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World Debuts from Orlando

The 2015 American International Motorcycle Expo kicked off in Orlando with some significant global and North American debuts of new motorcycles from some the industry’s top manufacturers. We highlighted a few unveilings here.

OEMs Use AIMExpo Platform to Unveil Innovative New Models

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[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he 2015 American International Motorcycle Expo kicked off in Orlando with some significant global and North American debuts of new motorcycles from some the industry’s top manufacturers. We highlighted a few unveilings below:

Kawasaki led off the festivities with its global launch of the new Vulcan S Cafe, North American debut of the championship-driven  ZX-10R, a blacked-out special edition Ninja ZX-14R unveil, the addition of Z800 to the American market, Matrix Camo Gray KLR 650, completion of the Mule utility range, and some racing news. The news and new products were presented in the distinctive new display, dubbed “the mothership” by Senior VP of Sales Bill Jenkins, newly promoted VP of Marketing Chris Brull and Kevin Allen, PR and brand manager.

The first vehicle to get uncovered was the new for 2016 Mule PRO-DX. The DX/DXT diesel models complete the utility vehicle range offering what Kawasaki calls “a variety of versatility, on or off the job site” and targeted at ranchers, farmers, outdoorsmen and industrial work forces.

Perhaps more important to the motorcycle guys was the roll-out of the ZX-10R… basically a WSBK Superbike for the street, the big Ninja was fresh from its world premier in Barcelona the previous week. With suspension and bodywork developed for the 2-time WSBK championship-winning bike, it is both versatile and capable. Of course, not everyone is looking for a race-spec machine, so the global debut of the Vulcan S Cafe with ERGO-FIT might be a better fit for your customer base. Also aimed at expanding the customer base is the addition of the Z800 to the U.S. market mix and the Matrix Camo Gray option for the 2016 KLR 650.

OEM_IMG_9537What about dirt? Kawasaki is putting the competition on notice with the much anticipated racing news that Eli Tomac will be making his debut for the Green Team at the Monster Energy Cup.

Gibbs Sports Amphibians brought out not one, not two, but three game-changing new high speed amphibious (HSA) models to its line up. The unveiling of the next generation concepts included the Terraquad, Triski and Biski, along with its Quadski Search and Rescue and Patrol HSA models.

Honda debuted its CBR500R and Pioneer 1000. With DNA taken from the premier CBR1000RR, the CBR500R is aimed at entry-level sport riders or veterans looking for a versatile daily ride that offers fun at an economical price point. For 2016, the CBR500R gets new, aggressive styling with new LED dual headlights and numerous refinements.

Honda’s CBR500R also features a new lighter weight mass centralized muffler and a 471cc DOHC liquid-cooled twin cylinder engine with programmed fuel injection.

Yamaha Racing Manager Keith McCarty stopped by on his way to the Hall of Fame long enough to introduce the DT-07 Concept. “Yamaha’s dirt track history started with Kenny Roberts, and we were quite successful,” says the soon-to-be Hall of Famer (McCarty was inducted into the Class of 2015). “Since that time, we haven’t really had an engine configuration that could compete in the class until the FZ-07 came out with its offset twin and crossplane crankshaft… and we all know that dirt track is all about traction and control.”
Powered by a 90-horsepower version of the FZ-07 parallel-twin, this concept just needs to be taken to the track!

OEM_IMG_1164Zero’s new 2016 models made big noise at AIMExpo this year. And we’re not talking about decibel levels, but rather shocks of electricity as Zero Motorcycles unveiled its 2016 model line of new electric motorcycles highlighted by the DSR and FSX.

The Zero DSR is for the dual sport rider demanding more. With a 0-60 mph time of 3.3 seconds and 106 lb.ft. of torque on demand, the Zero DSR may be civilized, but is by no means subdued. With custom-tuned Showa suspension and Bosch ABS, it is equally at home on pavement and dirt.

The Zero FXS was the second model Zero unveiled on center stage at the show. This supermoto on steroids delivers a nearly instantaneous 70 lb.ft. of torque. Suspension and brakes are ideally suited to the rigors of spirited riding, giving the rider greater control. Seventeen-inch wheels and Pirelli Diablo Rosso tires provide the grip and corner control, which is greatly needed since the throttle response is stunning.

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