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 naked roadster and adventure tourer motorcycle launches in the middleweight and liter class segments of the Indian two wheeler market, which do form niche categories on their own, but then have seen a tremendous growth in terms of sales in recent years. Following are those all new naked roadster and adventure tourer launches meant for the niche buyers who have prime focus on design and performance, with the criteria being 500-1200cc category and above the price point of Rs. 6 lakh:-
The segment of middleweight roadsters was at an all time high in the last couple of years, so why Yamaha could have been silent and have a glaring absence in this category? The pioneer of launching big capacity motorcycles officially in India, Yamaha launched its biggest middleweight motorcycle from its international portfolio, the MT-09, in India at the Delhi Auto Expo 2016. Existing in the Yamaha’s international lineup of roadsters just below the mighty MT-10, the MT-09 is an evolutionary motorcycle in terms of its design with a sleek but toned design, but at the same time, is also a revolutionary motorcycle for having a liquid cooled, inline three motor from its parent company in a long time. This inline three 847cc motor produces 115 PS of power and 87.5 Nm of torque, making it the most powerful middleweight roadster currently available in India. Armed with segment best riding dynamics and electronics, the only letdown related to this motorcycle, however, is the asking price of Rs. 11.36 lakh, which is quite on a higher side for a middleweight motorcycle.
Price – Rs. 11.36 lakh
Like Yamaha, Suzuki too has been having an expansive and versatile lineup of big capacity bikes since the launch of Hayabusa as its first ever big bike launch in India. Though all of its big capacity motorcycles were worthy in various traits, the one segment in which Suzuki desperately needed a presence was that of the liter class roadsters. Thankfully, 2016 saw the arrival of Suzuki in this category as well, with the launch of the globally acclaimed GSX-S1000 roadster. In terms of design and appeal, the GSX-S1000 might not be as aggressive looking and imposing as its other rivals from Japanese as well as European makers, but then, under the skin, it is surely one wild beast, with the GSX-R1000 derived liquid cooled, inline four, 999cc engine, which pumps out 140 PS of power and 112 Nm of torque. Apart from the performance, the GSX-S1000 also surprises with its package of electronic riding aids, which makes it one of the most modern Suzuki of recent times.
Price – Rs. 12.25 lakh
When the name of Harley Davidson pops up in our minds, the imaginary picture of a garage full of old school retro cruisers is what our brains draw for us. Though, the American giant pulled off a surprise by launching the 1200 Roadster for the Indian market towards the end of 2016. Now, the 1200 Roadster is not the first ever roadster from Harley Davidson, as the Indian enthusiasts have already experienced the essence of XR 1200X in the country. However, in terms of modernity and practicality, the 1200 Roadster has more value, and at the same time, doesn’t miss out on the typical Harley Davidson design ethos. The chopped fenders, high positioned shortened handlebar and custom black paint finish on engine and cycle parts make this equally brute looking as the rest of the roadsters from Japan and Europe. However, it isn’t as hair-raisingly fast as its other peers, as it runs on a modest air cooled, V-twin, 1202cc shared with the 1200 Custom in the same state of tune, which churns out 96 Nm of torque, thus focusing more on low end torque rather than faster performance at higher revs.
Price – Rs. 10.20 lakh
Remember the good old Monster 796 with which Ducati made its first ever public debut in India some years ago. While the Monster 796 served as the entry level model for Ducati worldwide for quite a long time, the motorcycle was replaced only last year internationally with the Monster 821, which was officially launched in India in 2016. With an evolutionary design keeping the main design traits of Monster family intact, the Monster 821 sports a beautiful design which is a good-looking combination of modern and retro design ethos. However, what more was important is the heart of the motorcycle – the liquid cooled, L-twin, 821cc motor, which produces 113 PS of power and 89.4 Nm of torque, making it much powerful and faster than the Monster 796, which makes a strong case for itself if you add in the segment-best electronic riding aids package it has.
Price – Rs. 10.25 lakh
In terms of character and soul, not even a single Ducati motorcycle has a dearth of it. However, Ducati shattered its own benchmarks with its all new rejuvenated Scrambler series of middleweight motorcycles, which gained huge popularity worldwide for their affordability and fun to ride traits. Even though the fact that the models falling under the umbrella of Ducati are the most affordable means of owning a Ducati masterpiece, they do not fall short on the fun factor, with their sleek stance comparatively light weighted nature coupled with brisk performance, making them agile performers. For the Indian market, Ducati has launched four different variants of Scrambler in 2016 – Icon, Classic, Urban Enduro and Full Throttle, all of which differ on the basis of levels of equipment and features, but share the same air cooled, L-twin, 803cc engine, which pumps out 74 PS of power and 67 Nm of torque.
Price – Rs. 7.18 lakh to Rs. 8.43 lakh
There is something special about the Italian motorcycles which make them look apart from the other competitors of theirs, particularly due to the purity and focus on design and attention to detail which they possess. And when it comes to attention to detailing, nothing comes close to the precision with which MV Agusta crafts its motorcycle. When it comes to roadsters, the sole example of the exoticness of MV Agusta which we Indians are getting is the range topping Brutale 1090 range, which is easily one of the most beautiful looking roadsters in its category. The Brutale 1090 is being offered in India in two versions, both of which come with the same liquid cooled, inline four 1078cc engine. Surpassing its gorgeous looks, you will be thrilled even more with its powerful mill – while the standard version, the Brutale 1090 has a peak power rating of 145 PS, the more powerful Brutale 1090 RR pumps out 160 PS of maximum power.
Price – Rs. 20.10 lakh to Rs. 24.25 lakh
When it comes to the perfect combination of simplicity and soberness, there is no other motorcycle which can match the charm of the Triumph Bonneville range. Triumph entered into the Indian market with the Bonneville T100 as its most affordable motorcycle. While this tag has been transferred to the Street Twin, the currently available Bonneville T100 is something different from the previously available Bonneville T100, as it comes with a slightly revamped overall design and an all new liquid cooled, parallel twin, 900cc engine, which churns a maximum power output of 55 PS and a maximum torque output of 80 Nm. The overall base of the styling as well as the engine has been shared with the Street Twin but comes with the touch of old school flavor the Bonneville has always been known for, such as simply designed round headlamp and fuel tank with black tank pads, oodles of chrome and spoke wheels.
Price – Rs. 8.51 lakh
When the whole world of automobiles is following the trend of downsizing the engines but maximizing the fun, how can Triumph be left behind. Triumph took a big leap for its lineup of retro roadsters by bringing in the all new Street Twin, an all new entry level roadster which now serves as the most affordable offering from the lineup of the British marquee. Previewed for the first time in India at the Auto Expo 2016, the Street Twin is a bit smaller in size than the previous generation Bonneville, but then comes with a larger heart, a twin cylinder, air cooled engine which displaces 900cc and puts up a maximum power output of 55 PS and a maximum torque output of 80 Nm. Serving as an entry level model, it does misses out on several modern day electronics and is a far cry from the aura of razor sharpness which its Japanese rivals in the same price bracket possess. However, the Street Twin impresses with its true blue retro stance with simple mechanicals and a city friendly and torquey engine, making it a preferred choice of mature riders.
Price – Rs. 7.52 lakh
Are you an ardent fan of the Bonneville brand since its inception almost half a century ago? Aren’t you impressed with the way the smaller 900cc Bonneville has taken the path of modernization a bit? If you are among this breed of enthusiasts and Bonneville loyalists, Triumph hasn’t managed to disappoint you at all, as it has the flagship Bonneville on sale in India, the Bonneville T120. The Bonneville T120 comes with the same levels of old school flavor and coolness which the previous generation Bonneville T100 did possess. Though, as obvious, the Bonneville T120 comes with slightly larger dimensions and a larger mill powering it – liquid cooled, parallel twin, 1200cc engine which produces 80 PS of power and 105 Nm, thus being a perfect solution for those who find the Bonneville T100 less emotional and powerful. Adding to it, it also comes with some additional features over the Bonneville T120, such as switchable traction control, two riding modes, heated grips and center stand.
Price – Rs. 9.40 lakh
If there is an award for the most beautiful looking motorcycle launched in 2016 in India, it has to be awarded undoubtedly to the Thruxton R. This timeless looking café racer looks wonderful in flesh with the retro essence still intact in its overall design over the smaller capacity Thruxton which it has replaced in India. The Indian market has been given only the more focused Thruxton R, and not the standard version, which means it comes equipped with race-bred, fully adjustable Showa suspension at front and rear, a polished top yoke, Brembo brakes, stainless steel tank strap and clear anodized aluminium swingarm. The engine has been shared with the Bonneville T120, which means that the Thruxton sources its power from a liquid cooled, parallel twin, 1200cc engine which develops 80 PS of power and 105 Nm. Available with spoke wheels and single bullet seat setup with painted rear cowl as standard equipment, the Triumph Thruxton R is currently the only authentic big capacity café racer to be available in the country right now.
Price – Rs. 11.40 lakh
The Multistrada has always been one desirable adventure tourers in the flagship category, though there has always been one glitch about the motorcycle that it is not as hardcore in it behavior as say a Triumph Tiger Explorer or a BMW R 1200 GS. Ducati took a note of this and came up with the Multistrada 1200 Enduro, a true-blue hardcore off-roader version of the standard Multistrada 1200. The motorcycle retains the basic design of the standard Multistrada 1200, but comes with a slew of changes and additions, such as longer travel suspension, spoke wheels, engine sump guard and a number of minute revisions to the chassis. It also packs in some additional features such as Multistrada link wireless multimedia system, Cornering ABS, Vehicle Hold Control, full TFT instrument console, cornering lights, full LED headlights, hands free ignition and cruise control. However, the liquid cooled, L-twin, 1198.4cc engine has been shared with the standard Multistrada 1200.
Price – Rs. 18.06 lakh
The pioneer of the middleweight segment of motorcycles in the Indian market, Kawasaki, has been undisputedly reigning this space of motorcycles with the bikes like ER-6n, Ninja 650 and Z800. However, Kawasaki brought the real deal in this segment this year in the form of the Versys 650. To all those adventure tourer aficionados who were in fond of the Versys 1000 for its sheer practicality and performance but found it a bit too pocket-digger, the Versys 650 came as the answer to their prayers, by offering a scaled down package of the Versys 1000, which did lacked some of the top end punch as well as electronic riding aids of the Versys 1000. However, it does offers sheer practicality and tried and tested performance, as it runs on the same twin cylinder, 649cc motor which fuels the Ninja 650, albeit in a retuned fashion to make full use of torque at all terrains. And the big plus in its favor is that it is the only 650cc Kawasaki motorcycle for the time being in India to feature ABS as standard.
Price – Rs. 6.84 lakh