Karan Narsu take a look at the most gob-smackingly expensive bikes launched in India this year
2017 turned out to be action-packed for the Indian motorcycle industry, as we came across industry-defining government initiatives like BS4 norms and GST taxation. The year also proved to be the busiest, with a larger fleet of superbikes entering India than ever seen before.
So, as we bid goodbye to this entertaining year, we take a look at the five most expensive bikes that made their way to the Indian shores and redefined the terms technology, precision and of course, pricing!
Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition: Rs 59.18 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition made its way to India just a few days after its global unveiling in July 2017.
As the name clearly depicts, the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition is the final flagship Ducati superbike to feature an L-twin engine since the Italian giant is moving onto its newly developed V4 engine.
Paying tribute to the last batch of L-twin production bikes, the company offered the 1299 Panigale R Final Edition in Ducati's celebratory livery, with a progressive number billeted on the top yoke of every Final Edition bike.
The Final Edition features a race-derived chassis along with an insanely powerful 1285cc, Superquadro L-twin engine that generates a whopping 209.4PS of peak power and 142 Nm of peak torque.
A 6-speed gearbox with quick-shifter transfers all this power and torque to the rear wheel. In order to handle the fearsome power and also to keep the weight in check, the engine components such as con rods and valves are made of titanium while the balancer pads are made of tungsten.
The Ducati 1299 Panigale R Final Edition also received liberal heaps of tech to manage the insane power output and to control it as well. These included ABS, cornering ABS, traction control, engine brake control, wheelie control and so on.
The Final Edition also features top-drawer components like Ohlins suspension at both ends; Brembo brakes; Pirelli Diablo Super Corsa SP tyres and a colour TFT display.
The price of Rs 59.18 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) along with truckloads of power and gadgetry makes this Ducati a proper collector’s item and you should consider yourself lucky to get a glimpse of one, because there will definitely be nothing else like it on the road.
MV Agusta F4 RC: Rs 50.35 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune)
Italian motorcycle manufacturer launched the limited edition MV Agusta F4 RC in January 2017 and the strange bit is that only one of the 250 units made was allocated for India.
Let's look at a couple of things that make this bike worth the money.
To start with, the fancy livery is an inspiration from the Italian maker’s World SuperBike Championship (WSBK) bike. Apart from the ‘RC’ badge, which stands for ‘Reparto Corse’, the limited edition is based on the MV Agusta F4 RR, and looks drop dead gorgeous with the raised and sculpted tail, the slender tail lamp unit, the under seat SC-Project exhaust, single-sided swing-arm, lean fuel tank, and sharp-beaked front with a claw-shaped headlamp unit.
Another bit similar to the RR is the 999cc, inline, four-cylinder engine that is tuned to produce 205PS of power, which can be raised to 215PS with a racing kit available as an additional extra.
The motor is mated to a 6-speed gearbox that comes with 2.0 EAS (Electronically Assisted Shifting) Quick Shifter as standard.
Mechanical upgrades over the F4 RR include electronically adjustable Ohlins suspension and high-performance Brembo GP 4-piston brake callipers up front and rear. It also gets Bosch ABS 9 Plus with Race Mode and rear tyre lift-up mitigation system.
But here's the geeky bit: the bike also features MVICS 2.0 (Motor & Vehicle Integrated Control System) wizardry.
This allows the rider to manage the throttle sensitivity, maximum torque, engine braking, engine response and rev limit.
That's not all: the bike gets 8-level traction control with three gyroscopes and accelerometers that tunes itself to better suit riding conditions. That said the electronics can be turned off if required.
The price tag of Rs 50.35 lakh (ex-showroom, Pune) along with the privilege of being the only owner of this masterpiece in the country, makes the MV Agusta F4 RC the ideal machine for a bike collector.
BMW K 1600 B: Rs 29 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The BMW K 1600 B made its way to India at the 5th edition of IBW in Goa. To start with, the K 1600 B gets a short windscreen that gives it a sporty and aerodynamic stance.
There is a massive 26.5-litre fuel tank that should help one travel long distances.
The low-set single-piece saddle is slightly raised at the back, yet flat for pillion comfort. It also gets two 37-litre hard compound saddlebags on either side.
Two chunky chrome mufflers are placed underneath the beautifully carved panniers and while the overall stance is quite domineering, it’s designed to look and feel sleek and rich with its free-flowing lines.
The K 1600 B is powered by a 1649cc, 6-cylinder, liquid-cooled motor that churns out 162PS of power and 175Nm of torque.
The engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox with an optional reverse gear.
The tourer uses a Tele-lever front fork developed by Sachs and patented by BMW. This tech eliminates front fork dive under hard braking.
The bike carries a kerb weight of 336kg and to manage that, this bagger gets 320mm front discs and a 320mm rear disc, with ABS and cornering ABS as standard.
Speaking of tech, the bike gets three riding modes -- Rain, Road and Dynamic. There is also a 5.7-inch TFT screen that sits between two analogue units.
The standard model comes with heated grips, heated seats, cruise control and an electrically powered windscreen.
Additional features that can be purchased separately include a central locking system, keyless ride, gear-shift assist pro, reverse assist, adaptive xenon headlights with dynamic self-levelling, audio system with Sirius radio and preparation for a GPS unit along with a Bluetooth interface control.
Honda Goldwing: Rs 26.86 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi)
The latest iteration of the Honda Goldwing, one of the oldest brands of motorcycles still in production, was launched in December 2017 in the country.
The highlights of the 2018 Goldwing include a newly developed, horizontally opposed 6-cylinder engine, 7-speed DCT (dual-clutch transmission) and Honda’s patented double wishbone front suspension.
The Honda Goldwing is powered by a 1883cc, six-cylinder engine that pumps out 126PS of peak power and 170Nm of peak torque, which is transferred to the rear wheel via the DCT seen on the Africa Twin as well.
It also comes with a reverse gear and a ‘Walking’ mode, which should prove to be a blessing while parking the 379kg motorcycle.
Riding modes include Tour, Sport, Econ and Rain. Other than this, the Goldwing also gets traction control, hill start assist, electronically adjustable suspension, ABS and cruise control.
Other attractive bits include all-LED lights, 7-inch colour display, keyless ignition, electronic windscreen adjustment, music system, heated grips, heated seats and even an airbag as an option!
Apple CarPlay also makes its first appearance on a motorcycle on the new Honda Goldwing.
Avantura Rudra: Rs 23.9 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai)
Mumbai-based company Avantura is the latest and the most ambitious manufacturer of choppers in India.
The Rudra is the flashier and the more expensive of the two bikes it launched recently.
The Rudra is over 9.5 feet long, with a 23-inch front wheel and a 20-inch rear wheel, machined from a solid piece of aluminium.
Premium-ness has been a top priority while building this chopper. The same can be seen from the components and parts used by the company.
These include 130/60-section front and 280/40-section rear tyre from the British company Avon; Beringer brakes with six-piston callipers; custom seats from Mustang and LED turn signals from Kellerman, Germany.
To tackle our roads efficiently, the ground clearance is kept at 150mm.
This is no ordinary engine either, as the Avantura showcases a 2032cc, V-twin, air/oil-cooled, fuel-injected engine developed by S&S cycles, which is known for developing performance parts for Harley-Davidson engines.
The company has still not revealed the power and torque figures. However, considering the engines develop around 130PS of power and 180Nm of torque internationally, we expect them to be roughly the same in India but slightly detuned to match our fuel quality.
The best part about Avantura’s choppers is the level of customisation that the company is offering: right from different handlebars designs to headlamps, wheels, foot-pegs, rear fender, paint schemes and graphics.