Cars & Motorcycles
Australian Motorcycle News

Australian Motorcycle News

Vol 70 Issue 09

Australian Motorcycle News covers all things motorcycling from around the world, featuring new-model releases as well as comprehensive bike comparisons and race reports in every issue.

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25 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
ed’s desk

Island blues I am yet to not have a grouse time there on GP weekend ORDINARILY, RIGHT ABOUT the time you are reading this, I would be at the Island. Phillip Island, that is, the great, currently silent monument to motorcycle racing situated just off the coast of Antarctica. I’m missing it badly. And not just the racing. Most of the motorcycle community turns up there, so not seeing the usual faces, shaking their heads at Marc Marquez’s antics and asking why I said whatever about their bike is hard to accept won’t happen this year. Particularly with how good this crazy season has been. Bumping into Rossi and Uccio at Pinos, then spotting someone you haven’t seen in years, who is a bit fatter, a bit greyer, but essentially just the same…

2 min.
giantkiller half-sized superbike

A TWIN-CYLINDER engine, based on half a Superbike V4. Chassis, suspension, brakes and electronics developed from the larger racer. A road-focused riding position and rider aids to help get every last dollop of power to the ground. Welcome to the new world of Supersport. And it starts here with Aprilia’s all-new RS660. We’ve all watched the sad decline of buyer interest in the traditional, four-cylinder designs from Japan that dominated the segment for nearly two decades. The 183kg (wet, claimed) machine is powered by, in basic terms, the front half of Aprilia’s RSV4 engine. This means it’s a parallel twin running a 270-degree crank to give it the torque characteristics of a V-twin. We understand bore size matches the RSV4 1100 engine but the stroke is 63.9mm. Water-cooled and with four-valve heads. Power…

2 min.
desmo ditched for new multistrada

DUCATI IS STEPPING away from desmodromic valves for the first time in decades with the launch of the 2021 Multistrada V4. While we’ll have to wait until next month to see the bike in full, Ducati has released details of the new ‘V4 Granturismo’ engine that powers it. Capacity rises from 1103cc to 1158cc, with a bigger 83mm bore instead of the Panigale V4’s 81mm, while keeping the same 53.5mm stroke. But it’s the change to conventional valve springs that comes as a surprise. It’s all about cutting production costs while giving buyers longer engine service intervals. The Multistrada V4 isn’t all about power and high revs. It’s rated at 125kW compared to the Panigale V4’s 157.5kW, and 125Nm (up a fraction from the Panigale’s 124Nm). That means it can take advantage…

1 min.
honda blows africa twin

BIG POWER ADVENTURE bikes will be the talk of 2021 and Honda is planning to supercharge its CRF1100L Africa Twin. Patents have emerged clearly showing how Honda is aiming to fit a ‘blower’ just above the transmission, with intake air pipework from the Africa Twin’s unique headstock-straddling airbox running down the left to the blower’s air intake. The supercharger itself is driven via gears from the crankshaft, and the air it compresses gets fed vertically upwards into intake runners that then loop over and down again into a pair of conventional throttle bodies. Honda’s patent shows two injectors mounted in the throttle bodies, as normal, but also says that two more direct injectors squirt fuel straight into the combustion chambers. Compared to Kawasaki, Honda’s approach is notably different. It uses a twin-screw supercharger…

2 min.
sales keep rising

OVERALL SALES of motorcycles, quad bikes and side-by-side offroaders have continued their year-long upward trend. The Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries (FCAI) show sales figures up 26.4 percent for nine months ending September 30, 2020, compared to the same period in 2019. A total of 79,623 units were sold, according to the information gathered by FCAI, which doesn’t include a large and growing number of other brands. AMCN understands these non-member brands are also experiencing very strong sales in small and mid-range-sized motorcycles. This increase is the total opposite of the car industry, where sales for the same period are down a crushing 20.5 percent. “Achieving such a strong sales performance in the current market conditions is simply remarkable,” said FCAI CEO Tony Weber. However he was quick to point out that much of…

2 min.
six new kawasakis coming for 2021

KAWASAKI HAS UNVEILED a teaser video on the American market that promises six new models in 2021 with a launch date of 23 November. While the video shows none of the usual close-ups and snatched glimpses of the new machines, instead just using pictures of bikes under drapes, there’s still plenty to unpack. In fact there’s enough to identify all six of the 2021 bikes that the video is teasing us with. Although Kawasaki has covered the new models, the lower third of the bikes’ wheels are on show, along with a bit of brake disc and, in some cases, part of the exhaust. By comparing these components with the existing model range we’re making some accurate predictions. The only proviso is that Kawasaki may have put the wrong bikes under the covers…