The Auto Expo 2018 saw several major manufacturers skip the bus. In fact, a certain bike maker even said that participating at the Expo was a huge waste of money and organising a press meet is a lot more ‘cheaper’. However, the mega event saw several major showcases and unveils. Back then, the Indian industry was in a major growth spurt. India had been recently gained the title of the world’s largest two-wheeler market (in terms of volume). Here are 5 motorcycles from Auto Expo 2018 which we want to be launched in India:
TVS Zeppelin: Power cruiser concept close to production
One of the most interesting showcases at Auto Expo 2018 was the TVS Zeppelin. This power cruiser is expected to finally enter production by Auto Expo 2020. The motorcycle had a handlebar set low for a sporty attitude but forward-set footpegs for a comfortable ride.
The LED headlamp, slender fuel tank and golden 41 mm front upside-down fork may be retained. The instrument console will be an all-digital unit with smartphone connectivity. This will include navigation assist as well as caller ID functions. Besides that, the engine is a 220 cc single-cylinder unit with an Integrated Starter Generator, similar to the SHVS system seen in the Maruti Ciaz. Additionally, a 1.2 kW (1.63 PS) regenerative assist motor with 48V Li-ION battery further adds to the performance.
However, the production version of TVS Zeppelin may not get the belt drive seen in the concept version to keep production costs under check. Also, the first-in-class smart Bio-key may not make it to production. Realistically speaking, the TVS Zeppelin may have the same 197.75 cc mill which does duty in the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V. Expect a launch price tag of around INR 1.2 lakh (ex-showroom).
Aprilia RS 150: R15 v3.0 rival from the house of RSV4
As an answer to the rising demand for entry-level performance motorcycles, Aprilia showcased the RS 150 at Auto Expo 2018. The paint scheme and the design of the motorcycle are in sync with the flagship Aprilia RSV4. In fact, I would love to see an entry-level pocket racer parked in my driveway with those iconic triple headlamps.
Powering the Aprilia RS 150 concept from Auto Expo 2018 is a 150 cc single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine. The engine can produce 18 PS of power at a high 10,000 rpm. The powerplant produces a peak torque of 14 Nm at 7,500 rpm. The bike is suspended over 40 mm upside-down fork up front and a monoshock at the rear. Besides that, the bike was also fitted with an optional quick shifter.
However, Aprilia may not launch the RS 150 in India soon. In fact, the word on the street is that the Italian bike maker is working on a new product with a possible engine displacement pegged at 250 cc. This will allow it to compete not only against the Japanese Big Four but also MV Agusta’s upcoming 300 cc motorcycle.
There is no official confirmation but we would love to see an updated, production-ready version at Auto Expo 2020. Besides that, Aprilia may also introduce a (semi) naked version of the bike as foreseen in the Aprilia Tuono 150.
UM Renegade Duty S: With love from Colombia
While UM has been having difficult times in India of late, it may still come out of its divorce with Lohia Auto and launch the UM Renegade Duty S. The bike was first showcased at Auto Expo 2018. Styled on the lines of the Harley Davidson Iron 883, the bike has a black theme. The retro-styled circular headlamp uses a halogen unit.
The UM Renegade Duty S is powered by a 223 cc oil-cooled, single-cylinder engine. Coupled to a 5-speed gearbox, the engine produces 17 PS of power and 17 Nm of torque. The bike will be shod with a 17-inch front and 15-inch rear unit. Besides that, the front wheel gets a fat 120-section tyre. Braking duties are overseen by a 280 mm disc at the front and a 130 mm drum unit at the rear.
The bike tips the scales at 142 kg and has a 10-litre fuel tank. Also, the claimed fuel efficiency is a high 41 km/l! UM Renegade Duty S may make a comeback with a BS-VI compliant version at Auto Expo 2020. However, the price tag will be higher than the originally announced price tag of INR 1.10 lakh (ex-showroom).
Yamaha R6: Supersport love
The mighty Yamaha R6 has been showcased at several editions of Auto Expo but has never been launched in India. Bearing the R-series family name is a tough task and the Yamaha R6 lives up to the legacy rather well. One look at the R6 and you know that the bike means business.
The Yamaha R6' 599 cc liquid-cooled, four-cylinder engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox and a uni-directional quick-shifter. The engine can push out 118.4 PS of power and 61.7 Nm of torque. Features include a 6-position traction control system, riding modes, aluminium fuel tank and a titanium exhaust unit. Also, the Yamaha R6 has a die-cast magnesium rear subframe.
The braking setup includes twin 320 mm disc up front with radially mounted 4-piston callipers and a 220 mm unit in the rear. The bike tips the scales at 190 kg. Let’s hope Yamaha does not do a mere showcase at the upcoming Auto Expo 2020. Expect a price tag in the range of INR 10-11 lakh (ex-showroom).
Cleveland Misfit: The dark horse of Auto Expo 2018
The Cleveland CycleWerks Misfit had its Indian debut at Auto Expo 2018. Prices were announced in September 2018, but the company later announced a major price-cut in December 2019. The motorcycles were supposed to be brought to India via the CKD route from China.
The retro-styled motorcycle is powered by a 229 cc single-cylinder, air-cooled engine. Coupled to a 5-speed gearbox, the engine produces 15.6 PS of power and 16 Nm of torque. Besides that, the Cleveland Misfit is suspended over an upside-down fork at the front and twin coil-spring shock absorbers at the rear. The braking system includes a 298 mm front disc with two-piston calliper and a 210 mm rear rotor with a single-piston calliper.
The high price tag, even though reduced to INR 1.85 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) was a major deterrent. There has been no official confirmation on deliveries yet and we believe they should update the product and launch it at Auto Expo 2020.