TRIUMPH BONNEVILLE BOBBER
From the late 1920s, something exciting began happening in the motorcycle world–some bikes were being stripped of all their unnecessary bodywork. This created light weight, performance-driven machines or ‘bobbers’. Over the next few decades, bobbers came to be known as customised bikes, with each one styled and modified to suit its rider’s needs. So when Triumph launched the single-seat Bonneville Bobber in March2017, they knew exactly what they were aiming at. They had created what they called a ‘genuine bobber’–with over 150 additional accessories, four colour options, and two ‘inspiration kits’ for personalisation to choose from. Theyalso put in a 1,200cc high-torque engine, which produced the signature bobber sound. Some modern features: adjustable riding position, anti-lock brake system(ABS), a digital menu, two riding modes, and a torque-assist clutch for simpler handling. One drawback, however, is the small tank. See triumph motorcycles.in
Max. power: 76bhp@6,100rpm
Price: â‚¹9,32,000 (ex.showroom India)
DUCATI MULTISTRADA 950
Ducati’s new Multistrada 950 is two things at once–a touring bike for the highway and a city bike for that daily commute to the office. It is comparable to its larger cousin, the Multistrada 1200, which has a 1,198cc engine as opposed to this one’s 937cc. But small does not mean inferior. For starters, Multistrada 950 is a few lakh rupees cheaper. Secondly, the Testastretta high-performance engine, the 19” front wheel and the fully-adjustable suspension mean it is still great for off-roading (even with a pillion, given that this is a dual-seater). With its 20L engine, it’s good for travelling long distances as well. Other highlights include multiple riding modes and the Ducati Safety Pack, which includes ABS and Ducati Traction Control, making the bike a safe bet. See india.ducati.com.
Max. power: 113bhp@9,000rpm
Price: â‚¹12,82,000 (ex.showroom India)
HONDA CRF1000L AFRICA TWIN
To understand the Africa Twin’s DNA, one must go back to the 1986 edition of the world’s most gruelling off- road race, the Dakar Rally. An ancestor of the CRF1000L, the NXR650, emerged victorious and attained legendary status–a status it further cemented by winning the next three editions. Honda claims its latest Africa Twin is the first motorcycle equipped with the company’s dual-clutch transmission technology. That’s particularly great for multi- terrain journeys, since the rider can easily shift between manual and automatic transmission. The adventure-tourer bike comes with a few other nifty features such as a powerful twin-cylinder engine, a G-Switch that improves traction while off-roading, and the Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) that interacts with the ABS to improve the bike’s response. Additionally, Honda claims that its 250mm ground clearance is the best in its class. The CRF1000L’s iconic dual LED headlights and victory-red body have been retained to give it an iconic look. See honda2wheelersindia.com.
Max. power: 87hp(approx.)@7,500rpm
Price: â‚¹13,06,927 (ex.showroom Delhi)
BMW S1000 XR
Here's a bike that has everything but humble origins. The story begins with the S 1000 RR that was built to compete in the 2009 Superbike World Championship. Over the next few years it began being manufactured commercially. Then came a variant, the S 1000 R, which was a roadster or a general-purpose motorcycle launched in November 2013. Which finally brings us to the S 1000 XR, an adventure sports bike, first launched in May 2015, where the dynamism of a touring bike is combined with the performance of a sports bike. The S 1000 XR comes with a 165hp engine, which means there’s no slowing down even on dirt roads, and Dynamic Traction Control and ABS Pro for good control and high levels of safety. The bike has continued to develop with a 2017 model revision, in which the power output has been increased and a new colour option–ocean blue metallic matt–has been added. Two versions are available in India: S 1000 XR Standard and S 1000 XR Pro, the latter having two additional riding modes. See bmw-motorrad.in.
Max. power: reached@8,250rpm
Price: â‚¹18.8 lacs for Standard and â‚¹21.9 lacs for Pro
HARLEY DAVIDSON STREET ROD
Harley Davidson is not just an American motorcycle manufacturer. It is a cultural icon marked by charismatic roadsters and touring bikes, signature merchandise, and a distinctly American spirit. The 750cc Street Rod, one of its latest offerings, is relatively affordable and great for biking through clogged streets and routes with varying terrain. The bike, available in vivid black, has a ‘High Output Revolution XTM’ twin engine, which quickly races to 9,000rpm. Its dual- disk brakes ensure quick reaction, high-quality front and rear shocks guarantee increased suspension, and the dual-seating arrangement allows two to ride comfortably. Drag-style handlebars dictate the bike’s riding position and the quintessential Harley-Davidson exhaust sound announces itself on ignition. See harley-davidson.com.
Max. power: reached@8,250rpm
Price: â‚¹6,04,000 (ex.showroom India)
UM RENEGADE COMMANDO
UM Motorcycles, a fairly new American motorcycle manufacturer, recently joined hands with Lohia Auto to establish its presence in India. It then launched the Renegade Commando, a bike that certainly makes a good first impression. Unsurprising given that vintage American military bikes–complete with wide handlebars and sizeable fuel tanks– are its inspiration. The four-stroke, single-cylinder motorcycle has been created for touring on all terrains, a task made simpler because of the wide-cushioned seat and front-set footrests. Its engine is liquid-cooled and boasts of decent horsepower. The transmission, too, comes with a handy feature–an overdrive mode for highway cruising. Colour options: black shine, matte moss green and burgundy shine. See uml.co.in.
Max. power: 24.8hp@8,500rpm
Price: â‚¹1,76,000 (ex.showroom Delhi)
Yamaha's top-notch FZ bike is marked by its air-cooled single-cylinder 249cc engine, lightweight (148kg) body frame and a design that ensures both power and fuel efficiency. It is based on Japanese engineering, but optimised for Indian traffic conditions. Available in blue, black and white colour options, FZ25’s other features include an LED headlight, an LCD instrument and racing-style seats. The cheapest one on our list, it has a decent engine size and mileage claim for its price. Bonus: the bike has been engineered keeping the Yamaha ‘Blue Core’ development ideal in mind, where the focus is on environment-friendliness and improving acceleration.
Max. power: 20.6hp(approx)@8,000rpm
Price: â‚¹1,29,335 (ex.showroom Delhi)
ROYAL ENFIELD REDDITCH CLASSIC 350
At the turn of the 20th century, in the small English town of Redditch, bicycles were being fitted with engines for the first time. These ‘motored-cycles’ belonged to Royal Enfield (RE), then a British company, and were some of their earliest bikes. By the 1950s, REs were cruising on the roads in their unique red, blue and green paint schemes. Now, Royal Enfield has gone on a nostalgia trip, introducing the Redditch series to celebrate its origins. Adorned with the 1939 Redditch monogram, the series includes the Redditch Red, Redditch Blue and Redditch Green models. These are basically colour variants of the Enfield Classic 350s, draped in the company’s iconic hues. The RE Classic 350 is a single cylinder, four- stroke mid-range bike known for its affordable price, retro design and decent power, torque and handling that make it great for long-distance touring. And, of course, its exhaust sound is a favourite with Indians. See royalenfield.com.
Max. power: 19.8Bhp(approx)@5,250rpm
Price: â‚¹1,80,550 (on road Chennai)