Future Now: Concept Motorcycles From The Milan Show

Cool BMW, KTM and Moto Guzzi concepts seen in Italy.

Pre-event press surrounding the Milan Show promised cool concept motorcycles and hot, new technical advances for production machinery, and we were not disappointed! While the Tokyo Motor Show, held last October, was a bit of a letdown, both in terms of the debut of new machines and actual manufacturer attendance, EICMA was bursting at the seams with new and exciting products, including three concept motorcycles from BMW, KTM and Moto Guzzi that are highlighted here.

BMW Concept 6

Talk about "six" appeal! Leading the way in the hot-off-the-drawing-board category was BMW's radical Concept 6, a sport-oriented, across-the-frame inline-Six purported to produce nearly 100 foot-pounds of torque at just 2000 rpm. Decades have passed since the demise of the Benelli 900 Sei, Honda CBX and Kawasaki KZ1300 ("Three Tenors," December, 2009). While those Sixes had their fans, all three machines were large and wide, which is quite the opposite of this proposed new Beemer. In fact, BMW claims its super-smooth Six—think K1300S with two more cylinders—is 4 inches narrower than any similarly configured engine that came before it.

KTM Concept 125 Supermoto Racer

No Six here, just sex! Powered by liquid-cooled, 15-horsepower single-cylinder powerplants and eliciting impressively large gasps from showgoers was the pair of stunning Concept 125 Supermoto Racers—one street-legal, the other racetrack-ready—from Austrian motorcycle-maker KTM. Developed by the same group of engineers that brought us the mighty 690 Duke, the bikes are intended to offer younger-generation riders the opportunity to discover the joy of closed-course racing. Appearing to weigh next to nothing, the tiny Thumpers were fitted with fully adjustable WP suspension and the latest Brembo brakes and wheels. Sign us up!

Moto Guzzi V12 LM, V12 Strada and V12 X

And how about this radical trio of Moto Guzzis—the V12 LM, V12 Strada and V12 X?! Moto Guzzi chief designer Miguel Galluzzi hired former Ducati design chief Pierre Terblanche to put pen to paper and create three new machines based around the same basic framework and the company's tried-and-true, air-cooled, cam-in-head, eight-valve 1200cc V-Twin. Cast in two halves then welded together, the unique, slim-waisted chassis is used for all three machines, which wear sport, commuter and supermoto styling cues. Might this indicate renewed hope for the future of the legendary Italian marque from Mandello del Lario?