EICMA 2021 Updates
Every year, the motorcycle junta of the world congregates at the gates of motorcycle heaven in Italy. EICMA, the Italian motorcycle expo has the biggest, best, quirkiest and more on display. 2021 was slightly different from the norm. With the previous year’s expo having been cancelled because of the pandemic, this year was a bit of a mixed bag. There were some notable manufacturers missing in action, including the home hero, Ducati. BMW and KTM also followed suit and chose to avoid this iteration of the expo.
With these big names not present, it was different from the regular. Nonetheless, there were some tasty reveals and surprises for motorcycle enthusiasts the world over. Including, those of us wringing our hands and the throttle in India!
Royal Enfield SG650 Concept
The motorcycle which piqued our interest the most was the Royal Enfield SG650 Concept. A bobber styled concept motorcycle showcased by the Indian company at EICMA. This concept shows off the transition that the brand is going through, marrying the traditional with the futuristic. The bike is the logical direction that you would expect the company to move towards with their 650 twins.
The SG650 has a tank that has been CNC billet machined from a solid block of aluminium, clearly a work of art. The wheel rims also got the same treatment. We believe, this bike is a smooth flow from the retro to the modern, and we would love to see a production motorcycle hit Indian roads.
Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade 30th Anniversary Edition
New paint schemes aren’t generally a highlight for us. Except when it comes with a full dose of history behind it! The 30th Anniversary Edition Fireblade gets a paint scheme inspired by the original bike launched in 1992. Even more incredibly, the designer of the original and this special edition is the same Hiraoki Tsukui.
This limited-edition motorcycle other than the gorgeous paint gets a cool ‘Ring of Fire’ animation on the dashboard when you start the bike. The 30th Anniversary Edition also finds its way on the fuel tank cover, key fob, Akrapovic exhaust and with a serial number etched into the fork’s top yolk. Prices for this beauty wasn’t revealed, but we would love to see a few trickling into India.
Benelli TRK 800
Another interesting motorcycle to be unwrapped for the world was the Benelli TRK 800. Building on the success of the TRK502, the Chinese owned Italian brand has decided to up the ante with the new 800.
The 754cc motor produces 75 bhp and 67 Nm, a respectable number, though it is slightly heavy at 221 kg dry. Suspension duties are taken care of by Marzocchi forks and brakes by Brembo. With LED headlights and a TFT dashboard, this motorcycle is equipped to be a solid performing mid-capacity adventure tourer. Its off-road credentials should be helped with the 21-inch wheel at the front and 19-inch at the rear. This bike will be available globally in the second half of 2022 and it should reach Indian shores by festival season.
MV Agusta Lucky Explorer 5.5 & 9.5ADV
Italian marque MV Agusta unveiled its foray into the adventure segment with the 5.5 & 9.5 siblings. The former has been developed in conjunction with QJ Motors, the parent company of Benelli. While the latter uses a motor from the Italian stable itself.
The bikes are styled around the Cagiva Elefant Dakar motorcycle and are distinctly adventurous. But surprisingly show little traces of MV in the styling. The 9.5 runs a 931cc motor from the Brutale and comes packed with top-notch components and electronics. The 5.5 gets a 554cc twin-cylinder engine, KYB suspension and Brembo brakes. Both the motorcycles run 19- and 17-inch wheel configurations.Prices for the two motorcycles were not revealed, neither was the launch date. But considering MV Agusta is not currently in India, we aren’t waiting here with bated breath!
Kawasaki Versys 650 & H2 SX SE
Of special interest to Indian tourers is the Versys 650 which was updated and showcased at EICMA 2021. The bike doesn’t get a major overhaul, but bits and bobs have been updated. Structurally the motorcycle remains unchanged. Visually, it gets the LED treatment in the headlamp, tail lamp and turn indicators. It also comes equipped with a 4-step adjustable windscreen. The bike also gets a 2-step Traction Control and a digital instrument cluster. A more touring-oriented Versys LT was also revealed, with more luggage space, handguards and fog lights as standard equipment.
The other update from Team Green was the Ninja H2 SX SE. The revamped motorcycle gets a host of new electronics geared towards rider safety, along with minor gearing tweaks. The bike now gets Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning and Blind Spot Detection. The bike also gets a Tyre Pressure Monitoring System, LED headlights, heated grips, wider seats for rider and pillion and a USB port!
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2022 Suzuki Katana
The retro-inspired Katana, got an overhaul from the inside, leaving the outside mostly unchanged. The 2022 bike will now use the engine from the 2021 GSX-S1000, gets a minor increase in power, becomes compliant to new emission norms and has a broader spread of mid-range torque. The Katana also gets a ride-by-wire throttle. Styling-wise, the bike remains mostly unchanged, as it is difficult to redo a retro bike!
Aprilia SR GT
The Italian company ramped up its scooter line-up with the Aprilia SR GT with 125 and 200cc engines. This foray into the adventure scooter segment is quite interesting for the buyer and overall market. The 125cc engine produces 15 PS and 12 Nm of power and torque respectively, while the 200cc punchier engine puts out 17.6 PS and 16.5 Nm. The whacked-out styling for the duo is sure to make heads turn, which is in no small part aided by the dual-purpose rubber which the two have been shod with. India isn’t exactly ripe for such a vehicle, but we would love to see Aprilia bring it here to test the waters…
Bespoke motorcycle brand, Bimota, showcased the production-ready KB4, which the company had originally shown two years ago at EICMA 2019 as a concept. The bike comes equipped with a carbon fibre frame, which houses an engine borrowed from the Kawasaki Ninja 1000SX, which produces 140 bhp. Styling for the bike is decidedly retro, taking inspiration from Bimota’s machines of the 70s and 80s. The bike gets a billet aluminium swingarm, with suspension from Ohlins and brakes by Brembo. We can’t stop drooling over this gorgeous machine.
Moto Guzzi V100 Mandello
Leaving the best for last, here’s the most gorgeous motorcycle at EICMA 2021, as per our opinion of course! The V100 Mandello is Moto Guzzi’s newest kid on the block. The bike features some new for the company tech and also the stuff that is new to the industry. At the heart of the bike is a 1042cc twin-cylinder engine which is water-cooled and more compact than the previous block. The mill whips out a decent 113 bhp, and its torque opens the tap at 90% of full chat at just 3500 rpm. Adding to the prettiness of this bike is the aluminium single-sided swingarm.
But the sweetest bit on this pretty motorcycle is the aerodynamics. On the side of the fuel tank is a pair of adaptive wind deflectors, which move outwards and provide more protection from the wind, as bigger touring bikes would. It also gets top-notch electronics, Ohlins semi-active suspension, a quick shifter, heated grips and more. This motorcycle did cause many a heart to beat harder in Italy!
EICMA 2021 might not have been the biggest and most flamboyant we have ever seen, but it was good to see motorcycles back, after last year’s setback. We can only see the industry growing from here forth.