With the year drawing to a close, it is now time to take a look at what the future holds for us. We list down some of the most anticipated motorcycles from Rs 2 to 5 lakh, which are supposed to roll out next year.
7) Yamaha MT-03
Expected Launch - mid-2019
Expected Price - Rs 3 lakh (ex-showroom)
Along with the 2019 Yamaha R3, the Japanese brand might also bring its naked sibling the MT-03. The motorcycle sports an imposing design with its beefy tank, a petite tail lamp and an exposed frame. The MT-03 gets the same underpinnings and engine as the R3, but in a more street-friendly package. For example, unlike the R3, the riding posture here is more upright and comfortable with a flat and wide handlebar, instead of clip-ons. Considering the Yamaha R3 is priced at Rs 3.49 lakh, expect the MT-03 to be Rs 30,000-40,000 cheaper.
6) Royal Enfield Scrambler 500
Expected Launch - early 2019
Expected Price - Rs 2 lakh
Some time in June this year, what looked like a Scrambler version of the Royal Enfield Classic 500 was spied testing. While back then we dismissed it as dealer-level mod, a similar bike was again spotted testing by ARAI in Pune. In the spy shots we can see that the bike gets spoke wheels shod with knobbies, a raised rear fender for higher wheel travel and an upswept exhaust. All these features hint at a Scrambler.
While it is too soon to tell, we expect it to be powered by the same 499cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine, which churns out 27.5PS of power and 41.3Nm of torque. Considering that the prototype is already in the testing stage, it is not far-fetched to say that Royal Enfield might bring an all-new Scrambler some time early next year.
5) Benelli TRK 251
Expected Launch - late 2019
Expected Pricing - Rs 2.3 lakh (ex-showroom)
Adventure tourers are all the rage nowadays. While there are plenty of options to choose from in the sub-800 to 900cc category, the same cannot be said about the entry-level category. To counter this, Benelli will be introducing a small capacity adventure tourer called the TRK 251. And as expected from an adventure tourer, the Benelli TRK 251 too gets a bulbous design with beak-like front fender flanked by tank extensions. While it may not be the best looking motorcycle, it is built for a purpose and gets projector headlamps, LED tail lamp and a fully digital instrument console. The bike is expected to be priced around Rs 2.3 lakh (ex-showroom) which puts it Rs 60,000 north of the Royal Enfield Himalayan, its closest competitor.
4) 2019 Yamaha YZF-R3
Expected Launch - early 2019
Expected Pricing - Rs 3.49 lakh (ex-showroom)
While we did get an updated Yamaha R3 this year, it wasn't as extensive of an update as we were hoping for. That said, Yamaha has showcased the 2019 iteration of the YZ-R3 recently, which should solve this problem. The bike gets a re-designed front fairing which now resembles that of the flagship R1. Yamaha also claims these modifications provide 7 per cent better aerodynamics. Then there is also a new LED headlamps setup, a fully digital instrument console, lowered clip-on handlebar and slightly re-designed fuel tank for a sportier riding posture. The international model will get additional updates like KYB USD forks, but we expect the India-bound bike to give it a miss.
3) Benelli Leoncino 250
Expected Launch - mid-2019
Expected Pricing - Rs 2 lakh (ex-showroom)
After being resurrected, Benelli is set to launch an array of motorcycles in 2019. One of which could be the Leoncino 250. A part of Benelli's retro-modern lineup, the Leoncino 250 shares a lot of design elements with its older sibling the Leoncino 500, but in more compact dimensions. It also gets crucial contemporary touches like all-LED headlamps and a fully digital instrument console. While it may not be as powerful as the KTM 250 Duke (makes 4.1PS and 2.8Nm more), we think, given its unique design, it might be able to attract a crowd, given it is priced correctly.
2) Kawasaki Z400
Expected Launch - Nov-Dec 2019
Expected Pricing - Rs 4 lakh (ex-showroom)
The Kawasaki Ninja 400 was one of our favourite bikes last year, not surprising that we have high hopes riding on its naked counterpart. While it may pack the same internals as the Ninja 400, the Kawasaki Z400 ditches the full fairing and the clip-ons for aggressive Sugomi styling. While it may not look as imposing as its siblings, it certainly manages to make an impression. Which it better, considering it'll be competing against the KTM 390 Duke.
Just like the Ninja 400, Kawasaki might use the same CKD route for the Z400 as well. And just like in the case of the Ninja 400, this might push the pricing to an astronomical amount. We can only hope Kawasaki takes the same approach as the Ninja 300 and heavily localises both the Ninja 400 and Z400. This will let the bikemaker position the Z400 a lot closer to the KTM 390 Duke in terms of pricing.
1) KTM 390 Adventure
Expected launch - November 2019
Expected Pricing - Rs 3.5 lakh (ex-showroom)
Perhaps the most anticipated motorcycle of the year, it is no surprise that the KTM 390 Adventure sits on the top of our list. And that's for a good reason. Considering KTM's Dakar history and their aggressive pricing strategy, the 390 Adventure does have the potential to be a cracker of a product at an affordable price. While spy shots have given us slight indications of what the bike may look like, we expect it to pack the same 373cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder motor as the 390 Duke. Which we must say is not a bad thing. As far its debut is concerned, we expect it to be showcased at the 2019 EICMA Show in Milan, with the India launch expected in December.