The US has SEMA, where automakers and aftermarket suppliers gather to show off their wildest, craziest new, new things. Italy has EICMA, the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo Accessori, an annual show where motorcycle manufacturers bring their latest creations to present them to the public for the first time. The theme of this year’s EICMA show is “Bikes Never Seen Before.” One of those will be a new electric motorcycle from Energica.
Let’s begin by saying that Europeans take their motorcycles seriously. In September, I spent a lovely afternoon eating gelato on the shores of Lake Orta, which is nestled at the foot of the Italian Alps.. Across from me was a parking lot filled with sport bikes — Ducatis, Moto Guzzis, BMWs, and Hondas. They had all been driven along sinuous Alpine roads that morning to come watch a MotoGP race at a local ristorante.
I watched as they drove up. Every rider and passenger was dressed in full leathers. All wore helmets. All had proper gloves and footwear. Off in one corner was one Harley Davidson, but its rider was also fitted out in full riding gear. There was no one dressed in shorts and a T shirt, wearing sandals. Every one of those bikes had been ridden hard and put away wet, still tinkling and crackling with the sound of cooling exhaust pipes as they sat in the sun. Riding a bike on the Continent and riding a bike in the US are two distinct and separate worlds.
Energica, the Italian electric motorcycle maker, promises to unveil a new concept at EICMA this year. Sources expect the concept to be built on the company’s two current offerings, the Ego sport bike and the Eva street fighter. The electric powertrain will likely be very similar to 136 horsepower unit with 145 lb-ft of torque that propels the Ego to 60 mph in 3 seconds and a top speed of 150 mph. It will also introduce a new color option — Lunar White — for its two production models.
Zero, the American electric motorcycle manufacturer will launch its 2017 lineup at EICMA this year. Zero has added two new models — the supermoto-based Zero FXS and max adventure Zero DSR. The new model line also offers faster charging, thanks to the Charge Tank accessory.
“Europe represents about half of our global business, and the 2016 model line reflects our commitment to appeal to an increasingly diverse range of discerning riders,” said Richard Walker, CEO, Zero Motorcycles. “With increased performance, up to 317 km of city range and greater value, we look forward to many more people experiencing the thrill of electric.”
EICMA runs from November 19 to 22 in Milan. If you go, drop me a line. I know a great restaurant there. Ciao!