Aprilia Shiver 900
While Aprilia’s V4s received their fair share of updates, the most surprising announcement rather concerned the Shiver 900. The recently-introduced model—the evolution of the former 750 model—has already taken a trip back to the brainstorm table and receives for 2019 a number of changes. In fact, to improve the model’s newly-upgraded performance, Aprilia has updated its ECU to a new-generation Marelli 7SM unit, meant to make the bike more efficient and smooth-running.
Friction within the cylinders has also been reduced thanks to an anti-friction feature located on the mantle. A semi-dry sump lubrication system helps reduce the loss of power caused by the shaking and also eliminates the need for an oil radiator by keeping the lubricant consumption and temperature in check. Optimized injectors ensure more efficient spraying, resulting in improved fuel economy while an automatic decompresser improves performance at low temperatures.
Aprilia Tuono V4
Despite what looks like a perfectly good sport fairing covering the face of the Tuono, its manufacturer classifies it as a “super naked” so, up in the nakeds it goes! The two versions of the Aprilia Tuono V4 are getting an update for 2019: the tamer 1100 RR and the not-so-tame 1100 Factory.
Both models are powered by the brand’s famed 1077cc, V4 engine capable of producing up to 175 horsepower. While the powertrain remains unchanged for 2019, the model’s two iterations are upgraded with a handful of new electronics, including what is considered to be the most advanced Öhlins suspension system in the world, the EC 2.0.
The technology of the smart EC 2.0 semi-active suspension system allows calibration of the fork and shock absorbers thanks to two operating modes: semi-active and manual, both selectable using the onboard computer. In the semi-active mode, the hydraulic suspension adjusts itself to the type of surface the rider is facing. The manual mode allows the rider to customize the system’s level of response. The bike’s new Objective Based Tuning Interface (OBTi) makes setting up personal preferences easy.
Ducati Diavel 1260
The design of the 2019 Diavel 1260 evolves on the model’s signature silhouette, adding a few minor tweaks to keep the lines modern and up to date. New this year is the Diavel’s saddle profile, exhaust tips pointing backward rather than outward, air intake duct integrated into the gas tank design, trellis frame, as well as an updated chassis.
While those are considerable changes brought to the brand’s super naked model, the biggest change happened inside the engine block. In fact, new this year is the addition of the Ducati Variable Timing (DVT) system, a variable valve timing technology that optimizes the output in a wider range of revolutions.
The S variant of the model also receives Öhlins suspension, quick shift transmission, as well as a performance braking system.
The CB500F is the last model from Honda’s naked lineup to retain the “F” nomination with the rest of the family already updated to the new R platform inspired by the Neo Sports Café aesthetic. This doesn’t mean, however, that the 500 has been left untouched and while we foresee the model eventually changing over to the fully naked neo-retro look of the other members of its family, the last-living F has been updated with a new assist and slipper clutch, a monotube shock at the back as well as a new LCD display. To keep it somewhat relevent in the face of the competition within its own family, Honda has also modernized the lines on the 500.
The all-new 2019 CB650R is Honda’s third model to receive a design inspired by its new Neo Sports Café aesthetic that incorporates a balanced dose of retro styling into a modern minimalist design. For 2019, the R takes the place of the aging CB650F with a lot of flare. The most noticeable feature of the new design is the round horseshoe headlight, the signature component of the CB’s new age look. An entirely new frame has helped make the new CB650R 13-lb lighter than the outgoing model.
While the engine size remains the same, a 649cc, inline four-cylinder block featuring a striking set of 4 cascading exhaust pipes, it has been tuned to deliver more power at higher revolutions, marking a 5-percent increase at over 10,000rpm. The redline has also been set higher by 1,000rpm and the gear ratio has been slightly increased.
The six-gear transmission is teamed with an assist and slipper and clutch which helps make gear changes smoother and avoids accidental ware of the discs. The ABS version of the model also comes equipped with torque control that the rider can choose to switch off.
Husqvarna Svartpilen 701
The flat track is making its way off the dirt track and onto the tarmac and the new 2019 Svartpilen 701 is one of the models there to start the trend. The Svartpilen, which means "black arrow," brings a dark side personality to contrast the light-side 701. Keeping the same trellis frame design as the other 701s, the Svartpilen gets a unique LED headlight, fork shrouds, handlebar, and tail to add to the flat tracker look.
The Svartpilen gets the same engine as the Vitpilen 701 introduce earlier in 2018, a 693cc, single cylinder mill producing 75 horsepower. The Svart’s engine is teamed up with a six-speed transmission with quick shift technology and a slipper clutch.
Indian FTR 1200
Here is yet another flat track inspired model, one that many riders are looking forward to in 2019. Indian got the ball rolling in 2017 when it introduced a road-friendly, customized version of its dirt track-ready Scout FTR 750. The positive feedback has lead the company to introduce a proper production model to its lineup, something entirely different from what the brand had been doing until then. The Indian FTR 1200 is what the company calls a “flat tracker for the street”.
The 1200 incorporates styling cues from the FTR 750 flat tracker, such as the rear swingarm and gas tank profiles. Even the custom-made Dunlop tires have tread resembling dirt track tires but are designed specifically for road use. The round LED headlight enhances the neo retro look of the bike. The FTR 1200 also gets a round analog speedometer with a USB port.
Unlike the Scout that served as the basis to the customized concept, the engine in the 1200 serves as a structural component of the motorcycle, with the frame and swingarm firmly attached to it. The intake manifold is part of the cylinder heads and a dual-bore throttle body replaces the old single-bore. Weight reduction has played an important part in the design decisions that have included one-piece magnesium valve covers. Displacement is up from 1,133cc to 1,203cc. New pistons provide a higher compression ratio. The end result is that power now reaches 120 hp in the FTR 1200.
The black-and-green brand officialized the addition of the all-new Z400 to the 2019 lineup, following in the tracks of the Ninja 400. What’s really exciting about the Z400 is just how good the new Ninja 400 has proven to be so far, with the addition on the Z of a more comfortable, commute-friendly riding geometry.
Cutting down on the fairing advantages the Z that weighs in at 363.5 lb, almost 3 lb lighter than the Ninja. Every design element has been designed with weight reduction in mind, from the wheels’ design inspired by SBK and radial tires to the frame and engine. The bike’s silhouette is compact with a short wheelbase, but the longer swingarm and steep caster angle design are expected to give it a more dynamic behavior on the road.
The new Z shares the same engine as its Ninja counterpart, a 399cc 4-stroke, parallel-twin mill producing 44 horsepower and 28 lb-ft of torque. Kawasaki opted for a very tight gear ratio to ensure the gear changes are as smooth and precise as possible. The assist and slipper clutch reduces the weight in the lever while also stepping in when downshifts are too ambitious, or accidental. It quickly separates the clutch hub and operating plate which relieves pressure on the plates and reduces back torque.
Yamaha MT-07, MT-09 and MT-10
The recently upgraded Yamaha FZ family isn’t ripe for another update just yet. What the naked lineup is getting for 2019, however, is a new name. In fact, to aling its North American models with its European, Yamaha is giving the Fazers a new name tag, which will now make them MTs, for Masters of Torque. The numeral component of the models name will, however, remain unchanged which gives us the MT-07, MT-09 and the MT-10 for 2019.
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