I’m sure it’s no surprise to hear one of my favorite things to do is to see and test new motorcycle products. 

I want to give honest and open feedback to the manufacturer and consumer based on my observations and experience. I really love writing for wBW for that reason. Whenever someone tells me they got value out of one of our reviews it makes my day!

Let’s Go To Italy For EICMA 2019!

Image Courtesy of EICMA

AimExpo 2019 Was A Letdown

That was the rationale behind my recent visit to Columbus, Ohio, and AimExpo. It was supposed to give me access to those products and contacts in the industry to enhance the wBW experience.

WBW AimExpo 2019 Trip

It did provide SOME of what I need, but to be blunt not nearly enough. 

  • There were no Harley Livewire demos or Pan America adv bikes on display
  • The new Africa Twin was there and it was properly introduced, but no demos
  • Ducati and Aprilia weren’t in attendance. Ditto for Shoei and a host of other major brands
  • Yamaha was there in full force and was even offering demos of the Niken, but wouldn’t let us take photos or video of the demo!
  • I only found one example of a Smart Helmet (Quin)
  • There really weren’t any concept bikes on display
  • The majority of the exciting new bikes for 2020 were absent even from manufacturers in attendance (Yamaha T7 for example)

EICMA! The Mecca of Motorcycling

EICMA the Mecca of Motorcycling

Image Courtesy of EICMA

There are many large motorcycle oriented expositions other than AimExpo every year, but none of them are quite like EICMA. This spectacle goes down every November in Milan, Italy and is the biggest and best show going. 

The “Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori” (EICMA) has been calling me for a couple of years now. Beckoning to me to cross the Atlantic Ocean and attend the 2-wheeled festivities in person.

I can’t resist the siren’s song anymore and thanks to the executive team at wBW I’ll be there for four days in a few short weeks.

What Do I Focus On?

I’ve heard many people in the industry tell me about how MASSIVE this expo is and that it can take a full week to cover the whole thing, realistically. That means I need to narrow my focus significantly in order to bring back valuable information.

Here’s a list of a few must-see items that I’m happy to add to based on your comments here and on our Facebook page.

Smart Helmets

2020 stands to see several high tech helmets drop from well-known manufacturers as well as less known ones.

CrossHelmet

CrossHelmet Smart Helmet at EICMA

I’ve been speaking to the developers at CrossHelmet for about two years now waiting impatiently for them to release their impressive smart helmet. They’ll be there at EICMA showcasing it, so I’ll make sure to report on it with photos and videos. Visit Crosshelmet directly for more details.

Shoei

Shoei Helmet

Shoei promised to release a smart helmet in 2020 and I’m really hoping they’ll have at least the prototype at EICMA for me to handle and get more details on.

Forcite

Forcite Smart Helmet at EICMA

This is an unusual smart helmet in that it won’t have a HUD in it. Only LEDs will give the user information along with verbal cues if what I’ve been told is true. This one is also on my list.

There are several others out there too from companies like Jarvish and Skully. I’m looking to see them all!

New 2020 Motorcycles!

Aprilia RS 660 Motorcycle

Obviously this is what I’m most excited to report on after failing to get what I wanted at AimExpo. There are several bikes I’m aware will be there that I need to see:

  • The Ducati V4 equipped naked motorcycle
  • The Kawasaki Z H2 supercharged naked motorcycle
  • Perhaps the BMW R18 production bike?
  • The Harley Pan America adventure bike (Livewire demo maybe too?)
  • The KTM adventure bikes (790 Rally, 890, and 490?)
  • The Yamaha T7 Tenere
  • The Aprilia RS660 sport bike
  • The new Energica electric bikes

No Ducati Test Rides

Ducati Streetfighter V4

I already reached out to Ducati to see whether they would be doing any demo rides at the show. Sadly, they won’t be. Even worse, I offered to travel 2 hours south to Bologna where the factory is for a tour and to see if I could ride something exciting there. 

Also no… I can’t express how disappointing that is. The museum at their Bologna location also appears to be closed until January if I understood correctly what I read on their website.

Anyone Else?

My Ducati contact said just because they won’t be doing any rides at the show doesn’t mean other builders won’t be. So there is that hope I suppose, but honestly, I’m not holding my breath. I’m not even sure whether it’s worth bringing my riding gear.

What Would Be On Your List?

EICMA motorcycle and helmet convention

Image Courtesy of EICMA

Ok, so that’s my main wishlist along with any super interesting concept bikes I might happen across.

Any innovative new riding gear will also be on my radar. For example the new Dainese or Klim smart jackets (airbag systems). 

I’ll have to spend time making new industry contacts to ensure wBW has more products to test and review in 2020 and going forward too.

What am I missing? Leave your comments below and I’ll see what I can do.

Again, this is THE biggest event for motorcycles and anyone who’s anyone or longs to become relevant in the industry will be there looking for coverage.

Ciao!

– Jim

4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    TPB
    October 28, 2019
    Reply

    As far as motorcycles go, I’d love to get more first-hand info on the Ducati V2 sportbike and the Kawasaki 250cc 4 cylinder sportbike (coming to the US???????).

    Otherwise, I dunno.

    While smart helmets sound exciting, the reality is that if they don’t have replaceable rechargeable batteries, they are likely to have power failures before the helmet has reached it’s useful end of life. And is their “usefulness” really outweighing their increased cost? Because the tech won’t be transferable to a new helmet, unlike moving a GPS to a different motorcycle.

    Yeah, I guess more airbag-equipped riding gear is interesting.

    Honestly, I hope you do make a lot of good industry contacts. And don’t forget to have fun while you’re there.

    • Jim Pruner
      November 1, 2019
      Reply

      TPB the Ninja and V2 are very alluring to me as well. I’ll keep an eye out for them. It’s such a massive show to cover that I’m feeling a little overwhelmed being it’s my first time to go there. I’m hoping jet lag won’t be a huge factor as well.

      I’ll be sure to ask about the rechargeable battery packs in the smart helmets. That’s a great observation!

  2. Avatar
    Jim L
    October 29, 2019
    Reply

    Will be interested in whether BMW has a new F 850 RS or an 850 version of SS1000R.

    • Jim Pruner
      November 1, 2019
      Reply

      I’ll try and keep you posted on those Jim. I’m sure the RS will show.

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