Upcoming new bikes for 2017

Motorcycle enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to in 2017. We take you through the list of expected launches.

Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

At the Milan motorcycle show (EICMA) in 2016, Husqvarna showed off the production versions of the KTM 390-based Vitpilen and Svartpilen 401. We reported that the production of these bikes had started at the Bajaj plant a little while back, and we expect the road-oriented Vitpilen to be launched in India later in 2017.

The Vitpilen is the cafe racer version of the 401 and shares its mechanical components with the KTM 390 Duke. It is powered by the same 43.5hp 373cc liquid-cooled single-cylinder motor, which is mated to a 6-speed gearbox. It also gets the new trellis frame (with its bolt-on sub frame) from the 2017 KTM Duke 390. The front gets a 43mm WP upside down fork and the rear, a WP monoshock --the same fare as the KTM. And even the Bybre brakes are carried over with the front getting a 320mm disc with 4-piston radial caliper, while the rear makes due with a 230mm disc and a single piston caliper. Bosch's 9.11MB dual channel ABS is standard as well.

Visually, however, this bike deviates quite dramatically from the Duke, sporting a chunky fuel tank with a short seat. The short seat design is achieved by using a much shorter sub-frame compared to the KTMs. Other Husqvarna design touches include a distinctive round headlight and round instrument cluster. True to its cafe racer styling, the Vitpilen gets low-slung clip-on handlebars, and its 17" wire spoke wheels are shod with road-going tyres.

Expected launch date: Q3 2017
Expected launch price: Rs 2.5 lakh (ex-showroom)

BMW G310 R

The successful mid-displacement street-naked segment is sure to heat up with the arrival of BMW Motorrad’s G310 R. BMW has played it safe with the styling of the G310 R and strayed away from the general quirkiness that can be seen on its bigger displacement models. The KTM Duke 390 will finally have some competition in this segment. BMW also plans to follow KTM’s 'Make in India' policy and manufacture the G310 R here in collaboration with TVS and then export it to other countries.

The G310 R will come armed with a 313cc, single-cylinder engine with twin overhead camshafts that puts down 33.6hp of power, and weighs just 158kg. Of course, figure-wise, this doesn’t seem to stray into the 390 Duke territory except for the price point of Rs 2.2 lakh. But the fresh engine layout should make things quite interesting; the G310 R will come with a reversed-cylinder design that slopes towards the rear wheel, instead of the conventional engine layout. This would allow for a more compact motorcycle with more evenly distributed weight and a lower centre of gravity. The upside of this layout creates space for a longer rear swing-arm, while keeping the wheelbase relatively short to make it a more manoeuvrable motorcycle.

If BMW manages to replicate the same levels of refinement and finish found on the larger displacement motorcycles, we can expect the G310 R to be a great all-round. It is set to get 41mm USD forks up front, a mono-shock at the rear, and a 300mm disc with a four-piston caliper at the front. That’s plenty of motorcycle for the price.

Expected launch date: Q4 2017
Expected price: Rs 2.2 lakh (ex-showroom)

BMW G310 GS

BMW finally took the wraps off the adventure-touring version of the naked G310R at EICMA 2016. Like its naked sibling, the G310 GS has been developed by BMW Motorrad in Germany and will be built at TVS's plant in Hosur, India. The company plans to launch the G310 R first, sometime in March 2017, which will pave the way for the G310 GS model that will follow a few months down the line.

The baby GS inherits its family styling, with the stubby front beak, radiator shrouds, headlamp cowl and tank design. It gets a tubular steel frame, and cast five-spoke wheels. It is powered by a 313cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine, with four valves and a reversed DOHC cylinder head. It gets a six-speed manual transmission that will be tweaked to suit its adventure-touring nature. The engine will churn out 34hp of power and 28Nm of torque. At 169.5kg, ready to ride, it's not the lightest dual-purpose out there, but it won't be particularly heavy either.

It gets gold, upside-down 41mm forks, which have 49mm more travel than the G310R’s. However, it is non-adjustable, while the rear monoshock does boast adjustable preload. ABS will come as standard, as well as a decently-equipped LCD dash. In addition, it will also have a host of official accessories to choose from, including 12-volt power sockets, heated grips, two seat-height options (820mm and 850mm), luggage kits, a centre stand, satellite navigation and smartphone solutions.

Expected launch date: Q4 2017
Expected launch price: Rs 2.8 lakh (ex-showroom)

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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 215 | Autocar India: July 2017

We’ve exclusively driven the third-gen Maruti Swift, compared the Dzire with all its compact sedan rivals, and tested the all-new Volvo XC60. That and lots more in the July 2017 issue!
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