2012 EICMA Milan Bike Show

November 15, 2012
Bart Madson
By Bart Madson
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Bashing away at the MotoUSA keyboard for nine years now, Madson lends his scribbling and editorial input on everything from bike reviews to industry analysis and motorcycle racing reports.

The EICMA show in Milan showcases the latest motorcycle designs from Europe and beyond. Most of the new bikes are long expected, tediously teased beforehand. But there’s usually a few surprises. Even bikes that don’t break cover in Milan often ride the coattails of the new model hype, with OEMs releasing 2013 model information to coincide with the bike show excitement. Stay up to speed on the latest changes from Europe on the 2012 EICMA Milan Bike Show. The updated coverage includes photos live from Milan courtesy of EatSleepRide.com.

Ducati 1199 Panigale EICMA 2012.
A sleek, aggressive-looking Ducati 1199 Panigale on display at the 2012 EICMA show in Milan, Italy.


The Bolognese manufacturer often steals the show with its releases at the Milan show. Bikes like the Hypermotard, Diavel and its latest superbikes dominate the EICMA news. Last year the Italian marque’s debut of its 1199 Panigale superbike hogged the headlines. This time around the headliner for the Ducatisti is a revamp of the Hypermotard, which upgrades with new styling and the 821cc Testastretta 11º engine. Ducati also revealed an “R” version of the Panigale, as well as “strada” versions of the Diavel and Hypermotard – touring-friendly versions of the respective mounts.

2013 Ducati Hypermotard & Hyperstrada Debut
2013 Ducati 1199 Panigale R First Look
2013 Ducati Diavel Strada First Look


Aprilia Caponord 1200 EICMA 2012.
The Aprilia Caponord 1200 shares a host of features with it’s Aprilia kin including traction control, ride-by-wire and the same V-Twin as the Dorsoduro Supermoto.
Aprilia RSV4 EICMA 2012.
The RSV4 arrives at EICMA, able to boast of yet another SBK world title at the hands of the now-retired Max Biaggi.

The Piaggio group released several new models for its family of Italian brands. The Vespa 946 is yet another model to tout the brand’s post-war origins. However, the 946 features bold styling updates, as well as a new 150 powerplant. The scoot also sports traction control, a first for any Vespa model.

Aprilia debuted its new Caponord 1200 adventure-touring mount. Expanding the popular ADV class, this Caponord is a complete redesign. Sharing the same V-Twin and chassis base as the Dorsoduro supermoto, this new Caponord showcases significant electronic developments. Like its sporty Aprilia kin, it features traction control, as well as ride-by-wire with all of the accompanying electronic goodies it provides like variable engine maps and cruise control. The big news, however, is the Caponord’s semi-active suspension technology, dubbed ADD (Aprilia Dynamic Damping).

Aprilia also announced two versions of its RSV4 superbike, offered in an RSV4R ABS and Factory ABS versions. Having since won a second WSB title at the hands of Max Biaggi, the RSV4 benefits from a claimed power increase as well as multi-map ABS.

Moto Guzzi also debuted a new model with its California 1400 cruiser. Powered by a larger 1380cc V-Twin, the California features striking styling – not the least of which comes from the distinctive Guzzi transverse engine mount. This California also showcases the Piaggio electronic sophistication, with ride-by-wire, variable engine maps, traction control and standard cruise control. The new Guzzi comes in two versions, a stripped down Custom and bagger Touring model. 

2013 Vespa 946 First Look 
Moto Guzzi California 1400 Touring/Custom
Aprilia Caponord 1200 First Look


MV Agusta Rivale 800 EICMA 2012.
Making sense of the MV Agusta Rivale…

The Italian marques always seem to keep something in store for Milan, and MV Agusta introduced an all-new model line. Having already broken cover on its Brutale 800 in the run-up to EICMA, MV Agusta reserved its Rivale for the bike show. An aggressively styled bike first teased in a development sketch earlier this year, the Rivale makes use of the stroked out 798cc Inline Triple shared with the Brutale 800. The Rivale also shares the high-performance rolling chassis of its Brutale kin, including three-way adjustable suspension components and radial-mount Brembo brakes. MV also revealed an updated version of its F4 Superbike at Milan.

MV Agusta Rivale 800 First Look


KTM Duke 390 EICMA 2012.
The KTM Duke 390. Could there be another entry-level offering in the works for American riders?

Austrian brand KTM may be the show-stealer at this year’s EICMA. The Austrians already made waves earlier with the release of its new Adventure models, but Milan sees the debut of a couple new street models from the traditional dirt bike OEM. The 1290 Super Duke R is described as a prototype, but KTM confirmed it is in the process of manufacturing the high-performance naked. The orange beast will source power from a bored-out version of the RC8R superbike’s V-Twin. Chassis is comprised of a tubular chromoly steel frame, with the appropriately lust-worthy components, including WP prototype suspension and Brembo brakes. It will also make use of electronic aids, like traction control, ABS and anti-wheelie/stoppie – which KTM promises can be turned off. In short, Duke hooliganism squared.

While the 1290 Duke gets the blood pumping, the most significant KTM product from Milan may be the smaller 390 Duke ABS. Powered by a liquid-cooled 373cc Single, the 390 Duke is an ideal entry-level candidate for the U.S. In a market which once was dominated by the lone Kawasaki Ninja 250, now there is yet another option for affordable small-displacement fun. The 390 Duke will roll on WP suspension and features other cush amenities, like a radial-mount four-piston stopper on its single front disc. It’s claimed 306-pound curb weight promises a light, maneuverable mount, and it’s quite a looker for an entry-level mount. Come to America please.

KTM 1290 Super Duke R Prototype First Look 
2013 KTM 390 Duke ABS First Look


BMW F800GT EICMA 2012.
The BMW F800GT is an all-new entry from the German marque, adding touring functionality to its F800 lineup.

Das motorrad company reserves its bombshells for the domestic Intermot show in Cologne, but BMW often makes news at EICMA as well. No more Boxer models were debuted making use of the now liquid-cooled Twin powering the revamped GS. Instead, BMW promised it will manufacture a Boxer by next year that will celebrate the Bavarian marque’s 90th year of motorcycle production. Teaser shots hint at a Roadster. The new Beemer that did come to light at Milan is the F800GT. Reflecting its Grand Turismo touring credentials, the GT gets a new windscreen and ergos. The Parallel Twin powerplant also gets a boost, claiming five more hp from the familiar engine platform. 

BMW Announces New Boxer for 90th B-Day
2013 BMW F800GT Debuts at EICMA 2012


The European OEMs usually shine brightest at EICMA, but the Japanese also reserve key model releases for the critical Euro market. Honda makes the biggest shakeup for the 2013 models line, as Big Red preempted the EICMA deluge with the official reveal of its 500cc entry-level lineup. The CBR500R, CB500F and CB500X cater to specific riding styles but take clear aim at expanding Honda’s share of the entry-level market. The three offerings, all powered by a 500cc Parallel Twin, look to build off the momentum of Honda’s successful CBR250R. The CBR500R will also be raced in the European Junior Cup, with Honda’s SBK ace Jonathan Rea riding the CBR onto the EICMA stage.

Honda CB500X EICMA 2012.
The Honda CB500X was one of a number of 500cc bikes Big Red unleashed on the world during EICMA 2012.

Honda didn’t forget where it makes its big $$$ in the States, however, and brings a stripped down version of its Gold Wing to market in 2013. Perhaps capitalizing on the GW’s hybrid cruiser/street demo in the U.S., the Gold Wing F6B looks more bagger than uber-tourer. And it sports the hefty $20K MSRP to match. The most telling indicator of how much the motorcycle market has changed over the past five years, the least noticed 2013 update from Honda was its refurbished CBR600RR, with new suspension and styling. The once mighty Supersport class has been superseded by entry-level bikes.

2013 Honda CBR500R First Look
2013 Honda CB500F First Look
2013 Honda CB500X First Look 
2013 Honda Gold Wing F6B First Look
2013 Honda CBR600RR First Look

Suzuki GSX-R1000 EICMA 2012.
Suzuki celebrated the production of one million GSX-R models with the Limited Edition GSX-R1000.


Suzuki held its U.S. dealer meeting the weekend before EICMA, with five models announced. Most intriguing was the GW250, pitched as offering Baby B-King looks at an entry-level price. The liquid-cooled 248cc Twin offers yet another entry-level street/sport to U.S. riders. Price is still to be determined. Suzuki also brings a new Boulevard C90T B.O.S.S. cruiser to the States. A production bagger the blacked-out Boss is powered by a 1462cc Twin. Suzuki also announced a restyled Burgman 650 scooter, as well as special editions of key sportbike models – a GSX-R1000 celebrating the millionth GSX-R model and a limited-edition Hayabusa. Before the dealer meeting and EICMA news, however, the company’s American subsidiary announced it was filing Chapter 11 and shuttering its auto business in the U.S. to focus exclusively on motorcycles and powersports. 

Entry-Level Suzuki GW250 Joins 2013 Lineup
Suzuki Introduces Five Models for 2013
V-Strom 1000 Concept in U.S. by 2014

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