2015 wasn’t the biggest year for new bike launches. On the other hand, two-wheeler sales have been higher than ever before. Come 2016, and there are a whole host of motorcycles and scooters waiting to be unleashed into the Indian market. We tell you what’s on the pipeline!
Bajaj is developing an all-new series of bikes to replace the ailing Discover brand. A thoughtless product strategy led to the introduction of a wide variety of models serving non-existent niches. This confused dealers and consumers alike, which resulted in the brand taking a beating. In order to revive floundering sales, the company is focusing its efforts on creating an all-new sub-brand of commuters, which are both affordable and exciting. Expect Bajaj to reveal them in the first half of 2016.
With a winning combination of exciting motorcycles and great pricing, Benelli is having a ball of a time in the Indian market. To further complement their already strong product range, the brand will be bringing in two of its latest launches to India, the fully-faired Tornado 302, and the TRK 502 adventure bike. While the latter will only appeal to serious off-road and touring enthusiasts, it is the Tornado 302 that’ll bring in the volumes. It looks downright stunning, and given that it shares the mechanical bits with the TNT 300, it should prove to be dynamically solid too. If priced right, it could very well turn out to be their biggest seller after the TNT 25.
The G310R is BMW’s smallest and most-affordable motorcycle yet, and from the looks of it, it has all the hallmarks that make it a true Beemer. It looks snazzy, has a tech-loaded engine that promises high-performance, and a dynamic package that should offer the same flavor as the larger, sportier BMWs. The ace up the company’s sleeve is the fact that the G310R is manufactured for global consumption right here in India, which should keep costs quite low. We reckon an on-road price tag between Rs 2.25 lakhs – Rs 2.75 lakhs can be expected, given the brand’s premium stature.
Hero ended 2015 the same way they started it, at the top of the manufacturer standings as the highest seller. Competition has been getting stronger though, with the Honda Activa piping the Splendor as the best-selling two-wheeler on a number of occasions. Nevertheless, with the introduction of two new scooters and the revamp of their popular commuters, they seem poised for a successful 2016.
However, in the recent years, the company has been struggling with low sales in the performance bike segment. Their motorcycles just haven’t been able to match rival offerings. All that can change this year, if they introduce the highly-anticipated HX250R. While the concept was launched at the 2014 Auto Expo, there is a high possibility that the final production variant could be showcased at the 2016 edition of the show.
While there are no all-new bikes in the pipeline for KTM, word is that they will launch the refreshed RC390 in India this year. The update will include a slipper clutch and Ride-by-Wire, changes that’d make the already track-focused sportsbike an even sharper tool for corner carving. KTM is said to be working on a replacement for the 200/390 series, but that won’t see the light of day until 2017.
Royal Enfield hasn’t launched a new product in over a year now, for it had been concentrating all its R&D resources in the development of their all-new Himalayan. By now, given the abundance of the spy shots that are circulating on the web, all of you should know that the Himalayan is an adventure bike, powered by an all-new 410cc engine. The bike would form the fifth product line for the company, and announce its entry into the enduro category. From the looks of it, the Himalayan seems to be loaded with kit that’d please even the most seasoned of adventure riders. For the more street inclined, there is also a toned-down scrambler variant on the pipeline. While no details have been confirmed, we expect the Himalayan to be priced less than Rs 1.75 lakhs on-road. One this is certain though - adventure riding enthusiasts in India are in for a treat.
Oh and here’s another juicy bit of info. This is just our hunch, but we think that 2016 could also see the entire Royal Enfield 350 line refreshed with the brand new 410cc engine. We base this on the fact that the new engine was developed to replace the aging (!) 346cc unit, and the fact that apart from introducing new colours, the range hasn’t seen even the slightest revamp in the longest time. Now, what would happen to the 500cc bikes, you may ask. Well, fret not, for the word on the grapevine is that Royal Enfield is working on a replacement for that as well, and it is not going to be a single cylinder.
Performance biking enthusiasts, rejoice! Triumph is expected to launch its all-new Bonneville line-up at the 2016 Auto Expo. Unlike the erstwhile Bonnevilles, the new bikes possess larger liquid-cooled engines that are more powerful. The line-up consists of the Street Twin, the T120, the T120 Black, the Thruxton, and the Thruxton R. The Twin employs a 900cc twin-cylinder engine, whereas the others use a 1200cc twin in varying states of tune. All models get a host of electronic rider aids that rival a supersport bike, such as Ride-by-Wire, traction control, and ABS. Expect prices to start from Rs 8 lakhs on-road for the base Street Twin, all the way upto Rs 12 lakhs for the full-fat Thruxton R.