More bikes unveiled for 2012; bikes.
THE motorcycle show season is around the corner and with it come the first pictures of 2012's new bikes.
The latest manufacturers to reveal the details are Suzuki and Triumph, the former showing off its new GSX-R1000 flagship superbike, while Triumph gives us the lowdown on its Tiger Explorer and Speed Triple R. Suzuki's flagship GSX-R retains the same style as last year's superbike. But don't be fooled - it should be a noticeably better machine, with a range of updates made to the chassis and engine that should transform the bike that lost the 2011 British Superbike Championship by 0.006 of a second.
The new GSX-R1000 now gets Brembo's latest monobloc calipers and big piston forks, the same updates made to the 2011 GSX-R600 that propelled the supersport machine to the top of its class thanks to the resulting superb front end.
The engine benefits from techniques derived from MotoGP. Pistons are now a massive 11% lighter, while valve lift is higher and compression is increased among other benefits. Suzuki claims the changes improve throttle response, acceleration and mid-range power.
Triumph Motorcycles, now the UK's biggest selling manufacturer of motorcycles over 500cc, has unveiled three new bikes for 2012 - the Tiger Explorer, the Speed Triple R and a Steve McQueen-inspired version of the classic Bonneville T100.
The Tiger Explorer is the new flagship model for Triumph's Adventure range. It follows hot on the heels of Triumph's successful 2011 Tiger 800 models, which have become Europe's best selling sub-800cc adventure tourers. The Tiger Explorer is powered by an all-new, shaft-driven, 1200cc, three-cylinder engine. It also sees the debut of Triumph's new ride-by-wire throttle system and includes cruise control, switchable ABS and traction control as standard. The chassis boasts a strong steel frame with single sided swingarm and 19-inch front and 17-inch rear cast alloy wheels.
Following the success of the uprated versions of the Street Triple and Daytona 675, Triumph is now launching a premium version of its iconic Speed Triple, the Speed Triple R. The Speed Triple R sports the latest high-spec Ohlins suspension, with lightweight five-spoke forged aluminium PVM wheels that reduce unsprung weight by 1.7kg compared to the standard machine.
The Speed Triple R also gets Brembo's four-piston radial monoblock calipers, with a switchable version of Triumph's electronic anti-lock system available as an option, so stopping really shouldn't be a problem.
Triumph has also joined forces with the estate of Hollywood icon Steve McQueen to create a limited edition motorcycle that pays tribute to the late actor's love of the British brand.
The bike is based on the classic Bonneville T100 and features a host of modified parts, with a design inspired by the Triumph Trophy TR6 that McQueen insisted on riding during the famous stunt scene in The Great Escape.
It features a military-style Matt Khaki Green livery, stencil-style Triumph decal on the tank and the actor's signature on the side covers.
New flagship - Suzuki's GSX-R1000 superbike