Saturday, November 6, 2010

EICMA 2010 Highlights

EICMA 2010, this year's Milan International Motorcycle show (yes they have bicycles too but who really cares), finishes tomorrow. There was a 25% increase in attendance and all of the big brands were present this year. All good signs, but some important and interesting brands were missing. No Bimota, no Vyrus, no Morini, no Buell (the last two in this list are sadly no longer with us).

There were plenty of new motorcycles on show, but not too many that were interesting to me. Among this year's main attractions: production versions of the CR&S DUU, the Brammo Empulse electric motorcycle and the MV Agusta F3.

I have already covered the CR&S DUU and will write more about it soon...


At last year's show I was hoping for a showcase of electric motorcycle technology, and was disappointed. This year there was half a pavilion devoted to green technologies with some serious-looking electric scooters and one production electric motorcycle which stood out from all the rest: the Brammo Empulse.

Here is the first production electric motorcycle that can stand proudly next to almost any petrol-engined motorbike. It weighs just 160kg (with 'fuel'), is capable of 160km/h, strong and smooth acceleration, and has a range of 100, 130, or 160km (depending on battery configuration). It has serious running gear (frame, wheels, suspension and brakes) and it looks great.

A TTXGP racing version of the Brammo Empulse

Times are changing, motorcycles of the future will be cheap, clean, silent, low maintenance, reliable, easy to ride, powerful, fun and electric.

An inside look at the Brammo's other model, the Enertia

MV Agusta F3

I remember, years ago, passing a boutique shoe store on one of Milan's famous shopping streets. There was something special and unique about that store, it has stuck in my memory while everything else from that day has faded. In the display window stood a white pedestal before a white backdrop. On top of that pedestal was a single, elegant, lady's black shoe. There was no signage, no price tag, no flashing lights, just a single black shoe.

The MV Agusta stand at EICMA 2010 was a white illuminated cube with the MV logo on it. From the outside that was all you could see. Only a limited number of people were allowed to go in at a time and inside was a white pedestal carrying just a single MV Agusta F3. No flashing lights, no free brochures, no technical sheets, no loud music. Just one motorcycle... and, of course, the girls - this is Italy remember.

And what a bike it is. For me the F3 was the sensation of the show. It could well become the pinnacle of combustion-engined sports motorcycles. A marvel of mechanical engineering, refined design and beautiful styling. I just hope that MV Agusta can put it into production while petrol-engined motorcycles are still relevant. The MV Agusta F4 took years to move from showroom prototype to production, but there is a good chance that things will be different with the F3. Harley-Davidson poured a lot of money into MV Agusta and then gifted the company back into the passionate hands of the Castiglioni during the financial melt-down. Let's hope the combination of passion, and recent investment is enough to get things rolling at Varese.

Best of the Rest

Last year, Moto Guzzi showcased some wonderful prototypes, including the beautiful, retro-styled Le Mans concept. This year they had the production version on display. If I had a magic money tree I think this would definitely be one bike in my collection.

CR&S and Moto Guzzi Dealer in Germany,
Bernhard Peintner tries the new Moto Guzzi

Bernhard finds a sports bike which is even lighter than the VUN.

This scooter also caught my eye.
Can't remember what it was called though.

Ducati had an enormous stand. The star attraction this year was their new 'Diavel' cruiser. Last year's ugly duckling, the multi-strada, went on to become a commercial success, but I can't believe many people outside of Italy would seriously consider buying one of these.

Remember the last time Ducati tried to enter this market? Does the Ducati Indiana ring a bell? If you don't know what I mean, click here (but be prepared to behold a bike that received a fair whack from the ugly stick).


  1. Dear John.. Never bet on Ducati challenges...

  2. Maybe you are right, but I hope the Diavel is not a success. I think this bike (and the multistrada) dilute what it means to own a Ducati. For me it is as if Ferrari were to start making trucks. It is not enough to say: "yes it is a truck, but we make it the Ferrari way". A truck is a truck.

  3. 160 km range on a BRAMMO. There is a ZERO M/C model with 275 km range. The BRAMMO is a toy; the ZERO is the Real McCoy !