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Euro Gossip October 2006

Friday, October 20, 2006
Making its debut at the Mugello circuit earlier this year  the 800cc Ducati GP7 s tail unit might make its way onto the new 1099cc Superbike set to replace the 999.
Making its debut at the Mugello circuit earlier this year, the 800cc Ducati GP7's tail unit might make its way onto the new 1099cc Superbike set to replace the 999.
Italy

Ducati is readying the release of the new 1098cc Superbike for the Milan show. Ducati cannot afford the bike to flop like the radically styled 999, so expect some styling influences from the 916-998 series of bikes, including the much-loved single-sided swingarm. Insiders suggest that the tail unit will be very similar to the 800cc GP7 Moto GP bike that has been seen testing recently.

The actual capacity is apparently 1099cc with a 108mm bore and 60mm stroke with a power output of 160 bhp. In back-to-back tests it has already out-performed a 2006-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000. The intention is to have a standard version, a higher spec S model and a top of the range R version which will be the homologation model for WSB.

The 2007 SportClassic models now feature two-up availability. This Sport 1000 S Biposto represents a passenger-friendly version of the previous limited-edition Paul Smart model. It is possible a  Street Scrambler  could be added to the lineup in the future.
The 2007 SportClassic models now feature two-up availability. This Sport 1000 S Biposto represents a passenger-friendly version of the previous limited-edition Paul Smart model. It is possible a "Street Scrambler" could be added to the lineup in the future.
Also, a new Monster is apparently lurking in the wings while the Hypermotard is readied for production. However, with the range still being their best seller, it is unlikely to be anything more than evolution rather than anything radical as recent new models.

Spy shots circulating of the Hypermotard undergoing road tests show a catalytic converter in the middle of the exhaust, a larger oil-cooler and a wet-clutch transmission. It is not known whether this is 1000 or an 1100 unit, but all will be revealed at the EICMA show in Milan, where the bike is expected to be launched in November.

Thanks to the success of the Sport Classic range and the new updates previously mentioned here, it seems that this run could be further expanded with the addition of a Street Scrambler in the near future, or even a replica of one of Ducati's 1980s-era Endurance race bikes.

Miguel Galluzzi will oversee the new styling designs for Aprilia. The Argentine can boast an impressive resume  having designed the Cagiva Raptor and the wildly popular Ducati Monster.
Miguel Galluzzi will oversee the new styling designs for Aprilia. The Argentine can boast an impressive resume, having designed the Cagiva Raptor and the wildly popular Ducati Monster.
Argentine designer Miguel Galluzzi was the man responsible for the Ducati Monster, designed when he was working for Cagiva back at the beginning of the 1990s. This bike gave the Ducati brand the mass sales they needed to survive at the time, as well as becoming one of its best selling models.

Since then, Galuzzi went on to design the Cagiva Raptor, as well as many other machines like Husqvarana's off-roaders. Now it appears he wants to add Aprilia to his CV and has moved across to head up the in-house design team in Noale, Italy.

With many new projects rumored, we could see him making his mark with something like the new 1000cc V-4 Superbike and possibly the rumored 1200cc V-Twin.

Alternatively there is still time for him to have some influence on the new 750 Tuono, which has already been spied out testing on public roads close to the factory. The bike has a new engine of around 100 bhp, complete with twin cams and four valves per cylinder. The bike features a new frame and radial brakes. Insiders suggest that there may also be an 850cc machine with just a SOHC and just 70 bhp - with an automatic gearbox!

Meanwhile, the existing 1000cc version gets a serious brother called the Tuono Factory. Engine modifications mean that the bike pumps out 139 bhp, and Ohlins suspension front and rear keep the bikes high-spec appeal. Just 300 of the bike will be produced with gold frames and lots of carbon fiber panels to get the weight down to 399 lbs. Full details can be found in our preview article here.
Rumor has it Benelli is planning of a 750cc Twin called the Leo  which would be a two-cylinder version of the 1130cc Triple powerplant and resemble the TNT  above  in styling.
Rumor has it Benelli is planning of a 750cc Twin called the Leo, which would be a two-cylinder version of the 1130cc Triple powerplant and resemble the TNT (above) in styling.

Not only is Aprilia looking at the 750 market, it would appear so too are Benelli with a 750cc Twin. Called the Leo, it uses two cylinders off the company's 1130cc Triple, giving a capacity of 756cc.

Clay models and prototypes have already been cast of a bike that apes the TNT in looks, but apparently a big trailie could also follow as early as the end of this year powered by the same new engine. Both companies want a slice of the middleweight action currently dominated by the mid-range Ducati Multistrada and the F650 BMW.

However, the Chinese-owned Benelli factory is also looking at doubling its current powerplant as well as halving it. Rumors suggest that a V-6 is on the drawing board to challenge Triumph's Rocket III.

Benelli also showed at Intermot an alloy-framed 450cc motocrosser that might appear as early as the end of this year!
The scooters and motorcycles made by the Austrian firm CPI are manufactured in Taiwan to European specs. The company plans on releasing three new Euro 3-compliant designs this fall.
The scooters and motorcycles made by the Austrian firm CPI are manufactured in Taiwan to European specs. The company plans on releasing three new Euro 3-compliant designs this fall.

We have previously mentioned the new limited-edition MV 'Grand Prix' which is being developed to stop Ducati stealing the show with their Desmosedici RR. Recent spy shots taken at the Nardo test track in Italy show that the rumor is in fact true. Insiders confirm it is the bike in question, being tested to ensure that it will top the 200-mph barrier and produce a genuine 200 bhp in road trim. The shots circulating show carbon fiber bodywork and Showa suspension. Expect the bike to cost in the region of $100,000 when it finally goes on sale!

Austria

CPI has a strong brand reputation in Europe, but its range of motorcycles, scooters and ATVs are actually built in Taiwan to European designs. This autumn it intend to launch three new models that are Euro 3 compliant and hope this will keep them ahead of the opposition in the highly competitive European sales war.
The scooters and motorcycles made by the Austrian firm CPI are manufactured in Taiwan to European specs. The company plans on releasing three new Euro 3-compliant designs this fall.
The scooters and motorcycles made by the Austrian firm CPI are manufactured in Taiwan to European specs. The company plans on releasing three new Euro 3-compliant designs this fall.

India

Ducati Energia, a subsidiary of Ducati Motor Holding, which makes ignition systems not only for Ducati but many other Italian brands, has gone into a joint venture with scooter firm Kinetic in Pune, India.

Ducati will invest 6.7 million pounds ($12.5 million) in the plant over the next three years and Ducati Energia India will target the domestic Indian market and also the other Asian markets, as well as Europe.

Australia

Australian wheels supplier Castalloy has just been bought by Harley-Davidson to safeguard its wheel supplies. The factory based in the North Plympton suburb of Adelaide has been producing wheels and hubs for the American legend for over two decades.

The company fell into receivership in 2004 after its parent company (ION Ltd) went bankrupt. The deal has been brokered by the Australian government in an effort to protect jobs in the region.

Czech Republic

Blata is best known for its mini bikes, but strong rumors suggest it may be ready to launch a couple of 125cc machines. Look out for a Supermoto and Enduro model.

Germany

It is well known that most car racers are also bike fans, including Formula One drivers, so it is no surprise that Finnish driver Kimi Raikkonen has a custom cruiser next to his Ferrari Enzo in Switzerland.
The new K1200R Sport is a half-faired version of BMW s regular K1200R  and splits difference between the R and fully-faired K1200S.
The new K1200R Sport is a half-faired version of BMW's regular K1200R, and splits difference between the R and fully-faired K1200S.

The bike was made for him by German custom builders Walz Hardcore Cycles, and while the cost is not known, it's not unusual for Walz bikes to cost upward of $100,000. Each spoke of the wheel has his nickname 'Iceman' on them, emphasizing the hand-built nature of the bike.

Despite the low-slung look, the bike is designed to handle better than you might expect, as it uses an Ohlins suspension system at the front and an air system at the rear which raises or lowers the bike at a flick of a switch. As you might expect, a Harley-based motor is fitted with a big-bore kit taking it to 1950cc!

We have been going on about BMW launching new bikes all year and now they have revealed the G-series aimed at people who would not normally choose a BMW. All three feature a new version of the F650 Rotax single-cylinder engine pumping out 53 bhp.

The new Supermoto HP2 design  dubbed the Mega Moto  figures to produce around 115 bhp  making it the brawniest machine in its class.
The new Supermoto HP2 design, dubbed the Mega Moto, figures to produce around 115 bhp, making it the brawniest machine in its class.
The three bikes are built by Aprilia in Italy as we predicted, which may mean them resurfacing under the Italian brand next year as well. Despite being aimed at different markets, all use the same simple frame with alloy castings and a plastic fuel tank under the seat to centralize the mass. Full details can be found here. BMW also unveiled its new K1200R Sport, a half-faired version of the K1200R that can be read about through the above hyperlink.

Lastly, BMW also took the wraps off the Mega Moto, a 115-bhp Supermoto which takes the whole concept to a whole new level. Using a 1200 engine from the R model, but with a few tweaks and an Akroprovic exhaust, it is likely to become the fastest machine of the genre.

In other German news, we are pleased to report that the demise of Sachs mentioned earlier this year wa a bit premature. They are back with a restyled XTC 125 model.

Singapore
This intriguing design from the Singapore-based Powerhouse is powered by an enclosed V-Twin and utilizes a semi-automatic gearbox.
This intriguing design from the Singapore-based Powerhouse is powered by an enclosed V-Twin and utilizes a semi-automatic gearbox.

The 'Smart Racer' is a bike designed by Singapore-based Powerhouse, claimed to have the commuting ability of a Honda CG125 with the thrills of a MotoGP bike!

The machine actually looks like a long, low custom bike, with the engine enclosed by side panels despite it being a customizer favorite, a V-Twin. The liquid-cooled item is claimed to give 130 bhp and is mated to a semi-automatic gearbox like that found on a Yamaha FJR1300AE. The center of gravity has been kept low with most of the weight centered toward the front end. It has ABS brakes front and rear, and the bike has a catalytic converter as part of the overall design.

While this concept seems and looks quite interesting, the company does not have the facilities to put it into production. It is, however, believed that they are talking to one or more Japanese manufacturer with the idea that they will take the concept a stage further and move toward production.

Sweden

Swedish suspension firm Ohlins wants a bike manufacturer to put its two-wheel-drive system into production. First seen working on a 2001 Yamaha R1 and then on a Dakar-running WR450, the 2-Trac system has lain dormant since.

Yamaha, despite owning 75% of the original Swedish-based company, is said to be reluctant to lead the way. Original tests showed that it could allow a rider to improve track lap times by up to 5 seconds a lap.

Last year Triumph hit the jackpot with its Daytona 675. Can the British firm follow it up with the 2007 Tiger  which has been upped to 1050cc
Last year Triumph hit the jackpot with its Daytona 675. Can the British firm follow it up with the 2007 Tiger, which has been upped to 1050cc?
Despite the relationship with Yamaha, Ohlins own the technology and could sell it to any other manufacturer they choose. Any takers?

United Kingdom

And now, a bit of self congratulation!

As predicted in this column over the past year, the popular Triumph Tiger has grown is size to 1050cc and become more road orientated to take on the Ducati Multistrada at its own game. The new model has just appeared and the first tests have been favorable, confirming the new road bias of the machine. Now almost a large Supermoto, the general styling and specification is as predicted here, confirming our sources are pretty good!

The new version of the Rocket III, the GT previously mentioned, has been spied out undergoing final shakedown tests. Spy shots confirm large panniers, comfy seats and big screen to enable it go head-to-head with the large touring Harleys.
The 2007 Bonneville has been bumped up from 790cc to 865cc. Older Bonnevilles may suffer from a spoke-related problem with wheels. Dealers are being told to check the wheels on servicing due to a flaw which causes the stainless-steel spokes to snap and blow out tires.
The 2007 Bonneville has been bumped up from 790cc to 865cc. Older Bonnevilles may suffer from a spoke-related problem with wheels. Dealers are being told to check the wheels on servicing due to a flaw which causes the stainless-steel spokes to snap and blow out tires.

In more troubling news for the English firm, we have to report on a potentially dangerous fault with a Triumph, this time with the top-selling Bonneville. It would appear that there is a likelihood of spokes snapping and causing potentially dangerous blow outs. Apparently the problem stems from the stainless steel spokes work-hardening due to their spoke pattern. The problem can be cured by fitting either mild-steel spokes or thicker items. Triumph is asking all their dealers to check the wheels during servicing, but this will only deal with those bikes that are dealer serviced.

CCM, as we have mentioned, is on the way back with a whole new range of bikes, all using the Suzuki DR-Z400 motor. Following on from the success of their Flat Tracker now comes the Cafe Racer.

As we reported last month  CCM plans to create a  Scrambling  motocrosser  above  powered by a DR-Z400 motor. Now the British firm has announced plans for a Cafe Racer.
As we reported last month, CCM plans to create a 'Scrambling' motocrosser (above) powered by a DR-Z400 motor. Now the British firm has announced plans for a Cafe Racer.
This tubular-steel-framed bike has 18-inch alloy rims laced to the hubs with traditional spokes. However, despite its retro style it has disc brakes courtesy of Brembo. Marzocchi provide the forks, while twin shocks grace the rear. Colors are optional and the bikes costs just short of $11,000.

Finally!

When a thief tried to steal a motorcycle in Kenya, he got more than he bargained for. His attempts to take the bike resulted in a man being stabbed, which understandably upset a crowd of onlookers who decided to deal with him themselves and not wait for the police. Their justice was somewhat brutal, wrapping him in newspaper and then setting fire to him, proving in some countries crime does not pay!


Tell us what you think about this month's installment of Euro Gossip in the MCUSA Forum.
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