There are two sporty yet affordable motorcycles that will soon hit the Indian motorcycle market. And the best part about these motorcycles is that they’re homegrown. Now, this is the biggest pointer towards the affordable price tag. Yes, we’re talking about the Royal Enfield Himalayan and the Hero Motocorp HX 250R. Clear spyshots of both the motorcycles have now hit the interweb. And it’s only a matter of time before both Royal Enfield and Hero Motocorp launch these steeds in India. Let’s take a look at each of these very different motorcycles, and see what they’ll bring to the table.
Royal Enfield Himalayan
[Spyshots courtesy Motoroids]
There are many motorcycles that are more reliable, powerful and fuel efficient. Yet, it is the Royal Enfield range of bikes that are most seen in the touring circuit. From the high passes of the Himalayas to the coast, Royal Enfields dominate the highways of the country. The hallowed retro motorcycle brand is finally waking up to this. After giving India an outstanding cafe racer style retro machine in the Continental GT 535, Royal Enfield is upping the ante in terms of diversifying its motorcycle range. Enter the Himalayan.
The Himalayan, as spyshots indicate is a dual purpose motorcycle. Call it the Triumph Tiger for the budget conscious. The motorcycle will feature a 410cc, single cylinder motor that Royal Enfield has newly developed. Said to be one of the most modern engines that Royal Enfield has ever built, an overhead camshaft, unit construction, a counter balancer and fuel injection are some of the interesting aspects about this motor. Said to be capable of as much as 30 Bhp, this 410cc engine promises to be the most powerful motor that Royal Enfield has ever built in India.
[Render courtesy IndianAutosBlog]
What’s more, this engine comes with dollops of modern technology, which if backed by solid design and manufacturing principles could also prove to be extremely reliable and hardy. The Himalayan is based on a brand new platform, which is said to support a 750cc twin cylinder engine in the times to come. ABS will be optional, while twin disc brakes will be standard. Spoked wheels, a high riding position, tour ready design and high travel suspension with twin forks up front and a monoshock at the rear are other interesting bits on the Himalayan.
Rumours around the adventure bike suggest a sub-2 lakh rupee price tag. Some reports are even pegging prices at 1.65 lakh rupee levels. This could be hard to achieve considering that the old school Continental GT 535 retails for over 2 lakh rupees. With specialist technology meant for dual purpose motorcycling going into the Himalayan, a higher price tag is expected. If Royal Enfield can pull off the sub-2 lakh rupee price point, more power to them.
Hero Motocorp HX 250R
[Spyshot courtesy GaadiWaadi]
Hero Motocorp and Honda have broken up after nearly a 3 decade joint venture. The HX 250R is a homegrown effort from Hero, with inputs from Erik Buell Racing, an engine design and motorcycle racing outfit that Hero Motocorp now owns. In a sense, the HX 250R is the most venturesome undertaking that Hero is in, after its break up with Honda. The motorcycle will target the Honda CBR 250R squarely. So, Hero is now taking on its former Japanese partner, in the sportsbike segment, a segment that is dominated by European and Japanese marques.
The fully faired HX 250R has now been spotted in India, with minimal camouflage to boot. The motorcycle’s launch has been due for a while now, and the upcoming festive season is when the HX 250R could be here finally. The motorcycle uses a 250cc, liquid cooled four stroke motor in a single cylinder layout. Yes, the CBR 250R also uses a similar engine layout. The Hero HX 250R’s engine will put out about 31 Bhp of peak power at 9,000 rpm and 26 Nm of peak torque. A 6 speed manual gearbox will be standard.
The most interesting bit about the HX 250R is its keb weight of 139 kilograms, which should make it a very fast machine in its class. In comparison, the more portly Honda CBR 250R weighs about 25 Kgs extra, and is behind by about 5 Bhp and 3 Nm. The estimated price tag for the HX 250R is about 1.5 lakh rupees. ABS should be on the options list considering that the government will soon make this feature standard on all two wheelers sold in India. With the HX 250R, Hero Motocorp is going where it has never been before.