EICMA, the biggest and most important motorcycle show in the world, has opened its doors after last year’s break. The usual Milanese venue was shrunk by 20%, since some brands decided not to join the event for safety reasons (or perhaps just to save money).

Despite big absentees like the KTM Group (KTM, HUSQVARNA, GASGAS), BMW, and DUCATI, EICMA started its week of exciting motorcycle news, models in tight dresses and nightly parties in spectacular fashion.

This was also the first year I notice a substantial presence of e-bikes, symptomatic of the inevitable growth of the electric vehicles sector.

Aprilia Tuareg 660


In my opinion, the “queen” of the whole event was the Tuareg. The new bike of the Noale based brand looks cool on paper, but even cooler in the flesh (or metal). Sitting on it, the rider immediately gets good feedback; it’s comfortable and its controls are clear and straightforward. The engine is a new parallel-twin 660 cc with a grunty 80 hp and 70 Nm torque at 9250 rpm, according to Aprilia. Weight is 204 kg, so it’s not the lightest. The fuel tank carries only 18 liters, but Aprilia claims low fuel consumption (25 km/l). It has an electronics package that’s quite impressive for any adventure bike: MTC, AWC (anti-wheelie), ASB, (engine brake setting), ACC (cruise control), 4 riding modes (2 customizable), and customizable ABS. Suspension is manually adjustable front and rear; the fork is 43 mm USD, which places it in the realm of a proper offroad adventure bike (like the KTM 890 ADV R). Brakes are fancy Brembos and tires are tubeless 21″ and 18″. Seat height is 860 mm.

Price is set to be around €12,000, so it is definitely attractive, sitting right in the middle between its direct rivals, the KTM 890 ADV, the Tiger 900, and the T7 Rally for this year. A viable alternative.

Lucky Explorer Project 5.5 and 9.5

Based on the engine of the (QJ motors) Benelli TRK 502, these cool-looking updates on the good old Cagiva Elefant made quite an impact at this year’s EICMA. Overall, one can say that whatever bike resembles something that can race Dakar would be a winner at this show. And the 5.5 and the 9.5 stole the scene at EICMA. These two fresh-looking entries of the Lucky Explorer Project brand that is managed by MV Agusta are well designed and equipped with some fancy parts. Both the 9.5 and the 5.5 have a dry weight of 220 kg; while the 550 cc model delivers only 48 hp, the 950 cc engine is said to make an impressive 123 hp with 102 Nm of peak torque at 7000 rpm. Electronic suspension is available on the USD fork and for the rear Sachs monoshock of the 9.5 model. On the 5.5 they are both manually adjustable but built by the less prestigious KYB. Both bikes are equipped with Brembo brakes and a 20-liter fuel tank.

How good these bikes really are is still a mystery, even though they look great on paper. The other mystery is the price tag of the 9.5; the 5.5 apparently will be around the €7,000 and available next year. Keep an eye on these two!

Yamaha Ténéré 700 Rally and  Rally Raid

After the great success of the Ténéré 700, which sold 20,000 units in 2021 in Europe alone, Yamaha introduces a new coloration for the Rally edition, in white and black (instead of blue), and the new Rally Raid, developed by the 2 riders Alessandro Botturi and Pol Tarrès. The bike has 4 fuel tanks, capable of storing 32 liters of fuel (between front and rear), a 48 mm front fork, a single front brake rotor, and a few other gadgets that make this bike ready to be used by a professional rider in a proper race. But the truth is that this is just a prototype, though according to the two developers, there’s going to be a market-ready version which will be even cooler than this one.

One thing is for sure: with these two guys promoting the bikes, Yahama is trying to score even more sales for the 2022 financial year.

There were a few small changes and some “rejuvenation” for the brand in the naked and cruiser sectors with the MT-10 SP version (available pronto for the U.S. market), the sport-retro XSR-900, and the XSR-700.

Benelli TRK800

After the huge success in sales of the TRK502, Benelli wants to steal the scene of the midsize division with this great-looking motorcycle that comes at an astonishingly low price. I mean, the tag is not quite out yet but the 502 was selling for €7,000, so we assume that this one will sell for roughly €8,500–€9,000, to compete with the Yamaha Ténéré market. The 754 cc twin-cylinder engine deploys a claimed 76 hp and a sufficient 67 Nm of torque at 6500 rpm. The bike’s weight is 235 kg, which is slightly higher than the 502. It will come with 19″ and 17″ tubeless tires, which places the bike in the adventure-touring segment. Brakes are by Brembo and suspension is from Marzocchi, there is a new TFT display, and a fancy electric windshield.

What Benelli is clearly aiming to do here is offer a good-looking adventure bike for people not willing to spend €15,000 to buy a 750–800 cc engine model like those from KTM, BMW, and Triumph.

Morini X-Cape 6.5

A small but substantial upgrade for the X-Cape which is now available with the 650 cc engine (instead of the 500 cc mill presented at EICMA 2019). This bike has great potential and could steal a good chunk of the market from the Benelli TRK, the Yamaha Tracer 700, and the Lucky Explorer 5.5 (available next year). Boosted by a 60 hp engine, this adventure-touring bike is the exact opposite of what you see. Looks kind of fancy, with precise and cutting edge lines, but it’s not. It looks offroad ready but it is clearly not, with only 190 mm of ground clearance and with a dry weight of 215 kg. It looks quite tall too, but it is not, having a very low 820 mm seat height.

The great aspect of this motorcycle is indeed its price, starting at €7,000 for the normal version and €7,200 for the spoked-wheeled model (tires are tubeless).

Fantic XEF 450 Rally 

Fantic unveils its new Rally-ready motorcycle, available next year not in a limited number for €15,000, which will be used by the ultra veteran Franco Picco to race this year’s Dakar. The bike boasts a 450 cc single-cylinder engine fitted on a chassis inspired by the Yamaha YZ450, plus Kayaba suspension, and Arrow exhaust. The machine is equipped with a standard 30-liter tank for long-range delivery and a proper steering damper. As I mentioned earlier, any bike that looks Dakar-ready will steal the show, and Fantic indeed did make a huge impact.

The truth is that, despite how cool these motorcycles are, they have little or no real application in real world, everyday life. Can you imagine going to work with this bike? It is quite the toy to show your friends though!

Cake e-Bikes

Now you can have your Cake and ride it, too. A refreshing look for e-bikes comes from this Swedish brand. Their bikes are simple, minimalistic, and efficient. Most of their fleet is built as “workhorses,” but there are a couple of models that will give you a cold sweat. The Kalk Race (the one with golden 205 mm Ohlins suspension) is powered by an 11 kW battery capable of delivering an impressive 280 Nm max torque, according to Cake. Built on an aluminum frame, the bike weighs barely 70 kg and has a top speed of 95 km/h. The Osa model instead is more oriented to be the perfect “postie bike,” delivering a 160+ km range in mixed city riding at an average of 45 km/h.

This young and dynamic company is clearly growing really fast thanks to its brilliant marketing campaign and Instagram popularity.

Other e-Bikes:

Other notable mentions:

Triumph Tiger 1200

Still in its prototype form, the new 1200 cc Tiger looks even better and more balanced than the already successful 900 cc model.

Kawasaki

Kawasaki had some exciting models out, like a restyling for the Versys 650 and the Z900 (which was celebrating its 50th birthday). The Agashi-based company has made some strong moves lately, acquiring 49% of Bimota, announcing its full transition to electric/hybrid by 2035, and promising 10 new electric models by 2025. We shall see.

Honda Africa Twin 1100, CBR1000RR and NT1100

Honda had definitely the biggest and coolest stand of them all. There wasn’t any super exciting news presented, aside from the Hornet prototype showcased only on the big screen, but the Japanese brand had a lot to celebrate with its 30th anniversary for the CBR Fireblade and the reinforcement of the great success of the Africa Twin, available now with flashy fairing colors and a standard rear rack. Recently Honda has launched also the full touring version of the AT, called NT, and standing on an even lower seat height than its adventurous sister; they do differ only in shocks and swingarm, other than fairing design. There was no appearance of the CB4 adventure bike introduced during EICMA 2019, which was one of the main attractions of the past show. We surely hope that Honda will start making some mid-size adventure bikes too in the future.

Suzuki GSX-S 1000


Suzuki had only a few new models to show this year, mostly related to color changes and fairing design. The GSX-S 900 and 1000 cc have MotoGP and endurance colors, and the new Katana (introduced during EICMA 2019), boasts an improved engine claiming 152 hp and improved electronics (ride by wire, quick-shifter).

MV Agusta Superveloce “Ago” (Giacomo Agostini tribute)

The Italian-designed and Russian-owned brand presented some new colors for its very fancy street-oriented models like the Rush, the Superveloce, and the Turismo Veloce Lusso.

CF Moto and Voge

You may not be familiar with these two brands but you should be. The CF Moto is equipped with the 790 Adv engine and it promises to deliver the same vibe at half of the Austrian price tag. Voge instead seemed more focused on building an exact copy of the Honda CRF Rally 300, most likely at a fraction of the cost, and the Valico 650 which looks suspiciously like the Kawasaki Versys 650.

Nothing really exciting to see here in terms of specs, aside from their prices.

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