2017 - 2018 Kawasaki Z 250
After making a sweet spot in the hearts of enthusiasts with its Ninja 300, Kawasaki had struck again with its yet another onslaught in the entry-level performance motoring, Z250. It was first launched in 2013 for the Asian markets post which the Japanese Green team gave the Z300 for Australia and Europe.
Designed and engineered on the lines of the bigger Z’s, the Z250 also promises to give the thrills of the Ninja in a more affordable package. After the Ninja 300, we were speculating that Kawasaki might launch its Z300 on our shores, but that seems out of the question at the moment. Nonetheless, we stay optimistic with this Z250 making rounds of eastern roads. It gets Euro IV compliant engine, new color schemes, and the much needed ABS. Good news is never too late.
Yamaha announces Niken’s entry onto the US shores
Being the most talked about bike ever since its launch, the Niken showcases a crazy innovation called the Leaning Multi-Wheeler (LMW). Basically, Yamaha has stepped up their game with this.
The three-wheeled revolutionary motorcycle based on the hugely popular MT-09 platform is finally coming to the US, and it costs exactly $5,333 per Wheel. If you can do the math right, that means the Niken will cost exactly $7,000 markup over the Yamaha MT-09.
2017 - 2018 Hyosung GD250R
The Korean manufacturer has been really trying hard with having a success in our market for a long time. All their success stories, if any, have been very short-lived, and with ten models in the country, none of them have a great one to share. Blame their marketing department for not creating the hype.
But without giving up on their standing chance, Hyosung has been undergoing a rescue mission and developed a new platform for their smaller capacity motorcycles. And the first iteration from them is the GD250R. It features a single-cylinder motor and is aimed at a full faired sports segment.
We all had seen the GD250R at the EICMA in Milan a couple of years back, but we couldn’t figure out why it could not generate a considerable interest back then. Then, it was on display at the Long Beach IMS, and looking at the motorcycle in its flesh, faith seems to have gotten restored.
2018 MV Agusta F3 675 RC
MV Agusta, as a brand, has mastered the fine art of making the hottest wallpaper machines unlike anyone in the business. And the cream of it belongs to the limited-production RC (Reparto Corse) editions. They are a legitimate celebration of MV Agusta’s superior qualities created by the honchos at the racing department, Jules Cluzel and Lorenzo Zanetti.
This year, the factory racers have touched on the hottest performing middleweight sportbikes in production, the F3 675, which also receives mild updates with its powertrain, electronics, and chassis to keep their mark on the ever-improving sportsbike market.
2018 Aprilia RSV4 RF LE
The world of motorcycles is looking at a future where the air is going to help them win races on the track and off it. Aprilia just gave us the world’s first production superbike with aerodynamic winglets. Underpinned by the legendary RSV4 architecture, the new machine will be a limited edition affair of just 125 units, and all of them are heading to North America.
Called as the Aprilia RSV4 RF LE (RF Limited Edition), the carbon fiber winglets on this will change the way future superbikes will look like. It was launched at the GP of Americas in Austin, Texas a couple of months back, and is here to serve a purpose in its life – help Aprilia get on with the new regulations in the WSBK championships.
2018 Ducati Panigale 959 Corse
Launched back in 2016 as a replacement model of the Euro-III 899 Panigale, the Euro-IV compliant 959 Panigale became the most affordable superbike in the international lineup of Ducati until the brand launched the 939 Supersport last year. It came with a longer stroked 955cc engine, a tweaked chassis and styling, new side-mount exhausts and a weight increase.
With high spec Brembos’, Showas’, a quickshifter, traction control and ABS, the standard 959 was running great. But the folks at the Italian company had a greater vision. For 2018, the 959 just got checked by the folks who run the team’s MotoGP stunts. Better equipped and a fresh new paint job that was seen similarly with the 848 EVO Corse edition in 2013.
2018 BMW R nineT Racer
BMW Motorrad must have said that they are done with the R nine T family and are moving out of the heritage scene, but it cannot stop people from wanting more out of it. The R nine T has absolutely been a hit story for the German ever since the launch in 2013. It was so good that BMW initially struggled to keep up with the demand and they released one version after the other in succession to the world stage that includes the Pure (roadster), Scrambler and the Urban G/S.
But nothing looked and felt as retro as the R nine T Racer which embodies classic 1970s’ café-racer cues taking us back in time with modern design bits and sophisticated packaging. Released first in 2016, the Racer gave us a chance to relive the era of legendary superbikes, and it does that even today albeit with a modern 1170 cc mil and up-spec chassis elements.
2018 MV Agusta Brutale Dragster 800 RR
The trimmed down streetfighter from MV Agusta was first showcased at the 2013 EICMA which were originally based out of the Brutale 800, to begin with. Out of which came the Dragster 800 RR, a stunning piece of entry by the house of Varese for an audience who desire the best of both worlds. Beauty and performance.
Like the updated F3 Reparto Corse line-up for 2018, the Dragster 800 RR also receives a slew of updates for 2018 that include engine, chassis and electronic improvements along with new styling elements to keep things fresh.
2018 Yamaha YZF-R1M
Touted as the sharpest and most track-focused supersport bikes you could get your hands on, Yamaha has updated their mad YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M superbikes with recalibrated equipment and a couple of new features, keeping the competition alive and well.
Taking one step closer to the true-blue racing pedigree of the M1, the 2018 R1 series will enhance rider experience by improving suspension, shifting and fuelling to be the "most sought-after supersport motorcycles designed to deliver the pinnacle of performance on and off the track".
2018 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R SE
With their bikes dominating the WSBK championships, we can see the direct impact of this on Kawasaki’s street products. With the integration of technology and electronics from their motorsport experience, they have continuously pushed the limits for better handling and a thrilling ride experience along with ground-breaking technology catering to the rider’s needs.
One such addition is the semi-active suspension unit that the folks from Kawasaki have equipped their new 2018 ZX-10R variant. Suffixed as ’SE’, the bike sits right in the middle of the ’R’ and the ’RR’, and is ready to slay the competition as one of the one of the most user-friendly and equally precise-to-use supersport in the world.
2018 MV Agusta Brutale 800 RR LH44
Apart from everything they make, MV also makes special superbikes for a few esteemed celebrities in the world, and one of them is the three-time Formula One World Champion, Lewis Hamilton. The Brit has also been responsible for a limited edition Dragster model that MV created for just 244 blokes out there, and all of them got sold out within a few hours of launch: the Dragster RR LH44. Then came 44 units of the MV Agusta F4 LH44 based on the Italian brand’s top-of-the-line trim of its four-cylinder superbike, the MV Agusta F4 RC.
Now, the same team has met again to collaborate with another limited edition model based on their famous Brutale 800 RR. Called as the MV Agusta Brutale 800 RR LH44, it gets similar detailing on the bike styled by Lewis Hamilton himself and will be produced in a limited series of only 144 units.
2018 Benelli Tornado 302R
Benelli must have lost its old world charm of making machines pecked with impeccable high cap mills and is finding it difficult to proclaim its identity amidst the modern and competitive world, even more after a Chinese firm acquired it. But now, it seems like a thing of the past, more of a ‘myth’ one could say. Benelli has started showcasing us products designed by CentroStile Benelli, and slowly their reputation seems to have gotten back to its original charm albeit with entry-level machines.
The Italian marquee Benelli, which after raking in some interesting numbers with its range of naked streetfighters, has now come up with its first fully faired motorcycle in the entry-level segment, the 302R. With what is supposed to just be a ’fairing slapped on’ issue with the naked TNT 300, the 302R promises more than that.
2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe
Kawasaki had already brought back the ethos of the famed Z1 of 1972 at the Tokyo International Motor Show with the Z900RS retro motorcycle. With almost every brand entering the neo-classic craze, Kawasaki brought one of its own classics back. Although it has the W800, the Z900RS depicts a much more modern take with thoroughly done modish mechanical features, fit and finish.
Now, the same guys have gone ahead and given it a headlamp cowl and dropped bars to get it running on the cafe-racer beeline.
Unwrapped at the 2017 EICMA show, the wardrobe change has made the standard RS the 2018 Kawasaki Ninja Z900RS Cafe. And Kawasaki has decided that we deserve to drive them on our roads and are bringing it to the North American showroom floors as the 2018 model.
The "TYPE 11", another feather on the Yamaha Yard Builds
Based out of Southend-on-Sea near London, the Auto Fabrica workshop is set up to design, prototype, manufacture a build from concept to final product. Their latest project is the “TYPE 11” breed of machines that has built two bespoke models for two different riding preferences, underpinned by Yamaha’s XSR 900.
This scent was picked up by the folks at Yamaha Yard Build, guys who ask "talented customizers to provide inspirational ideas on how to transform modern Yamaha models into ’Yard Build’ specials." The TYPE 11 gets the “Prototype One” track only machine and a “Prototype Two” road going version.