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Bike Life : December 2011
1HERSA1 R005 The Sydney Morning Herald November 18, 2011 5 Stripped-back ways to bare your soul A new battalion of naked bikes are about to make their Australian debut at Darling Harbour, writes Trevor Hedge. Allonshow... (clockwise from left) Husqvarna Nuda 900R; Kawasaki Versys 1000; KTM 990 Super Duke R. Let's get naked! That seems to be one of the central themes for the Sydney Motorcycle and Scooter Show at Darling Harbour next weekend. Husqvarna will use the show to unveil the latest progeny to spring from its union with BMW, the aptly named Nuda 900R. Powered by an upsized variant of the 798cc parallel twin that sees duty in a variety of BMW models, including the German marque's tasty F800R naked bike, the 900cc Husqvarna Nuda powerplant is raised to new levels of hedonism, with the Italian-based brand cracking the 100hp barrier inside the tubular steel trellis-framed, ultra-minimalist Nuda. Of course, horsepower is nice but torque is even better. Husqvarna also hits three figures in that department with a claimed 100Nm at 7000rpm propelling the 174-kilogram (dry) Nuda. Brembo provides the braking hardware with four-piston monobloc radial callipers, while Sachs supplies the 48-millimetre fully adjustable inverted forks and Ohlins grace the rear of the machine with a similarly high-spec shock absorber. Both ends stroke through a generous amount of travel with the forks pushing through 210 millimetres of travel and the rear a slightly less-generous 180 millimetres, which puts the Nuda at the Supermoto end of the performance spectrum and compliance rather than the more hardcore short-travel sportsbike side of the equation. The lazy 65.5-degree steering head angle is further evidence of the Supermoto flavour, which suggests the Nuda will be an epic back-roads brawler par excellence rather than high-speed circuit warrior. Despite a relatively small 13-litre fuel cell, Husqvarna claims a range of 250 kilometres thanks to excellent fuel economy. Having said that, the minimalist seat will no doubt dictate frequent stops, so range is unlikely to be an issue. Also coming out of Italy, from the north-eastern province of Venice, is the world's most extreme production naked bike, Aprilia's Tuono V4R. Featured elsewhere in this edition of Bike Life via a full review, the Tuono V4R follows Aprilia's pure road-racing roots and is a racetrack-honed, ultra- performance tool. Also from Aprilia is the more Supermoto-styled Dorsoduro 1200. Powered by a big, grunty V-twin, the Dorsoduro is all about epic arm-stretching, rip-snorting, wheelie-inducing bottom-end twist rather than the extreme top- end thrills of the V4 Tuono. From across the border in Austria comes KTM with its fantastic line-up of naked bikes. From the wonderfully versatile KTM 990 SMT, which marries a rambunctiously epicurean 999cc V-twin to an agile but sure-footed chassis, to the outrageousness of the KTM 990 Super Duke R, the maker's stand is sure to be a major attraction. Also expected to star at the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre will be an all-new 690 Duke R. As Bike Life went to press, specifics were still a closely guarded secret. Aiming to steal some of the limelight from the Europeans is a new kid on the block from Kawasaki. Utilising the excellent 1043cc four-cylinder motor from the Ninja 1000, Team Green has produced a relaxed semi-naked with versatility at is core. The Versys 1000 might show off its engine but the design brief has clearly focused on touring and comfort as prime concerns. With plenty of weather protection via a large adjustable windscreen, deeply padded seats for rider and pillion and plenty of legroom, the Versys 1000 also features traction control, ABS and switchable engine mapping. The powerplant is a proven beauty and, with high- spec adjustable KYB suspension at both ends and a generous 21.5-litre fuel tank, it is sure to win plenty of admirers. BikeLIFE Bike Life editor Richard Blackburn firstname.lastname@example.org National Drive editor Toby Hagon Sales manager Peter Allen, 9282 4103 Cover Supplied Drive writers abide by a code of ethics. Read it at drive.com.au/ethics.
September 6th 2011