Eight two-wheelers Indian enthusiasts deserve
Motorcycling scene in India is growing but we still remain a price conscious market deterring manufacturers from bringing in two-wheelers that offer Thrill of Riding in plenty! While the list of these machines is long, we have shortlisted these eight two-wheelers that the current crop of enthusiasts deserve.
1) Kawasaki ZX-25R
For those who believe there is no replacement for engine displacement, the ZX-25R is a slap on their face. After three long decades, Kawasaki has decided to reintroduce the world to the special breed of motorcycles that once ruled the world.
So, what’s special about the ZX-25R? Everything! So far Kawasaki has remained tight-lipped about the performance figures, but a 250cc inline-four cylinder powerplant, going all the way up to 20k rpm, aided by a quickshifter, traction control and riding modes tells us enough. With power rumoured to be more than 50bhp, this could very well be the most powerful quarter-litre cracker in production.
Kawasaki released a video of the Kwacker doing some serious lap times at Jerez. The ZX-25R’s in-line four block was screaming at 160kmph at 17,000rpm with one more gear to spare.
The motorcycle is slated to be launched in the Indonesian market on April 4, while the pre-bookings are already underway. Kawasaki has already stated that this is a global product, so it is going to go beyond the southeast asian markets, however, with all the equipment that the bike packs, the bike could be pricier than the already expensive Ninja 400, which wasn’t a success for the Japanese brand in India.
2) Honda CBR 250RR
The CBR250RR made its debut in 2016 at the Indonesia Auto Show, and ever since, Indian enthusiasts have been waiting for Honda’s quarter-litre track weapon to grace the Indian roads.
Honda recently launched the 2020 iteration of the quarter-litre supersport with a bi-directional quickshifter, ride-by-wire and three riding modes. The 250cc parallel-twin now churns 40bhp (+3bhp over the 2019 model) and though the torque figures haven’t been revealed yet, the 2019 version developed 23.3Nm. Hardware on the bike includes USD forks at the front and a 5-step adjustable monoshock
All the equipment come at a price though, and which is why Honda has abstained from getting this bike to India till now. However, with the CBR250R going off the shelf after the BS4 deadline, what will Honda fill the void with?
3) Yamaha MT-03
While we wait for the MT-03, Yamaha has already launched the next iteration of the naked avatar of YZF-R3, and it looks mean!
The bike borrows styling cues from MT-15 and the bigger siblings, rendering it a sharp, aggressive personality. For the uninitiated, the MT-03 gets a 321cc, parallel-twin engine producing 41bhp and 29.6Nm. There are no fancy electronics like traction control or quickshifter or even ride-by-wire.
The Indian market has seen a lot of action in this segment, with the KTM 390 Duke, BMW G 310 R, Bajaj Dominar 400UG and the new player, Honda CB300R and with no fancy electronics for the Yammie, we think it could very well fit in the market monetarily. Are you listening, Yamaha?
4) Suzuki V-Strom 250
We were really rooting for Suzuki to show up with its entry-level ADV at the Auto Expo 2020. After all, in a market that has fallen in love with the mud-slinging, globe-trotting motorcycles, the V-Strom 250 would have been a perfect fit.
The V-Strom 250 is powered by a 250cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine producing 23.6bhp and 22Nm. Staying true to its ADV genes, the V-Strom 250 sports a 17.3 litre tank, long travel suspension and gets pannier mounts straight from the factory.
The bike is not meant for serious mud-slinging action like the XPulse 200 or even what the newly-launched KTM 390 Adventure can do, but is supposed to be your perfect highway companion.
Suzuki has launched the bike in Japan at approximately Rs 4 lakh. If the bike does come to India, it will be the middle ground between the off-road biased XPulse 200 and the popular Royal Enfield Himalayan. However, it is likely to cost over Rs 3 lakh, which would be a no brainer, especially with the 390 Adventure in picture.
5) KTM 790 Adventure
We’ve already tasted blood with the 790 Duke and if the number of Tigers and Beemers on the road are anything to go by, the 790 Adventure could be another success story in the waiting.
The 790 Adventure is available in standard and a more trail-happy “R” variant. Both the variants pack a liquid-cooled, parallel-twin 799cc engine producing 93bhp and 88Nm. The bikes pack a full suite of electronic aids, with an option of adding a bi-directional quickshifter and a lean-sensitive traction control to the package.
For those whose carnal urges can not be satiated by the Adventure R, there’s a mental 790 Adventure R Rally, limited to just 500 examples. The Rally spec uses the same engine but flaunts superior hardware like WP XPlor suspension offering a massive 270mm travel at both ends. The seat height of this variant is a stupendous 910mm!
KTM already has a strong network and a huge fan following in the country and if the brand brings the ADV to the country, it is likely to price it at par, if not less than the competition.
6) Yamaha YZF-R6
The middle-weight supersport is a dying breed, with a handful of motorcycles holding the baton. After the grey market wipeout in the country, the Triumph Daytona was the only mid-weight supersport available on sale in the country...until it was discontinued. Kawasaki stunned the country by introducing the Ninja ZX-6R, a bike no one expected to see on the Indian soil. Now, it is only natural to think that Yamaha should also bring the YZF-R6 to India, right?
The R6 is one of the most popular supersport in the world, and in the 2020 avatar it is as desirable as it can be. The bike uses a 599cc, in-line four screamer that uses titanium valves, ceramic-composite-plated cylinder bores, and magnesium cases. With a 16,500-rpm redline, the R6’s key components need to be strong, slippery, and light.
The Yammie also boasts a magnesium subframe, a titanium muffler, and an aluminum fuel tank. The electronics package features six-level traction control, including “off,” and three-way-adjustable throttle response. The hardware too is premium, with KYB adjustable USDs and 320mm twin rotors with 4-pot Nissin callipers, straight off the big daddy YZF-R1.
7) Yamaha Majesty S Maxi Scooter
Maxi-Scooter is a fairly untouched segment in India. Sure, the Kinetic Blaze was there, but it was way ahead of its time. Suzuki had its go with the Burgman Street and soon Aprilia will dip its feet in the segment with the SXR 160.
Yamaha’s potent 155cc, single-cylinder engine has been well-received, as we have seen on the YZF-R15 and the MT-15. But how about a maxi-scooter? Yes, Yamaha has used the same liquid-cooled, 155cc single-cylinder engine derived from R15 in the new Majesty S maxi-scooter. Obviously, the scooter is a different state of tune and produces 15bhp and 14Nm of peak twist.
Braking duties are handled by a 267mm petal disc at the front and a 245mm disc at the rear. Being a maxi-scooter, it scores high on storage and convenience like the apron-mounted fuel filler cap, 12V DC charger socket, twin projector headlamp and a semi-digital instrument console.
If launched in India, the maxi-scooter could very well be priced over Rs 2 lakh. But with Honda considering the Forza 300 for India, it would only be fair to think that Yamaha should also consider this for the Indian market.
8) Benelli TnT 135
Monkey bikes are an interesting concept and the only one we’ve had was the Rajdoot GTS175, and more recently, the Navi (now discontinued). Well alright, the Navi isn’t really a motorcycle, but it is as fun as the geared counterparts.
While the international market enjoys the Honda Grom and now the Kawasaki Z 125, Benelli too has joined the bandwagon with the TnT 135. Yeah, Benelli has its own monkey bike and it sounds too damn good!
The TnT 135 packs a 134.7cc single cylinder engine packing 13 ponies and 10.8Nm cradled in a steel trellis frame. In a typical Benelli fashion, the bike gets beefy 41mm USDs at the front and a monoshock. Braking duties are handled by a 220mm disc at the front and a 190mm disc at the rear.
A monkey bike capable of doing triple digits sounds fun, right? Plus imagine the joy of commuting on such a motorcycle through the harrowing metro city traffic.
If you feel we’ve missed on any bike/scooter that you’d like to see in the Indian market, let us know in the comments below.