with the BN 600GT. Despite lugging around a fairly hefty 223 kilograms of weight, the bike handled without a fuss and we never had any uncertainty as to what was happening up front.

Both the front and rear has adjustable preload while the rear suspension also allows for rebound adjustment so you can tweak the setup to your liking. Another big plus are the brakes – big twin 320mm front discs with a radial mounted four piston callipers – again something that’s rare to see at this price. There’s unfortunately no ABS available as an option, but initial bite and feel is good – both front and rear.

The seating position was fine for my 6’2″ frame and even after a day of near constant riding, the seat was actually pretty comfortable. And you can go for long trips without stopping if you so desire – the tank holds an enormous 27 litres of fuel – enough for probably close to 500 kilometres of travel if you’re up to it. You’ll probably need a toilet break before a fuel stop.

We’re sure the Benelli BN 600GT isn’t a motorcycle most will dream about and lust for. But that’s fine, because as we said at the outset this bike is for those who buy with their head rather than their heart. As a sports-tourer is achieves its goals – refined engine, nice ride, good mileage. Outside of India and Asia, the Benelli BN 600GT is currently only available in Australia both in unrestricted and LAMS versions for $9,990.

It will be available within the next few months in the UK for £6299 and in the USA at the end of the year when Benelli returns stateside.

 

Benelli BN 600GT Now Available

After the debut of Benelli’s first four-cylinder bike – the naked BN 600R – the BN 600GT is now available – if you live in Australia. Outside of India, Australia is the first market to get the new mid-sized sports-tourer and it’s at an extremely competitive price. The bike is also scheduled to be released in the UK within the next few months.

It’s a unique proposition – we can’t think any any other four-cylinder sports-tourer in this capacity or price range. Its closest rival is either the updated Versys 650 or at a stretch, the Suzuki V-Strom 650. The Honda CB650F, which is the only other four-cylinder in this price range and capacity only comes in faired and naked offerings.

The GT is powered by a 4 valve, 600 cc DOHC four-cylinder liquid-cooled engine, as used in the BN 600R. It produces 60 kW (82 hp) at 11,000 rpm and maximum torque of 55 Nm at 8000 rpm. It has electronic fuel injection with four bodies (38 mm in diameter), a 6-speed transmission, with clutch in oil bath.

At the front of BN 600GT is the classic tubular steel trellis and at the rear is a fusion of aluminium which lightens the weight of the chassis at the rear. Front suspension is an inverted 50mm fork and the rear swingarm is aluminium alloy shock absorber with adjustable rear preload and rebound adjusting – a rarity at this end of the market.

Up front is a double floating 320mm diameter disc with four-piston radial calipers and at the rear a 260mm diameter disc with a two-piston caliper. If you’re looking for a bike capable of long distances without frequently needing to stop for fuel, the BN 600GT could be the answer to your prayers. The fuel tank has a massive 27 liter capacity which would probably be good for around 5-600 km distance before needing to top up.

The biggest selling point however is the price – $8,990 which includes two-year premium roadside assist. That’s $1,000 less than the new Versys 650 (which is already great value) and about $1,300 less than the Versys 650.

A learner approved version will also be available and colours on offer are white, black or green.

 

2015 MV Agusta Stradale 800 Official Launch

While the MV Agusta Stradale was shown at last months EICMA in Milan, its only today that Italian manufacturer MV Agusta has officially launched its latest machine and therefore confirming both pricing and specifications that were leaked earlier. MV Agusta is marketing the bike as a sport tourer but with all the bells and whistles one expects from the marque.

As disclosed previously, the MV Agusta Stradle 800 uses the same three-cylinder engine as the Brutale 800, though power and torque are down slightly at 115 bhp (84.5 kw) and 57.9 lb-ft (78.5 nm) of torque. According to MV Agusta, this was done specifically to keep in with the Stradale’s character. There are four different engine maps, one of which provides maximum power: 115 hp at 11,000 rpm in Sport mode, with all control parameters set to deliver maximum throttle response. Two other engine modes, normal and rain, reduce power to 90 hp with power delivery curves that favor low-to-medium revs. A custom mode is fully programmable by the rider which allows a whole host of choices – engine torque curve in line with power output (two levels), rev limiter cut-in point (Hard or Soft), throttle sensitivity (three levels), engine braking (two levels), engine response (two levels) and, naturally, traction control (eight levels, including off).

This is all made possible by the second generation of MV Agusta’s MVICS (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) platform on board the Stradale 800. In addition to the customizable engine mapping and traction control options, a quickshifter is also installed which allows both clutchless upshifting and downshifting.

In addition to the tweaks in the engine, the other significant changes compared to the rest of the 800 range is in the suspension and riding position. A special linkage at the rear connects the fully adjustable monoshock to the swingarm, providing 150 mm of wheel travel. At the front there’s a Marzocchi fork which features hydraulic (compression and rebound) and sprung (pre-load) adjustment. Seat height is 870 mm (a shorter seat is available as an option) and the handlebars are also higher than the rest of the range.

Integrated paniers come with the bike which will be available in three colour choices – pearl white/sand metallic grey, red/silver and bronze metallic/pearl white. Pricing in Europe will be €13,990 (excluding applicable taxes).

 

EngineThree cylinder, 4-stroke, 12 valve
Capacity798cc
Power115 bhp (84.5 kw) @ 11,000rpm
Torque 57.9 lb-ft (78.5 nm) @ 9,000 rpm
Gear BoxSix-speed, constant mesh
Front BrakesDouble floating disc, 320mm, 4 piston
Rear BrakesSingle disc, 220 mm, 2 pistons
Front SuspensionMarzocchi 'Upside Down' telescopic, 150mm travel
Rear SuspensionSachs, 150 mm travel
Front Tire120/70 - ZR 17
Rear Tire180/55 - ZR 17
Dry Weight399 lb (181 kg)
Tank Capacity4.23 gallons (16.1 L)

 

2015 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800 and Turismo Veloce Lusso 800 Price and Specifications

In what has been a prolific few weeks for the Italian marque, today they’ve released another brand new model – the 2015 MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800.  It rounds up what is now a five pronged push of 800cc triples from MV Agusta, joining the Brutale, Rivale, Dragster and the Straddle – also officially unveiled today. If anything, it does give us a few new Italian words to learn.

As you can probably guess by the images below and the name, the MV Agusta Turismo Veloce is a tourer – made for comfort and practicality. MV Agusta is also at pains to point out that this isn’t a bloated rework of the Brutale or Rivale – they’ve gone to a lot of effort to ensure as little weight has been added to the bike as possible despite its added length and height, ensuring the bike remains nimble and maneuverable

MV Agusta is offering two versions of the Turismo Veloce 800 – the standard.and a second model titled the Turismo Veloce Lusso 800. The Lusso gains electronically controlled suspension, with the system modifying the hydraulic compression and rebound, even with the bike moving – a feature that is appearing to become more and more common. Additionally, the Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso also gets built in GPS which is displayed on the dash, plus comes with integrated saddlebags that have a 30 liter capacity.

As mentioned before, the engine is carried over from the rest of the 800 range, but with 110 hp and torque increased by 15% (in the most commonly used rpm range) with respect to the engine that equips the Rivale and Brutale. The Turismo Veloce also gets MV Agusta’s updated ECU software, which provides four engine modes (Touring and Rain with 90 HP maximum power, Sport with 110 and Custom which can be personalized), an engine torque curve setting (two levels), a rev limiter mode (more or less abrupt), throttle sensitivity (three levels), engine brake (two levels) and engine responsiveness (two levels). You’ll also get 8 level adjustable traction control, a quickshifter and and electronically controlled slipper clutch. This is certainly a bike packed with technology.

The Turismo Veloce 800 will retail for €15,990 while the Turismo Veloce 800 Lusso will cost €18,990 and both are expected in European showrooms in early 2015.

 

Sports-Tourer Version of the FZ-09, the Yamaha FJ-09

It has now all but confirmed that Yamaha will announce a sports-tourer version of it’s highly acclaimed Yamaha FZ-09 (known as the MT-09 in some parts of the world) later in the year, to be called the Yamaha FJ-09. While it has its flaws (most notably a poorly sorted front end), the FZ-09 has been very successful due to it’s cracker of an engine and extremely keen pricing. It makes perfect sense therefore to put a new set of clothes on it and release a related version.

CAD renderings of the Yamaha FJ-09 were leaked on the internet earlier this month by Indonesian website TMCblog and this week, Australian magazine AMCN confirmed that it will go sale in Australia for around $13,000 AUD ($12,100 USD). As the pictures show, the basics of the bike remain completely unchanged. The engine will remain the same 849cc triple as the FZ-09 and it’s unlikely that it will be retuned in anyway. Similarly, brakes, wheels and even the suspension (unfortunately) will be identical.  Like the FZ-09, Yamaha’s goal is to keep this machine as affordable as possible, so any changes that can be avoided will save on costs.

Weight will go up due to the addition of some fairings and expect the fuel tank capacity to be increased given the Yamaha FZ-09 only has enough room for 3.7 gallons of fuel. The riding position also looks slightly elevated. Like so many other bikes, the official announcement will be made at this years INTERMOT in October.