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Top 5 Concept Motorcycles From The 2018 EICMA Show

Cycle World logo Cycle World 4 days ago Michael Gilbert
a red motorcycle parked on the side of a building: No detail was missed on the RS 660; this thing is decked out from top to bottom.© Courtesy of Aprilia No detail was missed on the RS 660; this thing is decked out from top to bottom.

Each year, the concept bikes unveiled at the annual EICMA Show in Milan bring out our natural human tendency to want the things we can’t have—2018 is no different. Most one-off designs unveiled here will never reach production, and the ones that do will likely require serious a wait. Still, that’s no reason we can’t drool over each and every one. Tissue, please…

Below, in no particular order, we’ve assembled a list of our top five favorite concepts shown at the 2018 EICMA show.

Honda CB125M Concept

a red and black motorcycle: Honda’s CB125M concept on display at EICMA

Honda’s CB125M concept on display at EICMA
© Courtesy of Honda

Honda stole the show with the unveiling of this small-bore supermoto—dubbed the CB125M. The concept was built by Honda’s R&D center in Rome, with the basis for the bike being the CB125R offered in foreign markets. Serious thought on performance (and money) went into this build, with the CB125M getting a set of 17-inch forged wheels, slick tires, and solid brake discs. An SC Project exhaust is equipped to the CB, and street-legal bodywork is ditched for minimalist shrouding and a front number plate.

Perhaps the CB125M won’t make it to the US market, especially considering its CB125R base platform isn’t offered here, but dreaming doesn’t hurt. The small-bore engine would perfectly suit a tight kart or supermoto layout. Heck, it’d probably be best just tearing up the neighborhood.

Husqvarna Vitpilen 701 Aero

a blue and white motorcycle parked on the side of a road: One part café racer, the rest pure concept. The Vitpilen 701 Aero grabs hold of your attention and never lets go.

One part café racer, the rest pure concept. The Vitpilen 701 Aero grabs hold of your attention and never lets go.
© Courtesy of Husqvarna

Just as it teased the Vitpilen 401 Aero at the 2016 EICMA Show, Husqvarna pulled the wraps off a Vitpilen 701 Aero concept. And my gosh is it striking. Calling it the Aero model means giving the bike a distinct front fairing, which looks reminiscent of rockets used in the space race. It’s café-esque, with a hint of modern character. It also comes equipped with a solid black rear wheel and racing slick, just because Husqvarna can.

Considering the Vitpilen 401 Aero has not made it to production (yet), it’s hard to say for sure if the 701 Aero will either. No matter what, it’s a beautiful piece of machinery—one that may or may not be our latest computer screensavers...

Yamaha YZF-R1 GYTR Superbike

a red and black motorcycle: Yamaha pays tribute to its R-series lineup by offering a limited run of superbikes dressed in a 20th anniversary scheme.

Yamaha pays tribute to its R-series lineup by offering a limited run of superbikes dressed in a 20th anniversary scheme.
© Courtesy of Yamaha

Okay, the Yamaha YZF-R1 GYTR Superbike isn’t a concept, but rather a limited-production run built by Yamaha Motor Europe to celebrate the motorcycle’s 20th anniversary. The custom build will be highlighted by the same throwback livery used on the Suzuka 8 Hours-winning YZF-R1 of Michael van de Mark, Alex Lowes, and Katsuyuki Nakasuga. Seriously, it’s gorgeous.

It’s not all glitter for the superbike though. Yamaha Europe is set to fit the R1 with top-shelf superbike components from the GYTR catalog, including a racing-spec wiring harness, ECU, and quick-turn throttle. An Akrapovič Evolution 2 titanium exhaust adds power to the R1, but an Öhlins FGRT 219 fork, TTX 36 GP shock, and Brembo brake calipers have been employed to keep things in check. Those are some serious go-fast parts.

While there is no word on the cost of the GYTR superbike, Yamaha Motor Europe has confirmed that only 20 will be produced.

Aprilia RS 660 Concept

a motorcycle parked on the side of a building: Aprilia hints at its future sportbike lineup with the RS 660 concept, which uses an all-new twin-cylinder engine.

Aprilia hints at its future sportbike lineup with the RS 660 concept, which uses an all-new twin-cylinder engine.
© Courtesy of Aprilia

Aprilia hinted at its future sportbike lineup by unveiling the RS 660 concept, which uses an all-new twin-cylinder engine. The architecture of the 660cc parallel twin is derived from the 1,100cc V-4 engine used on the Tuono V4 and RSV4 1100 Factory, and is used in the aluminum frame as a stressed member. Clearly, Aprilia spent lots of time in developing an aerodynamic set of bodywork with several variable downforce panels for the RS 660, meaning it should boast serious stability at high speeds. A TFT display is also perched above the handlebars.

The Italian manufacturer was quick to point out the RS 660 was only a concept and will not make it to production in the near future, but it does suggest that the brand is targeting a lower-cost sportbike market.

But Aprilia—we’re ready for the RS 660 now, please.

Honda CB125X Concept

a man sitting on a motorcycle: The CB125X has serious ADV potential in a small-bore package.

The CB125X has serious ADV potential in a small-bore package.
© Courtesy of Honda

Of all the concepts on display at EICMA, the CB125X stole the bulk of our attention as it’s possibly the smallest-bore ADV bike ever created. Like the CB125M, the X model’s basis is the CB125R, but it gets a host of adventure-focused upgrades. The front end appears to be taken from the CRF line, with the brake caliper notably placed on the clutch side. Spoked wheels and sleek Dakar-style bodywork have also been adopted by the CB125X, giving it the looks of a true rally racer.

Again, it’s hard to imagine that either of the CB125 concepts will reach production, but it’s an obvious hint of advanced small-bore motorcycles to come. We hope so. Because isn’t more always better?

 
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