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Joy on two wheels: What 2017 has in store

Mirza Mohammed Ali Khan | Updated on January 16, 2018 Published on December 29, 2016

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Take a peek at some of the motorcycles that will set the pace next year

If the year gone by was the anticipatory revving of the throttle before an exhilarating ride, with quite a few exciting bike launches, the upcoming year promises to be an experience that will have you holding tight onto the handlebars with the wind whipping your face.

The tone for 2017 has already been set, with Bajaj unveiling the Dominar 400 earlier this month. The company’s biggest bike yet, it is powered by a 373cc engine with a claimed 35PS of power at 8,000 rpm. Equipped with front and rear disc brakes and ABS, the Dominar looks like a chunky street fighter. Bajaj aims to take on Royal Enfield and the Mahindra Mojo with this offering. The bike is expected to start shipping in early 2017.

There is a bevy of exciting wheels waiting to hit the market next year. From Indian makers Hero and TVS, to some of the biggest international names in bike manufacturing like BMW Motorrad and Yamaha. Here are some that you should be watching out for:

DSK Benelli TNT 135

DSK Benelli shifted focus in India this year to the entry-level performance segment, with its TNT 300 and the TNT 25 being launched in the country. The approach seems to continue, with the company unveiling the TNT 135 mini bike at the 2016 auto expo in Delhi NCR.

The TNT 135 gets a compact naked bike design. (Think the Honda Navi, with a lot more chunk and muscle). It draws power from a 135cc, four stroke air-cooled engine that is expected to deliver 12.7PS of power at 9,000 rpm. The mini bike gets front and rear disc brakes with an upside-down front fork.

The smallest Benelli in India is expected to be in the market around March 2017 with a price tag between ₹1 lakh and ₹1.3 lakh.

The new KTM Duke 390

This one will probably be among the first to launch in the New Year. The bike looks like something straight out of the Transformers movie franchise. The new 390’s design seem inspired by its larger sibling — the 1290 Super Duke. It is powered by the same 373cc engine that is on its predecessor, but performance has been tweaked, with the new variant offering a maximum torque of 37Nm at 7000 rpm against the old Duke’s 35Nm at 7,250 rpm.

The new Duke also has a slew of fresh features; some of them being the new instrument cluster that lets you link your phone to it to receive calls. The bike is also offered with dual channel ABS and the front disc brake is now 320mm as compared to the previous Duke’s 300mm. Fuel tank capacity too sees an increase of 2.4 litres.

The Duke 390 was a huge success and we expect this one to do well too. But it looks like it will see some good competition in the form of the BMW G310R and the Bajaj Dominar. It is expected to be prized between ₹2 lakh and ₹2.5 lakh.

BMW G310R

Easily the most awaited bike of the lot, the G310R is the first BMW bike to be manufactured in India — at the TVS facility in Hosur. The bike, a collaboration between BMW Motorrad and TVS, is expected to be the sales volume driver for BMW in India and other similar markets like Brazil. BMW had an unveiling in the United States recently and the bike received good reviews. The smallest from BMW’s stable, it is driven by a 313cc single cylinder liquid cooled engine that is paired to a 6-speed transmission. It gets front and rear disc brakes with ABS as standard. The front gold-hued suspension forks give the G310R a classy touch.

The G310R will compete with the KTM Duke 390, the Mahindra Mojo, and the Bajaj Dominar, but with its price (expected to be around ₹1.8 lakh), it looks like BMW has a winner on its hands. Expect it to hit the market some time around March 2017.

Ducati Monster 797

With major big names looking towards markets like India to boost sales, Ducati also looks like it is taking steps in a similar direction. The Ducati Monster 797, touted to be an entry-level offering from the company, is powered by an 803cc, twin-cylinder mated to a six-speed transmission that is said to roar offering a mighty 76PS of power at 8,250 rpm. The bike has twin front disc brakes and a single rear disc equipped with ABS.

With a trellis frame, a beefy fuel tank and a round headlamp, the bike does indeed look every inch the rough-hewn street monster. Expected to be priced around ₹8 lakh, watch out for it in the first half of the year.

There are quite a few other bikes in the pipeline too — the Hero HX250R, the TVS Akula that will be powered by the same 313cc engine on the G310R, the Yamaha MT-03, which will be the powered by the extremely efficient twin-cylinder engine on the YZF R3 — that have us rubbing our palms in anticipation. The year looks promising indeed.

Published on December 29, 2016
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