If you follow motorcycle news, most of what happens at IMS is already in your personal database of knowledge thanks to the ECIMA show that takes place typically a couple weeks before. Sure, for the most part we all knew what was under those covers when I was teasing them on my Instagram page, but there is still something about seeing the unveiling in person.
Some of my favorites from yesterday are below, in no particular order.
Yamaha Ténéré 700
I rode down from the Bay Area to Long Beach on a KTM 790 Adventure (more on that later) so this was kinda high on my list to check out. The 689cc motor is sourced from the laugh-riot MT 07, and Yamaha put it in a lightweight tubular steel frame with a nimble-on-paper 62.6 inch wheel base. The suspension has 8.3 inches of travel up front in the 43mm forks, and out back the shock delivers 7.9 inches of travel. That combined with 9.5 inches of ground clearance should make this machine a blast off-road. You will be able to pick one of these up soon for $9999.
Suzuki V-Strom 1050's
Yes, plural. Suzuki showed us the V-Strom 1050, 1050xt and the 1050xt Adventure, all of which share the same 1037cc motor. The difference in trim is somewhat subtle. The non XT version has cast alloy wheels and limited electronics, while the XT and XT Adventure get more off-road friendly spoked wheels and a 6-axis IMU. The XT Adventure comes with heated grips and side cases as standard. Pricing is going to be $13,399 for the base, $14,799 for the middle, and $16,999 for the top of the line model. Maybe it is time for me to upgrade my 2003 'Strom.
Aprilia RS 660
As a club racer, this lil fella has me excited. A 100 horse, 373 pound twin is what everyone racing SV 650's dreamed about. The buzz in the racing community is that the machine is going to be too expensive, but I think those people have not been paying attention to what you get for... The pause is because there has not been a price announced yet. Whatever the cost will be, the machine comes almost ready to race with an up/down quickshifter, traction control, wheelie control - you know all the electronic goodies that racers drop cash on later. I am about 30th on the list to ride one whenever they become available, but I am on the list.
Honda Africa Twin
I already talked about this bike when I found out about the updates to one of my favorite motorcycles. Lighter, more power, better electronics, and still available in both a standard and DCT version, this bike remains very high on my list to rip around on.
There will be more coming from me soon, including details about the event, my trip down, and a complete review of the KTM that brought me here so stay tuned.