There are a whole bunch of exciting bikes coming your way over the next year. Here’s a look at the red-hot two-wheelers due next year.
Bajaj Pulsar CS 400
This motorcycle is distinctively a Pulsar, but its stance suggests that the CS 400’s genetics have mutated from the standard Pulsar fare. The styling is muscular as always but there’s a bit more swarthiness to it. But despite all of that, the CS 400 has a more relaxed air too; the stepped seat looks more substantial and the raked-out forks suggest that steady riding is also something to be enjoyed on this motorcycle. Add all that up and the Cruiser Sport name starts to make perfect sense.
Think Ducati Diavel for the masses and you’ll get the idea. The tail-lamp looks like it’s drawn inspiration from Bologna while the rest of the design is from its Chakan facility, expectedly edgy and satisfying. The masked headlamp looks sinister, the chiselled tank is beefy and the rear section looks like it was chopped by a meat cleaver. The CS 400 will be powered by the 373cc engine from the KTM 390 Duke and with the right kind of tweaks, it should continue to boast near 40bhp of power while offering a smoother and more easygoing feel. The CS 400 will be equipped with some premium kit – the steel perimeter frame aside, the CS will get USD forks and a beautiful alloy swingarm.
While the concept bike boasted multi-element LED headlamps, we don’t expect to see them on the production bike. However, the split digital instrument cluster would up the cool quotient significantly. Bajaj proved in 2015 with its first fully faired Pulsar – the RS200 – that the Pulsar range can confidently explore exciting motorcycling niches, without compromising on everyday usability. And that makes the CS 400 a very promising motorcycle for the growing legion of long-distance riders in India. Expect the CS 400 to be in showrooms around March 2016 priced at Rs 1.6 lakh.
BMW G310 R
Across the globe, motorcycle manufacturers are using mid-displacement bikes to reverse a gradual decline of interest in two-wheelers caused by decades of evermore intimidating and pricey models. The success of the made-in-India KTM 390 Duke and RC in the European and American markets highlights both the importance of this class of motorcycle and the make-in-India-sell-worldwide formula. Although BMW walked into this party well after KTM, it is clear the fun has only just begun and the G310 R is ready to strut in fine style.
Going by the styling, it is clear that BMW is playing it safe, which is strange when you consider that quirkiness is a BMW hallmark. Then there are the specs – 313cc of displacement, 33.6bhp of power and a kerb weight of 158kg. Although these figures won’t worry the competition or send enthusiasts rushing for their cheque books, if the G310 R can emulate the sophistication and refinement of BMW’s bigger motorcycles, it will be a very interesting proposition indeed. Good ride comfort and everyday rideability should tempt riders who want a well-rounded motorcycle to swing a leg over.
Don’t mistake the G310 R for a dull performer though. The short-stroke single-cylinder engine’s layout is reversed (the cylinder inclines towards the rear wheel and the exhaust exits from the rear) to create a more compact motorcycle and optimise weight distribution. This has all-round benefits as it allows for a longer swingarm for greater stability while keeping the wheelbase tight for better manoeuvrability. USD front forks, monoshock rear, ABS-equipped 310mm disc brakes are some of the essentials in this class and the BMW has them and will surely wow when thrown around twisty bits of tarmac. Expect the BMW G310 R to go on sale in India sometime in the middle of 2016 with prices starting at Rs 1.8 lakh.
Royal Enfield Himalayan
If you buy a Bullet and don’t take it to Ladakh within the first two years, it’ll head out without you. That’s a common joke about Royal Enfields and their riders. Royal Enfield has been watching its patrons trudge ever further to explore the marvellous wilderness of India on the Chennai-made motorcycles and so, the next new motorcycle to roll off the assembly line will be Royal Enfield’s adventure bike, the Himalayan. A quick glance at the camouflaged go-anywhere test bikes caught on camera show that there is a lot to look forward to.
Firstly, Royal Enfield has built a new, smaller capacity engine for the Himalayan. This engine brings RE in line with most other motorcycles as the chain drive is now on the correct side, the left. Its near 400cc of displacement ought to make it lighter, and more free revving too. This air-cooled engine also packs an oil-cooler for consistent performance even when used aggressively. Conventional telescopic forks, albeit with lots of travel and the adoption of a monoshock at the rear, another first for RE, will ensure the Himalayan can roar its way up to Base Camp. The chassis is derived from the dual cradle frame and is kept beautifully displayed on the aft section of the motorcycle.
Ergonomics for better stand-up and ride moments and on-off road tyres wrapped on spoke rims, a larger one at the front, will make this RE a plaything for those who like to get down and dirty. As was seen with the Continental GT, prices are likely to be kept under the Rs 2-lakh mark. If priced in the Rs1.6-1.7 lakh range, the Himalayan will be a superb proposition for the adventure bike starved Indian market. Expect to see this bike in our showrooms sometime soon.
Triumph Street Twin
Triumph’s wide-ranging motorcycle line-up has many icons, and the retro Bonneville family is undoubtedly one of the stars. For 2016, the Bonneville range has been designed from a clean sheet of paper and a new variant, the Street Twin, will become the most affordable Bonneville on offer. The Street Twin’s look, the motorcycling equivalent of cuffed jeans paired with a white tee, is immediately appealing. Quite simply, it looks classy, casual and ageless.
Except for the fact that it looks a bit leaner, it might be hard to tell it apart from its predecessor in one glance, but from the saddle, you should be able to tell that it is all new. A bigger engine, liquid cooling and electronic aids means that this is a retro machine in style alone. Torque has jumped dramatically while power has dropped. This formula emphasises the Bonneville’s ambit of making journeys enjoyable by keeping the going calm and mellow, and it is expected to be a lot more frugal too. Crucially, despite the liquid cooling and other updates, the Street Twin has dropped kerb weight by 11kg over the outgoing bike, although at 198kg, it isn’t exactly light. Nonetheless, Triumph is sure to draw more easy riders into its fold with the Street Twin’s mix of classic looks, modern tech and more manageable dimensions. Expect prices to start at Rs 7.5 lakh when it launches in the first quarter of 2016.
Kawasaki Z 250 SL
Why would Kawasaki offer another 250cc motorcycle when they already have one in India? Simple, price. The Z250 on sale in India is a twin-cylinder motorcycle that, at the Rs 3-lakh price point, has barely any takers. To lower the price tag significantly, the SL has been designed around a single-cylinder engine.
Super light weight, that’s what this Kawasaki promises. And at about 148kg, the SL is 20kg lighter than its twin-cylinder sibling, though it packs more power than its twin-cylinder sibling at 27bhp! Regular telescopic forks hang off the front of a beautiful tubular trellis frame while the rear uses a monoshock. Kawasaki offers ABS as an option on the SL and hopefully, it will be on the India model as well. In terms of design, the SL is every bit a Kawasaki with plenty of ‘sugomi’ (which means an ability to inspire awe in Japanese) for a small bike.
The Z 250 SL will have to compete with offerings from KTM, DSK Benelli and now, BMW too. Hopefully, local sourcing can help the bike maker claim a price tag that will make this Kawasaki a fun, sensible and value-for-money pick too. The new Kawasaki is likely to get to our shores early next year.
DSK Benelli Trk 502
The Benelli Trk 502 was showcased in Milan for the very first time this November. This adventure bike from the Italian marque is another great example of the booming mid-displacement class.
Built around a 499cc parallel twin-cylinder engine the Trk lines up as an accessible adventure bike that’s just perfect for India. The liquid-cooled engine offers usable performance with 46.9bhp of power at 8500rpm and 4.6kgm of torque at 4500rpm.
You can expect the TRK 502 to be offered in two guises, a road-biased version with 17-inch rims front and rear, and an off-road oriented version with 19-inch rims at the front and 17 inchers at the rear. Equipped with the on-off road tyres, backed up by the long-travel suspension and rugged build, the TRK should be able to deal with anything our roads throw at it and lots more.
The upright seating position and generous accommodation is as expected on a long-haul motorcycle. Hopefully, the TRK 502 will be a manageable motorcycle to ride on a daily basis as well. A saddle height of 815mm is decent, but a kerb weight of 210kg can pose a considerable challenge. Nonetheless, the promise of a well-made adventure bike at an expected price of Rs 4-4.5 lakh makes it a motorcycle to look forward to. Expect the DSK Benelli TRK 502 to go on sale in India in the middle of 2016.