OEMs show future at Intermot – November 13, 2006

The global powersports industry showed countless trends at Intermot 2006, from niche markets and OEM offerings not found in the United States to the latest in technological innovations and a continued growth in vehicle suppliers from the Far East.
Among the most obvious trends: ABS now appearing on an increasing number of mid-sized motorcycles, growth in supermoto offerings, and increasingly stringent emissions laws coaxing major manufacturers to design for Euro 3 compliance.
Reiner Brendicke, general executive manager of the German Motorcycle Industry Association (IVM), discussed the global industry while touring the showfloor.
“The industry is dependent on innovations, technical advancements and the passion for motorcycles and scooters,” Brendicke said. “The new models are innovative, distinctive and simpler in design. The standards for safety, comfort and performance have been substantially improved for all classes and types, and the motorbikes themselves are now more dynamic and comfortable.”

BMW Motorrad appeared at Intermot with the widest and most varied product range in its history, showing no less than 19 different models and a sportier side of the company. The Germans debuted three new single-cylinder G 650 bikes, entered the supermoto market with the BMW HP2 Megamoto, expanded the K-model series with the addition of the K 1200 R Sport, and introduced a range of BMW Motorrad High Performance Parts.
Based on a broad range of development activities started in 2004, the current model range is younger and more technically laden than ever before — 18 of the 19 models for 2007 are available with ABS, first offered by BMW in 1989, and the fully controlled three-way catalytic converter introduced on BMW motorcycles more than 15 years ago is now a primary feature on all models.
Appearing to be a crowd favorite, the new G 650 X family — the G 650 Xchallenge Hard Enduro, G 650 Xmoto Street Moto and G 650 Xcountry Scrambler — features a quick-revving liquid-cooled engine carried over from the former F 650 models, but now optimized to put out 53 hp at 7,000 rpm and peak torque of 44 pound feet at 5,250 rpm.
Ducati’s display at Intermot included the new Multistrada 1100/S, Monster 695 and S4R Testastretta, two new SportClassic models and a new metallic black and cream color option for the GT 1000.
The big Multistrada’s Desmo L-Twin powerplant jumps in size from 992cc to 1078cc, moves from Euro 2 to Euro 3 compliance, and gains three more horsepower. A new multiplate wet clutch also takes the place of a dry multiplate.
Introduced in 2003, Ducati’s SportClassic family is powered by the fuel-injected Desmo 1000 DS engine, an air-cooled 90-degree twin-cylinder unit equipped with the Desmo twin-valve system. For 2007, the motor receives the addition of a wet clutch, something Ducati says will result in decreased clutch lever effort and improved longevity.
Also new for 2007 is the Sport 1000 S Biposto ($11,995) — the spiritual successor to the limited edition Paul Smart 1000LE — and the Sport 1000 ($11,495), which also comes as a Biposto.
“We are very satisfied with the extremely positive response we’ve received from our customers and potential buyers,” said Walter Bauer, managing director, Ducati Germany. “In particular, the tremendous popularity of our Desmosedici and Hypermotard models shows that we’re on the right track.”
KTM attended Intermot with the largest selection of models in the history of the company thanks to an expanding on-road lineup.
Crowd favorites appeared to be the 990 Super Duke, 990 Adventure/S, 950 Super Enduro R, and the new 950 Supermoto R. The company described the 2007 690 Supermoto as a “high point” of the Intermot display.
Driven by an all-new fuel-injected single-cylinder engine pumping out 63 hp, the 335-pound 690 Supermoto comes with a new six-gear transmission, adjustable suspension elements and high-performance brakes.
The new 950 Supermoto R comes with an orange-colored, lacquered frame providing contrast to the various black anodized components. KTM product Designer Gerald Kiska also paid obvious attention to redesigning the fuel tank cover.
A final new product shown­­­­­­­ by KTM was a prototype of a protective neck brace it hopes to bring into production. Already used by the entire KTM factory team, the brace surrounds and supports the neck to protect the upper vertebra in case of a fall.
Italy’s Piaggio Group laid low at Intermot, likely to prepare for the upcoming, closer-to-home Eicma show. Still, the company did display various models from its Aprilia, Derbi, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio and Vespa brands.
The new Aprilia bikes were among the standouts. On display were the RXV 4.5, SXV 4.5, SR 50, Sportcity 250, Scarabeo 500 I.E., RSV 1000 R, RSV 1000 R Factory, Tuono R and Tuono R Factory.
The Aprilia Tuono 1000R Factory received a new 139 hp engine, new suspension, ultra-light wheels and a host of carbon fiber components. Available starting in January, the bike features the 1000cc Magnesium Evolution 60-degree V-twin engine directly derived from the 2006 RSV 1000 R Factory.
Look for a 750cc Aprilia Tuono, new Pegaso and Moto Guzzi 1200 Sport at Eicma in Milan.
Triumph Motorcycles displayed all 12 of its models scheduled for 2007, including the all-new Tiger 1050/ABS and updated Sprint ST/ABS.
Featuring a Speed Triple-derived 1050cc three-cylinder engine, the 437-pound Tiger delivers 114 hp at 9400 rpm and 74 pound-feet at 6250 rpm.
The Sprint/ABS receives a new ECU, raised handlebars, taller touring screen, a revised seat, restyled side panels and saddlebags that come standard.Triumph says the Bonneville-based 865cc twins will come with black engine cases (except the T100 in chrome), the America and Speedmaster receive a new front end and cast wheels, and the Rocket III and Rocket III Classic will retail for $1,000 less in the United States than was charged in 2006. Also look for an upcoming Rocket III Classic Tourer standard with bags and a windscreen.

Actively searching for dealers in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia, Minnesota-based Arctic Cat was represented at Intermot by its Austria-based subsidiary, Arctic Cat AG.
The manufacturer had a variety of quads on display, including the 700 Diesel TRV, 250 2×4, 400 4×4, 400cc and 650cc TRV PLUS, 650H1 TBX, and the 250 and 400 DVX sport quads. Many of the units were outfitted with Arctic’s Speedrack accessories and Speedpoint pull-behind attachment offerings.
“All of the models here are EU homologated,” said Oliver Wollboldt of Arctic Cat Deutschland GmbH. He pointed to a Prowler XT as an example. “See this: full instrumentation on the dashboard, warning lights, turn signal lever, everything.”
Wollboldt said sales in Europe reflect consumer interest in 250cc to 400cc machines. He hopes the 700 Diesel TRV will be a success, since many Europeans operate diesel-powered automobiles, but has reservations about UTVs like the Prowler.
“We’ve only sold a couple of them because our average customer just can’t seem to understand the need for something like this,” Wollboldt said. “They look at the price and say they can go out and buy a used 4×4 pickup truck for the same amount of money. It’s really a different mindset than in the U.S.”
Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP) was located near Arctic Cat. While many OEMs showed vehicles representing each of the powersports markets in which they do business, BRP focused efforts on the Can-Am ATV brand and Rotax engine and kart products. A good thing, too, since many of the employees of BRP Germany GmbH kept busy explaining the company’s shift to the Can-Am brand name.
Among the Can-Am units on display were the DS 250, Rally, Outlander 400, 650 and 800, DS 650, Outlander Max 800 LTD and Renegade 800.
Buell Motorcycle Co. showed its full line of six Buell XB motorcycles in three distinct model families.
“The entire line of Buell motorcycles has been enhanced for 2007 through some key changes,” Arnd Dickel, Buell brand manager for Germany’s Harley-Davidson GmbH, told visitors in his native language.
As previously reported, all 2007 Buell XB models will roll on high-performance Pirelli tires — the Buell Ulysses XB12X and Lightning CityX XB9SX fitted with Pirelli Scorpion Sync tires and all other XB models on Pirelli Diablo T tires. Also, all Lightning models are available in Midnight Black with Black wheels, and a new Cherry Bomb Translucent Red color will be offered for the Lightning XB12S and Lightning XB12Scg models.
The Firebolt XB12R receives a revised inner airbox cover to increase airflow potential to the engine and two new color combinations: Midnight Black with new Cherry Bomb Red wheels and windscreen, and Sunfire Yellow with Black wheels.
Harley-Davidson, located in Hall 9 near Triumph, KTM and Polaris, attracted a huge crowd throughout the five-day event. On display were H-D’s Softail, Dyna, Touring VRSC and Sportster models, including a prototype Sportster XR 1200 the Motor Company said is aimed squarely at the European market.
More than two-dozen representatives from Harley-Davidson’s U.S. headquarters attended the unveiling of the prototype. Among them, Bill Davidson, director, motorcycle product development; Peter Zylstra, XR750 racing project designer; and Frank Savage, XR1200 prototype styling project manager.
“As Harley-Davidson seeks to further grow its presence and sales in Europe, Intermot and subsequent major European events will be used to carefully evaluate media and public reaction to the XR 1200 prototype,” said John Russell, vice president, Harley-Davidson Europe. “If the prototype is well received, we hope to bring the XR 1200 to Europe in 2007.”
Regarding H-D’s reception at Intermot, Bernhard Gneithing, head of marketing for Harley-Davidson GmbH, said he was happy to see such a “super response from visitors with high level of decision-making authority.”
With presence in more than 100 countries, Minnesota-based Polaris is no stranger to the international marketplace. Still, some of the units on display — the 600 HO IQ snowmobile, Ranger 4×4 and half-dozen Victory motorcycles – may have been seen for the first time by many of the fair’s visitors.
Marc Tullemans, manager of international operations for Polaris, says that kind of market exposure is what the company is banking on to design its future international product offerings.
“Polaris is continually exploring opportunities to expand its market presence internationally,” Tullemans noted. “International expansion is part of Polaris’ long-term strategy to grow the company.”
The Victory motorcycle line is one key to Polaris’ expansion. So far, Victory only retails through a half-dozen dealers in the United Kingdom. That’s about to change, said Anders Frojd, a Polaris International Operations representative based in Oslo, Norway.
“The Victory bikes are here in Cologne so we can gauge consumer reaction,” Frojd said, adding that Polaris is collecting the key ingredients to build the Victory network in Europe. “People seem to like the models, so I think we’ll really be able to move some bikes once we get the green light.”
European consumers appeared to marvel at the Rangers and 800cc quads, but looked more earnestly at the entry-level and mid-size units, such as the 200cc Sawtooth and Phoenix, Hawkeye 300 and Sportsman 500 EFI. The newest Quadricycle offering for 2007 is the Sportsman X2 500 EFI E. Built specifically for use on-road and homologated for EU regulations

Honda Motor Europe showed 37 motorcycle models, seven ATVs and five scooters at its huge exhibit — called “Honda Town” by more than one attendee.
Among the highlighted models were the Varadero 125, CBR125R, Montesa COTA 4RT trials bike, CRF150RB, CRF450R, Shadow Spirit, Hornet 600, Varadero 1000, CBR600RR and special edition CBR1000RR offered in bold Honda Team Repsol MotoGP livery. The manufacturer also gave a graphic demonstration of its Goldwing airbag system, having it go off on stage; offered the opportunity to test riding skills on the Honda Rider Simulator; allowed kids to play Tourist Trophy on Sony Playstation 2; and held racer autograph sessions.
Outfitting numerous models with hard bags is an obvious trend from Honda Europe. Bikes offering touring amenities now include the CBF600 Travel, CBF1000 Travel, Transalp 650 Travel, 680cc Deauville Travel, Varadero 1000 Travel, Pan-European and Gold Wing. All but the Transalp have ABS.
In the Honda lineup since 1998, the popular Hornet (called the 599 in the United States) received a thorough redesign for 2007, including a new engine, new aluminum frame, more aggressive styling and ABS.
Honda hopes to sell about 24,000 units of the CB600F Hornet in 2007. It is manufactured in Italy by subsidiary Honda Italia Industriale SpA.
Kawasaki showed its range of 2007 bikes as well as some models slated for 2008. Highlighted 2007 units included the Vulcan 900 Custom, VN1600 Mean Streak, ZX-6R, Z1000, ER-6n/f and Versys 650. For 2008, look for the KFX 450 sport quad, KLX450R, KLR650 and GTR1400, the ZX-14-based tourer KMC USA said we’ll see stateside in late 2007 as the Concours 14.
A newly introduced model, the Versys offers an upright riding position made comfortable via wide handlebars, a 33-inch seat height and an adjustable windscreen. Powered by a 649cc liquid-cooled parallel twin engine tuned for low- and mid-range torque, the 399-pound ABS-prepared bike puts out 64 hp at 8000 rpm and 45 pound-feet at 6800 rpm.
The ER-6f is available in the United States as the Ninja 650R. However, what we don’t get here is the ER-6f’s semi-naked sibling, the ER-6n. Both powered by the same liquid-cooled, fuel-injected, DOHC, eight-valve 649cc parallel twin engine in the same chassis, the naked ER-6n and faired ER-6f go to market against Suzuki’s V-twin SV650 and SV650 S. Of course, all four come with ABS.
Taiwan’s KYMCO plans worldwide revenue of $722 million and sales of 578,000 units in 2006. In Europe, KYMCO found success in Germany, France and particularly Spain, where the brand is in the top three in market share.
KYMCO’s booth was loaded with scooters, ATVs and small-displacement motorcycles, highlighted by the sporty 2007 Quannon 125, an entry-level sportbike destined to be a EU-only model.
KYMCO’s scooter line-up in Europe includes the People S 125, Agility 125, Yager GT 125, Grand Dink 125, Xciting 250i and Xciting 500/i models. KYMCO ATVs were represented by the MXU 50/150, MXer 50/150, KXR 250 Sports, Maxxer 300, MXU 250/300 and MXU 500 4×4.
The MXU 50, MXU 250 and Maxxer 300 have been the best-selling KYMCO quads in Europe during the past year.
Suzuki’s display included 30 motorcycles, four scooters and seven ATVs. Available for inspection were the familiar yet updated Bandit 650/S ABS, Bandit 1250/S ABS, SV650/S ABS, V-Strom 650 ABS, DR-Z125L, RM-Z250 and GSX-R1000; the Europe-only VanVan 125, GS500, GSR600 ABS and GSX1400; and the all-new Burgman 125, Burgman 200, Burgman 400 and B-King, the Hayabusa-powered muscle bike expected in the U.S. in September 2007 as an 2008 model.
Unavailable in the U.S., the GSR600 ABS takes on the Honda Hornet 600 ABS and Euro-spec Yamaha FZ6 ABS. First introduced in Europe for the 2006 season, the 412-pound GSR runs off of an engine based on the GSX-R600 powerplant and produces nearly 99 hp at 12000 rpm and 48 pound-feet. at 9600 rpm.
“Intermot was very successful for Yamaha,” said Christian Boe, managing director, Yamaha Motor Deutschland GmbH.
Yamaha showed 32 on- and off-road motorcycles, 17 scooters, the company’s full range of ATVs, the Rhino and the Phazer snowmobile. Highlights of the display included two new FZ6 models with ABS, the FZ1 Fazer ABS, new R1, XVS1300 Midnight Star, TT-R50E, WR250F and WR450F.
Yamaha’s Euro-spec FZ6 and FZ1 are naked versions of the faired — and more familiar to the United States — FZ6 Fazer and FZ1 Fazer. Fazer spec2 (with fairing) create a full line of nine FZ6 variations offered by Yamaha Europe.
The MT-03 and MT-01 also are unique creations still unavailable to U.S. consumers, as are the 2007 ­supermoto XT660X, TDM 900 ABS, BT1100 Bulldog and new XJR1300, which competes in the large displacement standard market against the Suzuki Bandit 1250 ABS and GSX1400, Kawasaki ZRX1200R and Honda CB1300 ABS.

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