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International Motorcycle Show 2014 | New 2015 Motorcycle Edition

R1s, H2Rs and RC390s for 2015

Among the most anticipated releases for 2015 were a flock of new race bikes including the Yamaha R1 (above), KTM's new RC390, and the 300hp Kawasaki H2R.

 Though the headlights make the bike look a bit like a catfish, the new Yamaha YZF R1 is built specifically for MotoGP.

With 200 crank horsepower from it's inline 4 cylinder 998cc engine, this bike is custom crafted for the track.

 The new 2015 Kawasaki Ninja H2 and H2R are quite frankly ridiculous.  The bike from the factory boasts north of 300 horsepower, leaving motorcyclists flabbergasted by sheer power, wondering if there is any practical application for such an engine.
 The answer is simply "no;" this is not a practical machine, though the factory extended the wheelbase on the model above, presumably to somehow keep the front wheel on the ground on the drag strip.
 The new H2Rs are the street legal models, and Kawasaki vaguely references something like 250ish horsepower on these machines.
 Kawasaki is apparently taking orders on these bikes right now, and only building them individually after you put 10% down.  Kawasaki is also very strictly moderating the sale of aftermarket parts through direct sales, essentially cutting out dealers from the process.
 This much power though, while impressive, seems like it was created strictly for bragging rights.  However, when they demoed the engine, the sound reverberated throughout the Javits Center.
 I can only imagine that this bike would be about as useful on the track as Jay Leno's jet bike (the MTT Y2K Turbine Superbike)
Perhaps the bike I was most eagerly looking forward to checking out was KTM's 2015 RC390.
 Manufactured in India by a minority KTM stakeholder Bajaj, the RC390s are another attempt to bring a cheaper, smaller-displacement yet racing-ready model to the American market.
 These bikes (along with many smaller cc dual-sport and naked Dukes) have been available in Europe for a while.
 Supposedly pricing hasn't been released yet, though I saw a tag that suggested a $5,500 - $6,000 price range, though I've read online it will be closer to $7,000.  Either way, it's a very attractive starting price for a new race bike.
 The little 390cc naked Duke is also pretty cool as well.
I was also looking into KTM's 1190cc RC8, though I've heard people compare sitting on one to straddling sheet metal that's been sitting in the sun all day.
Lastly, this week I came within a few days of buying a 2013 BMW S1000RR, and for this year BMW managed to find 6 more horsepower (now topping off at 199hp) and added some electric upgrades.

© 2014 Tigh Loughhead


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