Italian Motorbikes Shine in Milan at EICMA

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Ducati, MV Agusta, Bimoto, Piaggio, Moto Guzzi and Aprilia all show off their latest motorbikes at the EICMA show.

Someone once asked noted automobile designer Frank Stephenson (father of the neo Mini, the BMW X5 and the McLaren P1) when he was working for the Fiat group what he would recommend for someone who can't quite afford a Ferrari. His answer: buy a Ducati. And he had a point. In addition to some of the finest supercars, Italy also makes some of the hottest motorcycles in the world. And this year a whole slew of them debuted at the 70th EICMA International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan.

We don't typically cover motorbikes here at CarBuzz, but we couldn't pass up bringing you some of these new pairs of wheels, so we've rounded up the news from EICMA this year and put it all together in one spot for those of you who like getting around (and getting your kicks) on two wheels as well as four. The biggest name in Italian motorbikes, of course, is Ducati, and that brand (recently acquired by Audi) had three new bikes to unveil in Milan this year. First up is the new Hypermotard, a versatile bike that has switched to water cooling for its 821cc Ducati Testastretta DS V-twin, channeling 110 horsepower and 65.8 lb-ft of torque to that highly suspended rear wheel.

Ducati also showcased the Diavel Strada sport cruiser with parts from its Ducati Performance catalog, and a revised version of the 1199 Panigale R sportbike with lighter components and full race exhaust and engine management to help make the most of its monstrous 201 hp. Not to leave the spotlight to Ducati alone, MV Agusta came with its new Brutale 800 and Rivale concept. The former is a streetfighter built around a 798cc three-cylinder engine with 125 horsepower and 60 lb-ft of torque to motivate its 368 lbs. The Rivale concept packs the same engine into a new form that bridges the gap between enduro bikes and supermotos like the Hypermotard.

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Bimoto was also on hand with the DB11 VLX, packing a supercharged version of Ducati's 1198cc Testastretta engine with 188 horsepower, 105 lb-ft of torque and a curb weight of less than 400 pounds. Bimoto also announced a new engine deal with BMW at the show that ought to lead to some interesting new bikes. Finally the vast Piaggio Group unveiled a wide variety of new machinery at EICMA. Perhaps the least exciting of them is the new Vespa 946, which adopts a new take on the retro scooter's styling with a cantilevered seat (ditching its storage compartment), LED lighting and aluminum replacing the steel chassis to help it reach 129 miles per gallon in retro style.

At the other end of the spectrum is the new Moto Guzzi California 1400, which stands as the largest European V-twin cruiser on the market. Its 1380cc engine pumps out 96 horsepower and 88 lb-ft of torque and is available in both Touring and Custom styles. Last but not least, Piaggio's Aprilia brand presented its new Caponord 1200, a touring bike with an 1197 cc V-twin that couples 128 hoprsepower and 85 lb-ft of torque with all the electronic aids you could throw at it, including ABS, traction control, ride-by-wire systems and optional semi-adaptive suspension, all aimed at making the long ride a more comfortable one.

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