Hot new bikes for 2018

18th Jun 2018 4:09 pm

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

Benelli Imperiale 400

The Imperiale 400, showcased at EICMA 2017, is Benelli’s Royal Enfield challenger. It’s powered by a 373.5cc, air-cooled, SOHC, single-cylinder engine that produces 19.7hp at 5,500rpm and 28Nm of torque at 3,500rpm. This torquey motor is fuel-injected (with a Delphi ECU) and is paired to a five-speed transmission. The motorcycle rests on a tubular steel, double-cradle frame and implements a 41mm telescopic fork and twin shock absorbers. Braking duties are performed by a 300mm single disc with a two-piston floating caliper and a 240mm rear disc with standard ABS. The Imperiale runs a 19-inch front and 18-inch rear wire-spoke wheel combination, which gels with the bike’s appealing design. The seat height is pegged at 780mm, which should make it an ergonomic delight for a wide range of motorcyclists. It is expected to hit the Indian market in 2018 with a price of around Rs 2 lakh. The Imperiale 400’s timeline is now uncertain given the recent legal troubles faced by the owners of DSK-Motowheels.

Coming: 2018
Expected price: Rs 2 lakh

Benelli Leoncino

The Leoncino is powered by a 499.6cc, liquid-cooled and fuel-injected, parallel-twin that produces 49.6hp at 8,500rpm and 45Nm at 5,000rpm. This engine is paired to a 6-speed transmission and features a wet clutch. Typical of Benellis, the Leoncino sports top-notch cycle parts. The engine is housed within a tubular steel-trellis frame and the bike sits on 17-inch wheels at both ends. Pirelli Angel ST tyres will be standard (120/70 R17 up-front, 160/60 R17 at the rear). The fork is a 50mm USD unit while the rear gets a monoshock with 112mm of wheel travel. ABS is standard and it gets a 320 mm twin-disc setup with 4-piston calipers at the front, with a 260mm disc (with a single-piston caliper) at the rear. Its 785mm seat height and 145mm of ground clearance will make it accessible; but like all Benellis, the Leoncino is a hefty motorcycle at 207kg and this will, no doubt, blunt performance. The 13.5-litre fuel tank might prove to be a tad small for highway runs but this will certainly be compensated by the involving riding package the Leoncino promises to be. The motorcycle (in road-biased guise) was recently spied on test in the country and this is the only version which will go on sale in India. A market launch is expected to be delayed considering the recent legal troubles faced by DSK-Motowheels.

Coming: 2018
Expected price: Rs 4.5 lakh

Benelli TRK 502

Benelli had first showcased the TRK 502 at EICMA 2015 in Milan, Italy, and now we are inching closer to seeing this motorcycle available at showrooms, here. It sports that typical adventure-motorcycle look with its large, beaked front-fairing and tall stance. The TRK 502 will come equipped with a 499cc parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine that churns out 46.9hp of power and about 45Nm of torque. Besides these figures being quite appropriate for our Indian riding conditions, the TRK 502 will also be available in two different setups. There will be one road-oriented model with 17-inch rims at the front and rear, and one model equipped with a 19-inch rim upfront to assist in off-road duties. ABS will come as standard on both models. These figures are quite appropriate for the Indian conditions, but the weight of 210kg is going to be a bit of a performance dampener. As with the other Benelli bikes, this one's arrival date is also now uncertain.

Coming: 2018
Expected price: Rs 5.5 lakh

Ducati Scrambler 1100

Ducati officially took the wraps off its new Scrambler 1100 at its World Premiere 2018 event. A grown-up derivative of the Scrambler, the 1100 retains the smaller bike's design essence, albeit in an evolved format. Powering it is a 1,079cc, L-twin motor that produces 86hp at 7,500rpm and 88Nm of torque at 4,750rpm, a noticeable increment from the regular Scrambler 803cc motor that puts out 74hp and 67Nm of torque. This motor is paired to a six-speed transmission and features ride-by-wire as well.

The 1100, unlike the 800, is big on electronics and features a comprehensive technology package (courtesy Bosch) that includes ABS, cornering ABS and a four-level traction control system. Standard equipment also includes three riding modes – Active, Journey and City. The Scrambler 1100 also gets the expected updates to its trim, which means a new headlight with a prominent ‘X’ pattern housed within, as well as an LED ring around the circular daytime running lamp. Another welcome update has been to the instrument console that now gets a secondary oval element in addition to the circular single pod. The Scrambler 1100 will make its Indian debut soon.

Coming: Q3 2018
Expected price: Not yet announced

Harley-Davidson Iron 1200

The Iron 1200 carries on the design first seen in the Iron 883, but brings a bigger 1,202cc motor to the table. This results in a claimed increase in torque of 36 percent, from 72.9Nm in the Iron 883 to 98.9Nm in the Iron 1200. The styling is also influenced by original Iron 883, with a blacked-out engine and chrome pushrod tubes. The bike also uses similar nine-spoke, 19-inch front and 16-inch rear wheels as the Iron 883. The Iron 1200 features a raised handlebar that is 812mm wide and with a 165mm pull-back, which should result in a more upright riding position. The Iron 1200 also has a new cowl around the single headlight that isn’t seen on the 883. The bike comes from factory with a single seat and a 12.5-litre fuel tank. ABS and the Harley-Davidson Smart Security System are available as factory-installed optional extras on the US-spec models. The Iron 1200 is the most affordable of the 1200cc Sportster range in the United States.

Coming: Q3 2018
Expected price: Rs 9.4 lakh

Hero XPulse

After Hero MotoCorp took the wraps off its much-awaited XPulse concept at EICMA 2017, it made its Indian debut at Auto Expo 2018. The XPulse features a raised front fender and a round full-LED headlight that’s complemented by a windscreen. It gets an enduro-bike-styled handlebar and hand guards as well. Also on offer is a digital instrument console. The fuel tank, with pronounced knee recesses, features a flush-fitting fuel tank cap. The bike features an upright and commanding stance, with a one-piece seat that extends onto the fuel tank – an expected element on an enduro motorcycle. At 825mm, the seat height is decent for the purpose, but it may feel a bit high for shorter riders. The engine on the motorcycle shown was equipped with ample protection – a compact, functional-looking crash guard (in white) and a drilled underbelly bash plate. The XPulse is powered by a 200cc, single-cylinder, fuel-injected motor, which produces 18.4hp and around 17Nm of torque. The exhaust runs close to the right-hand side of the single-cylinder motor and ends in an upswept angle, close to the tail section. The single-downtube chassis featured on the XPulse makes use of a box-section swingarm and a monoshock rear suspension, as well as a smaller disc brake at the rear. This chassis proved itself in terms of frame strength at the Raid de Himalaya rally where it was tested. The XPulse gets a 21-inch front wheel, a single-channel ABS and a telescopic fork with 190mm of travel. The rear, meanwhile, gets an 18-inch wheel and a monoshock with 170mm of wheel travel.

Coming: Q4 2018
Expected price: Rs 1 lakh

Kawasaki ZX-10R SE

The Kawasaki ZX-10R now has an SE variant that features electronic semi-active suspension derived from the company’s Superbike World Championship race bike. Kawasaki claims that the new ZX-10R SE is loosely derived from Jonathan Rea’s Ninja ZX-10RR race bike. It is equipped with Showa suspension front and rear (Balance Free Front Fork and BFRC-lite shock with the same construction as the suspension on Kawasaki’s WSB Ninja ZX-10RR race machines). It is also the company’s first motorcycle to feature Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS) – a technology that has stroke sensors and adjustment solenoids built into the suspension. This tech allows the bike to adapt to both road and riding conditions, and provide the right amount of damping with a reaction time of just one millisecond. Power figures, however, are identical to the 10R – 207hp at 13,000rpm (with ram air) and peak torque of 113.5Nm at 11,500 rpm. We can expect this motorcycle to join Kawasaki’s India line-up soon.

Coming: Q3-Q4 2018
Expected price: Rs 22 lakh

Royal Enfield Continental GT Twin/Interceptor 650

The Continental GT Twin and Interceptor 650 mark the company’s return to twin-cylinder motorcycles. The Interceptor is a highway cruiser with its upright riding stance and regular handlebars. It features a rounded tank with and a flat bench-like seat. The Continental GT Twin, being a cafe racer, features an angular tank, clip-on handlebars and a single seat. Both motorcycles are powered by the same 648cc, air-cooled, SOHC, fuel-injected parallel-twin motor that produces 47hp at 7,100rpm and 52Nm of torque at 4,000rpm, while being paired to a six-speed gearbox with a slip-assist clutch. The suspension, brakes and frame are also common between the two. They use a conventional telescopic fork up front and gas-charged twin shocks at the rear. Both motorcycles are built around the same double-cradle tubular steel frame and get ABS, as standard. The bikes are expected to launch in the third quarter of 2018 and be priced somewhere between Rs 3 lakh to 3.5 lakh.

Coming: Q3 2018
Expected price: Rs 3 - 3.5 lakh

Suzuki V-Strom 650

The upcoming V-Strom is powered by a 645cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, V-twin engine making 70hp and 66 Nm of torque. The adventure motorcycle is available internationally in two variants – the standard V-Strom 650 and a V-Strom 650XT. The standard V-Strom 650 comes with slightly lighter cast aluminium wheels shod with Bridgestone Battle Wing tyres, while the more off-road-oriented 650XT gets aluminium rims with stainless-steel wire spokes, equipped with tubeless Bridgestone Battlax Adventure tyres.

The standard variant weighs 213kg while the XT weighs 216kg, and both motorcycles have a wheelbase of 1,555mm. ABS and traction control are part of both bikes. They also have a large fairing that protects the rider from windblast at high speed. This makes it suitable for highway riding at high speeds. The motorcycle will come to India as a CKD. However, Suzuki has clarified that it is a more premium machine than the Versys 650 and the price will reflect this.

Coming: Q4 2018
Expected price: Rs 7 - 7.3 lakh

SWM Superdual T/X

Another segment gathering steady momentum in India right now is the Adventure Tourer segment, which explains why Motoroyale is planning to introduce the SWM brand in India with the SuperDual. It gets a 600cc, single-cylinder, four-valve, DOHC, liquid-cooled motor that makes a healthy 57hp of peak power, although SWM also offers a lesser power version that makes 47.5hp. This motor is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

It has a dual-cradle frame made of steel pipes with a lightweight alloy sub-frame. In the front, the Superdual gets a chunky, 45mm, upside-down fork which offers rebound adjustment; while at the rear, the bike is suspended on a Sachs monoshock which is fully adjustable for preload, compression, as well as rebound. Suspension travel is a plentiful 210mm at the front and 270mm at the rear, making it ideal at handling bumpy and broken roads. Braking comes via a single 300mm disc at the front and a 220mm disc at the rear. Both front and rear brake calipers are floating type and equipped with off-road ABS.

This is a motorcycle that could show a lot of promise for the Indian market if Motoroyale gets the pricing right. So far, it has been mentioned that this bike could be priced under Rs 5.5 lakh. If that is the case (or if Motoroyale manages to price it even lower) this motorcycle has the potential to sell in India.

Coming: Q3-Q4 2018
Expected price: Rs 5.5 lakh

Tork Motorcycles T6X

We haven’t forgotten our homegrown Tork Motorcycles – a Pune-based firm working to launch an electric motorcycle in India. Founded by mechanical engineer Kapil Shelke, his passion for racing has seen Tork Motorcycles participate in professional racing, including events like the coveted Isle of Man's TTXGP (electric motorcycle class) to the TT Zero Race. With the T6X, Tork plans to cater to the 125cc commuter bike buyers who are looking for something more premium. While the bike is expected to cost more than its immediate competition, the company claims that the lower running costs of the bike (a full recharge costs Rs 10-20) means that the additional expenses incurred will be easily recovered within a year of purchase. When unveiled, the T6X was expected to deliver a maximum range of over 100km on a single charge, while top-speed was limited to 85kph. Tork has said that besides the increase in range, other performance figures will remain the same. Its Li-ion battery can reach 80 percent charge in one hour when plugged into a 15A source, and will attain full charge in two hours. The highlight of the T6X is its connectivity features. It will get a display with navigation and a Mirror Link-like interface which is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Tork is still working on testing and validation. It states that a 2018 launch is not entirely off the cards but it cannot comment on that, at this moment.

Coming: Q4 2018
Expected Price: Rs 1 lakh

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