At last count, we have covered at least 25 new motorcycles debuting at the 2013 EICMA show in Milan this week. Some are beautiful, some are fast, some are practical and some are affordable. Some are all of those things and more. And some aren't. Here's the 5 biggest bummers at 2013 EICMA.
Bike Name: Aprilia Brand
What They Did: Show up at EICMA without a single new bike or even a model update.
Why They Did It: The European motorcycle market is on a downswing (no jobs, no bike sales), the brand has very little penetration in North America and not much anywhere else in the world.
What Would Have Made It Good: A more powerful RSV4. That motor is capable of up to 220 bhp in production form. Sure, doing so would increase its price, but it would also give the brand one heck of a unique selling point. An all-new replacement for the Shiver and Mana would also be nice, bringing the brand's affordable street range in alignment with the appeal of its V4s or even knocking 100 lbs or so of the Dorsoduro. Basically, anything. Instead, they announced they'll be spending money on racing.
Bike Name: 2014 Honda CBR1000RR SP
What They Did: Rumors have been swirling of an all-new CBR or even a V4 MotoGP-replica (which wouldn't wear the "CBR" monicker). Instead, we got the existing bike, just with nicer suspension and brakes.
Why They Did It: Again, global sales are low, so even the largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world has dialed back new model development. Adding top-shelf components is easy to do and will give the CBR some magazine covers and shootout victories to generate buzz around what's now an outdated superbike.
What Would Have Made It Good: For a price point around $17,000, I'd have at least wanted a set of forged wheels thrown in. Honda, we know you wield some purchasing power. But really, what we want is a whizz-bang new superbike that moves the performance motorcycle game further by at least a decade. We know you can do it.
Bike Name: 2014 BMW S 1000 R
What They Did: Lopped 33 bhp off the S 1000 RR superbike and called it a day.
Why They Did It: Honestly, we're not sure. By all accounts, the 180 bhp, 103 lb.-ft KTM 1290 Super Duke R is totally ride-able, so why can't the originator of performance electronics leave the balls on its new performance naked? Plus, it is a visually attractive bike.
What Would Have Made It Good: More power! Or maybe some distinction over the S 1000 RR other than the bodystyle. Assuming this thing only comes in slightly cheaper than the superbike, why would you buy one over the RR and a set of Renthals?