There’s a buzz the two-wheelers at this year’s Auto Expo aren’t quite as exciting as expected, with several big-ticket manufacturers missed; Bajaj, KTM, Kawasaki, Royal-Enfield, Harley-Davidson, Ducati and MV Agusta to name a few prominent absentees.
However, what’s clear at Auto Expo 2016 is that the premium bikes and superbikes have arrived with a bang and are here to stay, as they drive the market, ushering in a flamboyance never before seen, allowing quality to make up for any lack of quantity. So while there are bigger, more powerful and exclusive superbikes to be found at Auto Expo 2016, our top 5 listed here brings you a selection of the best value, most India relevant bikes.
BMW G 310 R
Born in Germany at BMW Motorrad, and carefully brought up in India by TVS, the BMW G 310 R naked streetbike will reach new BMW showrooms by late 2016. The G 310 R will rival KTM’s ultra-sporty Duke streetbikes, the BMW positioned to fill the comfort vacuum left in the wake of the aggressive KTMs. You can experience the digital instruments equipped G 310 R at the Indian Auto Expo, to appreciate firsthand its clean styling, comfy ergonomics and high quality feel.
The four-stroke, 313cc engine of the BMW G 310 R is unique, for reclining its liquid-cooled cylinder back, head rotated 180 degrees, exchanging positions of the inlet and exhaust ports. Gearbox mass pushes more forward, allowing the G 310 R shorter wheelbase, with a long swingarm, to promote better handling.
The engine is generously equipped with a 4-valve head, dual overhead camshafts, fuel-injection and 6-speed gearbox. The G 310 R makes 33.6bhp and BMW claim a 145kph top speed and 30kpl fuel-efficiency.
The G 310 R uses a tubular steel frame and alloy swingarm. Sturdy 41mm dia upside-down telescopic suspension is in front, and adjustable monoshock at rear. The brakes are steel braided hose fed single discs front and rear, with ABS support in place.
Triumph Bonneville Street Twin
Brit bike maker Triumph’s Bonneville ranks amongst the best known classic bikes ever. In 2016, after an age in motorcycle lifecycle terms, Triumph has virtually reinvented the Bonneville. The base model new Bonnie is the Street Twin, launched in India at Auto Expo 2016, for Rs 6,90,000 onwards (ex-showroom, Delhi), undoubtedly to be the most popular with good value when in showrooms, by March 2016.
There’s close to nothing shared under the skin by the Bonneville Street Twin. The Street Twin is easily distinguished by its 10-spoke alloy rims. Styling is refreshing, without losing any of the old Bonneville’s charm or charisma.
The Street Twin is powered by a new, four-stroke, 900cc, parallel-twin powerplant, running 4-valves per cylinder. 8.16kgm of torque is delivered at a rider friendly 3,200rpm. A 270 degree firing order separates the fuel-injected cylinders for character rich power delivery.
The Street Twin’s five-speed transmission is assisted by a slipper assisted, light action clutch. The new Bonnie promises added performance, along with a 36 percent improvement in fuel efficiency. A highlight to the Bonneville Street Twin is its wide array of electronic riding aids, such as ride-by-wire throttle, switchable traction control and a switchable ABS system.
The Bonneville Street Twin has an improved riding saddle, slimmer ‘waist line’, and improved suspension, along with disc brakes front and rear.
TVS Akula 310
TVS has an impressive presence at Auto Expo 2016. Their stand shows-off three superb concepts, star being the marine predator inspired Akula (Shark in Russian). The Akula 310 has a beaming 33 emblazoned across its fascia, proudly commemorating 33 years of successful TVS racing in India. Good news is; Arun Siddharth TVS Head- Motorcycle Business tells us an Akula production variant shall go on sale by 2016 end, based on this concept at the Auto Expo.
The Akula 310 concept bike uses styling cues from the mighty marine predator, its fairing showing neat cutouts, scoops and the extensive use of lightweight carbon fibre. The compact cockpit houses digital instruments, and the TVS sportster comes loaded with on board gyro cameras, as visible on its tail. A steering damper is in place on the concept bike.
Akula engine specifications for India aren’t yet revealed, but expect the production bike to gain a powerplant based around the four-stroke, single-cylinder, 313cc, liquid-cooled BMW G 310 R motor. TVS has specified the Akula powertrain will output potent performance and rely on a close-ratio, 6-speed gearbox.
The Akula comes with bright red trellis frame, and aggressive, sporty riding position, to be carried onto the production sportsbike. Monoshock equipped at rear, the Akula comes with disc brakes both ends, with ABS expected.
Flagship MT model from Yamaha, the MT-09 was ridden into the Yamaha stand at Auto Expo 2016 by John Abraham. Launched in India at Rs 10,20,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi), the MT-09 comes to us via the CBU import route.
Yamaha to date lacked a strong presence in this superbike class, where the MT-09 now gives them a stylish, thoroughly up-to-date entrée. The MT-09 also offers unique appeal, being a powerful motard that offers long travel suspension, sure to deliver better ride quality over our poor quality roads.
The Yamaha MT-09 joins the swelling ranks of triple-cylinder superbikes in India, powered by a 4-stroke, 847cc, liquid-cooled, in-line format fuel-injected engine. The MT-09 packs in a substantial herd of 114 horses, unleashed at 10,000rpm, and a 6-speed gearbox. Electronic riding aids are in place, including traction control, riding modes and ABS brake support, all freeing up rider mindspace and helping you enjoy your motorcycling.
The light, 191kg MT-09 sits on upside down telescopic forks, with an alloy swingarm and monoshock setup seen at rear. Dual disc brakes are deployed in the front, with a single disc at the rear.
Now what’s a ‘Bobby bike’ lookalike doing in this superstar selection of Auto Expo bikes? Well, try walking past the outrageous-looking Honda Navi without your eyeballs popping out, then yanking you right past the superbikes to check it out, and you’ve got your answer! And wait till you hear pricing, at all of Rs 39,500 (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The Navi is a dinky little bike, with funky, standout styling you just can’t ignore. It’s the very first bike—if you can call it that—developed completely in-house by Honda India R&D. The Navi is a curious blend of motorcycle and scooter, a highlight being how light and easy to ride it should be, at a bantamweight 101kg.
You’ve some idea of how Navi will go, if you’ve ridden the Activa 110, the engine of which Navi shares. This is a four-stroke, 109.2cc single-cylinder, air-cooled engine, that makes 7.8bhp. Safe to say then, you can expect hassle-free gearless and butter-smooth CVT performance from the Navi.
The Navi comes with scooter format underbone type frame, telescopic front suspension, and once again scooter-typical rear suspension, the engine playing stressed member of the frame. The Navi front tyre is 12 inches, as on some Indian scooters, while it rides on a 10 inch rear tyre.
The Navi can be easily customised and is available in in five colours, and we are all going to struggle, thinking over what competition the bike must face.