EICMA 2023: Five Bikes That Stood Out

EICMA’s annual event has concluded, showcasing the latest and greatest in the two-wheeled industry. This year's show was particularly impressive, leaving me eagerly anticipating what next year will bring. Among the numerous bikes that made their debut, five in particular caught my attention, whether for better or worse.

While some bikes were universally praised, others sparked controversy. In this article, I will highlight the five bikes that I found most interesting at EICMA 2023, based on the attention they garnered on both a personal and industry level.

LXP: A Versatile Luxury Adventure Bike

One bike that I absolutely love is the LXP. While opinions on this model may vary, I personally think it looks fantastic. After years of anticipation, MV Agusta has finally released their middleweight adventurer. The LXP Orioli features an eye-catching design and is equipped with an inline-three cylinder motor. Designed to be both comfortable and capable, this bike is packed with modern adventure-touring features, including an inertial measurement unit. The press release for this model was filled with so many impressive features that it took me a while to unpack everything MV Agusta had to say about it. As the first bike I covered at the show, it definitely left a lasting impression.

Superveloce 1000: A Divisive Design

The Superveloce 1000 showcased at EICMA 2023 divided fans. While many people appreciated MV's design, others were not as pleased. The simplicity and neo-retro aesthetic of the Superveloce 800 were well-received, but some purists felt that the design of the 1000 was too complicated and deviated from Massimo Tamburini's original philosophy. The 1000 model featured excessive cuts, curves, and complexity, which some felt detracted from its overall appeal. While I still appreciate the addition of another Superveloce model, the 1000 didn't quite meet my expectations after being captivated by the 800.

2024 KTM 990 Duke: A Polarizing Design

As an owner of a KTM 790 Duke, I have a personal bias towards the brand's design language. However, the 2024 KTM 990 Duke has left me perplexed. While some online photos didn't impress me, friends who saw the bike in person at EICMA mentioned that it looked good. KTM made changes to the design, moving away from the high mount location of previous models and opting for a more standard position for the exhaust. Personally, I was hoping for a headlight similar to the 1290 Duke, but the 990 Duke's headlight didn't meet my expectations. Additionally, the fairings appeared bulkier, which felt like a step back from the sharp lines of the previous models. While the design reminds me of the original 990 Duke, KTM purists seem to accept the 2024 990 Duke's design. I reserve my final judgment until I see the bike in person, but for now, I find it a bit unattractive. Apologies, KTM.

CF 450 MT: A Promising Adventure Bike

The CF 450 MT is a motorcycle that I would seriously consider buying in the future. While KTM released a minor update for the 390 Adventure, CF's 450 MT has caught my attention. I recently had the opportunity to test a 450 NK, and it impressed me in various aspects. The engine, in particular, delivers powerful torque and accessible power in a lightweight package. The rally-inspired aesthetic of the CF 450 MT is spot-on, and I have confidence that the 270-degree parallel twin engine will perform exceptionally well both on and off the road. The lightweight frame and chassis make it ideal for trail riding, which is a preference of mine. Additionally, CFMoto's affordable pricing further entices me towards this machine.

2024 Honda CB650R: A Design Update

As an owner of a 2019 Honda CB650R, I have a personal connection to this model. The neo-retro look and the fact that it's a Honda made the 2019 CB650R monumental for me. While I'm still biased towards my CB, I understand why Honda made some changes to the CB650R for 2024. The previous headlight was not effective, and the dashboard was outdated. Comparing the two bikes, they share the same frame and engine, but with different parts and plastics. The addition of the E-Clutch, which allows for up-and-down quick shifting, is a remarkable technological feature. I appreciate that Honda is finally incorporating a TFT display into their aging middleweight platform. Although the design doesn't captivate me as much as before, I acknowledge that it is more refined. I was never a fan of the CB1000R's U-shaped headlight, and I still prefer the look of my CB. The E-Clutch and TFT cluster are the standout features for me. I wonder if it's possible to retrofit these features onto a 2019 model. I hope it's feasible.