The festive season is upon us and Indian motorcyclists are in for a year of treats. Although most major motorcycle manufacturers have their flagship superbikes on sale in India, they are all prohibitively expensive. However, in the coming months, both homegrown manufacturers and foreign companies are planning to launch premium motorcycles that won’t burn your wallet. Here’s previewing the most promising firecrackers that are on their way to Indian roads.
The Mojo is a pleasant surprise from Mahindra. Developed in Italy by Engines Engineering, in which Mahindra holds the controlling stake, the Mojo is a radical-looking motorcycle. It has twin exhausts, but the motor is a single-cylinder 292cc unit that develops 26 bhp@8500 rpm and 2.5 kgm@7000 rpm. The motor also gets liquid-cooling, four valves, fuel injection and a six-speed gearbox, making it clear that this is going to be a high-performance motorcycle. The exposed tubular chassis is used as a design element, though the shape of the tank and the mid-section of the bike are already the topics of much debate among enthusiasts.
Hyosung GT650R and ST7
These two motorcycles mark the second coming of Hyosung in India. Last time around, it was the Comet streetbike and the Aquila cruiser and this time, it’s two bigger motorcycles — the GT650R sportsbike and the ST7 cruiser. Having tied up with Garware Motors, Hyosung is looking at establishing a foothold in the Rs 5-7 lakh category and might even consider bringing in less expensive motorcycles in the 400cc category.
The GT650 comes in two versions, one with a full fairing and the other being a naked streetbike. Both offer the same performance, but the naked bike will be cheaper than the sportier version and will feature more street-oriented ergonomics. It features a liquid-cooled, eight-valve, DOHC 647cc V-twin motor that produces 72 bhp@9000 rpm and a six-speed transmission to harness the healthy power output. The motor being a V-twin, the GT will have lots of grunt, rather than a searing top end that’s rather pointless in our conditions. Nonetheless, the GT should easily cross the 200 kph mark, which is enough to keep most new riders thrilled! Add to that full-size styling and international-level kit and you have a very good mid-size sportsbike proposition. And a sub-5 lakh price tag will ensure that more riders than before will be able to get into the sportsbiking culture.
Bajaj KTM 125 Duke
The Duke 125 is one of the most eagerly awaited launches of next year. While the company is tight-lipped about its plans for the Duke, we expect it to arrive in early 2011 in the Rs 1-1.5 lakh bracket. Until then, we will nurture the hope that despite its small capacity, the Duke 125 will be big fun to ride. And why not? It comes with world-class components, scaled down from bigger KTMs! The trademark trellis frame, the inverted front forks and rear monoshock suspension, meaty tyres and the edgy KTM styling combine to give the motorcycle a presence that few small-capacity motorcycles can claim to have.