Every year, EICMA brings with it the most anticipated motorcycle launches and concepts of the two-wheeler world.
Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori, or EICMA as we know it, is a motor show that all motorcycle aficionados look forward to. The EICMA 2017 has been no different. From a plethora of motorcycles that debuted this year in Milan, we pick the ones that are set to arrive in India in 2018.
Royal Enfield 650 twins
Let’s dive into the list with domestic manufacturers. It was an open secret that Royal Enfield was working on a higher capacity parallel-twin engine. The Chennai-based company was speculated to reveal a single new model, but it pleasantly surprised the enthusiasts by unveiling two all-new bikes - Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650.
The Continental GT 650 is a true blue cafe racer, much like the 535cc model before it. However, a lot of engineering updates have been given to the GT in its new avatar. The Interceptor, on the other hand, is designed to please the Bullet/Classic owners with its timeless retro design. Expect these bikes to arrive in India in mid-2018.
Hero MotoCorp took the wraps off the new XPulse - the company’s second take on the adventure tourer segment, after the Hero Impulse failed to take-off. Though XPulse has been showcased as a concept, Hero claims that it is very much production ready. The production XPulse, which might debut at Auto Expo 2018, is expected to share its 200cc motor with the upcoming Xtreme 200.
Honda Africa Twin Adventure Sports
Honda introduced its Africa Twin in India in early 2017, and it proved to be a runaway success for the Japanese company. Now, Honda has introduced the Africa Twin Adventure Sports at EICMA 2017, and we expect it arrive here as well.
The Adventure Sports improves on the base Africa twin on multiple counts - it gets a taller windscreen, a larger fuel tank, 20mm more ground clearance, and fully adjustable Showa cartridge-type forks. The Adventure Sports also gains a new three-tone paint job, which is inspired by Paris Dakar Rally winning Honda XRV650 Africa Twin.
The Adventure Sports saves around 2.3kg over the standard Africa Twin. The manual version also gets an optional quick shifter - however, we only expect the DCT automatic version to make it to India.
Benelli Imperiale 400
While a lot of new Benelli models debuted at the EICMA 2017, the most unusual one has to be the Imperiale 400, which is a departure from the traditional curvy Benelli designs. The bike combines retro-modern design elements - just like the Triumph Bonneville and the new Royal Enfield Interceptor.
The Imperiale 400 has been confirmed for India, and is aimed directly at Royal Enfield bikes. Powering the Imperiale is a 373cc single-cylinder engine with fuel-injection that churns out 19bhp and 28Nm, and comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The bike gets front and rear disc brakes along with ABS as standard.
Expect DSK Benelli to showcase the Imperiale at Auto Expo 2018. The bike is sure to draw a lot of classic bike enthusiasts towards the Benelli brand.
Debuting alongside the Imperiale was the 402S, which Benelli calls a city cruiser. While the design of the 402S is pretty striking, it does not take a genius to see the Ducati XDiavel inspiration that has gone into designing it.
The Benelli 402S is powered by a 399cc twin-cylinder, liquid cooled engine making 38bhp and 35Nm, paired to a 6-speed transmission. The bike is constructed around a steel trellis frame, and features 41mm upside down front fork, and preload adjustable rear monoshock. The cruiser rides on 17-inch Pirelli tyres and sports dual front brakes with ABS.
Also expected to be showcased at Auto Expo 2018, the 402S will please those who dig the XDiavel, but cannot get over its exorbitant pricing.
Norton Motorcycles is an iconic British superbike company, and it is set to arrive in India in collaboration with Kinetic’s Motoroyale. Two Norton bikes will arrive in India initially, and the company will expand its lineup once Kinetic starts local assembly.
Ducati Panigale V4
Ducati took the veil off its brand new flagship monster - the Panigale V4, at 2017 EICMA. The first ever 4-cylinder production Ducati looks striking, and brings along with it a lot of MotoGP derived technology.
A replacement for the Panigale 1299, the Panigale V4 boasts a power-to-weight ratio of 1.08bhp/kg. The bike will sail into India sometime in 2018, and it certainly won’t come cheap.
Ducati Scrambler 1100
Ducati has tasted quite a bit of success in India with its entry-level Scrambler series. Currently, the 800cc Scrambler is available in five versions in India. Come 2018, and there will be a new flagship Ducati Scrambler, this time with a bigger heart.
The Scrambler 1100 features a new 1,079cc L-Twin powertrain derived from the Monster 1100, which produces 85bhp and 88.4 Nm. Also, there is an all-new twin upper spar steel Trellis frame to properly house the bigger motor. At the rear there are fat dual-exhaust pipes to differentiate it from the less-powerful models.
2018 Ducati Monster 821
Ducati has given the mid-spec Monster a host of updates for 2018, including many inspired by the original Monster 900, to celebrate the latter's 25th anniversary. The 2018 model gets aesthetically refreshed, and gets a lot of new equipment like a TFT colour instrument cluster.
2018 Triumph Tiger 800 & 1200
British bike maker, Triumph, claims that over 200 changes have been made to the 2018 Tiger range as compared to the outgoing models. Both the 800cc and 1200cc engines have been updated for better off-road performance, and the new bikes have gone on a diet too.
A more extensive list of features and additional standard equipment aim to make the Triumph Tiger series a much sweeter deal than before.
BMW F750GS & F850GS
No, the 750 and 850 numbers do not represent the engine displacement on BMW Motorrad’s new mid-capacity adventure bikes. Both of them draw their power from the same 853cc parallel-twin motor - but the F750GS makes 77bhp and 83Nm versus the F850GS’ 95bhp and 92Nm.
Another difference between the two bikes is their positioning - the 750 is an adventure tourer whereas the 850 is a more focused off-roader. On the other hand, both bikes share an all-new stiffer frame and a new suspension setup as well. A host of electronics like a 6.5-inch colour instrument cluster, ride-by-wire with two riding modes, etc is also shared by the two motorcycles.
Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX
Ending the list with a mad machine. Kawasaki added a third member to its supercharged Ninja H2 family, called the Ninja H2 SX.
The SX is a sports tourer, which is positioned to be a more tamable and friendlier version of the supersport H2. A lot of changes have been made under the skin of the SX to make it less intimidating, including a revised frame. Given that Kawasaki sold the supersport H2 in India, it makes sense to anticipate that its less bonkers version will arrive here as well.