While the Streetfighter V4 S was center stage at the Ducati stand at EICMA, our eye drifted over towards the Scrambler setup, where the Italian brand was showcasing two concept bikes for the Milan show.
At the Ducati launch event in Rimini, the Ducati Scrambler Desert X concept was the big tease, with the Italians saying very little about the bike.
Really, all that was revealed (beyond a couple sketches) was that the motorcycle would use the brand’s 1,079cc air-cooled engine, and instead Ducati encouraged fans to see the bike at the EICMA booth, if they wanted more than a rendering. So, we obliged.
For us, the Ducati Scrambler Desert X concept was the star of the Ducati EICMA experience, perhaps because we knew so far in advance that the Streetfighter V4 was coming, and had a pretty good idea about what this 205hp street-shredding machine would look like.
The rumors turned out to be true at EICMA: Kawasaki has bought the iconic Italian brand Bimota. Well…technically, the business transaction is a little bit more complex than that.
It was Italian Motorcycle Investment S.p.A. (IMI) that actually bought a 49.9% stake in Bimota S.A., with IMI being an investment arm created by Kawasaki Motors Europe, which in turn is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kawasaki Heavy Industries. Got all that?
Continuing their glacially slow trickling of information, Harley-Davidson has sprinkled a couple more details to us about its upcoming Pan America motorcycle.
Expected now in late-2020, the Harley-Davidson is an American v-twin adventure-tourer, which the Bar & Shield brand hopes will attract new blood into its cult of two wheels.
At the core the machine, is a 60° liquid-cooled v-twin engine, which Harley-Davidson is giving some specs about at EICMA.
If there is a complaint to be made about the Husqvarna 701 Enduro, it likely has to do with the bike’s 3.4 gallon (13-liter) fuel tank.
The size of the tank isn’t unreasonable, mind you, especially since the Huqvarna 701 Enduro does pretty well at sipping fuel, despite its big single-cylinder engine, but if you really want to explore where the trail ends, there just isn’t enough go-juice on the bike…until now.
Say hello to the Husqvarna 701 Enduro LR, and as you can probably figure out for yourself, the two-letter designation stands for “long range”.
No press releases. No social media hype-posts. No big fancy displays. In fact, it was very easy to miss that Aprilia was giving us a glimpse at its next middleweight motorcycle at EICMA at all. But, it was there if you were careful to look at your surroundings.
Now granted, it is very hard to tell what is going on with the Aprilia Tuareg 660, since…well, the Italians covered it in shrubbery. Such is the state of their display at the Milan trade show, as they try to tease us with this ADV model.
But, we can pick out some details between the vines, bushes, and leafs…and they are intriguing.
A welcomed late-surprise at the EICMA show in Milan, two Italian names in small-displacement racing have come together to get young riders on the race track.
I am of course talking about Aprilia and Ohvale, which have collaborated to build the Aprilia RS 250 SP race bike.
A purpose built racing machine, the Aprilia RS 250 SP is like a bigger Ohvale in its presentation, complete with 17″ wheels, and all the high-performance parts you would expect to see on a proper racing machine.
We have been giving Harley-Davidson a hard time about calling its new 950cc roadster model a “streetfighter” when the bike obviously not up to the task, and it seems the American brand has been listening.
Renaming the Streetfighter model now the Harley-Davidson Bronx, this 975cc street bike seems more suited to its name, especially now that the Bar & Shield brand is willing to talk more about details.
While still expected to be a (late) 2020 model motorcycle (so 2021?), it is surprising that Harley-Davidson didn’t debut the production-ready Bronx at EICMA (or any of the other trade shows this season). And with less than a year from its release, we have only a handful of specifics about this bike, many of which Harley-Davidson just sent out.
Is there a more iconic motorcycle brand from Italy than Bimota? I think you could make some arguments to the contrary, but you would be hard-pressed to deny that the brainchild of Valerio Bianchi, Giuseppe Morri, and Massimo Tamburini hasn’t produced some of the most impactful and drool-worthy motorcycles in the past 50 years.
Sadly, the story of Bimota is not always a happy one, and after a failed restart by Swiss investors Marco Chiancianesi and Daniele Longoni, the Italian brand seemed like it was finally set for the deadpool. But then, something interesting happened.
About six weeks ago, news started circulating that Bimota was to be reborn again…and that Kawasaki had purchased the now defunct Italian marque. Well, we have good news for Bimota fans and motorcyclists alike. Bimota is back!
And to get things started right, we have been leaked images of the company’s first new creation, the Bimota TesiH2, and it looks very, very good.
This is a story we broke a eight months ago finally coming true. The 790 engine platform from KTM has finally grown into the 890 platform that is ready for the Euro 5 emissions requirements.
And if you will allow us to toot our own horn just a little bit more, our predictions of an up-spec middleweight Duke have turned out true as well.
Now, while we may be patting ourselves on the back here, the real winners are all the sport bike enthusiasts out there, because the best middleweight naked on the market just got better, in just about every way. Say hello to the KTM 890 Duke R.
It has taken a long time to wrangle this bike into existence, but the KTM 390 Adventure is officially a thing now and coming in 2020.
I could look back through the pages of Asphalt & Rubber, and see when we first started talking about this small-sized ADV bike, but it would be downright depressing for the Austrian brand. It has been…a while in the making, let’s just say that.
The good news though is that the KTM 390 Adventure arrives with an exclamation point, and it is certain to dominate in markets where the 373cc engine is considered quite large and peppy. It should be fun in the western markets too.