Australian Road Rider Issue 163

THE NO.1 MAGAZINE FOR TOURING Australian Road Rider is the only Australian magazine to address the technical aspects of riding and celebrate the pure enjoyment of touring. At Australian Road Rider we know that there’s nothing like the pleasure of hitting the open road and exploring our glorious country. Purchase includes the Digital Edition and News Service. Please stay in touch via our Facebook Page.

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6 Issues

in this issue

4 min
maturing technology

Keyless ignitions, radar-controlled cruise control, Bluetooth-enabled dashboards, quickshifters, heated grips, tyre-pressure monitoring, C-ABS, cornering lights, electric windows, semi-active suspension… all coming to a motorcycle near you, if it hasn’t already. OK, I’m kidding about the electric windows, but my FJR has an electric screen, which is sort-kinda similar. On the one hand I’m enthusiastic about these developments, on the other the price of the bikes with all the bells and whistles, the cost of maintenance and the difficulty keeping it all working when these bikes get old is a concern in the back of my mind. Regular readers may remember how I had planned to replace the brake hoses on my FJR, only to discover the ABS system had added a heap of complexity and additional hoses compared to the earlier non-ABS…

1 min
online at

2022 NEW MODEL ANNOUNCEMENTS Catch all the new bike announcements on the ARR website, Scan the QR code to be taken straight there. DUCATI DESERTX & MORE Ducati has been announcing its new models and plans for 2022 via numerous videos, with the DesertX announcement scheduled for December 9. Scan the QR code for links and more info. KAWASAKI Z650RS The teasing has stopped and the new retro 650 announced! SUZUKI’S NEW GT! Just as we were going to press, Suzuki announced the GSX-S1000GT, a Grand Touring version of its popular 1000cc roadster. With trick electronics and a full fairing all priced very affordably, the bike has generated lots of positive comments on the Road Rider Facebook pages when we broke the story. 2022 ROYAL ENFIELD HIMALAYAN Taking adventure touring to its basics, the…

1 min
speed triple gets faster

It’s only taken Triumph a quarter century or so, but you can at last have a Speed Triple with a fairing – and it’s the most powerful, beautiful, best-handling and sporty Speed Triple ever, too. At least we’re hopeful all those superlatives are justified, because we’re Speed Triple tragics here at ARR. So 2021 brought us the R model, with some significant updates to what’s been one of the most popular high-performance nakeds since the model launched in the 1990s. The RR, however, takes it to a new level. ONE LETTER, A HOST OF CHANGES So the “cockpit” fairing – a Rickman-style frame-mounted half fairing with a round headlight – gives the bike a neo-modern style. Of course we’ve only seen pictures so far, but it looks stunning in those. The lines swoop back…

1 min
new-generation ktm rc 390

KTM has redesigned its LAMS sportsbike, the RC 390, with MotoGP styling, better aerodynamics, improved heat management around the rider, better sports ergonomics, a larger tank, engine and electronics updates and more. The new frame is 1.5kg lighter than the previous model’s, the updated suspension is adjustable, the brakes are lighter and more powerful… but possibly the most impressive updates are to the electronics. Revised engine mapping has improved the torque figures from the 373cc single-cylinder engine and there’s a larger airbox feeding the powerplant. There’s a new Ride-by-Wire system, traction control and now an optional quickshifter. A slipper clutch is standard equipment, as is the Motorcycle Traction Control and cornering ABS. Connected to the engine is a new exhaust, with stainless-steel headers and a black aluminium muffler with a “distinct, throaty rumble”. The…

3 min
can a hollow bike be the world’s fastest?

British engineer Robert White hopes to set a world motorcycle land-speed record in 2022 with the bike you see on these pages, a bike that is designed to have air flow through it, rather than around. “I’ve always been obsessed with speed,” says White, who comes to the project with a background in Formula 1, electric hypercars and even V8s in Australia. “If you want to demonstrate to the rest of the world that you’ve just invented a new aerodynamic concept that means you can go faster for a given power, the best thing to do is go as fast you can,” says White. “That’s why we created the WMC250EV high-speed demonstrator, the most radical version of this concept, to challenge for the world land-speed record. It is electric, as that…

2 min
two new tigers

Triumph will release an all-new Tiger Sport 660 (based on the Trident) and multiple all-new Tiger 1200s in 2022. While the official announcements hadn’t been made prior to this issue’s deadline, ARR’s sources indicate the Tiger Sport 660 will be a versatile, more road-oriented adventurestyle sports tourer, like the Tiger 850 Sport, while the new 1200s are designed to take an even bigger slice out of BMW’s dominant big-bore GS models. TIGER 660 Utilising the engine from the highly successful Trident in a chassis and suspension designed to take on battered back-road dirt roads as well as bitumen all day, the new Tiger Sport 660 is aimed at bikes like the Kawasaki Versys 650 and Suzuki V-Strom. With the breakout success of the Trident, the new model is hoped to be a…