Let’s face it, if you are reading this you are interested in motorcycles.
The Milan Motor Show was the place to be for any self-respecting biker out there. If somehow you could not make it to the show itself, fear not. We are here to make your life easy and save you a big roll of cash with a list of the 10 most anticipated motorcycle unveils at EICMA 2017.
1) Honda CB4 Interceptor / CB300R
Probably drawing the largest crowd at the Milan Motor Show was a concept offering by Honda. The CB4 interceptor, a neo-retro, and might we add jaw-droppingly gorgeous piece of engineering and artistic perfection is a virus that has set itself firmly in our imaginations. Leaving the murky waters of concepts and coming back to reality is not as bitter as it seems since Honda’s previous concept at the Tokyo Motor Show has found itself a spot at the production table. The Honda CB300R gets bells and whistles you would not expect from a 300cc and we hope we get to ride it sometime in the near future.
Status: The CB300R is expected 2018 / no word on the CB4 though
2) Norton Motorcycle line-up
You probably caught your grandfather raving about the legendary Norton Motorcycles. We are glad to tell you that you might get a chance to rave about them to your grandchildren as well since Norton has partnered up with the Kinetic family and is coming to India. First up we have the Norton Dominator, a carbon fibre clad cafe racer and the harking back to the olden days, the Norton Commando 961, coming in two variants, a cafe racer and sport bike. Lastly, we have the V4RR, Norton’s flagship superbike, developed at the Isle of Mann, the Mecca of speed. Definitely coming to India in the next year are the Dominator and Commando, and will eventually be manufactured in India as well, and we all know what that means…
Status: Hell yeah! Looks like we won't have to wait too long or this one. Expected in the first quarter of 2018.
3) Triumph Tiger 800 XRT and 1200 XRT
From one legendary British motorcycle manufacturer to another, Triumph exceeded expectations with the Tiger 800 XRT and 1200 XRT. Triumph has created a one-stop-shop for adventure enthusiasts with amazing features when it comes to electronics and analogue components. With a purposeful stance and conveniences like heated grips, these Triumphs are the weapon of choice for those gruelling adventures.
Status: Expected early 2018. And stay tuned for our first-ride review!
4) Benelli 402 S
It’d take most of us years to save up for that brand new Ducati XDiavel. Why not go for a more reasonable option, like perhaps the new Benelli 402 S? You get the amazing, obviously Diavel inspired, drool worthy design with a more manageable power plant. If it comes to India, we expect it will sell like hotcakes considering the styling cues and performance. With a 399cc engine churning out 39 bhp and 35Nm of torque, we can't wait to gear up and go for a ride.
Status: Ohh please Benelli. We deserve it! The Imperiale 400 should be out any time now, although we had our hearts set on this one.
5) Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
The Bajaj/KTM alliance has done great things for Indian bikers. Right from the first Pulsar to the brand spankin new KTM Duke 390, Bajaj/KTM have shifted the Indian motorcyclist's focus from happy and cheerful 150 ccs to more performance packed rides. It seems that's not about to change anytime soon as they are the pioneers who are bringing the Husqvarna brand to India. We have all had a good look at the production versions of Husqvarna’s 400 cc motorcycles, but EICMA gave us the first look at their older sibling, no longer in the concept form. We are glad to reveal that not much has changed. The bike still maintains the look of the concept that had us yearning for it. The Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 gets a 693cc single cylinder engine that you see on Husqvarnas Super Moto bikes, so we know for a fact that its tried and tested and has plenty of juice.
Status: Just around the corner. Yaay! Expect pre-orders mid-2018.
6) KTM Duke 790
Let’s just call EICMA 2017 the year of making concepts a reality. First the Honda, then the Huskys and now the KTM Duke 790 aka 'The Scalpel'. So what do you get if you have enough courage to buy one of these monsters? Oh, every single electronic driving aid that has ever existed, or will ever exist for that matter. You get 3 riding modes, slipper clutch, lean-sensitive traction control, ride-by-wire throttle, cornering ABS and other abbreviations which we have no idea about. Ohh and you get a freaking 799 cc parallel twin engine in a bike that weighs just under 190 kgs. It's no surprise then that you get all those driver aids…. if not you would kill yourself! KTM indicated that they would assemble the Duke 790 in India, and that should mean value for money like nothing else you can find. Don’t let the excitement of that news kill you….let the bike do it!
Status: Expected 2018
7) Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
Ohh the holy grail for the Indian biker just got holier, and we expect it won’t burn a hole in your pocket, (geddit? Hole? Holy? Nevermind). Well, let’s just talk about bikes then ya humorless peasants. The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 harks back to Royal Enfields flagship bikes from the 60s. The Interceptor boasts a 648cc parallel twin engine churning out 47 bhp of power, making it the most powerful Royal Enfield ever! What’s more? This one gets dual channel ABS and Royal Enfield’s first slip-and-assist clutch. Royal Enfield seems to have pulled out all the stops to meet our growing demands and endlessly annoying competition from the likes of Bajaj and other manufacturers. We are just as excited as you are to test ride the latest and greatest that Royal Enfield has to offer.
Status: Of course it's coming to India, It's RE for petes sake. Expected to go on sale post-April 2018.
8) Kawasaki Ninja 400
All we can say is, about time Kawasaki upgraded to a 400 cc. All new H2 inspired design warrants an upgraded 399cc liquid cooled, parallel twin engine, making 45ps of power and 38 Nm of torque, making it a significant update to the old Ninja 300. The lighter engine and new design cues, combined with the more powerful engine, we expect the new baby Ninja to have amazing acceleration figures for its class. The Ninja 400 hits the sweet spot when it comes to riding posture, where it's not too aggressive like the RC390, while still being sporty enough not to be and naked. We expect the Ninja 400 to hit Indian shores sometime next year, but Kawasaki has yet to reveal the variants and price for the Indian market.
Status: It's coming, we just don't know when! Hey, some things even we don't know. Only some things though.
9) Hero Xpulse Concept
Damn, we could really go for a nice Indian made, low-capacity adventure bike right about now! Hero might have just the thing with their new XPulse with a rumored 200cc engine. Good news right? Well, it might be premature to get our hopes up too much at this time, considering it's only a concept. Not much is known about this concept except for the fact that it seems well equipped to handle rough terrain with its purposeful look, long-travel suspension and grippy tire treads. We hope this concept makes it to production as well, so fingers crossed for this one.
Status: Doubtful *Sigh*
10) Ducati Scrambler 1100
No list would be complete without mentioning offerings from the big daddy of Italian manufactures. It’s hard to pick a favourite from their line- up this year, but we have come through for you. After sleepless nights and endless debating, it is clear that Ducati’s Scrambler 1100 is the pick of the bunch from the Ducati family. The Scrambler makes for a perfect blend of subtlety and class. It’s not as brash and shouty as the Monster 821 or as furious as the new Panigale V4, that also debuted at EICMA this year. Let’s just say the Scrambler is best suited for Indian conditions.
Status: Expected 2018