The EICMA Show in Milan, Italy is underway. This is traditionally where the European motorcycle industry shows its newest products, future prototypes and concept bikes. Our man Zapata Espinoza was there and he reports that this year the overriding theme was electric products. Several electric bikes were shown, some looking like production models and others looking like rough prototypes. There was also an overriding theme from most manufacturers that they aren’t abandoning internal combustion engines any time soon. That message was delivered by President of Kawasaki Motors Corporation, Mr. Hiroshi Ito, among others.
One of the most interesting of the old-school gasoline powered motorcycles was the Bimota BX450. This is a company that usually focuses on exotic po9rt bikes, often with Kawasaki motors. This is the fist off-road bike that we have ever seen with that name. You can read more about the Bimota here.
Kawasaki showed an electric prototype called the BEV, which is kind of a Supermoto configuration at present, but might well be a dual-sport in the future.
Street bikes often see the wildest technology. EICMA also previewed Kawasaki’s first ever Hybrid electric vehicle in prototype form. The motorcycle will be able to switch between its internal combustion engine and electric power. It is currently set to be available in 2024.
An experimental hydrogen powered display engine based on the Supercharged Ninja H2 using direct injection and compressed gaseous hydrogen was also shown. This hydrogen engine has been shown as a concept Ninja H2 platform as well as shown inserted into the chassis of a Teryx KRX 1000 side x side. Despite all this talk of new technology, Kawasaki’s Mr. Ito clarified that across the next two model years, Kawasaki plans to also introduce approximately 30 internal combustion engine motorcycle models globally.
Rieju showed the New Aventura 500, the largest displacement motorcycle ever manufactured by the brand from Figueres. This is the company’s first foray into the Adventure world with a 500cc twin-cylinder engine, double fuel tank (front-rear) and 21”/18” spoked wheels.
Rieju also previewed its new Electric eMR, a motorcycle that uses the MR Enduro platform with an electric motor.
The Electrica comes from the Piaggio Group under the name of Aprilia. They say they have been working on electric propulsion since 1975. It isn’t a real dirt bike, but it looks like a dual-sport could be in the future for this platform.
Increasingly, we have seen vehicles that straddle the line between motorcycle and bicycle. MotoParillia has several. The Carbon is very motorcycle-like, but does have pedals. There are four types of motor that can be mounted: 250W, 500W, 750W and 1000W. For those wishing to have even more power, it is possible to install even more performing engines.
The Moto Parillia Tricolore MX features a monocoque frame that is manufactured in one mold.
The Fantic booth always intrigues us. These are basically Yamahas with new plastic and accessories, but they look so exotic! It’s unlikely they will ever be sold stateside. The U.S. Yamaha importer says no way.
TM was there with a retro theme. Do you remember when they were pink? That’s okay if you don’t. There were very few TMs in America back then.
We have heard reports that big changes are underway at the TM factory in Pesaro, Italy. The karting group is splitting away from the motorcycle group. That might mean that some of the key engineers are going away. TM has always had strength beyond its size and we hope that continues. The U.S. importer will also change come April.
A few weeks ago, news broke that MV Agusta and KTM have signed a commercial agreement for the distribution of MV in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. There was some talk of the deal in Milan, but it’s too early to know what that really means. Word is the Pierer has purchased a substantia share of MV. There will be more news this weekend, as hinted on MV’s social media.
Suzuki took the occasion to reveal its first really new motorcycles in years. The V-Strom 800 has a parallel twin motor and is said to be far more dirt-worthy than any adventure bike from Suzuki so far. You can read more about the V-Strom 800 here.
Zero has an adventure bike now. It’s built around the DS model but has all the ADV stuff cooked in.
The Talaria Sting is a direct competitor for the Sur-Ron and Segway. It looks slightly more substantial.
The EICMA show is under way this weekend, and we might have more news in the next few days.