Motorcycle.com

The stage is being set for the most important motorcycle exposition of the year, the EICMA show in Milan, Italy. EICMA is so large and so important that we’re making the trek to the Continent to give it our full coverage, including video updates from the media-only days, November 5 and 6.

The show will feature unveilings from nearly every motorcycle manufacturer on the planet, and speculation is rife on what we’ll be seeing. Some OEMs, like Yamaha, are releasing teasers in advance of the show, but most are being tight lipped about their new product. But that doesn’t mean we haven’t received hints of what might be on offer, and spy photographers have helped fill in some blanks.

So, for now, here’s our advance look at the top 10 motorcycles we’ll be seeing next week. Be sure to stay tuned to Motorcycle.com to find out the latest info as it bursts from EICMA.

Harley-Davidson 500/750

Photo from Team-BHP

Here’s Harley-Davidson’s biggest strategic move since axing its Buell subsidiary. The MoCo understands that its core demographic is aging rapidly, and this has the potential to create a vacuum of younger riders who could carry the brand forward. It’s time to take a drastic step.

In that new direction comes a pair of smaller-displacement V-Twins to serve the markets in developing countries as well as a younger demo in Western countries. Forget for a moment Harley’s legacy of big-inch, air-cooled motors. This new Harley line consists of a liquid-cooled, 60-degree four-valve V-Twin in 500cc and 750cc iterations. From the picture above, we see a conventional layout with a fairly long wheelbase. It borrows some styling cues from contemporary Harleys, including a blacked-out motif (those chrome shocks surely won’t make it into production) and a modern-looking rear fender.

Critical to this story is the fact this new Harley will be built in India using locally sourced parts. India already has a facility in which it assembles “Complete Knockdown Kits” for five H-D models, making them exempt from some onerous local tariffs. This new Harley – name not yet known – will be a world-market bike to be sold in developing countries, like India, that can’t afford H-D’s relatively pricey current machines. The big news is the small bottom line: We’re expecting a sub-$6,000 MSRP for the 500cc version in America.

Related Reading
New Harley-Davidson Sportster for India to Use 500cc V-Twin

Zero Sportbike

The electric motorcycle market continues its technological march into the future. Witness the Energica Ego we recently tested in Italy. Or the scintillating Mission RS or ferocious Lightning that our Troy Siahaan described as the fastest motorcycle he’s ever ridden.

Meanwhile, Zero Motorcycles’ latest offering, the S, has been comprehensively out-sported. The S compared favorably when tested against Brammo’s admirable Empulse, but it wasn’t thrilling enough to get major-league attention from dedicated gearhead riders.

But we’re expecting Zero to hit hard with a new sportbike we’ll see at EICMA next week. Details are scarce, but we’re expecting a major increase in power and optional batteries with higher-capacities than the S’s currently optional 10.0 kWh (nominal) cells.

But it’s not just a new sportbike in the pipeline, as we’re told there’s also been a focus on the functionality and performance to the current lineup. The full story will be told on November 6.

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2015 Energica Ego Video Review
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2013 Brammo Empulse R vs. Zero S ZF11.4 – Video

KTM RC390

We’re excited about all the new bikes being unveiled at EICMA, of course, but the KTM RC390 is one we’re especially excited about. Serving as the base platform for a spec racing series next year, the road-going version of the RC390 should be an incredibly fun motorcycle to flog through some corners, just like its big brother, the RC8.

Powered by a 373cc liquid-cooled, four-stroke thumper, power output is expected to be around 43 hp, which means about 38 or so to the rear wheel. While these numbers are by no means earth-shattering, KTM’s motto, “Ready to Race” is still apparent throughout the RC390. In traditional KTM style, the 390 uses a steel trellis frame, and is kitted with WP suspension, sporty geometry numbers, and Brembo brakes. KTM claims a dry weight of 324 pounds. Combine these ingredients and you have a legitimate sportbike we can’t wait to thrash around the canyons and our local racetracks.

Ducati Monster 1200

Photo from Motociclismo.it.

Ducati’s big-bore, liquid-cooled Monsters like the S4 and S4R S have always been a favorite with us and consumers alike. So when the 1098 was introduced with its brutish Testastretta engine, we figured it would eventually be stuffed into a Monster chassis. However, Ducati stuck it into its new Streetfighter line.

But with Monster sales outnumbering Streetfighter sales 3.5 to 1, it looks like the boys in Bologna finally realized mating the 1199cc engine (from the Multistrada and Diavel) to a Monster chassis is the way forward. We’ll get our first look at the production version of the Monster 1200 November 4, the night before EICMA 2013 begins.

We reported on this discovery back in June, with photos seen in Italian magazine Motociclismo.it, Moto.it and MCN. Not much in the way of official information is available, but it’s all but certain the engine is the 1199cc Testastretta “11 degrees,” which is in reference to valve overlap. The Superbikes used a 41-degree overlap for top end power, while the 11-degree engine provides better low- to mid-range torque which better suits the Monster’s job description. From here we can see a single-sided swingarm and stacked exhaust setup similar to the Diavel. We’d expect some Bologna flair to trickle in to the mix in the form of Ducati’s electronic suite, too.

Update: We’ve now learned a few more details thanks to a Ducati forum member who placed a deposit on a new Monster 1200. According to his dealer, there will be two Monsters initially: a base Monster only available in Ducati red, and a Monster S model, available in both red and white. The base model is priced at $13,990 and features a 135 hp version of the Testastretta engine. The S model, meanwhile, is $16,490 (both prices include all fees) and comes equipped with Ohlins suspension, carbon fiber trim and 10 more horses.

Ducati Scrambler

Photo from Insella.it

A cast aluminum rear wheel and a front spoke wheel, beefy, inverted fork tubes, a steel trellis frame, an aluminum swingarm and an under-engine exhaust; this spy photo of Ducati’s forthcoming Scrambler model leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Is it an underperforming throwback to Ducati’s Scrambler models from the ’60s or will it be a modern-day iteration with contemporary performance?

The engine is certainly of the air-cooled variety, but whether its displacement is 803cc or 1078cc remains to be revealed. The first half of the exhaust plumbing certainly resembles that of the 1100EVO Monster. Then there’s that modern, sharp, Streetfighter-ish headlight and not a more traditionally round light. The fuel tank appears appropriately narrow, joining to a one-piece rider/passenger seat. Chromed handlebars seem to have a steep rise, reminiscent of the original model.

But what we’ll see at EICMA is anybody’s guess because, unlike a lot of spy photos of unconfirmed, camouflaged models, Ducati went to lengths to keep us guessing until the company’s ready for the Scrambler to break cover. We can only hope that Ducati is able to equally blend is heritage into a modern Scrambler model while keeping the price reasonable to compete with the likes of Triumph’s Scrambler and Thruxton models that both retail for $9099 in 2014.

BMW S1000R

Last year Aprilia gave us the Tuono V4 R (and updated version with ABS for 2014). Earlier this month we tested KTM’s new naked hooligan, the 1290 Super Duke R. And let’s not forget the awesome MV Agusta Brutale. Now comes a naked version of BMW’s all-conquering S1000RR repli-racer. Many possible names have been floated, but we’re betting it will called the S1000R.

From the spy photos we’ve gleaned cosmetic information such as an asymmetric headlight configuration with one round light beside an oblong, polygonal light. Above the headlight assembly rests a small, raised windscreen. The swingarm and tail section appear to be very similar to the S1000RR. Requisite superbike-style handlebars will replace the clip-ons.

Considering the aforementioned competition against which a new naked S1000R will be measured, we expect BMW to retain most of the S1000RR’s engine performance after its transformation to S1000R duty. Chassis, brakes, cosmetics and attention to detail should also feature BMW’s quality craftsmanship.

Triumph 250

Photo by Chris Doane Automotive LLC via RideApart

Triumph will make its long-delayed entry to the Indian market in November, so it should come as no surprise the British manufacturer will be unveiling a new 250cc model specifically geared for India.

Recent spy photos published by RideApart reveal the new 250 model (we’ll be really disappointed if it won’t be called the Triumph Cub) will be a naked roadster resembling the Street Triple, including its twin bug-eye headlights. Unlike the Street Triple, the 250 model will have a single-cylinder engine, a conventional telescopic fork and a single front brake disc with a two-piston caliper. Passengers are accommodated with a one-piece seat and grab handles.

The new Triumph 250 will be built in large quantities in India, with the possibility of exporting it into other markets. Its small-displacement engine would mean the 250 should fit in nicely with Europe’s tiered licensing system which limits beginners to engines producing less than 47 hp.

Honda CTX1300

If this is the first time you’ve read about the 2014 CTX1300, you haven’t been paying attention. Back in September, we posted leaked documents purporting to show future Honda models. Although we initially thought that the engine would be a 1312cc Twin similar to the one in the Fury and Sabre, recent photos have revealed that the engine will be a V-4! The thought of the V-4 exhaust note has us even more excited about the prospects of the bigger CTX.

The roomy riding position afforded both the pilot and the pillion should come as no surprise to Honda CTX fans. The manufacturer is trying to capture new and reentry riders with its Comfort Technology eXperience approach to the 700cc version of the CTX.

Although the spy photos show a model with a clutch and shift lever, we still think that there is a good chance of Honda’s Dual Clutch Transmission and ABS making an appearance on the CTX1300. Both technologies are attractive to newer, less experienced riders. The pulled-back handlebar and low seat height will make the CTX an important tool for expanding the pool of motorcycle enthusiasts, which will be a good thing for us all.

MV Agusta Turismo Veloce 800

Very rarely can we say anything with any certainty when referring to upcoming motorcycle models. However, this time, we can say with absolute confidence that MV Agusta will be revealing the Turismo Veloce 800 on November 5th, as we already received an announcement of its unveiling at EICMA.

This model isn’t entirely unexpected. A quick glance at MV’s lineup gives us the feeling that this would be a great niche to fill. If we were the designers at MV Agusta, we’d certainly want to find another use for the 798cc Triple utilized in the Brutale 800, F3 800 and Rivale 800. Actually, surmising that the new bike would be an adventure/sport-touring bike is no great leap since Turismo Veloce translates roughly to “fast touring.”

As the Turismo Veloce will be based on existing MV mechanicals, it’s a safe bet the new bike will feature ride-by-wire throttle control, multiple mappings, an eight-level traction control system, and anti-lock brakes. We’d also be surprised if the Veloce didn’t have a more relaxed riding position and power delivery that’s mid-range focused.

Sit by your computers on November 5th, when all will be revealed by our intrepid editor at the event.

Yamaha Three-Wheeled Scooter

Earlier this summer, Yamaha announced it would produce a new three-wheeled scooter for 2014. The as-yet-unnamed trike (Yamaha 3Max perhaps?) has two wheels up front that tilt into corners like Piaggio’s MP3.

Yamaha says its multi-wheeler will be sportier than existing three-wheelers like the Piaggio MP3 and Peugeot Metropolis. Pricing might be a bit high for some, with Yamaha targeting a million yen (US$10,000) price point.

It’s yet unclear what engine will be used to power new trike, but Yamaha’s performance legacy likely points to a 500cc-ish parallel-Twin, either from the existing (but not in America) T-Max (530cc) or perhaps the new Twin seen alongside the FZ-09’s Triple at a Yamaha business meeting last July.

Earlier reports have Yamaha presenting the three-wheeler at the Tokyo Motor Show on Nov. 22, but with the success of three-wheelers in Europe (it’s one of France’s top-selling motorcycles because it can be ridden with an automobile driver’s license), it’s a pretty good bet we’ll see the trike first at EICMA.