Hot new bikes for 2018

26th Feb 2018 4:25 pm

Motorcycle enthusiasts have a lot to look forward to. We take you through the list of expected launches.

Ather S340 e-scooter

Back in 2016, Ather Energy, a Bengaluru-based start-up, unveiled an electric scooter called the S340. At the time, the scooter had a claimed top speed of 72kph and a range of up to 60km. The S340’s IP67-rated battery had a claimed expectancy of as much as 50,000km. All of these stats could see an improvement.

The scooter will get features like LED lights that respond to ambient light conditions, a touchscreen dashboard, on-board navigation and drive modes like Sport and Economy. The touchscreen is integrated with a S340 mobile app that keeps the rider connected with the vehicle, and can also sync navigation routes remotely. The company has a manufacturing unit in Bengaluru, and the launch of the scooter can be expected in the second quarter with a price between Rs 90,000 to Rs 1 lakh.

Coming: Q2 2018
Expected price: Rs 90,000 - 1 lakh

Benelli Imperiale 400

The Imperiale 400, showcased at EICMA 2017, is Benelli’s Royal Enfield challenger and is slated for a mid-2018 launch. The Imperiale will follow the CKD route and is scheduled to begin its ARAI certification process by March 2018. It’s powered by a 373.5cc, air-cooled, SOHC, single-cylinder engine that produces 19.7hp at 5,500rpm and 28Nm of torque at 3,500rpm. This torquey motor is fuel-injected (with a Delphi ECU) and is paired to a five-speed transmission. The motorcycle rests on a tubular steel, double-cradle frame and implements a 41mm telescopic fork and twin shock absorbers. Braking duties are performed by a 300mm single disc with a two-piston floating caliper and a 240mm rear disc with standard ABS. The Imperiale runs a 19-inch front and 18-inch rear wire-spoke wheel combination, which gels with the bike’s appealing design. The seat height is pegged at 780mm, which should make it an ergonomic delight for a wide range of motorcyclists. It is expected to hit the Indian market in mid-2018 with a price of around Rs 2 lakh.

Coming: Q2 2018
Expected price: Rs 2 lakh

Benelli Leoncino

DSK Benelli will launch the Leoncino – its neo-retro naked motorcycle – in India, by February 2018. The Leoncino, earlier slated for a 2017 launch, is currently undergoing endurance testing for ARAI certification, which will be completed by January 2018. The Leoncino is powered by a 499.6cc, liquid-cooled and fuel-injected, parallel-twin that produces 49.6hp at 8,500rpm and 45Nm at 5,000rpm. This engine is paired to a 6-speed transmission and features a wet clutch. Typical of Benellis, the Leoncino sports top-notch cycle parts. The engine is housed within a tubular steel-trellis frame and the bike sits on 17-inch wheels at both ends. Pirelli Angel ST tyres will be standard (120/70 R17 up-front, 160/60 R17 at the rear). The fork is a 50mm USD unit while the rear gets a monoshock with 112mm of wheel travel. ABS is standard and it gets a 320 mm twin-disc setup with 4-piston calipers at the front, with a 260mm disc (with a single-piston caliper) at the rear. Its 785mm seat height and 145mm of ground clearance will make it accessible; but like all Benellis, the Leoncino is a hefty motorcycle at 207kg and this will, no doubt, blunt performance. The 13.5-litre fuel tank might prove to be a tad small for highway runs but this will certainly be compensated by the involving riding package the Leoncino promises to be. The motorcycle (in road-biased guise) was recently spied on test in the country and this is the only version which will go on sale in India. The Leoncino is expected to hit the market in February 2018 and be priced around Rs 4.5 lakh.

Coming: Q1 2018
Expected price: Rs 4.5 lakh

Benelli TRK 502

Benelli had first showcased the TRK 502 at EICMA 2015 in Milan, Italy, and now we are inching closer to seeing this motorcycle available at showrooms, here. It sports that typical adventure-motorcycle look with its large, beaked front-fairing and tall stance. The TRK 502 will come equipped with a 499cc parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine that churns out 46.9hp of power and about 45Nm of torque. Besides these figures being quite appropriate for our Indian riding conditions, the TRK 502 will also be available in two different setups. There will be one road-oriented model with 17-inch rims at the front and rear, and one model equipped with a 19-inch rim upfront to assist in off-road duties. ABS will come as standard on both models. These figures are quite appropriate for the Indian conditions, but the weight of 210kg is going to be a bit of a performance dampener. The TRK is expected to go on sale sometime around March 2018 and be priced around Rs 5.5 lakh.

Coming: Q1 2018
Expected price: Rs 5.5 lakh

BMW G 310 R

The successful mid-displacement street-naked segment is sure to heat up with the arrival of BMW Motorrad’s G 310 R. BMW has played it safe with the styling of the G 310 R and strayed away from the general quirkiness that can be seen on its bigger displacement models. The G 310 R will come armed with a 313cc, single-cylinder engine with twin-overhead camshafts that puts down 33.6hp and 28Nm of torque, and weighs 158kg. The fresh engine layout should make things quite interesting; the G 310 R will come with a reversed-cylinder design that slopes towards the rear wheel, instead of the conventional engine layout. This would allow for a more compact motorcycle with more evenly distributed weight and a lower centre of gravity. The upside of this layout is that it creates space for a longer rear swing-arm, while keeping the wheelbase relatively short to make it a more manoeuvrable motorcycle. The G310R is expected to hit the market sometime in the fourth quarter of 2018 and be priced between 2.25 lakh and 2.4 lakh.

Coming: Q4 2018
Expected price: Rs 2.25 - 2.40 lakh

BMW G 310 GS

BMW took the wraps off the adventure-touring version of the naked G 310R at EICMA 2016. Like its naked sibling, the G 310 GS has been developed by BMW Motorrad in Germany and will be built at TVS' plant in Hosur, India. The baby GS inherits its family styling with the stubby front beak, radiator shrouds, headlamp cowl and tank design. It gets a tubular steel frame, and cast five-spoke wheels. It is powered by a 313cc, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder engine, with four valves and a reversed DOHC cylinder head. It gets a six-speed manual transmission that will be tweaked to suit its adventure-touring nature. The engine will churn out 34hp of power and 28Nm of torque. At 169.5kg, ready to ride, it's not the lightest dual-purpose out there, but it won't be particularly heavy, either. It gets an upside-down 41mm fork, which has 49mm more travel than the G 310R’s. However, it is non-adjustable, while the rear monoshock does boast an adjustable preload. ABS will come as standard, as well as a decently-equipped LCD dash. In addition to all this, it will also have a host of official accessories to choose from, including 12-volt power sockets, heated grips, two seat-height options (820mm and 850mm), luggage kits, a centre stand, satellite navigation and smartphone solutions. The G 310 GS, like the G 310 R, is also expected to hit the Indian market in the fourth quarter of 2018 and be priced between Rs 2.6 lakh and 2.8 lakh.

Coming: Q4 2018
Expected price: Rs 2.6 - 2.8 lakh

Ducati 821

Ducati’s mid-sized Monster gets some design and equipment upgrades for 2018. The updated 821 borrows its headlamp from the Monster 1200, but one of its bigger upgrades comes in the form of a colour TFT instrument cluster. This is a feature that more expensive siblings like the Multistrada 950 and SuperSport don't get. The 821 continues with the same 821cc, 90 degree V-twin but it now makes slightly less power and torque, on account of becoming Euro 4 compliant. The peak power is now 2hp down to 110hp while torque drops from 89.4Nm to 86Nm. In terms of braking, the motorcycle uses dual 320mm front discs with powerful Brembo M4.32 callipers.

Coming: Q2 2018
Expected price: Rs 10.5 lakh

Ducati Multistrada 1260

The MY18 Multistrada gets a 1,262cc, liquid-cooled, L-Twin motor that produces 158hp at 9,500rpm, a 6hp increment over the MY17 Multistrada which produced peak power at the same rpm. Torque has gone up by 1.5Nm, to bring the tally up to 129.5Nm at 7,500rpm. This new motor features Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT), which, paired with Desmo valve actuation, results in good low-rev torque (and hence, rideability), an optimal power output while making it Euro-IV-compliant. In terms of electronics, the 1260 goes a step ahead with cornering ABS, back-lit handlebar controls and automatic turn-signal cancellation, in addition to four riding modes (Sport, Touring, Urban and Enduro), Ducati Wheelie Control, cruise control and hands-free connectivity. An important addition is that of Vehicle Hold Control (VHC), a standard feature that’s part of the new ABS unit. 

Coming: Q2 2018
Expected price: Rs 16 - 18 lakh

Ducati Scrambler 1100

Ducati officially took the wraps off its new Scrambler 1100 at its World Premiere 2018 event. A grown-up derivative of the Scrambler, the 1100 retains the smaller bike's design essence, albeit in an evolved format. Powering it is a 1,079cc, L-twin motor that produces 86hp at 7,500rpm and 88Nm of torque at 4,750rpm, a noticeable increment from the regular Scrambler 803cc motor that puts out 74hp and 67Nm of torque. This motor is paired to a six-speed transmission and features ride-by-wire as well.

The 1100, unlike the 800, is big on electronics and features a comprehensive technology package (courtesy Bosch) that includes ABS, cornering ABS and a four-level traction control system. Standard equipment also includes three riding modes – Active, Journey and City. The Scrambler 1100 also gets the expected updates to its trim, which means a new headlight with a prominent ‘X’ pattern housed within, as well as an LED ring around the circular daytime running lamp. Another welcome update has been to the instrument console that now gets a secondary oval element in addition to the circular single pod. The Scrambler 1100 will make its Indian debut soon.

Coming: Q3 2018
Expected price: Not yet announced

Hero XPulse

Hero MotoCorp has taken the wraps off its much-awaited Impulse replacement – the XPulse. For now, though, it is just a concept. Taking the legacy of the Impulse forward, the XPulse presents a sharper focus on off-road performance, thanks to its ground clearance, off-road tyres, wind protection and an accessible seat height for its purpose.

The fuel tank, with pronounced knee recesses, features a flush-fitting fuel tank cap. The bike, true to the teaser’s suggestions, features an upright and commanding stance, with a one-piece seat that extends onto the fuel tank – an expected element on an enduro motorcycle. We believe the blacked-out engine is based on the Xtreme 200 – which is destined for production and will be revealed at the 2018 Auto Expo – and will be suitably tuned for on and off-road application while being BS-VI compliant, as well. The engine showcased in the concept is shrouded with ample protection, which comes in the form of a compact, functional-looking crash guard (in white) and a drilled underbelly bash plate. While the XPulse is only a concept, Hero has indicated the possibility of it being production-ready by the end of 2018. The X-Pulse is expected to hit the market in the fourth quarter of 2018 and be priced around Rs 1 lakh.

Coming: Q4 2018
Expected price: Rs 1 lakh

Kawasaki ZX-10R SE

The Kawasaki ZX-10R now has an SE variant that features electronic semi-active suspension derived from the company’s Superbike World Championship race bike. Kawasaki claims that the new ZX-10R SE is loosely derived from Jonathan Rea’s Ninja ZX-10RR race bike. It is equipped with Showa suspension front and rear (Balance Free Front Fork and BFRC-lite shock with the same construction as the suspension on Kawasaki’s WSB Ninja ZX-10RR race machines). It is also the company’s first motorcycle to feature Kawasaki Electronic Control Suspension (KECS) – a technology that has stroke sensors and adjustment solenoids built into the suspension. This tech allows the bike to adapt to both road and riding conditions, and provide the right amount of damping with a reaction time of just one millisecond. Power figures, however, are identical to the 10R – 207hp at 13,000rpm (with ram air) and peak torque of 113.5Nm at 11,500 rpm. We can expect this motorcycle to join Kawasaki’s India line-up soon.

Coming: Q1 2018
Expected price: Rs 22 lakh

Norton Commando 961

The first Norton motorcycle will go on sale in India by March 2018 and will be a limited-edition Commando – a CBU import. By the end of 2018, Norton-Motoroyale will begin local production of the Commando. This will be soon followed by phased launches of the Commando 961 Sport, Commando 961 Cafe Racer, Dominator Sport and the DomiRacer. The company has stated the development of an all-new range of motorcycles and engine platforms, which will be made available to the joint venture at a later stage. A more Asia-specific 650cc, twin-cylinder motorcycle is also under development, which will be launched in Europe by the end of 2018, the same time as its Indian manufacturing operations commence. This 650cc motorcycle range will be launched in India in the following year and is expected to lay Norton’s foundation as a more mainstream motorcycle manufacturer. The limited-edition CBU model of the Commando is expected to go on sale in March 2018 and be priced between Rs 18 lakh to Rs 20 lakh.

Coming: Q1 2018
Expected price: Rs 18 - 20 lakh

Royal Enfield Continental GT Twin/Interceptor 650

The Continental GT Twin and Interceptor 650 mark the company’s return to twin-cylinder motorcycles. The Interceptor is a highway cruiser with its upright riding stance and regular handlebars. It features a rounded tank with and a flat bench-like seat. The Continental GT Twin, being a cafe racer, features an angular tank, clip-on handlebars and a single seat. Both motorcycles are powered by the same 648cc, air-cooled, SOHC, fuel-injected parallel-twin motor that produces 47hp at 7,100rpm and 52Nm of torque at 4,000rpm, while being paired to a six-speed gearbox with a slip-assist clutch. The suspension, brakes and frame are also common between the two. They use a conventional telescopic fork up front and gas-charged twin shocks at the rear. Both motorcycles are built around the same double-cradle tubular steel frame and get ABS, as standard. The bikes are expected to launch in the third or fourth quarter of 2018 and priced somewhere between Rs 3.3 lakh to 3.9 lakh.

Coming: Q4 2018
Expected price: Rs 3.3 - 3.9 lakh

Suzuki V-Strom 650

The upcoming V-Strom is powered by a 645cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, V-twin engine making 70hp and 66 Nm of torque. The adventure motorcycle is available internationally in two variants – the standard V-Strom 650 and a V-Strom 650XT. The standard V-Strom 650 comes with slightly lighter cast aluminium wheels shod with Bridgestone Battle Wing tyres, while the more off-road-oriented 650XT gets aluminium rims with stainless-steel wire spokes, equipped with tubeless Bridgestone Battlax Adventure tyres.

The standard variant weighs 213kg while the XT weighs 216kg, and both motorcycles have a wheelbase of 1,555mm. ABS and traction control are part of both bikes. They also have a large fairing that protects the rider from windblast at high speed. This makes it suitable for highway riding at high speeds. The motorcycle will come to India as a CKD. However, Suzuki has clarified that it is a more premium machine than the Versys 650 and the price will reflect this.

Coming: Q4 2018
Expected price: Rs 7 - 7.3 lakh

SWM Superdual T/X

Another segment gathering steady momentum in India right now is the Adventure Tourer segment, which explains why Motoroyale is planning to introduce the SWM brand in India with the SuperDual. It gets a 600cc, single-cylinder, four-valve, DOHC, liquid-cooled motor that makes a healthy 57hp of peak power, although SWM also offers a lesser power version that makes 47.5hp. This motor is mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

It has a dual-cradle frame made of steel pipes with a lightweight alloy sub-frame. In the front, the Superdual gets a chunky, 45mm, upside-down fork which offers rebound adjustment; while at the rear, the bike is suspended on a Sachs monoshock which is fully adjustable for preload, compression, as well as rebound. Suspension travel is a plentiful 210mm at the front and 270mm at the rear, making it ideal at handling bumpy and broken roads. Braking comes via a single 300mm disc at the front and a 220mm disc at the rear. Both front and rear brake calipers are floating type and equipped with off-road ABS.

This is a motorcycle that could show a lot of promise for the Indian market if Motoroyale gets the pricing right. So far, it has been mentioned that this bike could be priced under Rs 5.5 lakh. If that is the case (or if Motoroyale manages to price it even lower) this motorcycle has the potential to sell in India.

Coming: Q2 2018
Expected price: Rs 5.5 lakh

Tork Motorcycles T6X

We haven’t forgotten our homegrown Tork Motorcycles – a Pune-based firm working to launch an electric motorcycle in India. Founded by mechanical engineer Kapil Shelke, his passion for racing has seen Tork Motorcycles participate in professional racing, including events like the coveted Isle of Man's TTXGP (electric motorcycle class) to the TT Zero Race. With the T6X, Tork plans to cater to the 125cc commuter bike buyers who are looking for something more premium. While the bike is expected to cost more than its immediate competition, the company claims that the lower running costs of the bike (a full recharge costs Rs 10-20) means that the additional expenses incurred will be easily recovered within a year of purchase. When unveiled, the T6X was expected to deliver a maximum range of over 100km on a single charge, while top-speed was limited to 85kph. Tork has said that besides the increase in range, other performance figures will remain the same. Its Li-ion battery can reach 80 percent charge in one hour when plugged into a 15A source, and will attain full charge in two hours. The highlight of the T6X is its connectivity features. It will get a display with navigation and a Mirror Link-like interface which is compatible with both Android and iOS devices. Tork is still working on testing and validation. It states that a 2018 launch is not entirely off the cards but it cannot comment on that, at this moment.

Coming: Q4 2018
Expected Price: Rs 1 lakh

Triumph Tiger 800

Triumph recently revealed the 2018 Tiger 800, on which the bike maker claims it has made over 200 chassis and engine updates. The 800’s engine now makes 94hp, while its six-speed gearbox gets a shorter first gear. The exhaust is 22 percent lighter than the previous model, which should translate to a small gain in performance.

Design-wise, the 2018 Tiger 800 features new aero diffusers, full-LED lights on top-spec models, new backlit switchgear and an adjustable screen. The handlebar has been pushed further back by 10mm, while the seat gets 20mm of adjustability. It also comes with Showa adjustable suspension. The updated 800cc adventure bike also sports six rider modes with a new ‘Off-road Pro’ mode and cruise control as standard on all but the base XR trim.

Coming: Q2 2018
Expected Price: From Rs 11 lakh

Triumph Tiger 1200

The Tiger 1200 drops the Explorer branding and comes with design changes similar to the Tiger 800. Triumph has tuned the 1200’s three-cylinder in-line engine to produce 2hp more than the previous motor, and it now makes 141hp and 122Nm of torque. The kerb weight is also down by 11kg, to 242kg.

Feature-wise, it gets six riding modes (including Off-road Pro), along with a Continental Linked Brake system, a lighter, homologated (in Europe) Arrow exhaust that is standard on top models and a quickshifter. It also gets adaptive cornering lighting, backlit switches, keyless ignition, a full TFT screen instrument cluster (LCD screen on the base variant) and a seat that is height-adjustable by 20mm.

The tubular steel trellis frame is the same as the previous model, however, the swingarm design has changed at the mounting point and it no longer uses dual-stub axles, opting to use a single through-axle setup instead. The Tiger 1200 also comes with revised handlebar geometry that gives the bike a more upright seating position. While the brake units remain the same, it does get new brake pads.

Coming: Q2 2018
Expected price: From Rs 16.5 lakh

Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster

Triumph unveiled the Bonneville Speedmaster at India Bike Week 2017. Based on the Bobber platform, the Speedmaster shares the same wheelbase but gets different steering geometry with a slightly smaller rake angle and the same hidden rear monoshock as the Bobber. The Speedmaster uses the same wheel and tyre size as the new Bobber Black; that means a fat 130/90-section front tyre and a 150/80-section at the rear by Avon. Fork size remains 41mm, but it gets an open cartridge design. Braking is taken care of by twin 310mm discs and dual piston Brembo calipers, just like on the new Bobber Black. The Bonneville T120 also uses a 310mm dual disc setup but with Nissin calipers.

Powering the bike is a 1,200cc parallel-twin making 77hp at 6,100rpm, while peak torque of 106Nm arrives at a low 4,000rpm. Triumph claims 10 percent more power and torque than the Bonneville T120 at 4,500rpm. With a dry weight of 245.5kg, the Speedmaster is 8kg heavier than the Bobber Black and a good 21.5kg heavier than the Bonneville T120.

The Speedmaster offers two riding modes, ABS, switchable traction control and cruise control. The international pricing hasn't been released yet, but the Speedmaster sits at the premium end of the Bonneville family and the pricing will reflect this.

Coming: Q1 2018
Expected price: Rs 10 lakh

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