After a year of hiatus due to the global pandemic, the Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori or EICMA (translation: International Motorcycle and Accessories Exhibition) was held again with an astonishing turnout of 342,644 attendees, 5,127 journalists, influencers, technicians and communication professionals, and hundreds of exhibitors from all over the globe.
One of the key highlights of this year’s EICMA is the hosting of the exclusive tribute to Valentino Rossi's career in the world of motorcycle racing.
‘Made in China’
Perhaps, among the highlights of this year’s exhibition is the showcasing of more than a dozen motorcycles and brands that are manufactured in China. Among them are new model updates/new models from the QJ Group, CF Moto, and many more.
VOGE Motorcycles is the premium brand of Loncin, which was the result of the long-term strategic partnership between them and Italian motorcycle manufacturer, MV Agusta. For this year’s EICMA, VOGE Motorcycles introduces the 500 AC Trofeo.
According to Loncin, the new VOGE 500 AC Trofeo adds to the novelties of EICMA 2021 with its exposed chassis and aesthetics full of vintage elements. From the free tail - license plate holder, headlight, and indicators are moved on the wheel - to the LED headlight, the "Advanced Classic" design is clean and distinguished by details such as the silencer with a satin finish, the tank with laser-welding and the padded and stitched saddle to increase comfort and stability. At the heart of the VOGE 500 AC Trofeo is an eight-valve parallel twin-cylinder engine that produces 48 Ps of power at 8,500 rpm coupled to the anti-hopping clutch whose lever has been softened by 25%.
The 500 AC Trofeo has a little brother: the 350 AC Trofeo. Like its bigger sibling, the VOGE 350 AC Trofeo features a parallel-twin engine albeit in a smaller, 321cc DOHC powerplant.
The redesigned full LED optical unit distinguishes the front in synergy with the original side air intake. The V-shaped headlight at the rear also contributes to the originality of the design. In addition to the single shock absorber with adjustable preload, VOGE 350 AC Trofeo underlines the quality of the cylinder block with forged pistons capable of improving engine power and durability.
QJ Motor is perhaps the largest automobile manufacturer in China these days and has a couple of motorcycle brands under its wing, including the Italian brand Benelli. QJ Motor has also entered into a strategic partnership with MV Agusta last year to develop and manufacture the latter’s range of entry-level to mid-range motorcycles.
Among the new bikes presented by QJ is the MV Agusta Lucky Explorer Concept adventure bike.
According to QJ, the Lucky Explorer Concept takes advantage of the technical base of the Benelli TRK 502, with the displacement increased to 990cc. Also, unlike the TRK 502, the concept bike is equipped with A-grade riding aids and hardware. Also, the Lucky Explorer enjoys a parallel 3-cylinder engine with an output of 125 Ps and 102 Nm of torque.
The front wheel also enjoys an enduro-bias 21-inch front and 18-inch rear wheels. The production version is expected to come out in early 2023.
Another QJ motorcycle to grace this year’s EICMA is the Benelli Leoncino Trail. This “Trail” version, doesn’t differ much from the Leoncino 500 we tested two years ago but has upgraded hardware to become off-road-biased, as the name suggests. It comes with 19-inch front and 17-inch rear tires complete with semi-knobby tires, wire wheels, and a longer travel suspension.
New for the 2022 model year (MY), Benelli also presented the TRK 800X adventure bike. Some of the TRK 800X’s highlights include a new 21-liter tank for extended fuel range, updated Trellis frame, 7-inch full-color TFT display, 19/17-inch front and rear wheels, and a 78 Ps parallel-twin 800cc engine.
Another manufacturer from China that made a big hit in this year’s EICMA is CF Moto. To those who are not familiar, CF Moto has long been KTM’s strategic partner in developing some of the latter’s motorcycles, more particularly, the LC8 engines that power KTM’s middleweight bikes.
Like KTM’s 790 Adventure R, the new CF Moto 800MT takes advantage of the 799cc parallel-twin LC8 engine that produces 95 Ps of power while the torque has been tamed a little bit at 77 Nm vs the Adventure R’s 88 Nm.
There are two versions in the range: the Touring, available in Midnight Blue, and the Sport, Nebula Black livery.
Another one for CF Moto is the 700CL-X Sport. The 700CL-X Sport is a cafe racer-inspired bike complete with clip-on handlebars and bar-end mirrors. The new model joins CF Moto’s Heritage lineup and offers the same 693cc, parallel-twin DOHC engine of the 700CL-X Scrambler that was unveiled in November last year. Maximum power is 72 Ps at 8,750 rpm, while the maximum torque reaches 61 Nm at 6,500 rpm.
Unique for the 700CL-X Sport is the 17-inch front and rear wheels that feature Maxxis MA-ST2 120/70 ZR17 and 180/55 ZR17 tires. The braking system is provided by Brembo.
CF Moto has also made its impact in the 2021 EICMA with the 650GT Sport Tourer. Some of the highlights of the 650GT Sport Tourer include a manually-adjustable windscreen, full-LED lighting, and a 649cc parallel-twin powerplant that produces 58 Ps of power and 54 Nm of torque.
The 650GT Sport Tourer will be sold in Europe with an SRP of € 6,190 or roughly PhP 353,000 - which is significantly less than half the price of the nearest GT motorcycle available here in the country.
There are many more “Made in China” motorcycles that graced this year’s EICMA. It only proves that the Chinese manufacturers, through strategic partnerships or through their own R&D, are now building sophisticated large capacity motorcycles that can be at par with their Japanese and European counterparts, and sold at the fraction of the cost.
As a rider, would you be considering a Chinese-made big bike in your garage?