The Bikes from EICMA that you’ll actually be able to buy

The best new motorcycles from the 2017 EICMA show
The motorcycle industry has had its fair share of doomsayers this year, but the EICMA show in Milan was full of fireworks. There were concepts aplenty—led by the Indian FTR1200 tracker, the Honda CB4 Interceptor and the Moto Guzzi V85.

But the production bikes were just as good, and that’s what we’re focusing on now. The six fine machines shown here will be rolling into showrooms soon, and angling after a place in your garage. You have been warned.

Preview: The 2018 Honda CB1000R
Honda CB1000R Honda’s last attempt at a ‘modern classic’ was the CB1100—an honest, attractive machine that failed to set the marketplace on fire, probably due to its portly 540 pound (245 kilo) wet weight. Honda is now attempting to crack the naked market from a different angle, and so we have the 2018 CB1000R.

With streetfighter-tinged styling and a whopping 143 hp on tap, it’s a modern day café racer cleverly designed to appeal to folks who profess not to like café racers. It also sticks pretty close to the Neo-Sports Café concept that Honda revealed last month at the Tokyo Motor Show.

Preview: The 2018 Honda CB1000R
The inline four engine comes from the CBR1000RR, boosted by 20 hp and governed by three throttle maps and a ride-by-wire system. The frame is all new though, and there’s fully adjustable Showa suspension with Big Piston forks up front. Wet weight, we’re told, is 467 pounds—around 212 kilos, a substantial drop on the CB1100. If Honda gets the pricing right on the CB1000R, we reckon they’re onto a winner. [More]

Preview: The 2018 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401
Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 Better late than never: Husqvarna has finally revealed the production Svartpilen, which is slated to go on sale early next year. Based on the KTM 390 Duke, the Svartpilen will compete with the Scrambler Ducati Sixty2, but is likely to be much peppier. Specs are 44 hp, 37 Nm of torque, a 6-speed gearbox, and 17-inch spoked wheels shod with Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tires. Buyers will also get LED lighting, motocross-style bars, and Bosch ABS that can be switched on or off.

Preview: The 2018 Husqvarna Svartpilen 401
Claimed dry weight is 150 kilos (330 pounds) which is a useful 17 kilos (37 pounds) lighter than the Sixty2. The Svartpilen and the Vitpilen sister model will initially be produced at the KTM plant in Mattighofen, Austria, and later at the Bajaj factory in Pune, India. [More]

Preview: The 2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 The café racer twin to the Svartpilen urban scrambler. It’s powered by the same engine as the KTM 690 Duke, but will also be available in 401 guise—with the smaller 390 Duke motor. Again, Husqvarna have got the styling absolutely spot on, and haven’t strayed too far from the concept revealed exclusively on Bike EXIF three years ago.

Preview: The 2018 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
Outputs are a healthy 72 Nm of torque and 75 hp, which are slightly better figures than the Scrambler Ducati Café Racer. It looks like the Vitpilen will also be around 16 kilos (33 pounds) lighter than its Italian competitor. Key specs are Brembo brakes, Bosch 9M+ two-channel ABS (disengageable), a slipper clutch, and fully adjustable suspension made by WP, with 43mm USD forks. [More]

Preview: The 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Café
Kawasaki Z900RS Café Well, we didn’t expect this. Kawasaki’s tribute to the original Zed took the Tokyo Motor Show by storm last month, but there was a lovely little surprise for EICMA visitors: a café version with a bikini fairing, a humped seat and drop-style bars for a slightly more aggressive riding position.

The mechanical specs are the same as the base model—save for a slight weight increase. But the green-and-white livery and café racer style may give pause to folks thinking of buying the Yamaha XSR900 or Triumph Thruxton. The Thruxton’s 1200cc engine has around 13 Nm more torque, but the peakier Z900RS has around 14 more horses. Weight is likely to be virtually identical.

Preview: The 2018 Kawasaki Z900RS Café
Unless Kawasaki manages to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, the road manners of all the Z900RS models are likely to be superb—so we reckon pricing is going to be a critical factor here for many buyers. [More]

Preview: The 2018 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 The giant Indian manufacturer revealed not just a pair of new bikes, but also a new engine. It’s a 650 cc parallel twin developed in the UK—sound familiar?—rather than the widely rumored 750. The 270-degree crank is similar to that used in some Triumphs, which should give a satisfying rumble. It’s air cooled too, which means no ugly radiators to hide, but an anemic output of 47 hp and 52 Nm.

The new bikes are more interesting than the engine. We prefer the Interceptor, which has the no-nonsense upright vibe of a 1960s British twin, and is not to be confused with the Honda CB4 concept of the same name. There’s also a Continental GT, which is basically a powered-up version of the 535cc single of the same name that RE has been selling for the past four years.

Preview: The 2018 Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
Both these machines have a chassis designed in the UK by long-time RE collaborators Harris Performance. That means the handling should be good, despite the conventional right-way-up forks and twin shocks. And there’s an upside to the agricultural specs of the new engine: it’ll be easy to tune, just like an old Triumph motor. We’re banking on big bore kits, high compression pistons and hot cams becoming available before long. [More]

Preview: The 2018 Scrambler Ducati 1100
Scrambler Ducati 1100 At first glance, the new Scrambler looks like an 803cc model that’s eaten a few too many Triple Whoppers. In reality, it’s an all-new bike with a new frame, and a retuned version of the 1079cc Monster 1100 L-twin engine.

Specs are much improved. The electronics offer three riding modes, traction control, and cornering ABS. There’s less plastic and more aluminum, which keeps weight down to a creditable 205 kilos (454 pounds). And you get to choose from three models with different handlebars, seats and colors—plus Öhlins suspension on the Sport variant shown here.

The light, easy-going nature of the original Scrambler Ducati will probably be gone, replaced by a riding experience more akin to that of the bigger Monsters. Which is just what many experienced riders will like, so we’re betting this one will be a hit. [More]

Preview: The 2018 Scrambler Ducati 1100

And those are just the bikes from the retro/modern classic/standard segment. There were plenty of other exciting machines on display, including the Arch Method 143, the new mid-size BMW GSs, the KTM 790 Duke, two new Triumph Tigers and the Multistrada 1260 and Panigale V4 from Ducati.

If money were no object, what would you pick?