Sometimes, you need to put something into the universe to see it happen, and it was just two days ago that we were speculating on rumors about Harley-Davidson’s plans for a small-displacement machine, likely headed for the Asian markets.
Today, we get confirmation of that news hearing that the Bar & Shield brand will collaborate with the Qianjiang Motorcycle Company to build small-displacement motorcycles targeted at China and the rest of the Asian continent.
The bike will be 338cc in displacement, and be released first in China, with the other Asian markets to follow.
It is the worst-kept secret in the motorcycle industry right… We are talking about BMW Motorrad’s upcoming cruiser, which will features an 1,800cc air-cooled push rod boxer engine.
We know this because the German brand has been shoehorning the mammoth-sized engine into a variety of show bikes, all in the effort to get excited about this “Harley-Davidson killer” of a motorcycle.
Spy photos have also given us a glimpse of the bagger that we can expect to see unveiled later this year, but for now we have yet another concept machine to whet our appetites.
I am not quite sure what makes the following a “concept” in the eyes of the Italian manufacturer, as the Ducati Hypermotard 950 is already a production model (it’s quite good too, by the way), and the example we see here differs only in paint and parts.
But still, the attraction that the Centro Stile Ducati has poured into this Hypermotard 950 is lurid, for sure.
The judges at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este would seem to agree with us as well, as this Hyper won first place in the ”Concept Bikes: New Design and Prototypes by Manufacturers and Independents” category at the prestigious event.
When we look at Aprilia’s lineup, it is surprisingly sparse. The brand has only a pair of models with its V4 engine, and another pair with its 900cc v-twin. Four bikes – that’s it.
The revised middleweights – the Shiver 900 and Dorsoduro 900 – debuted in 2017, bringing some refinements to the lackluster 750cc machines that they replaced. The 900cc bikes are not the stars in Aprilia’s lineup though, and they struggle to sell at Aprilia dealerships, but they have a tremendous amount of potential.
We say this because it always felt like Aprilia could have done more with the engine platforms available to the Italian brand. A long-travel suspension adventure-sport makes a ton of sense for the V4 platform, and today we see what could be done with the v-twin platform.
KTM’s 790 platform is a marvelous thing. It brought us the potent KTM 790 Duke sport bike, and this year sees the arrival of the hotly anticipated KTM 790 Adventure R dual-sport.
Compact, powerful, and affordable – those are the three words that best describe what the Austrian motorcycle house has created, and we knew from the get-go that the 790 platform was destined to bring us several motorcycle models.
Now, the time has come to ask where is our KTM RC790?
This is the year. This is the year that Harley-Davidson steps beyond decades of being stuck in the past, and instead takes a chance on leading the future.
I am of course referring to the Bar & Shield brand’s move to debut electric motorcycles – starting first with the Livewire electric cruiser.
The Harley-Davidson Livewire doesn’t exist in a vacuum, however. This is because the American motorcycle company has plans for a whole host of electric two-wheelers, which ranges from an electric bicycle, all the way up to full-sized models.
Today, we get a glimpse at the first of these additional models (along with more details on the Livewire electric cruiser), with Harley-Davidson showing us the physical forms of its electric scooter and and electric moped concepts.
The two motorcycles look very similar to the concept sketches that we saw last year, which is a good thing to our eye, as both machines look fit for the part.
BMW Motorrad is very quietly teasing a new motorcycle platform, one that is centered around an 1,800cc boxer design.
BMW teased this new engine in a unique way, having Yuichi Yoshizawa and Yoshikazu Ueda of Custom Works Zon build a show bike around the boxer-twin, which we are showing here in the story.
With its vintage style, it is easy to disregard the prototype engine from BMW as being something from the German company’s past, and perhaps that is the point. The engine uses a push-rod design, and its cooling fins tip-off its air/oil-cooling mechanism.
Specifics beyond this are non-existent, however, with BMW Motorrad simply saying that “further details about the engine and its possible future use will be communicated at a later point in time.”
Yesterday, we brought you photos of the Honda CRF450L Rally concept – a machine that Big Red was quietly debuting at the EICMA show in Milan.
And now today, thanks to our friends at American Honda, we have not only a bunch of new high-resolution photos for you to drool over, as well as a few details on this machine.
Before we get to it though, we want to make an above-the-fold plea to anyone who might be reading in Honda factory back in Japan…
Please Honda, please pretty please, make this motorcycle a production model. Don’t change a thing. Just build it. Thank you.
When the Honda CRF450 Rally debuted for rally raid competitors in 2012, there was a cry for a production model of this Dakar-ready dirt bike. It took a while, but Big Red finally answer…sort of.
The Honda CRF250L Rally wasn’t exactly the bike that we expect to see in 2015, and it took over a year (and many, many teasings) for the concept to become a reality for the 2017 model year.
The 250cc platform was an interesting choice for Honda to make for its race-replica dirt bike, especially with the underwhelming debut of the CRF250L model, and thus the want for a 450cc version continued.
Now with the potent CRF450L on the market, it looks like that idea is starting to take shape…though, you would hardly know it from the Japanese brand’s actions at EICMA.
If you are like us, you probably just finished drooling over the Royal Enfield KX concept, and were bummed that there weren’t any more hi-res photos to drool over and scrutinize from EICMA.
We feel your pain…that is why we have got close to 100 more photos for you. Booyakasha!
The bulk of the photos attached in the photo gallery concern the design process of creating the KX concept, which are interesting to see, though a little to “marketing focused” for our taste.
But, the real value comes as you scroll down and see the Royal Enfield KX concept in detail.
We are not sure how big the market is for a 125cc adventure-tourer, especially in the European Union. Close to zero, perhaps? Yet, we are very excited about the Honda CB125X concept (along with its fraternal twin, the Honda CB124M concept).
Maybe the Honda CB125R platform is the wrong starting point for this project, but we like where the Honda Motor Europe R&D team finished with this build.
The CB125X is a clean and attractive motorcycle, and we would romp through every river crossing we could find on this small-displacement thumper.