Triumph will now make engines for Moto2
There is ‘motorcycle’ and then there is ‘motorcycle racing’. Each of them has a different meaning for every manufacturer. And being associated with the latter is a form of prestige to them. The term ‘motorcycle racing’ was coined the day the second motorcycle was ever made and since then, the world of racing has seen a great deal of competition and rivalry amongst manufacturers and builders, all vying for the glory of unadulterated use of power and the pride of being at the top of their game.
The FIM Road Racing World Championship Grand Prix is the premier class of motorcycle road racing held since 1949. The Grand Prix is categorised into three formats - MotoGP, Moto2 and Moto3. All manufacturers put all their resources into running the best of their machines on the world stage and claim for the ultimate crown.
Automatic on two-wheels
Automatic vs Manual had been a topic hot for the four wheeler segment ever since the first automatic car was born in 1940 by General Motors’ Cadillac. And now, it seems like it will create a havoc in the two-wheeler segment. Or would it?
Everyone agrees that having gears and ratios is necessary to the inner workings of the transmission to power the vehicle but there is no general consensus regarding what kind of transmission is most suitable – auto shift or manual clutch lever and leg shifter. If you take cars, 90% people of the top five developed countries love the auto shift, but the same was not applicable to two-wheelers as hardly any manufacturers had them, until recently when the scooters came in. A device that to this day is frowned upon in the motorcycle community and blaming it for taking away the ‘biking experience’.
Nonetheless, they gave automatic a new meaning to the two-wheeled world and were largely preferred for their ease of use and decent performance for a very limited run. It became a fine option for urban commuters, youth and casual riders.
Honda has been a pioneer in developing new forms of transmission systems and clutch designs. Every manufacturer, if they have an automatic, have their own versions of them. They are basically trimmed into three kinds that are out there on the roads currently in use:
Honda can now balance itself on its two wheels
The Las Vegas International Consumer Electronics Show (International CES) is the world’s biggest launch pad for new innovation and technology that can change the course of the world. All kinds of manufacturers and developers showcase their high-tech products and give a glimpse of the next-generation innovations being introduced to the marketplace.
Out of these, even automotive technology takes a highly respected category and one of them is by the Japanese Red, Honda. A major player in the world of artificial intelligence, robotics and big data. They announced their big new project called the “Cooperative Mobility Ecosystem” that is touted to transform the mobility experience of the future and improve customers’ quality of life.
If you’ve been on the tech front page, you might have heard about Honda’s Uni-Cub, a small personal mobility technology which had a self-balancing multidirectional movement capability. Only exploited in making an OK-GO visual dance. Some liked it, some hated it. It kind of solves a problem that did not exist in the first place.
But Honda have upped their ante and used that technology into our everyday life i.e. if you ride a motorcycle. Yes, a self-balancing motorcycle that will also follow you wherever you go. That is some eerily satisfying condescending though.
Honda Introduces Navi Adventure & Chrome editions
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt Ltd (HMSI) has started their New Year with a bang by launching two new variants of their popular entry level two wheeler Navi. The two newest variants are called the Adventure and Chrome editions and both of them were previewed at the 2016 Auto expo held last year.
Both the customized variants are available only with Black colour options though. The Adventure edition gets a windscreen on top of the headlamp unit, knuckle guards, added protection surrounding the headlamp, engine underguard, a duel tone seat cover and a luggage box. The entire kit is priced at INR. 8,525. The Honda Navi Chrome editions on the other hand gets luggage box, side lower guards, chrome headlamp cluster and crash guard. The entire chrome kit will set you back an additional INR. 5, 065 over the ex showroom Price.
The Honda Navi hasn’t received any mechanical changes though and is still powered by the 109.19 cc, single cylinder, four stroke, HET (Honda Eco Technology) engine which is capable of producing about 8 PS of peak power at 7,000 rpm and 8.96 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm. Power is delivered to the wheels via the V-matic continuously variable transmission.
The standard NAVi is available in 5 colour options: Patriot Red, Hopper Green, Shasta White, Sparky Orange & Black. The Navi also achieved a huge milestone of exporting 2000 units dispatched within just 4 months. The Scooter is currently being exported to the Countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka.
2017 Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin
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.
Almost 30 years ago, the Africa Twin conquered the Paris-Dakar Rally. This year, it’s been re-imagined with the same True Adventure spirit and is hitting the Indian shores after a delay of nearly a couple of years.
With the Dakar rally, some manufacturers were happy about being participated, but Honda went on to win 1-2-3 positions in 1986. Just 5 years after their first appearance. And they did it on the then Africa Twin.
Honda have now made use of that wild experience and fed it into their brand new avatar of that legendary Dakar motorcycle, the NXR750, and gives us the CRF 1000L Africa Twin. A machine born in the factory but tamed in the wilderness that inherits the “go anywhere” phenomena and embodies the latest of technology and engine construction to literally do just that without any fuss.
With this motorcycle, Honda throws a challenge at us - ‘It’s not a question of how far your Honda will go. It’s how far you’re willing to take it’. And knowing the reliability of a Honda, I’m guessing it’s a challenge for us to take upon without having to think twice about the machine.
Honda Navi Customized Variants Launching Soon!
Honda promised everyone during the time of launch of the Navi that they will bring plenty of customization option for their entry level scooter at a later stage. Now after almost a year of its launch Honda kept their promise and introduced the Customization option for the Navi.
Apart from the different coloured parts the Navi will also get two new variants in the form of Navi Chrome and Navi Adventure Edition. Now these variants only received cosmetic upgrades while under the skin the Navi still houses the 109.19 cc HET air cooled mill capable of producing 8 bhp of maximum power at 7,000 rpm and 8.96 Nm of peak torque at 5,500 rpm. This is the same engine which also powers Honda’s range of automatic scooters as well including the Activa.
If we talk about the two customized variants, the Navi chrome gets additional headlight protector, side lower cover, rear grip finished in chrome while it also gets an additional luggage box as well. The entire package is available only with the Black colour scheme and will cost you an extra INR. 5,065 over the ex showroom Price.
The other customized variant which will be available along with the Chrome edition is called the Navi Adventure edition. This variant gets front knuckle protector, rear grip underguard, headlight protector, a completely new seat cover, luggage box and new graphics. This entire package will set you back an additional INR. 8,525 over the ex showroom price of the scooter.
The Honda Navi is priced at INR. 39, 648 (ex showroom Delhi), while the Navi Chrome has a price tag of INR 44,713, the Navi Adventure is priced at INR 48,173 (both ex-showroom, Delhi). The Navi variants will be available soon at a showroom a near you.
Unicorn 160 BS4 Launched
The birth of the Honda Unicorn was intended to do what the Activa did to the scooter segment. But as Activa went on breaking records and making a few, Unicorn failed to get as much in the segment ruled by the Pulsars and the FZs.
Although it boasted of a bullet proof engine, excellent build quality and refinement close to none, customers were looking for an edge more. This resulted in Honda launching the Unicorn 160 in 2014. It bought, on board, a few interesting changes and add-ons like new sculpted body panels, headlamps and a slip front cowl with new visors.
Keeping the same four stroke, air cooled, single cylinder setup, a new 162.7 cc debuted on this motorcycle that punches 14.6 bhp and 14.6 Nm torque. 1 more. It remained as refined as it was previously. The ride quality and equipment did not change as it was already upto the mark.
With all this, Honda thought they had checked the right boxes to up its sales. But the sales figure tell otherwise. It was drubbed as the lowest selling 150 cc motorcycle in India. Being Honda, they believed this motorcycle has more up its sleeves and yet again gave it an “All New” tag and updated it for 2017.
The new 2017 model will feature the same styling and design aspects but majorly change the engine dynamics to make the new bike BS-IV compliant. In this process, the power is cut down to 13.82 bhp and torque to 13.92 Nm. Back to the same vicious circle. It is definitely not a welcome figure, but has lower emissions.
Apart from this, the motorcycle will get the AHO (Automatic headlamp on) feature which was however made compulsory by the government. The new colour palette now includes a matte Blue, taking it to a grand total of 5. The bike features the new visor and a few decal changes are also included.
Expect the price to be slightly increased to ₹76653 for the standard version and ₹79150 for the CBS version.
Honda also, along with this, will run its 150 version and the CB Hornet 160 which is for itself doing quite well in the market. For 2017, every other bike from the Japanese stable will feature AHO and will be running on BS-IV complaint engines.
We are not sure how this will affect the sales of the Unicorn 160, especially if Bajaj launches the NS160 in the coming year. But rest assured, the Unicorn is one of the most sturdy and reliable machines you can get your hands on.
Bandit 9 L.Concept
“Once again, the Earth is under attack. An alien species is poised for a final assault. The survival of humanity depends on a military genius who can defeat the aliens. But who? Or what?”
That ‘what’ is a curious looking piece of weapon made in Vietnam. Easily mistakable to some sci-fi Terminator blockbuster prop, this cannon gun looking steel is a brainchild of Daryl Villanueva, the military genius born to defeat the extraterrestrial.
2017 Honda CB Unicorn 160
We Indians are all quite smitten by the prowess of the Honda Activa. The simple yet practical scooter from Honda has become the de-facto choice of Indians when it comes to owning a no-nonsense family scooter. With the 150cc Unicorn as its first ever motorcycle in the Indian market, Honda tried too hard to make an impact in the segment as deep as it did in the scooter segment with the Activa. But while the Activa went on writing new stories of success and sales numbers, the Unicorn was overshadowed by the likes of Bajaj Pulsar and Yamaha FZ in the segment.
Though, the Unicorn had some really good positives up in its sleeves – its bullet proof build quality, excellent engine refinement and reliability have been second to none in its category. But then, the buyers of this segment (most of them) wanted more, which resulted in the birth of its new generation model – the CB Unicorn 160.
Besides having the good characteristics of the 150cc CB Unicorn, the CB Unicorn 160 brought some dash of chiseled looks and features on board. However, like the 150cc Unicorn, the CB Unicorn 160 too has turned out to be an average seller, particularly due to the fact that its premium sibling, the CB Hornet 160, has become a more popular player in this space owing to its sportier stance and sharper looks. Now, in a wake to make it an even stronger player, Honda has mildly updated the CB Unicorn 160 with some additional features and slight changes to its powertrain. We take a look on what all changes does the new CB Unicorn 160 gets:-
List of all new mass oriented bikes which got launched in 2016
Like every passing year, the year 2016 too has proven to be one year which has only been progressive enough to make the Indian two wheeler market more mature and versatile. Almost all the bike makers of India did came up with something which was revolutionary and game changer for the price at which they are offered.
In this feature story, we are going to discuss all those significant all new bike launches in the mass oriented segments of the Indian two wheeler market, with some of them have been build up from scratch and are only redefining the segments and creating new records for value for money. Following are those all new bike launches meant for the common masses, with the criteria being sub-500cc category and below the price point of Rs. 2.5 lakh:-
Comparison of premium commuters – Bajaj Pulsar LS 135 vs Hero Achiever vs Yamaha SZ-RR vs Honda Unicorn
In the last couple of years, the Indian market of two wheelers has seen an upward growth in terms of both sales numbers as well as maturity. Talking about the latter aspect, the urban Indian buyer is gradually beginning to think beyond the sole factor of fuel efficiency, as he wants something more from his machine – factors like comfort, features, added power and a bit more muscle in the machine he rides. For all these factors, it is the segment of entry level 150cc commuters which, in these days, is serving them in the most apt way. This particular category of motorcycles may not serve the fuel economy of a 100/110/125cc motorcycle, but then, it surely gives the consumer a feel of riding a bigger motorcycle, without sacrificing much on his pocket.
The oldest player of this field, Honda CB Unicorn, continues to impress its target audience with its no-nonsense approach towards design, strengthened by its robust build quality, refinement and the credit of introduction of the technology of rear monoshock in the Indian market. Yamaha also opened its cards by launching the SZ-RR Version 2.0 below the FZ range, which serves as its most affordable 150cc offering. And then, recently, Hero gave a comprehensive makeover to its underdog, the Achiever, which claims to have become much more desirable and better in its new avatar.
Finally come Bajaj Auto, which has the most versatile lineup of 150cc motorcycles in the Indian market. But then, it offers a very unique product in the market which offers the performance and features of the 150cc motorcycles aforementioned above, but at a price of a 125cc motorcycle. This product is the Bajaj Pulsar 135 LS, the only 135cc motorcycle in the country today, which aims to take all the lower positioned 150cc motorcycles. Which one of these emerges out to be the best bet? Let’s find out:-
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. And the gamble payed off. 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. To help you have a clear decision making ability, we have compiled 10 bikes that fall under ₹ 5 lakhs that can suffice all your needs and dreams of owning a bike that can be both practical and fun to ride.