Bikes of 2018

K Shivraj
Saturday, 30 December 2017

From high-end bikes to electric scooters, the new year will have it all

To begin with, Bengaluru-based Ather Energy will launch an improved, and more efficient version of its electric two-wheeler — the S340. The scooter is expected to offer higher travel range on a single charge, and will get some design tweaks to make it even more aerodynamic. Other functional tweaks will include LED lights, ambient lighting function, touchscreen dash, sport and economy riding mode, sat-nav, and more. Expected price is Rs 1 lakh.

Benelli will take on the hot-selling Royal Enfield bikes with the Imperiale 400. The bike is powered by a 19.7bhp, 373.5cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder fuel injected engine mated to a five-speed transmission. Built around a double-cradle frame with telescopic forks at front and twin shock absorbers at the rear, the Imperiale 400 looks retro, yet is modern with ABS, front and rear disc brake, and more. The estimated price is 
Rs. 2 lakh. Another Benelli offering will be the neo-retro Leoncino, at an expected price of Rs 4.5 lakh. It is powered by a 50bhp, 499.6cc liquid-cooled, fuel injected, parallel-twin engine, which is mated with a six-speed transmission and a wet clutch.

Benelli is also expected to launch the Benelli TRK 502 adventure bike. It is powered by a 47bhp, 499cc parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine mated to a six-speed transmission. Said to be coming in two versions — road going with 17-inch dia wheels and an off-road capable with 19-inch dia front wheel, the TRK 502 is expected to cost upwards of Rs 5 lakh.

An important launch will be the BMW Motorrad’s G 310 R. The bike will be equipped with a 34bhp, 313cc, single-cylinder, twin-overhead cam engine. Weighing 158kg, it will feature a reversed-cylinder design that slopes towards the rear wheel, making it more compact than it would have been with a conventional engine design. With weight distributed evenly, and the centre of gravity low, the G 310 R is expected to be priced at Rs 2.3-2.5 lakh. A naked version of the G 310 R will be launched too. Built locally by TVS Motor Co, the bike, called the G 310 GS features a stubby front beak, radiator shrouds, headlamp cowl and a tank that contributes towards an adventure bike look. The frame is tubular steel. Powered by the same engine and gearbox as the G 310 R, the G 310 GS weighs 169.5kg. If its adventure bike oriented naked styling hints at dual purpose, the G 310 GS will have ABS as standard. It may cost anything between Rs 2.6 to 2.8 lakh.

BMW is also expected to launch the BMW F 750 GS with a 77bhp, 853cc engine. It is expected to launch the F 850 GS as well which is powered by the same engine as the F 750 but in a different state of tune, making 85hp. Styling is modern and sharp, and structured on a monocoque frame.

Ducati will bring out the 821, a mid-sized Monster bike powered by an 110bhp, 821cc V-Twin engine. It has in common some design elements of the Monster 1200. Ducati is also expected to introduce the V4-powered flagship Panigale. The Desmosedici moto-GP derived four-cylinder engine is claimed to produce 214bhp at 13000rpm. Featuring titanium racing exhaust, made by Akrapovic as per Ducati Corse specifications, the bike will offer six-speed gearbox with Ducati Quick Shift (DQS) up and down. The price is expected to be in the range of Rs 19.2 to Rs.21.8 lakh. The Ducati MY18 Multistrada is also expected to debut. It is powered by a 158bhp, 1,262cc, liquid-cooled, L-Twin motor, and packs some very exciting features like a cornering ABS, back-lit handlebar controls and automatic turn-signal cancellation. The expected price is in the range of Rs 14.5 to 20 lakh. Also expected to premiere is the Ducati Scrambler 1100. It is powered by an 86bhp, 1,079cc, L-twin engine and a six-speed transmission. Features include ride-by-wire, cornering ABS, four-level traction control, and more. 

To address the rising number of the 125cc gearless scooters, Hero MotoCorp will launch a 125cc gearless scooter. The design is expected to be inspired from the Dare concept the company has displayed at the 2014 Auto Expo. 

Hero will replace the Impulse with the XPulse. An adventure bike, the XPulse is expected to carry over a good deal of the mechanicals from the Impulse and will be priced at Rs 1 lakh.
Kawasaki will introduce the ZX-10R SE that features electronic semi-active suspension, and is inspired by Jonathan Rea’s Ninja ZX-10RR race bike. The company is also expected to introduce the supercharged H2 SX sports tourer and the Z900 RS, a retro-themed bike that is powered by a 125bhp, liquid-cooled, 948cc four-cylinder engine seen on the Z900. Its expected price is between Rs 9 and 9.5 lakh.

Norton will launch its first bike in India — the limited edition Commando, albeit a CBU import. Local production is said to start by the end of the next year and the bike is expected to cost Rs 18 to 20 lakh.

Royal Enfield will introduce the Continental GT Twin and Interceptor 650. The Interceptor is a highway cruiser with an upright riding position. The Continental GT Twin is a cafe racer. Powering both the bikes is a 47bhp, 648cc, air cooled, fuel-injected parallel-twin engine mated to a six-speed gearbox and slipper clutch. It may cost anything in the range of Rs 3.3 and 4 lakh.

Suzuki will launch the V-Strom adventure bike. It is powered by a 70bhp 645cc, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, V-twin engine. 
While the SWM Superdual adventure bike will debut, Pune-based Tork Motorcycles will introduce an electric bike. Top speed will be 85kmph, and the travel range will be 100kmph.

Triumph will launch a new Tiger 800 and 1200. The Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster will also debut at an estimated is Rs 9 lakh to 10 lakh. It is powered by a 77bhp, 1200cc parallel-twin engine.

Yamaha will launch the 8.2bhp, 125cc Nozza Grande fuel injected gearless scooter. Also launched will be the 20bhp, 155cc YZF-R15 and 50bhp, 321cc YZF-R3. Price is expected to be Rs 1.3 lakh and Rs 3.5 lakh respectively.

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