Soon, a long list of bike makers in India will directly target retro-motorcycle brand Royal Enfield. Here are seven new Royal Enfield-challenging bikes from Bajaj, Honda, Benelli and more.
The XPulse 200 from Hero MotoCorp will be a much cheaper alternative to the Royal Enfield Himalayan, currently the only affordable adventure bike on sale in India. Powered by a 200 cc, single cylinder four stroke engine with 20 Bhp-18 Nm, the XPulse will bank on these outputs and a lower kerb weight of about 140 kilograms for peppy performance. The XPulse will be launched sometime by the middle of 2018, and is expected to be showcased at the Auto Expo. The bike is likely to carry a price shy of Rs. 1 lakh, making it a lot cheaper than the Himalayan, which starts from a little under Rs. 1.7 lakhs.
Bajaj Avenger 400
Bajaj is planning a bigger engined Avenger for the Indian market. The bike is touted to use the 373 cc, single cylinder liquid cooled motor that also powers the Dominar. The Avenger 400 is likely to be an all-new bike as the Dominar’s engine will need a completely different frame. ABS is expected to be standard on the Avenger 400. The bike is expected to be the most expensive cruiser from Bajaj, but with a price tag of well under Rs. 2 lakhs. It’ll go straight against the Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 and 500 twins.
Honda Rebel 300
Honda has announced that it’s developing a Royal Enfield challenger. The Rebel 300 cruiser, which is based on the Honda CBR 300R platform is likely to be that bike. Why, Honda’s even patented this motorcycle in India. The Rebel 300 could be the perfect foil to the Royal Enfield Thunderbird twins when launched in India. With a liquid cooled engine, ABS and other modern bits, the Rebel 300 is expected to be positioned as an affordable, reliable everyday cruiser. Expect a price tag of under Rs. 2.5 lakhs.
Benelli showcased the retro-styled Imperiale 400 at the 2017 EICMA, and the bike is headed into India by the middle of 2018. It’s also likely to be showcased at the 2018 Indian Auto Expo. The bike features a 373cc four stroke, air-cooled engine, with a peak power of 20PS at 5500 rpm and a peak torque of 28Nm at 3500 rpm. The gearbox is a five speed manual unit. It’s likely to carry a sub-2 lakh rupee price tag, with local assembly by DSK Motowheels, the company that builds and sells Benellis in India.
Mahindra has announced that the first Jawa bike for India will be ready by March 2019. We’re not sure if the new bike will be picked from Jawa’s international range or if it’ll be a Mojo-based motorcycle. What’s certain is that Mahindra plans to retain the retro-styling that Jawa now exemplifies in the motorcycle world. An affordable price tag that pits it against the Royal Enfield Classic range of motorcycles is also highly likely for the Jawa branded bikes to be sold in India.
UM Motorcycles Scrambler
UM Motorcycles (UM) has announced that it’ll debut a Scrambler in 2018. This bike will use the 280cc engine found on the Renegade cruiser range, but with Scrambler styling. It’ll be affordably priced at under Rs. 3 lakh, and will take on the Royal Enfield Himalayan, as a retro-styled go anywhere motorcycle.
UM Motorcycles Cafe Racer
UM will also launch a cafe racer, again based around the 280cc engine and platform of the Renegade cruiser range. This bike will be a cheaper alternative to the upcoming Royal Enfield Continental GT 650. Styling of the new bike is expected to be revealed at the upcoming 2018 Indian Auto Expo.