Every now and then, a bold bike or scooter comes along, changing the market forever. We pick out five such bikes that could turn out to be game changers in 2016.
The NAVi is pure madness, a bike built on a scooter’s chassis. Never in India’s history has a dominant bike maker unveiled a mini-bike, one that aims squarely at the Generation-X of motorcycle buyers. Honda’s done that, and served up the NAVi at a sub-40,000 rupee price tag, and in multiple body styles. The 110cc mini-bike uses a CVT gearbox and even has a kit that will make it rough road ready. Plenty of storage bits means that you can carry your wash basin with you. Ok, we’re exaggerating a bit here.
Royal Enfield Himalayan
Royal Enfield’s motorcycles have always been staples of the Ladakh circuit, but these bikes were chosen more for their ‘character’ rather than genuine on-off road capability. The Himalayan is a bike that aims to change all that. In fact, the bike’s represents a generational shift among Enfields. From an overhead camshaft engine to 10,000 kilometer service intervals, to a monoshock suspension and an electric start-only design, the Himalayan wants to be more, and do more. And it’ll be in Royal Enfield showrooms in a matter of weeks from now.
In a sign that India’s motorcycle market is maturing, even in the affordable segments, we now have a motorcycle maker all set to bring in a super moto. Yes, DSK MotoWheels and Benelli are about to give India the BX250, a supermoto that’s meant only for one thing, fun. The bike features a 250 cc, liquid cooled four stroke engine that puts out 24 Bhp-21 Nm. Well, the outputs are modest but supermotos have never really been about setting top speed records. Let’s find the nearest go kart track and get the knee down, says the Benelli BX250.
Ather S340 Electric Scooter
The Start-Up fever has reached the automobile industry and Ather Energy is one such start-up that promises to be India’s Tesla, on 2 wheels. The IIT Madras based start-up has come up with the S340, an electric scooter that looks ravishing enough for naysayers to consider buying one. The Lithium Ion powered S340 also promises perky performance and a decent range per charge. How do a 75 Kph top speed, a 0-60 Kph time of 11 seconds and a 100 Km range/charge sound?
TVS Akula 310
The Akula 310 was shown at the Auto Expo as a concept but the radical, new fully faired bike is being brewed up by TVS at Hosur. One of the sharpest looking sportsbikes to be built in India, the Akula makes the likes of the Bajaj RS200 and the Hero Motocorp Karizma ZMR look rather tame in comparison. The bike will house the new 311 cc four stroke, liquid cooled engine that also powers the BMW G 310R. A 6 speed gearbox is a given, and so is track bred handling. The Yamaha R3 and the Kawasaki Ninja 300R may soon have some stiff, super competitively priced made-in-India competition.