2-Wheelers Take Manhattan
Notable newbies from the 2012 International Motorcycle Show in New York City.
The 2012 Progressive International Motorcycle Show rolled into New York City last week, bringing with it some stunning new bikes, classic works of art and slick custom hardware. In fact, 500 or so of the latest model street bikes, dirt bikes, cruisers and ATVs from dozens of manufacturers -- including Harley-Davidson, Ducati, Indian, Kawasaki, Honda, Suzuki and more -- were on display. We had a chance to roam the halls of the Javits Center to look at these stunning 2-wheelers. Here are our picks for the most enticing:
Is it a spirited adventure bike, a comfortable tourer or a convenient, reliable commuter? According to Honda, the NC700 is a little of each -- as well as simple, functional and inexpensive. Powered by a new 670-cc parallel twin engine with electronic fuel injection, the NC700 is aimed at those riders more interested in usability than strict horsepower one-upmanship. With a fuel capacity of 3.7 gallons, the bike will have a range of up to 240 miles and get more than 60 mpg. Unlike most bikes, the gas tank isn’t positioned in front of the rider. Instead, it is concealed beneath the rider and accessed by flipping up the passenger seat. Where the gas tank normally resides is a flip-top storage compartment with 21 liters of space, enough for a helmet. The bike’s upright seating position should make for good visibility. Touring-friendly accessories include a 45-liter top case and 29-liter saddlebags. Also available are crash guards, LED fog lights, heated grips, 12-volt DC socket and center stand.
Price: $6,999 for the standard 6-speed transmission; $7,999 with dual-clutch transmission version with anti-lock braking system.
BMW totally revised the S1000RR for 2012 with an emphasis on improving response, power delivery and handling. The S1000RR is still powered by a 999-cc, water-cooled inline-four engine that pumps out 193 horsepower and 83 lb-ft of torque. Enhancements include a reconfigured throttle for crisper response and an optimized torque curve throughout the four ride modes: Rain, Sport, Race and Slick. In addition, the suspension was tweaked along with the ABS and Dynamic Traction Control. Externally, the 2012 SS1000RR gets an upgraded instrument cluster, revised rear end, redesigned side panels with the addition of two winglets for improved aerodynamics, and a new range of colors.
Husqvarna Baja Concept
Husqvarna is a legendary name in off-road circles, but its new concept bike isn't just about dirt; it's about having a blast getting there. The classic dirt-track styling is accented with a number of forward-thinking and modern touches. The headlight is a spray of LEDs across the front number plate, and although it looks more decorative than functional, it produces plenty of light. An ingenious multifunction instrument display is tightly integrated into the handlebars, providing at a glance all the most important information. All in all, the Husqvarna Baja looks like a great bike to have in the stable, and we hope it makes its way into production. It is equipped with parent company BMW’s 650-cc single-cylinder engine and a steel-tube perimeter frame. For a dual-sport, it has a relatively low seat height and friendly looks.
2012 Can-Am Roadster Spyder RSS
Changes to this unique 3-wheeler are minimal at best, leaning more toward aesthetics and rider amenities than performance. For 2012, there are two “S” models to choose from: the Can-Am Spyder RS and the Can-Am Spyder RT Roadster. The 2012 RS is the sportier package, aimed more at the solo rider, with a slightly more aggressive riding position and less body work, while the RT is a full-on luxury tourer. Add-ons include an improved sound system with iPod compatibility, AM/FM and (optional) satellite radio; handlebar-mounted push-button controls; adjustable rear air suspension; GPS navigation; and LED lighting. The RS-S model also gets the new LCD display as well as new gas-charged Fox Racing Shox front suspension with adjustable pre-load.
Steve McQueen Edition Triumph Bonneville
Who doesn’t like the classic World War II epic “The Great Escape”? You have Charles Bronson, James Coburn, James Garner and, especially for bikers, Steve McQueen. This motorcycle is a tribute to the Trophy TR6 that McQueen rode in the film. It is a throwback, featuring blacked-out wheels, hubs, handlebars and other parts, along with a cool Wehrmacht-style matte-green paint scheme, a solo seat and a military-style stenciled Triumph logo. To confirm the bike’s provenance, each will be individually numbered with a plaque placed on the handlebar clamp. Collectors will love it. A limited run of just 1,100 is planned, about 300 to 400 of which will be available stateside.
Zero S Streetfighter
Zero Motorcycles has completely overhauled every model in its 2012 lineup. The aggressive-looking Zero S models (XF6 and XF9) were developed to take on urban streets while still being able to take occasional adventurous detours. Improvements include new powertrains and upgraded power packs that promise greater longevity, speeds of up to 88 mph and a significantly improved range -- in excess of 100 miles for the XF9. Recharging time for the XF6 is quoted at six hours using a standard outlet, while the XF9 takes nine hours. Quick-charge options can cut recharge times by up to 75 percent.
Price: ZF6, $11,495; XF9, $13,995.
Ducati 1199 Panigale S
Ducati’s new 1199 Panigale S is a race-tuned version of the Italian bike builder’s Panigale series. In addition to shedding 22 pounds from the outgoing 1198, the new Panigale cranks out 20 more horsepower. The Superquadro twin-cylinder engine generates 195 horsepower and 98 lb-ft of torque -- enough power to set anyone’s hair on fire. Traction control is standard equipment, though anti-lock brakes are a stand-alone option. The 2012 Ducati 1199 Panigale is also the first superbike to feature an electronically adjustable suspension.
Price: The package will set you back $17,995 for the base model, while S trim nudges the price to $22,995. The top-of-the-line S Tricolore will fetch a heart-stopping $27,995.
As formetric cruiser bikes, it is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery....the Japanese make theirs look like the great American freedom machine and the Brits make their Triumph parallel twin sound like it, with a copy of Harley's sweet firing order sound. Don't get me wrong, they are all good bikes, it is all in what is important to you. I ride a Harley and like to think I am what traditional American Nike riders call a true buker, one who can fix theirs on the side of the road when it breaks down....HD is making them better every year. My son keeps getting tickets on his GSXR and I remember when I bought the first model year they came out, back in '86. I could not have any fun on the damn thing until I got into reckless driving ticket speeds...boring when ridden at legal speeds (and 26 years later they are faster yet). I told him get a Hog,
1 you don't have to go fast to have fun (the low end torque is exillarating when accelerating to the speed limit)
2 the chicks dig 'em, especially with a set of ape hangers (it's the "bad boy" thing) .
And 3, the cops don't f---k with you, as long as you don't act too stupid. I get smiles and wishbful stares from girls and women every time I ride (a great ego boost when the pretty lady in the passenger seat is checking you ouy) and have had many a Cop give me the "heds up" when I cruise by....and oh yea, no more speeding tickets!
No wonder they try to copy it. But there is really nothing like the real thing, and Made In USA too! Ain't it cool...........
i just read the first page of comments...so if there are a repeat of comments - oh well.
i thought that harley was supposed to come out with some liquid cooled v-twins??? i guess not - because that would have been worthy of a picture even though hardcore harley enthusiasts may not agree with a liquid cooled engine - such as the porche designed harley. fyi harley has changed designs of engines in the past 100 years - not in any particular order - shovel head, flat head evo revolution etc etc.... just not too much on the look of the bike... ha....
the mcqueen looks nice... always wanted a cafe bike..... although i still dislike the hot legs with non liquid cooled bikes...
and about us riding cheap chinese bikes - if its what we can afford then that's what we can afford... i'm sure the cost of a harley has a lot to do with it.... lets just say that i'm also sure that they can make harley's more cost effectively... but would you buy a harley assembled in china...? or mexico??? we've bought fords and chevys that were assembled somewhere else... or parts from other countries...
and here's some history.... the way of always continually improving in manufacturing actually was an american concept... the japanese ran with it... made it better... and the chinese just copy it and m****duce it... its also an american concept to complain - sorry guys.. its called globalization.. pretty old term in these days...
other side notes:
harley riders have a bad wrap. i do see them rollin out there driving like dicks.... but for the most part they tend to be on the safer side. tend to be the older crowd. more calm... the new generation whom watch too much sons of anarchy probably are fake thugs...
now lets talk about these fake biker boys - they're annoying.... when they run the streets they cut everyone off... they have their whole crew split the lanes... get to the front and get right in front of you with 3-10 of their crew.... that's pretty annoying....
there's also a difference in how they 'cut you off'... harley riders tend to do it politely - while crotch rocket riders tend to cut hard in front of you.... do they realize that four wheels will probably win over two wheels.... just cause drivers are polite and don't want your silly a*s to be in an inadvertent pit manuever...
lets remember that in california - you can split lanes as a biker because harley's - as someone mentioned - over heat - then the engines sieze up.... but they can't just make a law that says 'only harleys can split lanes'.... if you ask me... only harleys should be able to split lanes... theres an actual reason for it - instead of being an Ahole like many people whom ride crotch rockets....
anyways..i ride..i have a metric cruiser... which i ride really safe in traffic...and i have a custom vtwin bobber... which i also try to drive real safe... yes i open it up when i'm out front... or when i have a clear stretch.... but not when i'm in traffic like people on crotch rockets.... if you want to kill yourself... go ahead and do it... but just dont' bring someone into feeling guilty cause they changed lanes and didn't see you coming cause you were driving too fast/weaving in and out of traffic.....
i digress and then digress again and again.
@andy...Congrats on not drinking, I have not touched a drop in 20 years... To be fair, its not just the HD riders that are obnoxious, Its true the non riding public cannot tell one bike from another generally, just like they cant tell a 1% patch from a R/C patch.
sadly the general public lumps us all together, im not saying its right its just how it is. I go to rally's and honestly the 1% clubs and M/C's are usually the ones that are best behaved, It is usually the ones in some group of weekend warrioirs who have watched too much sons of anarcy that get drunk, loud, and obnoxious that get the campgrounds closed.
I can't comment on the motorcycle scene in spokane not being from there, However; down here in Ga. there are as many people removing the baffles on their shadow's, vulcans, Star, and intruders as there are harley guys doing it.
As far as aunt Agnes getting the bajeebus scared out of her by bikers passing by on the freeway...I get the bajeebus scared out of me too when I encounter a sportbike pass me at 140+ and the rider is wearing flip flops, no shirt, and a pair of shorts while carrying a passenger... or being passed at 80 mph by a bike riding a wheelie in rush hr traffic
I don't care if one wants to suffer through riding a HD. My problem is that many, if not most, HD riders feel they have to yank the baffles on the exhaust,s swill booze and generally be obnoxious. Why does it matter? People cannot and do not distinguish between various brands of bikes. The fact that I don't drink and my Goldwing might as well be electric makes no difference to private campground owners. It takes more fingers than I have to count the number of campgrounds I used to love to go to that are now closed to bikes.. One dose of macho HD riders and "poof," no more motorcycles allowed. There are a lot more non-riders than riders and the non-riders vote. If a bike related issue comes on the ballot, how do suppose Aunt Agnes is gonna vote when she just got scared spitless by 10 bikers riding by her with straight pipes?
@gorebal Im not dissing anyone for what they ride, or doing the whole "made in america" thing, you ride what you like, some like to go fast and do the twisties. I admit back when I was in my 20's I did too and wish we had the sportbikes yall have today way back then Some enjoy the touring thing which is my prefrence. to each his own..
Sure a lot of Harley guys pull the made in america thing., But to be fair a lot of the import bike guys hang on to the your bike is slow and leaks and parts fall off mentality of the harlyes of the AMF years. So there is need for a change in attitude on both sides. Yes i own a harley and I also own a vulcan 900 classic that my wife rides. I do not care one bit what anyone else rides as long as they are out riding and are doing so safely as possible.
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