January 2019

Trends in motorcycle design and engineering for 2019? Based on what was most obvious at the Eicma show you’d think we’ll all be riding electric bikes by next April. Every other stand featured electric motorcycles, off-road bikes, scooters and bicycles of varying degrees of credibility, integrity and innovation. Many of them are small scale outfits jumping on the EV bandwagon and will surely vanish without trace. But there are also signs of bigger things happening.

Of the established brands, Harley-Davidson are taking this seriously and are promising that their Livewire will be on sale in 2019. But no details of performance, power, price or range. KTM had a separate stand for electric bicycles and Kymco, with the credibility of a manufacturer of 500,000 scooters a year, announced a supersports concept. No details of performance, power, price or range, but their boss man talks about the coming ‘Nokia moment’ that could radically shift the whole bike market.

And tucked away at the back of one of the halls, the extraordinary Arc Vector. A crazy concept bike backed by Jaguar Land Rover that’s being developed in Coventry. These are all clever people doing clever things. Surely they can’t all have got it wrong? Maybe not 2019, but surely it’s coming.

 And then there are the bikes that we might actually see in dealers next year. BMW’s S1000RR and the Ducati V4S remind us of the joy of the track focused sports bike. KTM’s 790 Adventure and the Yamaha 700 Ténéré point to a new lighter breed of adventure bikes, but we’ve got to wait even longer for the Yamaha. Is this a record for teasing? But the best news of the show might be the £5500 price tag on the Royal Enfield 650 Interceptor. That should put bums on seats.

Enjoy the issue.

Hugo Wilson


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