Save the date! Kawasaki, Triumph, KTM confirm major launches on same day!

The Kawasaki KLX650 (rumoured), the new Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS and the new KTM 1290 Super Adventure R will all by chance premiere on 26 January 2021.

Triumph Speed Triple RS

Typical isn’t it, you have 365 days during a year in which to set aside a date for the launch of a new motorcycle only to find it not only clashes with one rival manufacturer performing its own world premiere on the same day, it is in fact going to be one of three big reveals on the day.

The date is January 26 2021 when Kawasaki, Triumph and now KTM will hark back to EICMA by vying with one another for media attention by each holding major international launches for at least five brand-new models..

Far be it from us to question the wisdom of retaining such a date on a day your brand-new motorcycle may not sit pretty at the top of the news cycle for very long, if we go by the rule of ‘shotgun’ (which is basically the law…) then Kawasaki was first to stake its claim to the date. 

KTM 390 Adventure REVIEW

Will the rumoured (but not confirmed) Kawasaki KLX650 make its debut?

Of course, we originally thought Kawasaki had already unveiled its 2021 model range during a presentation it conducted in November, headlines by the aesthetically revolutionized - but otherwise evolutionary under the skin - new  Ninja ZX-10R.

However, having made big noises about planning as many as eight new motorcycles for launch on the day, these turned out to be the two ZX-10R and RR motorcycles, a new Z H2 trim level and suspension updates for the Versys, which ultimately didn’t make up the numbers promised.

As such, we weren’t surprised when in December Kawasaki confirmed a ‘Part II’ was indeed coming for January 2021 with two more motorcycles - plus three ATV machines - to be revealed on the day. But which two newcomers will they be?

One of these is expected to be an updated KLX300 because that would tie in with our hot tip for the second machine, Kawasaki’s strongly-rumoured re-entry into the middleweight ADV market with a ‘KLX650’. For now Kawasaki has remained tight-lipped on which motorcycle lurks under those covers but other than a replacement for the popular Versys, we can’t think of another ageing model that was important enough to justify getting its own launch stage.

Speed Triple 1200 RS teaser

Triumph Speed Triple 1200 RS flies flag for Britain

There remains no rest for the wicked over at Triumph, which despite its rapid frequency of new model and facelift launch turnarounds is starting 2021 as it ended 2020 by announcing the official unveiling of the Speed Triple 1200 RS.

With the smaller Street Triple soaking up a lot of the attention from Triumph over the last 18 months as part of a staggered period of facelift launches, the time has now come for the Speed Triple to earn the British firm’s full attention.

Though we are bristling with anticipation over what Triumph will unveil on the day, we do have some details to go on from this teaser video below, which suggests the styling will borrow from the Street Triple RS - the. Intimidating and angry face for one -  while it also confirms a 1200cc engine under the skin too, which represents a rise in size and most likely power too.

KTM 1290 Super Adventure R

KTM 1290 Super Adventure R and friends complete launch bonanza 

While a brand-new Kawasaki KLX650 and a replacement for the Triumph Speed Triple RS aren’t the ideal models to be sized up against in the fight for publicity in the media, that doesn’t mean KTM isn’t bringing out some big guns on this veritable jamboree of motorcycle unveilings.

We are approximately 99% certain the next generation KTM 1290 Super Adventure R/S will make its official debut following weeks of spy shots and leaks, which confirm it will go toe-to-toe with the Ducati Multistrada V4 in terms of tech, power and off-road prowess.

However, it doesn’t seem this is the only model KTM will reveal on the day with its video teaser ending with the curious tagline ‘The World Gets Smaller’.

Now, this could be a surprisingly deep and multi-layered nod to the COVID-19 crisis and society’s enhanced sense of community to bring people closer together… which is nice but we sense it means to expect one or more new models at the entry point into the KTM range. Then again just as I write this I receive another e-mail from KTM telling me to 'cancel my plans'... alas, I would but then that wouldn't be fair on Kawasaki and Triumph.

As for twhat he possibly-maybe second big unveiling could be, with KTM working on plugging an engine into each 100cc bandwidth between 200cc and 1000cc, it means any number of new models could make their bow on the day. However, we’ll stake a claim to suggest the new generation KTM RC pocket rocket sportsbike will be revealed.

Though we know fairly little about the new budget supersport - not least the engine size, hence it being referred to as simply RC for now - it is likely to drip in styling inspiration from the firm’s now race-winning MotoGP effort, even if you won’t feel quite like Miguel Oliveira from the traffic lights.