Top 10 bikes at Eicma

A taste of what motorcycling has to offer in 2015

HERE'S our pick of the top 10 bikes at this year's Eicma Milan motorcycle show.

10. KTM 1050 Adventure:

When Visordown revealed a 1050 Adventure would be joining KTM’s line-up next year, most people wondered what the Austrians were smoking. It made little sense given there was already an 1190 Adventure, soon to be joined by a 1290 variant. All was revealed when we saw the 1050’s power figure - at 95hp, it’s eligible to be restricted for A2 licence holders. Licence rules say machines can only be restricted to the 48hp A2 limit if they made no more than double that to begin with. At 148hp and 160hp, the 1190 and 1290 models were way out. At £10,999 the 1050 Adventure is £2,000 cheaper than the 1190 and you still get ABS, traction control, WP suspension and Brembo brakes as standard. 

9. Ducati Multistrada 1200:

Despite being several years old, the Multistrada won the toss-up against BMW’s new S1000XR. Why? While the XR is mighty impressive with its 160hp detuned S1000RR engine, it looks a bit, well, like a BMW. We could be wrong but we think the Multistrada - which now makes 160hp and more torque than the XR thanks to a new variable valve system - seems the more desirable proposition. The new Multi has cornering ABS, LED lights which move as you corner, and eight-level wheelie control. Yes, eight. Isn’t that reason alone to own one?

8. Husqvarna 401 Svartpilen:

Based on KTM’s Duke 390, the 401 Svartpilen is arguably a significant threat to Ducati's Scrambler. Big knobbly tyres, aggressive styling and a relatively light 139kg dry weight, the 401 concept ticks all the boxes. It’ll need a few tweaks to make it road-legal but given the firm took the 701 supermoto from concept to production version in just 12 months, it would be no surprise to see a proddy version of the Svartpilen this time next year. Company Boss Stefan Pierer has said he wants it on sale within two years.

7. Honda’s new Africa Twin:

Okay, so Honda hasn’t officially confirmed it to be the Africa Twin - dubbing it the ‘True Adventure Prototype’ instead - and it’s still just that, a prototype. But given that the only example of the machine showcased at EICMA was caked in mud, it gives some indication that Honda actually intend this bike to be taken off-road. In a short press release, the big H went so far as saying the bike ‘could provide the basis of a true round-the-world motorcycle.’

6. BMW S1000RR:

Technically, the new S1000RR was first unveiled around six weeks ago at Intermot in Cologne, so while we agree it’s a bit cheeky to slip it in this list, we think it warrants a place nonetheless. Go to any superstock 1000 grid and you’ll notice a sea of Kawasaki ZX-10Rs and S1000RRs, and that’s because the RR is so brilliantly fast straight out of the box. And now it’s even better, according to BMW. Power has increased to 199hp and weight taken down 4kg to tip the scales at 204kg fuelled. It’s also got a lighter frame, new chassis geometry and semi-active suspension from the HP4 is available as an option. 

5. Aprilia RSV4 RR:

Joining the 2015 crop of 200hp+ superbikes is the new Aprilia RSV4 RR. The front end has been redesigned but all the really interesting stuff takes place under the plastics. The 999.6cc V4 engine now makes 201hp - 17hp more than before. Just about everything inside the engine is either new, made of titanium, or trimmed of weight. The camshaft is now 0.5kg lighter and the connecting rods have been trimmed of 0.4kg. If those changes aren’t Gucci enough, Aprilia offers a limited-edition ‘RF’ model with forged aluminium wheels, Öhlins suspension and a different graphics kit.

4. Ducati 1299 Panigale:

We remember a time when 1000cc in a superbike was everything you needed and more. Now it seems that if you run anything other than an inline-four cylinder engine, you need 1200cc at the very least to be taken seriously. Ducati took their Superquadro-engined Panigale a step further, reboring it to 1285cc. That places it into the elite 200hp+ group and with there’s no shortage of torque either. That front fairing has been changed too, along with a new tail unit and larger screen compared to the current model. Cornering ABS? Wheelie Control? Engine Brake Control? It gets the lot.

3. Kawasaki Ninja H2:

After experiencing the effects of chronic teaser video overkill, show-goers may have felt a tad underwhelmed when Kawasaki finally pulled the covers off the road-legal H2. But we still think it’s the best thing that’s happened to motorcycling in a long, long time. Nobody pins up a bike poster because the pictured machine has traction control and cornering ABS.  The H2 is part green, part carbon-fibre and most importantly has a big supercharger. That coolness factor is bound to rub off on Kawasaki’s other models and that can only be a good thing for new bike sales.

2. Honda RCV V4 road bike:

One of the most anticipated bikes of the show, the RC213V-S was finally unveiled after years of speculation that the firm was working on such a machine. No details have been released but it’s clear it’s based on Marquez’ world-championship-winning RC213V MotoGP bike. They even got Marquez to ride it on stage, at which point he joked: ‘This is my road bike, made just for me.’

Honda said: ‘Inspired by, and developed with input from many legendary GP riders, the RC213V-S Prototype is set to be the ultimate road-going motorcycle.’

We can’t wait.

1. Yamaha R1:

Next year looks to be a good one for superbikes, right? The new R1 has undergone one of the biggest revamps seen by any top-of-the-line sports bike for ages. It’s got a new cross-plane engine which makes a claimed 200hp and weighs only 199kg wet. That’s 18hp more and 7kg less than the current model. Or, in other words, a 1hp/kg power-to-weight ratio, one of the best available in any bike on the market. It has just about every electronic rider aid you could ever want and comes fitted as standard with a titanium exhaust, aluminium tank and cast magnesium wheels. If those features don’t impress you then there’s always the higher-spec R1M, a limited-edition variant with electronic Öhlins suspension, a data-logging system with integrated GPS, and the capability to upload new settings from a mobile phone or connect wirelessly to a tablet. Shove that in your supercharger and smoke it, H2.

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