Every November in the Fiera Milano in Northern Italy they hold the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori, the biggest motorcycle show in the world. You can call it EICMA for short, everyone else does. It’s like the Frankfurt auto show but on two wheels.
Then, a couple weeks after that and on the other side of the Atlantic, the eight-city Progressive International Motorcycle Show tour launches in America, also chock full of bikes. The Progressive show tours the whole country, bringing some of the best of EICMA and the world of two wheels to cities around America, right when those cities are layered in snow and could really use something to get their minds on spring, when the riding season opens up again.
Now, EICMA alone has over 1200 brands represented, so there’s no way we’re going to pack everything into this story, so consider this the best of EICMA and of the coming Progressive tour; start planning now to see it when it rolls into your town.
Aston Martin Brough Superior AMB 001 (pictured above)
This one was shown in Italy only. Sorry America. Representing a new collaboration between Aston Martin Lagonda and ancient-but-revitalized motorcycle maker Brough Superior, the track-only AMB 001 will be limited to just 100 examples. The bike’s water- and oil-cooled eight-valve 88-degree V-twin is “turbo supercharged,” with a variable geometry turbo making 180 hp. Dry weight is 397 pounds. With all that flowing bodywork and low profile it can’t be slow. You can “register your interest” at Aston’s website. Price is just under $120,000.
Aprilia RSV4 Factory
This big news here is not the 217-hp, 90-lb-ft V4 engine that powers this track screamer, but rather the semi-active suspension that has lowered lap times at both Imola and Mugello by a half second average. U.S. pricing is $24,499 and if you don’t have the fastest lap time with this, it’s not gonna be the bike’s fault.
The Aprilia RS 660, unveiled at EICMA earlier this month, has a claimed dry weight of 373 pounds and a motor that produces 100 horsepower at the crank. The parallel twin is derived from the front half of the 1100-cc Aprilia RSV4 engine.
Benelli Leoncino 800 and 800 Trail
Another Europe-only bike, the Leoncino represents a new technical platform from Benelli, cradling a liquid-cooled parallel twin of 754 ccs making 81.6 hp in its steel trellis frame. The 800 is a classic street bike configuration while the Trail is a scrambler.
BMW Concept R18/2
This cool concept cruiser debuted a EICMA but was also shown in Long Beach. It’s a new take on the Bavarian 1800 that debuted six months earlier at Villa d’Este.
BMW F 900 R and F 900 XR
These two mid-range Beemers share a steel frame that cradles a larger version of the parallel twin that powers last year’s F 850 GS. These two get 895 ccs of displacement, good for 105 hp and 68 lb-ft of torque. BMW says the R is for “purist riding fun,” while the XR “stands for an uncompromising mix of sportiness and touring capability.” It promises lots of touring accessories to make your bike useful for everything.
Bimota Tesi H2
Bimota is now 49.9-percent owned by Kawasaki, and the first evidence of this partnership is the Tesi H2. Powered by a 1000-cc supercharged Kawasaki ZH2 four-cylinder making 200 hp, the rest of the bike is pure, stylish Bimota. And available only in Europe, sadly.
Ducati Streetfighter V4 S
Another US debut (following EICMA) is the new 2020 Ducati Streetfighter V4 S, an “over-the-top” naked Ducati, with an 1103-cc Desmocedici Stradale V4 engine making 208 horsepower, 90.4 lb-ft of torque, and with a curb weight of 439 pounds. It has the same engine as the Panigale V4, just tuned for more power. Price is $23,995. It’s available in April 2020.
The Panigale V4 S stickers at $28,395 but is available in December. It has an aerodynamic body and upgraded suspension with modified “Front Frame” for better feel leaning into corners.
And finally, the Panigale V2 makes do with only two cylinders and 995 ccs but costs “only” $16,495.
The Harley-Davidson PanAmerica and Bronx
Harley continues to pursue new buyers with its adventure touring Pan America and “streetfighter” Bronx. Powered by your choice of its new 60-degree liquid-cooled Revolution Max V twin, a 975-cc making 115 hp and 84 lb-ft of torque and a 1250-cc making 145-hp and 90 lb-ft of torque.
The Harley Davidson LiveWire electric motorcycle was a draw in Long Beach. It makes a claimed 105 horsepower and has a 0 to 60 time of 3.0 seconds, a city range of 146 miles and a top speed of 100 mph. The prototype was first unveiled in 2014 and first deliveries were made in January of this year.
Harley Davidson also announced their first ever CVO Trike. CVO stands for Custom Vehicle Operations which involves factory-produced customs with larger displacement motors, extra accessories, and more expensive paint jobs.
Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP
Available in June of 2021, and also first revealed at EICMA earlier this month, the all-new Honda CBR1000RR-R Fireblade SP is suitable for the track or the street. With less weight, more power and a phalanx of electronics, it promises to be a very fast bike indeed. Engine output is 214 hp at 14,500 rpm and 83 lb-ft of torque at 12,500 revs, all that moving a bike that tips the scales at just 443 pounds. The SP version gets unique suspension and brakes from the RC213V race bike. It’ll be available in the U.S. in June of 2020.
Honda CB4 X Concept
Shown at EICMA, the CB4 X is just a concept for now but could one day straddle the sport touring and mid-size crossover segments. Powered by an inline four-cylinder from the CB650R, the bike was designed by Valerio Aiello, chief designer of Honda R&D Europe.
Honpe Technology CTjet
Another EICMA-only manufacturer, Honpe Technology is an automtovie and aerospace company based in Turin. It’s been in business over 20 years. While it specializes in 3D testing and prototyping, laser processing, engineering, molds and small series production, it also made this uniquely styled electric bike. The CTjet is powered by a two-kW electric motor, hidden suspension and weighs just 143 pounds. Top speed is 50 mph and it can be disassembled with just one screw, so be sure to tighten that screw.
Husqvarna Norden 901 Concept
This once-Swedish maker has been owned by KTM for a couple years now, so this concept looks to take the KTM 890’s 890-cc parallel twin and wrap it in a Swedish package. More bikes for us. This adventure tourer is aimed to be in showrooms in 2020.
The latest, and one of the biggest Indians ever made, the Challenger was on the ground at EICMA and in Long Beach, with the new 1769-cc 122-hp PowerPlus engine and bodywork all its own. Price is $21,999. Look for our review soon.
The Austrian motomaker revealed three new models coming to America at the EICMA show but was not present in Long Beach. The 1290 Super Duke R and 390 Adventure will get here in 2020 and the 890 Duke R will arrive in 2021. The 1290 is already popular because of the range of rider skill levels to which it caters. It gets a new chassis, styling and electronics as well as lighter weight for 2020, while the beast’s LC8 engine cranks out even more power.
For the 890 Duke – two years after the debut of the popular 790 Duke, KTM bumps displacement and introduces the 890 Duke R. The 890-cc LC8c engine makes a meaty 121 hp and 73 pound-feet of torque, more than enough to move the Duke’s 366 (dry weight) pounds. The 390, meanwhile, takes performance cues from the 450 Rally to make an on- and off-road bike for all budgets.
MV Agusta Rush Concept
The MV Agusta Rush Concept debuted at EICMA. It represents a step up from the Brutale 1000 RR on which it’s based. Its 998-cc inline four makes 208 hp at 13,000 rpm. It weighs 410 pounds dry, which includes a full suite of electronics. European price 33,900 Euros, or $37,360. It will go into production in May or June of 2020, MV Agusta says.
Peugeot Motocycles P2x Concept
Peugeot built its first motorcycle in 1898 with a De Dion Bouton engine powering the rear wheel. It went on to make tricycles and even quadricycles before settling into scooters in modern times. But it’s been 70 years since its last real motorcycle, and this P2x concept bike represents the company’s return to two wheels. No word on whether the PSA/FCA merger will see Peugeot motorcycles on our shores. But this bike would be cool. It is shown at EICMA in a 125-cc neo-retro formula and a 300-cc Café Racer design. Both engines are liquid-cooled singles with DOHC valvetrain.
Suzuki V-Strom 1050
The V-Strom is perhaps the ultimate Swiss Army knife of motorcycles and has been since 2002 or so. You could classify it as a sport adventure tourer, which covers just about everything. This new version has a Bosch Inertial Platform that measures a number of performance parameters and keeps you as safe as you want to program it to be, with adjustments for ABS, cornering and traction control. The 1037-cc 90-degree V-Twin peaks at 107 hp, according to the European website. This new version starts in the U.S. for $13,794.
Suzuki introduced three new V-Strom 1050 models earlier this month at EICMA and then again last weekend in Long Beach. They are the V-Strom 1050, the V-Strom 1050 XT, and the V-Strom 1050 XT Adventure.
The V-Strom 1050 has a larger engine displacement, updated traction control system with four modes, drive mode selector with three modes of engine power delivery, and a low-RPM assist system to help the rider avoid stalling the bike.
The V-Strom 1050 XT has all of the above features but also has the additional braking features of the Suzuki Intelligent Ride System (S.I.R.S.). The V-Strom 1050 XT Adventure has all the above plus aluminum panniers and heated grips.
Triumph Rocket 3 R
The British motorcycle company Triumph presented its Rocket 3 R in both Italy and the U.S. Engine displacement is up to a massive 2458 ccs, making it the largest production motorcycle powerplant in the world. Output from all that displacement is 164 hp at 6000 rpm while torque peaks at 163 lb-ft, more than enough to move the bike’s 642 pounds down the road (Triumph says it trimmed 88 pounds off this new Rocket). Price is $21,900.
Yamaha Tenere 700
The Yamaha Tenere 700 adventure touring bike made its American debut in Long Beach. It’s an all new design, separate from Yamaha’s heavier 1200-cc Super Tenere. The 700 is road worthy, but also has significant off-road capability. The 689-cc engine makes a claimed 72 horsepower with 50 lb-ft of torque twisting through a six-speed transmission.
There were electric motorcycles all over the show floors in Milan and Long Beach. At Long Beach there were three models from the Italian company Energica, two of which had claimed 0 to 60 times of 2.7 seconds. Zero Motorcycles (also electric) was present on both shores. Zero has had success in racing, including at the Bonneville Salt Flats, Pikes Peak, and motocross. Several electric power assist bicycle companies, including Giant and Yamaha were onsite as well.
The Verge TS electric motorcycle was at EICMA only. It stands out in an increasingly crowded field of e-bikes with a hubless rear drive wheel. The wheel houses the electric motor that makes it spin, and with a reported 735 lb-ft of torque it’ll spin till the rubber melts down. Zero to 60 is “under four seconds” and range is listed at 186 miles city and 124 highway. European price shown at EICMA translates to $28,000. No word on whether you can bring one into the U.S. But all those other above-mentioned electric bikes are on sale in the U.S.
We visited the first stop of the eight-city, 39th annual Progressive International Motorcycle Show tour at the Long Beach Convention Center in California. The Long Beach show was similar to the coming seven Progressive shows across the U.S., and featured hundreds of displays of new motorcycles as well as moto-related products, vintage bikes, and informational presentations.
One is called Discover the Ride, which allows the non-licensed bike-curious a chance to experience riding a motorcycle in a safe, supervised, low-speed, non-threatening environment. It’s also an opportunity for experienced riders to introduce the sport to their non-riding friends who may be curious to learn firsthand what it feels like to ride. This is done on small electric motorcycles.
The Kids Zone in Long Beach was similar to Discover the Ride but, as you may have guessed, it’s for kids. Depending on each child’s readiness, he or she will ride a small bicycle with or without the addition of a small speed-limited electric motor. There was a similar program at EICMA. It’s all about getting the next generation of riders up onto two wheels.
Demo Rides for adults are offered at some Progressive locations, but not all. They’re available only to licensed riders, and manufacturers require helmets, long sleeves, long pants, closed-toed shoes, and gloves. These rides generally last about 20 minutes, usually riding with a group. It’s a good opportunity to test ride a variety of motorcycles. This year at the Long Beach show BMW, Harley-Davidson, Honda, Indian, Kawasaki, Suzuki, and Yamaha offered demo rides.
There was even a wheelie demo, where you could try your hand – safely – at popping a wheelie on a motorcycle.
In addition to all the bikes, there were vendors selling everything from helmets, jackets, riding gear and apparel to helmet-friendly sun glasses, custom seats, motorcycle tours, rentals, riding schools, assorted leather products, art, high-quality photos, trailers, wheel chocks, beef jerky, pizza, and hot dogs.
Here’s the schedule for this year’s Progressive tour:
Long Beach, CA Nov 22-24, 2019
New York, NY Dec 6-8, 2019
Dallas, TX Jan 3-5, 2019
Washington, DC Jan 10-12, 2020
Denver, CO Jan 17-19, 2020
Cleveland, OH Jan 24-26, 2020
Minneapolis, MN Jan 31- Feb 2, 2020
Chicago, IL Feb 7-9, 2020
It really is fun. If you’re a car person, whether or not you ride, you might enjoy spending a few hours at the International Motorcycle Show. If it’s been a few years since you’ve ridden, or if you’ve never ridden at all, you might still enjoy the show. You might even want to treat yourself to Discover the Ride. It’s never too late to try something new!