Memory Lane Monday: The Milan Mash-Up

The Milan Mash-Up

By Zap

You can imagine that in all the years since passionate cyclists and throttle twisters first began walking the aisles of the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori (aka EICMA) back in 1914 that the evolution of the breed has been nothing less than dramatic. To think back to the level of technology that the conjoined industries would’ve highlighted at the show in the days prior to World War 1, and then fast-forward to what was on display last November is simply mind-boggling. 

That more than a few of the domestic brands seen at EICMA (aka the Milan show) have roots dating back decades only drives the point home of what a treasure Italy is to bicycle and motorcycle enthusiasts alike. 

And just as we have found in recent years with the annual bicycle-specific show (aka Eurobike) held each September in Friedrichshafen, Germany, the “e-bike creep” continues apace—not only with a surprising number of new entries but, better still, new designs and technologies.

In addition to the two days of industry-only attendance, thankfully, the EICMA show also has two days open for consumers, thus it remains the largest gathering of the two-wheeled industry and its enthusiasts. Hence, we have here another installment of the latest and greatest in e-bike technology that we spotted within the six massive halls filled with the most modern two-wheeled creations that exist. Until next year!

www.eicma.it 

 

 

 

Founded in 1896 in Sweden, Husqvarna is now owned by KTM in Austria, and although “Husky” doesn’t have any e-moto bikes, they have jumped into the off-road e-bike market in a big way. www.husqvarna-bicycles.com

 

Ducati is just one of many motorcycle brands who have jumped on the e-bike bandwagon to help build their battery-powered future. As of now, the famous Italian brand has yet to show any e-moto models. www.ducati.com

 

Funny thing, but as popular as KTM bicycles are, they actually have no affiliation with KTM motorcycles since the latter licensed the name to the former decades ago. When it comes to battery-powered bikes, KTM is still showing off its $10,499 Freeride E-XC. www.ktm.com/e-ride/freeride-e-xc

 

Although they have yet to implement any e-bikes into their full-size line of motorcycles, Husqvarna is making good headway with the kids’ market with the $5500 EE-50 mini-bike.

 

In addition to the many manufacturers displaying their bikes for public consumption, the EICMA show traditionally attracts a plethora of design houses intent on displaying their bike for manufacturers’ consumption. Both of these bikes were built by the Chinese company Front Art.

 

 

n addition to their more traditional-looking e-road and e-MTB bikes, the Italian Fantic brand has this unique take on a fat-tired dual-purpose bike. www.fantic-bikes.com

 

Following in the tire tracks of their entry-level TC and TS models, Super Soco has launched the higher-end TC Max that has a claimed top speed of 62 mph and range of 68 miles. The belt-drive Max exhibits a quality build and is powered by a removable 72-volt, 45-Ah lithium battery. Another interesting feature is the linked braking with the Brembo disc brakes. www.supersoco.com

 

The UTV giant CFMoto had this big-wheeled concept e-ATV on display as a sign that they, too, are aware of the electric movement.

 

Well, it’s still Italy after all!

 

Multi-time MotoGP world champion Valentino Rossi has teamed with Lapierre to supply bikes for his rider academy that trains up and coming throttle-twisters.

 

Fantic now has two versions of their Fazua-powered Passo Giau road bike with a new higher-end version sporting FSA’s K-Force electric wireless drivetrain.

 

THE E-BOXER HAS ARRIVED As usual, the BMW booth was one of the show’s largest and busiest. This year, alongside their wide range of street and dual-purpose motorcycles, sat two new and very exciting e-moto concept bikes. No longer is their years-old Evolution maxi scooter the sole e-powered two-wheeler, as it’s now been joined by the radical Vision DC roadster, which is actually a runner (as seen on BMW promotional videos). While BMW has not released any performance information for the Vision DC Roadster yet, they say it uses a 12.7-kWh battery module from the BMW i3 car, giving the C Evolution a range of 99 miles.

 

BMW obviously sought to pay homage to the past while embracing the future by mimicking the look of their signature opposed twin-boxer engine. The Vision DC roadster employs side shrouds that double as cooling elements that extend outward under acceleration.

 

Borrowing from its gas-powered siblings, the DC has an exposed shaft drive and anti-dive Dual Lever front fork. There are no foot pedals, as both brakes are applied by hand controls.

 

THROUGH THE EYES OF ITALY

If there was one bike on display in Milan that truly epitomized the melding of design, future concept and Italian design, it was this wild BMW concept bike that sprang from the pen of industrial designer Antonio Sassi. Could this really be the e-moto bike of the future? 

www.antoniosassidesign.it

Nito Bikes has been producing small-scale, urban-friendly e-bikes and scooters for a few years, and at EICMA, they rolled out their boldest effort yet with this concept bike that enjoys Supermoto styling with more than enough front brake power. www.nitobikes.it

 

There is no doubt that the modern age of e-bikes brings with it a liberating sense of new design and usage. This city bike from NIU Aero integrates its Bafang motor and Panasonic battery nicely.

 

Kymco is one of the world’s largest scooter manufacturers, and following last year’s roll-out of their SuperNEX that had a top speed of 155 mph, at EICMA this year they introduced a more entry-level version in the RevoNEX. Both bikes are still in the concept stage and have six-speed transmissions. www.kymco.com

 

As this twin-shocked retro bike illustrates, not every e-bike design was easy to understand.

 

KAWASAKI JUMPS INTO THE E-MOTO FIRE

Kawasaki used the EICMA show to reveal their first attempt at an electric motorcycle. The mid-sized sport bike is called the Kawasaki EV, and while the concept bike may or may not be headed for production, it’s pretty far along to be a mere test mule. 

The EV starts off with a production trellis frame borrowed their popular Ninja 650. Interestingly, unlike most electric motorcycles on the market, they put in a 4-speed gearbox with a clutch. 

Kawasaki claims that it has a range of 62 miles, and the motor puts out 27 horsepower during acceleration, and half of that is for cruising. It uses CHAdeMO fast-charging and can use 120 or 240 volts to recharge. With these specs, it’s definitely not ready for market yet, but it’s going to be exciting to see where the Japanese motorcycle brand goes with it.

www.kawasaki.com


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