Held in Cologne, Germany, the International Motorcycle, Scooter and E-Bike Fair, known as Intermot, is the first big international motorcycle show of the fall season, giving many manufacturers a chance to unveil new models for the upcoming model year. The 2015 crop of new bikes was a big one, with all-new or significantly updated models from BMW, Ducati, Kawasaki, KTM, Suzuki and Zero. Here’s a brief overview of what’s coming down the pike.
2015 BMW R 1200 R
The R 1200 R is the “roadster” in BMW’s boxer-twin lineup, a naked street bike that lacks the amenities (and higher prices) of more specialized models like the R 1200 GS adventure tourer and the R 1200 RT sport tourer. For 2015, the updated R 1200 R gets the liquid-cooled version of the venerable flat-opposed twin engine, which makes a claimed 125 horsepower and 92 lb-ft of torque. Standard equipment includes ABS, Automatic Stability Control (ASC) and two riding modes (Road and Rain). Optional Riding Mode Pro adds two other modes (Dynamic and User) as well as Dynamic Traction Control (DTC). Although the R 1200 R maintains its tubular-steel frame and EVO Paralever-suspended single-sided swingarm, the front Telelever that has been a signature feature of R-series models for years has been replaced by a telescopic male-slider fork. Styling has been updated and new options include Dynamic ESA (Electronic Suspension Adjustment), Gear Shift Assistant Pro and Keyless Ride. The 2015 BMW R 1200 R will be available in Cordoba Blue, Racing Red or Thunder Grey. Pricing and availability are TBD.
2015 BMW R 1200 RS
The 1976 BMW R 100 RS was the world’s first mass-produced motorcycle equipped with a full, frame-mounted fairing that had been developed in a wind tunnel. Variations of the RS remained in BMW Motorrad’s lineup through 2004. After a long hiatus, the R 1200 RS joins the lineup for 2015, offering many of the same features of the R 1200 R described above but with a front fairing that shares design elements with BMW’s S 1000 RR sportbike. A less luxurious approach to sport touring than the R 1200 RT, the RS is powered by the liquid-cooled boxer, with Road and Rain riding modes, ABS and ASC as standard equipment. Suspension is handled by a telescopic male-slider fork and EVO Paralever single-sided swingarm and shock. Options include Riding Modes Pro with DTC, Dynamic ESA, Gear Shift Assistant Pro and Keyless Ride. The 2015 BMW R 1200 RS will be available in Lupin Blue Metallic/Light Grey Metallic or Granite Grey Metallic. Pricing and availability are TBD.
2015 BMW S 1000 RR
When the S 1000 RR was introduced for 2010, it forever changed the image of BMW. Long associated with sedate touring bikes and beefy enduros like the GS, BMW’s S 1000 RR was a liter-class sportbike powered by a 1,000cc in-line four with conventional suspension, chain final drive and a host of electronic rider aids. Its combination of massive power and sophisticated electronics helped it win shootouts the world over. For 2015, the S 1000 RR is stronger and lighter—BMW claims 199 horsepower (up 6), 83 lb-ft of torque and 450 pounds (down 9) with a full tank of gas and Race ABS. Chassis design and geometry has been revised to improve handling, the Dynamic Damping Control (DDC) system introduced on the HP4 is now an available option, and cruise control–a first on a sportbike–is also a new option. Three riding modes are standard (Sport, Race and Rain), and optional Riding Modes Pro adds two more (Slick and User) plus Launch Control and a pit-lane speed limiter. There are other technical enhancements, updated styling and three color schemes: Racing Red/Light White, Black Storm Metallic or BMW Motorsport. Pricing and availability are TBD.
2015 Ducati Scrambler
Ducati pays homage to the small-displacement Scrambler models it produced in the ‘60s and ‘70s with an all-new, larger version bearing the same name. It’s not a retro bike, says Ducati, but rather a “post-heritage” design—a modern machine that is what the Scrambler would have become had Ducati never stopped making it. From the teardrop gas tank and wide handlebar to the minimalist proportions, the new Scrambler is inspired by its ancestors while being a fully contemporary machine, with standard ABS and LED lighting. It is powered by an air-cooled, two-valve, fuel-injected 803cc L-twin that makes a claimed 75 horsepower and 50 lb-ft of torque, held in place by a tubular-steel trellis frame. With its 3.6-gallon tank full, Ducati says the Scrambler weighs just 410 pounds. Four versions of the Scrambler will be available. The standard model is called Icon, and it comes in Ducati Red or 62 Yellow with cast wheels. Factory customized versions include the Urban Enduro (Wild Green paint, a high fender, headlight grill, handlebar cross-brace and spoked wheels), Full Throttle (Deep Black paint with yellow accents, Termignoni exhaust, tapered handlebar and cast wheels) and Classic (Orange Sunshine paint, metal fenders with traditional plate holder, special seat stitching and spoked wheels). Pricing and availability are TBD.
2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2R
The bike that was hyped and teased the most leading up to Intermot, and the one that garnered the most bewilderment once it was unveiled, is the eye-popping Kawasaki Ninja H2R, a track-only model powered by a supercharged 998cc in-line four that makes a claimed 300 horsepower. Yes, you read that right. Three. Hundred. Horsepower. “Fitted with slick racing tires, it may not be ridden on public roads and should only be ridden by experienced riders,” says Kawasaki’s press release. Several divisions within Kawasaki Heavy Industries, including the Gas Turbine & Machinery Company, Aerospace Company and Corporate Technology Division, collaborated to create the Ninja H2R. The team effort resulted in the highly efficient, motorcycle-specific supercharger, the aerodymanic carbon-fiber winglets on the fairing and the ultra-strong trellis frame. Matching the radical power claims is radical styling, which Kawasaki calls “Intense Force Design,” that places a premium on aerodynamic stability, heat dissipation and attention to detail. Few technical details were provided, but Kawasaki said the street-legal Ninja H2 will be unveiled at the EICMA show in November. Pricing and availability are TBD.
2015 Kawasaki Versys 650 ABS and 2015 Kawasaki Versys 1000 ABS
Kawasaki’s middleweight adventure-street bike, the tall, versatile Versys 650, was absent from its 2014 U.S. lineup. An updated version returns for 2015 with sharper styling (dual cat-eye headlights are like those found on the Ninja sportbikes), a larger fuel tank, a new 41mm male-slider fork, stronger 17-inch wheels and ABS. The larger Versys 1000 has been available in Europe for a few years, and not only has it also been updated for 2015, it’s finally coming to America. Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. will unveil both models at the American International Motorcycle Expo (AIMExpo) in Orlando, Florida, in October, and full specs will be provided (photos shown are European models). Pricing and availability are TBD.
2015 KTM 1290 Adventure
After KTM announced the 1290 Adventure last August, releasing a photo but few details, the bike made its official debut at Intermot. It will be powered by a version of the liquid-cooled 1,301cc V-twin found in the 1290 Super Duke R, making a claimed 160 horsepower. Further distinguishing it from the 1190 Adventure is WP Semi-Active suspension and a larger suite of electronic aids. In addition to riding modes, Motorcycle Stability Control with Combined ABS and Motorcycle Traction Control, the 1290 Adventure features Hill Hold Control, Motor Slip Regulation and a tire pressure monitoring system. The 1290 also has a larger 7.9-gallon fuel tank (up from 6.1), heated grips and seat, adjustable ergonomics, LED cornering lights, cruise control, a larger height-adjustable windscreen and revised styling. Pricing and availability are TBD.
Updated 10/2 4pm PDT following U.S. dealer meeting; updated 10/10 2pm PDT following correction issued by Suzuki
2016 Suzuki GSX-S1000/ABS and 2016 Suzuki GSX-S1000F/ABS
Suzuki revealed three early release 2016 models in its performance-focused GSX series, which includes the GSX-RR MotoGP racebike and GSX-R 600/750/1000 sportbikes. The new GSX-S models are powered by a retuned version of the liquid-cooled 999cc in-line four from the GSX-R1000 that emphasizes street performance and low to midrange torque. They have a newly designed lightweight frame, a Renthal aluminum handlebar, three-mode traction control, Brembo radial front brake calipers and optional ABS. Three versions will be offered—the naked GSX-S1000/ABS and the fully-faired GSX-S1000F ABS. Suzuki’s global press release says the GSX-S1000/ABS will be produced starting in March 2015 and the GSX-S1000F ABS starting in April, both manufactured at its Toyokawa Plant in Japan, with sales to follow in Europe and North America. No word yet on pricing.
2015 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT ABS
Suzuki also unveiled a new version of its popular middleweight V-Strom adventure tourer. The V-Strom 650XT ABS has a redesigned front fairing with a pronounced beak (inspired by Suzuki’s 1988 DR-Z Paris-Dakar rally racer), which brings styling more in line with the V-Strom 1000 that was extensively updated for 2014. It also features revised suspension settings, reverse spoked wheels and a full range of adventure-touring accessories, including aluminum panniers and top box, engine guards, skid plate and more. The V-Strom 650 is one of Suzuki’s top sellers in the U.S., so we’re hoping to see the 650XT join the lineup for 2015. The new V-Strom 650XT ABS is available in a Metallic Matte Fibroin Gray color, for a suggested retail price of $10,399.
The 2015 lineup also features the V-Strom 1000 ABS Adventure, which takes the standard V-Strom 1000 ABS and adds the following key accessories: Under cowl, hand guards, touring windscreen, side cases and mounting brackets and accessories bars. The V-Strom 1000 ABS model is available in Glass Sparkle Black for a retail price of $12,699. The Adventure model with hard luggage bags comes in Pearl Glacier White for a retail price of $13,999.
Suzuki also introduced a pair of streetfighters, the 2015 GSX-S750 and GSX-S750Z. They have upright seating positions, matte-silver handlebars and 749cc fuel-injected in-line four engines. Suzuki says the 749cc engine powering these bikes is tuned to deliver an ideal power curve for street riding. Everything from the engine’s cam profiles, to the intake and exhaust tracts are designed to boost low-end torque and mid-range power. The bikes’ frame design combines the advantages of a compact tubular streetbike frame and a twin-spar sportbike frame.
The GSX-S750 is available in Metallic Matte Black. The GSX-S750Z features Metallic Triton Blue and Pearl Glacier White bodywork. This special package also includes gold-anodized outer fork tubes, red anodized fork adjuster bolts, a red shock spring and blue chain.
The GSX-S750 carries an MSRP of $7,999, and the special GSX-S750Z will retail for a suggested $8,149.
Suzuki will also offer a fully faired GW250F version of the naked GW250 for $4,499. The company also announced price reductions of $200 – $1,000 on many of the cruisers in its 2015 Boulevard line.
The 2015 lineup of electric bikes from Zero Motorcycles doesn’t include any all-new models, but improvements have been made across the board. All models now feature Showa suspension, Pirelli tires and—a first on production electric motorcycles—Bosch ABS. Battery packs in the Zero S, SR and DS have 10-percent higher capacity to extend range—a Zero S with the optional Power Tank is good for 185 miles in the city (claimed). Other improvements throughout the lineup include better brake systems, wheels, wheel bearings, seats and rider-bike interface. The 2015 Zero models will be available starting in December, with prices starting at $13,345 for a Zero S (ZF9.4) and $2,495 for the range-extending Z-Force Power Tank. Since all Zero Motorcycles are 100-percent electric, they may qualify for government rebates or tax credits.