In recent years, the Indian two-wheeler industry has witnessed a sea change in terms of products offered. Brands like Royal Enfield and KTM have changed the way we perceive premium motorcycles with their products. The best part is that the future looks even more promising with promising two-wheelers headed to our shores next year. Here are the top 10 that we look forward to:
Hero XPulse 200 & 200T - Q1 2019
Hero’s XPulse 200 twins will be launched in the first quarter of 2019 (calendar year). The XPulse 200 is a proper dual-sport motorcycle complete with a large 21-inch front and an 18-inch rear spoke wheel. They’re wrapped with dual-purpose tyres too, for optimum on/off-road dynamics. On the other hand, the XPulse 200T is more of a touring-oriented, road-biased iteration, featuring alloy wheels (17 inchers on both ends), flyscreen and road-biased tyres. Power comes from a 200cc air-and-oil-cooled single-cylinder motor which churns out 18.4PS and 17.1Nm in both the bikes.
Bluetooth connectivity and turn-by-turn navigation in the digital instrument cluster on both bikes ensure you don’t get lost while exploring places. For safety, you get single-channel ABS too. Though a single-channel unit is a bit of a compromise, this feature actually lets experienced riders gleefully slide the rear-end around on trails. The XPulse comes with a high-set underseat exhaust for better water-wading capability. We expect the XPulse 200 to cost around Rs 1.2-lakh, while the XPulse 200T is likely to bear a price tag of Rs 1.1 lakh (both ex-showroom Delhi).
KTM 390 Adventure - End of 2019
Image courtesy: Morebikes.co.uk
The KTM 390 Adventure is perhaps the most anticipated motorcycles of 2019. The hype is well within reason as its road-biased sibling, the 390 Duke has proven its mettle in the under-500cc segment. With the 390 Adventure, we expect KTM’s Dakar genes to trickle down in a power-packed, yet affordable package. The Austrian brand has confirmed that it will be launching the motorcycle in 2019. And we believe the bike will debut at the 2019 EICMA first, followed by its India launch by the end of the year.
Going by the latest spy shots, the bike seems to have a hint of the 790 Adventure’s design, off-road-friendly ergonomics coupled with no-nonsense underpinnings like spoke wheels and long-travel suspension to tackle diverse terrains.
Yamaha MT-15 - Early 2019
Now that the third generation of the YZF-R15 is here, Yamaha intends to offer a naked version of the faired bike, the MT-15. While the FZ range is slightly commuter focussed, the new MT will be a sportier alternative that will take on the KTM 125 Duke. The MT-15 will be sharing the potent VVA-equipped (Variable Valve Actuation), liquid-cooled engine with the R15 V3.0. Consequently, expect sprightly performance from the 19.3PS/15Nm motor.
Moreover, its ergonomics will also be a lot more forgiving than the R15, and the bike could be perfect for long jaunts on the highway as well. Making the deal even more alluring is the sharp, MT-09-esque design language which is sure to turn heads. We expect the bike to cost around Rs 1.3 lakh (ex-showroom), and it is likely to be launched in early 2019.
Jawa Perak - End of 2019
Jawa’s second innings in India dominated headlines this year with the launch of two all-new motorcycles - the Jawa and the Jawa Forty Two. At the launch, the brand also showcased a factory custom, the Perak. The company even revealed its price tag (Rs 1.89 lakh, ex-showroom), but the bike will enter our shores only towards the end of 2019, if we’re being optimistic. In a typical bobber fashion, the bodywork is minimalistic. Adding to the old-school appeal is the single seat which neatly hides the rear monoshock.
Jawa has made sure the go matches the show, thanks to the bigger, more powerful 334cc engine that’s good for 30.4PS and 31Nm. Even the swingarm is longer than the one in the regular Jawa, and the bike comes with disc brakes on both ends. ABS is dual-channel too, for more efficient braking performance.
2019 Yamaha YZF-R3 - End of 2019
Yamaha launched the 2018 iteration of the YZF-R3 with Metzeler Sportec M5 Tyres and dual-channel ABS as standard, apart from making the engine BSIV compliant after collecting feedback from customers. For 2019, the R3 has received a complete facelift and borrows the YZF-R1’s design language which makes it look even more aggressive. The fairing and windshield are new, and they offer superior aerodynamics than the previous-gen bike. This, along with the 4kg reduction in kerb weight (169kg) have resulted in an 8kmph increase in the claimed top speed. Further enhancing the sporty riding stance are the 22mm lower handlebars and the wider and lower fuel tank. The bike gets a more info-laden, fully-digital instrument cluster too.
The powertrain, on the other hand, has remained unchanged. However, the front end now comes with 37mm inverted Kayaba forks, while the rear features a KYB monoshock. We really hope Yamaha doesn’t go the R15 V3 way with conventional forks, though. Expect Yamaha to launch this motorcycle by the end of 2019.
Royal Enfield Scrambler 500 - Early 2019
Image Courtesy: Facebook
A 500cc Royal Enfield Scrambler was spotted quite recently, and if our guess is right, it could be launched in early 2019. Going by the spy shots, the bike comes with gaitered telescopic forks up front, raised rear fender, upswept exhaust and spoke wheels shod with knobby tyres. These features, coupled with the braced handlebars should make the torquey motorcycle a hoot to ride on the trails.
The test mule shares a lot of parts with the Classic 500. Hence, the pricing is likely to be in the same ballpark as the regular Classic. We expect the 27.2PS, 41.3Nm air-cooled, fuel-injected engine to remain unchanged. The bike will feature a dual-channel ABS as standard too.
Benelli TRK 502X - Mid-2019
Benelli India is back with a bang under its new partnership with Hyderabad-based Mahavir Group. In fact, its TRK 502X is one of the most anticipated motorcycles that’ll be a part of the brand’s product onslaught. The X variant is a no-nonsense adventure tourer and gets spoke wheels (19-inch front and 17-inch rear) shod with Metzeler Tourance tyres. Powering this ADV is a 499.6cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin motor. It makes 47.6PS, 45Nm and is mated to a 6-speed gearbox.
A pair of 320mm front discs and 260mm rear disc with dual-channel ABS should provide adequate stopping power for this 235kg behemoth (kerb). You even get a generous 20-litre fuel tank for going the distance. This, coupled with the 26.3kmpl claimed efficiency should ensure over 500km of range, theoretically. The motorcycle is scheduled to be launched in mid-2019.
KTM 790 Duke - Mid-2019
The 790 Duke will mark KTM’s entry into the big-bike segment in India. Being a brand with sound business tactics, KTM will be choosing to go the CKD route with heavy localisation of parts like brakes, suspension components and the likes. Only the engine and the chassis will be sourced from Austria. This will allow KTM to price the motorcycle very aggressively, at an expected price of around Rs 7 lakh (ex-showroom).
The 790 Duke draws power from a 799cc parallel-twin liquid-cooled engine which churns out 105PS at 9500rpm and 86Nm at 8000rpm. Notable features include TFT instrument cluster, IMU-enhanced traction control, cornering ABS, launch control and bi-directional quickshifter.
Yamaha NMax 155 - Mid-2019
Currently, Yamaha has a reasonably healthy portfolio in the 110cc segment, with products like the Ray ZR, Fascino, Alpha and the likes. However, the brand does not have anything in segments above 110cc, at least as of now. The Japanese auto major plans to go all out by launching the NMax 155 in mid-2019. In the international-spec model, the scooter employs a 155cc, liquid-cooled, 4-valve engine which produces 14.8PS of power at 8,000 rpm and 14.4Nm of peak torque at 6,000 rpm. However, for the Indian market, expect this motor to be slightly tuned towards efficiency rather than raw power.
It gets modern features like LED lighting system, maxi-scooter-like styling, ABS, disc brakes and a fully digital instrument cluster too. When launched here, the scooter will be heavily localised and is likely to be priced at around Rs 1 lakh (ex-showroom). In the Philippines market, it costs an equivalent of Rs 1.5 lakh.
2019 Honda CBR650R - Mid-2019
The 2019 Honda CBR650R made its debut at this year’s EICMA motorcycle show. Honda is likely to replace the CBR650F in the Indian market with the new bike in mid-2019. This motorcycle looks a lot more aggressive than the outgoing model. The styling appears to be straight from the litre-class Fireblade, and the ergonomics are now sportier too. The handlebars are more forward set and lower, while the footpegs are rearset. Honda has worked on the motorcycle’s engine too. As a result, there’s a 5 per cent increase in torque (64Nm), and the power is up by 8.4PS, at 95PS. Electronics include Honda Selectable Torque Control and dual-channel ABS as standard.
The 2019 Honda CBR650R is likely to command a premium of around Rs 30,000 over the current model, which retails at Rs 7.37 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi).
For in-depth, objective and more importantly balanced journalism, Click here to subscribe to Outlook Magazine