KTM 1190 Adventure incoming?

KTM 1190 Adventure 2014 India 1 web

The KTM 1190 Adventure, touted to be the world’s safest motorcycle, is purportedly being considered for an India launch. The big adventure tourer should arrive soon after the RC200 and RC390.

KTM started off their Indian adventure with the 200 Duke and then the more powerful 390 Duke, but now, their real Adventure is all set to take place. The 1190 Adventure is one of the most rugged, all-purpose motorcycles around today, and in the 2014 model, the introduction of the world’s first Motorcycle Stability Control (MSC) system from Bosch takes safety dynamics to another plane.

At the heart of the 1190 is the liquid-cooled, DOHC eight-valve, 1,195cc 75-degree V-twin making 150 PS at 9,500 RPM and 125 Nm of torque at 7,500 RPM. It is paired to a 6-speed gearbox with a PASC slipper clutch. The safety aspect comes in with a four-mode traction control system, which is disengageable, and the newly introduced Bosch MSC system which monitors braking and acceleration to allow for maximum control in the most demanding situations, whether riding on wet surfaces or entering a corner at speed and at a very acute angle.

KTM 1190 Adventure 2014 India 3 web

The bike’s abilities are further aided by the brakes, tyres and suspension. The stoppers from Brembo are a pair of 320mm discs with four-piston radially-bolted callipers up front, and a 267mm brake rotor with two-piston fixed calliper at the rear. The 120/70 R19 and 170/60 R17 rubber front and rear respectively provide optimum grip on the road and off it, while the WP suspension – 48mm USD up front and monoshock rear – round off a neat handling package.

Taking to the road and the rough stuff is easy with its 220mm ground clearance. A massive 23-litre tank allows for good range and the 212 kg weight doesn’t make it too heavy at all. It’s a surprisingly practical prospect. We know KTM have the option to import it as a CBU without homologation; the Adventure being over 800cc, but we hear that KTM plan to assemble the bike here. With the bike costing £12,999 (Rs 13 lakh) in the UK, that move would make for an appreciable price tag in India for sure. We can’t wait!

Story: Jim Gorde
Images: KTM Press

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Kawasaki J300 : Monster Scoot in the metal

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Kawasaki has always created many attractive, smooth and powerful motorcycles while, undoubtedly, also having a monstrously-styled evil little brute or two lurking about their range. What happens when they decide to mix a bit of both, and then add even more practicality? Well, we get a big scooter!

The J300 is the latest addition to Kawasaki’s range in select markets around the globe. Ever wished your scooter had more power? Well, there’s the Suzuki Burgman or Aprilia SRV850, but they can seem like a bit of an overkill now, can’t they? This, the J300, actually seems to make a lot of sense. Here’s why.

The J300 uses a four-valve, liquid-cooled, fuel-injected 299cc single cylinder motor. The output figures from that motor are equally potent: 28 PS at 7,750 RPM and 28.7 Nm of torque at 6,250 RPM. Power flows through a CVT ‘box to a wide rear wheel. The rubber on the bike is in tune with the rest of the bike – 120/80-14 up front and a 150/70-13 at the rear. The brakes on the J300 are a 260mm petal disc up front with a 240mm petal disc at the rear too. The brake levers are adjustable too. The scooter weighs 191 kg, and thus, the setup for grip and handling seem more than adequate. A power-to-weight ratio of 146.5 PS/tonne isn’t half bad either. Then, there’s the 13-litre tank which will take you a fair distance before a fill-up is needed. You also get a sealed glovebox with a 12V charging point.

What isn’t very pleasant, is the £4,049 (Rs 4.05 lakh) price tag, and that’s in the UK. We don’t want to put figures for India here, so just enjoy the fact that it’s a peppy scooter which can give you bike like fun without the bother of a clutch.

Story: Jim Gorde
Images: Kawasaki Europe

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KTM 390 Duke Video Review

Finally, the KTM 390 Duke gets the time and coverage it deserves as it becomes the subject of our first video review in a long time.

A thrilling overall package with high power, light weight and aggressive styling, the 390 Duke has finally offered the performance-hungry riders more power at a considerably low price tag.KTM 390 Duke Video web

Kawasaki Ninja 1000 : More Responsive, Better Equipped

Kawasaki Ninja 1000 2014 1 web

We savour the revamped Kawasaki Z1000SX (Ninja 1000 in India) in the Alpine foothills of southern Austria.

Like many successful formats, the Z1000SX’s seems obvious with hindsight. Of course, not all the riders abandoning sports bikes would defect to adventure bikes. Plenty were bound to prefer a sharp looking, sporty, 240 km/h fully-faired four with a more upright riding position, some all-round ability and a sensible price.

A bike, in other words, like the SX — although even Kawasaki didn’t expect the relatively simple Z1000-With-A-Fairing to be one of their top-selling models in many markets for the last three years (their absolute best-seller in the UK), as well as one of the most popular sports-tourers of any make.

That’s what has happened, though, and even before that third year is out they’ve revamped the SX to make it sharper, more responsive and better equipped. This makes plenty of sense as I throw the updated green bike down a spectacularly twisty road in the Alpine foothills of southern Austria.

Its 142-PS motor is hurling the bike forward at an entertainingly rapid rate with a fruity howl from the re-tuned airbox. The screen is keeping the wind and most of the fat late-summer bugs off my chest. The tweaked and firmed-up suspension is giving a reasonably comfortable yet impressively taut and well-controlled ride — even under severe provocation from the powerful new Tokico monobloc front callipers. And the sleek new panniers are keeping my waterproofs and other junk neatly out of mind.

In short, the revamped Z1000SX is proving a blast to ride. And equally importantly, it’s giving every indication of being well up to the job if I had to strap on a bit more luggage and ride it 1,000 kilometres home rather than back to the relatively nearby launch hotel.

That’s hardly surprising because the original SX was a good place to start and this update is fairly thorough. The 1,043cc, 16-valve engine gets new cams with shorter duration and revised air intake trumpets of the same length. (Different length intakes are so last year…) Kawasaki claim an extra 4 PS, with that 142 PS maximum arriving at 10,000 RPM and say the motor has more low-rev and mid-range performance.

Kawasaki W800: Retro-Modern Kwacker

Kawasaki W800 2014 1 large web

Should the Kawasaki W800 become a part of their India line-up? The company has recently announced the independent coming and it is indeed good news. With the Ninja 300, 650R, 1000, ZX-10R and ZX-14 with another one stuck in traffic, as well as the mean streeter, the Z1000, already on the list, is it time for something a little different?

Kawasaki W800 2014 2 web

The W800 is a machine you would never identify as a Kawasaki at first, if you didn’t already know about it. Its retro styling with essential modern touches make it an attractive alternative to some of the modern iterations of classic bikes available on sale in the country. The W800 packs some seriously delectable elements like the muffler exhaust, ribbed padded seat, and classic analogue dials for the speedo and tacho complete with retro white on black lettering. The wire-spoke wheels with tubeless rubber with a single disc front brake and a drum brake at the rear couldn’t take you further back in time.

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The W800 Special Edition, takes the darker path, and brings a load of matte black styling, with even the exhaust pipes not getting spared. The added graphics also distinguish the models apart.

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On to the numbers, the bike weighs a hefty 217 kg and getting it to move is a 773cc parallel twin motor, making 48 PS at 6,500 RPM and 60 Nm at a lowly 2,500 RPM, paired, fittingly, to a 5-speed transmission. Another key feature are the dual throttle valves with an ECU-controlled second set, allowing for a better flow of power.

The Kawasaki W800 is priced at £ 6,899 (Rs 7 lakh) in the UK, with the W800 Special Edition costing £ 200 more, at £ 7,099 (Rs 7.2 lakh), again, in the UK. With those sort of price tags, each of them sure seems to be quite the desirable package. Give India Kawasaki Motor a shoutout if you want one!

Story: Jim Gorde

Images: Kawasaki Motors Europe