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Seven new motorcycles that will transform your ride this year

| Updated on: Jan 07, 2016
BMW TVS G310R-1.jpg

BMW TVS G310R-1.jpg

Bajaj-Pulsar-CS400.jpg

Bajaj-Pulsar-CS400.jpg

2016 could finally mark the end of adolescence for the Indian performance bikes category. Here is a sampling of seven of them

Last year saw a stellar line-up of new bikes and scooters being lined-up for launch. The new year promises to be an equally exciting. The two-wheeler market is finally getting its share of mature, globally relevant and high-quality motorcycles. Affordability will still be an issue, with many of them falling outside the reach of the average middle-class family. But, with more and more buyers in the metros coming to terms with the futility of owning larger cars, there will be a strong move towards buying bikes that they can enjoy riding during the weekends. Here is a bunch of the most awaited bikes for this year.

Royal Enfield Himalayan If you follow motorcycle news you would have come across a mention of the new RE motorcycle called the Himalayan. It has captured everyone’s imagination much in the way the Continental GT had. The fact that Enfield has been hard at work putting together a new chassis, engine and suspension set up, for the Himalayan is possibly why it is such a highly anticipated motorcycle. This also fills the rather obvious hole that exists in the Indian market for this style of a motorcycle since Hero decided to pull the plug on the Impulse. Apart from a new double-cradle chassis developed by Harris performance (designers of the Continental GT chassis), it could also get a new 410cc, single cylinder motor, expected to produce 28PS and 32Nm of torque. The new mill is slated to be smoother as well. This Enfield is going to be ready for the mountains straight out of the showroom.

BMW G310R This one has been announced loud and clear. There have been releases of pictures, specifications, how the motorcycle will be sold by BMW and TVS and anything in between that you may need to imagine. All we are saying is, this is a good looking bike, although straight-laced with no visible BMW quirks, which promises to stand up and give the KTMs a run for their money. It has impeccable credentials with a 313cc, single cylinder unit that will develop a maximum of 34PS along with 25Nm of torque to power a motorcycle that is slated to weigh 158kg. This will be the first product out of the BMW-TVS collaboration, which means the ride quality and handling will be well sorted. Keep your fingers crossed and hope they announce it at a good price too.

Yamaha MT-03 Ever since Yamaha decided to launch the R3, touted to be a scaled down R1, in India, speculation has been rife about the Japanese manufacturer doing a repeat with another one of their litre-class motorcycles — the MT-10, being scaled down to deliver a MT-03. It was shown at the 2015 EICMA show in Milan and will share the YZF-R3s 321cc, twin cylinder motor which is capable of 42PS of peak power and 29.6Nm of torque. Yamaha is expected to show off the MT-03 at next month’s Auto Expo.

Hero HX250R It is about time for Hero to pull another one out of the hat, as they have done in the past with motorcycles like the CBZ and the Karizma. The HX250R, jointly developed by Hero and Eric Buell Racing will be a proper flagship motorcycle for Hero Motocorp with design, styling and engine specifications to match the best in the business, if not better. The 249cc, single cylinder is rumoured to develop 31PS of peak power along with 26Nm of torque, mated to a six-speed transmission — a first for Hero. More interestingly it is speculated to weigh in at a mere 139kg, which gives it an impressive power to weight ratio.

Bajaj Pulsar CS 400 We’ve seen the dawn of the NS, AS and RS series’ under the Pulsar brand over the past couple of years and 2016 promises to introduce yet another one to the family — the CS. This time however, Bajaj will be breaking new ground heading where no Pulsar has been before. This will be the first of their adaptations of KTMs 373cc, single cylinder engine. It is still likely to make close to 40bhp and fitted on a rather impressive looking motorcycle. The CS 400 is styled like a mix of a power cruiser and a naked street motorcycle. Expect the CS to offer a more comfortable ride and have smoother engine responses. Apart from disc-brakes employed at the front and rear wheels, the CS will also sport upside-down front forks. This will truly be a Pulsar that can serve as a flag-bearer for the range.

Benelli TRK 502 The Italian manufacturer has been on the move. Having launched several models in 2015, the company promises to keep up the tempo for 2016. Benelli showcased a few new motorcycles at the 2015 EICMA show in Milan and the TRK 502 is rumoured to land on our shores soon. This 500cc, twin-cylinder motorcycle will be one to watch out for. Dressed in tall, long travel suspension and with pannier boxes to boot, the TRK looks ready for any adventure. Churning out 48PS of power and 45 Nm of torque, this tourer will slot in perfectly for our riding conditions. It will have enough power and hopefully be light enough to manage apart from being available at a far more reasonable price point, as opposed to the current choice of imports that are available.

Kawasaki ZX250SL This may seem counterproductive to suggest, but Kawasaki does need to change its game plan with its smaller displacement motorcycles — like the Z250. Currently on sale with a twin-cylinder motor, with a price tag of more than ₹3 lakh, there are no real takers for it. The SL features a single cylinder motor, which is capable of 27.6PS and more torque, at 23Nm, than its twin-cylinder cousin.

Moreover, it weighs nearly 20kg less than the twin as well. The ability to get a single cylinder Kawasaki motorcycle at a far more competitive price point will be a big draw.

Published on March 10, 2018

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