It’s been a busy week in Ye Olde Motorcycle Rumor Mill, with several tidbits of info coming out about three major manufacturers’ plans in the world of sport and adventure motorcycles.
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Let’s stop to admire that lede for a second, though. That’s the sort of stuff I used to write when I was in television. Still got it, Cope. Still got it… Anyhoo, Honda, Suzuki and Triumph have all been the object of rumormongers’ attention in recent days. There are no major surprises here and – in the case of Suzuki – a few eyerolls.
Updated Honda Africa Twin
According to people who can read Japanese, the scuttlebutt coming from that country’s moto press is that Honda is planning to release an updated Africa Twin, boosting capacity of the bike’s parallel twin engine to 1080 cc (presently it’s 998 cc), and adding a little more than 6 horsepower. That would bring its output to a pretty much spot-on 100 hp.
Impending Euro 5 regulations are being given as the reason for the tweaks, but obviously it never hurts to keep one of your most popular models fresh. As such, most folks are hoping there will be a little more to this update than simply capacity and horsepower increases.
Over at Common Tread, Spurgeon’s expressed a desire to see an Africa Twin that weighs 14 kg less and has aluminum handguards. I’m guessing that first one is unlikely. Honda seems to enjoy making heavyish bikes and I wouldn’t expect that to change anytime soon. Personally, I’d like to see cruise control added, along with an option for tubeless tires.
Really, Honda, put tubeless tires on this thing. I spent a fair few moments recently daydreaming about owning an Africa Twin in light of an appealing 0-percent financing offer, but abandoned that line of thought when considering what a pain in the ass it is to repair a tubed tire.
Triumph Daytona 765
Remember a few months ago when I said that a Daytona 765 seemed like a done deal and would likely be unveiled in time for the start of the Moto2 season? Spy pics have hit the interwebs this week showing that the Daytona 765 is a done deal and will likely be unveiled in time for the start of the Moto2 season.
It’s a move that sort of makes sense, in line with the fact that Triumph is providing the powerplant that will be used in all Moto2 bikes for the next few years, but also contributes to the feeling I’ve had for a while now that Triumph isn’t entirely sure of its own direction. Triumph makes really good bikes, but I can’t quite figure out the company’s unifying philosophy. What connects a Speed Twin and a Tiger 1200 apart from the badge? And how will those now connect to a Daytona 765?
Suzuki Recursion. Again
The word ‘recursion’ is a noun that means ‘return.’ Which is appropriate because the perennial rumor of Suzuki’s planned turbo-charged Recursion motorcycle is, in and of itself, a recursion, having been repeating on us like last night’s curry since 2013.
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It came up once again recently, with new patent applications showing that Suzuki is still slogging away on the thing. Don’t expect it to show up anytime soon, however – the patents suggest the Japanese manufacturer still hasn’t fully made up its mind about the chassis. Which is just so Suzuki. By the time this company actually delivers a turbo-charged motorcycle I suspect it will be 10 years behind everyone else.
New Suzuki DR Big
Another rumor that won’t go away is that Suzuki is going to overhaul its DR series of dual sport motorcycle, finally returning it to Europe after effectively being exiled by emissions regulations roughly a decade ago. Usually when I hear this rumor it’s in reference to the DR-Z400. But this time around folks are getting all excited about the possibility of a new DR Big, predicting that the bike will be unveiled at this year’s EICMA.
Don’t get too excited, though. We’re not talking about a new 800cc single-cylinder all-terrain warrior. Instead, it seems there’s talk of Suzuki building a truly off-road-ready V-Strom 1000 and calling it a DR Big. Which is far less impressive. That sounds to me like a V-Strom that’s been dipped in the Touratech catalog. In terms of engine character and balance the V-Strom 1000 is already on par with something like the Africa Twin. So, really, if such a thing happens it will be more an exercise in suspension set-up than anything else.
That said, my attitude toward the Strom has improved in recent weeks, so it’s something I’d like to see. Even though it’s probably not something I’d like to buy.