Two wheels of fortune
The new breed of motorbikes is here, writes Craig Duff
THE future was on show at Italy’s EICMA motorcycle showcase and it may be just what the Australian industry needs to recover from its slump.
A 10 per cent drop in motorbike sales has been attributed to a lack of product, but there was no lack of new machinery on show last week, from radical scooters in BMW and Honda livery to track-only superbikes from KTM.
And Victorian riders will be able to see many of the models for themselves at the Melbourne Motorcycle Expo from November 26-28.
A drip-feed of details before the show made Ducati’s Diavel cruiser one of the show standouts.
The twin-cylinder machine will challenge maxi-cruisers such as Yamaha’s V Max and the Suzuki Boulevard, but weighs only 207kg.
The 1200cc machine also uses the Italian company’s renowned electronics suite.
It will be sold in two versions, with the top-of-the-range Diavel Carbon running carbon fibre bodywork and lightweight Marchesini wheels.
BMW’s most talked-about entrant was the twin-cylinder Concept C scooter. It’s a conventional petrolpowered, continuously variable transmission model, although BMW isn’t saying what capacity just yet.
The wing mirrors have been ditched for cameras linked to an LCD screen, and the concept machine has big disc brakes front and rear.
Aprilia rolled out its Tuono V4R, a naked version of the RSV4 Factory right down to the trick traction control and a tyre-frying 120kW.
An 800cc Crossrunner and 1200cc Crosstourer were the highlights amid a host of new Hondas.
The V4 - engined crossover machines are aimed at BMW’s similar capacity adventure machinery and both looked to be in near productionready trim.
There was also a dual-clutch automatic scooter on show, dubbed the New Mid Concept. It runs on 17-inch rims and Honda says it has the ‘‘spirit of a sports motorcycle and the comforts of a scooter’’.
Triumph is also chasing a slice of the adventure market with its Tiger 800 models. The regular Tiger is road biased, while the 800XC is the dualpurpose version.
MV Agusta’s bid for the mid-size sportsbike segment is the 675cc F3 triple, and there’s no doubting its appeal. The Italian machine was voted the most beautiful bike of the show.
Standout: Ducati’s Diavel will be one of the stars of this month’s Melbourne Motorcycle Expo.