When they arrived at Malpensa Airport, visitors from outside the Eicma motorcycle and scooter fair noticed that times have changed and that many things are no longer the way they used to be.

Journalists, trade visitors and dealers stood perplexed at the bus stop for the Malpensa Express to get to the Fiera Milano / Rho exhibition center directly as usual. 

Walter Wille

"Technology and Motor" editorial team

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But the shuttle no longer exists. As is so often the case in such cases, reference is made to the corona pandemic. Last year, this meant that the most important innovations fair in the industry was canceled. And this time, too, the show wobbled for a long time, especially since heavyweights such as BMW, KTM, Harley-Davidson and Indian had signaled early on that they would not take part. KTM board member Hans Trunkenpolz described trade fairs as "important milestones for the entire motorcycle industry", but gave the health of "our employees higher priority". BMW had already indicated months ago that it wanted to increasingly rely on its own formats and digital communication channels in the future.  

In the slipstream of these manufacturers, numerous other companies, including the tire industry, decided not to appear at the trade fair.

Since Ducati even decided not to play at home, the Eicma was much smaller than it used to be.

However, around 800 exhibitors still presented themselves in five halls.

It was still a colorful spectacle, just masked.

Francesca Rivetti, sales manager at the Italian accessories manufacturer Givi, showed little understanding for those who had canceled: "For us, such trade fairs are particularly important in order to stay in contact with our partners and customers."

One will remain true to the show.  

Radar eye be vigilant - now also with Kawasaki 

One seems to think similarly in the control centers of the Japanese manufacturers. Honda, Kawasaki, Suzuki and Yamaha had apparently even increased the exhibition space - certainly with the kind support of the trade fair organizer. The Japanese had already presented a large part of their innovations for 2022 online before the fair, so that in this regard not too much was to be expected. There were still some premieres to be honored, for example Kawasaki pulled the modernized Versys 650 out of its sleeve. The mid-range all-rounder for around 8,600 euros is sportier and has a similar design to that of the Thousand Versys, although the two-cylinder engine is still content with 67 hp and 61 Nm of torque. A 4.4-inch color screen enhances the cockpit,a four-way height-adjustable windshield and adjustments to the cladding are intended to improve wind and weather protection.

As the fourth manufacturer after BMW, Ducati and KTM, Kawasaki is now also offering a motorcycle with radar-based assistance systems. It is the Ninja H2 SX, a rocket-powered travel machine, which costs around 24,000 euros. Its unique supercharged engine has an output of 200 hp. Radar sensors at the front and rear provide information for predictive collision warning, blind spot detection and adaptive cruise control. At the presentation of the models, Hiroshi Ito, President of Kawasaki Motor, commented on the future of Eicma To be able to return to normality. " 

Suzuki presented the revised Katana with two more horsepower (now 152), ride-by-wire with three driving modes and five-stage traction control.

A gearshift assistant is now also available for the iconic retro roadster.

The new katana should be available from early summer for 14,200 euros.

As a much cheaper - price around 15,000 euros - alternative to the compressor Kawa, Suzuki is bringing the 152 hp sports tourer GSX-S1000 GT onto the market.