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Should you buy the Fazer 25 or something else?

Should you buy the Fazer 25 or something else?

Yamaha’s new entrant says go "sports-touring". Can you really?

When Kawasaki launched the Ninja 1000 last month, we called it “The most serious sports tourer on the face of this planet, or any planet for that matter.” That is the best of both worlds. Period.

Now, the Japanese Blue team has come up with the “all-new aggressive tourer” Fazer 25. All they’ve done is slap a fairing onto the naked FZ 25 and called it a tourer. Not that I’m saying it’s wrong because that is what the Kawa guys did too with the Z1000. So technically, Yamaha’s Fazer 25 is marketed rightfully as a sports tourer.

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Bajaj Pulsar NS 160

Bajaj Pulsar NS 160

This baby Pulsar takes on the sporty DNA of its elder sibling.

In the past fifteen years, the ‘Pulsar’ nameplate has become one of the most versatile brands in the field of motorcycles. The name has spawned a variety of bikes, ranging from 135cc to 200cc naked streetfighters, a 220cc semi-faired sports tourer and recently, a 200cc fully faired supersport motorcycle. Talking about the current range, it was the Pulsar NS 200 which turned out to be the model which opened up doors for an all new generation platform, engineering and design philosophy. It was this bike that came with new underpinnings rather than being based on the first generation Pulsar 150, upon which all the other Pulsar models were built before its arrival.

In 2017, that bike made a grand comeback and put Bajaj on the streetfighter map again. Calling it as the ’Pulsar 200 NS 2017 Laser Edged edition’, Bajaj is set to take the performance biking to a whole new level. Now, there is another sibling for the NS200 and it is heading our way very soon. The Pulsar NS 160 rumbles on. The model has already gone on sale in some of the international markets, with an Indian launch scheduled next month. Here’s our comprehensive review of the all new Pulsar NS 160:-

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2017 Honda Cliq

2017 Honda Cliq

The Japanese brand’s new scooter for the up-country customers

Honda might have struck gold with the now legendary 110cc Activa (now called Activa 4G) unisex family scooter, but apart from this, there has been no other scooter from Honda which has set the sales charts on fire. The Dio now feels too long in the tooth and feels dated even after having much sportier design as compared to its competition. On the other hand, the Activa 125 and Aviator appear to be priced in the premium range and are out of the radar of most of the prospected buyers in the scooter market, who put value for money over everything else on their need list.

Luckily for the rest of us, Honda has come up with another scooter for the up-country customers who wish to zoom around the countryside with the same ease as the city dwellers, the Honda Cliq they call it. The market in India sees an upward trend ever since 2010, thanks to the improved rural infrastructure and rising income levels, affordability has become a norm to people from small towns and villages too. Giving more utility and sturdy built quality, the Cliq will have an edge compared to other scooters for the non-urban customers. Here is an overview of this new scooter from Honda:

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Honda launched a new scooter focused at the up-country customers. The Cliq.

Honda launched a new scooter focused at the up-country customers. The Cliq.

Priced at ₹ 42499, Cliq is a perfect blend of practicality, versatility and value for money.

Honda had, a while ago, promised us with four all-new models in the coming year and looks like they are on a roll to fulfil it. Targeting a 20% growth in volume, the Indian leg of the Japanese brand, Honda 2Wheelers has invested a tune of ₹ 1600 crore in new capacities and 4 new models it plans to launch in FY-18.

The brand launched the first model for the year and it’s a scooter christened as the Cliq. Positioned below the Honda Activa and the Dio, this scooter is also based on the same platform its siblings are. This scooter was first showcased at the Auto Expo 2016 which was dubbed as the Navi replacement. The edgy and sharp visual cues gave a lot of attractiveness and a bold outlook to the scooter. The production model, however, has a much more subtle outlook.

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Cleveland CycleWerks is going to set up shop in India by the end of the year.

Cleveland CycleWerks is going to set up shop in India by the end of the year.

This American manufacturer wants to taste how it is to run in the biggest market for two-wheelers.

In a country that is price conscious, it was a gamble played by motorcycle manufacturers when they decided to bring in their higher segment motorbikes. If statistics are to be believed, India is in the highest rankings in terms of growing economy. People started investing in premium motorcycles that were lauded in the performance and engineering arena. More and more players started entering the Indian subcontinent to showcase their entry level performance machines. And the gamble has paid off.

Now, not only well-established fully grown contenders are making their way into the country, but also ones that have just been fertilised on the planet. One of them is Cleveland CycleWerks and they are coming to India to taste what it is like to operate in the current biggest market for two-wheelers in the world.

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Aprilia is busy with preparing its new 125 cc SR scooter to launch in India soon.

Aprilia is busy with preparing its new 125 cc SR scooter to launch in India soon.

The SR 125 is undergoing homologation tests at the ARAI for approvals.

In 2016, Aprilia did something unbelievable for the Indian two-wheeler market by launching a mass oriented scooter SR 150. This was an ‘out-of-the-blues’ decision for a superbike maker like Aprilia, which is known for motorcycles that cost at least ₹ 20 lakh and upwards, thus targeting itself towards a niche audience. However, with the SR 150, Aprilia has widened its base and has created an all new segment of performance oriented scooters in India for the mass market buyers.

Now, Aprilia wishes to continue the momentum by getting a smaller and less expensive version of the same scooter so that it could be accessible to a lot more customers and eventually increase their market share. Spied at the ARAI (Automotive Research Association of India) in Pune, Aprilia is taking the SR 125 scooter through homologation tests to make it legislation approved so that they can launch the scooter as soon as possible in the market.

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2017 Hero Duet

2017 Hero Duet

The sturdy package from Hero receives a couple of upgrades for 2017.

Till date, Hero has enjoyed quite a good amount of success with its scooter range which until two years ago was restricted to only two scooters – Pleasure and Maestro. Although both of these scooters have been unable to dethrone the Honda Activa from the number one spot, it has helped Hero Motocorp to secure the second position in the scooter segment. To take on this success streak even further, Hero introduced two more scooters which not only expanded the scooter lineup of Hero and gave the buyers more options to choose from, but also helped Hero to increase its share in the scooter category.

Out of the two new scooters which were launched by Hero – Maestro Edge and Duet, the latter has a wider customer base for being a unisex metal bodied scooter. Though slowly, the Duet is being accepted by the masses for being a sturdy scooter that is loaded enough to make it a good value for money product. The Duet has been updated for the year 2017 as a slightly more modern package with a couple of changes on the board, which has freshened up its overall appeal. Here’s a quick look at what all changed does the new Duet gets:-

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2017 Honda CD 110 Dream DX

2017 Honda CD 110 Dream DX

Honda’s entry-level commuter ticks most of the right boxes

After achieving humongous success with its range of 110cc scooters, especially the flag carrier Activa, Honda tried to make it large and replicate the same amount of success in the entry-level 110cc category of commuters. With this intention, the Japanese manufacturer launched a series of motorcycles under the ‘Dream’ nameplate, with the Dream Yuga being the first model to initiate the things.

Though the Dream Yuga and Dream Neo started churning out decent volumes from day one, they were still not enough to pip out the segment leader Hero in terms of volumes, with the latter leading the segment with its range of Splendors, Passion and CD Deluxe. Honda realised that it needed one more basic entry level model to multiply its volumes, as a result of which the CD 110 Dream was added to the range.

To start with, the CD 110 Dream was introduced as a bare bones model which was too utilitarian for the way it was presented. To freshen up its appeal, Honda recently gave a midlife facelift to the motorcycle, which has seen the addition of a couple of new features and a minor revision in overall performance. Let’s find out what all changes Honda carried out for the new CD 110 Dream, which is now termed as CD 110 Dream DX:-

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2017 Honda Activa i

2017 Honda Activa i

The entry-level scooter from Honda gets new paint scheme and a mobile charger unit. And that is about it.

Honda might have struck gold with the now legendary 110cc Activa (now called Activa 4G) unisex family scooter, but apart from this, there has been no other scooter from Honda which has set the sales charts on fire. The Dio now feels too long in the tooth and feels dated even after having much sportier design as compared to its competition. On the other hand, the Activa 125 and Aviator appear to be priced in the premium range and are out of the radar of most of the prospected buyers in the scooter market, who put value for money over everything else on their need list.

Like the aforementioned three scooters of Honda, the little 2015 launch Activa i too has received the same fate of very few units rolling out of the showroom floors. Honda has been trying its best to make this scooter a star player, as big as the Activa 4G. In doing so, Honda has given the scooter a couple of cosmetic facelifts in a very short span of time. And now, the Activa-i is up in the market with its third update. Here’s our take on the all new Activa i:-

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2017 Honda Dream Neo

2017 Honda Dream Neo

Honda’s entry-level commuter ticks all the right boxes.

With its ‘Dream’ range of 110cc commuters, Honda has tried everything to dethrone the likes of Splendor and Passion from Hero MotoCorp in the segment of entry-level premium 100-110cc commuters. The range, which made its debut with the premium 110cc commuter Dream Yuga, went off with a flying start with excellent sales, surpassing other rivals, but not the Splendor. Sooner than later, Honda realised that only Dream Yuga is not enough to fulfil its aspiration of becoming the segment leader, a segment which churns out the maximum number of sales for every manufacturer in the country offering in this category. Thus, the more economic in comparison Dream Neo came into the picture.

In comparison to the more stylish Dream Yuga, the Dream Neo was more basic and utilitarian, which was designed keeping in mind the audience of Tier II and Tier III cities. But since the growth rate of these cities is also on a higher side, the Dream Neo soon began to seem a bit pale and expensive for what it offered, considering that the rivals offered more.

Hence Honda, to make the Dream Neo a bit more serious player, gave the motorcycle a mild update, both cosmetically and mechanically, which has made the motorcycle much more appealing than before. So let’s have a look on the all new Dream Neo:-

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2017 Hero Glamour FI

2017 Hero Glamour FI

The most affordable fuel injected motorcycle now gets more marks on styling too.

When it comes to the commuter segment of motorcycles in the Indian market, the technology of fuel injection is seen as a rather premium feature, which is limited to only a handful of them. It all started with Hero/Hero Honda launching the Glamour PGM-FI back in 2006, which was followed by the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-FI and Honda Stunner PGM-FI. And then came a slew of entry-level performance motorcycles, all of which came with this feature as standard.

Talking about the inception of fuel injection in commuters, the Glamour FI was the first motorcycle to incorporate this feature. And given the fact that Hero seldom discontinues its motorcycles, the Glamour FI is still on sale, thus being the most affordable fuel injected motorcycle on sale in the Indian two wheeler market.

For 2017, the Glamour has been completely revamped with the new model officially available on the shelf and Hero has launched the fuel injected version of the same. The Glamour FI, obviously, is completely based on the new standard carbureted Glamour, except for a few changes. Here’s a quick look at the latest iteration of the Hero Glamour FI:-

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2017 Hero Maestro Edge

2017 Hero Maestro Edge

Hero’s number one scooter is a feature packed all-rounder.

Hero enjoys an unprecedented success when it comes to the commuter class of 100-110cc motorcycles. But when it comes to the segment of automatic scooters, it didn’t have an offering to thrash the undisputed leadership of the scooters, the Honda Activa. Though the Maestro and Pleasure did churn up decent volumes for the manufacturer in the country, they still haven’t been able to bring down the sales of Honda scooters, which have been selling like hot cakes.

Then came the Maestro Edge and Duet, which further strengthen the scooter lineup for Hero in the country. However, the sales of the Maestro Edge have turned out to be a bit lower than what Hero had expected. So now, Hero has tried to infuse some novelty in the Maestro Edge for the year 2017 by adding a couple of new features to the scooter. Let’s have a look at what all changes do the new Maestro Edge get:-

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2017 Yamaha Fascino

2017 Yamaha Fascino

The skin, heart and soul gets a fresh new update to become a fashion statement.

In recent years, Yamaha Motor India has managed to get a makeover for itself by shifting its focus towards commuters including scooters, apart from just making performance oriented motorcycles. For a manufacturer that stayed off from making scooters till date, Yamaha now has a comprehensive lineup of scooters which cater to each and every segment of buyers in the market, ranging from college going youth to family oriented unisex scooter buyers to even fashion conscious fairer sex.

A couple of years ago, in a very bold and unexpected move, Yamaha introduced the neo-classic themed scooter Fascino, with which it tried to lure the female buyers intending to make their individualistic statement rather being just another regular part of the crowd. As a ritual of giving a midlife update to its every product in India, Yamaha now has given the Fascino its first ever update, which makes the scooter look fresher than before. Here’s a brief outlook on all the changes and details which the new Fascino gets:-

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Someone caught the Honda XRE 300 on the shopfloor in India.

Someone caught the Honda XRE 300 on the shopfloor in India.

The XRE 300 could be Honda’s dig at the entry level ADV motorcycles in India.

For some people, adventure is about finding your way through the unknown and doing things most have not or seeing things never seen before is a savour best felt. But unless you plan on walking, you need a way to get there. This is where Honda’s new offering comes in and sweeps you off your feet in the most humble and matured way.

Recently we discussed about Honda eyeing to get the brand’s adventure motorcycle, the XRE 300 into the country as part of their four ’all-new’ two wheelers for FY2018. Looks like our speculations were right if we have to believe this snap of Team-BHP’s reader is true.

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2017 TVS Apache RTR 160

2017 TVS Apache RTR 160

The entry level race bred horse from the TVS stable.

Why is there a 160cc category? That odd number is more of a marketing strategy really. Want people to shell out more money for you, give them another 10cc. TVS did just that with the advent of the RTR 160. It was the first ever bike to surpass the notion of selling only 150cc bikes, by giving the customers an upper advantage of extra 10cc in its engine and a little more equipment.

Launched first in 2007 to compete with the rest of the 150cc ones, it is a stylish looking Motorcycle and the word ’RTR’ means Racing Throttle Response which tells you that this motorcycle is built for speed. The bike was launched in parallel with the 180 nemeses and also received the major overhaul in 2012, and it made the Apache look sportier with possessed aggressive outlook. Now, for 2017, TVS has given it yet another mild upgrade which gives it a BS-IV engine and adorns the AHO feature. The rest remains unchanged. Let’s have a brief look at this year’s model.

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2017 TVS Apache RTR 180

2017 TVS Apache RTR 180

Developed with the Racing team, for the street sport customers.

TVS Motor Company is the third largest two-wheeler manufacturer in India, and the Apache has been the company’s flagship brand since its launch in 2006. The “Racing Throttle Response" was the brand’s foray into the naked sports segment which, similar to the Pulsars, is gaining a lot of momentum into increasing the sub- brand’s product portfolio. The nameplate, which started with the unveiling of a 150cc motorcycle, has spawned into a variety of streetfighters, which somewhat have managed to create new benchmarks when it comes to delivering raw power in a relatively affordable package.

Running with three products under its Apache brand, the 180 sits right in the centre. It got a major upgrade in 2012 that adorned new cosmetic changes, and it made the Apache look sportier with possessed aggressive outlook. Although the rest of the mechanics remained the same, it remained as one of the most powerful and fastest motorcycles in this segment in India. Now, for 2017, TVS has given it yet another mild upgrade which gives it a BS-IV engine and adorns the AHO feature. The rest remains unchanged. Let’s have a brief look at this year’s model.

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2017 Yamaha Fazer

2017 Yamaha Fazer

The Macho looks continues in 2017 with AHO and BS-IV joining the party.

Launched in 2008, Yamaha’s FZ series of motorcycles had created a new meaning to the streetfighter nemesis in the country. The DNA embedded had street characteristics that made the FZ the number one in the segment pretty fast. Then, Yamaha launched Fazer in the year 2009 under the FZ series, the Japanese Blue’s wonderful semi-faired sports tourers. It provided a perfect balance between the aggressive of Yamaha’s true-blue super sports and the very practical naked roadsters termed under the brand ‘FZ’.

After a span of five years, Yamaha gave the faired Fazer an overhaul and called it the Fazer FI Version 2.0. Along with a fresh styling elements, the bike also got Fuel Injection Blue Core technology installed which increased both the performance as well as fuel efficiency. Now, the same iteration gets even better with AHO, new decals and a BS-IV engine to run cleaner that before. Let’s have a look at these in detail.

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The Benelli 'Monkey' TNT 135 may not come anytime soon.

The Benelli ’Monkey’ TNT 135 may not come anytime soon.

The Italian maker is not sure about the monkey’s acceptance by the Indians.

India came to know about the monkey bikes when the then ‘Escorts’ group designed and built the Rajdoot GTS (Grand Touring Sports) 175 in the 60s’ and 70s’. It was powered by the stock-in-trade 175cc, single cylinder, air-cooled, two-stroke engine that was borrowed from a Polish motorcycle maker called Cekop. It is also fondly called as ‘Bobby’ which was christened because of the movie it was shown in.

Now, the Italians have taken a dig at this segment and have been testing out their new Benelli TNT 125 on Indian roads. Although no official announcements have been made regarding the price and availability, the bike was supposed to be launched sometime in May. Unfortunately, the makers have other reasons to believe.

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Royal Enfield has given both Himalayan and the Bullet 500 Fuel Injection for 2017.

Royal Enfield has given both Himalayan and the Bullet 500 Fuel Injection for 2017.

The Indian master builder will be launching these in the coming months.

As are with the recent upgrades in the emission norms by every manufacturer, the post-British Royal Enfield is following suit. RE has by now updated all their products in their line-up for 2017 with the new Automatic Headlamp On (AHO) feature, and their engines are now going to be BS-IV compliant.

Although their models were thought of having no mechanical changes, the official website of the models says otherwise. Both the Himalayan and the Bullet 500 model specification pages sees the fuel supply as ’Electronic Fuel Injection’.

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2017 Honda Dio

2017 Honda Dio

The MotoScooter gets more snazzy

Honda entered the Indian market in 2001 with two scooters - a segment which was believed to be taking its last breath at the time of their arrival. Against all the odds, both the scooters - Activa and Dio - went on churning a large number of volumes for their parent company, which went on to become the second largest two wheeler manufacturer in the Indian market.

While the Activa was meant for the daily masses, the Dio took to the young street crowd. Marketed as the Moto Scooter, Dio was the favourites amongst the young generation because of its stylish lines and trendy looks. The scooter instantly hit the sweet spots of the hearts of all those wishful riders, who wanted to have a two-wheeler but found the motorcycles a bit intimidating. Although it shared the same 110cc engine as the Activa, it felt peppier due to the lightweight fibreglass body panels. Like the Activa, the Dio too has withstood the tide of time. It received a major overhaul from its first generation in 2012 which amplified its exuberant appeal even more. Now, for 2017, the scooter receives a mild update which will see BS-IV compliancy and Automatic Headlight On along with cosmetic changes. Will the new Dio continue to pluck the strings of hearts of its targeted audience? Here’s a quick overview of the scooter.

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2017 Honda Activa 4G

2017 Honda Activa 4G

The country’s highest selling two-wheeler gets a new update

Over and over again, we have repeatedly mentioned how the Honda Activa has proven itself to be a very significant model for not only establishing Honda in India but also in rejuvenating the scooter market in India that was dying a slow death post the discontinuation of Bajaj Chetak in the country. Paving the path for other four stroke automatic scooters in the country, the Activa was Honda’s first ever single product for the Indian market, which gradually went on to become so legendary that even after almost 17 years of its launch, it is still going very much strong and is recording as the highest selling two-wheeler.

Though, over the years, we have seen a couple of more iterations of the Activa brand in the form of a more slim and girly Activa-i and a more proper, powerful and premium 125cc scooter, the Activa 125. However, it is the original Activa which is churning out the majority of numbers even today. After a successful journey spawning three generation, the Honda Activa has entered its 17 years of existence in India with its fourth generation model, the new Activa 4G. It now comes with a couple of more cosmetic changes and a significant change to its powertrain, which makes it a bit more contemporary than before, if not much. So let’s see what’s new in the new Activa 4G:-

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2017 Honda Activa 125

2017 Honda Activa 125

The ’Frontastic’ new scooter on the block

In today’s automotive scenario, the word ‘Honda Activa’ needs no introduction. For a scooter which revolutionised the entire scooter market, or to be precise, gave a fresh lease of life to the almost dying scooter, the Activa has enjoyed a golden journey to date becoming the highest selling two-wheeler in some of the previous months.

The Activa began its life with a 100cc engine which was later upgraded with an 110cc engine. A couple of years ago, Honda decided to make the Activa brand a bit more premium by launching a bigger and more powerful version of the same, the Activa 125.

The Activa 125 came with a slightly revised design and dimensions, the inclusion of a few new features and most importantly, a larger heart in the form of a bigger 125cc engine. This flagship scooter from Honda may not be a high volume churner as its 110cc counterpart, but it gave the scooter buyers an option to go for a big lifestyle or powerful scooter, which offers a more mature and better product over the regular Activa.

Recently, Honda silently launched the first ever facelift of the Activa 125, which hosts of a couple of new features and slight mechanical changes to its powertrain. Let’s have a look at what all changes the new Activa 125 has been blessed with:-

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2017 BMW G310 R

2017 BMW G310 R

Built in India… for the world market.

When BMW Motorrad joined hands with TVS Motorcycles in 2013, we knew we were in for some special treat. And guess what? It’s time to taste the sweet.

BMW had a sub 500cc model in the works for quite some time which they intended it to cater to the global market. Unveiled at the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo, BMW surprised us with this G310R and created a buzz across the riding community with the entry-level naked roadster.

Although it is the smallest bike from BMW, when it comes to performance, it is anything but small. Perfect for a handful of folks new to motorcycles, it is a rocket trainer for the experienced purists and is sure hell lot of fun for everyone riding on this machine. The combination of being lightweight and having a real powerhouse has always won the wars for every manufacturer, and this is no exception.

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