TVS Apache RTR 300
This will be the first fully-faired motorcycle to be produced by TVS and is expected to hit showrooms towards the middle of 2017. It was first showed off as concept at the Auto Expo 2016 and was called the Akula 310. This bike displayed all the tell tale signs of being an extremely track-focused machine. Obviously, the production machine does not come equipped with the carbon-fibre body panels that were in the concept, but the design cues are expected to be carried over fairly unchanged, as have been observed in the spy pictures of the bike caught testing.
The RTR 300 will sport a powerplant that was jointly developed with BMW Motorrad. It’s the same 313cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine that produces 33.6hp, which will power the BMW G310 R. The G310 R will be launched first in India, followed by the Akula 310. The bike will come equipped with USD forks upfront and a monoshock at the rear, which the spy pics can attest to. The concept model sported some high-tech kit such as a steering-damper, but this will not make it to the production bike.
Judging by the other motorcycles in the TVS stable, we can expect the Apache RTR 300 to arrive with the same levels of refinement as other models, the bonus being its track-focus. The KTM RC 390 should finally have some single-cylinder competition, but we are yet to see how the RTR 300 matches up in performance.
Expected launch date: Q4 2017
Expected price: Rs 2.2 lakh
Triumph Bonneville Bobber
Triumph’s new Bonneville Bobber is a nod to the “bob jobs” of the past which were the favourite of custom motorcycle makers in America, built using British parallel twin motorcycles. This new Bobber from Triumph is based on the latest-generation Bonneville T120. While it retains most of the mechanical bits, the swingarm and rear suspension have been completely changed to go with the whole Bobber aesthetic. With Triumph bringing most of its latest Bonneville range to India, we expect this bike to hit our shores by the middle of next year.
In order to stick true to the low-Bobber stance, this new bike maintains clean lines, a single seat, wide flat handlebars, minimal bodywork and headlight, sculpted tank, wire-spoke wheels as well as a chunky rear wheel. The rear wheel also gets a hub designed to mimic a classic drum brake and there’s an authentic battery box with a stainless-steel strap, rear mudguard loop and bar-end mirrors to complete the look.
As this new bike is based on the Bonneville T120, it shares most of its frame and front suspension. However, to mimic the true Bobber hard-tail appearance, Triumph has engineered an entirely new cage-type swingarm with paddock stand bobbin mounts and a monoshock rear suspension that’s neatly hidden away. The floating single-seat setup is not just unique in the way it looks, but in the way it functions as well. The slotted seat design not only allows riders to slide it forward or backwards as required, but the entire rail on which it is mounted can be tilted up or down, making for a highly customisable riding position. At the lowest setting, the seat height is just 690mm, which should make the Bonneville Bobber a hit even amongst those who are a bit vertically challenged. Even the single instrument pod is tilt-adjustable and its angle can be changed by using a simple quick-release mechanism.
Since the HT (high torque) spec 1,200cc parallel-twin motor has been borrowed from the T120, this Bonneville Bobber makes 80hp of peak power and 105Nm of peak torque. The slick shifting six-speed gearbox has been maintained as has the ride-by-wire throttle. The electronics package which features Road and Rain riding modes, switchable traction control as well as ABS has also been kept as it is.
Expected launch date: Q2 2017
Expected launch price: Rs 10 lakh (ex-showroom)
Ducati Multistrada 950
The premium adventure touring bike market in India has been picking up quite a bit over the last couple of years. One just needs to look at the popularity of a certain 800cc, three-cylinder adventure tourer from a famous British marque to see that paradigm shift in the hearts and minds of “big bike” buyers. Ducati’s offering of this nature, the Multistrada 1200, though an extremely capable motorcycle, has been a bit out of reach for a lot of riders thanks to not only its price, but also because all but the most experienced riders found the size and power of the 1200 a bit intimidating. Ducati’s latest Multistrada that premiered at EICMA 2016, the 950, is supposed to provide that easier-to-ride, yet premium experience. And, according to sources, this bike is slated to come to India by July to September 2017.
Powering this new bike is the 937cc version of Ducati's Testastretta 11-degree V-twin motor that's good for 113hp of power and a peak torque of 96Nm. However, in order to aid riding, over 80 percent of this engine's torque is available between 3,500 and 9,500rpm. This should really make it easy when riding the bike off the road standing on the pegs, where continuously shifting gears isn't easily possible. The Multistrada 950 is equipped with fully adjustable suspension at both ends, with 170mm of travel at both front and rear. While the bike comes with alloy wheels (19-inch at the front, 17-inch at the rear) as standard, in order to make it easier to switch to wire-spoke wheels, the single-sided swingarm from the 1200 has been swapped for a new double-sided one. And to ensure solid braking, the front is equipped with twin 320mm discs with Brembo M4.32 monobloc calipers.
In terms of ergonomics, the seat has been borrowed from the larger Multistrada Enduro and has a height of 840mm by default, but it can be swapped for optional seats with heights varying from 820 to 860mm. There's also a Multistrada-style grab handle that allows for the mounting of both plastic or aluminium panniers. The cockpit gets new switchgear along with a full-LCD dashboard that's compatible with the Ducati Multimedia system. The Multistrada 950 gets a fairly large 20-litre fuel tank to help in long-distance riding, and Ducati claims a wet weight (no fuel) of 214kg.
Expected launch date: Q3 2017
Expected launch price: Rs 13.5 lakh (ex-showroom)
Send a message to Sherman Hale Nazareth
Issue: 212 | Autocar India: April 2017
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