What bike for 2016? EICMA highlights

There are plenty of exciting new motorcycles on the way in 2016, but if you ask a dozen people which is the pick of the bunch you’re likely to get 12 different answers. In most years a handful of new models stand out at the major shows. Often a theme emerges, as it did a year ago with the revival of sports bikes.

But the machines on display at this year’s EICMA show in Milan were notable more for their variety – of types, engine capacities and intended riders – than for individual brilliance or even a trend. Perhaps Ducati captured motorcycling’s current vibe best with a trio of bikes in improbable new areas: a 399cc small-capacity V-twin, the Scrambler Sixty2; an off-road biased adventure bike, the Multistrada 1200 Enduro; and a genuine cruiser, the XDiavel.

Of them the most representative of models from other marques is the humble Sixty2, whose 399cc capacity is less than half that of the existing Scrambler. BMW unveiled the G310R, a low-budget single, as well as a Scrambler model of its own. With 1170cc aircooled boxer motor and high-level exhaust it’s essentially a slightly less lavishly equipped R nineT with dual-purpose styling.

Retro has been fashionable for a while, and that trend is accelerating faster than a scruffy Seventies superbike with its throttle stuck open. Moto Guzzi is joining in with a scrambler styled version of its 744cc V-twin family, and thankfully found a more original name by calling it the V7 II Stornello. The Mandello firm also has a couple of new roadsters, the V9 Bobber and Roamer, which share a vaguely custom style and a new 850cc engine.

Yamaha has been at the forefront of the custom and retro scenes with its Sport Heritage range and involvement in events including the ultra-cool Wheels and Waves in Biarritz, so it’s no surprise to see more new models with an old-bike theme. The XSR700 is heavily based on the 689cc, 74bhp parallel twin MT-07; the similarly styled XSR900 on the 847cc, 113bhp MT-09 triple.

Triumph’s Bonneville family takes a big step towards modernity without losing its old-school feel thanks to a comprehensive update that includes new liquid-cooled engines…

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