By Michael C. Wilson
ICYMI, manufacturers have been going crazy unveiling new production bikes and concepts at the EICMA show in Milan all week. My twitter and IG feeds have been overflowing with some gorgeous new machines. So, to save you some time (and some FOMO anxiety) I have rounded up my top five favorites.
#5: Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and Continental GT 650
I realize the first entry here is actually TWO bikes, but they're pretty much the same bike. These are the first parallel-twin engine bikes Royal Enfield has produced in modern history. The Interceptor is a simpler roadster style while the Continental is a full-blown cafe racer. Both share the same engine and chassis.
#4 Ducati Scrambler 1100
The Scrambler has been a crowd favorite since Ducati decided to start making them again in 2015. For 2018, they've beefed up the power with a Monster 1100 evo engine. It comes in three styles, base model, special, and sport. All three continue the retro styling trend, which I love, but also come packed with safety features like the Bosch cornering ABS and traction control system. Plus, that duel underseat exhaust is just cool as hell.
#3 Kawasaki Z900RS Cafe
Can we see a trend developing here? This has to be the best nod to retro design I have seen to date. And you might think this is all style over substance, but underneath that beautiful teardrop tank and sumptuous fairing, lies a very good motorcycle. The Z900 was my favorite bike at the AIM Expo this year, so to see it get dressed in this gorgeous design really ticks all the boxes for me. I mean....just LOOK at it.
#2 KTM 790 Duke
Just when you thought it was going to be ALL cafe racers here comes the Duke. Burn outs should be no problem with the 799 cc parallel twin that churns out a heart-stopping 105 hp. And in true KTM fashion, this bike has all the electronic bells and whistles you could ask for.
#1 Husqvarna Vitpilen 701
We were first teased about this beautiful concept in 2014. But with concept bikes, they rarely come to life with the same pizzaz or inspired look that makes them so exciting as concepts. Not in this case. The Vitpilen (translation: white arrow), stays so true to the original concept that we have to give it the number one spot. The Vitpilen will be powered by the same motor that runs the Husky Supermoto, which will give it 75 hp and it will be available in mid-2018.
Honorable Mention: Indian FTR1200 Concept
Indian took the race bike that dominated the American Flat Track circuit this year and slapped a headlight on it. The only reason this one doesn't make the top five is because its still a concept. But my GOD I hope they put this thing in to production. It's basically everything I wanted the Scout Bobber to be (and I love the Scout Bobber).
What is your favorite? Let us know over on the facebook page.