A spate of recently revealed spy photos have BMW enthusiasts frantically searching the Internet and the latest consumer magazines for news about what is expected to be the next BMW-Aprilia joint product: the BMW T 800.
The T 800 may run on what is thought to be a 800cc Rotax parallel twin delivering 75hp-85hp. Photos reportedly show the proposed T 800 S - a bike that looks to be a middle-weight sport-tourer featuring a two-into-one left-side exhaust, a belt-driven final drive, and what appears to be an under-seat fuel tank.
Adding fuel to the fire, Germany's Motorrad magazine reports BMW plans to add a half-fairing and naked version to form a T 800 family of bikes. Expect all to come with BMW's usual optional amenities - anti-lock brakes, heated grips and model-specific luggage.
Rumors are that the engines will be built by Rotax in Gunskirchen, Austria, and the bikes will be assembled at Aprilia's factory in Noale, Italy.
BMW and Piaggio-owned Aprilia announced in April that the two companies had signed a contract to co-design and produce a new line of two-wheeler to be manufactured in the Aprilia factories in Noale and Scorze' near Venice.
At the time, BMW said only that the contract “refers to a future supply of products which are not included in current BMW production.”
“This is a further widening of BMW's range of motorcycles and doesn't regard the current single-cylinders,” Herbert Diess, president of BMW Motorrad, said when making the announcement.
Aprilia manufactured the first version of the BMW F 650 from 1993 to 1999, before BMW switched manufacturing of the following version to the company's sole motorcycle factory in Berlin.
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