The cover quote from the program of the 70th annual EICMA (Esposizione International Del Motociclo) program read "If you have a motorcycle, you have a story to tell." And judging from the wide variety of motorcycles found within the ten massive halls that make up Europe's largest industry/public bike show, it couldn't have been more accurate.
Every year that MXA attends the EICMA show in Milano, Italy, we come away more amazed than we did the previous year over all the new new designs and technology on display. Although it's definitely worth the trip to Italy alone just to see the show, what's great about the EICMA show is that following two days of it being open to the trade and media only, the gates are flung open for the motorcycle mad public. And besides the motorcycles on display, there is also a wide array of live competitions taking place inside...with a full-size Supercross track being the most prominent.
Good news for American motorcycle fans is that next year (October 16-20) in Orlando, Florida a similar concept as the EICMA show will be coming to America in the form of the American International Motorcycle Expo. But, if a plate of verdure griglia and a Quattro stagione pizza at the wonderful Pizzaria Sabatini along with a visit to see Michelangelo’s Last Supper is what you’re after, then the 2013 Milano motorcycle show is the answer. Now, as for what we saw this year that caught our eye, here it is.
Beta introduced a new line of 250cc and 300cc two-stroke... sadly, they are only offered as enduro models as of now.
For as extravagant as their booth is, you'd think that Airoh helmets must be the world's best selling line of helmets. In reality, the helmet that Tony Cairoli uses isn't in wide release in the USA.
Undoubtedly one of the best moments of the whole week was when this prototype KTM Super Duke was started up and given a few good blips of the throttle. Yes, it was (wonderfully) loud. The 1290cc Super Duke R is powered by a bored-out version of the V-Twin RC8R Superbike engine.
See the KTM 1290 Super Duke in action below:
But the all-new 390 Duke single drew lots of "oohs" and "awwhs" also.
See the KTM 390 Duke in action below:
One of the oldest names in trials is the Spanish brand Ossa. Made famous in the 1970's by British rider Mick Andrews, the Ossa factory is still pushing the envelope for the technical, but slow-going sport. Note the backwards two-stroke cylinder and fuel-injection.
Gas Gas has also come out with new smokers. There is a 250 and 300.
Yes, we also think that every kid's first two-wheeler should be a Bultaco.
Circuit Equipment from Brazil did a good job giving this Husky a facelift with the wide array of products from their aftermarket catalog.
Electric bike continue to advance in terms of power and duration. Not all of them are following traditional lines of what a motorcycle looks like.
Obviously, fashion still rules in the scooter market.
BMW rolled out this classic Boxer twin from 1947 to help showcase the progress they've made over the years.
A state of BMW evolution that was best evidenced by this BMW RR1000 Superbike.
Agreat moment at the Milan show was when the big speakers at the Husqvarna booth started blaring the famous theme song from "On Any Sunday," which was soon joined by big-screen images of Mert Lawwill, Steve McQueen and Malcolm Smith riding their bikes on the sand dunes. And then the cover was pulled of Husky's newest dual-sport bike, the Baja 650.
With graphics somewhat inspired from the factory BMW Paris-Dakar bike raced by Belgium's 125cc World Motocross Champion Gaston Rahier in the 80's, this bike caught a lot of attention by people trying to speculate exactly what its intended purpose was.
This odd looking race scooter was on display at the Yamaha booth. Your guess is as good as ours!
Speaking of odd scooters, this one defied any and all categorization.
Nicky Hayden's factory Ducati MotoGP looks blazing fast even when shot through a fish-eye lens.
Ducati's new 1199 Panigale R is the production bike based on Nicky's factory race bike. It's fast and expensive.
The Italians never seem short on national pride, even when it comes to building their custom bikes as this Harley Davidson with a tri-colore split finish attests to.
The Bimota booth was once again filled with some of the most radically designed and technologically evolved bikes in the show. True works of two-wheeled art.
Another view of the Bimoto Tesi 3D.
It's obvious where modern sport bike styling is headed by looking at the new three cylinder MV Augusta Rivale.
When it comes to showing off race bikes, nobody does a better job of it tan Honda. Amidst all the enduro bikes and road racers sat the lonely CRF450 works bike, with awrap-around pipe, of our favorite Russian, Evegeny Bobryshev. To learn more about Bobby, see the video below.
If you think the days of handmade pipes died with the two-strokes, think again. The factory built pipes on Evgeny's Honda was a sight to behold. Unlike the stock CRF450, the exhaust port is on the right side of the engine and the pipe snakes around the cylinder before returning to the right side again. It has one muffler.
THE FLAVOR OF EICMA...ITALIAN NEWS STYLE
Suzuki Motorcycle tests