It’s a funny old world. We live, we experience and then we die, but that experience part has a funny knack of being slightly circular. Old friends come back, some friends already know each other and other friends happen to work in the same industry.
I have such a friend from my days as a long haired engineering student at Coventry University in England. Strictly speaking I have other friends too, but the interesting thing about Giorgio Andreetta, is that unlike me he went on to work in engineering and a lot of that time was spent in motorcycle engineering.
One such stint was with Yamaha Europe and in another twist, while there he was teamed up with designer and CMG contributor, Michael Uhlarik, someone who I would meet much later in Canada and who now lives just down the road from me, but I digress.
Giorgio happens to live in Milan, and was good enough to volunteer to be one of the CMG minions on the ground at the recent EICMA show. With his extensive knowledge of all things motorcycle I asked him to make a note of any interesting bikes he came across and submit them for a short story for CMG. He did, and this is what we got.
Suter MMX 500 Limited Edition
The well know Swiss manufacturer, the ones responsible for Kawasaki’s MotoGP frames and currently a leading Moto2 maker, has presented this unique nostalgic Rothmans Honda NSR 500 look alike. Based on a Moto2 frame, this bike features a 576 cc 2 stroke engine built by Suter. The unit can deliver approximately 200 bhp and at only 129 kg, can reach a top speed of 310 Km/h. You too can get one for only US$140,000 ….
This brand was well known in Europe in the 70s amongst enduro enthusiasts, producing models ranging from 125 to 350 cc, ultimately going out of business like so many small motorcycle producers of the time.
However, from the ashes of the BMW owned Husqvarna sale to KTM, some employees and Chinese investor funds got together and bought the old machining and started producing bikes again under the SWM brand. The company made its first public appearance at EICMA last year, but the range has expanded with this new off road model called the Superdual.
Officina Moto Italia (CR&S , PATON, MAGNI and ZAETA)
Special bikes made by tiny manufacturers. The bikes are actually for sale (not prototypes) with Zaeta homologated for Canada and the US.
Small Italian company trying in the unlucky world of electric bikes. Off road with 13 kw, interesting 2 Wheel Drive. Power split by electronic CPU, but can be manually set to give all power to the front wheel in case of need.
Yamaha Yard Built
Worth mentioning is Yamaha’s inclusion of customization and specials via its Yard Built collaboration, which invites bike builders to make their own interpretation of some of the company’s production models.
At EICMA 2015 one new model was added to the list; this Low Ride XJR 1300. It appears to be Yamaha’s intention to create a special parts kit that you can buy to replace the original ones on your own bike. You can check out the models already finalized at their website.