Two wheels of for­tune

The new breed of mo­tor­bikes is here, writes Craig Duff

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Motorbikes -

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.

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