CNBC-TV18 OVERDRIVE Awards 2017 announced

The year 2016 is coming towards an end and what a year it has been for the automotive industry in India. If statistics are to be believed, India is in the highest rankings in terms of growing economy. People have started investing in higher range of motorcycles that are lauded in the performance and engineering arena. More and more players started entering the Indian subcontinent to showcase their entry level performance machines. It just didn’t stop there. Players in India also fired all their pistons to go head to head with their foreign counterparts.

Since 1955, the year when the first batch of motorcycles in India were manufactured by Royal Enfield of United Kingdom, put together in Madras (Chennai), the motorcycle industry in the country has grown mountains with its own share of valleys. And somewhere in between promising players emerged within and managed to live up to the expectations and more. Today they are capable of producing motorcycles that beam innovation and technology acumen at the highest standards giving the competition a run for their money.

The CNBC-TV18 OVERDRIVE Awards have been one of the few coveted award ceremonies where every manufacturer wants to grab top honours. This has been the way since the beginning of this century and is the only one held in association with all the apex industry bodies (CII, SIAM and ACMA). Every year these awards recognise achievements in multiple categories across the automotive galaxy. For things having two wheels, there are six categories of awards and the process of identifying these awards includes a jury consisting of members of the media house and experts in their respective fields.

1. Design of the year: Triumph Thruxton R

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Who hasn’t fallen in love with this very beautiful Triumph? Which, over the past many years has been able to make riders feel the unadulterated essence of motorcycling with its simplistic café racer stance and smooth power delivery. It’s got a retro and masculine silhouette that combes sharp and imposing styling with a wealth of high quality details.

It houses a 1200cc parallel-twin engine putting out 96bhp of power and 112Nm of torque. Besides, the motorcycle gets a bunch of high-end tech features like ride-by-wire technology, switchable ABS, traction control and three driving modes. The clip-on handlebars and the slightly rear-set foot pegs offer a sporty riding position.

Just like the motorcycle. It’s the combination of the styling and the nature of the performance that wins the Triumph Thruxton R the Design of the year award.

2. Import motorcycle of the year: Triumph Street Twin

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Triumph has come a long way with its Bonneville over the last many decades. The Street Twin is our most contemporary, fun and accessible Bonneville. With its unique character, distinctive sound, stripped back styling and dynamic riding experience the Street Twin is the perfect Bonneville for today’s rider. Stylish and high quality detailings and finishes are a trait of every Bonneville on the road.

Powered by the critically acclaimed high torque 900cc engine, it’s an 8 valve high torque parallel twin that delivers a massive 80 Nm peak torque. Instant throttle response and ride by wire delivers a smooth, linear power bands transmitted through a five speed gearbox.

The chassis and suspension are tuned to deliver dynamic handling and an engaging riding experience. With a truly modern standard of capability and sensitively incorporated rider focused technology such as ABS, traction control, torque assist clutch and the likes, the Street Twin is built to ride like a Triumph should. All of which comes together as a motorcycle that works really well in India. This is why the Triumph Street Twin is our Import Motorcycle of the year.

3. Viewer’s choice scooter of the year: Suzuki Access

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This is one category that the public votes for rather than the team of experts. Suzukihad revamped its earlier Access and it looks even better. It now comes with SEP technology, alloy wheels, an optional front disc and with ride quality as its main focus. Infact, it is Suzuki Motorcycle India’s highest selling product. It now features cleaner lines and curves with the large headlamp mounted on the handlebar having chrome housing that looks neat. Under seat storage is generous and among the best in the segment. It gets a cubby hole to place your clutches and phones or even a water bottle. The overall styling is more appealing than its predecessor.

Powering the new Access 125 is an air-cooled motor developing 8.7PS of power and 10.2Nm of torque. It’s a much more refined and efficient motor than the previous model and one of the smoothest in the segment. Suzuki claims a mileage figure of 63kmpl which is among the highest for a 125cc scooter.

The taller handlebar will make the ride more comfortable and now it doesn’t lock with your thighs while manoeuvring in tight spots. Reworked telescopic front forks ironed out bumps and undulations without a problem. Shedding speeds is the disc braking unit does the job without a sweat.

4. Performance bike of the year: Ducati 959 Panigale

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The Italian madhouse production, Ducati, gave us the Panigale 959 that hides a ruthless soul under their drop-dead gorgeous skin. A worthy successor to the exemplary 1198 and the 899 eventually, it is currently the most affordable supersport in the international lineup of Ducati.

Coming to performance, the L-twin Superquadro engine on this Panigale is the most potent twin-cylinder engine on the planet, and it produces a fantastic 157 bhp @10,500 rpm, and 107 Nm of torque @9,000 rpm. An advanced six-speed transmission and a hydraulically actuated multi-plate wet clutch, which has back-torque limiting "slipper" function keeps the bike in perfect balance on the street and the track. Ride by wire tech makes it possible to have different power and delivery based on the selected riding modes and also to manage engine braking, as well as allowing the implementation of traction control. The 959 Panigale’s extremely oversquare bore/stroke ratio of 1.64:1 allows for reliably high rpm, thanks to the ultra-short stroke of the crankshaft.

With all this, the bike has a tremendous chassis following the innovative Monoscocca concept. This monocoque structure in cast aluminium for increased strength that uses the Superquadro engine as a structural element, forming the motorcycle’s lightweight core. 43 mm Showa Big Piston Fork and fully adjustable Sachs rear monoshock does the suspension to the point. Brembo Monobloc M4.32 is also calibrated within the riding mode. All of these high spec components, a reliant power mill and a great chassis makes this motorcycle the performance bike of the year.

5. Scooter of the year: Aprilia SR150

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This scooter from the Italian company knows to give us superbikes like the RSV4 and the Tuono range surprised everyone in the country. With racing is in its DNA, the Aprilia SR150 was designed for riders looking for the attitude of a sports bike and the convenience of an automatic.

This scooter gets a pronounced ‘beak’ on the front wheel and the aggressive handlebar design give it a distinct look that can only be an Aprilia. It also gets a sporty dual-tone, art-leather seats, double-barrel headlight unit and stylish swept back body kit filled with flair which can make anyone look exquisite.

It boasts of one of the highest displacement engine in the segment with a 155cc, 4 stroke power mill. It can churn an impressive 10.4 bhp @ 6750 rpm and a maximum torque of 11.4 Nm @ 5000 rpm. This is the same engine that powers the Vespa siblings including the SXL 150 and VXL 150. The engine is paired to a CVT gearbox. The engine definitely feels responsive as well as sporty which will let you zip past through city traffic. It is also lighter than the Vespa making it ride with twice the fun. Aprilia has managed to eliminate the elastic feel of the automatic, and it makes the scooter feel extremely quick on the move and very taut and sporty in feel.

The scooter underpins a monocoque chassis with new rigid steel frame for enhanced safety. With a 32 mm hydraulic telescopic forks and hydraulic shock absorbers, it gives you a plush ride. It also gets a big 14 inch alloy wheels with 220mm ventilated front disc brake with twin-piston callipers to terminate speeds without a hitch.

This conglomeration of impeccably engineered scooter with a raunchy motor to zip across town faster than anybody, all rolled into a price point that is just the norm gives it the Scooter of the Year 2017.

6. Motorcycle of the year: Apache RTR 200 4V

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We’ve kept the best for the last. Over the last decade, the Apache brand has emerged as one of the most proven home grow brands in the entry level performance oriented motorcycle segment. TVS has gone with their flagship model which somehow has managed to create new benchmarks when it comes to delivering raw power in a relatively affordable package.

TVS adopted an all new design philosophy for the new Apache RTR 200 4V, designed on the Draken concept it showcased at the Auto Expo this year. The motorcycle looks far more aggressive and outrageous than the erstwhile versions of the Apache with sleek and minimalistic silhouette. The tank is substantially large and the knee recesses can accommodate the riders of all kinds of heights. The razor sharp engine cowl is larger than any other Apache making it have a muscular stance. The bike comes with stepped split seats and double barrel pattern exhaust pipe.

The 197.7cc single-cylinder, air and oil cooled fuel-injected motor makes 21bhp and 18.1Nm of torque. It gets a much-needed fifth cog, too. The motor has a wide range of power band, especially after the 4000 rpm line. It can get you from 0 – 60 kph in 3.9 seconds and 12 sec for the 0-100 kph run, which is impressive.

Race origin split cradle chassis ensures total control at high speeds and flex in tight corners. The bike comes with a conventional set of hydraulic telescopic forks at the front and a race tuned KYB monoshock with compression and rebound damping for the perfect track balance. As like other Apaches, the ride is tuned on a stiffer side to provide a sportier set of dynamics. Optional race spec Pirelli tyres adds the needed performance and grip. Braking duties are taken by 270mm petal disc brake at the front and a 240mm petal disc brake at the rear, with an optional ABS provided on board. With this, the new Apache RTR 200 4V gets the best braking setup in its segment.

The bike instantly impresses you with its streetfighter stance which is aggressive to the core, while at the same time, it doesn’t misses out on the required pedigree by offering stellar performance from its all new engine and the proficient dynamics. Over all, the new Apache RTR 200 4V is for you, if you are in a hunger of more for less. Hence it bags the coveted Motorcycle Of The Year 2017.

Source: CNBC-TV18 OVERDRIVE Awards 2017

Sagar Patil
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