Zigwheel's Niraj lists some of the best motorcycles to look out for this year that will not burn a big hole in your pocket
Yamaha YZF-R15 v3.0
Yamaha is all set to launch the R15 v3.0 in India. The latest iteration of the R15 was recently unveiled in Indonesia and features a couple of segment-first features. However, the test mule that was spotted in India appears to feature different specifications when compared to the motorcycle sold in the international market.
Spy shots of the R15 v3.0 undergoing tests in India suggests that the India-spec motorcycle would get conventional front forks instead of the USD forks seen on the Indonesia-spec bike.
Further, the India-spec bike is expected to feature MRF rubber in place of the IRC ones seen on the international version. However, there is some good news.
The India-spec R15 v3.0 will feature the same engine as the international model. The new 155cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled and fuel injected engine which features Yamaha's Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) system makes 19.5PS of power and 14.7Nm of peak torque.
The Yamaha R15 v3.0 is likely to be launched early this year and will be priced a tad higher than the R15 v2.0, which is currently priced at Rs 1.18 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Ever since the Hero Impulse was discontinued from the Indian two-wheeler market, enthusiasts have been pining for a true dual-purpose motorcycle. The home-grown manufacturer revealed the Xpulse concept at the 2017 EICMA in Milan, Italy.
With its long and sharp beak, round headlamp, teardrop-shaped fuel tank and the single piece saddle, the Xpulse certainly caught the attention of many.
While Hero hasn't revealed any technical details regarding the Xpulse, we expect the motorcycle to be powered by a 200cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine that was first seen on the Hero Xtreme 200S concept which was displayed at the 2016 Auto Expo.
This engine is expected to produce 18.6PS of power and 17.2Nm of peak torque. The adventure tourer is likely to be prices between Rs 1.5 lakh and Rs 2 lakh (ex-showroom).
BMW G 310 R and G 310 GS
German bike maker, BMW Motorrad, is gearing up to take on KTM in the street naked segment with the upcoming G 310 R.
The G 310 R was first showcased at the 2016 Auto Expo and features a 313cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine which makes 35PS of power and 28Nm of torque.
The styling of the motorcycles is reminiscent of the BMW S 1000 R street bike. The G 310 R is expected to be priced around Rs 2.2 lakh and Rs 2.4 lakh (ex-showroom).
The G 310 GS, on the other hand, is the adventure-tourer version of the street naked. BMW will position this motorcycle as an affordable adventure tourer.
The design of the motorcycle is based on the flagship BMW GS series. It features a large mudguard, a redesigned headlight, a sculpted fuel tank and a luggage carrier at the back.
The G 310 GS features long travel USD forks at the front and a monoshock unit at the rear.
For added convenience, the G 310 GS also gets a number of optional accessories to choose from. These include 12v power sockets, heated palm grips, luggage kits, satellite navigation and smartphone connectivity.
The G 310 GS will be powered by the same engine as the street naked it is based on. However, expect it to be tweaked a bit to suit its adventure-tourer nature.
Expect BMW to price the motorcycles around Rs 2.6 lakh and Rs 2.8 lakh (ex-showroom).
Bajaj Avenger 400
The Indian cruiser segment is largely dominated by Royal Enfield. However, if various reports are to be believed, that might change soon as Bajaj Auto is reported to be working on a more powerful version of the Avenger.
Although not many details are available about the bigger Avenger, we expect the new bike, which could be called the Avenger 400, to borrow its powerplant from the Dominar 400.
The Dominar's 373cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled motor delivers 35PS of power and 35Nm of torque.
While the Dominar 400 has a more power cruiser-like feel to it, the Avenger 400 will retain the classic cruiser stance like its smaller siblings, the Avenger 150 and Avenger 220.
We expect Bajaj Auto to price the cruiser around Rs 1.2 lakh and Rs 1.5 lakh (ex-showroom).
Bajaj Pulsar SS 400
The Bajaj Pulsar SS 400 was first unveiled at the 2014 Auto Expo. The SS 400, which shares its styling with the RS 200, is likely to be powered by the same engine as the Dominar 400.
The 373cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine produces 35PS of power and 35Nm of torque. However, expect the engine on the SS 400 to be tweaked to match its full-faired, sportsbike-like stance.
We expect Bajaj to price the motorcycle below Rs 2 lakh.
The Yamaha R3 offered a great package in terms of design, comfort and performance. Sadly, it was discontinued from our markets for not adhering to BS-IV norms.
According to recent reports, however, an updated BS-IV compliant version of the Yamaha YZF-R3 is on its way to our shores. The new bike is not expected to feature any major changes on the cosmetic front.
The new R3 will still be powered by the same 321cc, parallel-twin engine, which makes 42PS of power and 29.6Nm of torque.
The Japanese company will most likely re-introduce the bike with a price tag between Rs 3.5 lakh and 4 lakh (ex-showroom).
Kawasaki Ninja 400
After months of speculation, Kawasaki finally unveiled the Ninja 400 at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. It comes with an all-new engine and chassis and will replace the Kawasaki Ninja 300, which has started to show its age.
The Kawasaki Ninja 400 features Ninja ZX-10R-inspired headlamps, LED tail lamps, LED indicators, a split seat, wider tyres and a bigger windshield.
The Ninja 400 packs a 399cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled motor which produces 45PS of power and 38Nm of torque.
In comparison, the Kawasaki Ninja 300 produces 39PS of power and 27Nm of torque. The Ninja 400 is expected to be priced between Rs 4 lakh and Rs 4.5 lakh (ex-showroom).
Benelli Imperiale 400
Benelli is likely to take a step into uncharted territory with the Imperiale 400. The retro-themed naked motorcycle will go up against the Royal Enfield Classic 350.
Along with its retro theme, the Imperiale features a twin-pod instrument console, split seats, a Monza-style fuel cap, and a lustrous dark red paint job with some chrome accent.
The motorcycle uses a double cradle steel tube frame.
It also gets telescopic forks up front and double shock absorbers at the rear. Braking duties are handled by disc brakes at the front and rear with dual-channel ABS.
The bike has a kerb weight of 200kg. It has a fuel tank capacity of 12-litres.
The Imperiale is powered by an air-cooled, fuel-injected, 373.5cc single-cylinder engine which produces 20PS of power and 28Nm of torque. It is expected to be priced around Rs 2 lakh (ex-showroom).
Benelli's answer to the Ducati Scrambler, the Leoncino, was recently spotted testing near Pune.
The Italian motorcycle, which is likely to be launched soon, features a neo-retro theme with a round headlight and a single piece seat with an upright riding stance. The Leoncino sits on 17-inch spoke wheels made of aluminium alloy.
The wheels are shod with tyres that are suitable for both on- and off-roading.
It also gets an LED lighting system, a digital instrument cluster and ABS.
The Leoncino is powered by a 499.6cc, twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine which churns out 47.6PS of power and 45Nm of torque. The DSK Benelli Leoncino is expected to be priced around Rs 4 lakh and Rs 4.5 lakh (ex-showroom).
Benelli TRK 502
Benelli is likely to launch the TRK 502, which was first showcased at the 2015 EICMA in Milan, Italy, in India next year. The TRK 502 sports an adventure-tourer design with its large beak and front fairing.
The TRK 502 is available in two different setups -- a road-oriented one that features 17-inch rims at either end and an off-road variant, which will be equipped with a 19-inch rim at the front.
For the Indian market, we expect Benelli to launch the softer, more road-focussed of the two motorcycles here.
Based on the market response and demand, the off-road version could also be brought to our shores at a later date. The suspension duties on the bike are handled by USD front forks with 150mm of travel and a monoshock unit at the rear.
When it comes to stopping, Benelli has employed 320mm twin front discs and a single 260mm disc at the rear along with Bosch-sourced ABS.
To crunch more miles on the saddle, the TRK 502 comes with a 20-litre fuel tank.
Speaking of the saddle, it sits at 825mm. The TRK 502 tips the scale at 213kg (unladen).
Powering the TRK 502 is a 500cc, parallel-twin engine which makes 48PS of power and 45Nm of torque.
The TRK is expected to be priced around Rs 5 lakh (ex-showroom).
Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
The Interceptor name dates back to the 60s when when Royal Enfield first launched the motorcycle with a 692cc parallel twin motor in the US and Canadian market. Now, that iconic name is back in a very similar looking body.
This is no coincidence as RE has worked hard on keeping the design of the 2017 Interceptor as close as possible to its legendary namesake.
The 2017 Interceptor uses the same tubular double cradle setup as the Continental GT 650. However, the Interceptor is taller, wider. It also has a higher seat and a bigger fuel tank than the cafe racer.
But they both have the same length, wheelbase and other essential bits like the wheels, brakes, suspension and instrumentation.
The Interceptor 650 is ergonomically easygoing -- the footpegs are set in the middle, the handlebar is tall and the seat is a nice and flat bench with quilted stitching adding to its classic looks.
As far as pricing is concerned, we expect the new bike to retail for around Rs 3 to 3.25 lakh (ex-showroom) in India.
Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
If you think that the bigger Continental GT looks awfully familiar to the current one, then that is because it is! Both the bikes are based on the same tubular double cradle frame and feature a similar front suspension, wheel and rear disc brake configuration.
But if you look closely, you will notice the finer differences -- the 650's fuel tank is shorter than the Continental GT 535's; it gets a Bybre front brake instead of a Brembo unit and also features dual-channel ABS.
Also, the swingarm is a bit longer while the rear suspension is new.
With a low seat, clip-on handlebars and slightly rear-set footpegs, the canted-forward riding position is also similar to the older bike.
We expect the Continental GT 650 to be priced around Rs 3 lakh to Rs 3.25 lakh (ex-showroom).