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:-
The Navi was one very brave decision which Honda took for the Indian market. It was a gamble to be precise, as the Indian market was very new and mature to accept a unique design language which the Navi offers, something which is a cross of a motorcycle and a scooter. Launched in April, the mini bike stance and the convenience of riding a scooter worked wonders for Navi, as it has been riding on the horse of success from day one. Having the back support of a brand like Honda, the Navi has turned out to be a success, and is a product which still commands a substantial waiting period for the deliveries. The overall mechanicals and 110cc engine of the Navi have been retained from the Activa, but then it is the off-beat styling of this cute little Honda which currently has no direct competition in the market.
Price – Rs. 39,648
The CB Unicorn has always been known for its perennial refinement and soberness, which continued to hold a special place in the strongly competitive segment even after almost a decade. Yes, the bike is dated by today’s standards, which is why Honda pulled off the plug from its production in 2015 to make way for a more powerful and contemporary CB Unicorn 160. But it seems that the CB Unicorn still has charm left, which forced Honda to resume its production once again in April 2016, almost a year after its production was halted. Essentially not an all new product, the CB Unicorn still retains the same design, engine and mechanicals with which it was discontinued, in its new version as well.
Price – Rs. 69,476
One of the most significant launches by Bajaj Auto in recent years, the Dominar is an all new performance brand of motorcycles after the glorious Pulsar brand has written numerous success stories for the parent company. Touted to be a motorcycle for those who love the combination of both performance and practicality of riding motorcycles for long distances, the Dominar 400 is a power cruiser with performance of a 400cc engine, ergonomics of a street fighter and comfort of a cruiser. Launched at a price which undercuts even the 200cc KTM Duke 200, the Dominar 400 shares its engine with the Duke 390, although in a heavily retuned form, and features some very new features for the price at which it is offered, such as dual channel ABS, full LED headlamps and dual stage fully digital instrument console.
Price – Rs. 1.36 lakh
There has never been one single instance in the history of Indian motorcycling, which shows one beautiful combination of the passion of motorcycling and the feeling of patriotism. All this was shown by the Bajaj V12, an all new 150cc commuter brand by Bajaj when it was launched in the beginning of 2016. Though the V15 comes with some very basic mechanicals for a 150cc motorcycle, with the engine too being only an adequately performer, however, the most unique and off-beat part of the motorcycle is the fact that its fuel tank is made up of a portion of the invincible metal of the now-defunct INS Vikrant, a famous warship which helped the Indian Army a lot during the 1960s and 1970s. This patriotic touch, along with an offbeat design language and a throaty exhaust note out of the engine helped Bajaj to create a niche segment in the already overcrowded segment of 150cc motorcycles.
Price – Rs. 62,132
With the V15, Bajaj created an all new brand of commuters apart from the Pulsar and Discover brands, which proved to be one successful move by the company. Continuing this streak of success, Bajaj decided to expand the lineup by adding a 125cc version of the same, with the name V12. As the name goes, the V12 is smaller than the V15 in terms of performance, as the overall styling and the unique trait of containing the metal of INS Vikrant in its fuel tank have been retained from the V15, however, it comes with a downsized 125cc engine as compared to V15. Apart from the smaller engine, it also misses out on a couple of features such as front disc brake and a different and basic set of alloy wheels.
Price – Rs. 56,283
Easily the most successful and comprehensive brand in the entry level 100cc category, the Hero Splendor witnessed one more addition in its long lineup in the form of the all new Splendor iSmart 110. The Splendor iSmart 110 is an all new motorcycle by each and every standards, be it looks, be it features and be it engine as well. Unlike all the other versions of Splendor which come with the tried and tested Honda sourced 97.2cc engine, the Splendor iSmart 110 comes with an all new 110cc engine which is self developed by Hero. Also, after the 100cc Splendor iSmart and Passion Pro i3S, it is the third motorcycle to feature Hero’s famed i3S (Idle Start Stop System) and the first one to feature auto headlamp on feature, making it one of the most technically advanced motorcycles in the segment to which it belongs.
Price – Rs. 53,530
For a long time, the performance enthusiasts of India were craving for a value for money and modern entry level performance motorcycle from the TVS under the Apache sub-brand. Both the 160cc and 180cc versions were beginning to show its age, and at this very time, TVS came up with the full force with the all new Apache RTR 200, its new flagship motorcycle. With an all design language similar to European roadsters, the Apache RTR 200 comes with all new 200cc engine, which offers the most practical performance package at its price, the essence of which gets double with the fact that it offers the option of ABS.
Price – Rs. 89,215 – Rs. 94.215
For almost a decade, the Hero Honda Splendor continued to rule the roost in the 100cc segment, but then, after almost ten years after its launch, the motorcycle received its first ever proper and direct competitor in the form of TVS Victor, a motorcycle which offered a better package over Splendor in almost every aspect. So popular was the Victor, that it was the quickest motorcycle to reach the sales mark of 1 million units at its time. Though the motorcycle was discontinued after some years of its successful runs, the Victor nameplate has reborn in the form of an all new motorcycle which features a premium design, segment best features set list and a 3-valve Ecothrust engine which offers the best combination of performance and efficiency in the 110cc segment.
Price – Rs. 50,715 – Rs. 52,715
2016 was one significant year for Royal Enfield, as in this year, it managed to shed off its tag of only retro motorcycle maker, and came up with something which is nothing less than a game changer. Meet the all new Royal Enfield Himalayan, the first ever proper adventure motorcycle in the sub 500cc category. With a bare bones design, simple to understand and sturdy mechanicals, long travel suspension and an all new generation 411cc engine, the Himalayan is one ground breaking motorcycle as per Royal Enfield standards. For all those wanderers who wish to travel long distances and cover new adventures by going off the track (quite literally), the Royal Enfield Himalayan offered an all new experience which is thrilling and practical at the same time. Launched at a very attractive price tag, it is one Royal Enfield which offers great value for money it asks.
Price – Rs. 1.80 lakh
Only a man who still lives in caves and distant forests cut off from the urban world will be ignorant about the legendary Yamaha RX series of 2-stroke motorcycles. Once the hero motorcycles which used to ply on Indian roads, the motorcycles like RX 100 and RX 135 became things of past due to stringent emission norms and increasing need of fuel efficient motorcycles. However, Yamaha decided to bring back the RX nameplate with an economic, entry level, 4-stroke motorcycle in the form of the all new Saluto RX. Launched as a model to expand the Saluto brand, the 110cc Saluto RX may not justify the performance oriented image of the RX series, but then, contradictory to the standards of Yamaha, it offers a practical package which is high on fuel efficiency and low on maintenance.
Price – Rs. 46,400
After a successful innings with the FZ series and YZF R15, Yamaha began its journey in the scooter segment back in 2012 with the Ray, which met with a moderate success. In the year 2016, Yamaha added one more model to the very practical and versatile scooter range of it in the form of the all new Ray ZR. Launched as a bigger and sportier avatar of the already existing Ray Z, the Ray ZR offered a bigger size and better value for money package, with new-for-Yamaha-scooters features, such as alloy wheels, front disc brake and key shutter mechanism. Targeted at the young male buyers, preferably college goers, who find riding a motorcycle an intimidating experience, the Ray ZR shares its 113cc engine with every other Yamaha scooter on offer in India.
Price – Rs. 52,000 – Rs. 54,500
We all have the motorcycles of Aprilia like the Tuono and RSV4 as our wet dreams. However, in the year 2016, Aprilia almost pulled off a shocker by offering a 150cc automatic scooter for the Indian market, something which wasn’t expected by Indians from a high performance oriented Italian motorcycle maker. Launched as the most affordable model in its Indian lineup, the SR 150 comes with some really interesting bits like big 14-inch alloy wheels, front disc brake, front telescopic suspension and a punchy 150cc engine shared with the Vespa VXL 150. Where all the other unisex scooters are offering practicality with first priority and performance on the last, the sporty Aprilia SR 150 comes with the priorities in the reversed order, and is easily the most fun to ride scooter in today’s times.
Price – Rs. 65,000
For an unknown manufacturer for the Indian market, Benelli has had quite a very successful stint in India with its wide range of powerful and naked roadsters in the country. It was only made more accessible with the arrival of the all new TNT 25, the smallest and most affordable motorcycle from Benelli in India. Unlike all the other Benellis which come with multi-cylinder engines, the TNT 25 is the only single cylinder motorcycle in the entire Indian portfolio of Benelli. The TNT 25 was launched as a direct rival of the KTM Duke 200, which can be sensed in its overall design and the way its rev hungry engine performs, which bears strong resemblance to the Duke 200. Apart from the strong performance it offers, the TNT 25 is also known for its throaty exhaust note like all other Benellis, which imparts it the necessary big bike feel.
Price – Rs. 1.60 lakh
After making a public announcement of its Indian innings almost two years ago, United Motorcycles, popularly known as UM, made its foray into the market with the Renegade Commando being its flagship model. With the popular Bullet 350 and Classic 350 models of Royal Enfield in its cross hairs, the Renegade Commando tries to appeal the retro motorcycle lovers with its old school design cues such as matt paint job with the army themed decals, blackened cycle parts, exhaust pipe and spoke wheels. For the Indian market, the Renegade Commado is available with only one engine option – the single cylinder, liquid cooled 280cc engine.
Price – Rs. 1.59 lakh
The second offering from the stable of UM which was launched in 2016 was the Renegade Sport S, which unlike the Renegade Commando, looks like a motorcycle from today’s day and age. The overall design of the Renegade Sport S bears a strong resemblance with the Suzuki Intruder M1800R with the sloping front headlamp cowl, which is working positively for the motorcycle. The other features which make it more modern over the Renegade Commando include alloy wheels, part digital meters, daytime running LEDs on side fuel extensions and sporty dual tone paint jobs. However, the one thing which it shares with the Renegade Commando is its heart - the single cylinder, liquid cooled 280cc engine, in the same state of tune as well.
Price – Rs. 1.49 lakh
Now, this one is quite different and very niche as compared to all the bikes listed above. Unlike other bikes in this list which are legal to ride in city, the KLX 110 cannot be registered for the roads, which definitely curbs its practicality. However, the fun fact lies down in its package, as it is the only motorcycle which is prepared to be ridden strictly for off-road tarmacs and terrains. This unique dirt bike from Kawasaki comes with a diminutive stance and a powerful and rev hungry 110cc engine, which offers enough torque and abilities with its excellent sturdy suspension setup to over-crawl any kind of tarmac ahead.
Price – Rs. 2.4 lakh