The largest motorcycle show of the year just finished up in Milan, Italy and it seems like every manufacturer had something to prove.
- Arch Motorcycles Method 143
- Rizoma BMW R nineT Racer
- Honda CB1000R Neo Cafe
- Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe
- Moto Guzzi V85 Concept
- Ducati Panigale V4 Speciale
- Yamaha Niken
- Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
- KTM 790R Adventure Prototype
- Indian Scout FTR1200 Custom
The holiday season may not start for another month, but if you’re a motorcyclist this is the most wonderful time of the year. EICMA, the largest and most important motorcycle show of the year has just finished up in Milan, Italy and it seems like every manufacturer was out with something to prove. Countless concepts and new production models saw silky sheets removed to reveal the near future of motorcycling — there is much to anticipate.
Arch Motorcycles Method 143
Based in Los Angeles, Arch Motorcycles has been quietly disrupting the norms of power cruiser life since the 2015 debut of their fully tailored KRGT-1. Now the designers, led by Gard Hollinger (with input from partner Keanu Reeves), have delivered their take on the roadster segment. It is otherworldly: machined aluminum and carbon fiber abound on this limited release that features a mono-cell chassis and is powered by a 143 cubic-inch, proprietary S&S V-Twin motor. Pricing will probably be in the “if you have to ask” range, but it looks like it’ll be worth it.
Rizoma BMW R nineT Racer
BMW announced a pair of refreshed mid-sized adventure bikes: the F750 GS and F850 GS. As awesome as those are, it was actually the mildly customized BMW R nineT Racer from aftermarket wizards Rizoma that stood out. The bike demonstrates that with some simple tools and a few hours of work, many nitpicky details the Bavarians had to include in production can be streamlined and/or replaced by some bespoke-looking aluminum.
Honda CB1000R Neo Cafe
Despite the fact that the Neo Cafe concept had been teased for months, nobody expected Honda to deliver a production ready model so close to its exquisite design. And yet here it is. Powered by a refreshed and retuned version of the CBR1000RR inline-four engine, the CB1000R comes packed with 145 ponies ready to let loose at the Ace Cafe’s of the world. More important is that the sculpted tank and elevated rear subframe didn’t end up on the accountants’ cutting room floor.
Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe
Based off of the Z900RS that launched at the Tokyo show just two weeks prior, the Cafe version features a new front fairing and requisite humped seat treatment. When we first saw the Z900RS, something seemed to be missing — it a proper Team Green paint job. Thankfully, someone at Kawi was thinking the same thing.
Moto Guzzi V85 Concept
In case you hadn’t noticed, retro treatments are kind of a big deal in motorcycling these days. As a result, some of the prettiest to come about are those styled like enduros from the ’80s. This Moto Guzzi V85 Concept pays tasteful homage to the cigarette sponsored days of Dakar and hints at the next direction the Lake Como-based bike builder is going. Powered by a tuned version of the 850cc inverse V-Twin from the V9 line, the V85 should develop around 80 horsepower when it begin production. Think of this as Moto Guzzi’s take on a beefed up Scrambler. Hopefully, we’ll have more to report later next year.
Ducati Panigale V4 Speciale
Boasting an industry-best 226 horsepower, Ducati’s flagship superbike is now powered by a MotoGP-derived V4 powerplant and features a bevy of electronic witchcraft to ensure owners don’t end up immolating under hard acceleration. Top shelf components from Ohlins suspension and Brembo brakes keep the hardest charging Ducati planted while wizardry in the form of cornering ABS and a little thing called “dynamic slide control,” which is essentially a drift-mode so that you can slide into a corner like Andrea Dovizioso. There is a base model V4 and V4 S available as well but in for a penny, in for a pound, right?
Yamaha’s party piece is the Ackerman-designed steering device that is comprised of twin, dual-tube, upside down forks that articulate to allow those two 15-inch front wheels to lean into a corner. Yamaha calls it a “Leaning Multi-Wheeler.” It certainly is weird, but it will be interesting to see what it’s all about in person.
Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
What was once the darling of the concept world is now finally going into production. The Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 is a minimalist take on the cafe racer that ticks almost every box. Power comes from the KTM derived 690cc engine whose single-cylinder generates 75 hp and 53 lbs-ft of torque, meaning the Vitpilen should be an approachable bike to actually ride should you ever tire of just looking at it.
KTM 790R Adventure Prototype
It has long been rumored that KTM had a middleweight adventure machine in the works and now we know what it might look like. It’s still technically a prototype, although the smart money says it won’t change much when it debuts in 2019. Powered by the same parallel-twin that will debut in the Duke 790, the 790R Adventure should offer up around 100 horsepower and tip scales at a svelte 440 pounds while riding on WP suspension.
Indian Scout FTR1200 Custom
If you’ve been following flat track at all, you’ve no doubt noticed that Indian and their Wrecking Crew have absolutely dominated. You’ve also probably wondered why there isn’t a civilian model of that incredible machine. Well, the thoughts around here are you won’t have to wait too long. While we don’t expect the carbon fiber bodywork to make it onto the showroom floor, the brute of a V-Twin (the same one from the Scout Bobber) will again serve duty here, happily melting rubber.
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