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Yamaha Bulldog revealed

Published: 03 June 2001

Updated: 19 November 2014

Yamaha’s new Bulldog BT1100 is revealed today for the first time.

The Japanese firm claims the Bulldog is specifically designed to meet the needs of the European market.

Yamaha reckons its new machine is the perfect combination of pose and practicality to appeal to buyers looking for a bike that combines comfort – both in town and over long distances – with head-turning styling.

While the air-cooled, 45-degree V-twin motor – borrowed from the firm’s own XV1100 cruiser – clearly gives the bike an American feel, its styling should also appeal to buyers of European bikes like Cagiva’s Raptor, Ducati’s Monster and BMW’s R1150 R.

Despite its 1063cc capacity, it turns out an easy-going 68bhp.

It might not be enough to shred tyres, but the bike’s maximum power comes in at a lazy 5500rpm, so what performance there is should be effortless. Even more so when you consider the 65lbft of torque, which kicks in at just 4500rpm. A Monster S4 has to rev to 7000 to match the Yamaha’s pulling power.

The Bulldog’s details really make it stand out – check out the clocks, which feature one huge clock incorporating the speedo and a miniature, half-moon rev counter. But despite its apparent simplicity, it manages to incorporate practical features like a clock, a fuel gauge and a trip meter thanks to a neat digital display.

While the chassis’ twin tubes are made of steel, the swingarm pivot is aluminium to help reduce weight and increase rigidity – a concept made popular by the MV Agusta design. It’s fitted with no-frills suspension, with right-way-up forks and a rising-rate rear monoshock but no adjustment at either end.

The 1530mm wheelbase is around 100mm longer than most of the Bulldog’s competitors, so expect bags of straight-line stability at the expense of quick steering.

Yamaha makes no bones about the fact that this bike is not designed for all-out performance or lightning-sharp handling, instead it aims at being comfortable and easy to use – with perfect ergonomics and safe, relaxed handling.

Yamaha intends to sell the bike for between £6000 and £6500 – putting it close to machines like the Raptor and, the Buell Cyclone.

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