Tag

EICMA

Browsing

One of the more interesting announcements to go unnoticed at the EICMA show in Milan, was that Vibram was looking to get into the motorcycle industry.

Known best for its five-toed “shoeless” shoes, the Italian company actually has a rich history, which includes being part of the first successful summit of K2 (arguably the most difficult mountain to climb in the world).

Now Vibram makes its business selling rubber soles to shoemakers, with the company’s brand gaining traction (pardon the pun) in the B2B realm with partners like CAT, Danner, The North Face, and many others.







Now looking for new markets to penetrate, it only makes sense to see Vibram coming to the motorcycle industry.







It has been a very long time since we last recorded a Two Enthusiasts Podcast show for you, but Episode 86 is out in the wild now, and in it we discuss all the new bikes that debuted at the EICMA show in Milan.

As you will quickly notice, friend of the show Shahin Alvandi fills in for Quentin on this episode, as we figure out what the future holds for the podcast.

It has been a very difficult 80 days since we last recorded an episode for you, and we didn’t want to have EICMA go by without some sort of commentary from the show, so here is something to tide you over while we get our sh*t together.







We should have more news available for you on what is happening with the podcast shortly, until then, enjoy this show where we talk some of the bikes for the 2019 model year and beyond that caught our attention.







For the 2019 model year, we say goodbye to the Honda CBR650F, a fine enough machine in its own right, but one that didn’t exactly set the world on fire, and instead we say hello to the Honda CBR650R, which gets a more aggressive styling and a bevy of features, to help it earn that “R” designation at the end of its name.

Easy to sport is that the new bodywork, which draws a direct line to the Honda CBR1000RR superbike, the Honda CBR650R comes also with a sportier riding position, and the electronics and feature package to match.







It is not uncommon for manufacturer to merely update a motorcycle’s graphics package for a new model year, even if no other mechanical changes are coming. It helps keep the bike fresh in the consumers’ eyes, and perhaps it is just enough to lure some would-be buyers into a purchase.

This started the marketing phrase “bold new graphics” to be uttered when such visual refreshes occurred, but in the past decade or so, the phrase has taken on more of an ironic meaning to show that no new changes are coming for a particular motorcycle model, leaving only the color change to be touted.

In the case of the MV Agusta F3, however, the phrase “bold new graphics” is quite literal, as the graphics are indeed bold in color and application, and they are a bit of a departure from what we would expect from the Italian brand.













In our round-ups of the EICMA show of Milan, I am not sure if we have saved the best for last, but we certainly have saved the most important for last. There has been no shortage of news from MV Agusta this month already, and the Italian brand ran a skillful guerrilla campaign in Milan this year - a show that takes place in the company's own backyard.

In this month alone, MV Agusta has announced a €40 million investment, a new CEO, a new four-cylinder platform, and a bevy of special edition models. Recently too, the iconic motorcycle brand has entered into the Moto2 World Championship, withdrawn from the World Superbike paddock, and positioned itself as the ultra-premium offering in the two-wheeled space.

So, what does this all mean? Well...we certainly have a lot to talk about.

To continue reading this story, you need to have an A&R Pro subscriber account. If you have an A&R Pro account, you can login here.

Next up on our analysis of the EICMA show in Milan are the Japanese brands: Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha.

You can usually count on the Big Four to bring out some popular new bike launches and intriguing concepts to EICMA, and this year...well...the Japanese brands phoned it in, for the most part.

Before we get into Jensen's complete feeling of disappointment, I first have to apologize because I failed you as a publisher. Much of the disappointment that comes from the INTERMOT and EICMA shows comes from the implications of the Euro5 emissions standards. As a publication, we should have prepared you  better for this reality, and we didn't.

There is very little incentive right now for a motorcycle OEM to release a new model. Euro5 comes online for new models in 2020, and for existing models in 2021, which means that many of the motorcycle brands are holding onto their new bike launches for those model years.

As such, the 2019 model year is very much a "development year" for the industry. This doesn't change the fact that the Japanese brands had a weak showing in Milan, especially compared to the Europeans, but at least it explains why...for the most part.

To continue reading this story, you need to have an A&R Pro subscriber account. If you have an A&R Pro account, you can login here.

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.







While the line up for the 2019 MotoGP season was settled surprisingly early in the year, the opposite has been the case for WorldSBK. With just two weeks to go to the first full test of 2019, there are still a whole range of seats open, and questions going unanswered.

One of the reasons for the delay became clear at the EICMA show in Milan last week. While the manufacturers were presenting their newest bikes, including some of the key machines that will star in World Superbikes next year, a couple of manufacturers also presented their racing programs for 2019.

Perhaps the biggest story came from Honda, where HRC presented Althea and Moriwaki as their new partners in running their WorldSBK program. After a partnership of three years, and a relationship going back nearly two decades, Ten Kate are out, with the Italians and Japanese taking over.







It wasn’t just Ten Kate: title sponsor Red Bull were also out. The energy drink firm had signed up when Nicky Hayden was with the team, a big name draw for sponsors, and a rider with a long connection to Red Bull.

It was Red Bull who brought in Jake Gagne, the American who never really found his feet in the WorldSBK championship. After two years of poor results, Red Bull withdrew.







Sometimes, I wonder why brands debut their machines at the EICMA, or any trade show for that matter, but especially the one in Milan.

Asphalt & Rubber published close to 50 new bike stories from Milan, and we still have a few more minor announcements to get out the door, so imagine for a minute that you are the marketing manager for a brand which  is trying to stand out in that crowd.

This EICMA marked the first year where we really saw some brands abandoning the rat race of EICMA, choosing to release their new models ahead of the show, in order to generate some buzz, and dominate the headlines for a day or two. 

And, no one executed this strategy better than Aprilia.

To continue reading this story, you need to have an A&R Pro subscriber account. If you have an A&R Pro account, you can login here.

Done and dusted, the EICMA show in Milan is the biggest trade event in the motorcycle industry, and each year we see dozens and dozens of machines debut in Italy, with much fanfare.

With the bevy of new model releases that occur though, it is easy to lose sight of the forest for the trees. So, we are going to break down the big headlines and moments from this new bike season for you, starting with one of our most talked about brands: Ducati.

Ducati traditionally starts off the EICMA festivities, hosting a pre-event somewhere in Milan days before EICMA. The day of this launch seems to get pushed back further and further each year, as other brands have jockeyed for position, and so this year's pre-event event was held on the Sunday before EICMA.

To its credit, Ducati does EICMA right, and the Italian company has honed to perfection the balance between of hosting a live event for gathered press and VIPs that is also suitable and entertaining enough to be broadcast live on Italian TV and across the internet.

The EICMA show unveiling might be geared now for mainstream consumption, but for those in the industry there are still some valuable inferences to learn from what is said...and what isn't said.

To continue reading this story, you need to have an A&R Pro subscriber account. If you have an A&R Pro account, you can login here.

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.