As we get closer to the launch of the 2001 models, in both Europe (at Intermot) and the United States (primarily, in Las Vegas) during the middle of September, old rumors are becoming stronger.
Particularly, the Kawasaki GTR1200 and Yamaha FJ1300.
Kawasaki is expected to launch a luxury touring machine built around a re-tuned ZX-12R motor. The target is not Honda’s Gold Wing (either in its present form, or as the GL1800 expected in September), but the somewhat lighter and more nimble BMW K1200LT. Expect Kawasaki’s new tourer to have all the latest gadgets, including GPS navigation capability.
Yamaha’s venerable FJ 1100/1200 series is also expected to be revived with the introduction of the FJ1300R. Much lighter, and more sporty than the full-boat tourer expected from Kawasaki, the FJ1300R should fit into the same category as its predecessors, but feature higher performance and better handling.
Finally, Europe should receive a 1000cc sportbike with a bikini fairing, known as the Yamaha Fazer 1000. Based on a re-tuned R1 motor, the Fazer 1000 may or may not be available in the United States (Yamaha’s successful Fazer 600 is only available in Europe, not the United States). This is, apparently, the rumored R1 sport tourer. Yamaha may not deem this bike worthy of importation to the United States — a shame.