TVS Akula 310
TVS has unveiled what could be possibly be the hottest two-wheeler on display at this year's Auto Expo. The Akula 310 concept sportsbike looks designed to take TVS Racing to the next level. It has been developed with cues taken from the mighty marine predator, the shark. TVS has made extensive use of carbon-fibre on the bike, along with other lightweight materials like aluminium. The cues taken from the shark are evident in areas such as underneath the seat that resembles a dorsal fin to improve aerodynamics, the gill-inspired thermal management system, and the flat, sharp nose. Details about the engine have not been revealed, except that the powertrain is a race-spec LC four-valve DOHC. The motorcycle also has a full-function speedometer, on board gyro cameras and a steering damper to improve stability. Though the Akula 310 on display is just a concept, TVS said that it would translate into a production model by the end of this year.
There is something to be said about the uniqueness of the Navi. Honda had successfully kept the identity of the Navi underwraps until its unveil at the 2016 Auto Expo. The Navi is a curious mix between a motorcycle and a scooter. The chassis design is a true combination of a motorcycle and a scooter. The seat and body design are largely motorcycle though, while the powertrain placement and small wheels are very scooter-like. The Navi also gets a storage bay where the engine of a normal motorcycle usually sits, making it a bit like a moped. Powering this ‘mobility solution’ is a 109.19cc engine that produces 7.8bhp at 7,000rpm. The Navi weighs in at just 101kg, and is quite small with a length of 1,805mm, width of 748mm and height of 1,039mm. The tyre at the front measures 12 inches whereas the one on the rear measures 10. The underbone frame comes with a front telescopic suspension and a rear spring-loaded hydraulic type.
The Navi is completely customisable in terms of its appearance, and is priced at a very competitive Rs 39,500 (ex-showroom, Delhi), though what its competition is is difficult to say. The Navi has been developed completely by Honda India’s R&D team. Honda’s creativity with the Navi, irrespective of how it fares, deserves appreciation.
Benelli TRK 502
A proper adventure tourer, the TRK 502 actually has nothing to do with the larger Benelli TreK bike. It is powered by a 499.6cc in-line two-cylinder liquid-cooled motor that churns out 46.9bhp at 8,500rpm and 4.6kgm peak torque at 4,500rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed gearbox, and housed in a tubular steel-fabricated chassis.
Front suspension for the TRK 502 is provided by upside-down forks whereas rear suspension is in the form of pre-load adjustable monoshock. Braking is in the form of Brembo-manufactured twin petal type 320mm discs in the front and a single 260mm disc at the rear. The TRK 502 sits on a knobby-type 19-inch tyre up front and a 17-inch one at the rear. It also gets a ground clearance of 230mm and a fuel tank capacity of 20 litres.
Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin
Honda’s much talked about adventure tourer is a show-stealer at the manufacturer's Auto Expo pavilion. The bike gained popularity overseas for several reasons. Its ergonomics are spot on – high ground clearance but a reasonably low seating position, narrow waist and well-contoured tank. Its engine is a 998cc parallel-twin motor with a healthy output of 93bhp, and the suspension, which can be adjusted for compression, is in the form of spring preload and rebound damping on the front and rear. The bike also gets plenty of features such as switchable ABS and traction control, optional DCT transmission and a very effective windscreen.
Keeping in mind the rising popularity of adventure and adventure touring bikes in India, Honda has announced that the Africa Twin will be imported to India in CKD form and then assembled here, thus lowering its price to make it more accessible.
UM Renegade Commando and Sport S
American motorcycle manufacturer UM has made its way into India with that launch of three entry-level cruisers – the Renegade Commando, Renegade Classic and Renegade Sport S.
All three motorcycles share the same single-cylinder water-cooled 279cc engine, which produces 25bhp at 8,500rpm and 2.2kgm peak torque at 7,000rpm, mated to a six-speed transmission. The front wheels get telescopic suspension, whereas the rear wheels get dual shock absorbers. The Commando and Classic get a pillion seat with a lower backrest, whereas the Sport S has a sportier single seat.
The Commando is priced at Rs 1.59 lakh, while the Classic and the Sport S are priced at Rs. 1.69 lakhs. (All prices ex-showroom, Delhi).
Aprilia SR 150
Piaggio has unveiled the Aprilia SR 150 scooter at this year's Auto Expo. This scooter combines the performance of a sportsbike with the convenience of an automatic scooter. The sharp and aggressive-looking crossover scooter is powered by a 150cc engine and sits on large 14-inch wheels. For braking functions, the front wheel gets a 220mm front disc and the rear gets 140mm drum brakes.
Aprilia admitted that they were targeting a niche segment with the SR 150, which indicates that its price may lean towards the costlier side. However, by the looks of it, that should not stop it from finding buyers.
The latest streetfighter from Yamaha, the MT-09, has been launched at Rs. 10.20 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). The MT-09 is powered by an all-new 847cc four-stroke, liquid-cooled, in-line triple-cylinder fuel-injected motor that produces 83bhp at 10,000rpm and 8.9kgm peak torque at 8,500rpm. The chassis is all aluminium, with suspension in the form of upside-down forks in the front and an alloy swingarm with a monoshock setup at the rear.
The MT-09 is a middleweight sports bike, and has come to India in CBU form, three years after its international launch. It will take on rivals such as the Kawasaki Z800 and the Triumph Speed Triple.
Bonneville Street Twin, T 120 and Thruxton R
There was much brouhaha in motorcycle circles about the unveiling of the Triumph Bonneville line-up for India. Triumph went on to surprise all these people, pleasantly, by actually launching two Bonnies – the Street Twin and the T 120 – at the Auto Expo, with attractive price tags of Rs. 6.9 lakh and Rs. 8.7 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) respectively.
The Street Twin is powered by a 900cc parallel-twin motor that produces 8.16kgm of torque from an astonishingly low 3,200rpm and is mated to a ride-by-wire throttle management system and a six-speed gearbox. It gets switchable traction control and ABS, a USB port, an engine immobilizer, front disc brake, and 10-spoke alloy wheels and a slipper light action clutch.
The T 120 is a step above the Street Twin and is powered by a 1200cc parallel-twin engine that produces 10.7kgm of torque from just 3,100rpm. It is the most retro-styled Bonnie of the lot, and comes with features such as ride-by-wire throttle management, vintage-looking wire-spoke wheels, 'Rain' and Road' riding modes, heated grips with three levels of heating, optional cruise control, a USB port, Pirelli tyres and front and rear disc brakes fitted with ABS.
The Thruxton R will be the only variant of the Thruxton to be brought to India, though its launch will take place after a few months from now. The Thruxton R is powered by a specially tuned version of the 1,200cc powerplant found in the T 120 that produces 11kgm peak torque at 5,000rpm. It receives plenty of kit which includes stainless steel exhausts, an aggressive hot-cam air filter, Showa big-piston upside-down front forks, Ohlins adjustable rear suspension that is unique to Triumph, Pirelli Diablo Rosso Corsa tyres, Brembo disc brakes, a colour matched seat cowl, 'Rain', 'Road' and 'Sport' riding modes and switchable ABS and traction control. The price of the motorcycle will be announced later.
Triumph has also announced over 470 accessories for the Bonneville range, along with standard ABS on all variants.
BMW G 310 R
The BMW G 310 R received a very quiet, unceremonious unveiling at the 2016 Auto Expo, with the event not even featuring on the schedule list. That did not dampen any excitement as with this motorcycle, India could finally have an affordable (we speculate) BMW motorcycle.
The G 310 R features a liquid-cooled engine that is inclined backwards to allow the motorcycle to have a short wheelbase. The engine is claimed to rev up to 10,500rpm, and produce 33.6bhp at 9,000rpm. It is mated to a six-speed gearbox via a cable-fed clutch. The aggressive-looking bike is supported by a tubular steel chassis and an alloy swingarm. The 17-inch wheels are stopped by steel-braided-hose controlled discs with two-channel ABS. Suspension is in the form of upside-down telescopic fork at the front and an adjustable monoshock at the rear.
Though price details or launch dates have not been announced, we expect it to be competitively priced and launched in the next few months.