EICMA’s over. The grandest show in the two-wheeled industry has come and gone and this year was quite spectacular. I’m extremely excited for next year and among all the bikes that debuted either as concepts or production models, five really stuck out whether for better or for worse.
Some bikes were undoubtedly good, while others stirred up a bit of controversy. While Enrico and Janaki both loved the bikes that they listed, I’m listing five that either caught my eye, made me question, or split an entire fan base. You could say that these are the bikes that I loved thanks to the stir they caused whether on a personal level or an industry level.
In short, I like a bit of drama. These are the five bikes that I found interesting to cover at EICMA 2023.
2024 MV Agusta LXP Orioli
Let’s start off with something easy. I simply love the LXP. Some people are so-so with the model, while I think it looks fantastic. MV’s middleweight adventurer is finally out and after years of teasing and coverage and even a 5.5 model that was canceled, a snide remark from KTM's head, and even a rename, we finally have it. Five hundred for the initial run and then a full production version after that.
The look of the LXP Orioli strikes me, and so does the inline-three cylinder motor that the brand fitted. Positioned as a versatile luxury adventure bike, it’s meticulously designed to be comfortable, but still capable. Also well-equipped, the bike has everything that you could want from a modern adventure-touring machine which also includes an inertial measurement unit and more. In fact, there were so many features listed in the press release of this model that I really had to sit down and unpack everything that MV Agusta had to say about it. It took me a while to write the article for this model, and as the first bike I covered from the show, it definitely left an impression.
2024 MV Agusta Superveloce 1000
While the LXP was more or less loved by all, the Superveloce 1000 that was also showcased split the fan base. On the one side, quite a number of people liked the design that MV displayed at this year’s show. However, others weren’t too happy with it. The Superveloce 800 was a well-liked model thanks to its simplicity and its neo-retro aesthetic. However, some purists didn’t take too kindly to the design of the 1000, writing it off as too complicated and not in keeping with the original design philosophy of Massimo Tamburini.
Simplicity is key, and without going into it too deeply, the bike was simply overly designed with a lot of cuts, curves, and too much complexity. The Superveloce 800 had a simple and elegant design, but the Superveloce 1000 wilded out, so to speak. You could say that MV overdid it, but then again I do consider that the brand does up the ante when it comes to their liter-class motorcycles. If you ask me, I think that it’s a hair too wild. While I still like the fact that the Superveloce nameplate is getting another model, it’s not what I was expecting given how the Superveloce 800 impacted me when I first saw it.
2024 KTM 990 Duke
I am a KTM 790 Duke owner, and I like how my bike looks. I am biased here. I also used to own a 390 Duke, which I also liked. When the 2024 KTM 390s came out, I was quite excited to see what the Austrian brand had up its sleeve for its next-generation middleweight. I will admit that Team Orange’s design language is not for everyone, and while it appeals to me, it definitely won’t tickle everyone’s fancy, and it’s not as if the 790 Duke was a universally loved bike design-wise.
However, now I do find myself in the other camp this time around. I liked the 790 Duke when it first came out, but the 990 Duke is very perplexing, at least based on online photos. I kept in touch with a few of my friends while they were touring the halls in Milan, and they said that the bike looked good in person. KTM moved away from the high mount location of the 790s and 890s and put the can in a more standard position. I don’t really like the headlight as I was sort of expecting the 1290’s unit to make an appearance on the middleweight for the first time. Other than that, the fairings got a lot bulkier which is like taking a step back from the sharp lines of the 790s and 890s. It does remind me of the original 990 Duke, however, KTM purists are understandably accepting of the 2024 990 Duke’s design, I’ll leave my final verdict for when I get to see the bike in person. For now, I think I might call it a bit ugly. Sorry KTM.
2024 CFMoto 450 MT
Now this is a motorcycle that I might actually consider buying in the future. While KTM released a soft update for the 390 Adventure, CF’s 450 MT has got me excited. I was able to test a 450 NK recently, and the bike managed to impress me on a number of fronts. The engine in particular is a gem in the segment, delivering punchy torque and accessible power in a lightweight package.
In terms of looks, it gets that rally aesthetic just right. In terms of its engine, I’m confident that the 270-degree parallel twin will be a great performer on and off the road. Also, the lightweight frame and chassis will be a godsend for someone like me on the trail. I don’t like heavy adventure bikes, and I believe that the power and torque of this bike are acceptable enough for on-road and off-road tasks the fact that CFMoto’s pricing has been very approachable so far is yet another factor that’s really drawing me towards this machine.
2024 Honda CB650R
In addition to my KTM, I also have a 2019 Honda CB650R. That model was monumental for me when I first saw it thanks to its neo-retro look and the fact that it was a Honda. I’m very familiar with the bike at this point, and I’m happy that Honda is keeping its inline-four middleweight in the lineup for 2024 with a design update and even a new E-Clutch system.
When it comes to design, I’m neither here nor there about the new CB650R. Frankly, I’m still biased towards my CB. However, I do see why Honda decided to change a few things on the CB650R given how the 2019’s headlight is pretty bad at being a headlight and the dashboard was getting quite outdated. If you compare the two bikes, however, it’s still the same frame and the same engine just with different parts and plastics attached. The E-Clutch is a remarkable piece of technology from Team Red, however, given that it allows for up-and-down quick shifting and essentially allows the bike to have scooter-like operation. I have a quick shifter on my CB650R, but given the engine’s capabilities, it only allows for upshifts and not downshifts. The E-Clutch tacks on another feature to the CB650R’s spec sheet, and I do like the fact that Honda’s finally putting a TFT display on its aging middleweight platform. The headlight should also be better in terms of output and it’s the same unit from the CB1000R and that definitely has a better throw compared to what Honda gave us prior.
It all looks good on paper but the design doesn’t strike me as much as it did before. Again, I am biased here since I own a 2019 CB650R, but I guess I just need to warm up to the new look. I’d say that it is more refined than before and that could be a good thing. However, I was never a fan of the CB1000R’s U-shaped headlight to begin with and I am undoubtedly still a fan of what my CB looks like. The E-Clutch and the TFT cluster are what stick out to me. Could it be possible to retrofit these features on a 2019 model? I’m hoping it’s possible.