Ah, Italy. Who doesn't love the traffic, the scooters, the sport bikes using city streets as a racetrack? At the 65th International Motorcycle Exhibition in Milan, which began today and runs through the week, Italian manufacturers are finally announcing their 2008 models. The roster is, as expected, full of funny names, but molto bene!
Aprilia announced three new bikes: the SMV750 supermoto, RX125 enduro and SX125 supermoto. All three models are currently slated for sale in Europe only, though the SMV750 (a.k.a. the Dorsoduro) may come to the U.S. as a 2009 model.
Ducati also unveiled three new bikes: a Monster 696, an 848 Superbike and an "extreme racing version" of its 1098, the 1098 R. The Monster 696 adds a single cubic centimeter to the famed Desmo L-twin engine, but it cranks an extra 9% of horsepower (80 hp) and 11% torque (50.6-pound-feet) over the 695 model it's replacing; it also features a wider tank, larger diameter trellis frame and twin mufflers. On the superbike side of the business, the new 848 is a mid-size evolution of Duc's famed 999 -- 6 1/2 pounds lighter and 30% more powerful than its predecessor. Meanwhile, the new "maximum performance" 1098 R will enter the market as the Bologna manufacturer's most powerful and lightest-weight twin-cylinder bike ever produced -- 364 pounds with 180 hp -- and it has a price tag to match: $39,995.
Moto Guzzi's big news is a new 1,200 cc "maxi enduro" called the Stelvio, with transverse twin cylinders and four valves per cylinder. Guzzi hasn't been in the enduro market for several years, and its Stelvio has an entirely new engine and frame. Guzzi also announced a new model called the V7 Classic, which is a retro version of its V7 from the late '60s and early '70s.
MV Agusta's new lineup consists of three models: the 989R Brutale, the 1078 Brutale (both naked bikes) and the hyper-sport F4312 RR, one of the fastest bikes on the market. They all improve on their predecessors, the 910S, the 910R and the F4312R, offering increased displacement, horsepower and performance. The bikes also boast higher levels of braking and suspension. The first U.S. deliveries are not anticipated until early spring.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times