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wBW Weekly News Round-Up: May 24-31 Edition

Buell's in Canada, SUPREME Bikes, Hot Pink BMW Power and Hybrid Plans from Kawi

A motorcycle logo of a news round-up.
webBikeWorld's Weekly News Round-Up logo.

It’s practically June, the bugs are hopping, and “rubber side down” is being tossed here and there for the occasional wheelie into the sunset. 

If you’re keen on a skim of this week’s news, spotlights currently shine on the following plethora of posits:

  • Buell’s in Canada (and all the closer to realizing their global expansion efforts)
  • Kawasaki is making more hybrid bikes
  • BMW just teased a boxer concept with the same displacement as a Honda S2000
  • Ducati partnered up with SUPREME for YET ANOTHER luxury limited edition model

Let’s dive in. 

A Buell Motorcycle.
Buell’s Super Cruiser. Media provided by Buell.

Buell Begins Plans to Expand Worldwide

We’re less than a month away from the Summer Solstice and riders across the country are already proudly working on their biker tan lines. Some of these Weekend Warriors, we’re told,  are boasting a magnificent escape to Americade 2024, where Buell will soon be showing off their lineup of 1190cc, 185hp superbike beauties. 

In other words, Buell is officially back – and as of two days ago, Transport Canada has approved Buell’s bikes for expansion into Canada!

The festivities have been rather last-minute but well-deserved; while Toronto residents can expect to see Buell’s bikes on display tonight at Hunters Landing (and tomorrow in Barrie), the company continues to be present at every major US bike event, thanks in part to their continued partnership with Kaplan Cycles. 

Expect Buell to be present at Americade under a Kaplan Cycles tent, with further prep for Sturgis in July and additional potential for events in Canada from here on out. 

Bottom line, this summer is a great time to check out Buell’s 185hp beauties – and if the pipeline is correct, the home of America’s fastest V-Twin superbikes could soon have room for a visit across the pond. 

Are you excited to see Buell’s motorcycles finally taking off from home turf?

A view of. a Kawasaki motorcycle.
A view of Kawasaki’s present-day Versys.

Kawasaki Might Hybridize their Eliminator, Versys Model Ranges

It seems like only last month that Kawasaki made promises at EICMA 2021 to release three new electric motorbikes in 2022 (via TheNext Web). While the launch of the Ninja e-1 and Z e-1 happened slightly later – in September of 2023 – the industry’s reaction was no less significant, especially considering Team Green’s follow-up debut of the Ninja 7 HEV, or “World’s First Mass-Produced ‘Strong Hybrid’.”

Now, findings gleaned by CycleWorld’s incomparable Ben Purvis show new hybrid bikes in the works. 

Instead of pulling out extra funds for the styling, design, and production of a new hybrid, the patent filings Purvis found tell us that Kawsaski’s thinking of revamping past and present models. ICE bikes carry a small battery, a decent powertrain, and a fuel tank, but hybrids require two powertrains, as well as bigger batteries and fuel tanks – all of which must fit in the same frame. 

Hence, the patent filings finagling proper placement of everything. 

Here’s an excerpt from Purvis’s article comparing the current Ninja 7 Hybrid and Z7 Hybrid to Kawi’s plans for their planned Versys and Eliminator: 

“On the Ninja 7 Hybrid and Z7 Hybrid… the problems of packaging all those components are solved by shoehorning the hybrid battery and its related electronics into a box underneath the rider’s seat. … It’s a solution that works, but the bulky battery box under the seat encourages a relatively long wheelbase and gives the bikes a slightly unusual appearance… with a heavy-looking rear end that’s at odds with modern styling trends that favor small tail sections.

For the planned Versys and Eliminator models, Kawasaki’s patents show that the company is intending to use the same 451cc parallel-twin engine, assisted by an electric motor mounted above the gearbox… The “7″ represents not the engine capacity, as we’re used to, but the equivalent performance that the hybrid powertrain delivers—which Kawasaki puts into the same class as a 700cc bike.

 In reality, the current models make a combined 44 lb.-ft. and 69 hp when the electric and ICE powertrains work together, and the additional Versys and Eliminator versions are likely to be close to the same figures.”

– Ben Purvis, “Kawasaki Working on More Hybrid Models.” (CycleWorld)

In short, we’re expecting a bevy of alternative options from Kawasaki by the next iteration of EICMA (2025), possibly even slightly before then. 

Are you excited at the prospect of more hybrid bikes from Kawasaki?

BMW's new R20 Boxer concept motorcycle.
BMW’s new R20 Boxer concept. Media provided by BMW.

BMW and the R20 Boxer Concept

The talented bevy of Barbaras and Bastians at Bayerische Motoren Werke Motorrad have just given us a hot pink, big-bore boxer Roadster to look at.

For transparency, BMW released a view of their new R20 Boxer Concept just after we published last week’s news lineup, putting the age of this new beauty at just over seven days old. 

All told, here’s what we know about BMW’s new Big-Bore Roadster: 

  • The R20 Boxer Concept was debuted at this year’s Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este
  • BMW has decked this concept out with a 2,000cc powertrain, roughly the same displacement as a Honda S2000 (or Subaru WRX, per Jonathon Klein’s article on RideApart)
  • We’re told the new 2,000cc boxer engine shows off new cylinder head covers, a new belt cover and a new oil cooler.
  • The 2.0-liter punt box is housed inside a black double-loop main frame made of chrome-molybdenum steel tubes, and speaks through a 2-in-2 exhaust system.
  • A rear 17×6.25 wheel and a 17″ front spoke wheel roll out a 62.5° steering head angle and 1,550mm wheelbase. 
  • BMW has taken the same exposed driveshaft as that on their R18 and shortened it. 
  • Suspension is the work of a fully adjustable Öhlins Blackline system. 
  • Brakes include a radially-mounted set of brake calipers from ISR with six pistons at the front and four pistons per brake caliper at the rear. 
  • Caboose perks include a saddle decked in quilted black Alcantara and fine-grain leather.
  • If the reaction of the public is positive, the R20 concept will go into production sometime in the coming years. 

To tally off all of this delicious info, BMW’s CEO leaves his opinions with RideApart

“We’re going to do an experiment… If the reaction is positive, we’re going to put it into production. Because nobody asked for the bike. 

There’s not a segment we’re trying to get into or a competitor we’re trying to attack or whatever. It’s just a gut feeling of what we think is cool.”

… It’s not going to be a limited run. We are thinking about an additional production model. Not to replace [the R 18], but an additional model.”

– Markus Flasch, CEO, BMW Motorrad (RideApart)

What does this mean for BMW’s current two-wheeled offerings? 

Well, based on BMW’s CEO, the R18 will still be around for a while yet; beyond this, we’ll have to wait for more information before deciding on whether this machine will be a crowd fave.

Are you excited to try out BMW’s R20 concept?

Ducati's collectors edition SUPREME Streetfighter.
Ducati’s collectors edition SUPREME Streetfighter.

Ducati x SUPREME® Debut the Collectors’ Edition Streetfighter V4 S

We’re on week #3 of this “Weekly News” thing, and I’ve yet to complete a news list without including a new limited/Special/Collectors edition Ducati bike into the thing.

This means that Ducati’s been releasing a new bike edition every seven days, for three weeks in a row. 

Bologna’s been busy. 

This week’s moto-debutante boasts quite a powerful partnership; apparently, Ducati’s capitalizing on their continued partnership with SUPREME® to present a Collectors’ Edition Streetfighter V4 S. 

The antics accompany the typical red-and-white SUPREME® style, with Ducati telling us in their press release that the custom livery – created by Supreme and Aldo Drudi of Drudi Performance – is accompanied by a technical and lifestyle apparel capsule collection, the latter of which dropped yesterday. 

As for availability, we’ve been given the exclusive—and equally confusing—expectation that “the entire collection, including the motorbike, will be available in a very limited quantity and for a well-defined period.”

Here’s an excerpt from the press release on the Streetfighter’s componentry: 

“The Brembo Stylema® front brake calipers become an element of style, thanks to the exclusive red color with a white logo that reflects the tones of the livery. The rims combine the Supreme® logo with a colored paint job, highlighting a style that characterizes all the most recent Ducatis.

Riders will enjoy a unique experience getting on the motorcycle that differs from other models. The steering head features the limited-number model and a dedicated dash animation on the screen.

Like all collectible Ducatis, the Streetfighter Supreme® is delivered in an exclusive wooden crate, accompanied by an accessory kit in a dedicated box that includes the certificate of authenticity, a dedicated motorcycle cover, and the components to offer a two-seat configuration.”

– Ducati, “Ducati and Supreme® create a collectors’ edition Streetfighter V4 S with Drudi Performance” (Ducati).

Are you one of the Ducati fans who will receive this Ducati x SUPREME® Collectors’ Edition Streetfighter V4 S in a pretty wooden crate?

*Media provided by Buell Motorcycles, Kawasaki, BMW and SUPREME*