2013 International Motorcycle Show was held at Charlotte Convention Center Feb. 22-24. We made the trip up, and had a great time, as usual.
We're getting the bikes ready for duty. Changing oil and making sure everything is in order. We leave one week from today, and taking inventory of everything we need. Last thing to do is a good wash-down.
Honda eyes the 1200 adventure-touring market with the release of its V4 Crosstourer Concept at the Milan Bike Show. The EICMA debut announcement states the new “the V4 Crosstourer Concept will deliver all the fun and excitement of a road sports bike; but with the comfortable upright riding position and manoeuvrability of an adventure machine.”
The new ride shares the V-Four powering the VFR1200F, as well as Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission. Like its VFR sibling, the Crosstourer sources a shaft final drive.
Perking up its AT cred are wire-spoked wheels and tubular crash guards covering the upper fairing. Large panniers adorn the concept model, along with a tall windscreen and small beak-nose.
The new Honda looks production ready. And Honda certainly hints that there’s more V-Four models to come, stating: “The VFR1200F was the first model to utilize the new iconic V4 engine that signified the beginning of the new era in Honda’s engine line-up.”
The new Crosstourer is an intriguing design, and another bike to challenge in the 1200 adventure-touring category, where its engine configuration is unique. A design shot making the earlier rounds in the run up to the Milan was rumored to be a potential 800cc middleweight AT along the lines of Triumph’s new Tiger or BMW’s F800. When asked Honda brass seemed genuinely surprised about the photo’s origins. Whether an 800 AT will later surface, or it was actually a concept sketch of the New Mid Concept also debuted at EICMA, remains to be seen.
I don’t know if this thing is going to make it to the US, gang. Probably not. Why can’t they just give the US market the Varadero, or the Transalp?
BMW is adding the G650GS to its range for 2011 – an entry level single-cylinder adventure bike filling the hole left by the old F650GS.
The new G650GS is powered by the BMW-built liquid-cooled 650 single rather than the old F-series Rotax engine.
Technically the G650GS’ chassis is very similar to the original F650GS – a simple steel double cradle frame and swingarm, with right-way up forks and a single brake disc with a two-piston caliper. The ABS system can be switched off for off-road use.
The G-series sourced engine puts out a claimed 48bhp, and is pushing 192kg (fully-fuelled). Not impressive numbers, but neither was the old F650GS – a bike still prized by true world-travelling adventure riders for it’s robust nature and ability to cross terrain the cumbersome R1200GS struggles.
The styling is changed for a variation on the BMW asymmetrical look, and the wheels are are now 19” front/17” rear cast rims instead of spoked rims – something that may count against it in the off-roading stakes.
Three seat heights are available: 780mm as standard, a 750mm low option and an 820mm high option for taller riders. Tank capacity is 14 litres.
If Honda has angered some of its loyal customers with a relative lack of new product in recent years, that might be about to change with this interesting, upright adventure/sport model that will be unveiled in production form at the Milan show. Expected to displace approximately 800 cc, the new bike should have the ergonomics of an adventure machine, i.e., completely upright with wide bars and a comfortable footpeg position, together with 17 inch wheels and street rubber. Here is a brief quote from Honda regarding the new machine.
“This mid-range machine is an exciting new approach – a crossover machine that represents the best aspects of two separate biking genres. It will have the flexibility and exciting attitude of a Naked performance machine, with the more comfortable upright riding position and design cues inspired by adventure bikes.
“With the low center of gravity of a performance bike it is great fun to ride, and because of its wide handlebars and upright riding position it is both easy to maneuver and comfortable.”