2017 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin
For some people, adventure is about finding your way through the unknown and doing things most have not or seeing things never seen before is a savour best felt. But unless you plan on walking, you need a way to get there. This is where Honda’s new offering comes in and sweeps you off your feet in the most humble and matured way.
Almost 30 years ago, the Africa Twin conquered the Paris-Dakar Rally. This year, it’s been re-imagined with the same True Adventure spirit and is hitting the Indian shores after a delay of nearly a couple of years.
With the Dakar rally, some manufacturers were happy about being participated, but Honda went on to win 1-2-3 positions in 1986. Just 5 years after their first appearance. And they did it on the then Africa Twin.
Honda have now made use of that wild experience and fed it into their brand new avatar of that legendary Dakar motorcycle, the NXR750, and gives us the CRF 1000L Africa Twin. A machine born in the factory but tamed in the wilderness that inherits the “go anywhere” phenomena and embodies the latest of technology and engine construction to literally do just that without any fuss.
With this motorcycle, Honda throws a challenge at us - ‘It’s not a question of how far your Honda will go. It’s how far you’re willing to take it’. And knowing the reliability of a Honda, I’m guessing it’s a challenge for us to take upon without having to think twice about the machine.
2017 Ducati 1299 Superleggera
Ducati always have had this insanity in them to time and again bring up machines that push the boundaries of two-wheeled glory, a boundary that will make every other manufacturer look like a speck of dust. For this alone, we must hand it to the Italian with all pomp and flair that they can literally pull off a true bloody special edition.
And this time we are talking about a 215 bhp of carbon fibre, the Ducati 1299 Superleggera. Which by the name itself means “simply light”. This is, ladies and gentlemen, the world’s first factory built superbike that is equipped with frame, swingarm, subframe, bodywork and the wheels built out of carbon fibre.
Ducati tells the world that ‘The 1299 Superleggera is the greatest expression of engineering, technology and performance ever put into mass production by a motorcycle manufacturer‘. It is a reminiscence of the legendary 1199 Superleggera.
Under all this is what I call a ‘Brobdingnagian’ twin Superquadro power house that can scare the daylights out of most seasoned riders. If that still does not fit your bill, the electronics package on this, one would need a Master’s degree and a PhD to understand the concepts of it, and by the time you do understand, you would stop caring about it because your brain is gizzing already.
2017 BMW R NineT Urban G/S
Success was not a problem with BMW, especially for their R NineT. It has absolutely been a hit story for the German ever since it launched the R Nine T in 2013. It was so good that BMW struggled initially to keep up with the demand and they released one version after the other in succession to the world stage that include the Pure (roadster) and Racer (café/endurance-style), as well as the Scrambler. It is a no brainer that BMW Motorrad will see it fitting to extend their range even further.
The GS motorcycles refers to either Gelände/Straße (German: off-road/road) and are distinguished by their long travel suspension, upright riding position and larger front wheels. Taking up the same moniker is the Urban G/S which is purpose built street-oriented motorcycle that has a charm bound to resonate with onlookers. Based on the ‘Lac Rose’ concept seen at Wheels and Waves earlier this year, the German finally took the wraps off their new 2017 BMW R nineT Urban G/S at this year’s EICMA in Milan.
Paying homage to the original 1980 BMW R80G/S, this urban combines the classic motorcycle with modern technology and sophisticated craftsmanship that can transport anyone back to the days when the GS abbreviation meant a sense of freedom and the passion for adventure on two wheels, both on-road and off-road. But this time they’re for looks and not for bashing your way across unpaved expanses of Africa.
2017 MV Agusta Dragster 800 RC
The same Italian madhouse production that gave us the F3 800 RC, the hottest performing middleweight sportbike in production, upgraded their Reparto Corse line-up with this condescending streetfighter born out of the experience gained by MV Agusta with their rich participation in World Superbike and Supersport arenas. The limited edition MV Agusta Dragster 800 RC.
Based on the original Dragster 800 and the RR, this stunning piece of entry by the house of Varese is for an audience who desire the best of both worlds. Beauty and performance. Wearing jazzier clothes, this RC can let you taste the spirit of racing and technology that thrives on pure emotions and a rich heritage. It was unveiled at EICMA in Milan, Italy.
Imagine a world in 2050. Actually, you know what… don’t bother. Because this is what it’ll look like.
An Italian company (obviously), Aero, has managed to coup up this extraterrestrial green motorcycle which seems more like a hypothetical or a fictional character from a sci-fi flick. And it is called the E-Racer. This Aero project was in collaboration with an Italian automotive magazine – Inmoto and after almost a year of work, they landed this space age E-Racer in the 2016 EICMA show in Milan.
2017 Husqvarna Vitpilen 401
A few months back Bajaj had confirmed that it will launch the Swedish motorcycle manufacturer Husqvarna, owned by KTM - a company that has Bajaj Auto as a shareholder. Husqvarna had teased the upcoming models in their concept designs and fortunately for us, the production ready models showcased in the ongoing EICMA looks much like its concept edition. This means we get to see some bonkers design unlike anything seen before on the streets; straight from the blokes who seemed to have styled it from 2050!
The model we are talking here is the Vitpilen 401 which are based on the KTM Duke 390. Let’s decipher this out of the world tongue-twisted name first - It took me literally half a dozen reads before I got it right. Vitpilen (wit-pi-len) means White Arrow.
This motorcycle will be the first of the Husqvarna’s ‘Real Street’ motorcycle lineup that is headed to bring in the Swedish company’s name into the world stage. Other models include the Svartipilen 401, Vitpilen 401 Aero and Vitpilen 701 which were also showcased as a concept version at the EICMA in Milan, Italy.
2017 Moto Guzzi Audace
Moto Guzzi is a brand filled with products considered to be carrying a rebel spirit, a unique personality that often goes against the flow. The history books is proof that this Larian eagle is riddled us all with some unusual but unique choices like the transversal V 90, a skill for innovation, records in the sports field, the renowned eight-cylinder engine and more. Moto Guzzi was never shy in showing them off 95 years ago neither are they today.
Moto Guzzi’s “dark soul” the Audace (Auda/tʃ/e), in theory, is a cruiser. But when Guzzi decided to provide it with the award winning v-twin newly developed by the historic marque, the Moto Guzzi California, out came a pro-street blacked-out tire-burner Audace.
BMW HP4 RACE
You know that it is a big deal when BMW themselves call it ‘the most exclusive BMW motorcycle of all time’.
At this year’s EICMA, BMW Motorrad revealed to the world an initial glimpse of the most exclusive model in its history to date: the sinister looking BMW HP4 RACE. It is an advanced prototype of the power star, the S 1000RR-HP4 with full carbon fibre twin-spar main frame and rims that are made in the same factory that makes carbon fibre components for BMW’s iconic ‘i-series’ and 7 series of cars. It will be a purposeful hand built motorcycle by the blokes at BMW and should begin with supplying this limited edition of limited editions in the second half of 2017.
2017 Kawasaki Versys-X 300
Everyone on the face of this planet enjoys living the adventure life. Few have made it their life and the rest envy such people. Kawasaki has an answer to those ‘rest’. Those who are at their mundane life thinking that they are killing it out there and are in desperate need of a break to cut shackles and wander out.
As people are maturing, so is the adventure-bike segment. Call it trend or being sensible, manufacturers are contesting even in lower-displacement machines. This renewed interest is bringing all the positives to the manufacturer into cultivating young riders to brand loyalty. Kawasaki is no child. By showcasing the Kawasaki Versys X-300 at the recently culminated EICMA show in Milan, it has given a breather to those craving to have the perfect getaway, even if it is just for the weekend. There are more and more riders wanting to climb on their motorcycles and go curving on the highest roads in Leh and Ladakh or anywhere in the country for that matter. Can this Japanese green machine answer their calls? Let us decipher it by the bits.
2017 Ducati Scrambler Desert Sled
2016 EICMA Milan saw a lot of revelations that is going to change the way we bike. Modern and sophisticated packages that is one above the other. Ducati’s stable was also a busy bee with it showcasing the lineup for 2017 and included are two models that will join their badass Scrambler series that add the missing pieces to the puzzle. A gleaming and stylish Café-Racer and an off-road capable Desert Sled that we couldn’t help but get obsessed with them already. "Scrambler is no longer just a model, but now it is a brand," announced Ducati CEO Claudio Domenicali.
Till today, Ducati has been making Scramblers which could have been abused but it pleased the urban way and masses and hence they became glorified street bikes. With five models in the lineup, this Desert Sled is finally the machine that is ready to get its feet properly dirty. Reinforced for off-road duty, this Desert Sled is most certainly a Scrambler-esque iteration of the South-West California and the Mexico’s Baja scenes in the ’60s and ’70s. They were fitted with engines displacing upwards of 500cc and stripped off anything that is nonsensical to run on roads or no roads. Featured on these were off-road tyres, wheels and spokes and were given modified suspension systems and engine skid plates; a trademark indispensable in shielding the bike from rocks, stones and the unforgiving desert terrain – that gave the Desert Sled its name.
2017 Triumph Street Scrambler
This is Triumph’s efforts to prove that they still can rule the popular scrambler category. Pulling wraps at the ongoing EICMA, Triumph revealed the much needed answer everyone were asking for when they had released their Street Twin. Meet the Triumph Street Scrambler. The other sibling for the Street Cup born out of the Bonneville family.
Bringing in a significant update in capability and style to the iconic British company, the Scrambler builds on the Street Twin’s position as the fun and accessible machine and vies for top honours at the crowded segment which every motorcycle manufacturer is going collectively mad over. Luckily for Triumph, they have a history with the Scramblers that dates back to the legend Steve McQueen.
2017 MV Agusta F3 800 RC
The hottest performing middleweight sportbike in production wearing civilian clothing is the F3 800. The blend of performance similar to a litre class and handling prowess of a 600cc track machine is the DNA of every F3 800. And this limited-production RC (Reparto Corse) edition is a legitimate celebration of this MV Agusta’s superior qualities created by the honchos at the racing department, Jules Cluzel and Lorenzo Zanetti.
There aren’t many quintessential motorcycle manufacturer like this Italian. They have had their own share of trumps and falls throughout their history but now it seems like MV is enjoying a rare period of sustained growth. Turning motorcycles into a work of art has become a trait at MV and this RC edition of the F3 is a graphically accurate duplicate of the factory racers including the AMG logo and the signatures of the company’s racing World SuperSport Title riders.
2017 Kawasaki Z900
We all know the prowess of a litrebike-plus class of nakeds with their explosive power and riding tech making them the best adrenaline gods. Their middleweight siblings lack that punch-in-the-face factor, until now.
Meet the new Kawasaki Z900, which is replacing the outgoing Z800 in the ‘Z’ class of Kawasaki’s naked bike in an attempt to bring the most challenging contender to the middleweight segment. Revealed at the Intermot 2016, this bike was finally showcased at 2016 EICMA in Milan.
2017 Benelli Leoncino
Benelli was finding it difficult to find its identity amidst in the modern and competitive world, even more after it was acquired by a Chinese firm. But now it seems like a thing of the past, more of a ‘myth’ one could say. Benelli started showcasing us products designed by CentroStile Benelli and slowly their reputation got back to their original charm.
The same design house has once again wowed us by showcasing the Leoncino (pronounced Leon-cheeno), meaning the Lion Cub and the Leoncino Trail is its scrambler edition. This street and scrambler motorcycles was first showcased at the 2015 EICMA as a concept and people had then put a lot of money on these bikes because of the potential shown. Then these motorcycles missed the recently culminated Indian Auto Expo 2016 and the Indian fans were disappointed and rubbished it calling it a rumour. But Luckily, DSK Benelli chief, Mr. Shirish Kulkarni, has confirmed the arrival of the Benelli Leoncino and Trail. We saw the production versions at the ongoing EICMA 2016 as well and we are glad to report that it has maintained the rugged and beautiful lines. Rejoice everyone.
2017 Ducati Scrambler Café Racer
In the last couple of years, the Indian market has witnessed the arrival and introduction of many new motorcycles and concepts which have broken the conventional norms of motorcycling in India, of being a place of only two kinds of motorcycles- naked commuters and faired sportsbikes. Many new segments have been born and have broken the monotony, with one such concept of that of café racers.
Much popular in European countries, the café racers are purely for those who have the passion of letting loose and ride with all of their hearts open, thanks to their focus only on design and performance. It is the purest and simplest form of café racers, which have made them a bit of niche segments when compared to other categories of bikes.
For now, there are only a handful of café racers available in the country, which will soon be joined by the Ducati Scrambler Café Racer. Joining the lineup of fun yet affordable Scramblers from Ducati, the Scrambler Café Racer is the first ever café racer motorcycle introduced by Ducati in 21st century. Here’s our quick and comprehensive review of the all new Ducati Scrambler Café Racer:-