EICMA: The forecast

The 2017 EICMA motorcycle show runs next week in Milan, Italy.

As goes EICMA, so goes the next year in motorcycling. If there’s a new trend in bike design, it shows up there first. If the manufacturers are feeling optimistic, you see more models debut; if they’re skittish, you see a weaker field. While the Intermot show (which only runs every second year, last in 2016) and the Tokyo show (which ran last week) are both fairly important, EICMA is where all the brands, European, Asian, and (to a lesser extent) American all face off. And that’s just the bikes: the show is also full of new gear, and anything else motorcycle-related.

So, what new bikes can we expect to see in the coming days? Read on:

Aprilia

Aprilia debuted its new 900 V-twin platform last year, although those bikes have taken their time coming to North America (we just reviewed the Shiver 900 and Dorsoduro 900 here). So what’s next?

Aprilia usually tweaks its line of performance bikes at the show, with the RSV4 or Tuono getting a horsepower bump or electronics upgrade. But aside from that, we’d expect a replacement for the Caponord model, unless Aprilia is getting out of the adventure bike market. The current Caponord doesn’t meet Euro4 emissions and has been dropped from the lineup.

BMW

BMW is allegedly about to introduce a replacement for the F800 platform, as well as a new full-dressed touring bike based around the K1600 six-cylinder engine. And, we would not be shocked to see at least a prototype built around the G310 engine. We do know there are four new Beemers to be introduced, and since there was no Intermot reveal this year, we expect BMW to be one of the major players at EICMA, with an edgy concept bike or two also likely, probably based on the S1000 RR or GS platforms.

Ducati

The EICMA show is Ducati’s biggest week of the year. In 2017, we’ll likely see updates to the Multistrada line, with the 1200 predicted to see a new motor, and also a new Enduro model. We’re also expecting to see a new Scrambler, with the air-cooled two-valve 1100 engine.

However, Ducati’s biggest news will be the new V4 superbike. This machine has been teased all year, and no wonder: it’s a big departure from the long-running L-twin series of superbikes. This machine was put together will a lot of information and technology gathered through Ducati’s reinvigorated MotoGP effort, and it could potentially become the must-have next-gen superbike. Stay tuned on this one!

This Neo Sports Cafe concept bike is rumoured to become a production-ready model appearing at EICMA. Hard to say if there’s any truth to that rumour.
Honda

Honda has already debuted its Gold Wing, which was the most significant news from Big Red this year. And we saw new superbikes last year, so don’t expect new litrebikes. So what else could we see?

There’s talk that we’re going to see a factory version of the Neo Sport Cafe, although we’d wonder why Honda wouldn’t have just debuted the bike at the Tokyo show, if that’s the case? We’re almost surely going to see a ruggedized version of the Africa Twin, but that’s the only machine Honda has been teasing for an EICMA debut.

It’d be really, really great to see a revival of the CBR600 line, but don’t get your hopes up; Honda seems to have abandoned this class to Yamaha and Kawasaki, and we wouldn’t expect a third flagship line to see a major milestone this year (Africa Twin and Gold Wing being the others).

Instead, we’d expect Honda’s most interesting offerings at EICMA to be prototypes and concept bikes. Some of those will work their way into production models, but most will vanish after a few months of being flogged on the show circuit.

Husqvarna

Every year, Husqvarna teases new Svartpilen or Vitpilen concepts that presumably make it to production. We still haven’t seen any of them in our North American market, unfortunately. But, we’re likely to see more of that this year.

Kawasaki

Kawasaki has likely played most of its cards at the Tokyo show, but we do expect to see Team Green’s big, bad supercharged sport tourer unveiled at EICMA. It’s possible we’ll see mild updates to the ZX-6, but from what we’ve heard, the ZX-10 isn’t going to see much change. The 650 twins were all updated last year, so don’t expect changes there.

KTM

This will be the Year Of The Parallel Twin for KTM. The Scalpel platform, a 790 cc parallel twin, will be officially unveiled at EICMA, with both a street bike (from the Duke lineup) and an adventure bike breaking cover, according to what we’ve been told. This is likely going to be a major foundation of the KTM lineup going ahead, potentially replacing the single-cylinder 690 series some day (but hopefully not!). Expect it to see much hooplah as a result.

The KTM 390 Adventure will also break cover, most likely. While the North American moto-press won’t fawn over this, it’s going to be a popular bike in much of the rest of the world.

It’s been a while since the California 1400 debuted. Might we see a replacement soon?
Moto Guzzi

The California 1400 has been around for a while, and is ready for some updates. Moto Guzzi updated the V7 lineup last year, so the V9 bikes might see some upgrades this year, due to emissions regs.

MV Agusta

Given MV Agusta’s highly publicized financial issues in the past year, it’s unlikely we’ll see anything revolutionary from the Italian brand. Any new bike we see will likely be a repackaging of old R&D, to keep costs down—something like a limited-edition version of an existing model, with special livery, carbon-fibre bits, etc. However, the Italian brands definitely attach some prestige to the idea of an EICMA reveal, so if we are going to see something new from MV Agusta this year, this is where we’ll see it.

Expect to see this new twin-cylinder Royal Enfield debut at EICMA.
Royal Enfield

The made-in-India manufacturer is trying to break into the big leagues, after making huge gains in developing markets in recent years. As a result, expect to see the new 750 Interceptor twin unveiled at EICMA.

Suzuki

This is a tough one to call. Suzuki is in the midst of cost-cutting measures, but there have been consistent rumours of a new GSX-R600 unveil, to go with last year’s GSX-R1000. If we did see a new 600, we wouldn’t necessarily expect anything other than a concept bike, arriving later next year.

What we are expecting, is a turbocharged Hayabusa. Suzuki has been teasing turbocharged motorcycles for years, and this would be good timing for two reasons: it would keep Suzuki in step with the competition (Kawasaki, and its upcoming supercharged touring bike), and it would freshen up the ‘Busa without requiring years of R&D.

Aside from a possible new Gixxer and Hayabusa, we’d definitely expect to see new machinery based on the SV650, at least in concept bike form, like the SV650X cafe racer. Suzuki is getting lots of mileage out of a couple designs, that V-twin being one, and the made-in-China GW250 parallel twin being another.

Triumph

Triumph has already shown off the new Speedmaster this year, so what’s next? The Tiger lineup is expected to see a restyle, with both the 800 cc and 1215 cc models getting new bodywork. The big Tigers are also supposed to see a new engine, but horsepower is unchanged. No doubt these changes are due to Euro4 emissions regs.

Aside from that, it’s possible we’ll see a revised Trophy, or some other new cruiser, but don’t bet on it.

Yamaha

At the Tokyo show, Yamaha introduced the Niken three-wheeler, and we’d expect that to be the focus of its EICMA presence. There’s also supposed to be a new hot-rodded FZ-09, and for the adventure market, we’d expect to see the T7 adventure bike, based on the FZ-07. That T7, if it really debuts, will likely be the highlight of the show for Yamaha, as it’s a bike that people around the globe have been asking for ever since that parallel twin platform debuted.

With a new R6 last year and a new R1 the year before, we wouldn’t expect a new sportbike. The Star Eluder and Star Venture pretty much cover the touring market for Yamaha.

 

4 thoughts on “EICMA: The forecast”

  1. I don’t understand why all the manufacturers hand the off road market to KTM and the EXC line. I also don’t understand why Kawasaki has done nothing with the KLR for 30 yrs.

  2. I do expect Ktm super DUKE GT to get an upgrade following the R last year.

    Hoping for a new1000cc sport tourer from Yamaha and maybe some styling changes for its ugly Fz line.

    Honda should introduce a naked version of its Fireplace.

    Curious to see the new supercharged sport tourer from Kawasaki.

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