Despite worries that attendance would be down due to tough economic times, EICMA officials announced that more than 500,000 visitors attended this year’s show, a number that equals those of 2007.
“I think the exhibitors are generally satisfied with the results of the show,” said Costantino Ruggiero, EICMA’s general manager. “The event has definitely found its place even if we can perhaps consider creating a second event for the bicycle trade at an earlier date and creating better synergy between the bicycle and motorbike sectors, perhaps via common themes such as urban mobility.”
Several manufacturers used the show as a platform to launch their 2009 product lineups. Following are a few that will be available in U.S. markets next year.
BMW introduced two models, including the Rider, a powerful naked roadster, featuring a boxer engine with a reduced weight, combined with a low position and high bars that recreate a cruiser look.
The company also unveiled the F 800 R, the newest version of the model that first debuted in 2006. The F 800 R features a more powerful engine and precision design. MSRPs were not available at press time, but the bikes are due to arrive in U.S. dealerships in late 2009.
Ducati showed off its entire 2009 model lineup, and also unveiled a new model, the Streetfighter, which features 155hp in a super-light package. The naked model also will be available in a “S” version, which will include Öhlins suspension, lightweight forged Marchesini wheels, carbon fiber parts and Ducati Traction Control, which monitors front and rear wheel speeds to detect rear wheel-spin under acceleration and electronically reduces engine power to restore traction. The traction control offers eight settings and is intended to increase safety during mid-corner acceleration.
Ducati also added two motorcycles to its superbike family, including the 1198. The new bike, which carries the look of the commercially successful 1098, will produce 170 hp from its new engine and have a dry weight of 377 pounds. The 1198 model features the Ducati Data Analysis as standard equipment. This enables the retrieval and analysis of data collected from a track session or road trip.
Ducati CEO Gabriele Del Torchio announced during Ducati’s EICMA press conference that he was satisfied with recent sales increases, which he says is an impressive achievement considering the down economy and the decreasing sales numbers of competing companies.
“Ducati has increased its market position by 25 percent in U.S., Europe, Japan and especially Australia, where sales have increased 50 percent,” he said.
Del Torchio also stressed that Ducati would continue to invest in research and development, even while other companies are pulling back during the economic downturn.
“We’re going to continue to move forward with aggressive development projects, while still holding on to several key beliefs such as build, simplicity and quality,” he said. psb