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For my money, I would say the 450cc will remain - it has been run by BMW recently, albeit well down the field.
But, it is early days; my local BMW dealer don't want to sell Husqvarnas - they can sell all the BMW bikes they can get, and that is without the new 800GS to handle in 2008.
Royal Enfield - more a case of what won't be around in 08
I spent a bit of time with a RE dealer the other day; the last of the non-Euro compliant emissions bikes are now in the UK (basically the classics, as sold in India) - from Jan 08 the range available in the UK will be smaller therefore and will be only the modern engines; the Electra 500cc range.
Apparently as the emission requirements get more stringent for RE, a 250cc engine will be manufactured to meet these.
Honda can certainly blow the doors off BMW anytime they wish. But they take the long view and don't want to emasculate BMW (they do that well enough themselves).
So the motor is covered. With about 115 actual rear wheel HP, it's already ahead of BMW for power. Weight? This is a very light weight motor...and reliable. I'm guessing its maybe 15 kgs. lighter than the BMW lump.
Remember, Honda's original intention with the RC51 motor was to go World Super Bike racing....but somewhere along the way they decided to stick with in-line fours instead....but Nicky did OK with it in the USA. No one else could ride the bike...including every club racer who tried. NOT an easy bike to ride. Once again...this was a chassis problem...one Honda choose not to fix.
So....now Honda just need to build an ALL NEW Aluminum chassis specifically meant as a dual sport/touring adventure bike. Give the bike the best Showa pieces made with at least 9 inches of travel and decent ground clearance. Yes, and make it fairly tall. Give it range, comfort and make it strong but use every trick in the book to keep it light. Trust me, Honda know "light".
Spoke or Cast wheels (customer's choice) and some really good accessories like strong bags that fit perfectly. All the crash guards et al, could be sold as accerories (hugely profitable area for BMW and Tourtech) Chain drive of course, latest F.I. innovations should allow 50 mpg. Six gallon tank would mean close to 300 mile range. HP would be in the high 90's, torque about 65 ft.lbs. Plenty with such a light weight bike. (compared to the heavy BMW)
The GS has the burden of Telelever and Paralever, both add substantial weight over conventional suspension and chain drive. Probably about another
15 kgs. lighter than BMW, roughly.
Make the bike beautiful like the GS. Honda would have to make a big step up in fit and finish. Nice clocks, high end bars, switches, bright headlights, plenty of alternator output (about 500 watts should do. The finish on the bike needs to last...like BMW's finish does (best in industry). But Honda are perfectly capable of doing this....take a gander at a new Acura sometime...yes, they have the technology and skill and refinement to make beautiful bike.
Cost? Between $12 and $15K USD.
Yeah, all is nice on the paper, but where's that Honda?
BMW heavy? Why contributing the myths and lies, again, Mollydog? Compare it with similar bikes first. 199kg dry, a big trailie bike having 1200cc engine, lot of additional stock comforts (standard heated grips, ABS, etc), telelever and shaft drive. I.e. V-Strom 1000cc is 208kg dry (the same weight as my almost 10 years ancient old oilhead GS w/o ABS btw), while having conventional forks and chain drive with regular swingarm. Name me a big trailie jap twin in production, having that capacity engine and is lighter than R1200GS?
If I'm not mistaken Honda Varadero uses de-tuned VTR race proven engine, and the bike weights 235kg dry. It's 36kg more than your "overweight" BMW that has bigger capacity engine with higher torque output.
BMWs weight is well in competition, and in fact, in the forefront of it, considering it has telelever and shaft drive, if you compare it with similar purpose and size bikes. I.e. KTM 990ADV is 199kg dry, it's the same weight, while having 200cc smaller engine, chain drive and regular forks, and is more offroad-oriented than the GS. And the same weight while KTM claims it has the lightest and the most compact V-Twin motor in the market of that capacity. Looking at other big trailies in production: Aprilia Caponord, V-Strom 1000 are another examples here, all of them are heavier than GS with all of its bits and bobs. Looking at the more realistic wet weights then BMW has a advantage of air-oil cooled engine not having cooling liquids, good example here is V-Strom that is 240kg (528lb) wet and R1200GS is 225kg wet weight, road ready fully fueled. Fuel tanks are approx the same size btw. And what we see? That, mythically known as, "lardy GS", having burden to carry telelever and shaft drive, is a massive 15kg lighter than smaller engined V-Strom 1000.
I'd recommend stop talking bollocks about BMWs weight.
Here's what Honda should do in my opinion (my shorter version of "M-s bollox") : shaft driven, like the old Honda XLV trailie was, horizontally mounted boxer-2 (i.e. reduced B-4 or B-6 off from Goldwing) based large calibre (torque-over-HP oriented, not another pointless high HP-output revver) dual purpose bike, with ABS, catalythic converter and other new generation gizmos and bits. Very comfortable & spacy for rider and pillion, good wind protection, 500+miles per day no prob, and all of this should fit into package that is lighter than 200kg dry. A must is over 10,000km maintenance intervals, over 600W generator and less than 4.5L per 100km fuel consumption on highway. I'd be a hard job looking how much GoldWings weight, but Honda has lot of tech tricks in reserve so should be able to do it...... I'd definitely consider buying one then. Do I win a breakthrough innovative design award for Honda now? :P
Good question. But do you really doubt Honda could build such a bike?
I don't doubt, anyone or any make could build any bike with motivation (if it makes a sufficient income), but still, where's your supposed bike then?
Loyal to Honda people have been waiting for years Africa Twins successor without results. Many of them have already bought a GS or 990/950ADV that are probably the best bikes in their fields currently. Some wait for the F800GS hoping it'll be similar to AT with looks and decent upgrade from the engine side.
Originally Posted by mollydog
Lies and Myths? Really? How many world championships have BMW won.....in anything...in the last 40 years?
Don't change the topic to world championships thinking it'll solve your lies. You deliberately bash BMWs around the forums, which is OK for me since brainless BMW bashing is getting old and out of fashion, only some senile guys continue to do it these days manly because of jealousy . What I don't cope with, and the reason I replied here, is that you also deliberately generating and contributing myths about BMWs being overweight in their field in various threads, which, as explained in my previous post, is a lie.
Originally Posted by mollydog
I weighed my Vstrom and a new R1200GS next to each other....both right around 520 lbs wet. Does our certified scale lie too?
Very probably does. German makes are one of the most precise and strict in the official weight specs, changing something can bring scandal. While I've heard the in the past before more strict weight standards came on japs even took off the tyres, or even seat and windscreen for "more suitable" dry weight specs to be better than European makes. Probably this is why we still rarely see wet weight specs for many bikes. BMW is one of the few makes who reveals that specification on all of their bikes.
In your case: GS was ABS model and with extras: engine guards and/or pannier frames+panniers? R1200GS is specified 225kg for a road ready fully fuled bike with no extras, any extra will add more weight.
Originally Posted by mollydog
I paid $6000 for my 2006 Vstrom (used but like new) with 4000 miles. The GS is over $15,000 usd new, maybe $12,000 used. For that price it should be lighter, no?
Yeah, I'd like 2008 Honda GoldWing, with airbag and DVD-player to be cheap as chips too, so I can buy it as a sunday ride
Originally Posted by mollydog
Like most things outside of BMW world, you are mistaken. Look up RC51 Honda. Not the VTR motor (I owned a VTR)
RC51 motor is much smaller (in size and weight), more HP and torque also.
Like most of racing engines, the hand-made RC211V in V5 format hasn't found a way into production after years of its birth, being pointlessly expensive to produce on a production conveyor where different laws apply. Production (motorized conveyor) and racing (handwork) are two different things, with astronomically different cost-per-unit factors involved and very few regular motorcycling people have a serious need for strict racing technologies. Those, who need die-hard racing technologies and use it to full probably make 0.001% of the clients visiting MC shops around the Globe. Incoming amount of money from the production itself decides the real mass production direction and you can't change it alone. If it's cheaper and more effective to produce I4 in big numbers rather than V5 in small numbers, then I'll be so. Probably if Honda starts to make RC51 as a production and close to the performance specs the hand-made racing cousin has, then the next thing we hear is Mollydog is bashing Honda making a too expensive bike.
Like you've never owned a modern BMW yourself and thus you don't know anything about them, and still you keep contributing lies and myths about them.
Originally Posted by mollydog
Honda have won in MotoGP, WSB, WSS, AMA Superbike, Super Cross, Motocross, Cross country, and much more, in every class you can name, not just big twins. They have won MOTO GP on 50cc, 125cc, 250cc and on and on. If you don't think a company learns from racing....then I really can't help you.
Thanks, but never needed your help anyway Racing is more for PR, company image and sales booster rather than a tool for production development. For production it plays a minor role, yeah a bit bigger role for sports bikes and strict-MX/Enduro bikes, but most most of other type of bikes it plays relatively minor note, especially for big trailies.
With your logic, then if considering all the success in racing then the Varadero has to be less than 150kg, ...and 700cc Trans Alp has to be less than 130 kg. Well, (with lot of handwork) they can make 1000cc 250+bhp 5-cylinder V-engined GP bike around 130kg range (before the 148kg weight limit came on, so they now put "ballast" on it), so 150kg for Varadero would be a fair play don't you thnk? But why V-2 Varadero is still much more heavy than a BMW GS? 100 kilograms more than its supposed to be? In fact Varadero is one of the heaviest big traile currently around and Honda hasn't made any considerably lighter multicylinder big trailie with similar CC than a old farty BMW GS throughout it's 25+ years of history. So how much the racing success has been affecting their big trailie evolution? PS: BMW or Suzuki or KTM haven't had nearly that much wins in that wide spectrum of racing as Honda had for decades, but most of them make lighter big trailes than Honda. Where are those smart Honda's tech tricks you mentioned?
Originally Posted by mollydog
On a positive note...its' really good to see BMW getting into racing in a serious
way....they only had to wait 40 years to decide. So now they are racing in a Boxer cup spec series (they did well but were beat by Aprillia and Suzuki running stock bikes), also racing/developing a 450 MX bike (they just won in Germany!!), and of course the big effort will be next year in World Super bike (WSB).
They have the money (to pay for the best riders) and the engineering talent...all they need is the will to commit to it for a while.
They're a small company and they're different, they get all the bashing and criticism because of thinking different. They don't have agressive proven-to-be-successful "strenght in numbers" strategy like KTM has in offroad and rallye world or the jap big four in tar racing world, so I wouldn't expect them that much in racing unless they get a very big sponsor contracts involved and forming number of different independent teams in the same race rather than trying their luck with one team to save costs for the company.
You's to are like 2 old grannys. Yes honda should pull the finger out and either make a better varadero for more off road type riding or bring back at better AT. Far enough BMW GS's are different and they have spent alot of money of RD and thats why the bike is such a hit with most people you just get on it and ride. Maybe it does feel wierd at the start but most bikes do after you get used to another one.
If honda did pull the finger out image what they could make. The SP1 was made by Mr Honda because someone in another bike company pissed him off. So i think he just said to his designers here limit less money build me a brillaint bike, and there you have it SP1 was made. Could they do it with a new AT or different varadero yea why not.
As for the BMW GS's vs a new honda something it would be good wouldnt it??
It seems that there is a bit of a lull in the rumour mongering!
The weekly news in the UK has this one about the MG Stelvio:- Video: Guzzi's Stelvio BMW GS killer spied testing - Motorcycle News - MCN
Online it does not add much to earlier information - It looks pretty definite that this bike will be shown at the Milan show in early November. However there are some pics in this weeks paper version of the MCN and they look very much like a BMW 1200GS in concept, but it is shown with a twin round headlight; this could be a "bolt on" for the spy cameras.
No price is mentioned and nor is the 850cc version mentioned.
There does not seem to be much of great interest to be revealed at the Japanese bike show (Tokyo?) so all speculation is on the Milan show, especially for the BMW 800GS.
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