So much choice, on a wide-ranging landscape that features legendary models but also new manufacturers and unusual crossovers.
Plus, we have sport touring bikes and more relaxed road touring versions. Almost all the motorcycles described will land on the market during the first half of 2023. We have chosen to exclude models whose restyling is limited to new colours.
HONDA XL750 TRANSALP
An on/off that is destined for success in that it continues a story very dear to its fans.
The line is reminiscent of the original Transalp, but any comparison ends here. It shares the same 755 cc in-line twin as the new 2023 Hornet (92 hp and 75 Nm), with modified gear ratio. It is available in three colours, including Ross White Tricolour, which recalls the late 80s. The motorcycle mounts 21” and 18” spoked wheels for tubeless tyres and boasts a three-disc braking system, 17-litre tank, a seat 850 mm from the ground, and a kerb weight of 208 kg. This, in addition to TFT instruments, full LED lights, and 5 riding modes. The suspension includes an upside down Showa fork with 43-mm stanchions and 200-mm travel (190 mm at the rear). Big on substance and with all the electronics you need. Set to hit our roads by Spring 2023.
YAMAHA Ténéré 700 e Rally Edition
Set to hit the market in February/March, the 2023 versions feature some minor updates and more comprehensive equipment. The 689 cc engine remains unchanged.
The standard version is available in new colours, while the Rally Edition retains its Heritage White colour scheme. Both flaunt highly sophisticated new TFT instruments that can also provide diagnostic data. The ABS is new and operates on three levels. It can be deactivated at both wheels, a feature off-road riders appreciate. The electronic gearbox is now available as an option on all the 700s, which will be sold pre-wired for easy assembly. Other small updates include a new front brake lever, a USB, port and LED turn signals.
YAMAHA TRACER 9 GT+
Another new model unveiled for the first time at the Milan show is the Tracer 9 GT+ sport tourer.
Made for the road (with its 17” wheels), it comes with many interesting technical elements, starting with front radar that works with the ultra-adjustable adaptive cruise control. There is even room for the unified braking system.
The bike is powered by the renowned 890 cc Yamaha 119-hp three-cylinder. The chassis is particularly advanced and features an electronic, semi-active suspension.
Additional features include a 7” TFT maxi screen with integrated Garmin GPS, third-generation quick shift, 4 riding modes, full LED lights, luggage accessories, a height-adjustable seat, and heated hand grips (as standard?). It will be available in May 2023, in two new colours.
CF MOTO 700 CL-X ADVENTURE
Since forming a partnership with KTM in 2011, the brand can use the 790 series twin on some of its models. It already has a fan base in Europe, thanks to the MT800 tourer, but the boom came in Milan, with a range of 18 models, including the 700 CL-X line that inserts the Adventure alongside the Heritage and Sport. Technically, the ‘travel’ version takes up the technical characteristics of the other two (in terms of its engine, frame and suspension), but it also features a top fairing above the headlight, a high front mudguard, attachments for bags or cases, spoked wheels – 19” at the front and 17” at the rear – and Pirelli Trail Scorpion Rally tyres. It’s an interesting on/off that can be further customised.
FANTIC XEF RALLY
If you are looking for an “explorer”, a Sunday ride, a challenging adventouring motorcycle, then the new XEF RALLY could be for you. This is the standard version of the Factory Edition (the race-ready model used by Franco Picco) and so is Euro 5 approved. The motorcycle is built around the frame and Enduro 450 engine, with the necessary fine tuning. Aesthetically pleasing, it looks almost too elegant to be a real off-roader. The superstructures and standard features are impressive and include the triple tank (a central under-seat tank and front tank in two sections), which holds 30 litres of fuel. The TFT, with 7” touchscreen display, draws attention despite being hidden behind the top fairing.
ROYAL ENFIELD SUPER METEOR 650/GRAN TOURER
A mid-size vintage cruiser that is imposing to look at. We include it here because the manufacturer also presented a GT version at EICMA. Basically, we’re talking about a model that can be comfortably fitted out for medium/long-range trips. Powered by the 648 cc parallel twin already used on other models, it is able to deliver 47 HP and 52.3 Nm. The tank capacity is 15.7 litres but fuel consumption is low, for significantly greater range. The chassis uses 19” and 16” wheels and flaunts Showa suspension comprising an upside down fork and rear twin shock. The indicated travel is 129 and 110 mm respectively. LED lights.
KTM 890 ADVENTURE R
Electing not to attend EICMA, the brand has released its 2023 previews to the media. These include the updated 890 Adventure R, an ultra-specialist bike perfect for those challenging on/off-road routes. The bike is inspired by the Rally 450, at least in terms of its chassis. We like the top fairing, the new tank and engine guard, and the new graphics on the TFT, now complete with USB-C. But there are also hidden features, such as XP XPLOR suspension adjustment, and an updated ABS, calibrated for off-road use. The standard knobby tyres are by MITAS.
The German sports tourer, which has born the RS initials for many years already, follows in the footsteps of the RT, GS, and R models with its updates. The brand took the decision not to exhibit at the trade shows but has nevertheless provided the press with details of this new version, which comes in new colours and with revised equipment and finishes. While there are no upgrades for the engine or chassis, new features include dynamic stability control, an additional riding mode, a more customisable TFT, new turn signals, and emergency call now as standard. Note that the seat is 820 mm from the ground, the tank holds 18 litres and the total weight with fuel is 243 kg.
BENELLI TRK 702/X e TRK 800
The latest creation is the TRK 702 crossover, produced as a road version and as a more dirt-oriented X version. Its 698 cc twin engine that delivers more than 76 hp and 68 Nm was developed based on feedback relating to the two existing units, which equip the TRK 502 and the flagship TRK 800 (presented to the public in its final version at the show). Returning to the 702, or rather the 702X, we note how the spoked wheels (19” and 17”), Pirelli Scorpion Rally STR tyres, and increased suspension travel (140 mm front and 173 mm rear) all contribute to its off-road orientation. The tank holds 20 litres of fuel. Other features include full LED headlights, a 5” TFT display, and a top fairing as standard.
Dry weight 220 kg. The two TRK702 models should land on the market in early 2023.
The definitive version of the TRK 800 will arrive in dealerships during the second half of 2023. The bike is powered by the same twin as the Leoncino 800 and features 19” and 17” tubeless spoked wheels, a trellis frame, a Marzocchi fork with 50-mm stanchions, and a central monoshock (the front and rear suspensions have a wheel travel of 170 mm), and a Brembo braking system. It comes complete with adjustable top fairing, hand guards, deflectors, passenger grab handles, full LED lights, and TFT instruments with 7” display. The tank holds 22 litres.