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Everything We Expect to See at the EICMA Show in Milan

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The 2017 EICMA show is rapidly approaching, and if history is any indication, leaks of the motorcycles from Italy will start dropping any day now. Sooner, if we have our say in it.

As the motorcycle industry gears up for the largest show of the year, we thought we would put together an exhaustive list of everything we expect to see at EICMA.

It goes without saying of course, be sure to stay tuned into our up-to-the-minute coverage of the EICMA show, as we will be bringing you the first glimpses and details of all the machines that will be coming for the 2018 model year, and beyond.

Aprilia

Aprilia’s lineup is surprisingly fresh at the moment, so we don’t expect too many model debuts from the Noale brand. We do know that the Caponord was quietly shelved for not being Euro4 compliant, so a new ADV bike is certainly a possibility from Aprilia.

We would expect the new Caponord still to be a v-twin model, but our secret hope is that Aprilia repurposes its V4 engine for adventure-touring duty.

The only fact that fuels this hope is that the cost of developing a new 1,200cc engine likely outweighs the development involved in making the company’s potent V4 work in a Caponord platform. We are still skeptical, however.

Other new model releases could include new small-displacement machines. The Aprilia RS4 125 was last updated in 2011, and since then the small-displacement category has been a growth center for motorcycle brands.

If Aprilia could bring a 300cc to 400cc machine to market, it would greatly benefit from the addition.

Benelli

Benelli released a bevy of machines at the 2016 EICMA show, but it has been slow to bring those motorcycles to market. So far for 2017, we know that Benelli will be pushing the Leoncino, a very attractive 500cc scrambler model.

With bringing bikes to market being the new focus for Benelli, we don’t expect too many new bike releases, if any, this year. That might be a shame, as Benelli has been on a streak lately, with its small-displacement models looking very appealing.

BMW

For the 2017 EICMA show, BMW Motorrad has told us that it will debut four all-new models in Milan, and we have a pretty good idea what those machines could be.

First up is the S1000RR superbike that we saw in spy photos, which looks to have a number of updates and improvements over the previous iteration. The fly in ointment however is that CARB filings by BMW show no changes for the 2018 BMW S1000RR.

Either a new S1000RR is coming as a 2019 model, or BMW has kept the engine and chassis specs similar enough for them not to show in CARB’s emissions documents.

BMW’s second model is surely the new F850GS, which the German company has already begun teasing. This bike will replace the F800GS in BMW’s adventure lineup, and help protect BMW Motorrad from advances from bikes like the Ducati Multistrada 950 and new Triumph Tiger 800.

The third model is likely to be the BMW G310S, the sport bike version of BMW’s small-displacement 310cc platform. With the TVS Akula 310 already being teased in India (TVS is helping BMW build its small-displacement motorcycles), BMW’s version of the sport bike is likely not far off.

The fourth BMW model we expect to see is the German brand’s alleged “Diavel Killer”. This performance cruiser should be closer to the mark than its predecessor, the BMW R1200C, though we are still not certain of the name and engine configuration.

For a bonus debut, there is a strong rumor that the BMW R1200GS will get variable valve timing. It is unlikely that this will mean a whole new GS model design, perhaps just an engine refresh. We’ll see.

Ducati

Borgo Panigale is another group that has given us the magic number of new motorcycles that it will debut in Milan, teasing five new models in the pipe.

Ducati has already shown us one of these machines, the Ducati Monster 821, which gets some updates and improvements found already on the Monster 1200.

We also know to expect the Ducati Panigale V4, which will be the Italian brand’s headline model release. We expect to see two trim levels of the new V4 superbike, a base model and an “S” model. The Ducati Panigale V4 R will debut as a 2019 model, likely at next year’s show.

The Ducati Scrambler sub-brand is set to show a new model as well, with the Scrambler 1100 (our name, not Ducati’s) tipped to us by our Bothan Spies.

Featuring the company’s old 1,078cc, two-valve, air-cooled engine, the Scrambler 1100 will have a bigger chassis than its 800cc and 400cc machines, making it more of a street-naked motorcycle than a true scrambler.

From CARB filings, we also expect to see the Ducati 959 Panigale Corse, which should be an up-spec version of Ducati’s “middleweight” superbike.

The last motorcycles we expect to see are two new Multistrada models. The first is an enduro version of the Multistrada 950, which is said to be more of a parts bin special, rather than an all-new machine.

The other is the Multistrada 1260, which has been fitted with the same motor from the XDiavel.

Energica

Italy’s electric motorcycle manufacturer will debut one new model for 2018, though we have already seen it. We can’t unsee it, in fact. The Energica Eva EsseEsse9 was not received well at the 2016 EICMA show, and yet the Italians are moving forward with it anyways.

Why? We can’t be certain. Energica’s machines operate on a very high technical level, but their design, branding, and marketing leave a considerable amount to be desired. The EsseEsse9 is just the latest example of that.

Husqvarna

Just today Husqvarna told us that we should expect one new street bike, as well as one new concept, from the Swedish brand. That new street bike is surely the Husqvarna 701 Vitpilen, which was a concept last year, and has been caught testing in production form through out this year.

As for the concept machine, it is anyone’s guess. Maybe we will see a 701 Svartpilen – a modern-chic enduro. Or, maybe we will see Husqvarna playing with KTM’s 1,301cc engine, making a Scandinavian streetfighter. Either would be fun to see from Husky. 

KTM

The big reveal from the Austrians will be the KTM 790 Duke, which features an ~800cc parallel-twin engine. The big question though will be how far from the KTM 790 Duke prototype the production machine strays, with spy shots showing a number of changes from KISKA’s intriguing design.

We also expect to see the KTM 390 Adventure finally debut – although it feels like we have said that for the past few years, so who really knows what is going on with that machine.

Another possibility is an update to the KTM RC390, so that the Austrian brand can better compete in the new World Supersport 300 Championship.

KTM is sure to have a few dirt bike models, as well as a couple concepts, for our consumption at EICMA. It will be interesting to see what those are.

Moto Guzzi

We haven’t heard too much about Moto Guzzi’s plans for EICMA, though we do know that more than a few models are going to fade away because of Euro4 regulations.

As such, we have word that Moto Guzzi is working on a new engine platform that will be in compliance with Europe’s tougher emission laws. Accordingly, we expect to see Moto Guzzi tease us with some concepts for those future models, which will likely be 2019 machines.

MV Agusta

Only one new motorcycle is expected from MV Agusta, though it promises to be a big one. The MV Agusta Brutale 1200 has been more than teased by even MV Agusta’s CEO, and it promises to finally update this aging but iconic name.

Built off a bigger four-cylinder engine platform, the Brutale 1200 could be the first of several 1,200cc models from Varese, and hopefully it is a prelude to a new MV Agusta F4 superbike, which had to be put on hold because of the Italian brand’s financial difficulty.

Triumph

The big news for Triumph is the long-awaited update to its adventure-touring lineup, which will see a bit of rebranding for the Tiger 800 and Tiger Explorer, the latter getting a name change to the Triumph Tiger 1200.

Both bikes are expected to get some serious updates, so as to better compete with the new models that have arrived in the ADV category. Triumph’s adventure-tourers have always been well-regarded, and it looks like for 2018 that they will have some new life in them.

After seeing the Triumph Street Triple 765 debut, we would hope that a new Speed Triple model is around the corner, perhaps with the same 1,200cc engine found in the Tiger. This is more of a wish/want, rather than something that is backed up in fact, however.

Honda

In some ways, Honda has already shown us its big models for the 2018 model year, both in size and in importance. The new Honda Gold Wing already debuted in Japan, and we have seen a pretty good glimpse at the updated/new version coming to the Honda Africa Twin.

There is some talk that we could see a new Honda CB1000R, perhaps based off the Honda Neo Sports Café concept, especially considering how much marketing Big Red has done on the concept.

Otherwise, we expect some minor debuts further down Honda’s product lineup, which may or may not make it to US soil. 

Kawasaki

Kawasaki has already shown us the retro-styled Z900RS and the small-displacement Ninja 400 at the Tokyo Motor Show, but we think that Team Green has saved the best release for Milan.

For quite some time, Kawasaki has been teasing its next supercharged model, which is expected to be more of the sport-touring variety.

There is some debate on what this “H2 GT” could look like, or if it will even be based off the same four-cylinder platform as the H2 and H2R.

Also, there is some discussion that the power figures for this supercharged machine will be considerably less than its siblings – a sign that a smaller engine displacement could be in the mix here.

There is some chatter that updates could come to the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10RR, as the Japanese brand could continue to keep itself on the pointy end of its racing development, especially in the World Superbike Championship.

We have word too that a new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R is in the works, though we expect it for the 2019 model year, not 2018. Still, it is possible that Kawasaki could give us a taste of the 600cc supersport, perhaps as a concept.

Suzuki

Suzuki is surprisingly not signed up with EICMA for a press conference event, which could mean that there are no big reveals scheduled in Milan for 2018.

We have already gotten confirmation that the 2018 versions of the GSX-R600, GSX-R750, and Hayabusa will not change, though we have it on good authority that these bikes will be all-new for the 2019 model year, likely debuting in mid-2018.

Perhaps Suzuki has learned its lesson about teasing models for too long before their release, seeing enthusiasm wane on the new GSX-R1000 from its concept debut, to its actual production release.

Or, this news means that Suzuki is taking a more laid-back approach for EICMA. With a few more minor trade shows still on the calendar, maybe Suzuki is waiting until then. Time will tell.

Yamaha

Yamaha’s EICMA debut will surely include a new middleweight 700cc Ténéré, the T7 concept of which was shown to us at last year’s show in Milan. Now ready for production, we will be curious to see what the smaller Ténéré will be like.

We also expect to see Yamaha announcing its three-wheeled Niken as a production model for 2018. The curious machine was launched at the Tokyo Motor Show, though Yamaha was very terse on details. We suspect that is because the formal announcement will come next week, in Italy.

ARCH

We’ve already talk about ARCH’s 2018 plans. A 2018 version of the KRGT-1 will be released at EICMA, but we suspect that the attention will focus on the ARCH 1S, which has a single-sided swingarm and is more performance oriented, like the company’s Goodwood prototype.

But, the real highlight will be the ARCH METHOD 143, which has a full carbon fiber chassis, and will be limited to just 23 units worldwide.

Harley-Davidson

As usual, Harley-Davidson will have a presence at the EICMA show, but we don’t expect any new models from the Bar & Shield brand. Instead, we expect the American manufacturer to show the bevy of “new” bikes it launched to US press earlier this year.

Indian

Perhaps our favorite rumor of the 2017 EICMA show concerns Indian Motorcycle. The American brand is said to be readying a street-version of its Scout FTR750 race bike.

Whether that’s true or not, is hard to say, though we would be surprised at such a model making its debut in Europe, and not in the USA.

Still, we like the idea of a race-dominating flat tracker with lights, and it would be a shame for Indian to keep that sweet, sweet motor only for the race track. Consider our interest piqued.

As always, Asphalt & Rubber will be covering all the new bikes debuting at EICMA this year. Be sure to follow our coverage for the most recent news and photos.

Jensen Beeler

Despite his best efforts, Jensen is called one of the most influential bloggers in the motorcycle industry, and sometimes consults for motorcycle companies, whether they've solicited his expertise or not.

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