Each and every year, the world's biggest motorcycle manufacturers gather together in Milan, Italy to show off the latest and greatest machinery that will soon be offered to dealerships the world over. It's called EICMA (Esposizione Internazionale Ciclo Motociclo e Accessori), and this year's crop of new motorcycles is just as exciting as ever.
We're not yet ready to call it a trend, but rumors have been flying that a couple more major automakers have set their sights on motorcycle manufacturers to add to their portfolios. If they do, they'll be following in the footsteps of the Volkswagen Group, which gobbled up Ducati and put it under the Audi brand in its ever-growing stable of nameplates.
Sportbike enthusiasts may have been a little disappointed that Aprilia didn't have anything groundbreaking to unveil at the EICMA motorcycle show in Milan this year, but motorbike racing fans got some good news. Roberto Colaninno, head of parent company Piaggio, revealed that Aprilia will stage a return to MotoGP in 2016.
From the adorable Vespa 946 to the brawny Moto Guzzi California 1400 and the go-anywhere Aprilia Caponord 1200, the Piaggio Group came to the 2012 EICMA International Motorcycle Show armed with an array of hardware. When it comes to that plucky Vespa 946, engineers approached the bike with an eye toward incorporating modern technology and efficiencies to a classic design. The result is a scooter with all LED lighting and an engine capable of yielding 129 miles per gallon. That figure is thanks i