Last week, Kawasaki presented an electric motorcycle concept at EICMA, but did no reveal many details about it during the show. Today, Kawasaki finally released more information, confirming that the company has been researching electric vehicles for quite some time, including testing both on a race track and in urban environments. Unfortunately, Kawasaki says it remains purely a research project with no plans of releasing an electric motorcycle in the near future.
Honda unveiled its major EICMA models, led by the new CBR1000RR-R, a day before the show, but it did have something new to show visitors at the Milano Rho Fiera. In what’s now an annual tradition, Honda presented a concept bike produced by its Rome R&D Centre called the CB4X.
Kawasaki is acquiring a stake in Bimota, breathing new life into the Italian brand best known for its hub-steering motorcycle designs. Once the deal is completed and passes regulatory approval, Kawasaki Motors Europe, through its subsidiary Italian Motorcycle Investment, will purchase a 49.9% share in Bimota, with the controlling 50.1% being retained by its current owners (formerly Bimota S.A. but officially renamed B and Motion S.A.).
It’s safe to say the collective motorcycling world gasped when they first caught a glimpse of the 2019 MV Agusta Brutale 1000 Serie Oro. We sure did. Boasting 208 horses (212 hp with a pipe!) and some drop-dead gorgeous styling, MV threw a grenade on the streetfighter category a year before Ducati officially unveiled the new Streetfighter V4. And let’s not forget, the Brutale Serie Oro put wings on a naked bike before that other Italian brand, too. But the Serie Oro was limited to just 300 units, all of which were snapped up quickly. Thankfully, like it did with the Superveloce 800, much of the Brutale 1000 Serie Oro is trickling down to its mass-produced sibling, the Brutale 1000 RR.
MV Agusta has decided to streamline three key models – the Brutale 800, Dragster 800, and Turismo Veloce 800 – in order to bring costs down and provide consumers more affordable options into the MV family. The trio of models are part of the MV Agusta Rosso Range and will come in any color you want as long as it’s…red.
In July, MV Agusta announced the Superveloce 800 Serie Oro was going to be made in extremely limited quantities – 300 units to be exact. Those units sold immediately. We can only imagine feedback for that gorgeous piece of motorcycle art went through the roof; enough so that MV Agusta announced at EICMA 2019 the mass production of the Superveloce 800, minus the Serie Oro accoutrement.
Earlier this year, BMW unveiled the Concept R18. Centered around the 1800cc air/oil-cooled boxer Twin, the surrounding bodywork was very historically-inspired, producing a themed motorcycle that would look right at home in the 1930s as it does today. Fast forward to EICMA 2019 and BMW has followed that up with its second concept – the R18/2. Stylistically opposite from the Concept R18, the big 1800cc boxer is still in the middle, but everything around it is BMW’s interpretation of performance cruiser.
The hot news coming from the Aprilia camp at EICMA 2019 was clearly the official debut of the RS 660. Aprilia’s middleweight Twin is sure to be a firecracker, but much like the RSV4 also gave us the brilliant Tuono V4, Aprilia has wasted no time teasing the world with this baby Tuono powered by, you guessed it, the RS 660 Twin. Officially Aprilia is calling this a concept bike, but let’s be real – it’s coming here sooner or later.
When Ryan Adams finished riding the 2019 Vespa Elettrica, he came back with one glaring complaint: it’s too slow. Vespa must have taken his words to heart, because at EICMA 2019 there’s a new version – the Vespa Elettrica 70 km/h – upping the top speed to, you guessed it, 70 km/h (or 44 mph for the US crowd). Vespa says this new top speed is the result of optimizing the current components already on the Elettrica and not through any change of hardware. Speaking of hardware, here’s a refresher. It can deliver a continuous 3.6 kW of power, with a peak at 4 kW, putting it roughly on par with 50cc scooters. Where it far surpasses a little scooter is with its 200 Nm of torque. And it’s all completely silent. Maximum range is roughly 100 km, and full recharge can be done in four hours (with 220v).
Big news for 2020 from the Energica camp, as the Italian electric motorcycle manufacturer has announced not only a new model – the Eva Ribelle – but also longer range, thanks to the largest battery pack offered on a production electric motorcycle so far. On top of this news, Energica is also reporting revenue growth of 57% over this same time period last year. Energica CEO, Livia Cevolini, credits this to the significant investments the company has made, including participation in the all-electric MotoE racing series, in which Energica is the sole motorcycle supplier with its Ego Corsa model.