EICMA 2019 Observations
Anyone that’s been following social media in the last couple of days will have seen a raft of new or improved adventure bikes being shown at EICMA, the annual motorcycle trade show in Milan Italy.
Some concept bikes, some production ready, some that should have been out long ago!
Here is a quick summary for those that don’t spend all day with their faces glued to a device.
Husqvarna Norden 901
This one probably stole the show for many people. Essentially based on the KTM 790 mechanical platform but with a much fancier set of clothes. It is a concept bike that may still be a few years off but it is certainly an interesting departure and one could say has a “modern retro” look about it, similar in style to a Svartpilen or Vitpilen road bike. Quite striking.
On a side note, you’ll notice the number with the name states “901”. The fact that a new 890 KTM Duke was also revealed pretty clearly indicates that we will see a KTM 890 Adventure in the not too distant future. The 790 may not need more power but a little more low down torque is always a good thing for adventuring!
Husqvarna 701 Enduro LR
Another Husqvarna but this one kind of flew in under the radar for many. It’s a 701 Enduro but has an extended range fuel tank added to the front of the bike. Of course the standard 13 litre fuel tank remains at the rear but the additional 12 litres in the front tank pushes the range out to an impressive claimed 500km!
Interestingly, the feed of fuel for the two tanks is controlled by the rider via an electronic switch on the handlebars. We wonder how many “doh” moments will occur when riders think they have run out of fuel only to remember their secondary fuel supply! Still it may also mean there is some redundancy available with a 2nd fuel pump onboard giving riders options in the event of a fuel pump failure. More electronic aids come in the way of fly by wire throttle, ride modes, lean-angle sensitive traction control and ABS. Of course they are switchable for more aggressive riders.
Is this not getting very close to the bike many of us Australian riders have been asking (yelling out!) for? 70HP, 155kg (dry), fuel range of 500km+, long service intervals. Sounds pretty good to us! For anyone that has ridden the 701 you’ll know what an impressive engine it has so this machine could be a real winner.
KTM 390 Adventure
Some people are disappointed we didn’t get shown an R model 390 with 21″/18” wheel combination but this little single cylinder adventure bike could be just the ticket for so many riders. The 19”/17” wheel combo might hold it back a little bit off-road but reality is the smaller wheels will make it much lower (850mm seat height) and therefore easier to handle off-road for entry level or shorter riders. The 14 litre fuel tank should make about 380km range possible. Very handy!
The styling is remarkably like a 790 if you hold your thumb over the bottom half of the bike. We’ve heard from someone that has ridden it that the top-end power is pretty decent so it could make for a lot of fun. Uber talented Kiwi Chris Birch, who is in attendance at EICMA, said about the ergonomics that it’s “got that KTM feel” and “everything is in the right place”. We can’t wait to try it!
Pricing should be very attractive with it priced at $6,199 USD which should be at around $9k AUD? A claimed dry weight of around 157kg will make it nimble in the bush and easier to pick up off the deck while learning the challenging art of off-road riding.
Suzuki V-Strom 1050
Many of the Japanese manufacturers were very quiet with new model releases at EICMA but Suzuki did deliver a pair of new V-Strom 1050 models reminiscent of a DR Big. There were rumours floating around pre-EICMA that Suzuki might release a homage to the DR Big single of the early nineties but sadly that wasn’t the case. No doubt the styling on the new 1050 V-Strom looks very much like the old big single though, particularly in the red/white colour scheme with it’s beak sticking out front.
New electronics feature on the 1050 models including ride by wire throttle, 3 ride modes featuring 3 levels of traction control intervention and throttle response, hill hold control, slope dependant and load dependant braking control along with 2 ABS modes. All designed to keep the rider safe and control.
Power output from the 1037cc 90-degree v-twin engine gets a bump up to 79 kW or 106 HP in old mans language.
Ducati Desert X
Ooh baby! For those of you that remember seeing the open class Cagiva rally-raid bikes tear across the African deserts in the late 80’s and early 90’s this one probably got you all excited! Based on the Scrambler platform with their 1100cc L-Twin engine it should be a lot of fun to ride.
The design renderings probably look a little more interesting than the concept bike that was shown but it still looks good. A concept it is for now but no doubt this will come to life in the next few years.
Moto Guzzi V85 TT Travel
Maybe not everyone’s cup of tea but no doubt there will be a few people that get revved up by this one. Panniers fitted as standard and smartphone connectivity are a couple of notable features but the “Sabbia Namib” sand colour scheme is very nice addition. A somewhat sophisticated look.
Harley-Davidson Pan America Adventure
KTM 790 Adventure Rally R
We saw this bike get unveiled in June in Bosnia when we attended the Rally but scant details (as in none!) were given with regard to price and release date. We can now say pricing coming out of EICMA places it $19,499 USD vs $13,499 USD for the 790 Adventure R it is based on. Extrapolate that out to Aussie pricing and we might expect a price of about $30,000. A lot of money no doubt, but if you are one of the lucky 500 that manages to secure one then you will be able to ride with pride knowing you are on the most off-road capable adventure bike made. Period.
Nick recently spent a couple of weeks riding a 790 R equipped with the upgraded WP Xplor Pro suspension that the Rally comes with standard and oh boy is it worth it! We will be posting a full report on the WP Xplor Pro kitted 790 soon.
KTM Rally Europe – Greece
Not bike model related but the other bit of news that came out of EICMA is next years KTM Rally Europe will be held in Nafpaktos Greece on 9-12th June. Nafpaktos is the location of the annual Hellas Rally so there is bound to be lots of great riding terrain in the area.
We are excited about this one because for the past two years we have taken a tour group to Europe and attended the KTM Rally. It was an incredible experience this year in Bosnia with the highlight being a ride up the bobsled track in Sarajevo! As one of our riders said “It wasn’t even on my bucket list’!
We are keen to hear your thoughts on these models from EICMA 2019. Which ones are you most excited to ride and one day park in your garage?