December 16, 2018
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Two Concepts That Are Needed Now…

It’s often the case. The bike you really want is the one that isn’t offered. Sure, the manufacturers came out with loads of new models at the EICMA show in Milan, but the two most noticeable head-turners were concept/custom models that aren’t being produced – yet.

They are the Indian Scout FTR 1200 (pictured above), which would be a street version of a flat tracker, and the Moto Guzzi V85 adventure bike.

The first question that begs to be asked is, “Why does Indian tease us so?” It has a winning flat track model in the FTR750, so why not just build a street version immediately and please everyone. No, Indian instead unwrapped a larger “custom” prototype that uses the existing Scout’s 1,133cc motor.

Indian FTR1200

With 100-plus horsepower and a weighing in at 427 pounds, Indian calls the FTR1200 “an exploration of what a street-legal tracker could look like.” Oh, please. Indian needs to quit with the teasing before fans get too ticked off.

Moto Guzzi V85 concept model

At least Moto Guzzi is saying it will someday build its teaser model.

The Moto Guzzi V85 concept is powered by an 850cc, 80-horsepower V-twin engine that sits in a lightweight steel frame. Moto Guzzi says it will provide the “technical base” for a new range of bikes but not until 2021 when the Italian brands marks its 100th anniversary. That’s far too far away. By then, the popularity of adventure bikes could be supplanted by some other style.

What can be said about the 2018 model year is that new choices are plentiful. There are loads of new models – more smaller models, more scramblers, more adventure machines and more cafe options. The manufacturers are seeming to awaken to the fact that variety is necessary to attract new riders and to spur existing riders to think about opening their wallets.

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Since 2010, RIDE-CT & RIDE-NewEngland has been reporting about motorcycling in New England and portions of New York.