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November 2019



piston n from Alex Ma arquez’

Moto o2 machinee


This time they're going UP And they're doing it on ELECTRIC Harleys!












✮T news his✮ ✮ 100%paper is F ✮ Gr ab it REE!✮

and ✮ ✮ T A K E IT✮ Dynamic duo spotted in Tierra del Fuego ✸ Route runs from Argentinaa ✮ H O M to Los Angeles ✸ £30k LiveWire bikes get panniers, screens and muffss E! ✮


First full look at the 2020 Triumph Street Triple 765 RS


Sorry mate – I FORGOT you! Study says drivers can’t remember seeing bikes on the road PAGE 4


All the spec and detail about 2020’s Honda Africa Twins PAGE 6


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Supercharged Z x2

Kawasaki has teased the 2020 supercharged Z model with another teaser video. Expected to be unveiled on October 23 in Tokyo, you can watch the teaser vid by logging on to MoreBikes and searching ‘Z’.

Words: Ross Mowbray

Triumph’s Street fighter Here’s the first official look at the 121bhp 765cc RS naked that’s set to romp away with 2020’s summer. At last, Triumph has unveiled the weaponised roadster, the Street Triple RS, which has been seriously tweaked for next year and makes the most from the 765cc Moto2 engine. The big news for the motorcycle really is that updated Moto2 derived engine. It’s been worked over to meet Euro 5 emissions regulations and Triumph has managed to eek more torque from the 765cc unit with 79Nm

TECH SPEC Triumph Street Triple RS 2020

ENGINE TYPE: Liquid-cooled, 12 valve, DOHC, in-line 3-cylinder CAPACITY: 765cc BORE x STROKE: 77.99mm x 53.4mm COMPRESSION: 12.54:1 MAX POWER: 121.36bhp (90.5kW) @ 11750rpm MAX TORQUE: 58lb-ft (79Nm) @ 9350rpm SYSTEM: Multipoint sequential electronic fuel injection with SAI. Electronic throttle control EXHAUST: Stainless steel 3 into 1 exhaust system low single sided stainless steel silencer FINAL DRIVE: X-ring chain CLUTCH: Wet, multi-plate, slip-assisted GEARBOX: 6-speed with Triumph Shift Assist FRAME: (F) Aluminium beam twin spar (R) 2-piece high pressure die cast SWINGARM: Twin-sided, cast aluminium alloy WHEELS: (F) Cast aluminium alloy 5-spoke 17 x 3.5in (R) Cast aluminium alloy 5-spoke 17 x 5.5in TYRES: (F) 120/70 ZR17 (R) 180/55 ZR17 SUSPENSION: (F) Showa 41mm upside down big piston forks (BPF), Adjustable compression damping, rebound damping and preload adjustment (R) Ohlins STX40 fully-adjustable piggyback reservoir RSU BRAKES: (F) Twin 310mm floating discs, Brembo M50 4-piston radial monobloc callipers (R) Single 220mm disc, Brembo single piston calliper, switchable ABS WIDTH HANDLEBARS: 775mm HEIGHT WITHOUT MIRRORS: 1085mm SEAT HEIGHT: 840mm WHEELBASE: 1405mm RAKE: 23.9˚ TRAIL: 100mm DRY WEIGHT: 166kg TANK CAPACITY: 17.4 Litres FUEL CONSUMPTION: 5.2 l/100km (claimed) CO2 EMISSIONS: 119g/km



of grunt available at 9,350rpm (this was 77Nm at 10,800rpm) and 121bhp on tap at 11,750rpm (which is the same power as the old model, but that peak power figure comes in at 50rpm more). In addition to a more responsive throttle, the RS also gets a new exhaust cam for improved midrange performance, and new higher precision machining on the crank shaft, clutch and balancer to help lower inertia and reduce engine mass. For suspension the RS gets fully adjustable 41mm Showa big piston front forks (with 115mm travel) and a fully adjustable Öhlins STX40 piggyback reservoir monoshock at the rear (with 131mm travel). Braking is looked after by Brembo’s top-of-theline M50 4-piston radial monobloc callipers up front, which are operated using a Brembo ratio and span adjustable brake lever. And there’s a Brembo sliding calliper at the rear. Tyres are a pair of Pirelli’s latest generation Diablo Supercorsa SP v3. Talking tech for a minute, the new RS comes with an updated TFT system, which has the MyTriumph connectivity system software installed. That means the RS offers GoPro interaction, turn-by-turn navigation and phone and music operation all from the switchgear. And the TFT’s screen angle can be adjusted to suit each individual rider. The Street Triple comes with Triumph Shift Assist up and down quickshifter as standard, and there are five updated riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Track and Rider configurable). They work to adjust throttle response, ABS and traction control settings, which can all be adjusted while riding. Complementing the updated rider

technology, RS features an adjustable ride-by-wire throttle, adjustable ABS and switchable traction control. Triumph has also spent some time updating the Street Triple RS,s looks. It,s not a complete overhaul, but there,s a range of subtle changes to help the latest generation RS stand out from the crowd. There,s new LED headlights, new more angular bodywork, and a new fly screen, rear unit, seat cowl and belly pan. The RS is available in a choice of two colour schemes. There’s the Matt Jet Black with Aluminium Silver and Yellow decals, or the Silver Ice with Diablo Red and Aluminium Silver decals.

Motor Cycle Monthly, Media Centre, Morton Way, Horncastle, Lincolnshire LN9 6JR Tel: 01507 529529 Editor Tony Carter Editorial design Fran Lovely and Tracey Markham Publishing director Dan Savage Publisher Tim Hartley Email Production editor Mike Cowton

Picture desk Paul Fincham and Jonathan Schofield Group advertising manager Sue Keily Divisional advertising manager Zoe Thurling 01507 529412 Advertising Mirela Vulaj 01507 529409 Advertising deadline for December issue October 31, 2019 Distribution 01507 529529 Marketing manager Charlotte Park Commercial director Nigel Hole

Own Jay’s bike

You can own the Honda CBR125R (briefly) ridden and crashed by Jay from The Inbetweeners. Up for sale on MoreBikes classifieds, the latest piece of special metal is the original CBR125R ridden by James Buckley in S3 E3 of The Inbetweeners. Priced at £4995, the bike’s not exactly cheap. It’s also been in storage for a number of years and will need a bit of love.


KTM has announced that it has joined up with Black Toro Capital, the owners of Spanish motorcycle brand GAS GAS, to develop petrol and battery-powered motorcycles in Spain. The Austrian company now owns a 60% share in GAS GAS. Customer services number 01507 529529 Telephone lines are open Monday-Friday 8.30am-5pm Call 01507 529529 or visit or email Motor Cycle Monthly is published monthly on the third Friday of the month by Mortons Media Group Ltd and printed by Mortons Print. Subscribe to MCM and just pay the postage!

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Motor Cycle Monthly Hello from the Editor of MCM

Tony Carter

On the cusp


t’s at this time of year when the rumours, gossip and half-focused spy shots of the past six months start to make sense. Whispers of the new motorcycles to come are solidifying into actual details and, in early circumstances, going one step further to become photos and videos of what we’ll all want to be riding in 2020. In this issue of the world’s largest motorcycle monthly publication (that’s us) you’ll find photos and details of Triumph’s Street Triple 765 RS – the roadster with an amazing chassis and handling that’s powered by the firm’s Moto2 engine. You’ll also see the photos and details of the new Honda Africa Twins, the CB1100RS special, the BMW R18 cruiser that you can put a deposit on, and loads more. The motorcycle world is changing. We have more diversity than ever before, meaning that if you’re looking for a very specific type of motorcycle with a very specific set of skills, then you can find it. We’re all looking forward to the smorgasboard of new metal on the way, are you? Speaking of new metal and the world in which it’s arriving, have you seen the story alongside about Charley and Ewan doing the Long Way Up? On Harley-Davidson’s LiveWire? That’s the electric Harley that we rode and featured the world launch of in the last issue. I was the rider on the bike for that and I gotta tell ya, it’s a helluva fun bike to throw through the twisties. On the smooth and winding roads of Portland, Oregon, that bike was one of the best you can have. Yeah, a Harley of all things that went like a stabbed rat and hustled through the corners like a pukka sportbike. Out of the few of us lucky enough to be on the launch, we were all caught out a bit by just how competent a hooner this motorcycle was. The chassis and brakes were excellent and the way that electric motor dumped the torque from 1rpm was both addictive and satisfying. Here’s the thing, though. That Harley is great to ride, but it has a limited range on a full charge. After 66 miles or so of quick riding the battery on my bike was down to 13%; it had started out on a full charge. So quick riding saps the juice (the bike itself is limited to 115mph top end to stop you going quicker and sucking up juice more rapidly), the chassis is set up for sporty riding, and the riding position isn’t too prone-y, but it’s definitely not what you’d call a tourer. So how on earth are Charley and Ewan going to get on riding through the south of America on these things? If you were talking petrol engines, it’d be like riding a Suzuki SV650 on rough terrain with a half-sized petrol tank for thousands of miles. Tell you what, it’ll be virtually unmissable TV when it’s broadcast. Good luck to the pair of them.

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman are going ELECTRIC Harley-Davidson LiveWires spotted in Argentina ahead of NEW Long Way TV series.

Words: Ross Mowbray Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman are gearing up to film their latest long-distance bike trip for TV – and this time, it looks as though they’re going electric. Four HarleyDavidson LiveWire electric motorcycles (and a fleet of Rivian electric pick-up trucks) have been spotted in Tierra del Fuego, at the southernmost tip of Argentina by Autoblog Argentina. Kitted out with hand guards and soft luggage, there’s been no official confirmation that the LiveWires are for McGregor and Boorman, but it’s looking pretty likely. McGregor and Boorman are following up the Long Way Round and the Long Way Down, with the Long Way Up – riding from Ushuaia, Argentina, to Los Angeles, US. We recently tested the LiveWire

(you can read our review in the last issue of Motor Cycle Monthly) and were very impressed with H-D’s new 30 grand electric muscle bike. The range wasn’t all that impressive, though. We only got around 70mph from a single charge. But then again, we were pushing hard on fast roads, so maybe the pair will get a little closer to the 146-mile city range. It would seem that the goal of the trip is to show that long-distance travel is becoming viable with electric vehicles. And it’ll be really interesting to see how they get on. They’re bound to run into some issues during their epic adventure through South America, as they’ll pass through various countries where charging infrastructure is going to be a little lacking.


Nottingham University study finds short-term memory loss could be to blame for fatal car and motorcycle accidents

A study by the University of Nottingham has found that fatal crashes involving cars and motorbikes may be caused by glitches in motorists’ shortterm memory. And researchers reckon they could be prevented by encouraging drivers to talk to themselves at the wheel. During their experiments, researchers analysed where drivers looked and what they remembered while crossing junctions in a driving simulator. And the big surprise from the research was the fact that some drivers have absolutely no recollection of seeing an oncoming vehicle at all, even as they are about to pull out at a junction. Results suggest that it’s what happens in the moments between seeing an approaching vehicle and pulling out that can lead to a complete absence of memory – particularly for approaching motorcycles. Out of 180 memory tests, drivers failed to report a car on three occasions, and a motorcycle on 16 occasions, of which there were five occasions when the driver had not

looked directly at the oncoming motorcycle. Nottingham University’s Dr Peter Chapman, an expert in the psychology of driving, said: “These studies compellingly demonstrate that even in safety-critical situations it is possible to observe dramatic failures of visual memory. These ‘Saw but Forgot’ (SBF) errors were remarkably frequent in the simulator and we have every reason to think that they may be equally prevalent in the real world. The surprising lack of memory may be exactly why these crashes appear so mysterious. “Typical interpretations of the LBFTS crash are based on the idea that the driver pulling out has failed to devote sufficient attention to the traffic on the road. Our study set out to look for systematic biases in attention towards, and memory for, different vehicle types. Although these effects were found, the most striking finding was not subtle biases in vision or memory, but the fact that in some cases there was a complete absence of memory, particularly for approaching motorcycles.”

To help solve the problem, the research team has created a new framework to understand dynamic decision-making with an emphasis on the role of short-term memory. More specifically, they suggest teaching drivers the ‘See Bike Say Bike’ strategy – meaning that if they see a motorcycle approaching, they should say so out loud.

“If relevant visual information is encoded phonologically it has been shown that it is no longer subject to visuospatial interference. Clearly, any research that improves our understanding of these crashes and the kind of counter measures that can be used to prevent them has the potential to be a major contribution to world health.”

Suzuki France’s limited edition Yoshimura Katana – and you can buy one! Suzuki France has got to work creating its own Yoshimura custom Katana. And with 10 going up for sale, you can get your hands on one. With rumours swirling that Suzuki’s working directly with its long-standing partner Yoshimura to create a trick production Katana, Suzuki France has decided to beat the big boys to it and knock up its own. It’s not a major overhaul – but a few minor changes

help the Yoshi Katana from France to stand out. It gets a Yoshimura R11 exhaust system, new black and red paintwork, a carbon front mudguard and a new licence plate holder. With pricing starting from €15,999 and only 10 bikes available, if you’re interested in getting your hands on one of the limited run of custom Katanas, you had better move quickly and get in touch directly with Suzuki France.


Honda patents Artificcially Intelligent suspension Honda’s plans to put a suspension system on a bike that actually knows and PREDICTS the type of surface need you’ll want in the next split second! The design uses both passive (reactive) and adaptive suspension equipment that respond to the range and frequency of the terrain under and in front of the bike, and shift the damping accordingly. Using an accelerometer mounted to the front wheel axle (this is small, barely bigger than an ABS sensor), measurements are taken on a vertical axis, thousands of times a second. Using this information, Honda’s engineers have come up with a system that can predict the train based on a combination of the front wheel oscillations and their amplitude between two preset ranges. This graph shows what the set up is looking like and looking

for. By measuring a deceleration between two points and the time it takes to move from the highest threshold (A) to the lowest (B), the bike knows whether it’s riding on a flatter, smoother surface (this is the shorter AB time) or whether it’s on a rougher terrain (the longer AB time). This information and values, in combination with active suspension on the bike, mean that the bike intelligently alters the motorcycle automatically, in real time for what it thinks is coming in the next split second. The patents have been filed using a Honda CRF450L in the illustration, and whilst this is a motorcycle where (because it's off-road a lot of the time) an intelligent, predictive suspension system would make sense, there’s no reason why such a system wouldn’t also find its way on to more roadbased motorcycles, too.

Tamburini honoured

Legendary motorcycle designer and true two-wheeled visionary Massimo Tamburini has been honoured in his home town of Rimini, Italy, with a bronze bust of the great man’s portrait. Created in sharp relief by CRC modeller and former collaborator with Tamburini, Renzo Jarno Vandi, the memorial evening was attended by various MotoGP riders and other luminaries from the world of motorcycling.

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Come here, now

Log on to and search ‘scooter’ to see the Indian runaround that is self balancing and comes to you when you call it. The kit that’s the clever bit is retro-fittable, too. Impressive stuff.


Africa Twin 2020 revealed Three versions of the bike are on their way, one of them tricked out from top to toe.

So, if you're in the market for Honda’s Adventure bike for next year, you’ve got three to choose from. There’s a standard Africa Twin, an Africa Twin Adventure Sports and a tricked out, electronically assisted Adventure Sports model. The big news is that the new Africa Twins are lighter, more powerful and come dripping with the latest technology. It’s a serious step up from the previous generation. And there’s been a shift of priorities, too. For 2020, the ‘standard’ Africa Twin becomes Honda’s off-road adventure machine, while the Adventure Sports is all set for more focused serious touring – either with or without Showa’s EERA hi-tech suspension system. The bikes also get a lighter chassis, slim rally-

style bodywork and revised riding position. Weight is reduced by 5kg, while engine capacity is increased to boost power and torque. It’s also EURO5 compliant, as you'd expect with all new bikes having to be EURO5 compliant. A six-axis Inertial Measurement Unit now manages riding modes and traction control duties, and it also looks after three additional systems: Cornering ABS, Wheelie Control and Rear Lift Control (plus new cornering detection functionality on the DCT version). Up top there's a full colour 6.5-inch TFT touchscreen, which incorporates Apple CarPlay and Bluetooth connectivity, and there's Dual LED headlights featuring Daytime Running Lights (DRL), with cruise control fitted as standard.

TECH SPEC Africa Twin

ENGINE Type: SOHC liquid-cooled 4-stroke 8-valve parallel twin with 270° crank and Uni-cam Displacement: 1084cc Bore & Stroke: 92mm x 81.5mm Compression Ratio: 10.1:1 Max. Power Output: 75kW (100bhp) at 7,500rpm Max. Torque: 105Nm (77 lb-ft) at 6,250rpm FUEL SYSTEM Carburation: PGM-FI Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.8L CO2 Emissions: 112g/km MT // 110g/km DCT Fuel Consumption: 4.9L/100km (20.4km/L) MT // 4.8L/100km (20.8km/L) DCT DRIVETRAIN Clutch Type: MT – Wet, multiplate with coil springs, aluminium cam assist and slipper clutch // DCT – 2 wet multiplate clutches with coil springs Transmission Type: 6 speed manual (6 speed DCT) FRAME Type: Semi double cradle CHASSIS Dimensions (LxWxH): 2330mm x 960mm x 1395mm Wheelbase: 1575mm Caster Angle: 27.5° Trail: 113mm Seat Height: 850/870mm (low seat option 825mm, high seat option 895mm) Ground Clearance: 250mm Kerb Weight: 226kg (DCT 236kg) SUSPENSION Type: (F) Showa 45mm cartridge-type inverted telescopic fork with dial-style preload adjuster and DF adjustments, 230mm stroke

(R) Monoblock aluminium swing arm with ProLink with Showa gas-charged damper, hydraulic dial-style preload adjuster and rebound damping adjustments, 220mm rear wheel travel WHEELS Type: (F) 21M/C x 2.15 wire spoke with aluminium rim (R) 18M/C x MT4.00 wire spoke with aluminium rim Rims: (F) 21” (R) 18” Tyres: (F) 90/90-21M/C 54H (tube type) – (Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T/Metzler Karoo Street) (R) 150/70R18M/C 70H (tube type) – (Bridgestone Battlax Adventurecross Tourer AX41T/AX41T Metzler Karoo Street) BRAKES ABS System Type: 2 channel with IMU (Selectable ABS mode with on-road and off-road setting) Type: (F) 310mm dual wave floating hydraulic disc with aluminium hub and radial fit 4-piston callipers and sintered metal pads (R) 256mm wave hydraulic disc with single piston caliper and sintered metal pads. 2-channel with rear ABS OFF mode. INSTRUMENTS & ELECTRICS Instruments: LCD Meter, TFT 6.5-inch touch panel multi information display Security System: Immobiliser, security alarm (optional) Headlight: LED Taillight: LED Electrics: Daytime running lights, Bluetooth audio and Apple Carplay, USB socket, auto turn signal cancel, cruise control, emergency stop signal, IMU, HSTC and wheelie control

How much? The standard Africa Twin will set you back £13,049 for the manual transmission machine, or £13,949 for the DCT bike. The base model Adventure Sports will cost £14,649 for the manual, or £15,849 for the DCT. Finally, the electronically assisted Adventure Sports is priced at £16,049 for the manual, or

£17,349 for the DCT. They’re not cheap, particularly when you consider the original 2016 machine was closer to the 10 grand mark, but these latest generation ATs do look like a serious step up. The bikes are expected to arrive in dealers by the middle/end of November 2019.


You can now put a DEPOSIT on the BMW R18 cruiser and bag one for its 2020 launch! It’s been the darling of the next gen, pretty bike brigade for months now and we’ve finally got proof that the R18 production bike WILL go on sale next year. How do we know this for sure? Because you can place an order with BMW France for the 1800cc concept-going production, that’s how. Yep, just €1000 will secure your bike, with the rest of the finance for the retro-throwback being paid next year when the full price of the bike and the full specification is released. According to the French BMW importer: “You can book your

R18 and be among the first to order. Book by leaving a deposit of €1000with your dealer and be among the first to have the bike delivered.” BMW France goes on to say that customers placing the deposit have the option to retract the deposit at any time. They will receive a lot of preview information on the next phase of development of the model and receive invitations for closedroom showing of the model series. So that’s it then, it’s definitely coming. And if you want to, you can get a deposit in for it right now.

CT125 concept is go

Honda’s all-new CT125 concept (the Cub Trail) is set to debut later this month at the Tokyo Motor Show. It shares a few bits with the new Super Cub – and uses the same Honda Grom motor as its base. Aside from that though, it’s an all-new motorcycle, with a steel front mudguard, upswept exhaust, bash plate, substantial rear luggage rack, and a high-mounted air intake.

Ducati CONFIRMS the V4 Multistrada is coming for 2021 While celebrating the Ducati Multistrada’s 16th birthday and announcing that it’s built 100,000 units of the bike in its various guises, the Italian factory’s dropped some big news – confirming that the widely rumoured Multistrada V4 is happening. And we’ll get to see it for 2021. To celebrate the massive milestone, Claudio Domenicali himself was on hand to present a German customer his 1260 Pikes Peak ’Strada – which

has a unique laser etching stating ‘Multistrada Centomila’. Tucked towards the bottom of the factory statement a single, solitary line finally puts an end to the months of rampant rumours about the possibility of a V4 Multistrada. It reads: ‘Development is ongoing, and in 2021 the Multistrada family will expand to see the twin cylinder 1260 and 950 motorcycles joined by a version with a new, specific V4 engine.’

And don’t forget, you can WATCH this prototype in action

Log on to and search ‘V4’ to watch the Ducati prototype out in action on Italian roads. The video isn’t long, only a few seconds, but you get to see (and most importantly, hear) the V4 motor under load. Worth it.

Records zapped Zef Eisenberg has added more world speed records to his collection – this time riding the University of Nottingham’s electric race bike. The new ACU national category records include: the FIM Flying Kilometre speed of 185.103mph, with best one-way speed of 194.086mph, with GPS peak speeds of 197mph; the FIM Flying Quarter Mile; the FIM Standing Quarter; the FIM Standing Mile; and ACU Flying Quarter Mile.


PATENTS confirm Honda’s next generation CBR1000RR is coming for 2020


Call 01507 529529 or go to

And it’ll have active WINGS We first brought you the news of Honda’s Superblade a week ago, but in case you missed it with everything happening over the last few days, here it is again. We’ve been telling you for years that Honda’s been working on a new CBR1000RR superbike – and with patents emerging online showing a new road-going superbike with active aerodynamics, it looks like it’s finally happening. Ok, so first things first. It doesn’t look like we’re going to be seeing the V4 Fireblade that everyone (including us) have been banging on about for a few years. Instead, the patents show a bike which looks very much like Honda’s existing RC213V MotoGP machine – and aside from a handful of changes to make it suitable for the road, there’s one big difference. It’s got Active Aerodyamics. That’s right. The new Honda superbike hides a set of four springloaded winglets that are activated by

an internal computer. Pretty cool. In principle, the tech would help the new Honda CBR1000RR to increase downforce during hard braking – and still be streamline for high-speed sections. And with WorldSBK rules stipulating that the aerodynamics on race bikes must be the same as on the production model, it looks like Honda is gearing up for a big season in next year’s World Superbike Championship. But we already knew that, with rumours swirling that Alvaro Bautista will be riding for the factory HRC team in the WorldSBK paddock. At this stage, there’s been no official confirmation from Honda, but it sounds like we won’t have to wait too much longer to see it in the flesh.

And it could look something like this...

Made by the excellent soothsayers in the land of the rising sun, this image of the next generation, hot-for-2020

Classic Racer #200 200R is


It’s another jam-packed issue of the world’s best motorcycle racing publication and Classic Racer has turned to the legends of the 1980s and 1990s this time to bring you things you’ve NEVER seen before. Everyone’s favourite GP500 racer Kevin Schwantz tells all in his most frank interview ever, shining a light on his intense battle with rival Wayne Rainey in a way that he’s never explained before. Joining Schwantz on the god-like level of GP superstardom is the jaw-dropping Cagiva C591 grand prix machine. We’ve got the legendary machine into the studio and stripped it naked for the

ush to your nearest shop and bag one while stocks last

most revealing photographs of this icon you can find. Nothing is left ft to the factory’s secret files fil any more. The Th complete workings of the Cagiva are laid bare. There’s a test and technical briefing on the Chevallier Honda race bike, nearly-man Clive Wall dishes the chat on his star rivals of the 1970s, and there’s a massive report on the 2019 Classic TT. Available at all good newsagents, Classic Racer is out now and costs just £4.50. If you’d rather grab it online, check out:

Superblade from Honda is boiling hot. Equipped with MotoGP-esque wings and active aerodynamics, the bike is going to be the flagship model in the 2020 road-going line-up, and will have former Ducati WSB darling Alvaro Bautista spearheading its development on the WSB stage next season (for more on that, turn to page 12). Think of this as a MotoGP machine (kind of) for the road in the same way that Yamaha’s

R1M uses the same electronic package as on Valentino Rossi’s 2015 MotoGP machine and Ducati’s V4 R uses the same aero package as on the 2017 MotoGP bike. The Honda’s clearly been designed to take on the WSB pack and take on its rivals on the road, too – Bautista’s got a big job on his hands next season. But for now we can all enjoy the Young Machine illustration and drool…

Energica’s new electric superbikes caught testing Road trials spearheading new battery tech for next year

Energica’s E electric superbikes have been caught on camera while w out testing in Italy. And it looks like we’re going to o see a new version of the Italian factory’s Ego and Eva EsseEsse9 E for 2020. The new bikes were spotted by an eagle-eyed snapper near n Verona, Italy, which is around an hour from Energica’s Modena HQ. Admittedly, the bikes don’t look dramatically M different to the current models, but there are a handful of small changes to help them stand out. The big news is the bike’s new battery and motor housings. No more aluminium covers. Instead, Energica seem to have gone for something a bit more lightweight. It’s not that different to the battery pack changes we saw on the MotoE Energica Ego Corsa race bikes, which helped to create a pretty substantial weight reduction for the race bike over its road-going siblings. And that (probably) means the Energica line-up is gearing up for a battery upgrade for 2020. Aside from that, expect the Energica line-up to remain much the same.




CROSSWORD! Win a piston from Alex’s Triumph-motored machine Crossword compiled by Ben Rumbold of MotoXwords

Welcome to this month's MCM Crossword - and this month we've got an amazing prize for you to bag, if you can complete the crossword and get it into us here at MCM Towers. We’ve landed a unique prize to give away to race fans like you – an actual piston and rod from Alex Marquez’s Moto2 racebike. That’s this year’s Moto2 bike. As in, the bike you’ve seen in the Moto2 races on a Sunday afternoon. Yes, that one. We can’t quite believe it either, but it’s true. This is a piston from Alex’s Triumph-motored machine, the Team Estrella Galica 0,0 Marc VDS bike that he contests in the global championship – we don’t need to tell you how rare this sort of thing is. This particular piston has been pulled directly from the 765cc triple by Triumph itself and

then given to us to give to you (should you be the lucky winner whose completed a correct crossword and your name is pulled from the upturned MCM helmet). With a letter of authentication from Triumph, the piston comes with proof that it was at the heart of the bike that contested Moto2 races this year at Argentina, Texas and Jerez. Incredible, eh? We’re very jealous of you (because we’re not allowed to enter) so all that we can now do is to wish you luck and ogle the piston for the remaining time it’s sitting here on the MCM editorial desk before it gets sent to the lucky winner of this month’s Crossword competition.











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New Gixxer 250









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First seen in India back in May this year, Suzuki has just announced its going to be unveiling its new GSX-R 250 SF at the Tokyo Motor Show later this month. The bike’s newly developed oil-cooled single-cylinder engine works in a similar way to a water-cooled engine to efficiently cool the hottest part of the cylinder head. According to Suzuki’s Chief Engineer Tetsuji Nojiri, the design also has the potential for a displacement increase, and as a result, more power. That’s because the cylinder head is fairly compact in comparison to the crankcase.

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October Issue #160


Last Month’s Answers:



1: Standard front suspension, not upside-down. (12,5) 9: Originally Swedish, this brand has passed to Italian, German, and now Austrian hands. (9) 10: A Belle Vue Speedway rider beats your King. (3) 11: Usually somewhere between first and second, unless you get a false one! (7) 14: Keeping your knees and elbows tucked in gives you this sort of riding style. (4) 15: Darkened, but not a fully reflective visor. (6) 16: Senor Pedrosa, recently retired MotoGP alien. (4) 17: BMW’s valve-timing innovation to reduce emissions, which debuted on the new 1250 GS. (8) 19: Lubricating fluids for your motor. (4) 20: Ray, Rhodesian post-war racing star who beat Geoff Duke at his best before being killed at Imola. (3) 22: The Mountain at Cadwell Park causes many riders to do this. (4) 23: Sweeping fast Isle Of Man TT section before the brakes come on for Ballacraine. (5,3) 25: Pulled off a stunning last-gasp win at Silverstone this year. (4) 26: Traditionally, the waving of a national flag does this to a race. (6) 28: Cock __ __ North, traditional prestigious road race meeting held at Oliver’s Mount. (1,3) 29: Century-old Italian bike maker with silver and green corporate colours, now Chinese owned. (7) 31: If you fall off, northern folk might say you land on this. (3) 32: From small components that keep the electrics running, they are starting to become the major power supply for some bikes. (9) 34: Flying Dutch present-day World Superbike star. (7,3,3,4)


2: Classic bike clubs and rallies such as 12 down could be said to be indulging in this. (9) 3: Fastest racing Scot in the late 80s and early 90s, with two sons also racing today. (5,9) 4: The colourful county famous for Choppers. (6) 5: ___ Majora, tiny Italian racing team of the early 1980s. (2) 6: Most popular number of cylinders, and strokes, in modern motorcycles. (4) 7: Rotax-powered mid-80s racer built by its rider Manfred Herweh and named after a German hypermarket chain that wasn’t fake. (4)


8: Stability makers for a road bike’s front wheel. (8,7) 9: Amazing night-time thoughts of the models labelled CB 250 & 400 in the 70s & 80s. (6,5,5) 12: Annual Vintage MCC run for classic bikes under 250cc. (8,6) 13: Signor Drudi, famous for Number 46’s helmet designs. (4) 18: A route for your engine’s powerband. (3) 19: Common text acronym and BSB Suzuki team that races mainly in black. (3) 21: Vespa scooter that relies on 32 Across instead of gasoline. (9) 24: Annual off-road event that’s been running for over a century, nearly a week long and a team contest to boot. (4) 27: Amalgamation of two British marques featuring a parallel twin engine from Meriden and a Gold Star tank with a Victor frame. (6) 29: Mr Parkes, multi-talented Aussie who’s raced everywhere from MotoGP to BSB to World Endurance. (4) 30: Supermoto-style naked, sounding it too, from 9 Across when they were German. (4) 33: Tiny metric volume measure, abbreviated. (2)

1 Quick Release Visor 8 Aquaplaning 11 Anstey 12 Blackbird 13 Arrow 16 Points 18 Mini 19 EK 20 Drills 23 Can 24 PR 25 Le 26 Eric 27 Angle 29 Prototype 31 Kuberg 33 Tall Gearing 34 Intelligent Mirror


1 Quadrophenia 2 Challenger 3 Lindback 4 Sag 5 V-Can 6 Sinter 7 Remy 9 Lucas Oil 10 Noriyuki 14 Roman Emperor 15 White Charger 17 Hub Centre 21 Ice 22 Sparta 28 Gobert 30 Talon 31 Kiwi 32 Roll 33 Tai

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WSB: CONFIRMED Alvaro WSB: OFFICIAL Scott Redding WILL replace Bautista has SIGNED for Alvaro Bautista at Ducati for 2020 Honda in 2020 WSB It’s a done deal now, the 34-year-old WILL be on the all-new SuperBlade next year in WSB. Bautista, who has taken an unprecedented 15 wins in 2019, lost the WSB title to Jonathan Rea due to inconsistent form, but clearly Honda reckons that the guy’s got the form to bag them the crown and make good the errors that he’s been through on the Ducati this year. Speaking about his move to the brand new HRC outfit, the 2006 125cc World Champion said: “I am really happy, because I believe a lot in the new project with HRC. They want to come back to the World Superbike championship as a full factory team, so this has motivated me a lot. To join the HRC factory is very

Scott Redding is heading to World Superbikes for 2020, joining the ARUBA.IT Ducati team for 2020. Redding will replace Spaniard Bautista as part of a three-man squad alongside Chaz Davies for the Italianbased factory team. The news isn’t a huge surprise, after Ducati Corse Sporting Director Paolo Ciabatti revealed that Redding was “first on their list” as a possible rider to complete their 2020 line-up.

important, as they are an important factory and want to win in WorldSBK again. The challenge for next year will be very difficult, but for sure, I will try and use my experience in the World Superbike championship from this season to develop the bike and hopefully fight for victories.”

Redding said: “I’m so happy to join the Racing – Ducati team, which is something that I’ve wanted for a long time, because to be able to work with a team that can fight for a world title is really a great opportunity for me. Obviously, now I have to remain fully focused on the British Superbike Championship,

IMPORTANT DATES FOR YOUR DIARY 2019 OCTOBER 13 Straightliners Santa Pod Raceway, Airfield Road, Podington, Wellingborough, Northants NN29 7XA. Tel 01484 718164 13 Brit ‘V’s & Classic Bike Day Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London, NW10 7UD. 13 Malvern Festival of Transport Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcestershire WR13 6NW. Tel 01484 667766. Email 13 BMPS Autojumble Mochdre Village Hall, Colwyn Bay LL28 5HU. www. Contact Len 07592 370572,; Mike 07977 090991, mjes@btinternet. com. 13 VMCC (Essex Section) Huffer Run Tel Lesley Willmore 07971 266167. 18-20 British Superbikes - Round 12 Brands Hatch GP [Triple Header] 19 Scorton Auto & Bike Jumble North Yorkshire Events Centre, Scorton DL10 6EJ. Tel Bert 07909 904705. 19-20 The 26th Carole Nash Classic Motorcycle Mechanics Show County Showground, Weston Road, Stafford ST18 0BD. www.classicbikeshows. com Tel 01507 529529. 20 Red Oktober - Eastern Bloc Vehicle Day Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London,NW10 7UD. 20 LE Velo Lancs & S Lakes Winfields, Haslingden. Tel 01772 782516. 20 MotoGP - Round 16 - Motul Grand Prix of Japan 23 VMCC (Essex Section) End of Season Midweek Run Tesco car park, Maldon. Tel Clyde Cardy 01621 855899. 24-26 World Superbikes - Round 13 Qatar Round 25-27 19th ‘Coming of Age’ Hex Rated Rally Millennium Hall, Horton-cumStudley, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX33 1BF. Tel Ducky (after 6pm) 01865 433429. Email

26 Kempton Park Motorcycle Autojumble Kempton Park, Staines Road East, Sunbury-on-Thames, Middlesex TW16 5AQ. Tel 01507 529529. 26 Flame & Thunder Show Santa Pod Raceway, Airfield Road, Podington, Wellingborough, Northants NN29 7XA. Tel 01234 782828. 26 VMCC (Dorset section) Breakfast Meet Henstridge Golf and Leisure, Marsh Lane, Henstridge, Somerset BA8 0TG. Tel 01258 860864. 27 Normous Newark Autojumble Newark Showground, Newark, Notts NG24 2NY. www.newarkautojumble. Tel 01507 529529. 27 Rat Bike & Rat Rod Review Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD. 27 South of England Classic Show & Bikejumble South of England Showground, Ardingly, West Sussex RH17 6TL. Tel 01797 344277. 27 Suffolk Autojumble. Church Farm, Kettleburgh, nr Woodbridge, Suffolk IP13 9JX. Tel Derek Holt 01728 724858. 27 Huddersfield Autojumble Old Market Building, Brook Street, Huddersfield HD1 1RG. wwwphoenixfairs.jimdo. com Tel 01773 819154. 27 MotoGP - Round 17 - Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 29 British Two-Stroke Lincolnshire Branch Club Night Sausthorpe Village Hall, Sausthorpe, Spilsby, Lincs. Tel Andy Jones 07940 447570; Jay Smedley 07502 222754. 31 Le Velo & S Lakes Dunsop Bridge (meet main car park). Tel 01772 782516.

NOVEMBER 01-02 Unwanted MCC’s Halloween Weekend The Rockbar, Shobnall Social Club, Shobnall Road, Burton-onTrent, Staffordshire DE14 2BB. www.

because I want to try and win that title with the Be Wiser Ducati before stepping back up to a world championship again. A big thanks to all those people who have helped to make this dream happen, and now I can’t wait to get on the factory Panigale V4 R bike in the World Superbike Championship.”

TO LIST YOUR EVENT EMAIL Tel Tango 07761 931226 or Ruth 07988 521400. Email 02 Firework Frenzy Santa Pod Raceway, Airfield Road, Podington, Wellingborough, Northants NN29 7XA. Tel 01234 782828. 02-03 The 19th Footman James Classic Vehicle Restoration Show Bath & West Showground A371, Shepton Mallet, Somerset BA4 6QN. Tel 01507 529529. 03 Ton Up Day Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London, NW10 7UD. 06 VMCC (Dorset section) Lunch Meet Henstridge Golf and Leisure, Marsh Lane, Henstridge, Somerset BA8 0TG. Tel 01258 860864. 08-10 Winter Rally The Monksland, Monksland Road, Swansea SA3 1AY. Tel Rammy 07990 726309. Email 08-10 Lancaster Insurance Classic Motor Show, with Discovery The NEC, Halls, Marston Green, Birmingham, B40 1NT. www.necclassicmotorshow. com Tel 0844 8541354. 09 Straightliners. Smeatharpe Airfield, Devon EX14 9RF. www.straightliners. Tel 01258 860864. 10 Poppy Day Parade & Service - Military Vehicle Meet Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD 10 LE Velo & S Lakes Trencherfield Mill, Wigan. Tel 01772 782516. 10 Ring of Red around the M25 (London) 10 Ring of Red around the M60 (Manchester) 16 Scorton Auto & Bike Jumble North Yorkshire Events Centre, Scorton DL10 6EJ. Tel Bert 07909 904705. 16-24 Motorcycle Live 2019. The NEC, Halls, Marston Green, Birmingham B40 1NT. Tel 024 76408020. Email enquiries@motorcyclelive.

17 Normous Newark Autojumble Newark Showground, Newark, Notts NG24 2NY. www.newarkautojumble. Tel 01507 529529. 17 Ariel OC ‘Founders Day’ + Classic Bike Day Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD. 17 VMCC (Dorset section) Memorial Run Hillbrush Visitor Centre, Norwood Park, Mere, Somerset BA12 6FE. Tel 01258 860864. 21 LE Velo Lancs & S Lakes Knott Working Men’s Club (fish & chips). Tel 01772 782516. 24 Mud Pluggers Day Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD. 24 Huddersfield Autojumble Old Market Building, Brook Street, Huddersfield HD1 1RG. www.phoenixfairs.jimdo. com Tel 01773 819154. 24 Malvern Drive-In Classic Car & Bike Autojumble The Three Counties Showground, Malvern, Worcs WR13 6NW. Tel 01484 667776. Email 30 VMCC (Dorset section) Breakfast Meet Henstridge Golf and Leisure, Marsh Lane, Henstridge, Somerset BA8 0TG. Tel 01258 860864. 30 LE Velo Northampton Gathering The Stag’s Head, Gt Doddington NN29 7TQ. Tel 01604 499858.

DECEMBER 01 Bike Day & Ace Café Club Xmas Meet Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD. 01 LE Velo Lancs & S Lakes Glasson Dock, nr Lancaster. Tel 01772 782516. 07 Southern Classic Off Road & Racing Show & Motorcycle Jumble Kempton Park, Staines Road East, Sunbury-onThames, Middlesex TW16 5AQ. Tel 01507 529529.

07 Mission Not So Impossible - Santa’s Toy Run Sammy Miller Museum 08 Normous Newark Autojumble Newark Showground, Newark, Notts NG24 2NY. www.newarkautojumble. Tel 01507 529529. 08 Bike Day Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD. 08 Paws ‘n’ Claws Pet Food Run Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD. 08 VMCC (Dorset Section) Mince Pie Run See website for details. dorsetvmcc. Tel 01258 860864. 15 Bike Day Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD. 15 Xmas Toy Run Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD. 15 Xmas Carol Service Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD. 21 Scorton Auto & Bike Jumble North Yorkshire Events Centre, Scorton DL10 6EJ. Tel Bert 07909 904705. 22 Bike Day Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD. 26 ‘Cold Turkey’ Day Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD. 28 VMCC (Dorset section) Breakfast Meet Henstridge Golf and Leisure, Marsh Lane, Henstridge, Somerset BA8 0TG. Tel 01258 860864. 29 Bike Day Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD. 29 Huddersfield Auto/Retro Jumble (Xmas Do) Market Building, Brook Street, Huddersfield HD1 1RG. Tel 01773 819154. 31 New Year’s Eve Party (TBC) Ace Café, Ace Corner, N Circular Rd, Stonebridge, London NW10 7UD.

E&OE: All events are subject to change. Please check with the event organisers before booking accommodation or travelling.

Th he MCM legal column is compiled byy managing pa artner Andrew ‘Chef’ P Prendergast and his bike-riding barristers and ssolicitors at White Dalton W Motorcycle M Solicitors. S The firm deals with personal w injury claims and its sister a company, Motor Defenc Defence Solicitors, company deals with all the motoring offences. White Dalton lawyers have a vast knowledge of bike law, and they have full bike licences, too. They don’t act for insurance companies or the prosecution. White Dalton is Britain’s premier specialist motorcycle law practice, and if its professionals don’t know the answer to your question, there probably isn’t one. Don’t rely on the advice from your insuranceappointed solicitor, get proper independent advice. For road traffic offences, call the Motor Defence solicitors on 0800 280 0912. For non-offence cases, call White Dalton motorcycle solicitors on 0800 783 6191.

Need advice If you need advice on a biking-related legal question or query, email The best Q&A will be published in MCM, in confidence, of course.


WHITE DALTON 13 Our specialist motoring solicitor Andrew Prendergast guides readers through their legal trials and troubles


I was zipping to work on my Harley-Davidson. The traffic was chokka so I started overtaking it using an area of white diagonal stripes. Despite it being a 60mph limit, I was doing around 50mph. Up ahead I could see a Corsa start to indicate and swing out to do a u-turn. I flashed him a few times and beeped my horn. I thought he had seen me, as he appeared to hesitate. However, he then swung out. I managed to get on the anchors, but skidded and t-boned the side of the car. The matter went to trial and whilst I won, the Judge said I was 20% to blame for the accident because of my speed, because I had time to see and react to the Corsa, and because I was overtaking on the stripes. I am not happy and have threatened to sue the Judge. I need to stress that the striped area was bordered by a broken white line.


The Judge has made a decision after he has heard all of the evidence. You cannot ‘sue’ him, but you could try and appeal the decision if the Judge has got it wrong legally. Rule 130 of the Highway Code states: ‘If the area is bordered by a broken white line, you should not enter the area unless it is necessary and you can see that it is safe to do so.’ It is arguable

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it wasn’t ‘necessary’ for you to be overtaking using the striped area. Whilst not riding in excess of the speed limit, a Judge may well have been entitled to find you were riding ‘too fast in the circumstances’ i.e., overtaking stationary cars on the stripes, and that you failed to react in time to a hazard you had seen. Eighty/twenty in your favour sounds like a fair result and appealing could cost you a lot of money. Get full legal advice before making your next move.


I was riding out of a supermarket car park when a 10-year-old kid jumped in front of me. I avoided her, but I wobbled and clipped a post. The girl’s Dad apologised, but now I have a cracked mudguard that is going to cost me money. I know the family, so can I make a claim against them?

All electric SX

The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) has given the go-ahead for an entirely electric racing class in 2020. The KTM Junior Supercross series for seven to eight-year-olds will be a purely electric championship without any conventionally powered motorcycles allowed.


You could bring a claim against the girl in a court of law. However, before even contemplating doing that I would start with a polite tap on the door to see what Dad’s response is. You never know, he may just square you up. I would also ask if they have any house insurance, as that may well pay out for the damage. If you do decide to issue court proceedings I would think carefully before spending your hard-earned cash on solicitors. Whilst you may well have a good claim, it is likely that this would be allocated to what is known as the Small Claims Track. This is because the financial value of your claim is below £10,000. The Small Claim Track is designed so that people may bring their own claims without the use of a lawyer. If you do need to use a lawyer, the disadvantage is that it would be unlikely for you to obtain a costs order against the other side to cover the costs. The likelihood is that legal costs will equal a large part of, or even exceed the amount you are claiming. Lastly, it’s worth pointing out that if she is a 10-year-old girl, with no money and her Dad does not have house insurance, you could get a court order against her, but never actually get paid for the damage.

Suzuki’s lower rate

Suzuki has set a new 5.9% APR Representative standard rate of finance on all models 401cc and above, reducing it from the previous 7.9% APR Representative. With a £2500 deposit or trade-in, the company’s KATANA is available for £120 per month on a three-year PCP deal, and the SV650 can be had for £104 per month with a deposit of £500.


Words: Mikko Nieminen Photos: Jason Critchell A modular concept is always the way to go when you’re looking to make the most bang from your engineering buck. Using one engine to power a whole platform of bikes – from adventure tractors to supersport missiles – not only saves cash AND gets you more models to sell to Joe Public, but it means that you can use that extra development time and hone the lump to a very high state of excellence. But sometimes the rest of the packaging of one or two models that share the powerplant becomes just so alluring that they eventually steal the limelight, leaving the very close brother behind – no matter how good that particular motorcycle is. I feel that's the case with the R1250RS. BMW has a great engine in the new 1250cc boxer, and a deliciously sporty, yet comfortable chassis to create a sports tourer for big miles and rapid fun. On paper, the new RS should be flying out of the dealerships. But – and it's a big but – BMW also has the adventure riders' dream, the GS, and the heavy-duty touring machine, the RT, which are going to lure a lot of riders away from the charms of the RS. And that's a real shame, because as we found on our test ride, it's a brilliant bike for sporty touring – or even just a blast to the coast for some ice cream!

How is it different?

The RS is a traditional sports tourer in its looks, handling and power delivery. If you're being overly critical you might say that it looks a little dated, but it's certainly true to its sports touring roots. The big visible update for 2019 is the new LED headlights, which provide a better and longer beam of light in the dark. Other than that, the overall appearance of the bike has not changed much from the previous incarnation that had the 1200cc engine. Compared to the other bikes in the 1250 family, the RS is a lot more sporty. There is a clear difference between the upright riding position of the GS and the forward-leaning stance of the RS. The RT is closer, but seems big and heavy compared to the svelte RS. There is definitely room in the market for a bike like this.

technology. It allows variable valve timing, altering the intake valve timing and stroke depending on whether you need more torque at low revs or more power nearer the top. There is no set rpm level where the cam profile changes – this is based on various parameters, including speed and acceleration. From the rider's point of view it's irrelevant how it works as you are unlikely to notice when the change takes place (it's that smooth!), you just notice that there is plenty of power and torque across the rev range. Even the project leader behind the motorcycle at BMW, Harald Spagl, admitted that he only notices the change on occasion. The cams are also designed to open the intake valves slightly out of sync with each other to improve the ‘swirl’ of the incoming fuel mixture, resulting in more effective combustion. The camshafts are now driven by a toothed chain rather than a roller chain. The engine is exactly the same as in the other new R1250 models. The only differences are the exhaust and airbox. Speaking of the exhaust, it doesn't look radically new, but it has increased by one litre in capacity – and it sounds good for a standard can. If you want even more of a 'braap' though, there is an Akrapovic can available as an accessory.


Traditional in looks, handling and power delivery

What about the engine?

The new 1250 boxer engine is now bigger than before (from 1170cc to 1254cc). It's also more powerful (from 125bhp to 136bhp) and more torquey (92lb-ft to 105lb-ft). You can really feel the difference in power – if anything, it feels like the new engine has added more grunt than the figures suggest. The most interesting thing about the engine is BMW's ShiftCam


TECH SPEC BMW R1250 RS (2019)

Price: From £12,100 Engine: 1254cc air/liquid-cooled, flat twin DOHC Power: 136bhp (100kW) @ 7,750rpm Torque: 105lb-ft (143Nm) @ 6,250rpm Frame: Steel Tubular with weight bearing engine Wheelbase: 1530mm Brakes: (F) Twin floating 320mm discs, 4-piston radial Brembo calipers; (R) single 276mm disc, 2-piston floating Brembo caliper Transmission: 6-speed, shaft drive Suspension: (F) Telescopic USD forks; (R) Single-sided swinging arm, BMW Paralever with semi-active monoshock Wheels/tyres: (F) 3.50 x 17” / 120/70 ZR 17; (R) 5.50 x 17” / 180/55 ZR 17 Seat height: 820mm (760mm to 840mm possible) Fuel capacity: 18 litres MPG: 59 Weight: 243kg (without fuel) Contact:

Model variants Standard (£12,100)

■ Colours: Black Storm Metallic, Stardust Metallic Spezial ■ ABS Pro with Dynamic Brake Light ■ Full LED Headlight ■ Automatic Stability Control (ASC) ■ Riding Modes: Rain and Road ■ TFT display with Connectivity ■ Hill Start Control (HSC) ■ Pannier Fastenings (L&R)

Sport (£13,465)

As standard, plus: ■ Colour: Austin Yellow Metallic ■ LED Indicators ■ Engine Spoiler ■ Chrome Exhaust / Header Pipe ■ Daytime Riding Light ■ Gear Shift Assist Pro ■ Riding Modes Pro with DTC

Exclusive (£13,960)

As standard, plus: ■ Colour: Imperial Blue Metallic ■ Dynamic Electronic Suspension Adjustment ■ Keyless Ride ■ Preparation for GPS ■ Cruise Control ■ Centre Stand


Does it tour and does it do that sportily?

I rode my long-term test bike, the BMW R1250GS Adventure, to the ride event of the new RS. Jumping from one machine with the 1250 boxer engine to another was eye-opening in many ways. The first impression was that the engine characteristics were (naturally) very familiar. There was plenty of poke across the rev range, and the friendly manner in which the power is delivered was as expected.


The first surprise came as I accelerated out of a roundabout on to a dual carriageway, and I saw how much sport the RS puts in sports touring. Quite a bit, it turns out. I suppose that the lighter and sportier chassis make it much easier for the same engine to propel the RS forward, but it still came as a bit of a surprise how much zappier it felt after the GS. It didn't run out of breath at full gallop either, and overtakes were so easy that it almost made you forget how busy the roads were. Rider comfort is of a high standard, with the seat reasonably low (820mm), the bars easy to reach and the pegs positioned more with touring than sporting in mind. The riding position is a little forward-leaning as you'd expect from a sports tourer, and big miles will be the real judge of comfort, but no aches or pains were registered during our 130-mile run.

The shaft drive also adds to the BMW's touring appeal. It's something that sells the bike to many people who are fed up with cleaning, lubing and adjusting chains.

in pounds, is the difference between lowest and top spec. More than the sum of its parts?

The screen is two-level adjustable, and easy enough to move with one hand. The difference is not massive, but I preferred it in the low position, which kept more air flowing through my helmet vents on the warm day. Controls are the same as in the other R1250 bikes. There's a lot to fiddle with, but everything is easy to get used to and you soon master every button and switch. I was particularly pleased that the brake and clutch levers were both adjustable. The brakes themselves feature meaty Brembo callipers front and back, and they bring the bike to a stop very effectively (as I found

out when a car in front of me decided to suddenly stop for no apparent reason). The bike that we rode was the RS Exclusive model (£13,960), as opposed to the Standard (£12,100) and Sport (£13,465) versions. The basics of each bike are the same, the Sport and Exclusive just get more electronics and accessories that the standard bike doesn't get. The ones that stood out for me on the Exclusive were the centre stand, cruise control and electronic suspension. I can't claim to fully understand all the calculations that the electric suspension uses, but I do know that the system gathers data from the rotational speed sensor and the two travel sensors at the front and rear. It also considers compression, acceleration and deceleration, and these are incorporated in the adaptation of damping forces, both front and rear. The system also lets you adjust preload and damping with the push of a button so you can set everything

according to your preference. It automatically adjusts to load changes, so you don't have to change settings to allow for a pillion or luggage. It's clever. Very, very clever. And it offers great ride quality with sure-footed cornering and smooth progress over bumps.

Conclusion Why choose the RS over its siblings? This is the question: why do so many people ignore the RS in favour of its more adventurous or big-miles-oriented siblings? It could be just part of the trend that seems to have been unkind to sports tourers. Or it could be the dream of riding through anything on an adventure bike. Or maybe the conviction that the mega-miles tour will finally happen this summer. Or a million other reasons… But for those who will be riding on Tarmac alone, not doing crazy distances, and wanting a bike that is lighter and easier to manoeuvre about, the RS is a great choice. It will be interesting to see if the new engine will seduce more people to sample it. I hope so, because the bike is delightful to ride.

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Motorcycle Monthly - November 2019 - Preview  

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Motorcycle Monthly - November 2019 - Preview  

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