Every year, the International Motorcycle and Accessories Exhibition (EICMA) takes place in Milan, Italy. It is a trade fair for everything related to life on two wheels and has been happening since 1914. While motorcycle manufacturers will often announce new bikes during the course of the year, many manufacturers use the attention around EICMA to share what’s coming in the next year and beyond. EICMA 2018 was no exception, although there were some bikes announced prior to the fair.
We still don’t know exactly which will be coming to South Africa and/or when, but, just off the information shared at EICMA 2019, here are a couple of bikes I would really love to ride. I must confess, this desire is driven by the way they look as much as the professed engineering and performance.
The S1000RR motorcycle is a beast. It is one of those bikes that will have you grinning underneath your helmet, for seemingly no reason. And now, BMW Motorrad have launched the 2019 version, which is the third generation. They have reduced the weight of the bike by between 11 – 14.5 kg with lighter 4-cylinder in-line engine with BMW ShiftCam Technology, new rear wheel suspension and a new exhaust system with front silencer. It comes standard with ABS Pro, “Rain”, “Road”, “Dynamic” and “Race” riding modes, DTC Wheelie Function (adjustable is optional), Shift Assistant Pro, Dynamic Traction Control DTC and the 6.5-inch instrument panel screen which also features a ‘Pure Ride’ screen. Dynamic Damping Control DDC and electronic cruise control are optional. It is also said to be one second faster than its predecessor with increased power output and torque, while being easier to ride and control.
Honda’s 2019 CBR650R is an update and upgrade to the CBR650F. The motorcycle draws inspiration, in terms of design, from the CBR1000RR Fireblade, making it look sportier and more aggressive. There are changes to the footpegs, frame and fuel tank to make it lighter as well as a slight shift in seating position. It comes with a 649cc liquid-cooled 30º inline four-cylinder four-stroke engine, 41mm inverted Showa Separate Function front Fork (SFF), multiplate wet clutch, electric starter, improved LCD instrumentation and LED lights. And it’s said to deliver more power and smoother torque delivery in the mid-range.
Diavel, meaning ‘devil’ in Bolognese dialect, is the perfect name for Ducati’s cruiser, the first of which was launched at the 2010 edition of EICMA. The 2019 version is a fitting addition to the Diavel family and has been described by some as the motorcycle equivalent of a ‘muscle car’ with refined Italian styling and design. There are two versions, the 1260 and the 1260 S. The 1260 is powered by a 159 HP Testastretta DVT 1262 engine, and comes with Bosch Cornering ABS Evo, Wheelie Control Evo, Traction Control, Cruise Control, backlight handlebar switches, self-cancelling indicators and riding modes. The 1260 S has the Quick Shift Up&Down Evo as a standard feature.
Aptly named after a traditional Samurai sword, the first Suzuki Katana was launched in 1981 as the GSX1100S Katana. In 2017, the Katana 3.0 Concept was introduced at EICMA and, in 2018, the 2020 Suzuki GSX-S1000S Katana was announced. It seems to have taken the spirit of its predecessors and found a way to still be current, particularly from a design perspective. It has a 999cm3 liquid-cooled inline-four engine which comes from the GSX-1000 and has been custom-tuned for street riding, 3-mode traction control , Tubeless Dunlop tires with custom-designed pattern Antilock Braking System, fully adjustable KYB inverted front forks, radial mount 4-piston Brembo front brake calipers, LCD instrumentation, LED headlight and an upright riding position.