Not EICMA: new releases from Ducati, Yamaha and Honda

Photo credit: Ducati Italy

The massive international motorcycle trade show, EICMA, would have wrapped up this past week—if a global pandemic hadn’t slammed on the brakes. So instead of a whole whack of news coming out of Milan at once, releases from major OEMs have been trickling out via the interwebs.

Photo credit: Triumph UK

We’ve already highlighted the new Yamaha MT-09, the Ducati Multistrada V4 and BMW’s futuristic Definition CE 04 electric scooter concept, and Triumph got in early with their Trident 660. But there’s been a lot more going on.

Here’s a quick look at a few more releases that have dropped over the past couple of weeks: new variations of the Ducati XDiavel and Scrambler, the 2021 Yamaha MT-07 and MT-09 SP, and an upgrade for Honda’s beloved NC750X.

Ducati XDiavel

Photo credit: Ducati Italy

Ducati have revamped the XDiavel with Euro 5 compliance for 2021, somehow gaining eight more horses in the process. But they’ve also dressed it up two new ways, with the XDiavel Dark and XDiavel Black Star.

Photo credit: Ducati Italy

The XDiavel Dark, as its name implies, is just a fully murdered-out version of the XDiavel. So it not only features a totally black livery, but a number of blacked-out components, too. The ‘Dark’ name usually carries with a it a lower price tag within the Ducati stable, and the press for this reads that it “represents purity, essentiality, and the gateway to the XDiavel world.” So we’re guessing this might come in as an ‘entry level’ XDiavel.

Photo credit: Ducati Italy

The XDiavel Black Star is also a pure styling exercise, but it looks nuts. Pulling inspiration from the sports car world, Ducati have wrapped it in a classy matte grey and black livery, with hits of red. The engine’s heads have been capped in red too (although they’re hard to spot), and the seat’s covered in a grippy suede fabric.

Ducati Scrambler

Photo credit: Ducati Italy

The Ducati Scrambler line also gets a couple of restyled models for 2021, and has also been brought up to Euro 5 spec.

Photo credit: Ducati Italy

The biggest news here is the new ‘Nightshift’ model. It uses most of the same platform as the regular Scrambler Icon, but with the addition of race-style number boards on the side, low handlebars and cafe racer-style bar end mirrors. It also has a neat rear end, thanks to the absence of a mudguard.

Photo credit: Ducati Italy

It doesn’t seem like a big deal, but with a few cafe racer styling hints and low handlebars, this might be an alternative to riders that want a less scrambler-y Scrambler, but find the confusingly-named Ducati Scrambler Cafe Racer uncomfortable.

Photo credit: Ducati Italy

The popular and surprisingly off-road capable Desert Sled also gets the BNG (bold new graphics) treatment, by way of a new ‘Sparkling Blue’ colour scheme. It looks good too; a combination of metallic blue and silver, with red highlights, gold rims and a new anti-slip cover on the seat.

Yamaha MT-07

Photo credit: Yamaha Japan

The MT-07’s another bike that’s now Euro 5 compliant (thanks to new fuel injection and a revised two-into-one exhaust), but for the rest, Yamaha have just lightly re-skinned their popular middleweight naked.

Photo credit: Yamaha Japan

The MT-07’s new bodywork echoes the lines of its bigger sibling, the 2021 MT-09. It gets sharp new body panels, and the same style of robotic headlight as the MT-09. The tank and seat are new too, and there are new colour schemes on offer. Bigger front brake discs, a wider, tapered handlebar, a new LCD screen and LED indicators round out the package.

Yamaha MT-09 SP

Photo credit: Yamaha Japan

Yamaha have also just revealed an ‘SP’ version of the updated MT-09 hyper naked. It’s basically a higher spec, better looking version of the MT-09, with a livery inspired by the R1M, and a host of upgraded parts.

Photo credit: Yamaha Japan

Along with all the features of the 2021 MT-09, the MT-09 SP comes with adjustable KYB suspension up front, with a special DLC (diamond like coating) finish on the stanchions. There’s also an adjustable Öhlins shock out back, hooked up to an anodised aluminium swing arm. Other premium touches include cruise control, a double-stitched seat, and anodising on a number of smaller parts.

Photo credit: Yamaha Japan

The MT-09’s one of our favourite nakeds, and the 2021 version looks to have all the right upgrades. Even if we’re still on the fence about its new bodywork, the SP’s sharp paint job and adjustable suspension have just nudged it one rung up on our wishlist.

Honda NC750X

Photo credit: Honda Japan
Photo credit: Honda Japan

The NC750X has got to be one of Honda’s greatest hits of the past decade. It’s become the go-to bike for anyone looking for a practical and frugal daily runner. And while it’s not the fastest bike out, it sure is popular.

Honda are updating the NC750X for 2021 by improving on every last detail that makes it great in the first place. For starters, they’ve made it Euro 5 compliant and squeezed a bit more power out of it. It now makes 43.1 kW with 69 Nm of torque. The red line’s climbed by 600 rpm, and the gear ratios have been revised.

Photo credit: Honda Japan

A new ride-by-wire-throttle brings with it three preset rider modes, a customisable mode, and three levels of ‘torque control’ (effectively traction control). There’s a new slipper clutch on the manual version, and you can still get it in a DCT version with a paddle shifter on the bars.

Honda have also redesigned the NC750X’s frame and bodywork, with an overall weight saving of six kilos. They’ve brought the ride height down a bit too, along with the seat height, and updated it with a new full colour LCD screen and LED lighting.

Photo credit: Honda Japan

One of the NC’s standout features is its handy cubbyhole—but not all helmets fit into it. So Honda have made it bigger, increasing the capacity to 23 l, which means that all but the biggest helmets (including ‘adventure’ helmets with peaks) should fit.

There’s no news on if and when the updated NC750X will hit our shores, but it should make a splash when it does.

Photo credit: Honda Japan