As you may have noticed, there hasn’t been a lot of two-wheeler news from Auto Expo 2020. This is because there were far too few participants. As a result, there weren’t enough offerings to compile a list of more than the top three for this year’s show. That said, the list that we’ve put together is quite interesting, and features two-wheelers from segments that are poles apart.
We begin with a scooter, a maxi-styled one to be specific. Yes, Aprilia has entered a segment that Suzuki recently revived in India with the Burgman Street. We say revived because it was the 165cc Kinetic Blaze that was the first of its kind in the country. Coming back to the Aprilia, it will hit the market as the SXR125 and the SXR160, just like the company’s SR models. However, it’s not only the 125cc and 160cc engines the SXRs will share with its sibling, as we also expect many other components to be similar.
Elements like the larger footboard and big seat will appeal to those looking for a comfort-oriented scooter. Aprilia hasn’t yet revealed all of the details, but we do know that the scooter was designed and developed in Italy, and will feature a multifunction digital LCD instrument cluster with smartphone connectivity, LED twin-pod headlights and a vast array of accessories.
The scooters will go on sale in September, with bookings opening a month earlier in August 2020. Piaggio is looking to position the SXR between the Vespa and the Aprilia SR range, and its pricing will reflect this. For reference, prices for the current BS6 Vespa range start at Rs 93,000 and go up to Rs 1.3 lakh, while the Aprilia SR range starts at Rs 86,000 and goes up to Rs 1.14 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
We go from an entry-level, maxi scooter to an iconic Japanese superbike. Displayed in India for the first time, the Suzuki Katana is our second pick. First unveiled in 2018, the new Katana pays homage to the original bike – considered to be one of the most iconic sportbikes ever from the Japanese brand – which made its debut in 1981.
The new bike emulates its namesake well and the square LED headlight, housed in the sharp front fairing, looks like a modern interpretation of the original bike. Its design leads quite nicely to the tank, which is again quite sharp-looking, but it has a capacity of only 12 litres. The rear styling remains minimalistic and ties in quite nicely with the overall look. Even small details, like the font of the Katana badge, are identical to the original motorcycle.
Powering the Katana is the same 999cc motor from the GSX-S1000F. The liquid-cooled, inline-four makes 150hp at 10,000rpm and 108Nm of peak torque at 9,500rpm. A slipper-clutch, three-level traction control system and dual-channel ABS are the rider assists available on the bike. Suspension hardware includes a fully adjustable KYB 43mm USD fork and a link-type monoshock unit adjustable for pre-load and rebound damping. Anchorage is provided by Brembo radial calipers.
The Japanese manufacturer says that they're evaluating customer feedback and hinted that the bike may arrive in India as a CKD sometime in the future. It might be quite a long wait though, because the Katana is not Euro 5/BS6-complaint at the moment.
Hero Electric AE-47 e-bike
Most of the two-wheelers on display at the Auto Expo 2020 are electric, many from unknown 'EV start-ups'. The electric two-wheeler that’s garnering the most interest at the show is Hero Electric’s AE-47 ebike. The AE-47 is powered by a 6kW motor, with the company claiming a top speed of 100kph, and a 0-60kph time of 9sec. What’s also impressive is the claimed range of the motorcycle – the 3.5kWh Li-ion battery returns 85km in Power mode, and 160km in Eco mode. Full charge to 100 percent is said to take just 4 hours.
It’s equipped with a disc brake on both ends, a front telescopic fork, a rear monoshock, and Hero Electric also tells us that it will feature a cruise control system, a digital instrument cluster, keyless access, a mobile charging port, and a reverse gear as well.
When it does go on sale later this year, the AE-47 is expected to be priced upwards of Rs 1.2 lakh. Hero also had an India-bound electric trike on display, which you can read more about here.
It is worth bearing in mind that Hero Electric does not design and develop its own motorcycles and that these products are sourced from international suppliers. This was the case with nearly all the electric two-wheelers on display at the Auto Expo, and we noticed multiple vehicles in different manufacturer stands had very similar looking body panels. In some cases, different manufacturers had nearly identical scooters, differentiated only by the paint and graphics they wore.
What two-wheelers from the Auto Expo 2020 would make your top-three list? Let us know in the comments below.