The French are out in full drive this week, with a Katana from Fortunate Cat Storage and an R nineT from Le Motographe. Huge information from the OEMs too, with the brand new Harley-Davidson Sportster S and Zero FXE each breaking cowl.
Suzuki Katana by Fortunate Cat Storage Suzuki’s new technology Katana is a visible smash hit—a contemporary retro that recollects the previous, however stands by itself deserves too. If we needed to customise it, we’d go away its bones alone and concentrate on refined tweaks so as to add an air of exclusivity to it. That’s what Fortunate Cat Storage has finished right here, and it’s magnifique.
Fortunate Cat is run by Séb Lorentz, who began the favored Sultans of Dash race sequence, and his associate Laurence Chatokhine. Fortunate Cat constructed the bike in collaboration with Suzuki France and Royal Classic—a platform that companions with customized outlets and trades in traditional and customized bikes. They’ll offer a restricted sequence of 10 Katanas similar to this one.
“The concept was to sharpen the Japanese sword with a way more sporty, unique and chic model,” says Séb, “as an homage to Japanese artwork, tradition and craftsmanship.”
The principle customized piece is the redesigned carbon fiber tail part. It’s sporting an Alcantara seat, and an engraved platinum insert that additionally carries every bike’s sequence quantity. There’s a carbon fiber blank-off plate beneath, an LED taillight embedded within the again, and the seat pops off utilizing the inventory seat latch.
There’s one other platinum insert up on the tank, and two on the edges. The paint job’s a deep ‘Bushido gray,’ with platinum leaf gilding finished by Laurence.
Off-the-shelf bits embody clip-ons, flip indicators, a bar-end mirror, grasp brake cylinder cowl and fuel cap from Rizoma, with a Suzuki GSX-R carbon fiber chain guard, rear hugger and clutch and brake controls. There are additionally absolutely adjustable rear-sets, and a useless attractive exhaust muffler from Yoshimura.
It’s arduous to enhance on the Katana recipe, however Fortunate Cat have confirmed that it’s doable. [Lucky Cat Garage | Royal Vintage | Images by Yud Pourdieu Le Coz]
Harley-Davidson Sportster S Harley’s ageing Sportster has simply been given an extended overdue replace, within the type of the brand new Harley-Davidson Sportster S. Revealed this week, it’s a very new bike and a daring new design path for The Motor Co.
At its coronary heart is the 1,252 cc ‘Revolution Max’ liquid-cooled twin that’s within the Pan America, with just a few inner modifications. The numbers aren’t fairly the identical: the Sportster S makes 121 hp at 7,500 rpm, and 125 Nm of torque at 6,000 rpm, versus the Pan Am’s 150 hp and 128 Nm.
That’s an enormous leap up over the outgoing Sporty, although. Not solely in numbers, but additionally in how and the place the bike makes its energy, because it now peaks increased within the rev vary.
Harley says it’s “placing the game again in Sportster,” (sure, actually), in order that they’ve packaged the Sportster S with efficiency in thoughts. The motor’s a careworn member of the body, the body’s been designed stiff for higher dealing with, and the tubular metal swingarm is braced to get rid of flex.
It weighs 502 kilos moist—so it’s hefty, however slightly lighter than an Indian FTR1200 and lots lighter than the previous Sporty. You get Showa suspension at each ends with adjustable rear preload, chunky 17F/16R alloy wheels, and Brembo brakes with a single 320 mm disc up entrance.
On the tech facet, the Sportster S (just like the Pan Am) lastly will get the built-in digital aids that riders have come to count on as normal on premium bikes. So it has cornering ABS, traction management, switchable rider modes, and a swanky 4” TFT show with Bluetooth connectivity. Cruise management is normal difficulty, however heated grips and a USB-C cost port are non-obligatory extras.
Aesthetically, the Sportster S seems squat and purposeful, but additionally considerably cartoonish. In keeping with H-D’s design lead, Brad Richards, the bodywork took inspiration from the enduring XR750, whereas the balloon tires got here from the Sportster Forty-Eight. We get the idea, however we’re undecided the flat observe and bobber mishmash works—and the huge mufflers and big selection of plastic covers don’t assist issues both.
The low seat, slender handlebars and ahead pegs (mids are an possibility) additionally make for a clumsy driving place. And with little or no rear suspension journey, a restricted lean angle and only one brake disc up entrance, we marvel simply how ‘sporty’ the brand new Sportster S is.
We’re driving it this week to search out out… however even when it’s a goer, we nonetheless have one main gripe with it: it doesn’t look very customizable. The previous Sporty was beloved for being the right clean canvas to do absolutely anything with—however the Sportster S seems prefer it solely matches collectively a technique. And we’re fearful about what could be hiding below that enormous stomach pan.
At $14,999 the Sportster S is unquestionably in step with Harley’s technique to concentrate on premium bikes. It’s the primary in a brand new vary too, and H-D is already teasing a extra classic-looking Sporty constructed on the identical platform. Fingers crossed. [Harley-Davidson Sportster S]
BMW R nineT by Le Motographe Simply final month the French store Le Motographe wowed us with their aluminum-clad Yamaha WR450 rally bike. They’ve clearly been busy, as a result of they’ve simply dropped one other mission—this menacing BMW R nineT. It’s a intelligent nip and tuck job, with a number of particulars from prime to tail.
Le Motographe tidied up the cockpit with customized triples, designed to carry a digital Motogadget sprint. The sprint plugs in through a module designed by the French firm DevMoto, to circumnavigate the BMW’s bricked electronics.
Look nearer, and also you’ll discover that the clip-ons are instantly built-in with the highest yoke too. There’s a Koso LED headlight bolted to the underside yoke with a customized bracket, and a one-off fuel cap and tank badges.
Decrease down, Le Motographe swapped the airbox for a few Okay&N filters, then added a carbon fibre cowl the place the air consumption was once. Additionally they upgraded the rear units and passenger pegs, and put in a Zard exhaust system.
The tail part’s been closely reworked to be sharper. The crew re-upholstered the seat, however ditched the subframe beneath for a customized aluminum unit, full with an built-in taillight and switch indicators. It’s a modern design, with the pillion pegs remounted on new brackets decrease down to assist clear up the body.
Every little thing’s been redone in varied black and gray finishes, with new machined valve covers from BMW’s aftermarket assortment. If it appeals to you, preserve your ear to the bottom: Le Motographe are planning to supply a few of these elements on the market. [Le Motographe]
Zero FXE The European Union is murmuring about banning fossil-fueled vehicles by 2035, and so they’ll most likely be gunning for bikes subsequent. Prefer it or not, the long run is electrical—however manufacturers like Zero Bikes are forward of the curve, by being absolutely dedicated to battery-powered transportation.
Zero’s model new FXE mannequin ought to look acquainted to Bike EXIF regulars: it’s based mostly on the customized Zero FXS by Large Design from a few years in the past.
Zero had all the time supposed to take design cues from the collaboration, and the ensuing bike is about as near the unique idea as a manufacturing bike can get. That’s most likely as a result of the Large Design construct pushed the envelope with out sacrificing ridability—thereby making the design simpler to copy for manufacturing.
With its modern bodywork, slim perch and 17” wheels, the Zero FXE is successfully an electrical supermotard. It makes use of Zero’s proprietary ZF 75-5 powertrain and Cypher II software program, with a peak output of 46 hp and 106 Nm of torque. Its numbers recommend that it’s geared toward spirited city driving; it’ll do as much as 85 mph, with 100 mile metropolis vary and 40 mile pure freeway vary.
The mixed metropolis and freeway vary falls someplace between 40 and 75 miles, relying how heavy handed you’re. Charging the 7.2 Kw battery pack takes 9.7 hours, or simply 4.1 hours with Zero’s non-obligatory upgraded charger. You can too set the bike to ‘eco’ or ‘sports activities’ mode, and customise its efficiency through your smartphone.
Customary tools contains adjustable Showa suspension at each ends, excessive finish J.Juan brakes with Bosch ABS, and Pirelli Diablo Rosso II tires. There’s a full shade bonded 5” TFT sprint within the cockpit, which may additionally pair up together with your smartphone to show it right into a second customizable show. The lights are all LED models, the seat top’s 32.9” and the FXE weighs a paltry 298 lbs.
We’ve been admiring Zero’s vary for some time, however the FXE is a real standout. Zero have taken benefit of their compact FX platform, and constructed a street-able bike that’s minimalist and enticing, and ought to be tons of enjoyable to whip round on. And with a beginning value of $11,795, it’s a rattling sight cheaper than some increased finish electrical bikes on the market.
If the long run actually should be electrical, the FXE is a step in the best path. [Zero FXE]