Big bike shopping is serious business. Not just because there are too many (okay, one can never have too many options!) but also because most bikes are so good that it becomes a bit harder to choose one straightaway, in most cases. To make matters worse, there are six more big bikes heading our way, and all of them will be seen at the Auto Expo 2016. Also, upcoming bikes mentioned here use single cylinder engines, and are likely to be priced under Rs 3 lakhs.
Royal Enfield Himalayan
Until now the only major change that Royal Enfields underwent is the presence of a new ‘Unit Construction Engine’. Yes, there have been improvements all around, and the Continental GT is easily the most advanced RE you can buy today, but that’s about it.
That’s certainly not to say the company has turned sanctimonious. Royal Enfield has been working on a new line up of engines, and the first bike to get them could be the one of a kind Royal Enfield Himalayan. The omnipresent Royal Enfield bikes aren’t confined to multilane highways alone, they are in fact the weapon of choice (get the ‘built like a gun; goes like a bullet’ reference?) for scaling tough terrain. Hence an RE adventurer tourer makes all the sense. And that’s what the Himalayan is expected to be!
Apart from either of the two new engines RE is reported to be working on (a 410cc unit or a 750cc engine), the Himalayan will also boast a ride height that could place it neck to neck with other imported adventure tourers, a high-set exhaust, off-road bike like mudguards, and the kind of body panels that haven’t been seen on an RE yet. The Himalayan will carry a price tag of a little under Rs. 2 lakhs. It launches tomorrow. Here’s all the dope.
Benelli TNT 25
DSK Benelli doesn’t have a single-cylinder bike on sale in India. And while that’s okay if we’re talking about big bikes, but the absence from the portfolio means there’s nothing to take on the Duke twins. That’s where the TNT 25 fits perfectly.
Powered by a single cylinder 249cc engine that makes 24hp at 9,000 rpm, the TNT 25 will sit below the TNT 300, and will be priced at under Rs 2 lakhs, ex-showroom. On the outside, the bike might not look too different from the TNT 300 but look closely and the differences are apparent.
The prospect of owning an Italian bike (albeit under Chinese ownership now) is very interesting, and if the ease with which the TNT 300 rides is anything to go by, the TNT 25 can be a sure shot winner.
Kawasaki Z250 SL
The Z250 SL is the slightly less radical looking entrant in the ‘Z’ series of bikes that could make an appearance in the Indian market. Powering the vehicle is a 249cc single cylinder engine that makes about 27hp. If Kawasaki brings it to India (sadly the company hasn’t announced anything yet), the vehicle will be positioned below the Z250, with a price tag of about Rs 2 lakhs.
If you’re looking for something bigger, there’s always the Z250. But that could be replaced by the Z300, which uses the same engine as the current Ninja 300. What stands out for the Z250 SL is the fact that it is about 20 kilos lighter (than the Z250), which should be really helpful in making the bike nimble and quick.
BMW G 310R
BMW and TVS started working together on a new platform (sub 500cc) and made a formal announcement for the same in 2013. Two years hence, the company has showcased a concept bike called BMW Concept Stunt G 310. This bike’s production version is the G 310R and it’s headed to India.
The bike uses a 310cc single cylinder four stroke engine with fuel injection and liquid cooling. The motor makes 34 Bhp and 28 Nm, and is paired with a 6 speed manual gearbox. It weighs about 160 Kg, and offers upside down front forks and a monoshock rear.
Yamaha is all set to unveil the MT-03 at the Auto Expo. The bike is essentially a naked version of the fully faired R3, with which the former will share its engine and suspension. The MT-03 will be positioned as a twin cylinder alternate to the likes of the KTM Duke 390 and the upcoming Bajaj CS400.
The bike is expected to be pricey as it will arrive into India as CKD (Duke and the CS400 are locally produced). However, higher quality levels of the MT03 will be a big draw as far as sportsbike enthusiasts go. This will be the bike’s major selling point.
TVS fully faired 300cc sportsbike
While BMW has unveiled the G310R, a naked sportsbike that’s built by TVS and exported to countries around the world, the Indian 2 and 3 wheeler maker will launch a fully faired version of this bike under the TVS nameplate. The bike is expected to have similar equipment and performance, but at a lower price tag.
So, expect the same outputs of 34 Bhp-28 Nm from the engine, fuel injection, liquid cooling, twin disc brakes with ABS and a 6 speed manual gearbox. Suspension, consisting of upside down front forks and a monoshock rear, is likely to be carried over as well.