Motorcycle Live kicks off this weekend. There’s tons of things to see and do during the show, but let’s face it, there’s one reason we’re going and that’s to kick the tyres of the new bikes, hang out with our mates, but some kit we don’t/do need and talk bikes. We were lucky enough to get out to the Milan Show and had an early sniff around the bikes that matter. We reckon these are the 2013 new bikes that you must see in Birmingham, but don’t take our word for it, get along and see for yourself as if we mentioned everything, we'd be doing the top 50!
1 - Triumph Daytona 675 & 675R
Triumph’s Simon Warburton told us the Triumph Daytona is new from the ground-up, with only the front mudguard, indicators and footrests taken from the old bike. While the rest of the world seems to be backing-off developing 600s, Triumph has this, and mightily impressive it looks too. Triumph were happy with the styling of the old bike, but knew it needed updating. It’s a bit more Japanese to look at, but still distinctly Triumph.
2 - Cal Crutchlow’s MotoGP bike
As well as some amazing offers on the Silverstone stand, the home of the British MotoGP also has Tech 3 Yamaha MotoGP star Cal Crutchlow and his 2012 MotoGP bike on their stand.
Cal will be in attendance on Saturday, and his bike will be there the whole time. It’s the same one that powered him to two podiums in the premier class, and what should have been many more, but that’s racing. Go and say hello, grab yourself an autograph and check out one of the finest race bikes of our time.
3 - Moto Guzzi California 1400
Cruisers don’t normally get us this excited, but when it’s the rebirth of a bike that has sold more than 100,000, and it’s this well-finished and good-looking, we couldn’t resist. There’s two models of the new California 1400, the 1400 Touring and the 1400 Custom. The custom is a bit more bad ass, whereas the Tourer is a touch more CHIPs. And if you don’t know what that means, ask your dad. For now, kick back and dream of the bike which is expected to cost in the region of £15,000.
4 - Honda’s CBR500R
With supersports bikes making in the region of 120bhp, it’s time someone mad a decent sports bike with around 50bhp. Step in Honda and the new CBR500RR. Using all the lessons Honda has learned from winning this year’s MotoGP manufacturer’s championship, the CBR500R is a proper sports bike for new riders. It falls in line with the new A2-licence laws and as a result puts out 47bhp in a neat chassis and proper sports bike styling. Check out the new CB500F, CB500X and the new CBR600RR while you’re at Honda too. We also love the Honda CB1100F, check it out.
5 - Ducati’s Hyperstrada
Think of the Hyperstrada as a mini Multistrada 1200 and you won’t be far wrong. It’s a new liquid-cooled 820cc bike that forms part of the new Hypermotard family. The Hyperstrada gets a screen, panniers, and a touch more practicality to make it one of the most exciting bikes of the show. Check out the new Ducati 1199R, the Hypermotards and the Ducati Diavel Strada.
6- Yamaha’s triple concept
Looking like an accident in a wiring factory, Yamaha is bringing its three-cylinder prototype engine and mock-up to Birmingham. The engine is beautiful and expected to be used in Yamaha’s sports bikes from 2014. Our sources say that we can expect the R6 to be replaced with a triple in the near future. Maybe someone at Triumph has got themselves a job at Yamaha?
7 - The Peregrine Motorcycle Company’s OW16 replicas
A new two-stroke road-going race replica you say? Yes. That’s exactly what The Peregrine Motorcycle Company are showing at Motorcycle Live. The bikes are based on the Yamaha OW16s ridden by proper legends like Giacamo Agostini. They’re designed to be easy to make road legal, or strip the lights off and go racing, or on a track day. We think they’re they’re beautiful.
8 - Vespa 496
Vespa is back with a bike that recreates the style of the original Vespa P6 prototype in 1946 (hence the 946), but uses fully modern technology to create the best-looking 125 scooter we’ve ever seen. A bold statement? Maybe. But stand next to it and tell me it’s not true.
9 - Suzuki V-Strom 1000 prototype
Suzuki’s V-Strom 650 is the firm’s best-selling bike, so it’s no surprise they’re showing a 1000cc version to gauge reaction. The prototype looks ready to go, so don’t be surprised if Suzuki put this in production looking pretty similar to the bike you’ll see at the show.
10 - Kawasaki Z800
Kawasaki’s styling department has had a dose of something good at the moment, with both the ZX-6R and the new Z800 leading the way for good-looking middleweight bikes. But it’s the Z800 which Kawasaki hopes will become its top-selling bike in 2013, and after kicking the tyres at the Milan Show, we’d have to agree. The firm also has a celebration of fourty years of Z, so go and see the classics that created the word superbike.
11- Yeah, I know we only said ten, but this is the best 2013 bike from Milan that sadly you won’t see in Birmingham - KTM’s Super Duke 1290R)
The new KTM may be a prototype but be in no doubt that those crazy Austrians are going to put this bike in production next year. With 180bhp from its big-bore RC8-R engine, GP-spec suspension and a wheelbase that looks barely longer than the Duke 200, the KTM is a hoot to look at, let alone ride. A test rider told us that it wheelies in fifth gear, and it also comes with ABS adjustable for stoppies and stunts! Sadly, it’s not coming to the NEC and was only shown at EICMA in Milan.
Motorcycle Live runs from November 24 to December 2. If you're going, don’t forget to get yourself a Bike Social profile and upload your pictures from the show!