TG MY Top 9: Bikes from EICMA 2019

By thoriq, 08 November 2019

You may have noticed in the past weeks, we’ve been charting some big news from the two-wheeled world. All of them stood as lead ups to the world-famous EICMA annual exposition held Milan, Italy.

This year, EICMA once again didn’t disappoint, and that’s despite things like the new Ducati Streetfighter V4 and the supercharged Kawasaki Z H2 debuting weeks earlier – the former during Ducati’s own annual premiere event, the latter standing as a star at the Tokyo Motor Show 2019 alongside the Ninja ZX-25R.

These motorbikes will kill a supercar for under £20k (approx. RM108,000)
These motorbikes will kill a supercar for under £20k (approx. RM108,000)
Of course Aston Martin's made a £95k (approx. RM506,000) bike
Of course Aston Martin's made a £95k (approx. RM506,000) bike
This is the new, 1,069bhp/tonne Honda Fireblade (with video)
This is the new, 1,069bhp/tonne Honda Fireblade (with video)

Putting aside other bikes reported earlier like the manic new Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR-R and the stylish Aston Martin concept bike birthed by Brough Superior, here’s our list of nine bikes that shined in Milan this year.

1. 2020 BMW S1000 XR
We kick things off with German brand BMW Motorrad and, at long last, the new generation S1000RR superbike finally gets a new sibling in the form of the all-new 2020 BMW S1000 XR adventure-sport.

Like the previous S1000 XR, this new one sees the S1000RR’s superbike DNA tweaked to become an all-rounder litre-class dual-sport machine that’s more suited for fast touring and a little bit of tackling the rough.

Part of the tweak includes the adoption of long-travel suspension with BMW’s Dynamic ESA suite, greater wind protection to match its more upright riding position, a sleuth of electronic rider aids, and much more tech.

By the way, BMW Motorrad also rolled out a ‘baby’ version called the F900XR alongside a F900R streetfighter twin (pictured below). These, however, are based off the current F850 GS model, packing a bored out 895cc version said base bike’s motor.

Given how good both the last S1000XR and current F850 GS rode, we can expect the same level of brilliance in all three as they hit markets worldwide starting next year.

2020 BMW F900XR
2020 BMW F900XR
2020 BMW F900R
2020 BMW F900R

2. BMW R18/2 concept
Sticking with the German marquee still and, besides the three bikes mentioned earlier, BMW Motorrad also showed off this stunning concept featuring its signature boxer twin motor.

Riding off the previous R18 concept, the R18/2 adds a tasty cruiser flavour and likely previews BMW Motorrad’s upcoming offering that’s primarily aimed for the American market – ala the K1600B Bagger.

As with everything ‘Americana’, size matters, and this Bimmer has it in droves starting with its sheer size. Then comes its beefy 1,800cc boxer-twin heart, followed by things like its massive 19-inch front wheel that made of cast iron.

This German vision of the classic big-sized American cruiser is nothing short of stunning to say the least and we can’t wait to see a production version spawn.

2020 Aprilia RS660
2020 Aprilia RS660
2020 Aprilia Tuono 660
2020 Aprilia Tuono 660

3. Aprilia 660 series
Being on home ground, the famed Noale-based factory again did not disappoint by bringing a production-ready version of its RS660 middleweight supersport on show this year, but it wasn’t alone.

Largely based on the RSV4 1100 flagship superbike – which has been updated with electronic suspension for 2020 – this ‘baby’ version of sorts sees its 660cc parallel-twin delivering a punchy 100bhp to propel its claimed 169kg dry bulk, meaning it will lead in its class in terms of power-to-weight ratio.

Aptly, the RS660 will appeal to many supersport enthusiasts when it heads into production next year, but Aprilia didn’t stop there. This year, the RS660 was joined on stage by the equally stunning Tuono 660 concept that stands as said supersport’s streetfighter offshoot – a ‘baby’ Tuono 1100 – that got many more fans excited.

As if that wasn’t enough, Aprilia even teased another offshoot of which called the Tuareg 660 concept. Aptly, this one sees Noale baiting the off-road and adventure riding crowd, but we’ll have to wait a little longer to see this one in full form…

4. Bimota Tesi H2
Radical Italian motorcycle builder Bimota has had a checkered history as a business, but news of Japanese powerhouse Kawasaki purchasing of 49.9 per cent of its stakes in the months prior to EICMA looks set to usher in a new chapter for the brand.

The first result of this tie-in saw Bimota showing off its rework of Kawasaki’s supercharged 227bhp Ninja H2 superbike. If you thought the base bike looked bland, this redux will surely turn it into the supercharged two-wheeled pin-up model you’ve always wanted.

Christened as the Bimota Tesi H2, the Italian firm went to town in making Team Green’s fire-breathing monster as theirs, complete with its signature intricate front suspension and hub-steering assemblies plus some sharp aero works to match.

Apart from the areas reworked by Bimota, the Tesi H2 has kept much of the Ninja H2’s running gear intact, perhaps hinting of series production and sales plan. This will be interesting to follow in the months to come…

5. 2020 Yamaha Tracer 700
No points for guessing what this dual-sport underpins, by which we mean the current Yamaha MT-07 naked bike. The famed Tuning Fork brand had already made a Tracer offshoot prior, but it sadly never landed on Malaysian soil officially.

This heavily updated version for the 2020 model year sees just how much Yamaha has upped the game for its middleweight dual-sport entry as they’ve brimmed it with more tech and features to make it a even more capable machine.

Apart from that, the Tracer 700 also sees the MT-07-derived 689cc parallel-twin heart and powertrain package getting further improvements all around to meet strict new Euro 5 homologation rules that takes affect starting next year.

Tasty on board features include a new digital instrument display, improved new adjustable suspension, adjustable windscreen which can be operated one-handed, as well as tasty LED lighting to match it sharp new R1-inspired styling.

Like its immediate predecessor, it’s hard to say if local importers and distributors Hong Leong Yamaha Motor Sdn Bhd (HLYM) will bring it in. Still, you can gawp at the Tracer 700 through the gallery we’ve prepared below.

6. 2020 KTM 390 Adventure
It’s been a long time coming, with rumours of this offshoot of the 390 Duke spanning from said base bike’s last iteration even. Well then, the wait is over and KTM has finally broken into the small-sized dual-purpose segment with the 390 Adventure.

Obviously, the 390 Adventure underpins its 390 Duke sibling closely, sharing nearly identical bones and thumpy 373cc single-cylinder heart. Of course, in Adventure form, this 390 Duke offshoot benefits with higher-travel and adjustable suzzies as a start.

Other notable bits include a decent electronics suite that includes cornering ABS, switchable traction control with off-road mode, the option to equip a bi-directional quickshifter, as well as a rich digital dash display panel amongst a few other things.

Certainly, should the KTM 390 Adventure land on local soil, it’s poised to blow many of the China-made pretenders out of the water, and perhaps give its key segment rival the BMW G310 GS something to sweat about.

7. 2020 Suzuki V-Strom 1050
Japanese powerhouse Suzuki brought out a revised version of its V-twin powered-V-Strom dual-purpose this year, which now goes by the V-Strom 1050 nameplate. Three variations were shown, those being a standard, an up-specced XT and a full-blown XT Adventure.

Much of the styling changes come inspired by the Hamamatsu-based manufacturer’s legendary DR-Big from the 90s, even mirroring its colourway here. Underneath, the 1,037cc V-Twin from the past V-Strom has been reworked altogether to deliver slightly more power whilst meeting strict new Euro 5 regs simultaneously.

n terms of electronics, the V-Strom 1050 base bike will provide ABS and multi-mode traction control as a start, but these boast lean-sensitivity in the up-specced XT as they’re matched with the six-axis IMU and cornering ABS features its brimmed further with.

The full-blown XT Adventure sees its specs beefed up further with standard-equipped quick-release side boxes, added crash protection, a larger adjustable windscreen plus heated grips, making this flagship a solid option for full-fledge adventure riders.

In short, if you thought the current V-Strom was good, then this one is poised to raise the bar further for the mighty S-brand in this segment.

8 Honda CB4X concept
Having already shown off its lightly updated Goldwing tourer and the epic CT125 concept at the Tokyo Motor Show 2019 weeks prior, Honda stunned Milan with this drop-dead gorgeous concept called the CB4X.

Dubbed as a ‘crossover’, the CB4X merges the best of two worlds, those being a tall-riding adventure dual-sport and a sport bike. Honda’s has a knack for making such radical crosses work in the past such as the X-ADV adventure maxi-scooter, and this latest effort, which is loosely based on the Honda CB650 series, is no exception either.

Study the details and its clear that this Honda concept is merging both aforementioned bike worlds almost perfectly. There’s the long-travel suspension to begin with, followed by the road-biased tyres matched with performance brembo brakes, sharp fairing design with great wind protection potential, as well as modern LED lighting.

Then there’s the powertrain that’s sporting racy SC Project pipes that signals this concept’s potential for performance. Wouldn’t this be something you’d want to to be seen on whilst carving canyon and twisty B-roads?

9. Harley Davidson Bronx
Lastly comes the famed American bar-and-shield marque and, if this production-ready version of its Streetfighter 975 concept – and the electrified Livewire - is anything to go by, this old guard of sorts has fully embraced a new future direction.

The famed Milwaukee-based firm are making lots of noise about the Bronx packing both attitude and performance, backed up by its claimed 115bhp and 95Nm headlining figures. That’s similar to the Yamaha MT-09, but with 10 per cent more twist in play, all supplied by its liquid-cooled 975cc Revolution Max V-Twin.

Also, unlike any traditional Harley, the Bronx’s meaty V-twin also doubles up as a main chassis stress member with its front and rear sub-assemblies being bolted on to it in similar fashion as a modern performance streetfighter.

Backing this performance claims up too are some key chassis hardware and bits. Included in the Bronx’s bill are fully adjustable suzzies, top-shelf Brembo anchors, as well as specially made tyres by Michelin. In other words, this ain’t your pop’s low-and-slow Harley, son…