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EICMA 2010

November 5th, 2010

EICMA 2010: 68th International Motorcycle & Scooter Show
Fiera Milano, Italy. 2-7 November 2010

It’s easy to clock up some miles walking round the Fiera Milano complex in Milan. We should have taken pedometers, the place is that big – 420 exhibitors and 500 brands spread out over six massive halls.

Given that the INTERMOT show had already taken place in Germany a few weeks back we’d already seen some of the new products on show at EICMA. However there were still a few surprises in store from the big brands. Honda’s distinctly Silver Wing-esque ‘New Mid Concept’ looked pretty slick combining sports bike looks with the comfort of a maxi scooter. Engine details haven’t been released as yet but Honda did announce that the New Mid Concept is equipped with dual clutch transmission (that was also introduced with the VFR1200F and Crosstourer concept that were also revealed at EICMA) instead of the usual CVT fare found on most scooters. Other features include 17-inch wheels to improve high speed reliability and PRO-LINK rear suspension.

What appeared to be an exercise in style, the fluid forms of the X-2012 hybrid concept from Garelli got a lot of interest from the punters, shame it isn’t actually mobile though:

At first glance we thought this was a Piaggio MP3. It’s made by Quadro Tecnologie in Italy and it’s called the Quadro 3D and features an innovative patented hydraulic tilting system along with a four-stroke 350cc engine:

Speaking of Piaggio, we rather liked the three-seat four wheeler NT3 concept that was unveiled at EICMA. Don’t build your hopes up though, a Piaggio rep at the show told us it won’t be available in Europe but will go on sale in India within three years. Shame really we’d already pondered the idea of tuning one of these 300cc babies. As it transpires the NT3 has been developed in India to deal with traffic problems in big cities and to compete with the likes of the Tata Nano.

Elsewhere, the Piaggio MP3 Yourban 125/300 i.e. (to be called the MP3 City in the US) made its debut in Milan. A whole host of design adjustments differentiate this MP3 from others like the headlights integrated within the steering, sharper lines and angles and a slightly shorter wheelbase which Piaggio claim make this MP3 a more nimble commuter scoot. Powering the 300 model is a 22.4hp fuel-injected 278cc four-stroke single cylinder engine which again has a shorter wheelbase (four inches shorter compared to the existing 250 model). As for availability, expect the MP3 Yourban to arrive in showrooms by late 2011.

Fans of the Piaggio Beverly may be pleased to know that a new version appeared at the show sporting a fuel injected four-stroke single cylinder engine (identical to the MP3 Yourban 300). The new Beverly will be available in two version 125 and 300 sporting distinctive 20 spoke 16 inch wheels and new brakes – a larger 300mm rotor single disc front brake with floating two-piston calipers. And a single 240mm disc also making use of a two-piston caliper at the rear. Along with a styling update the underseat storage space now includes a courtesy light, a document compartment and according to Piaggio, 50% more capacity.

A few weeks before EICMA we’d already seen the new look Typhoon at the INTERMOT show in Germany and wasn’t too sure about it. Old skool purists may shun the new look but given the competition from China, Piaggio have had to move with the times, on offer now is a bulkier more aggressive looking Typhoon which should be a hit among the young scooter hooligans out there. There are two versions, a 50cc two-stroke and a 125 four-stroke. Available some time next year.

Last year we were presented with a number of interesting concept scooters at EICMA like Peugeot’s electric three-wheeled concept ‘Hybrid3 Evolution’. There wasn’t much from Peugeot this year and strangely the MINI Scooter E concept that was on show at INTERMOT wasn’t at EICMA. But BMW appeared to be gunning for the maxi scooter sector with their ‘Concept C’ maxi scooter. At first sight it’s clear that the ‘C’ shares similar design features to the Motorrad range like the split faced bodywork akin to the S 1000 RR. But you get the feeling that, like all concept scooters, it seems unlikely that all the features will make it into production like the LCD screens connected to two rear-facing video cameras in place of the side view mirrors. That said the LCD screen idea was seen years ago on the Suzuki G-Strider concept so who knows, we could be getting a step closer to such high-tech luxuries with the Concept C. Distinctive features of the Concept C (C stands for commuter by the way) are the horizontally mounted spring at the rear, the blue details and the tread on the tyres (which remind me of TRON) that complement the black chromium suspension and frame components and aluminum chromium, silver and blue bodywork. No tech spec as yet but engine power and torque will be “in the top range of the segment” according to BMW. It’s a smart looking machine and could well be a big hit in the maxi scooter sector if the production model ends up looking as good as the prototype.

The HP Power brand caught our eye with their distinctive black range of scooters (John Player Special branding springs to mind). On display were a series of scooters ranging from entry level 50cc budget machines to a 257cc 4T watercooled maxi: ‘BARIUM‘ which looked pretty meaty, almost Suzuki-esque. The 150cc ‘NICKEL‘ sported a similar look with a large front end. Pictures and specifications for these scooters can be found on their website (however it doesn’t appear to have been translated into English at the moment) or take a look at our photo set on Flickr.

Last year at EICMA we saw cardboard cutouts and a prototype of the Lambretta Pato 125N. Now after a 38 year absence Lambretta has returned, revived by the Motom Electronics Group, in the form of the twin valve single cylinder air cooled LN model 125/150. It may be some time before cult status is once again achieved but the classic looks of the LN appeared to be going down well at the show. Rumour has it one of the Tartarini’s (Re: Italjet) is behind the design of the LN and what we’re presented with is something that looks modern and stylish with its hard lines and quite angular look. The Lambretta LN 125 and 150 kick out 8.7 and 10.3 hp respectively which isn’t earth shattering but should be enough for the daily commute.

Malaguti’s stand seemed to be getting a lot of interest, in particular Team Cristofolini’s magnificent (some might say ugly) Malaguti F12 V4 350cc four cylinder beast that was on display. A fine example of extreme scooter tuning typical of Team Cristofolini. It’s great to see such creativity and innovation but one can only help but think that engine rebuilds must be a bit of task…

The Italian company were also celebrating their 80th Anniversary with the likes of a special edition Phantom F12 R entitled ‘Masterpiece’ which features a striking two-tone chrome / dark blue paint job, LED indicators, LED headlight and tail light, a computerised dashboard which can apparently be customised via a USB socket or bluetooth plus various other styling mods which make this F12 R unique.

Based on the Sym Symphony but with a different design, the Peugeot Tweet high wheeler is apparently aimed specifically at women as an easy to ride city scoot, although I did see a few blokes trying it out for size… The Tweet is available in three versions, a 50, 125 and a 150 and features 16 inch wheels, telescopic shock absorbers at the front and twin shock absorbers at the rear (single shock absorbers on the 50). Braking comprises of a 226mm front disc brake (rear drum brake on the 50). With its chrome features, elegant looks, generous under seat storage and retro design elements the Tweet should appeal to its target audience and possibly a few blokes too.

Sit back and watch the highlights from our trip to this year’s show in our video:

Words, Photos & Video: Paul Robinson