BMW Outlines a New Reality for its Two Brands: BMW and Husqvarna

In a speech given in Munich earlier today, new BMW Motorrad President Hendrik von Kuenheim described the ambitious goals of his company with two distinct brands, including BMW and Husqvarna. Although the occasion was the unveiling of a prototype of BMW's superbike racer (pictured throughout this article), which will enter competition next year, von Kuenheim described the goals of BMW Motorrad as a whole for the next few years.

Although the entire speech is presented below (and it is worth reading), here are the highlights.

BMW Motorrad intends to increase annual unit sales to 150,000 by the year 2012, representing 50% growth from the current level. BMW intends to achieve this to a great extent through the Husqvarna brand. BMW has aggressively pursued the development of the prestiguous Husqvarna brand motorcycles, and will use Husqvarna to reach for a 30% growth in sales this year alone.

Husqvarna motorsport activities, including enduro, motocross and supermoto racing, are already successful and will be expanded. BMW considers the "enduro" segment of off-road motorcycles to be one area where the motorcycle industry will continue to grow for several years. BMW claims customer interest in Husqvarna "has increased very significantly following the takeover by BMW."

Despite competitive disadvantages with the Japanese in currency exchange rates (where both the dollar and the Yen have lost about 80% of their value against the Euro in the last seven years alone), BMW has carefully defined strategies to remain competitive on price and value.

BMW will enter the World Superbike championship next year, apparently with more than one rider. BMW's goal is several top ten finishes next year, followed by podium placings the following year, and a battle for the championship thereafter.

The production version of the race bike is designated the "S 1000 RR", and 1000 street-legal production models will be completed by the end of next year to satisfy racing homologation requirements.

Here is the full text of the speech given by Hendrik von Kuenheim this morning:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Motorcycle Friends,

I also bid you a very warm welcome here today. This is indeed the first time I am addressing you in my new function as the President of BMW Motorrad. Some of you already know me however from my former activities - my last position was the President of BMW Spain.

I joined BMW about 20 years ago and over the years I have gained a great deal of experience in international car and motorcycle sales. Now I am happy to invest this experience in BMW Motorrad, helping to shape the future of BMW's motorcycle business.

At BMW as well as at Husqvarna Motorcycles, we are working all-out on a whole series of fascinating projects. We are in the middle of a broad-based model initiative.

It is essential that this model initiative is turned into a success story over the next few years. It is our objective to expand the motorcycle business significantly and to achieve profitable growth.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In my presentation today I will be focusing on two highlights in particular: First, I would like to give you some background information on our ambitious growth targets. Second, I will offer you the first status report on our Supersport project.

Allow me to start with some essential aspects of our growth strategy.

This year we again plan to deliver more motorcycles to our customers than in the previous year, continuing the many years of success BMW Motorrad is now able to report.

Considering that motorcycle markets show a rather irregular and inconsistent development, this is and remains a very demanding target.

We are of course focusing in particular on our core models in the Tourer, Sports Tourer, and Enduro markets. Indeed, these models remain indispensable within BMW's future range of motorcycles.

This applies particularly to our Boxers: The Boxer engine is just as much part of BMW as the white-and-blue logo. For this reason alone, this unique engine concept has a long and great future with BMW Motorrad. A future which, just like the past, will again offer numerous innovations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are continuing our powerful initiative not only with our core models. BMW Motorrad has ambitious growth targets: As part of the strategic reorientation of the BMW Group, we have announced that customer deliveries by BMW Motorrad are to increase by approximately 50 per cent by the year 2012 to 150,000 units.

To meet this objective, we are making BMW Motorrad even more sporting and dynamic. This means that we are specifically entering market segments where BMW Motorrad was not represented so far.

We have already taken the initiative in this respect with the HP2 models and the F Series. Now we are taking on the competition to an increasing extent with brand-new, innovative and sporting products, moving ahead strongly also in international motorcycle racing.

But why are we doing all this?

Because we see a great potential in the Enduro segment, for example, for further growth. In the Tourer and Sports Tourer segments, on the other hand, we are reaching the limits to growth, since in this case we have largely exhausted our market potentials in the meantime. Precisely this is why we plan to address additional new customers we have not been able to win over so far.

So this is why we are expanding our product portfolio to other market segments BMW Motorrad has not served in the past. Two examples are our entry into the Sports Enduro segment and our entry into the Supersport segment.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
To make our approach in this area even clearer and more specific, we are pursuing a two-brand strategy, which is precisely why we purchased Husqvarna Motorcycles last year. Together with Husqvarna Motorcycles, we are confident that we will reach our sales target of 150,000 machines a year.

Husqvarna Motorcycles is the second-oldest motorcycle manufacturer still building motorcycles today and is one of the most famous names worldwide in the motorcycle business. Over the years, Husqvarna have won more than 70 World Championships in offroad and Supermoto racing.

With Husqvarna's very sporting machines, we are able to expand our product range even faster to new groups of purchasers throughout the entire offroad and Supermoto segments than we could with BMW alone.

The highly competitive offroad segment is particularly large in the USA, Southern Europe and Australia. And holding a very good position in all of these markets, Husqvarna is already very strong, offering BMW Motorrad a perfect partner.

We are very happy indeed with our new brand in the motorcycle segment, which is giving the entire Company extra momentum. So we have given ourselves ambitious growth targets right from the start, as of 2008: This year we plan to boost sales by approximately 30 per cent over the previous year, and we are already proceeding all-out to this objective.

To reach this target we initiated and implemented a number of activities right from the start when taking over Husqvarna.

Production output is developing according to plan. And after re-organising our parts business, we have solved our former problems in the supply of spares.

At the same time we have launched special programmes and activities for the further improvement of product quality.

We are also very happy with Husqvarna in motorsport, with the season so far developing very positively. We are active in both Enduro and Motocross events and in Supermoto racing. Indeed, the first results of the season in these various disciplines already exceed our expectations.

And we are particularly happy that customer interest in Husqvarna has increased very significantly following the takeover by BMW, particularly in the amateur motorsport segment.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are moving ahead quickly and strongly not only with Husqvarna. Rather, our own model initiative at BMW Motorrad is also continuing at a fast pace and on a high level.

In 2008, we offer our customers the substantially upgraded R 1200 GS and GS Adventure. On 8 March we started sales of the exclusive BMW HP2 Sport, and in the second half of the year the BMW G 450 X Sports Enduro will round off BMW's model range in a brand-new segment.

On 8 March the new BMW F 800 GS and BMW F 650 GS two-cylinders celebrated the start of sales.

Initial response from the markets makes us very optimistic. In fact, global demand even exceeds our production capacities, with demand particularly from the Southern European markets in Spain, Italy and Greece exceeding our greatest hopes. Particularly the F 800 GS is the choice of many customers who have so far ridden another make.

So much on the new models in 2008 you already know. But let me add that we will be presenting further surprises at the major motorcycle shows in Cologne and Milan, the Intermot and EICMA, which we cannot talk about yet today.

So you see that we are well-prepared for the future.

Despite all this good news, the fact remains that BMW Motorrad - like all European motorcycle manufacturers - currently faces special challenges. We see almost daily how conditions are becoming tougher, with the prices of raw materials and energy going up all the time and currency risks becoming greater.

Let me explain briefly just how much the currency issue affects our competitive situation:

In the last seven years alone, the dollar and the Japanese yen have lost about 80 per cent of their value versus the euro.

That means that our main competitors are benefiting from even the slightest weakness of the dollar and the yen, from every drop in value even behind the decimal point. They are able to offer their products at lower prices in the world market and make significant profits all the same.

Obviously, we must find answers to these challenges, since we cannot pass on these cost disadvantages directly to our customers in a one-to-one process.

To remain competitive we are therefore continuing to enhance our efficiency in Development, Production and Sales, we are intensifying our international Purchasing activities, and we are creating a very attractive, innovative product portfolio.

This, Ladies and Gentlemen, takes me on to the highlight I am sure you are all looking forward to.

I stated before that we are actively looking for new options, for profitable growth and for the planned increase in volume. Precisely that is why we have decided, among other things, to take on the competition in the Supersports segment on both the road and the race track.

We naturally realise that we are taking on a great challenge. Particularly the Japanese are some 20 years ahead of us in this class and have lots of experience. But even so, the spirit of this competition alone encourages us in our efforts. From the start we wish to be on par with our well-established competitors also in the Supersports segment.

Our development team is highly motivated to achieve our goals. And I can tell you today that the status we have achieved so far is very promising.

We are confident that we will be able to start the Superbike World Championship next year with a convincing all-round package, and that our series motorcycle will be just as convincing. In both terms of both its technology and price, our Supersports will be absolutely competitive.

Dear Motorcycle friends, what motivates us to move into this segment in particular?

First:

The very fascination of this motorcycle with its racing DNA expands and upgrades the brand image of BMW Motorrad by offering an additional, sporting and emotional element winning over new customers for the brand.

The Superbike World Championship is becoming increasingly popular among motorcycle riders, since here, unlike the MotoGP, they are able to watch and admire their motorcycles in a direct comparison with competitors.

And they can enjoy this thrill all around the world! This year the Superbike World Championship is being held on four continents and in 13 countries.

Second:

For the first time we are demonstrating the innovative power of BMW Motorrad also in the segment of the most dynamic, top-performance onroad motorcycles, since our Supersports motorcycle is an all-BMW development from the ground up and will be built at our plant in Berlin.

Third:

We are expanding our product portfolio also with a view to worldwide growth.

Today sales in the 1,000-cc class amount to some 100,000 units worldwide. The vast majority of these motorcycles goes to the USA and Europe. And the four large Japanese manufacturers account for about 85 per cent of the market.

BMW Motorrad is looking at a long-term involvement in this segment. Clearly, that means we must speak the language of the segment and follow the usual market standards. And indeed - we are confident that we will set new benchmarks in this scene, winning over an appropriate market share.

This, Ladies and Gentlemen, takes me on to the motorcycle as such.

It is our objective to offer the customer a high-performance motorcycle with absolutely outstanding qualities and features on both the road and race track in terms of rideability, performance, and ergonomics.

Since we are still in the middle of the development process, it would be too soon to mention any specific technical data. But you naturally know the usual level of performance our competitors have to offer. So with this in mind, I leave it to you today to speculate on what the specifications might be.

Our Supersports is based on a highly proven fundamental concept. Before choosing this concept, we naturally analysed the market and the appropriate technologies with utmost care and precision. And we will use the technical parameters required to develop our own solutions.

In the early project phase we checked out various engine concepts. And as you know, we then decided in favour of a four-cylinder, with the straight-four offering the best qualities to meet the power, performance, weight, and package requirements to be fulfilled. In typical BMW style, the engine will of course offer a number of special features, especially on the cylinder head.

For package reasons we have decided against the BMW Duo-Lever on the suspension. Taking up more space, this kind of front-wheel geometry would have presented disadvantages with the very compact structure of BMW's new Superbike.

But you can be sure that the innovations we are introducing are absolutely convincing. One example is the special traction control you will find on the new machine. Again, however, we cannot give you any further information today.

As you may expect of BMW Motorrad, the design of our BMW Supersports will be absolutely unique and very different. While it will of course reflect the usual design language in the segment, it will at the same time offer a strong and powerful message from the BMW brand.

Now let me briefly give you the status of our entry into the Superbike World Championship:

Today I can confirm that our preparations are proceeding according to plan in every respect: In compliance with the rules of the Series, the new motorcycle will be available to customers in 2009 and we will build 1,000 production models by the end of next year.

We are implementing our racing activities in close cooperation with our partner Alpha-Racing, a specialist very experienced in motorsport. Located near Munich, Alpha-Racing have already started work in a special production hall specifically for this purpose.

The process of building up the team is proceeding at full swing and we have already filled the key positions.

The team is a combination of specialists from BMW and members of the Alpha-Technik racing crew, as well as further specialists from professional Superbike racing.

Choosing the development and test riders for our racing machine, we are currently operating in a revolving system to gain as much experience as possible. The selection of test riders ranges from experienced riders still active today all the way to young "top guns".

In the upcoming weeks and months we will systematically start production of the racing machine in its individual power and performance stages, testing the new model as we go along.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We naturally realise that the established teams have many years of experience. But we wish to take up this challenge in particular and have put together a highly motivated team precisely for this purpose, a team which will prove the performance of our new motorcycle in professional racing.

Naturally, we will have to go through a certain process of learning - which is precisely why we have set ourselves realistic targets for the time being: In our first year in the Superbike World Championship we seek to bring home several places in the Top 10 and to consistently close the gap to the top teams. In year 2 we plan to catch up with the top teams and to win our first places on the podium. And our medium-term objective, obviously, is to win the World Championship!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

So much on this project, the current status of the project and our preparations for entering the World Superbike Championship next year.

You have been speculating a lot on the designation of our new model. So let us put an end to this speculation today.

BMW Motorrad's first Supersports will be the "S 1000 RR".

In choosing the name and designation of BMW's new Supersports, we are consistently following our nomenclature at BMW Motorrad. In this name, the "S" stands for Supersports, marking a new class of motorcycles from BMW. The "1000" designates the size of the engine, and the "RR" naturally stands for the model itself.

Dear Motorcycle Friends,

Many motorcycle magazines have published photos of a racing prototype which we have tested on several racing tracks. Today we would like to show you this racing prototype, offering you an initial impression of the package and the technology.

But when you see the motorcycle in a minute, please note that neither the design nor the impression of quality are the same as on the production model following at a later point.

Thank you for your attention.

BMW Outlines a New Reality for its Two Brands: BMW and Husqvarna

In a speech given in Munich earlier today, new BMW Motorrad President Hendrik von Kuenheim described the ambitious goals of his company with two distinct brands, including BMW and Husqvarna. Although the occasion was the unveiling of a prototype of BMW's superbike racer (pictured throughout this article), which will enter competition next year, von Kuenheim described the goals of BMW Motorrad as a whole for the next few years.

Although the entire speech is presented below (and it is worth reading), here are the highlights.

BMW Motorrad intends to increase annual unit sales to 150,000 by the year 2012, representing 50% growth from the current level. BMW intends to achieve this to a great extent through the Husqvarna brand. BMW has aggressively pursued the development of the prestiguous Husqvarna brand motorcycles, and will use Husqvarna to reach for a 30% growth in sales this year alone.

Husqvarna motorsport activities, including enduro, motocross and supermoto racing, are already successful and will be expanded. BMW considers the "enduro" segment of off-road motorcycles to be one area where the motorcycle industry will continue to grow for several years. BMW claims customer interest in Husqvarna "has increased very significantly following the takeover by BMW."

Despite competitive disadvantages with the Japanese in currency exchange rates (where both the dollar and the Yen have lost about 80% of their value against the Euro in the last seven years alone), BMW has carefully defined strategies to remain competitive on price and value.

BMW will enter the World Superbike championship next year, apparently with more than one rider. BMW's goal is several top ten finishes next year, followed by podium placings the following year, and a battle for the championship thereafter.

The production version of the race bike is designated the "S 1000 RR", and 1000 street-legal production models will be completed by the end of next year to satisfy racing homologation requirements.

Here is the full text of the speech given by Hendrik von Kuenheim this morning:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Motorcycle Friends,

I also bid you a very warm welcome here today. This is indeed the first time I am addressing you in my new function as the President of BMW Motorrad. Some of you already know me however from my former activities - my last position was the President of BMW Spain.

I joined BMW about 20 years ago and over the years I have gained a great deal of experience in international car and motorcycle sales. Now I am happy to invest this experience in BMW Motorrad, helping to shape the future of BMW's motorcycle business.

At BMW as well as at Husqvarna Motorcycles, we are working all-out on a whole series of fascinating projects. We are in the middle of a broad-based model initiative.

It is essential that this model initiative is turned into a success story over the next few years. It is our objective to expand the motorcycle business significantly and to achieve profitable growth.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

In my presentation today I will be focusing on two highlights in particular: First, I would like to give you some background information on our ambitious growth targets. Second, I will offer you the first status report on our Supersport project.

Allow me to start with some essential aspects of our growth strategy.

This year we again plan to deliver more motorcycles to our customers than in the previous year, continuing the many years of success BMW Motorrad is now able to report.

Considering that motorcycle markets show a rather irregular and inconsistent development, this is and remains a very demanding target.

We are of course focusing in particular on our core models in the Tourer, Sports Tourer, and Enduro markets. Indeed, these models remain indispensable within BMW's future range of motorcycles.

This applies particularly to our Boxers: The Boxer engine is just as much part of BMW as the white-and-blue logo. For this reason alone, this unique engine concept has a long and great future with BMW Motorrad. A future which, just like the past, will again offer numerous innovations.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are continuing our powerful initiative not only with our core models. BMW Motorrad has ambitious growth targets: As part of the strategic reorientation of the BMW Group, we have announced that customer deliveries by BMW Motorrad are to increase by approximately 50 per cent by the year 2012 to 150,000 units.

To meet this objective, we are making BMW Motorrad even more sporting and dynamic. This means that we are specifically entering market segments where BMW Motorrad was not represented so far.

We have already taken the initiative in this respect with the HP2 models and the F Series. Now we are taking on the competition to an increasing extent with brand-new, innovative and sporting products, moving ahead strongly also in international motorcycle racing.

But why are we doing all this?

Because we see a great potential in the Enduro segment, for example, for further growth. In the Tourer and Sports Tourer segments, on the other hand, we are reaching the limits to growth, since in this case we have largely exhausted our market potentials in the meantime. Precisely this is why we plan to address additional new customers we have not been able to win over so far.

So this is why we are expanding our product portfolio to other market segments BMW Motorrad has not served in the past. Two examples are our entry into the Sports Enduro segment and our entry into the Supersport segment.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
To make our approach in this area even clearer and more specific, we are pursuing a two-brand strategy, which is precisely why we purchased Husqvarna Motorcycles last year. Together with Husqvarna Motorcycles, we are confident that we will reach our sales target of 150,000 machines a year.

Husqvarna Motorcycles is the second-oldest motorcycle manufacturer still building motorcycles today and is one of the most famous names worldwide in the motorcycle business. Over the years, Husqvarna have won more than 70 World Championships in offroad and Supermoto racing.

With Husqvarna's very sporting machines, we are able to expand our product range even faster to new groups of purchasers throughout the entire offroad and Supermoto segments than we could with BMW alone.

The highly competitive offroad segment is particularly large in the USA, Southern Europe and Australia. And holding a very good position in all of these markets, Husqvarna is already very strong, offering BMW Motorrad a perfect partner.

We are very happy indeed with our new brand in the motorcycle segment, which is giving the entire Company extra momentum. So we have given ourselves ambitious growth targets right from the start, as of 2008: This year we plan to boost sales by approximately 30 per cent over the previous year, and we are already proceeding all-out to this objective.

To reach this target we initiated and implemented a number of activities right from the start when taking over Husqvarna.

Production output is developing according to plan. And after re-organising our parts business, we have solved our former problems in the supply of spares.

At the same time we have launched special programmes and activities for the further improvement of product quality.

We are also very happy with Husqvarna in motorsport, with the season so far developing very positively. We are active in both Enduro and Motocross events and in Supermoto racing. Indeed, the first results of the season in these various disciplines already exceed our expectations.

And we are particularly happy that customer interest in Husqvarna has increased very significantly following the takeover by BMW, particularly in the amateur motorsport segment.

Ladies and Gentlemen,
We are moving ahead quickly and strongly not only with Husqvarna. Rather, our own model initiative at BMW Motorrad is also continuing at a fast pace and on a high level.

In 2008, we offer our customers the substantially upgraded R 1200 GS and GS Adventure. On 8 March we started sales of the exclusive BMW HP2 Sport, and in the second half of the year the BMW G 450 X Sports Enduro will round off BMW's model range in a brand-new segment.

On 8 March the new BMW F 800 GS and BMW F 650 GS two-cylinders celebrated the start of sales.

Initial response from the markets makes us very optimistic. In fact, global demand even exceeds our production capacities, with demand particularly from the Southern European markets in Spain, Italy and Greece exceeding our greatest hopes. Particularly the F 800 GS is the choice of many customers who have so far ridden another make.

So much on the new models in 2008 you already know. But let me add that we will be presenting further surprises at the major motorcycle shows in Cologne and Milan, the Intermot and EICMA, which we cannot talk about yet today.

So you see that we are well-prepared for the future.

Despite all this good news, the fact remains that BMW Motorrad - like all European motorcycle manufacturers - currently faces special challenges. We see almost daily how conditions are becoming tougher, with the prices of raw materials and energy going up all the time and currency risks becoming greater.

Let me explain briefly just how much the currency issue affects our competitive situation:

In the last seven years alone, the dollar and the Japanese yen have lost about 80 per cent of their value versus the euro.

That means that our main competitors are benefiting from even the slightest weakness of the dollar and the yen, from every drop in value even behind the decimal point. They are able to offer their products at lower prices in the world market and make significant profits all the same.

Obviously, we must find answers to these challenges, since we cannot pass on these cost disadvantages directly to our customers in a one-to-one process.

To remain competitive we are therefore continuing to enhance our efficiency in Development, Production and Sales, we are intensifying our international Purchasing activities, and we are creating a very attractive, innovative product portfolio.

This, Ladies and Gentlemen, takes me on to the highlight I am sure you are all looking forward to.

I stated before that we are actively looking for new options, for profitable growth and for the planned increase in volume. Precisely that is why we have decided, among other things, to take on the competition in the Supersports segment on both the road and the race track.

We naturally realise that we are taking on a great challenge. Particularly the Japanese are some 20 years ahead of us in this class and have lots of experience. But even so, the spirit of this competition alone encourages us in our efforts. From the start we wish to be on par with our well-established competitors also in the Supersports segment.

Our development team is highly motivated to achieve our goals. And I can tell you today that the status we have achieved so far is very promising.

We are confident that we will be able to start the Superbike World Championship next year with a convincing all-round package, and that our series motorcycle will be just as convincing. In both terms of both its technology and price, our Supersports will be absolutely competitive.

Dear Motorcycle friends, what motivates us to move into this segment in particular?

First:

The very fascination of this motorcycle with its racing DNA expands and upgrades the brand image of BMW Motorrad by offering an additional, sporting and emotional element winning over new customers for the brand.

The Superbike World Championship is becoming increasingly popular among motorcycle riders, since here, unlike the MotoGP, they are able to watch and admire their motorcycles in a direct comparison with competitors.

And they can enjoy this thrill all around the world! This year the Superbike World Championship is being held on four continents and in 13 countries.

Second:

For the first time we are demonstrating the innovative power of BMW Motorrad also in the segment of the most dynamic, top-performance onroad motorcycles, since our Supersports motorcycle is an all-BMW development from the ground up and will be built at our plant in Berlin.

Third:

We are expanding our product portfolio also with a view to worldwide growth.

Today sales in the 1,000-cc class amount to some 100,000 units worldwide. The vast majority of these motorcycles goes to the USA and Europe. And the four large Japanese manufacturers account for about 85 per cent of the market.

BMW Motorrad is looking at a long-term involvement in this segment. Clearly, that means we must speak the language of the segment and follow the usual market standards. And indeed - we are confident that we will set new benchmarks in this scene, winning over an appropriate market share.

This, Ladies and Gentlemen, takes me on to the motorcycle as such.

It is our objective to offer the customer a high-performance motorcycle with absolutely outstanding qualities and features on both the road and race track in terms of rideability, performance, and ergonomics.

Since we are still in the middle of the development process, it would be too soon to mention any specific technical data. But you naturally know the usual level of performance our competitors have to offer. So with this in mind, I leave it to you today to speculate on what the specifications might be.

Our Supersports is based on a highly proven fundamental concept. Before choosing this concept, we naturally analysed the market and the appropriate technologies with utmost care and precision. And we will use the technical parameters required to develop our own solutions.

In the early project phase we checked out various engine concepts. And as you know, we then decided in favour of a four-cylinder, with the straight-four offering the best qualities to meet the power, performance, weight, and package requirements to be fulfilled. In typical BMW style, the engine will of course offer a number of special features, especially on the cylinder head.

For package reasons we have decided against the BMW Duo-Lever on the suspension. Taking up more space, this kind of front-wheel geometry would have presented disadvantages with the very compact structure of BMW's new Superbike.

But you can be sure that the innovations we are introducing are absolutely convincing. One example is the special traction control you will find on the new machine. Again, however, we cannot give you any further information today.

As you may expect of BMW Motorrad, the design of our BMW Supersports will be absolutely unique and very different. While it will of course reflect the usual design language in the segment, it will at the same time offer a strong and powerful message from the BMW brand.

Now let me briefly give you the status of our entry into the Superbike World Championship:

Today I can confirm that our preparations are proceeding according to plan in every respect: In compliance with the rules of the Series, the new motorcycle will be available to customers in 2009 and we will build 1,000 production models by the end of next year.

We are implementing our racing activities in close cooperation with our partner Alpha-Racing, a specialist very experienced in motorsport. Located near Munich, Alpha-Racing have already started work in a special production hall specifically for this purpose.

The process of building up the team is proceeding at full swing and we have already filled the key positions.

The team is a combination of specialists from BMW and members of the Alpha-Technik racing crew, as well as further specialists from professional Superbike racing.

Choosing the development and test riders for our racing machine, we are currently operating in a revolving system to gain as much experience as possible. The selection of test riders ranges from experienced riders still active today all the way to young "top guns".

In the upcoming weeks and months we will systematically start production of the racing machine in its individual power and performance stages, testing the new model as we go along.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We naturally realise that the established teams have many years of experience. But we wish to take up this challenge in particular and have put together a highly motivated team precisely for this purpose, a team which will prove the performance of our new motorcycle in professional racing.

Naturally, we will have to go through a certain process of learning - which is precisely why we have set ourselves realistic targets for the time being: In our first year in the Superbike World Championship we seek to bring home several places in the Top 10 and to consistently close the gap to the top teams. In year 2 we plan to catch up with the top teams and to win our first places on the podium. And our medium-term objective, obviously, is to win the World Championship!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

So much on this project, the current status of the project and our preparations for entering the World Superbike Championship next year.

You have been speculating a lot on the designation of our new model. So let us put an end to this speculation today.

BMW Motorrad's first Supersports will be the "S 1000 RR".

In choosing the name and designation of BMW's new Supersports, we are consistently following our nomenclature at BMW Motorrad. In this name, the "S" stands for Supersports, marking a new class of motorcycles from BMW. The "1000" designates the size of the engine, and the "RR" naturally stands for the model itself.

Dear Motorcycle Friends,

Many motorcycle magazines have published photos of a racing prototype which we have tested on several racing tracks. Today we would like to show you this racing prototype, offering you an initial impression of the package and the technology.

But when you see the motorcycle in a minute, please note that neither the design nor the impression of quality are the same as on the production model following at a later point.

Thank you for your attention.

2008 Ducati Monster 696: MD First Ride

The littler Monster has received the biggest upgrade in the 16-year-old Ducati Monster history. Almost everything is new, and Ducati launched the new 696 big in Barcelona.

Ducati launched the new Monster design in Milan in 2007. People all over the world have an opinion on the way a Monster should look and the new design has received passionate responses pro and con. No doubt that the design is one of the most important things about a Monster, but we are going to leave that bit for you to decide.

One thing is quite sure, and that is the new Monster 696 is different than its predecessors. Several key areas such as handling and brakes have been improved. With a revised L-twin engine, new chassis and new styling the Ducati engineers managed to bring the weight down to a claimed 161 kilograms (354 lbs.) - 7 kilograms (14.5 lbs.) down from its predecessor.

The lightness is really impressive, and together with the increase in maximum engine output to 80 Desmo horsepower it is evident that this motorcycle is a joy to ride!

Barcelona is a fun town to be in, so to ride a fun bike in a fun city was the theme of the day. We started out by heading out to various photo locations within the city itself. Luckily, the lead Ducati rider knew the art of filtering so we got to try the filtering (lane splitting) abilities at the same time. Because the Monster 696 keeps such a low profile and due to its narrowness filtering is child's play.

Being relatively tall, the ultra-low 770mm (30.3 inches) seat height could easily have been one of the things that I would not like on the bike. But on the contrary, on the Monster 696 this is perfect. The minimalist exterior matches the feel of riding something small and easy. If you live in the city, ride a scooter or just want a second bike that is almost as easy to use as twist-and-go scooters, the 696 is one of the best options available in 2008.

The start up procedure is quick and you're on your way in seconds. The new air box has a large 10 litre volume that helps torque, and the throttle response is aided by sophisticated engine mapping. The 15 litre fuel tank is hidden under the tank panel that can be replaced for customisation.

The 696cc L-twin Desmo has the great and lovable character of much larger engines, but never intimidates. If you want to play, it will play all day long. If you just want to chill out on a Sunday morning it will cruise with therapeutic L-twin vibes always ready.

After our samplling of city traffic, we headed into the hills surrounding Barcelona. In Barcelona, you have ready access to miles-and-miles of these amazing roads you usually have to spend hours to get to from many other large cities. The pace was upped and the handling was put to its test. First I noticed how quick the 696 steers from left to right. The 160/60-ZR17 Bridgestone BT56 rear tyre contributes a lot to the willingness in this area. I could carry huge lean angles as easy as nothing, and the tires felt planted to the tarmac.

The highly advanced tubular trellis frame comes with Desmosedici technology and it is not only strong, it is very light, as well. The front suspension is a 43mm USD Showa fork, while Ducati has used a Sachs rear monoshock. One aspect of the Monster 696 that I could benefit from instantly is the great feedback given back to the rider. I could push much earlier than I had anticipated. Then you have the radial Brembo set-up. It's probably pure overkill on this lightweight bike, but very reassuring as the chassis and tires easily cope with the stopping power.

Grab a bit of clutch in first and up the front wheel comes, too. Out on the motorway heading back into Barcelona, the mirrors worked in a very un-Ducati-like fashion. I could actually use them without seeing too much of my elbows or the blur of vibration.

Going up the six-speed gearbox there's sometimes a hesitation between first and second gear. No doubt these bikes were brand new, and other than that the gearbox was fine. One of the huge positive surprises was the light clutch action. The clutch is so light that frequent use in the city doesn't put much strain on my left hand.

The new instruments are very advanced with a host of features such as clock and temperature. Center to it all is the digital Desmosedici style rev counter.

Conclusion: At the end of the day I was left with an impression that Ducati has taken care of every possible issue and that the 696 in effect is the new Monster. I am pretty sure that parts of this design will soon make their way to the other Monster models, as well. If Ducati is clever, they'll leave the S2R alone and add it to the Sports Classic range, though. The M696 is very light, very easy to ride and more powerful than the predecessors. Guess all that is left for me then is to say well done Ducati. Mission accomplished.

+
Light
Handling and brakes
Easy to use clutch
-
I hit neutral unintentionally a couple of times during the test

2008 Ducati Monster 696: MD First Ride

The littler Monster has received the biggest upgrade in the 16-year-old Ducati Monster history. Almost everything is new, and Ducati launched the new 696 big in Barcelona.

Ducati launched the new Monster design in Milan in 2007. People all over the world have an opinion on the way a Monster should look and the new design has received passionate responses pro and con. No doubt that the design is one of the most important things about a Monster, but we are going to leave that bit for you to decide.

One thing is quite sure, and that is the new Monster 696 is different than its predecessors. Several key areas such as handling and brakes have been improved. With a revised L-twin engine, new chassis and new styling the Ducati engineers managed to bring the weight down to a claimed 161 kilograms (354 lbs.) - 7 kilograms (14.5 lbs.) down from its predecessor.

The lightness is really impressive, and together with the increase in maximum engine output to 80 Desmo horsepower it is evident that this motorcycle is a joy to ride!

Barcelona is a fun town to be in, so to ride a fun bike in a fun city was the theme of the day. We started out by heading out to various photo locations within the city itself. Luckily, the lead Ducati rider knew the art of filtering so we got to try the filtering (lane splitting) abilities at the same time. Because the Monster 696 keeps such a low profile and due to its narrowness filtering is child's play.

Being relatively tall, the ultra-low 770mm (30.3 inches) seat height could easily have been one of the things that I would not like on the bike. But on the contrary, on the Monster 696 this is perfect. The minimalist exterior matches the feel of riding something small and easy. If you live in the city, ride a scooter or just want a second bike that is almost as easy to use as twist-and-go scooters, the 696 is one of the best options available in 2008.

The start up procedure is quick and you're on your way in seconds. The new air box has a large 10 litre volume that helps torque, and the throttle response is aided by sophisticated engine mapping. The 15 litre fuel tank is hidden under the tank panel that can be replaced for customisation.

The 696cc L-twin Desmo has the great and lovable character of much larger engines, but never intimidates. If you want to play, it will play all day long. If you just want to chill out on a Sunday morning it will cruise with therapeutic L-twin vibes always ready.

After our samplling of city traffic, we headed into the hills surrounding Barcelona. In Barcelona, you have ready access to miles-and-miles of these amazing roads you usually have to spend hours to get to from many other large cities. The pace was upped and the handling was put to its test. First I noticed how quick the 696 steers from left to right. The 160/60-ZR17 Bridgestone BT56 rear tyre contributes a lot to the willingness in this area. I could carry huge lean angles as easy as nothing, and the tires felt planted to the tarmac.

The highly advanced tubular trellis frame comes with Desmosedici technology and it is not only strong, it is very light, as well. The front suspension is a 43mm USD Showa fork, while Ducati has used a Sachs rear monoshock. One aspect of the Monster 696 that I could benefit from instantly is the great feedback given back to the rider. I could push much earlier than I had anticipated. Then you have the radial Brembo set-up. It's probably pure overkill on this lightweight bike, but very reassuring as the chassis and tires easily cope with the stopping power.

Grab a bit of clutch in first and up the front wheel comes, too. Out on the motorway heading back into Barcelona, the mirrors worked in a very un-Ducati-like fashion. I could actually use them without seeing too much of my elbows or the blur of vibration.

Going up the six-speed gearbox there's sometimes a hesitation between first and second gear. No doubt these bikes were brand new, and other than that the gearbox was fine. One of the huge positive surprises was the light clutch action. The clutch is so light that frequent use in the city doesn't put much strain on my left hand.

The new instruments are very advanced with a host of features such as clock and temperature. Center to it all is the digital Desmosedici style rev counter.

Conclusion: At the end of the day I was left with an impression that Ducati has taken care of every possible issue and that the 696 in effect is the new Monster. I am pretty sure that parts of this design will soon make their way to the other Monster models, as well. If Ducati is clever, they'll leave the S2R alone and add it to the Sports Classic range, though. The M696 is very light, very easy to ride and more powerful than the predecessors. Guess all that is left for me then is to say well done Ducati. Mission accomplished.

+
Light
Handling and brakes
Easy to use clutch
-
I hit neutral unintentionally a couple of times during the test

Honda Hornet 1000 Rumored for 2008

New Honda Hornet 1000 Rumored for 2008


More than one source in Europe indicates that Honda will be ready with a 1000cc naked for the 2008 model year, and the bike will feature the latest generation engine found in the CBR1000RR (tuned differently, however).

Like the Hornet 600 introduced to Europe last year, this bike might be called the Hornet 1000 and feature an aluminum frame and other high-end components. If the bike materializes, it will likely be introduced this Fall at a European motorcycle show. It is impossible to speculate whether the bike will be available on the U.S. market.

Honda Hornet 1000 Rumored for 2008

New Honda Hornet 1000 Rumored for 2008


More than one source in Europe indicates that Honda will be ready with a 1000cc naked for the 2008 model year, and the bike will feature the latest generation engine found in the CBR1000RR (tuned differently, however).

Like the Hornet 600 introduced to Europe last year, this bike might be called the Hornet 1000 and feature an aluminum frame and other high-end components. If the bike materializes, it will likely be introduced this Fall at a European motorcycle show. It is impossible to speculate whether the bike will be available on the U.S. market.

2008 Aprilia SMV 750 Dorsoduro: MD First Ride


"This is a true Aprilia", Francesco Polimeni (Aprilia Motorbike category Manager) told me at the Rome presentation. What Polimeni meant is that it carries more racing heritage than the last big Aprilia news, the Shiver.

Just by looking at the new Dorsoduro you can see clearly what it is. It's Aprilia's take on the hottest niche in the motorcycle market. It's Aprilia's answer to Ducati's Hypermotard and KTM's 990 SM. By using the 750cc V-twin, Aprilia also positions itself as the smallest of the big ones.

But Aprilia's 750cc, 90 degree V-twin is liquid cooled, not air-cooled like the Hypermotard. Despite tuning the engine for more low-end torque, the Aprilia Dorsoduro still ends up with a respectable 92 peak horsepower @ 8750rpm. The main target with the Piaggio developed 750cc V-twin was low-end and midrange power. And torque there is plenty of from very low revs and max torque (82Nm) is available already from 4,500rpm.

2008 Aprilia SMV 750 Dorsoduro: MD First Ride


"This is a true Aprilia", Francesco Polimeni (Aprilia Motorbike category Manager) told me at the Rome presentation. What Polimeni meant is that it carries more racing heritage than the last big Aprilia news, the Shiver.

Just by looking at the new Dorsoduro you can see clearly what it is. It's Aprilia's take on the hottest niche in the motorcycle market. It's Aprilia's answer to Ducati's Hypermotard and KTM's 990 SM. By using the 750cc V-twin, Aprilia also positions itself as the smallest of the big ones.

But Aprilia's 750cc, 90 degree V-twin is liquid cooled, not air-cooled like the Hypermotard. Despite tuning the engine for more low-end torque, the Aprilia Dorsoduro still ends up with a respectable 92 peak horsepower @ 8750rpm. The main target with the Piaggio developed 750cc V-twin was low-end and midrange power. And torque there is plenty of from very low revs and max torque (82Nm) is available already from 4,500rpm.

Suzuki Launch Limited Edition Intruder M1800R

Suzuki Launch Limited Edition Intruder M1800R

The highly acclaimed Suzuki Intruder M1800R is to make a special appearance this month, as Suzuki GB introduce a limited edition version of the mighty sports cruiser.

Following its launch last year, where the 1783cc brute sold out in a matter of weeks, Suzuki GB have secured a limited run of the iconic model, featuring a special edition blue colour scheme with a retro white stripe.

At its launch, the M1800R was praised for its monstrous power and torque (125PS and 160NM) and sports bike humbling specification, while boasting the largest engine pistons of any passenger car or motorcycle on earth!

Upon announcing the limited edition model, Suzuki GB general manager Steve Callahan commented, “Incredibly the Intruder M1800R has reached cult status after less than a year on sale. Offering a truly unique specification, it crosses the usual boundaries by igniting interest from cruiser and sports bike fans alike. With a recommended retail price of just £9,399 this limited run model is expected to be one of the most sought after cruisers this year”.

Only 75 Intruder M1800R special editions will come to the UK, featuring the Pearl Vigour Blue and Glass Splash White colour scheme.

Suzuki Launch Limited Edition Intruder M1800R

Suzuki Launch Limited Edition Intruder M1800R

The highly acclaimed Suzuki Intruder M1800R is to make a special appearance this month, as Suzuki GB introduce a limited edition version of the mighty sports cruiser.

Following its launch last year, where the 1783cc brute sold out in a matter of weeks, Suzuki GB have secured a limited run of the iconic model, featuring a special edition blue colour scheme with a retro white stripe.

At its launch, the M1800R was praised for its monstrous power and torque (125PS and 160NM) and sports bike humbling specification, while boasting the largest engine pistons of any passenger car or motorcycle on earth!

Upon announcing the limited edition model, Suzuki GB general manager Steve Callahan commented, “Incredibly the Intruder M1800R has reached cult status after less than a year on sale. Offering a truly unique specification, it crosses the usual boundaries by igniting interest from cruiser and sports bike fans alike. With a recommended retail price of just £9,399 this limited run model is expected to be one of the most sought after cruisers this year”.

Only 75 Intruder M1800R special editions will come to the UK, featuring the Pearl Vigour Blue and Glass Splash White colour scheme.

Suzuki Has Launched An All-New Hayabusa For 2008

Suzuki Has Launched An All-New Hayabusa For 2008


An all-new 2008 Hayabusa features changes from the ground up, including a new 1340cc engine and chassis.

With a version of its own Suzuki Drive Mode Selector, the new Hayabusa allows the rider to choose from three different engine settings. Engine compression raised to 12.5-to-1 compliments the increase in engine displacement, and is cooled by a new, more effective curved radiator.

The new Suzuki meets stringent emissions requirements with a new exhaust system, and the clutch now features a "slipper" feature to reduce engine braking on aggressive downshifts. The new chassis on the 2008 Hayabusa features updated styling, fully adjustable suspension front and rear, redesigned swingarm, radial brake calipers and more.

New Engine
- New 1340cc, DOHC liquid-cooled engine with 16-valves, Twin Swirl Combustion Chambers provides 11% higher performance and smoother operation
- New Suzuki SDTV fuel injection system with dual injectors per cylinder and ram air intake with large volume airbox
- New S-DMS (Suzuki Drive Mode Selector) allows the rider to choose from three different engine settings depending on riding conditions or rider preferences
- New lightweight titanium intake and exhaust valves with narrow 14 degree valve angle for high combustion chamber efficiency
- New lightweight aluminum alloy pistons feature a revised shape and a higher compression ratio of 12.5:1 for maximum performance in all conditions.
- SCEM (Suzuki Composite Electro-chemical Material) plated cylinders minimize cylinder size and improve heat dissipation and new hydraulic cam chain tensioner for reduced mechanical noise
New ventilation holes at the cylinder skirt for reduced pumping losses and increased performance
- High efficiency curved radiator now features dual electric fans controlled by the ECM for increased cooling capacity. Oil cooler now has 10 rows cores for increased heat dissipation.
New large volume 4-2-1-2 exhaust system with a large capacity catalyzer, dual triangular canisters and closed loop system that meets Euro 3 and Tier 2 regulations
- New Shot-peened chrome-moly steel connecting rods for maximum durability
- Ion plating treatment utilizing PVD (physical vapor deposit) method is applied to piston rings providing a smoother surface treatment for increased durability, reduced friction loss and reduced oil consumption
- Slick shifting 6 speed transmission working in conjunction with an innovative back torque limiting clutch for smooth and controlled downshifts

New Chassis
- All new aggressive aerodynamic fairing design with low drag coefficient retains it's signature Hayabusa look and features an updated, muscular look to work with the new more powerful engine and updated chassis
- New fully adjustable inverted front fork featuring DLC coated inner tubes for minimal friction resistance and outstanding suspension performance over a variety of riding conditions.
Fully adjustable rear shock absorber with a 43mm piston and 14mm rod diameter
- Lightweight and rigid twin-spar aluminum frame minimizes weight while maintaining high torsional strength
- New bridged aluminum alloy swingarm features a new cross-sectional shape for increased rigidity and to cope with improved rear tire grip and increased engine output
- New radial-mount front brake calipers for maximum braking performance and allows for smaller 310mm front brake rotors resulting in reduced unsprung weight and improved handling
- Lightweight single piston rear brake caliper working in conjunction with a new larger 260mm rear brake disc
- Newly designed wheels mounted with high performance Bridgestone BT-015 tires for unmatched handling and control
Passenger seat and rear subframe are lowered for improved passenger comfort
- Fuel tank height is lowered to allow riders helmet to tuck in and windscreen height is increased for improved wind protection and optimum aerodynamic efficiency with the rider in place.
- Newly designed vertically stacked twin headlights provide increased light intensity, improved light distribution and match the elegant flow of the new Hayabusa styling.
- LED taillight utilizes a double lens structure with a clear inner lens and a red outer lens for maximum visibility and a high quality finish

Suzuki Has Launched An All-New Hayabusa For 2008

Suzuki Has Launched An All-New Hayabusa For 2008


An all-new 2008 Hayabusa features changes from the ground up, including a new 1340cc engine and chassis.

With a version of its own Suzuki Drive Mode Selector, the new Hayabusa allows the rider to choose from three different engine settings. Engine compression raised to 12.5-to-1 compliments the increase in engine displacement, and is cooled by a new, more effective curved radiator.

The new Suzuki meets stringent emissions requirements with a new exhaust system, and the clutch now features a "slipper" feature to reduce engine braking on aggressive downshifts. The new chassis on the 2008 Hayabusa features updated styling, fully adjustable suspension front and rear, redesigned swingarm, radial brake calipers and more.

New Engine
- New 1340cc, DOHC liquid-cooled engine with 16-valves, Twin Swirl Combustion Chambers provides 11% higher performance and smoother operation
- New Suzuki SDTV fuel injection system with dual injectors per cylinder and ram air intake with large volume airbox
- New S-DMS (Suzuki Drive Mode Selector) allows the rider to choose from three different engine settings depending on riding conditions or rider preferences
- New lightweight titanium intake and exhaust valves with narrow 14 degree valve angle for high combustion chamber efficiency
- New lightweight aluminum alloy pistons feature a revised shape and a higher compression ratio of 12.5:1 for maximum performance in all conditions.
- SCEM (Suzuki Composite Electro-chemical Material) plated cylinders minimize cylinder size and improve heat dissipation and new hydraulic cam chain tensioner for reduced mechanical noise
New ventilation holes at the cylinder skirt for reduced pumping losses and increased performance
- High efficiency curved radiator now features dual electric fans controlled by the ECM for increased cooling capacity. Oil cooler now has 10 rows cores for increased heat dissipation.
New large volume 4-2-1-2 exhaust system with a large capacity catalyzer, dual triangular canisters and closed loop system that meets Euro 3 and Tier 2 regulations
- New Shot-peened chrome-moly steel connecting rods for maximum durability
- Ion plating treatment utilizing PVD (physical vapor deposit) method is applied to piston rings providing a smoother surface treatment for increased durability, reduced friction loss and reduced oil consumption
- Slick shifting 6 speed transmission working in conjunction with an innovative back torque limiting clutch for smooth and controlled downshifts

New Chassis
- All new aggressive aerodynamic fairing design with low drag coefficient retains it's signature Hayabusa look and features an updated, muscular look to work with the new more powerful engine and updated chassis
- New fully adjustable inverted front fork featuring DLC coated inner tubes for minimal friction resistance and outstanding suspension performance over a variety of riding conditions.
Fully adjustable rear shock absorber with a 43mm piston and 14mm rod diameter
- Lightweight and rigid twin-spar aluminum frame minimizes weight while maintaining high torsional strength
- New bridged aluminum alloy swingarm features a new cross-sectional shape for increased rigidity and to cope with improved rear tire grip and increased engine output
- New radial-mount front brake calipers for maximum braking performance and allows for smaller 310mm front brake rotors resulting in reduced unsprung weight and improved handling
- Lightweight single piston rear brake caliper working in conjunction with a new larger 260mm rear brake disc
- Newly designed wheels mounted with high performance Bridgestone BT-015 tires for unmatched handling and control
Passenger seat and rear subframe are lowered for improved passenger comfort
- Fuel tank height is lowered to allow riders helmet to tuck in and windscreen height is increased for improved wind protection and optimum aerodynamic efficiency with the rider in place.
- Newly designed vertically stacked twin headlights provide increased light intensity, improved light distribution and match the elegant flow of the new Hayabusa styling.
- LED taillight utilizes a double lens structure with a clear inner lens and a red outer lens for maximum visibility and a high quality finish

Honda CBR1000RR for 2008

Honda CBR1000RR for 2008

Honda will be launching a much-revised CBR1000RR for 2008. It's expected to be substantially lighter than the current version, going on a diet similar to the new CBR600RR, but maintain its traditional in-line four cylinder engine configuration.

The bike may be boasting new electronic wizardry. The top two possibilities are electronic traction control and switchable engine maps, similar to the current Suzuki GSX-R1000, so it can be homologated for superbike racing.

Honda CBR1000RR for 2008

Honda CBR1000RR for 2008

Honda will be launching a much-revised CBR1000RR for 2008. It's expected to be substantially lighter than the current version, going on a diet similar to the new CBR600RR, but maintain its traditional in-line four cylinder engine configuration.

The bike may be boasting new electronic wizardry. The top two possibilities are electronic traction control and switchable engine maps, similar to the current Suzuki GSX-R1000, so it can be homologated for superbike racing.

Suzuki Unveiled A Selection Of New Models In Rome

Suzuki Unveiled  A Selection Of New  Models  In Rome

The Cinecittà Film Studio’s in Rome played host to some unconventional stars last night, as Suzuki unveiled a selection of new two-wheel products to the assembled European press.

A legend even before its launch, Suzuki was pleased to announce the final specification of the soon to be launched B-King muscle bike. Offering looks true to the original concept machine, the hotly anticipated specification was finally announced. Equipped with a 1340cc engine, the B-King will pack an impressive power output aimed squarely at making it one of the most powerful naked motorcycles available.



Joining the B-King at the top of the Suzuki performance tree is the new GSX1300R Hayabusa. A machine that has achieved legendary status since its introduction gets redeveloped for 2008, heralding a new era for large capacity sports bikes.

Featuring class-leading power from its 1340cc engine, three-way adjustable power settings (thanks to the Suzuki Drive Mode Selector), fuel injection and all-new low drag, coefficient signature bodywork.



Bolstering Suzuki’s street bike range is the new GSX-650F. Adding to the hugely popular line-up, the GSX650F gives additional weather protection in the form of a full fairing, combined with GSX-R derived styling. .



Following the launch of Suzuki’s biggest cruiser only last year (The Intruder M1800R), Suzuki have boosted cruiser choice with the launch of the C1800 Intruder. Offering traditional cruiser styling with state-of-the-art technology, the new C1800 truly offers the best of both worlds.



Not wishing to miss-out, Suzuki's off-road development team announced a first for production motocross machines, with the introduction of a new fuel-injected RM-Z450. Featuring the fuelling technology developed for Suzuki's on-road GSX-R range, the new RM-Z450 features an all-new frame and bodywork too.

Suzuki Unveiled A Selection Of New Models In Rome

Suzuki Unveiled  A Selection Of New  Models  In Rome

The Cinecittà Film Studio’s in Rome played host to some unconventional stars last night, as Suzuki unveiled a selection of new two-wheel products to the assembled European press.

A legend even before its launch, Suzuki was pleased to announce the final specification of the soon to be launched B-King muscle bike. Offering looks true to the original concept machine, the hotly anticipated specification was finally announced. Equipped with a 1340cc engine, the B-King will pack an impressive power output aimed squarely at making it one of the most powerful naked motorcycles available.



Joining the B-King at the top of the Suzuki performance tree is the new GSX1300R Hayabusa. A machine that has achieved legendary status since its introduction gets redeveloped for 2008, heralding a new era for large capacity sports bikes.

Featuring class-leading power from its 1340cc engine, three-way adjustable power settings (thanks to the Suzuki Drive Mode Selector), fuel injection and all-new low drag, coefficient signature bodywork.



Bolstering Suzuki’s street bike range is the new GSX-650F. Adding to the hugely popular line-up, the GSX650F gives additional weather protection in the form of a full fairing, combined with GSX-R derived styling. .



Following the launch of Suzuki’s biggest cruiser only last year (The Intruder M1800R), Suzuki have boosted cruiser choice with the launch of the C1800 Intruder. Offering traditional cruiser styling with state-of-the-art technology, the new C1800 truly offers the best of both worlds.



Not wishing to miss-out, Suzuki's off-road development team announced a first for production motocross machines, with the introduction of a new fuel-injected RM-Z450. Featuring the fuelling technology developed for Suzuki's on-road GSX-R range, the new RM-Z450 features an all-new frame and bodywork too.

Suzuki RM-Z450: Fuel Injection Comes To MotoCross

Suzuki RM-Z450: Fuel Injection Comes To MotoCross

Fuel Injection has arrived on production motocross machines, with the introduction of the all-new 2008 RM-Z450 from Suzuki.

Unveiled at Suzuki’s European press conference in Rome earlier this week, the all-new RM-Z450 has rewritten the history books in the hotly contested MX1 class, offering fuel injection from the manufacturer acknowledged as THE expert.

Suzuki know how increasingly competitive motocross is, but the challenge to keep winning races and championships is what motivates engineers to strive for perfection. Championship winning experience off-road and on, give Suzuki a unique advantage, bringing GSX-R technology from the chicanes and hairpins, to the berms and whoops.

In order to meet the strict motocross performance standards, Suzuki designed an all-new, battery-less electronic fuel injection system, equating to improved roll-on performance and responsive low-mid range power, while keeping weight to a minimum. Since fuel efficiency has been increased, tank capacity has been reduced to 6.2 litres. Further development sees the new 450 get increased gear ratios, thanks to an all-new five-speed gearbox arrangement.

With complete redevelopment of the power-plant, Suzuki engineers concentrated on the chassis too. An all-new frame design incorporates multiple changes learned throughout racing. With reduced frame rail diameters on tank mounting points, and increased lower tubes (30mm x 30mm), the new chassis offers improved agility with a reduction in weight.

Further improvements come in the form of revised suspension, offering less weight with a more controlled ride, all-new bodywork giving a slimmer feel with improved cooling, revised footpegs offering more boot grip and improved braking performance thanks to ‘wavey’ discs front and rear.

Suzuki RM-Z450: Fuel Injection Comes To MotoCross

Suzuki RM-Z450: Fuel Injection Comes To MotoCross

Fuel Injection has arrived on production motocross machines, with the introduction of the all-new 2008 RM-Z450 from Suzuki.

Unveiled at Suzuki’s European press conference in Rome earlier this week, the all-new RM-Z450 has rewritten the history books in the hotly contested MX1 class, offering fuel injection from the manufacturer acknowledged as THE expert.

Suzuki know how increasingly competitive motocross is, but the challenge to keep winning races and championships is what motivates engineers to strive for perfection. Championship winning experience off-road and on, give Suzuki a unique advantage, bringing GSX-R technology from the chicanes and hairpins, to the berms and whoops.

In order to meet the strict motocross performance standards, Suzuki designed an all-new, battery-less electronic fuel injection system, equating to improved roll-on performance and responsive low-mid range power, while keeping weight to a minimum. Since fuel efficiency has been increased, tank capacity has been reduced to 6.2 litres. Further development sees the new 450 get increased gear ratios, thanks to an all-new five-speed gearbox arrangement.

With complete redevelopment of the power-plant, Suzuki engineers concentrated on the chassis too. An all-new frame design incorporates multiple changes learned throughout racing. With reduced frame rail diameters on tank mounting points, and increased lower tubes (30mm x 30mm), the new chassis offers improved agility with a reduction in weight.

Further improvements come in the form of revised suspension, offering less weight with a more controlled ride, all-new bodywork giving a slimmer feel with improved cooling, revised footpegs offering more boot grip and improved braking performance thanks to ‘wavey’ discs front and rear.

Buell 1125R Redefines the Sportbike Riding Experience

New Buell 1125R Redefines the Sportbike Riding Experience

The Buell Motorcycle Company is set to break the convention of the superbike category with the Buell 1125R; an all-new, liter-class motorcycle that delivers an artful balance of street and track performance.

Rooted in the core design principles and character that have defined Buell motorcycles for 25 years, the 1125R offers power, handling and agility that will take its owner to a new level of riding experience. The Buell 1125R joins the XB and Blast as a third and distinct Buell motorcycle platform. The Buell 1125R is expected to arrive in Buell dealerships in late 2007.

"We designed the 1125R from the rider down," said Erik Buell, chairman and chief technical officer at Buell Motorcycle Company. "The 1125R takes Buell to a new level of performance, while continuing to embrace the fundamental Buell principals of motorcycle design and offering a great motorcycle riding experience."

The Buell 1125R riding experience derives not just from its power, but from a carefully considered combination of engine performance, precise-and-agile handling, advanced aerodynamics, and superior rider environment and control, all packaged with distinctive styling that leaves many of the motorcycle's mechanical components exposed.

New V-Twin Muscle

The Buell 1125R Helicon engine is a new 1125cc DOHC V-Twin, the first liquid-cooled engine to power a street-legal Buell motorcycle. This compact, 72-degree engine is the result of a collaboration between Buell and BRP-Rotax, a leader in the development and manufacture of advanced engines for recreational products. The Helicon engine was designed to Buell specifications and is exclusive to Buell. It will be manufactured in Austria by BRP-Rotax. The most-powerful street-legal engine ever offered by Buell, the Helicon engine is rated at 146 crankshaft horsepower, and is designed to deliver optimized usable power, with a broad powerband across its 10500 rpm range. Its V-Twin design retains the styling and character that has always defined the Buell riding experience.

The engine is cradled in a new Buell Intuitive Response Chassis (IRC) with massive, rigid aluminum spars that double as the fuel reservoir. The new 1125R sticks to the three tenants of the Buell Trilogy of Technology -- chassis rigidity, low unsprung weight and mass centralization -- to deliver race-inspired agility and handling. The all-new front fairing and radiator cowling was developed using the latest computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models to provide superior aerodynamics, rider comfort, and efficient air flow to longitudinal radiators and a ram-air intake system.

The front wheel is supported by 47 mm inverted forks. A new Buell ZTL2 front brake features an eight-piston caliper based on the brake developed for the Buell XBRR racing motorcycle. A smooth-shifting six-speed transmission is mated to a new HVA (Hydraulic Vacuum Assist) Slipper Action clutch that uses engine vacuum to boost clutch-lever action and to provide a "slipper" effect when the engine is down-shifted at speed. A new underslung muffler has dual brushed stainless steel outlets.

The Buell 1125R offers an athletic riding position. Quiet Zone aerodynamics are achieved by managing air flow around the rider for enhanced performance and comfort. The toe levers on both the brake and shift foot controls are adjustable to match rider foot size. The instrument cluster features a large analog tachometer and a digital speedometer, plus an Onboard Diagnostic Information System (O.D.I.S.) screen and other interactive features. The fairing shape is inspired by the Buell XBRR and features six-bulb headlamps. LED turn signals are integrated into the mirror housings.

The Buell 1125R is available with Midnight Black bodywork, Diamond Blue wheels, Diamond Blue frame and swingarm, and Fusion Bronze engine trim