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Top 10 Eicma oddities

Overlooked wonders from the Milan show

WITH bikes like Honda’s RC213V-S, Yamaha’s R1 and Kawasaki’s H2 on show, it was all to easy to miss out on some of the less obvious offerings at last month’s Eicma motorcycle show in Milan.

But you won't, because here are 10 of the best Eicma offerings from firms you won’t find at your local dealer. You’re unlikely to get a chance to see many of these in the metal, let alone consider buying them, but they’re still machines that any biking anorak should know about.

10: Vertemati Factory Infect

Vertimati Factory is a descendant of Vertimati Racing, and its V-twin powered ‘Infect’ is actually a whole range of models. There are 1000cc, 1100cc and 1200cc options on the V-twin engine, designed and made in-house at the factory in Triuggio, and two distinct styles of bike; a naked roadster with an aluminium beam frame (the NVR1) and a tube-framed motard, the MVR1. There’s also a stripped-down, track-only version of the naked bike, the RVR1. Prices start at around €100,000. Oh well.

9: Italjet Bulldozer

Italjet might be best known for the seminal Dragster scooter but these days the firm is just as interested in electric bicycles. Its Bulldozer concept is a full-on electric motorcycle, albeit a weirdly retro-styled one, complete with springer forks and a leather satchel where you might have expected a fuel tank. The lack of plates, indicators or mudguards suggests it’s never going to be more than a concept bike though, at least not without big changes.

8: CR&S Duu Dechiedelà

There remains a strata of motorcycle firm that sits above even the rarefied brands like Bimota; companies that seem to appear at bike shows year-in, year-out, always with new models that you can’t actually imagine anyone buying. CR&S is one of those firms, and a decade on from its first appearance with the ‘Vun’ single-cylinder, it showed a new version of its even madder Duu V-twin. Powered by an S&S motor, the Duu Dechiedela is a touring variant. Because obviously you’d tour on one of these. Crazy, but the world’s a better place for it.

7: Benelli BN251

Benelli’s rollercoaster ride since the firm was relaunched with the Tornado around the turn of the millennium shows no sign of slowing, with the Chinese developed BN251 the latest addition to its range. Where Benelli once came close to entering the fray with MV Agusta and Ducati as a uber-desirable, high-end brand, its Chinese ownership these days means it’s focussing on more entry-level ideas, and the single-cylinder, 24bhp, 250cc BN251 looks likely to be the cheapest Benelli yet. With the right price, dealer network, reliability and customer support, it might even be an attractive proposition.

6: CR&S Vun Lamichetta

To criticise the CR&S Vun because it’s only got a 54bhp Rotax single and a tubular steel frame is rather like having a go at Rolexes because they don’t have a built-in calculator. Like the Duu, the Vun is about tactility, materials, craftsmanship rather than performance or value for money. The new Lamichetta version is a sort of scrambler-ish supermoto version of the decade-old Vun, complete with hillbilly camo paintwork. Because that screams ‘class,’ doesn’t it? Paint aside, it’s actually rather a nice thing. If it cost a third as much, they’d sell like hot cakes.

5: Quadro 4

When Quadro emerged in 2011 with plans to offer leaning multi-wheeled scooters to complete with the likes of Piaggio’s MP3, it was always fairly clear that a four-wheeled version was on the cards. But to start with, it just offered a three-wheeler. Now the four-wheeled version is finally here, and it looks intriguing. Pics show big lean-angles despite the extra wheels thanks to the hydraulic tilting system, and there’s a 30bhp, 346cc four-stroke single to power it all (complete with a differential, of course, thanks to the twin rear wheels).

4: Paton S1

You might think you’ve seen the Paton S1 before, and to be fair, you probably have. The Kawasaki ER-6-powered retro race-rep was shown a year ago. But this year’s Eicma saw the debut of the production version, so it qualifies. Somehow, the €16,000 starting price doesn’t seem too insane, although the €23,000 for the top version is definitely getting there. Options include single or twin lights (we’d opt for the single) and half or full fairings, as well as stuff like Öhlins suspension.

3: Italmoto Evai

Even if you don’t remember it from the first time around, you’re probably familiar with how the original Vespa scooter managed to combine practicality, price and style to become an icon. Well, perhaps Italmoto’s Evai is the true modern interpretation of the idea. Its design is incredibly simple, but that means it’s light (55kg), and with an expected sub-€2000 price tag it’s not expensive for an Italian-made machine, either. A 43-mile range and 28mph top speed aren’t amazing but probably enough for inner-city use.

2: Bylot e-formidable

Retro-styled scramblers were very much the dish of the day at Eicma, but the Bylot e-formidable (possibly the worst name at the event, and that was against some stiff competition…) stood out because, despite its old-fashioned looks, it’s actually a modern electric bike. It’s reckoned to have an 80-mile range which can be extended to 111 miles by sticking an extra battery in the leather bag on the back. Weight is just 108kg. It’s planned to go into production in early 2015 at around €12,000.

1: Magni Filo Rosso

Magni’s Filo Rosso is simply spectacular – a prototype powered by MV Agusta’s 800cc three-cylinder motor from the F3 800, with retro racer styling worthy of the Magni name. The bike was shown in two forms; faired or naked (with hidden lights and tiny mirrors on the faired version to make it a convincing race-replica), and is likely to reach some sort of production in the coming months. The stock MV engine makes 125bhp, which is surely plenty in a bike that’s claimed to weigh only 145kg and has a frame that looks like it’s straight from the '70s. In fact, the wheels, forks and brakes are straight from the 70s - they’re old-stock parts which will surely have to be changed for something more attainable and effective as and when the real, production version is created.

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