Upcoming new bikes for 2017

Kawasaki Z650

With the ER-6n starting to appear a bit dated on all fronts, the 2017 Z650 from Kawasaki will share its platform with the 2017 Ninja 650 and be a replacement for the older ER-6n. New styling brings the Z650 more in to line with the Sugomi styling of the naked Z class. The Z650 will share the same 649cc twin-cylinder engine as the Ninja 650, as well as the same new steel trellis frame that Kawasaki claims, weighs only 15kg.

The wide, flat handlebar gives the Z650 a more upright riding posture. Without the full fairing, the Z650 weighs 5kg less than the Ninja, with Kawasaki claiming a curb weight of 187kg for the Z (or 185kg without ABS), and a seat height of 790mm.

The Z650 also gets the Ninja’s assist and slipper clutch, 41mm telescopic fork and horizontal back-link rear shock. The 649cc parallel-twin engine will offer a smoother throttle response, better low-mid range torque and improved fuel economy.

Expected launch date: Q3 2017
Expected price: Rs 5.2 lakh (ex-showroom)

Triumph Street Triple 765 S/R/RS

For 2017, Triumph has updated its third-gen Street Triples. It is slated to hit the market soon. We just loved how much of a well-rounded and intuitive motorcycle the older model was.

The first thing you notice on the 2017 Street Triple is its slightly more purposeful stance. Gone is that bug-eyed, lovable face that we had gotten so used to seeing, and the new model has a slightly more sinister aura around it.

The highlight of the RS model is its electronics package. This highly extensive and customisable electronics suite is really going to change what's expected from a middle-weight naked motorcycle. It gets five riding modes (Road, Rain, Sport, Track and a programmable Rider mode) which get different throttle maps and varying levels of traction control. Even the amount of ABS intervention can be tuned as per your liking. So, it will cater to a wide range of riders with varying levels of skill and confidence.

The engine is derived from the Daytona's 675cc inline-triple but gets a bump of about 90cc and is now 765cc. This obviously results in an increase in power and torque, but nothing unmanageable. Although it puts out 123hp now, this engine is as user-friendly as before and encourages you to really wring that throttle open if the situation permits. The level of crispness and responsiveness delivered via the ride-by-wire throttle in Sport and Track mode is spot on.

The second-gen Street Triple was a lovely motorcycle, but this third-gen RS version is a game changer. The levels of agility, overall friendliness and electronics package are sure to make this a great motorcycle. It will make its way to India via a CKD route, so we can expect rather competitive pricing. However, India will first get the S and R versions, which will be followed by the sportier RS version.

Expected launch date: 2017

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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 211 | Autocar India: March 2017

Check out our exclusive drive of the new BMW 5-series in India, and in a Porsche special, the 718 Boxster. There's also a shootout between the new Hyundai Grand i10, Maruti Ignis and the Mahindra...
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