As the world’s tech companies gather in Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Harley-Davidson has announced that the 2020 Livewire is now available for pre-order. Additionally, Harley has tossed out a few more tidbits about the company’s first electric motorcycle. First, the retail price will be $29,799 in the U.S. Second, we finally get some specifics about power delivery and range.
Concept bikes are often used to showcase the design chops of a manufacturer while testing the water for potential new model ideas. Royal Enfield has clearly stated that the Concept Kx is just to allow the company’s designers to strut their stuff and raise the company’s profile. The Kx certainly does attract attention with its blend of retro and modern styling. Of particular interest is the combination of the massive girder fork and headlight assembly that step cleanly away from RE’s focus on more historically based designs. However, even with this neo-retro design, RE says it drew its inspiration from the Royal Enfield KX of the late 1930s, a 1,140 cc V-Twin.
When Aprilia released word of its new 217-horsepower RSV4 last week, my reaction was “that’s too much,” naturally opening myself up to all kinds of ageist criticisms. I mean, more power (!) to those who can handle and afford all that, but this new concept just unveiled at EICMA – “a 660 cc parallel twin-cylinder, a very compact new generation unit derived from the 1100 cc V4 that powers the Tuono V4 and RSV4 1100 Factory,” might be way more accessible for the vast majority of riders, no? Bellissima.
With the motorcycle industry collected in Cologne, Germany, for Intermot, Honda made the surprise decision to present its latest Neo Sports Café concept at a car show in France on the same day. Debuting at the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the CB650F-based concept follows in Honda’s new styling language for naked bikes established last year by the CB1000R, CB300R and CB125R.
Last November, Moto Guzzi presented its V85 concept, an adventure-touring model powered by a new air-cooled 850cc V-Twin. Based on the comments in our EICMA show coverage, the V85 concept was very well received by MO readers. If you’re one of those who liked the concept, you’ll be happy to learn that Piaggio has filed a design patent for what looks to be the final production model, and it does not stray too far from the original concept. (UPDATE: better quality versions of the patent images now added, from filings with China’s patent office.)
BMW introduced a new “Adventure Sport” concept model at the Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este previewing a new mid-sized sport-touring model. The eventual production version of the BMW Concept 9Cento would, essentially, be a smaller version of the S1000XR with the frame and engine of the F850GS.
It’s not unusual to hear a Yamaha R1 engine screaming its cross-plane-crank howl down a racetrack, but it is odd to hear eight of them in chorus on a dirt-track course in cars. That was the combo of odd sights and sounds we witnessed at Perris Auto Speedway during an exhibition event at the Budweiser Oval Nationals sprint-car race on November 11.
Mostly known for off-road machines, Husqvarna ginned up more interest in its burgeoning street line by displaying its Svartpilen 701 scrambler concept at the Milan EICMA show on November 7th, 2017. It’s still just a concept, but it’s eye-catching and exciting for fans of edgy, simple, fun-to-ride street-biased thumpers.
Polaris has gotten our hopes up before with the Victory Project 156 race bike, but that was clearly a one-off racing machine that was designed to attack the challenges of Pikes Peak. In contrast, the “custom” Indian FTR1200 unveiled today at EICMA in Milan, looks pretty polished to our MOronic eyes. However, we’ve been bitten before by our desire to see something other than a cruiser or a bagger/tourer come from Polaris/Indian. Still, what could be a better tool to break the cruiser mold than a flat track-styled bike honoring the Indian “Wrecking Crew” who came out and ripped the 2017 American Flat Track series wide open?
Honda will present its second self-balancing motorcycle concept at next month’s Tokyo Motor Show, this time applying the technology to a new electric motorcycle. The Honda Riding Assist-e uses the same robotics technology that allowed the original Riding Assist concept to keep itself balanced at low speeds without rider input.
Suzuki will present a SV650X next month at the Tokyo Motor Show, showcasing a “neo-retro” version of its naked V-Twin. Though it looks to be production ready, Suzuki says the SV650X is only a concept, and the company says it hopes to gauge consumer reaction before deciding whether to put it into production (which seems like a familiar theme for Suzuki this year.)