Six superbikes we’re looking forward to in India in 2015


We take a closer look at the six hottest superbikes that are India-bound in 2015:


Benelli TNT 600i

Expected On-Road Price - Rs 5 lakhs

When launched, the Benelli TNT 600i will become the most affordable four-cylinder motorcycle available in India, taking over the mantle from the Kawasaki Z800. It’s got all the ingredients to form the perfect everyday motorcycle – a powerful 600cc engine coupled with upright ergonomics and the lack of fairing means it’ll be comfortable to pootle around town, as well as attack the twisty bits on. The Benelli TNT 600i should be priced at around Rs 5 lakhs on-road in India, and will compete with the Kawasaki ER-6N, and the Hyosung GT 650N.


Benelli TNT 899

Expected On-Road Price - Rs 8 lakhs

When the news that Benelli was coming to India broke out, it came in as a surprise. Benelli may not be a world leader in motorcycles, but they do make some desirable machines. One of them is the TNT 899. Just one look at it will say it all. From the Decepticon-style headlight to the sinuously-curved trellis frame and swingarm, with some sharp cuts and edges in between, the TNT 899 is one achingly-beautiful motorcycle.

It’s not just all-show – the TNT 899 comes with a potent three-cylinder engine that’s good for 120 bhp and 88 Nm of torque, which should be more than enough to propel this 202kg streetfighter to silly speeds in the blink of an eye. You also get a load of top-spec cycle parts, like Marzocchi USD forks and a Sachs rear monoshock, and twin Brembo disc brakes up front. Expect the Benelli TNT 899 to be priced at around Rs 8 lakhs on-road. The bike is a direct rival to the Triumph Street Triple.


Ducati Scrambler   

Expected On-Road Price - Rs 9 lakhs

Ducati is expected to enter India officially next year with its entire line up of motorcycles, but it’s the all-new Scrambler that we’re interested in the most. The reason is very simple – it will be one of the most affordable Ducatis you’ll be able to buy. Even though it’ll come in as a CBU import, we reckon the Scrambler will be priced under Rs 9 lakhs, as it will be assembled in Thailand, where the Monster 795 is built.

The Scrambler is an old-school motorcycle concept made relevant for this day and age. Unlike the other motorcycles in the recently updated Ducati range, all of which sport liquid-cooled engines, the Scrambler gets the 803cc air-cooled V-Twin from the previous generation Monster 796/795, in a different state of tune. It is a lifestyle motorcycle, designed to take on the urban environment, with a high ground-clearance, upright riding stance, and all-terrain tires. The Scrambler is available in four different specifications – Icon, Classic, Enduro, and Full Throttle, but we aren’t sure if all of them will make it here. Oh, and it also comes with a USB port to charge your phone - a nice cherry to top what seems like a tasty cake!


Honda CBR 650F

Expected On-Road Price - Rs 6 lakhs

Thanks to the CBR 250R, Honda had been one of the top players in the sub-250cc performance bike segment for many years. Today though, the situation is different. The performance bike scene now has a whole lot more players, and consumers are increasingly going towards higher-capacity motorcycles that are priced north of Rs 5 lakhs. While Honda does have a strong line-up of large displacement bikes, they never had a real answer for the problems posed by Kawasaki, Triumph, and their ilk.

To counter this trend, Honda will introduce the CBR 650F in India in 2015. A sport tourer by design, the C650F is a direct rival to the Kawasaki Ninja 650R, the Hyosung GT650R, the upcoming Benelli TNT 600GT, and to a certain extent, even the Triumph Street Triple and the Harley-Davidson Street 750. The bike will be powered by a 650cc in-line four-cylinder engine that’s rated to output 86 bhp and 63 Nm of torque. The CBR 650F is renowned to be adept at both touring and commuting as it is comfortable and has enough grunt on tap for all situations. Pricing is very crucial, and if it retails at around Rs 6 lakhs on road, we think the Honda CBR 650F will quickly become a force to reckon with.


Kawasaki Ninja H2

Expected On-Road Price - Rs 30 lakhs

Kawasaki has become quite bullish in India in the recent years. The company has launched seven new motorcycles in the space of one year, and it seems that wave won’t abate soon. Next on the cards is the recently unveiled Ninja H2, the first production motorcycle in recent times to feature forced induction. What makes the H2 special is its powertrain – it comes fitted with a supercharged 998cc in-line four cylinder engine that develops 208 bhp and 133 Nm of torque. These figures may not seem like much in comparison with the current crop of superbikes, but as is the case with forced induction engines, the power and torque should be produced at a much lower rpm compared to naturally-aspirated units. This means that the Ninja H2 will rocket towards the horizon much faster than other litre-class superbikes.

It is not designed for straight-line speed alone. Kawasaki says the Ninja H2 will be as just as ridable as the ZX-10R on the track, which is saying something. The Ninja H2 should be priced in the vicinity of Rs 30 lakhs – if you can afford it, we suggest you head your nearest Kawasaki dealer and book one right away.  


Yamaha YZF-R1

Expected On-Road Price - Rs 20 lakhs

The Yamaha R1 was one of the first litre-class superbikes to be officially sold in India. Ever since its launch here in 2007, it has been the darling of the enthusiast community – it was well-priced, offered world-class performance, and looked like a million dollars. It was one of the best-selling large-displacement motorcycles in the country, till the market opened up and more players entered the fray. The development of the R1 had also hit a dull patch. From 2007, there had only been two major upgrades. Until now that is. We’ve got a new R1, and boy, it looks bonkers.

The 2015 R1 shares absolutely nothing with the previous-gen models. It boasts of an all-new 998cc in-line four engine that’s lighter and more powerful than before. Also included are a host of electronic rider aids to make use of all that power safely. The chassis features an all-new Deltabox frame with a magnesium rear sub-frame to reduce weight. The KYB suspension fitted to the bike is fully-adjustable, as always. Design-wise, the new R1 draws visual cues from the M1 MotoGP race, with hidden LED headlights that add to its allure.

The all-new Yamaha R1 will be introduced in India in the first half of 2015, and should be priced at around Rs 20 lakhs, on-road.

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Jaichandran Jayapalan

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