OUR crystal ball is showing that 2018 motorcycle sales in the Philippines will likely hit two million units, once the final figures come in.
Aside from the endless introductions of new models that come in various styles and pack modern amenities to make riding easier and safer than before, there are other factors that drive consumers to opt for two-wheelers. Another significant development of late is the rise of platform sharing among motorcycle models. This allows manufacturers to expand their lineups while keeping costs down, in order to sastify different rider preferences.
Motorbike aficionados are trawling the Internet in search of new models, many of which were unveiled at EICMA in Milan, Italy, last year. Moreover, iconic brands that we only used to see in magazines and on websites are now coming in-or coming back-to do business here. We say the more, the merrier. Expect motorcycle showrooms to spring up like mushrooms in many parts of the country.
As we usher in 2019, here are 10 exciting motorcycle models we're hoping will land on Philippines soil this year. Take your pick!
1. KTM 790 Adventure R
KTM is synonymous with off-roading. And with the global introduction of the 790 Adventure R, many riders are beside themselves with joy. Dealerships have started grappling for immediate allocation of this middleweight bike propelled by a 799cc parallel-twin engine. It hosts a multitude of electronic aids designed to bail a rider out of critical situations and make this machine adventure-ready: angle-sensitive Motorcycle Traction Control, ABS, riding modes, and an advanced ride-by-wire system.
2. Indian FTR 1200
Slowly but surely, Indian motorcycles are effectively penetrating the exclusive cruiser community here. While steadily gaining momentum in PH, this US motorcycle brand surprised the motorcycle world when it took the covers off the FTR 1200, a V-twin flat-track lookalike designed for street use. Considering the purchasing pattern of some moneyed Pinoy riders, this model's race-replica version will certainly not escape their attention. It's in a class of its own, and owning one will make a big statement.
3. BMW S1000 RR
The S1000 RR has proven its point in the Philippine Superbike series. The three-peat championship streak of the BMW Motorrad PH team was more than enough reason for some circuit guys to shift preference. But the engineers from Bavaria are not about to rest on their laurels. In this year's PSBK, we wouldn't be surprised to see local BMW riders arming themselves with the latest S1000 RR, which is more potent and devastating not only in looks but also in performance, thanks to its arsenal of advanced electronic features that will again change the landscape of supersport bikes.
4. Husqvarna Vitpilen 401
Tollway-legal or not, motorbikes with engine displacement ranging from 300cc to 400cc have already made their mark in the local market. Lightweight, nimble, fuel-efficient, affordable, and stylish, the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 will surely be of interest to Pinoy riders. This style-focused, stripped-down bike is the ultimate urban warrior. Many are longing for Husqvarna's official arrival on our shores, and rumor has it that the Ayalas are considering bringing in this Swedish bike brand-now owned by KTM AG-for local production, making our dream closer to reality.
5. Yamaha Tracer 700
Have you been to a local Yamaha dealership lately? Ask the salespeople there about the Tracer 700, and they'll tell you about the endless inquiries on this model, which takes its cues from the Yamaha Tracer 900. Sport touring bikes are very much in demand as a result of the booming moto-tourism sector, but here in the Philippines, the traffic conditions make the Tracer 700 a more practical choice vis-à-vis its sibling.
6. Ducati Panigale V4 R
The guys from Bologna have again proven their supremacy in crafting the most powerful street-legal racing machine with the Ducati Panigale V4 R. This latest Italian track beast is powered by an engine derived from the Ducati MotoGP race bike that spews out 221hp at 15,250rpm. We wouldn't be surprised if typhoon alert level 5 is raised whenever this elegant-looking but ferocious supersport hits the tarmac at Batangas Racing Circuit or Clark International Speedway.
7. Ducati Monster 821 Stealth
Are you ready to join the exclusive 'Monster family'? Fuming with a 109hp twin-cylinder Desmodromic Testastretta engine, the 821 Stealth was unleashed to celebrate 25 years of this iconic naked-bike model. It stands out with its sexy matte-black livery and stylish graphics. This beginner-friendly bike is also equipped with an adjustable fork and a quickshifter as standard features.
8. Honda CB125M
Although still a concept, the CB125M definitely puts small bikes on a higher plane. Its sharp edges and fluid lines caused jaws to drop at EICMA. The proud 'M' badge on the side panel also indicates that it's ready for thrilling city rides. Honda says it will take some time before the model is green-lighted for production, but don't be surprised if the manufacturer pulls a surprise and rolls it out within the year, given the huge demand for small motorcycles.
9. Harley-Davidson LiveWire
The emergence of the LiveWire made us realize how it feels to be hit by a 10,000-volt electric current. Combining the looks of a traditional Harley-Davidson muscle bike with a revolutionary, environment-friendly EV powertrain, this concept is a potential game changer. The legendary American motorcycle brand is reportedly serious about taking the LiveWire to the production line early this year. Now, the important question: When do we see it in the Philippines?
10. Italjet Dragster 200
The first time we wrote about the coming of the new Italjet Dragster, we were immediately bombarded with reactions from curious netizens. They just can't wait any longer to see (and own) a Dragster sporting a spacecraft-inspired design that makes it look poised to conquer the universe. It turned the scooter community upside-down.
If the price is right, we feel the Dragster will hit the scooter market like a killer tsunami. Access Plus, the authorized distributor of Italjet in the country, says the new model will be here by the first quarter of 2019. Guys, be ready with your bank accounts.
This story originally appeared on Topgear.com.ph.
Minor edits have been made by the SPIN.ph editors.