It’s almost show time! Two of the biggest motorcycle trade shows are about to start. Intermot in Germany is in a week’s time, opening to the press on October 2, followed by EICMA in Italy, running November 6-11.
The Intermot motorcycle show doesn’t have the same cachet as the EICMA show. It’s not as big an event with fewer debuts of new models, and it only runs every second year, while EICMA is an annual thing.
But even if there’s a little less buzz around the show, Intermot is still a really big deal, especially as it’s based in Cologne and BMW likes to show off interesting new machines there. It also runs before EICMA, so if manufacturers are trying to beat a competitor to the punch with an announcement, it’s the place to debut a bike.
Here’s a quick look at what we’re expecting this year — if not at Intermot next week, then at EICMA.
BMW introduced its new parallel twin F850 and F750 platform last year, and it’s highly likely we’ll see further models in that series this year. It’s possible we’ll see a naked bike and middleweight tourer based on that platform, replacing the current F800R and F800 GT. The F850 GS Adventure is almost a certainty, as BMW always likes to bring out an upgraded version of its adventure bikes a few months after introducing the base model. The GSA would probably have a larger gas tank, better suspension and crash bars included in stock configuration.
But there’s a chance we might see the F850 GS Adventure launch delayed as BMW shows its new R1250 series to the public. BMW has already announced the R1250GS adventure bike and R1250RT sport tourer, and emissions documents seem to indicate there’s a new R1250 GS Adventure coming for 2019, as well as an R1250R and R1250 RS.
The other hot news is that BMW plans to release a new S1000RR superbike, as seen here. In total, BMW is expected to announce nine new bikes this show season, so it’ll be busy for them this fall.
Yamaha’s big bombshell announcement last year was the Niken leaning three-wheeler. Supposedly, the Japanese manufacturer is planning to announce a similar machine this year, built around an R3. That gossip sounds a bit strange, as it’s hard to imagine basing such a revolutionary machine on an entry-level platform — in the past, Yamaha would have been more likely to use its MT-07 or MT-09 platforms. But maybe this is planned as a machine that’s attractive to entry-level buyers who are scared of two-wheelers? Can-Am recently showed an interest in grabbing an entry-level three-wheeler market, and maybe Yamaha sees a chance to undercut them?
Of course, we’re also going to see the new Tenere 700 adventure bike officially released this fall, after several years of teasing.
Emissions documents hint we’ll see a new Z400 naked bike. A Versys 400 would also make sense, but there hasn’t been any indication we’ll see it.
The most interesting talk has been a new ZX-6. Kawasaki’s four-cylinder sportbike has traction control, but otherwise, it has barely changed since 2013. There have been hints that patents show something new, or at least updated, is coming down the pipe this fall, but we’ll believe it when we see it.
Suzuki is about to bring its new manufacturing facility online, and that could mean big changes in production. For years, there’s been buzz about new Suzuki models — a new GSX-R600, a new GSX-R750, the turbocharged Recursion, a turbocharged Hayabusa with semi-auto transmission. Before that, it was the six-cylinder Stratosphere. Does the new factory mean some of those bikes will actually come to market? We’re hopeful. Last year, all Suzuki unveiled was the SV650X, a warmed-over rework of the same V-twin platform Suzuki has sold for many years now. Hopefully, we’ll see something more this year.
Several videos have hinted at a new Katana this year, and there’s been considerable speculation that’s the name the Recursion concept bike will actually wear when it comes to market. We’ll see next week, either way. Suzuki has been very quiet for a long time, and a raft of exciting sporty new models would certainly turn some heads.
Honda’s big news this year was the CRF450L, but what else can we expect? What about a musclebike version of the Gold Wing? Honda already has a fully-faired bagger edition of the Wing, but a more stripped-down cruiser edition, like the classic Valkyrie models, would find its own sales niche. We haven’t seen any hints of it, but it would make sense.
As with every other year, there are whispers of a new CBR600. That’s probably wishful thinking, but it’s nice to dream.
Aside from that, Honda’s lineup is already filled out pretty well with mutations of existing engines. All that’s missing is a classic V-twin cruiser, and it’s hard to imagine that the current market would make it worthwhile to build one. So if something new drops, it’s probably going to be a surprise, with a new motor. Like maybe a new six-cylinder bike? The only really juicy gossip we’ve heard is that Honda might revive the CBX line, and if that’s true, that would be a game-changer for sure.
KTM is going to introduce its new 790 Adventure on this year’s show circuit; it’s already been ridden by the public, so this is really just a formality.
There’s also rumour of updates to the 1090 Adventure, including a bump in horsepower and maybe engine capacity. This would be a bit of a head-scratcher, as the current 1090 is plenty edgy, and upsizing the 1090 would mean not much difference between the upgraded bike and the 1290.
An adventure bike with the 390 single-cylinder engine is practically a certainty this fall, as there have been pre-production photos floating around online for a while now. This is one of the most interesting bikes, as it has the possibility to really zap the whole mini-adventure scene another step forward.
Ducati is going to unveil a homologation special version of its V4 superbike this fall as its first step toward reclaiming the World Superbike title, and it’ll have winglets, according to a tweet from Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali. What else can we expect? Ducati’s already released the Ducati Scrambler Icon, and we expect something else in the Scrambler line before the fall’s out. Maybe we’ll also see some new naked bike (Streetfighter? Monster?) based around Ducati’s newer engine tech. We’ll likely have to wait for EICMA to see these machines up close.
Supposedly, Aprilia is working on a new version of the RSV4 superbike, as well as a new supersport in the 600 cc range, based around a V-twin engine. Like all Italian manufacturers, Aprilia would rather unveil its new models at the EICMA show, but we might see it at Intermot if we’re lucky.
Expect a production-ready version of the Svartpilen 701 concept bike. Otherwise, Husqvarna has already debuted its off-road machines for 2019, and it’s hard to imagine anything else coming out of the 401 or 701 engines. It would really blow the doors off the motorcycle world if Husky announced a machine based on one of KTM’s bigger V-twins, but we haven’t heard any rumours of such a move … yet.
What’s Triumph going to do this year? Well, we’ll see a new version of the 1200 Scrambler that’s optimized for hard off-road use, to battle Ducati’s Desert Sled bikes. Plenty of Triumph fans were hoping for a Daytona 765 for 2019, based on the company’s three-cylinder Moto2 engine, but that isn’t coming, at least not for next year.
Both the Tiger 800 and Tiger 1200 saw changes last year, and we got the Speedmaster and Bobber Black models, so what’s likely to come this year? Maybe revisions for the T100 lineup? Maybe a replacement for the Trophy tourer, or the long-in-the-tooth Rocket III? We certainly haven’t heard any indication of either of those, but they would be welcome moves.
MV Agusta is still extremely quiet as the company restructures. Having said that, the company is building a new F3 supersport, complete with IMU, which will likely be the first 600-class sportbike with that tech. Aside from that, there will likely be some blinged-out version of the Dragster or some other flashy repackaging of an existing model.
Harley-Davidson pretty much never debuts a bike in Europe. Expect to see new Harley-Davidsons come out around Daytona Bike Week next March.
However, the Motor Company plans to launch 100 new bikes in the next decade and boost its sales to 50 per cent outside North America, so it’s possible this will be the year it breaks the mold. Might we see the new Pan-America adventure bike or Streetfighter actually on the stand?
Indian will debut the FTR1200 naked bike next week. What — a made-in-America company introducing a machine in Europe? The times, they are a-changin’, indeed.
As an Italian manufacturer, it would be natural to assume we’d see any new Guzzi models debut at the EICMA show, but since the V85 concept bike is all but confirmed, maybe it’ll be out sooner rather than later, and break cover in production form at Intermot? Guzzi has done plenty with its V7 lineup in the past few years, and it would be interesting to see the company break back out into other areas. Maybe we’ll see a cruiser or naked bike built around the V85 platform?