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INTERMOT Cologne 2008

At INTERMOT Cologne 2008, the largest international trade fair for motorcycles and scooters, exhibitors presented numerous innovations in all segments to the public. Stronger, safer, lighter, more environmentally friendly, easier to handle and the best hi-tech equipment packaged into fascinating designs - this sums up the new products presented by the manufacturers.

BMW surprised the visitors with the world premiere of their extensively revised K-series. Starting in 2009 the new K 1300 S, K 1300 R and K 1300 GT models with ABS as standard will be powered by a 4 cylinder in-line engine with a larger displacement of 1,293cc. The output of the K 1300 S is 175 hp at a maximum torque of 140 Nm, making it the fastest, most powerful BMW ever built. The German manufacturer offers gear assistance, slip control and a new electronically adjustable frame as optional equipment for the K models. As a tempting preview of their entry in the Superbike World Cup 2009, BMW introduced the new S 1000 RR super sport machine with racing trim. The street version of this bike, with dynamic traction control and sport ABS, will be available from spring 2009. The Husqvarna brand, which belongs to BMW, introduced the new SM 450R supermoto, which wasn't only optimised visually, but will roll into the next model year with a new, stiffer frame and an upgraded engine.

At the stand of Harley Davidson subsidiary Buell, motorcycle enthusiasts had their first chance to see the new Cafï?½ Racer 1125 CR, a bike with strong character and an aggressive look. It is among the lightest and most dynamic machines in the segment. Its liquid-cooled V2 engine with an anti-hopping clutch generates a remarkable output of 148 hp and 111 Nm of torque.

Ducati - Monster 1100
Ducati presented the world premiere of the new Monster 1100 and 1100 S models. The two-valve V2 engine generates 95 hp from 1,078cc of displacement and an impressive 103 Nm of torque. The improved dynamic handling, which is evident simply from the traditional aggressive design of the "naked bikes", is possible thanks to the extremely light and very stiff light-alloy single-sided swingarm. In addition, the Italian manufacturer also presented a touring version of the sport classic GT 1000 model.

At Harley Davidson, trade fair visitors could admire the new VRSCF V-Rod Muscle for the first time. The new Power Cruiser features a liquid-cooled, 121 hp, DOHC V-twin engine with 1,250cc of displacement, ABS as standard, LED rear light and LED indicator lights integrated into the mirror. The rest of the Harley-Davidson model range was presented with extensive model enhancements. For instance, the frames of the touring bikes, which also come with ABS as standard, now offer a 67 per cent increase in rigidity.

Honda - CBR 1000 RR
Honda also displayed its innovative strength. Apart from the CBF 125 bike for beginners, and the new Crosser CRF 450, the world's biggest motorcycle manufacturer presented the world's first electronically controlled, combined super sport ABS, which is optionally available as redesigned CBR 600 RR and CBR 1000 Fireblade super sport bikes. In addition, the Japanese presented the exciting, futuristic "V4" design concept, giving visitors a glimpse into the future. The company also announced it will redefine preventive security in the motorcycle sector with a communications system to link cars and motorbikes, which is currently being developed.

Kawasaki presented not only the KX 250 F and KX 450 F, two extensively redesigned motocross racers, but also a bike making its European debut - the KLX 250 with a 22 hp, 249cc, liquid-cooled one cylinder engine, fuel injection and a sport enduro frame. The ER-6f and ER-6n, two popular mid-range machines, stood out by virtue of their aggressive styling. A treat for the eyes at the Japanese company's stand was the addition to the VN family of several new models - the VN 1700 Classic, VN 1700 Classic Tourer, and the VN 1700 Voyager with its full line of equipment features. And the new ZX-6R super sport bike will be about nine kilograms lighter when it takes on the competition next year. Kawasaki has not yet released any performance data for the machine.

Aprilia RSV 4
Numerous new products were unveiled by the Piaggio Group, which includes the Aprilia, Gilera, Moto Guzzi, Piaggio, and Vespa brands. Aprilia presented a real treat for its fans: not only racing freaks were on cloud nine simply from the first glance at Aprilia's RSV4 Factory with its 180 hp, 65ï?½ V4 engine and 999cc of displacement. The super sport bike's sophisticated technology makes it a top-class machine. Not only does the RSV4 feature fully adjustable suspension components; Aprilia riders also can adjust the swingarm position, fork angle and engine position to their individual needs. Equally sporty is the new Crosser MXV 450, which features a 45ï?½ V-twin engine installed in a very agile frame.

From Mandello del Lario, Italy - the home of Moto Guzzi - comes the 1200 Sport 4V. This sporty naked bike is powered by a longitudinally mounted 105 hp V-twin engine and features a manoeuvrable frame. Amongst others the brand Stelvio model has been updated. The Gilera brand has long been renowned for its high quality scooters. The company's one cylinder four-stroke Nexus 300 scooter will be a great addition to the market in 2009. And scooter specialist Piaggio presented a new three-wheel machine - the MP3 LT - which features a one cylinder engine with a choice of 250cc or 400cc of displacement. The unusual thing about the MP3 LT is that only a standard car driver's licence is required to ride it. Minor changes have been made to the XEvo and the Beverly.

Vespa is marking its 60th anniversary with two new scooters featuring nostalgic retro style - the LXV and the GTV. The new Vespa S50 4V is powered by a 50cc four-stroke engine, and the popular GTS now has more than 125cc of displacement. Minor modifications have been made to the Vespa Scooter LX and the GTS 300 Super.

Suzuki - SFV 650 Gladius
Suzuki surprised INTERMOT visitors with a brand new naked bike, the SFV 650 Gladius. The aggressively styled machine with a 645cc V-twin engine is a visually dazzling addition to the mid-range segment. The brand's sporty flagship - the GSX-R 1000 - has not only been given a new look for the next model year, but also a redesigned engine, although the company isn't yet revealing the bike's performance specifications. Suzuki has expanded its cruiser line-up with the new M 1500, which fills the gap between the 800cc and the 1,800cc machines.

Triumph presented its Thunderbird cruiser with belt drive to the general public for the first time. At 1,599cc, the motorcycle's engine has the largest displacement of any parallel twin and its standard equipment version delivers more than 75 hp and 135 Nm of torque. Visitors also enjoyed the comprehensively re-engineered Daytona 675, which is now even lighter and more powerful, as well as the classic design of bikes such as the Thruxton and the Bonneville.

Yamaha YZF-R1

A bike that caused quite a sensation was the brand new Yamaha YZF-R1. With an entirely redesigned power train for 2009, it is sure to be a big hit with customers. The new engine incorporates many principles from Valentino Rossi's MotoGP machine, including a new crankshaft with crank pins offset at 90 degrees to deliver more torque at all engine speeds and power that builds in a manner even easier for riders to control. Also extensively modified is the chassis, which now features a new, even stiffer Deltabox frame and a die-cast magnesium frame tail. The Yamaha brand has even more new products up its sleeve, for example the amazingly powerful VMAX, which draws its brute strength from the 200 hp and 167 Nm of torque of its 1,679cc V4 engine. Many design elements from the VMAX's famous predecessor have been retained in the new bike. And then there is the new mid-range four cylinder XJ6 Diversion, which is powered by a heavily modified 78 hp, 600cc engine from the FZ6. Like the VMAX, the XJ6 is equipped with a sensitive ABS system. Riders who love great looking cruisers are crazy about the newly introduced XVS 950 with its air cooled four-valve V2 engine. Yamaha also is presenting two impressive additions to the 125 line-up - the 15 hp, one cylinder WR125R enduro bike and its supermoto counterpart, the WR125X. Finally, the popular Neo's scooter has been equipped with a 50cc four-stroke engine.

While all leading manufacturers of motorbikes are responding to the growing awareness of environmental concerns by offering increasingly efficient engines and exhaust treatment systems, alternative drive systems from less well known manufacturers and importers of scooters are helping to ensure mobility that is more environmentally friendly. Examples include the Solar Scooter with wheel hub drive from Solar Mobil GmbH, which is fully electric powered, and the Hybrid Power Scooter from Mawi, which debuted at INTERMOT Cologne and is equipped with a combustion engine and an electric motor.

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