With the first of this year’s big bike shows just around the corner – Cologne’s Intermot show starts on 5th October (although press day is on the 4th) – we’re about to see the first big batch of official unveilings, with another onslaught expected at November’s EICMA event in Milan.
We’ll be reporting live from the shows.
The introduction of Euro4 emissions regulations will bring the biggest shake-up in years to the ranges of every bike firm. We’ll be seeing old favourites disappear from showrooms and new hopefuls making their debuts. So what’s due to appear over the next couple of months?
Here, in alphabetical order, is the second part of our summary of the bikes we’re expecting to see, from Kawasaki to Yamaha, this link takes you to the first part.
While other firms have gone crazy with teaser videos and hints at their new models Kawasaki has been notably silent about its 2017 offerings, leaving little for us to go on.One that is widely expected is a new retro machine called the Z900RS. This bike has effectively been confirmed – Kawasaki has registered a trademark for the ‘Z900RS’ name and leaked documents have confirmed that its internal code is ‘ZR900B’. Our Japanese sources say the bike is a rival for the Honda CB1100F, and draws heavily on the original 900cc Z1 superbike for its styling inspiration. The engine is all-new – a water-cooled, 900cc four-cylinder that’s styled to feature cooling fins to give the impression of an old air-cooled design. Triumph’s latest Bonnevilles perform a similar trick.
Kawasaki is also working on a supercharged retro bike – possibly based around the same new engine – but it’s not expected until 2018.Like most other firms, Kawasaki will also be revising many models to make them Euro4-complient. While the ZX-10R is already a Euro4 machine, models like the ER6 range and Z1000 line are expected to be altered to meet the new regulations. Others, like the W800, will be discontinued.
The Ninja 300 twin is expected to get a restyle to reflect the looks of the latest ZX-10R and H2, as well as updates to pass Euro4. Many eyes will also be on the ZX-6R, which like most of its rivals appears to have the sword of Damocles hanging above it – it’s a toss-up as to whether it will get the expensive updates needed to meet Euro4 or be chopped from the range.
Few firms are set to have as wide-ranging updates as KTM for 2017 because the Austrian company is introducing an entirely new ‘family’ look across its bikes. That means virtually all its road-going offerings are getting visually revamped as well as the technical changes needed to meet Euro4.
The key to the new family appearance is a vertically-split headlight design unlike anything seen elsewhere. If nothing else, it’s sure that in future there won’t be any mistaking a KTM for a rival’s product.
All the Duke models, from the 390 right up to the Super Duke R, get the split headlight and prominently jutting side panels that extend much further forward than before. The Adventure range also gets the new light and revised front styling.
More important, though, are a new range of parallel twin bikes that should make their first appearance in 2017. Believed to be around the 800cc-900cc range, and likely to go under the ‘890’ tag, the range will encompass Duke and Adventure models and give KTM a new foothold in the mid-range market. Here’s the Duke version.
You might have noticed that we’re not talking about new scooters in this round-up, so what’s Kymco doing here?
Well it seems that the Taiwanese firm is getting into the world of full-size bikes with a new Kawasaki ER6-based machine – making the most of the tie-in between Kawasaki and Kymco that’s already seen Kymco help develop Kawasaki’s J125 and J300 scooters. Detailed design patents have already given us a preview of the Kymco bike’s appearance, and it’s quite impressive so far.
Using the engine and rear suspension from the Kawasaki, it gets a new chassis and higher-spec suspension and brakes as well as a sportier style. At the moment it’s not clear which markets the bike will be sold in, but it appears to be an interesting alternative to an ER6.
As Guzzi moves into 2017 we’ll see the continued transformation of its range as the last vestiges of ‘old’ Moto Guzzi are ushered out in favour of all-new machines. Recently we’ve seen quite a bit of Moto Guzzi activity, first with the launch of 1400cc California model that’s now spawned the MGX-21, and for 2016 there are the new V9 Bobber and Roamer models.
For 2017 the main news will be that the ever-popular V7 range is being revamped and becoming the V7 III. Moto Guzzi has already trademarked that name and even the bikes’ logo, leaving no doubt about what’s coming. As before, there will be Racer, Special and Stone versions as well as the Stornello scrambler, but they’ll all have heavily revised, Euro4-legal engines borrowing much from the V9 models.
The bikes based around the older 1200cc Guzzi 8v engines – the Griso and Stelvio – are expected to be among the Euro4 casualties. Whether or not replacements appear, possibly based around the larger California 1400 engine, remains to be seen.
Having had a torrid time in 2016 thanks to financial pressures MV Agusta might not have as much to show as it might ideally like. The £250,000 Zagato-designed prototype known as the F4Z, could well be the eye-catcher on their stand.
The firm is expected to concentrate on its 800cc three-cylinder models in 2017, ensuring they’re all Euro4-ready, although a project to replace the large-capacity four-cylinder bikes has been underway for some time.
It’s possible that a prototype for the new four-cylinder – probably a Brutale or even a Dragster-style machine rather than an F4 superbike – will be revealed at EICMA in November.
We don’t often see important machines launched at Motorcycle Live at the NEC – most firms opt for Intermot in Cologne or EICMA in Milan instead. But Norton is set to be the biggest draw to Birmingham this year as it’s planning to reveal its new 1200cc V4-powered superbike at the event.
We’ve already seen official renderings of the bike which has a completely new, purpose-made engine and a chassis inspired by the company’s TT racers. At the moment Norton is promising a limited-edition initial model followed by a less expensive, full-production machine.
Not long ago Royal Enfield was still something of a joke – an Indian-owned throwback churning out bikes from the heyday of the British bike industry decades after they’d gone out of style.
Now, though, thanks to the popularity of retro machines and a massive R&D push, it’s going to be fascinating to see what the company comes up with. The recently-released Himalayan model might not be offered in Europe yet but already looks intriguing, and we’ve got an all-new parallel twin model to look forward to as well.
And the firm’s British roots are being emphasised, too. The new models are largely developed over here at a new Leicestershire R&D centre populated with a host of talented designers and engineers. Many, like product development boss Simon Warburton, are from down the road at Triumph. Ex-Ducati man Pierre Terblanche was also involved for some time, while British designer Mark Wells now heads the firm’s product strategy and styling.
And of course RE also owns Harris Performance, which is doing the firm’s chassis design.
The new twin is understood to be around 750cc, placing it below machines like the Triumph Bonneville.
While RE’s focus is understandably mainly on the massive Indian market, the firm’s future machines are also being developed with Europe in mind.
We might have been shown it a year ago but there’s no doubt that Suzuki’s GSX-R1000 will be one of the stars of 2017 when it finally goes on sale.
The bike promises to be the first machine to bring proper variable valve timing to a genuine superbike thanks to an ingenious mechanical system that forgoes electronic or hydraulic operation in favour of using centrifugal force to alter valve timing as revs rise. It’s particularly clever because it circumvents WSBK rules that ban hydraulic and electric VVT systems, but also because it’s relatively simple with few moving parts and little apparent scope for failure.
When the final production version is shown in a few weeks we’ll finally get to see how the GSX-R1000 range is set-up, too. The ‘concept’ GSX-R1000 shown last year was actually representative of a higher-spec, top-of-the-range version with Showa BFF forks. There will also be a lower-spec bike with simpler suspension and probably less in terms of electronics. Whether both versions get VVT remains to be seen, but since it’s probably a vital part of meeting Euro4 rules it’s likely that they will.
What else can we expect from Suzuki? Well, the firm’s been remarkably quiet this year but many will be hoping that the Concept GSX from last year’s Tokyo Motor Show gets refined into a production model. It clearly previewed the design cues of a future Hayabusa, and that’s a bike that Suzuki will certainly want to update to meet Euro4 emissions regulations so it can be kept in the range. Ready in time for 2017? We’ll have to wait and see.
The other concept that can’t be ignored is the Recursion. First shown in 2013, Suzuki’s turbocharged twin reveals how the company intends to go about beating even tougher Euro5 emissions laws. The firm showed a much more production-ready 600cc turbocharged parallel twin engine at last year’s Tokyo show, complete with what appeared to be real part numbers cast into very mass-made-looking components. Will we see a production bike wrapped around that engine at a show later this year? Let’s hope so.
Suzuki has already admitted that its GSX-R600 doesn’t meet Euro4 and won’t immediately be updated to do so, meaning it could be on its way out. The firm does hope to sell small numbers of the old GSX-R600s under ‘end of series’ rules after the new emission regulations are introduced, but there won’t be a replacement in the immediate future.And what of the GSX-R750? It’s a name that has been an essential element of the sports bike scene since 1985, so will Suzuki update it to meet the new rules?
The onslaught of new Triumphs is set to continue into 2017 as the firm expands its Bonneville range ever further and updates other machines to meet Euro4 emissions rules.
On the Bonneville front, we’re going to see a host of new models. Some will be straightforward creations, like the 2017 T100. It’s simply a 900cc version of the existing Bonnie T120, created by implanting the Street Twin’s engine into the more classically-styled Bonnie. A single front disc will be about the only visual clue it’s the smaller-engined machine, which has been confirmed by way of emissions certificates that reveal its 900cc capacity and T100 name.
Another bike using the same engine will be the new ‘Street Cup’ – a sub-Thruxton café racer built around the Street Twin chassis. Again, spy shots have revealed the bike, while emissions certificates for 2017 leave no doubt as to its name or engine size.
Bigger changes appear on the forthcoming replacement for the Triumph Scrambler. Again, it has the 900cc Bonnie engine, but with many more chassis changes.
Even greater alterations appear on the Bonneville Bobber, the first cruiser-style bike to appear around the new engine. First spied last year the bike gets a completely different chassis, with a fake hardtail design and hidden rear shock. Unusually, it’s a pure single-seater – there’s no seat subframe or provision for a passenger at all. Its name has recently been trademarked by Triumph, effectively confirming its place in the firm’s plans.
Yet to be spied are the touring cruiser versions that will replace the Speedmaster and America, although they may also use the Bobber’s hardtail-style chassis for authentic looks.
Moving towards Triumph’s larger bikes, the Trophy is expected to be tweaked for 2017, with changes focussing on the electronics and ensuring the tourer meets Euro4.
A bigger change will appear on the Street Triple, which grows from 675cc to 765cc and gains a four-model range. As well as the base model and ‘R’ version, there will be a part-faired sports-touring model, the Street Triple RT and a high-spec Street Triple RS version. Power will range from 110bhp to 125bhp depending on the model, and all will get traction control and other electronic gizmos. A Speed Triple-style restyle for the Street Triple is also coming.
Of the Euro4 casualties, the Daytona 675 is rumoured to be a leading candidate. As can be seen from information on the 2017 Street Triple, the engine needed a capacity increase to remain competitive in power terms while meeting Euro4 standards. Such an increase on the Daytona would make it too large for racing, and sales of the 675cc machine aren’t high enough to justify updating the smaller engine to Euro4.
Whether or not there will be a Daytona 765 with the new Street Triple’s engine remains to be seen, but nothing resembling such a bike has been spied testing.
The Rocket III’s future may also be in doubt. Again, the bikes haven’t been seen testing any Euro4 emissions updates and sales are slow. However, the large, under-stressed motor might be able to pass the new emission regulations more easily than small, high-revving designs.
While the 600cc supersports market looks set to be deserted by many manufacturers in the face of tough new emissions rules Yamaha has dropped a massive hint that it’s planning to reveal a new small four-cylinder sports bike.
We only have to wait until 4th October to see it, but from the look and sound of the firm’s teaser video, the bike seems to be a replacement for the R6.
Whether the company has managed to stay under the 600cc needed to comply with race rules or opted to enlarge the motor to meet emissions targets and ensure a suitable power increase remains to be seen, but either way it’s an enticing proposition. If Yamaha has managed to make a Euro4-legal 600cc supersports bike without sacrificing power, it’s likely to be the most high-tech machine ever seen in that part of the market. And if it’s taken the other route and created a larger engine middleweight – maybe even a 750? – it is equally exciting news.
In terms of sales, though, the new R-series machine won’t come close to the new XT-07 Tenere that will debut for 2017. Based on the MT-07’s parallel twin but with high-rise suspension and proper off-road chops the bike should cash in on both the popularity of the MT-07 and the unstoppable adventure bike boom. In fact it’s a recipe that could – if it’s priced right and performs as well as expected – finally challenge the BMW R1200GS for the position of Europe and the UK’s best-selling bike.
From the look of early prototypes, seen here Yamaha could be on to a winner.
Elsewhere in Yamaha’s range there will be updates aplenty as Euro4 rules are adopted. The R1 – now 2 years old – is likely to be mildly tweaked to keep it exciting and beat the emissions targets.
While most of Yamaha’s current range is fresh enough to have been designed with Euro4 emissions rules at least in mind, even if modifications will be needed to make the bikes pass the new tests, some of the older ones are likely to be chopped. The XJR1300, for instance, might not make the Euro4 grade, and surely questions will be asked about the value for money in updating the V-Max to Euro4-spec; last year a surprising 61 of them were registered in the UK, but it was the first time since 2009 that more than 20 were sold.
Yamaha have already announced new colours across a large portion of its current range plus a revised fuel tank on the XV950R.