Last week the Pulse Racing Team took a little road trip to Milan in Italy for the world's largest annual motorcycle show known as Eicma.
The 4am start on Tuesday to get to the airport definitely wasn't the highlight of the trip but to be in one of the most fashionable cities in the world by 9am, drinking freshly roasted Italian coffee with fresh baked pastries was a great start to two days of bike porn and geeking out on the latest technical gadgetry. It's human nature to want the things you can't have. So it's always interesting to check out the concept bikes and prototypes at these shows. To get a glimpse of what the engineers are thinking and wanting to create even if the market isn't yet ready for them. Unveiled one after the next, it was starting to look like manufacturers had signed themselves up for some secret challenge to find out who could design/build the coolest motorcycle that wasn't actually a real motorcycle. Yet... Here, in no particular order, is our pick of some of the best concepts bikes that were unveiled at the show. As well as some other weird and wonderful stuff
KTM 790 Duke Prototype
KTM went for the extreme with its 790 Duke prototype. Chances of us seeing a bike like it, with full undertail exhaust and lines that are sharp even by KTM's standards? Pretty small, realistically. But...There's a hope that we will see something like the 790 Duke prototype in the future, complete with KTM's new 800cc parallel-twin engine. Back to the prototype. KTM describes it as being, "the bike to bring unparalleled poise, telepathic levels of feedback and lightness that's off the scale" to the mid-sized sport naked category. Whatever the case, it could make for awesome competition for bikes like the Yamaha FZ-07, with more power and more performance-minded tech.
Honda CB1100 TR Concept
Honda's CB1100 TR Concept puts the "super" in superbike and even throws in a twang of motocross styling. Based on Hondas unassuming CB1100, it adds Öhlins suspension to massive brakes and a fully custom swingarm. All of the lights, signals, and unnecessary bits have been stripped, replaced by a number plate wearing Marco Simoncelli's race number—nice touch!
Yamaha T7 Tenere Concept
Of all the concept bikes unveiled at EICMA, Yamaha's T7 Tenere is pretty high on the list of ones that might actually one day become reality. Just look at the fit and finish of it. Plus, there's photos of Yamaha actually flogging the T7 out in the desert. You don't generally go out and test/develop a bike that you just plan on throwing some glitter over at a few shows and then parking in the corner back at the factory. And Yamaha does say they've spent some time testing the T7. Developed in conjunction with its official team in France, its R&D team in Italy, and GK design, it features everything from an 18-inch rear tire, 21-inch front, and stout-looking KYB suspension. All this in a package built around Yamaha's loveable 700cc parallel-twin engine from the FZ-07.
Africa Twin Enduro Concept
Honda's 2016 Africa Twin is a great bike for light off-road riding, but you'd have to dump some money into it before you can really start to tackle the technical stuff, mid adventure touring ride. Everything from the brakes to the suspension to the ergos just needs a more of a razor-edged focus. Because, let's be honest, the Africa Twin isn't really supposed to be a dirt bike in the first place. Either way, the Africa Twin Enduro Concept fixes that. Honda didn't release much on the AT Enduro Concept, but did say that the bike has a lighter weight chassis and parts originally developed for the CRF450R. There's a new windscreen, motocross-style bars with hand guards, and a moto-style seat. Are there enough people out there in need of an Africa Twin that could tackle serious single track.
Ohlins has been working on dedicated KTM suspension with interesting results. Very Nice!
Not only have the Trials bike company Bultaco entered the E-Bike market they now appear to have a car?
Fantic too! With a fun looking E-bike
Then Pininfarina come and put their stylish spin on it with an E-bike weighing in under 16kg…Incredible!
Then from the sublime to the RIDICULOUS….!