I accept that most people reading this won’t ever considering riding a motorcycle.
That’s okay, because motorbikes aren’t for everyone, and it’s as dangerous as you believe it to be. We don’t try to convince people who have their mind made up about two-wheelers, we just go out and ride as “safely” as we can.
But oh, what a great time it is to be a biker with so many amazing machines being released recently, especially during this week’s EICMA motorcycle exhibition in Milan and in prior weeks. With the Class 2 (401cc and above) population of riders doubling in the past 10 years to about 15 thousand, there will be more people riding such beautiful machines on Singapore roads soon.
I’m just going to share photos of some of the new “naked” bikes (naked here means without the plastic fairing that covers up sportsbikes and provides more aerodynamism) that made my heart go pumping.
I love it when bikes can show off their engines, pipes and other entrails, that make up the aesthetic of a machine that becomes one with its rider.
These powerful and beautiful bikes were the stuff of imagination when I was a kid watching Street Hawk or Kamen Rider, and now they’re actually reality.
Ducati Monster 1200S
This looks much like my current Monster 1100 Evo but it’s a completely new beast designed from ground up with an water-cooled 145hp engine from the Ducati Diavel, “frameless” design, adjustable seat height (that’s mindblowing for Asians tired of tall bikes) and exhaust pipe entrails that makes one shudder. Call me silly but what I really like about this is that Ducati is discarded the plastic tank of the Monster family which reduces the fuel tank size, and gone for a full-metal tank that should provide at least 50km more mileage than my Monster’s 130km rocket range today. Overall, this Italian steed is pure sex on wheels in terms of looks and features, amalgated from the Monster, Streetfighter and Diavel families.
Kawasaki Z1000 2014
I’ve always liked the Z1000 series for its Transformer look – it’s actually the naked version of the Ninja 1000 (and you know I had the Ninja 250R). This time, Kawasaki has gone all the way by giving it sharp-eyed headlights and a nasty silver/green color scheme that is obviously Decepticon. You have to see the Z1000 in person, it’s as intimidating as the pictures imply. My only beef with it is that it is very heavy at over 220kg and beefy due to the inline-four engine (the more cylinders, the fatter the bike).
Like my Triumph Daytona 675 and the popular Street Triple, the Yamaha uses a triple cylinder engine that falls between the smooth but bulky inline four engine (eg. Z1000), and the small but torquey V-twin engine (eg. a Monster). My Triumphs triple engine is smooth yet can dish as out loads of power in a unique howling way, and I expect this Yamaha to be similar in sound and power. I suspect this is going to be one of the most popular street bikes in Singapore over the next few years as it is marketed as affordable, yet has a powerful 847cc engine with quality build. And generally, Asians will go for Japanese bikes for price and lower maintenance costs. Again, I love the engine portion but the overall design is a little bland compared to the Euro bikes.
This is a love it or hate it type of bike. BMW has been selling a very powerful sportsbike called the S1000RR for the past few years and they essentially stripped out most of the plastic fairing for this S1000R. As some friends have pointed out, this looks kinda odd and more like an Italian Aprilia than the sexy German beasts that BMW is known for.
But I think the Beemer that most street bikers are looking forward to is the retro-styled NineT : Super old-school in spirit, yet very customizable with removable rear seat and all sorts of other funky stuff.
KTM Super Duke 1290
They call this the Beast and it’s hard not to see why. This could be the most powerful naked bike today with 180 horsepower!