Kawasaki Versys-X 300
With such a vast and varied landscape in India, it’s about time manufacturers brought down some practical motorcycles that made these parts of the country accessible. After BMW, Honda and Suzuki unveiled their versions of small adventure tourers at EICMA 2016, Kawasaki decided to jump into the bandwagon with the Versys-X 300. The Versys family from Kawasaki will see a new addition to its adventure line-up. This new baby Versys will slot into the smaller end of the capacity range, with its older siblings already being a rather potent lot.
The Versys-X 300 shares its DOHC liquid-cooled 296cc parallel twin-engine platform with the Ninja 300 that puts down 39hp of maximum power and 27Nm of maximum torque. However, this engine will be wrapped in an all-new chassis with all-new body work. The seat looks plush and comfortable, and appears to have a very ‘sit-in’ riding position. This is complimented by the wide handlebars and a stubby but high windscreen.
Suspension duties are taken care of by a long-travel 41mm telescopic fork upfront and a Uni-Trak gas-charged monoshock at the rear, which should be more than sufficient for bad or dirt-road conditions. The instrument cluster offers a large analogue tachometer supported by two LCD screens that contain a digital gear indicator, dual trip-meters, distance to empty, current and average fuel consumption and eco-riding indicators.
There will be two accessory editions available besides the standard Versys-X. The Versys-X 300 Urban will have a tank pad, hand guards, a centre-stand and a 30-litre topbox, while the Versys-X 300 Adventure will come shod with a tank pad, tubular engine guard, a centre-stand and two 17-litre panniers. But we can expect these accessory additions to appear in India a little after the launch of the standard model.
Expected launch date: Q4 2017
Expected launch price: Rs 4 lakh (ex-showroom)
MV Agusta Brutale 800
Another Italian manufacturer known for its absolutely stunning designs, MV Agusta now has plans to release the Brutale 800 in India. It launched the F3, F4 and larger sibling of the Brutale 800, the Brutale 1090 earlier this year, which were available through the Motoroyale dealerships. The Brutale 800 was initially supposed to be launched towards the end of 2016, but plans have now been pushed towards the beginning of 2017.
The exposed steel-trellis frame, the flat elliptical headlight, the triple-end exhaust and the well-chiselled, muscular tank give it the brutal good looks that it derives its name from. The Brutale 800 will be brought to India as a CKD and assembled at the Kinetic Group’s plant in Pune.
Having ridden the Brutale 800 earlier, I can safely say that this model is definitely one for the enthusiasts. It will come equipped with a 798cc, in-line three-cylinder engine with a counter-rotating crankshaft that puts down about 116 horses and 83Nm of torque. The power delivery feels aggressive and towards the redline even up to the third gear it tends to send the front-end skyward.
The 43mm Marzocchi fork does a wonderful job of keeping things precise, while the rear Sachs shock absorber feels a little harsh going over bumps in a fast bend and tends to get the rear unsettled. Stopping power comes from the 320mm twin discs at the front and a 220mm one at the rear.
The Brutale 800 will be priced around Rs 13 lakh, making it the most affordable model in the MV Agusta range for India.
Expected launch date: Q1 2017
Expected price: Rs 13 lakh
Here's a good reason for scooter aficionados to rejoice. The NMAX was displayed at the Auto Expo in Noida, earlier this year. Yamaha plans to bring this stylish-looking maxi-scooter to India by the third quarter of 2016. It’s been available in Europe and Indonesia for a while now, and will now make its way to Indian shores.
Besides looking suave, this scooter from Yamaha comes equipped with a 155cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine that uses Variable Valve Timing (VVT). It will also come with ABS and 13-inch tyres. Its small size, low weight and high-rigidity frame will ensure that this scooter is a sharp handler. If the NMAX comes to India with the same specifications as its Indonesian counterpart, it could command a price tag of around Rs 1 lakh.
Expected launch date: Q3 2017
Expected price: Rs 1 lakh
Honda PCX 150
The second maxi-scooter on this list, the Honda PCX 150, gathered its fair share of admirers at the Auto Expo earlier this year. The otherwise conservative HMSI broke this stereotype earlier this year when it launched the rather quirky Navi. It’s now time for another fun commuter from Honda to make its way into the Indian motorcycling scene, the PCX 150.
The PCX 150 is powered by a 153cc, low-friction, liquid-cooled engine that is fuel injected, and should have more than enough pep to make commuting quite a fun affair. It produces a peak power output of 13.3hp and peak torque of 13.7Nm. Its sleek design is reminiscent of the ‘Euro-scooter’ styling and it comes equipped with 14-inch rims that are significantly larger when compared to other scooters.
The PCX 150 even comes equipped with a 12-volt accessory adapter for charging personal electronic devices. There has been no exact confirmation on a launch date but sources close to the company say it can be expected in India somewhere around mid-July 2016.
Send a message to Sherman Hale Nazareth
Issue: 211 | Autocar India: March 2017
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