Regarded as the most important exhibition and trade show of two-wheelers in the world, the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori (EICMA), or the Milan Motorcycle Show, concluded last month. Every major manufacturer in the world is present at the show, and some of the most incredible bikes were revealed this year-with the surprise star at this year’s show being a local manufacturer named Benelli.
Italian bike makers Benelli had a very impressive stall at the Milan Show. One of the highlights of their stall was the TRK 502, which is an all-new adventure motorcycle. The bike has a very unique design, and it’s certainly not derived from the larger TreK bike that Benelli revealed earlier this year at the India Bike Week in Goa. It looks larger and more imposing. The folks at Benelli have said that the TRK 502, when in final production form, will make its way to India, which is now a very important market for them. The TRK 502 is powered by a 499cc, in-line two cylinder, liquid-cooled engine and produces a very healthy 46.9bhp. The engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox, while the chassis is tubular steel fabricated. The TRK 502 uses upside down forks in the front and a pre-load adjustable rear monoshock. It also features Brembo brakes with twin 320mm petal type discs in the front and the rear gets a single disc that measures 260mm.
Without a doubt the most exciting unveiling from the Benelli stable was the Tornado 302. It seems that lower capacity bikes are also in high demand in global markets and the Tornado 302 is hoped to be a hot-seller. The Tornado 302 is wrapped in a classic race inspired full-fairing with a big clear visor. The bike features an angular fuel tank that has protruding knee recesses and a split-seat that tapers off into a sporty tail end. The bike looks pretty good and also has a good blend of old and new race inspired styling. The Tornado 302 is powered by a 300cc, in-line two-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that produces 34.8bhp at a high 12,000rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox, and uses a steel tube frame. It also uses an upside down fork set-up in the front and monoshock at the rear. It gets dual 260mm petal discs in front, with a single 240mm rear disc brake, along with an ABS system.
It seems that scrambler motorcycles are making a huge comeback, and Benelli have decided to join the bandwagon. The Italian bike maker unveiled the Leoncino in Milan and it looks quite good. It has a modern design and uses high-quality materials. The matte-finished single headlight gets an LED insert, while the tank design flows nicely and elegantly. It looks more sophisticated than your typical Scrambler, but it still looks aggressive. The single seat is part finished in Alcantara, while the tail panel also gets an LED light. It also has a nice dual-exhaust and some large bulky tyres. The Leoncino is powered by the same 499.6cc, twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine found in the TRK 502 that has a four-valve per cylinder layout, and dual overhead camshafts. It also has the same output of 46.9bhp, and it also uses the same six-speed gearbox. The suspension gets upside down forks in the front, and a preload adjustable rear monoshock.
American manufacturer Indian Motorcycles had a surprise announcement at Milan. The company launched a cheaper variant of the highly successful Indian Scout. The bike is called the Scout Sixty and it is very much similar to the larger capacity Indian Scout that was unveiled to the world in 2014 at the famous Black Hills Motorcycle Rally in Sturgis, USA. The Scout Sixty gets the same chassis, suspension and brakes but it gets a smaller but brand new 999cc engine built from the 1130cc V-twin of the existing Scout cruiser model. The bike is called the Scout Sixty because its capacity of 999cc translates to 60 cubic inches. The power rating has also been reduced. There reason as to why the company decided to extend the Scout line with a smaller bike is probably that it will be more affordable and accessible now. The bike also looks exactly the same as its bigger sibling in terms of its overall design, but Indian is now offering a vast array of available options, which now runs over 200 different accessories, so that each owner has their own unique and personalized Scout.
One of the most exciting launches at Milan was undoubtedly KTM’s new super-fast sports tourer. The Austrian bike maker unveiled a stunning 173bhp 1301cc V-twin 1290 Super Duke GT, which will hit markets in 2016. The new Super Duke GT features a retuned version of the 1301cc V-twin seen first in the naked 1290 Super Duke, and the rest of the bike has been modified for the touring rider and promises increased comfort and range. The bike looks very good, and the fairing and adjustable windshield have been designed to improve aerodynamics. The subframe has been specially strengthened to fit with the tailor-made hard panniers, and the fuel tank has been enlarged to a massive 23-litres. The GT gets sports-touring Pirelli Angel GT tyres and there are three riding modes – Comfort, Street and Sport. Cornering-ABS will come as a standard feature, along with semi-active WP suspension, Brembo radially-mounted calipers, cruise control, a quickshifter, tyre pressure monitoring system, heated grips and LED cornering lights. The Super Duke GT promises to be a fantastic bike, but there is no word on whether we will see it arrive in India or not.
The Scrambler Ducati has been doing reasonably well in the global markets, and Ducati had earlier announced that they would be adding more models to the Scrambler range. Just a day before EICMA kicked off, the legendary Italian bike maker revealed a 400cc version of the bike. The bike is being called the Scrambler Sixty2, and it is the next version to join the family, which the manufacturer claims will be sold in mature markets as a city-friendly motorcycle, but it also makes commercial sense for most markets, since smaller engines are now in higher demand. The Scrambler Sixty2 gets a new 399cc air-cooled 2-valve V-twin engine, which was derived from the larger 803cc motor used on the rest of the Scrambler range. The engine will have a power output of around 41bhp. The bike looks exactly the same as its bigger engined version, and its gets ABS as standard and weighs 183 kilograms. However, the bike does not knock down the price tag, as the Sixty2 will only be around $1,200 cheaper. We will have to wait and see when Ducati decides to bring the Sixty2 to India and how much they will knock off its Rs.7.5 lakh price tag.
The Triumph Explorer has gotten a significant mid-life refresh, and the model line has been extended to six models, and will follow the Tiger 800 model variant pattern. Just like the Tiger 800 follows the XR and XC models with their respective variants, the larger Explorer will also do the same. The British bike maker has attempted to split the bikes into those that are completely road orientated, which carry the XR nameplate, and those that offer more off-road ability – the XC. There are also a few technological upgrades which are aimed at increasing stability and control. For the first time, a Triumph motorcycle will feature semi-active suspension, which allows the ride to electronically adjust the suspension. The bikes also get cornering-ABS and traction control, as well as four pre-set rider modes and a fifth which the rider can tailor to their own settings. There is also the option of a Hill Hold Control function. The engine remains to be the same 1,215cc inline three-cylinder 12-valve motor, which is unique to the segment thanks to the cylinder configuration. However, the engine has been re-tuned to be compliant with the stricter Euro4 emission norms. There have been some design changes though and each of the six models gets their own features, but many of the changes to the bikes are common across the whole six-bike range.
The German bike maker has revealed a new variant of their Scrambler at Milan. The new BMW R nineT Scrambler gets some design changes and also combines the air/oil cooled boxer twin used in the successful R nineT with Scrambler styling, but this time is uses fewer high-quality cycle parts to make the bike more affordable. The 1,170cc air/oil-cooled boxer twin is lifted straight out of the existing R nineT model, and it still gets a power output of 110bhp. BMW had stated earlier this year that they wished to increase the number of models in the Scrambler family, and that have announced that this new Scrambler is the first of an anticipated four new models that we will see appear in the coming years. All the bikes will be based around the R nineT platform. BMW is also offering a massive list of accessories available, from wheels through to a different fuel tank, luggage, windscreen, and a different Akrapovic exhaust, so that customers can personalize their bikes to their liking.
The wait is finally over as Yamaha have officially unveiled the naked version of the Yamaha R3, called the MT-03. The MT-03 is also the latest family member in the Yamaha MT line-up, which has sold over 70,000 units globally, and fills the gap between the MT-125 and the MT-07. The MT-03 is essentially a stripped down version of the YZF-R3, which made its debut in India just a few weeks ago, and which was also awarded the “autoX Best of 2015 Award”. Everything on the MT remains the same as the R3, including the engine, chassis, suspension and wheels. The engine is a 321cc parallel-twin producing 42bhp, and is situated in a slim frame with a neat R1-inspired asymmetrical swingarm. This time the bike will also get ABS. We already know that the R3 is a brilliant machine, so we can expect the MT-03 to be nothing short of excellent, as well as fun to ride. Now that KTM and BMW, as well as Mahindra, have naked 300s in the Indian market, we are quite certain that the MT-03 will make it way to India soon after it hits global markets in February 2016.