Upcoming new bikes for 2017

Vespa GTS 300

The Vespa GTS 300 was on display at the India Bike Week in Goa in early 2016 and should be making its appearance sometime near the end of 2017. As always, more power equals to more fun, so we can expect the 278cc engine on this scooter to provide loads of it.

This 278cc, single-cylinder, fuel-injected engine is based on the QUASAR engine platform and churns out about 22hp of peak power and 22.3Nm of peak torque. To keep this power in check, the GTS 300 will be equipped with an array of electronics that could give some larger displacement motorcycles a complex; this includes ASR traction control and a two-channel ABS system. There will be a multimedia platform that can be accessed via an app on your phone that provides data about the trip and diagnostic readouts of the scooter.

The GTS 300 will come with an all-steel-body that Piaggio suggests, helps with the high-speed stability of the scooter. The ride quality should also be significantly good and this is thanks to a single-sided hydraulic shock-absorber up front and a twin-shock setup at the rear. Stopping power will come from 220mm discs at the front and rear that should really help keep the claimed top speed of 128kph in check.

With its typical Italian scooter styling and larger displacement engine (for a scooter), the Vespa GTS 300 will definitely be a hoot to ride. What will be slightly disheartening is the price which should be somewhere around Rs 5 lakh.

Expected launch date: Q4 2017
Expected price: Rs 5 lakh

New Aprilia SR scooter

In an interview with us, Steffano Pelle, MD and CEO of Piaggio India stated that the company plans to bring in another version of the SR scooter in the not-so-distant future. Keeping with the same theme while launching the SR 150, we can expect this new offering from the Aprilia stables to be quite aggressively priced as well.

A grey area, however, is which SR scooter Piaggio actually plans on bringing down. There’s the 50cc two-stroke versions that would have been immensely fun to ride, but may not meet up to the new emission norms as it is still only Euro-II compliant. Strangely enough, this version actually looks like a beefier version of the SR 150, with headlights that seem to be borrowed directly from Aprilia’s superbike offering, the RSV4.

On the other hand there’s the 125cc four-stroke SR Motard that was spotted earlier at a dealership in Bengaluru. In terms of styling it appears identical to the SR150, except for the 25cc change in the sticker badging on the rear quarter panel. There is a higher possibility of this version making it to our shores. It will share its engine with the Vespa 125 and give the Indian and Japanese manufacturers another typically Italian run for their money.

Expected launch date: Q1 2017
Expected price: Rs 60,000 (ex-showroom)

Kawasaki Z900

The Z900 may be an all-new machine, but it could also be a replacement for the brilliant Z800. This new Z900 from Kawasaki displays yet again a new headlight cluster in the ‘Z’ series. The front bikini fairing is all new, so is the tail section, and it even exhibits a new exhaust design.

The Z900 is powered by a new inline-four cylinder 948cc engine that is based on the Z1000 engine and makes 123.6hp of peak power. Kawasaki has developed an assist and slipper clutch to make action at the lever lighter and to help with excessive engine braking. Kawasaki says the engine offers linear power delivery with a noticeable kick after 6,000rpm. The engine has been equipped with a secondary balancer, driven on the sixth-web of the crankshaft, to reduce some of the excess vibrations.

Expected launch date: Q3 2017
Expected price: Rs 9 lakh (ex-showroom)

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)

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We bring you drives of the Maruti Ignis, the Skoda Kodiaq, the new 5-series and take you on a trip from India to Paris in a Renault Kwid. All that and lots more inside!
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Autocar Magazine

Issue: 209 | Autocar India: January 2017

We bring you drives of the Maruti Ignis, the Skoda Kodiaq, the new 5-series and take you on a trip from India to Paris in a Renault Kwid. All that and lots more inside!
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