Future of the two-wheeler industry: masquerade ball in Milan

by time news

DThat times have changed and that many things are no longer the way they used to be, visitors from outside the Eicma motorcycle and scooter trade fair noticed on their arrival at Malpensa Airport. Journalists, trade visitors and dealers stood perplexed at the bus stop for the Malpensa Express to get to the Fiera Milano / Rho exhibition center directly as usual.

But the shuttle no longer exists. As is so often the case in such cases, reference is made to the corona pandemic. Last year, this meant that the most important innovations fair in the industry was canceled. And this time, too, the show wobbled for a long time, especially since heavyweights such as BMW, KTM, Harley-Davidson and Indian had signaled early on that they would not take part. KTM board member Hans Trunkenpolz described trade fairs as “important milestones for the entire motorcycle industry”, but gave the health of “our employees higher priority”. BMW had already indicated months ago that it wanted to increasingly rely on its own formats and digital communication channels in the future.

In the slipstream of these manufacturers, numerous other companies, including the tire industry, decided not to appear at the trade fair. Since Ducati even decided not to play at home, the Eicma was much smaller than it used to be. However, around 800 exhibitors still presented themselves in five halls. It was still a colorful spectacle, just masked. Francesca Rivetti, sales manager at the Italian accessories manufacturer Givi, showed little understanding for those who had canceled: “For us, such trade fairs are particularly important in order to stay in contact with our partners and customers.” One will remain true to the show.

Radar eye be vigilant – now also with Kawasaki

One seems to think similarly in the control centers of the Japanese manufacturers. Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha had apparently even increased the exhibition area – certainly with the kind support of the trade fair organizer. It is true that the Japanese had already presented a large part of their innovations for 2022 online before the fair, so that not too much was to be expected in this regard. Nevertheless, there were some premieres to be honored, for example Kawasaki pulled the modernized Versys 650 out of its sleeve. The mid-range all-rounder for around 8,600 euros is more sporty and has a similar design to that of the Thousand Versys, although the two-cylinder engine is still content with 67 hp and 61 Nm of torque. A 4.4-inch color screen enhances the cockpit, a four-way height-adjustable windshield and adjustments to the fairing are intended to improve wind and weather protection.


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