The EICMA Motorcycle Show in Milan, Italy, is the world’s biggest showcase of new motorcycles. Now in its 76th year, more than 1000 exhibitors from 156 countries have revealed new motorcycles from every market sector.
Not long ago 200bhp was the domain of MotoGP racers. At EICMA three manufacturers revealed 150-plus kW road rockets.
Aprilia RSV4 1100 Factory
The traditional, race-mandated 1000cc capacity bracket for superbikes is crumbling. Ducati breached the limit a year ago and now Aprilia has punched back with its own 1078cc version of the RSV4 Factory. A bore increase from 78mm to 81mm means the 2019 RSV4 1100 Factory now hits 159.6kW at 13,200rpm, just beating the 257.5kW Panigale V4. Its 199kg kerb weight is also on a par with the 198kg Ducati, while Aprilia has tweaked the chassis with longer-travel Öhlins suspension, a stiffer swingarm and Brembo Stylema calipers. And it cops some of the biggest GP-style winglets we’ve seen.
Ducati Panigale V4 R
Ducati’s Panigale V4 R smaller 988cc engine makes more power – hitting 162kW in road-legal form and 172kW when fitted with a track-only exhaust. It can scream to 16,500rpm in top gear and, at a mere 193kg (wet), or 186kg in track form, its power-to-weight ratio is unrivalled. But the most powerful production Ducati superbike ever made isn’t the most expensive. Thanks to WSBK rules, homogolated Superbikes can’t cost more than $62,700, about half the price of the old V-twin Superleggera.
This thing’s a technological marvel. With 152kW at 13,500rpm, the new S1000RR is 6kW up on its predecessor. Boasting the firm’s ShiftCam variable valve timing and lift system swapping between two different cam profiles at 9000rpm, the BMW is effectively race-tuned at high revs but is focused on torque below that. It’s got over 100Nm between 5500rpm and 14,500rpm, it weighs 197kg ready-to-ride with a full tank. Add the optional ‘M Package’ and that drops to 193.5kg. A new chassis gives a steeper steering head angle, while the wheelbase is stretched 9mm.
MV Agusta Superveloce 800
Don’t be fooled by its neo-retro styling, MV Agusta’s Superveloce is pure F3 800. A new exhaust, with two pipes on the right and one on the left, is reckoned to up power, while the new rear subframe is expected to make it lighter than the F3’s 173kg (dry). Shown in Milan as a ‘concept’, a near-identical production version is promised in the second half of 2019.
Another concept destined to reach production is Aprilia’s surprise (and stunning) RS660. It uses a new parallel-twin engine, effectively the front bank of cylinders from the RSV4 1100, with tweaked bore and stroke to hit 660cc. No figures yet, but something in the region of 80kW should be within reach. A half-chassis is bolted to the top of the engine, with the engine and transmission forming the lower section including the swingarm pivot to keep weight to a minimum. The 660cc engine project is set to be the basis for whole range of future Aprilias.
For 2019, the CBR650F is stepping into the non-Euro4 compliant CBR600RR’s shoes by getting a sportier edge and a new CBR650R designation. The engine is a 70kW derivative of the 650F’s engine, itself a descendent of earlier-generations of CBR600. It’s bolted to a steel frame redesigned to shave 6kg of weight, down to 207kg (wet). The new styling is more aggressive, with Fireblade-inspired twin headlights and two ram-air intakes.
Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Aero
Based on the Vitpilen 701 – itself a close relation to the KTM 690 Duke – the Aero takes its styling from the previous Vitpilen 401 Aero concept, shown two years ago. It might be a neo-retro single, but the Aero is still very much a sportsbike and shows that while the market for established four-cylinder, 600cc middleweight supersports machines might be dying there’s an appetite for more individualistic offerings.
Yamaha YZF-R1 GYTR
Only 20 of these track-only bikes will be handmade by Yamaha to celebrate both the R1’s 20th anniversary and the firm’s fourth consecutive Suzuka 8 Hour win this year. The GYTR gets a race-spec wiring harness and ECU, Öhlins FRGT fork and TTX36 shock, an Akrapovic exhaust and full carbon fibre fairing.
Three very different approaches to interstate travel
The 2019 BMW R 1250 RS is the next model to get the new 1254cc ShiftCam engine. While the chassis and bodywork is mostly unchanged, reshaped LED headlights and a bellypan give a new look.
Kawasaki Ninja H2 SX SE+
The new Ninja H2 SX SE+ benefits from semi-active suspension, Brembo’s new Stylema calipers, colour TFT instruments and Kawasaki’s self-healing paint, which slowly flows back into minor scratches.
Yamaha NIKEN GT
The NIKEN was screaming out for more touring ability and now a GT version delivers, with a taller screen, 25-litre panniers, a centrestand and another 12v power outlet.