The Indian two-wheeler industry is opening up to the idea of performance motorcycles. The market has witnessed a shift in the acceptance towards niche bikes with more and more bikemakers introducing or planning premium vehicles in the entry-level segment. Here’s a list of upcoming naked motorcycles, which includes the likes of the new Bajaj Dominar 400, Yamaha MT-15. Suzuki Gixxer 250 and the Bajaj Pulsar 250 among others.
New Bajaj Dominar 400
The 2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 was spied last week, which detailed its updated instrument console. The two-part cluster features a gear-position indicator and various warning signs like ‘Engine Kill-Switch ON’ and ‘Side-Stand ON’. The motorcycle is expected to be launched later this month in the country.
The new Dominar 400 will feature inverted forks up front, a twin-port exhaust with an in-built catalytic converter and a refined motor with DOHC setup.
Apart from the unconfirmed aforementioned changes, the Bajaj Dominar 400 will remain as is. We can expect the new model to retail at around INR 1.80 lakh (ex-showroom).
Suzuki Gixxer 250
According to a report dated 10 January, the Suzuki Gixxer 250 will be launched in India in June 2019. The Gixxer 250 will rival the Yamaha FZ25, Bajaj Pulsar NS 200 and the likes. The motorcycle will feature standard dual-channel ABS, and it could be priced around INR 1.50 lakh (ex-showroom).
A 20 December report suggested that the Suzuki Gixxer 250 will be unveiled to dealers later this month. Apart from the naked offering, the company will introduce the fully-faired Gixxer 250 SF at a later date.
On 29 December, the engine design patents of the Suzuki Gixxer 250 were leaked online. According to the patent images, the Gixxer 250 will use a 250 cc single-cylinder 4-valve SOHC motor with air/oil cooling to keep costs in check. The power and torque figures of the bike aren't out yet.
The new Yamaha MT-15 debuted in Thailand on 08 October. The naked streetfighter version of the Yamaha R15 V3.0 was spied testing in India for the first time, earlier this week. The 2019 Yamaha MT-15 features updated mechanicals and entirely new aesthetics.
A report dated 23 October speculated that the 2019 Yamaha MT-15 will be launched in the country this year, and the recent test mule spotting is further proof to it. The Indian-spec model will feature conventional telescopic forks at the front and a box-type swingarm instead of an aluminium unit in the global model. The bike will run on MRF Revz tyres.
The 2019 Yamaha MT-15 employs a 155 cc, 4-valve SOHC, liquid-cooled engine with VVA tech. This engine is mated to a slipper-clutch assisted 6-speed gearbox. The motor packs 19.1 PS of power and 14.8 Nm of peak torque. The Yamaha MT-15 is likely to cost around INR 1.25 lakh (ex-showroom). It will compete with the likes of KTM 125 Duke, Bajaj Pulsar NS200, and the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V.
The Benelli 302S will replace the Benelli TNT 300 in the global as well as the domestic market. While an exact launch timeline is unknown, the 302S is part of Benelli's product offensive for India under its new partnership with Mahavir Group.
The Benelli 302S features new styling and updated equipment list. The motorcycle receives new LED headlights with DRLs, fully-digital instrument console, and redesigned fuel tank and tail section. However, it employs the same steel trellis chassis.
Powering the Benelli 302S is a 300 cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled motor with fuel-injection that is paired with a six-speed transmission. The engine packs 38.26 bhp of maximum power and 26.5 Nm of peak torque. The Benelli 302S is likely to be priced around 3.60 lakh (ex-showroom).
The Kawasaki Z400 debuted in November at the EICMA 2018 in Milan, Italy. The Z400 is the naked version of the Kawasaki Ninja 400. While Kawasaki is yet to officially confirm the launch of the Z400 in India, we can expect it to be introduced by mid-2019. The company launched the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R earlier this week, while the bookings for the 2019 Kawasaki Versys 1000 are underway.
The Kawasaki Z400 features the Sugomi design philosophy that incorporates sharp cuts and creases and muscular styling. The motorcycle features a full-LED headlamp and a digital instrument cluster. The overall design is identical to the Kawasaki Ninja 400; however, the naked model differentiates itself from the fully-faired sibling with the bikini fairing and extended tank scoops.
Unlike the European model, the 399 cc parallel-twin motor on the India-spec Kawasaki Z400 will produce 49 PS of power and 38 Nm of peak torque. It will be paired with a six-speed gearbox. We expect the Kawasaki Z400 to cost around INR 4 lakh (ex-showroom).
Bajaj Pulsar 250
A 26 December report suggests that the Bajaj Pulsar 250 is under development. The motorcycle will reportedly be based on the KTM 250 Duke’s platform and scheduled to be launched by mid-2020. Like the Pulsar NS 200 and the Dominar 400, the Pulsar 250 will share its engine with the 250 Duke.
The Bajaj Pulsar 250 will be the flagship offering in the Pulsar family. It will be underpinned by a pressed steel perimeter frame and a box-type swingarm. Suspension duties are likely to be taken care by conventional telescopic forks up front and a gas-charged mono-shock at the back. The Pulsar 250 will feature sporty design, which will be an evolution of the Pulsar NS 200 and the Dominar 400.
The 248.8 cc engine of the Bajaj Pulsar 250 will feature liquid-cooling and 4-valve setup. The fuel injected motor produces 30 PS of power and 24 Nm of torque in the KTM 250 Duke, but in this model, it will have a slightly lower tuning. The motorcycle could feature dual-channel ABS, fully-digital instrument cluster and LED lighting all around.
Hero MotoCorp is reportedly working on the production-spec version of the Hero XF3R Concept. The launch could take place by mid-2020. The XF3R Concept debuted at the Auto Expo 2016. The company is presently working on introducing three new motorcycles on the 200 cc platform.
The production Hero XF3R will pack an all-new 300 cc liquid-cooled, 4-valve, fuel injected motor that will be paired with a 6-speed transmission. The motorcycle will feature equipment like LED headlight and taillight, USD front forks, digital speedometer and dual-channel ABS.
The production-spec Hero XF3R is likely to retail around INR 2 lakh (ex-showroom). The XF3R will compete with the Bajaj Dominar 400, KTM 250 Duke and BMW G 310 R among others.
KTM 490 Duke
KTM CEO, Mr Stefan Pierer, confirmed in December that the company is developing an all-new 500 cc twin-cylinder motor that will power its range of mid-capacity motorcycle. The bikes based on the parallel-twin engine will be manufactured in India and be exported to global markets.
It is expected that the first bike to be based on this new engine platform will be a naked roadster, followed by a supersport, and finally an adventure tourer. According to KTM's naming convention, the motorcycle is likely to be named 'KTM 490 Duke'. We can expect the bike to be launched by late 2020.
While it’s too early to talk about the engine specifications, we can expect the motor to pack liquid cooling, 4-valve DOHC layout and fuel injection. Features could include multiple riding modes and traction control, in addition to ride-by-wire throttle, LCD instrument console, LED headlamps and dual-channel ABS.
Suzuki's partner in China, Haojue, showcased the DR300 in October at the Chongqing Mobo Fair 2018. According to an April 2018 report, the Haojue DR300 will debut as the Suzuki GSX-S300 in the Japanese bike maker's global markets. In fact, the styling of the DR300 is heavily inspired by the Suzuki GSX-S750.
Suzuki has two different range of nakedmmotorcycles, Gixxer and GSX - across various engine capacities. While the Gixxer series is more cost effective with conventional components, the GSX range is the flagship offering with advanced engines and sophisticated equipment.
The company lacks a premium offering in the entry-level performance motorcycle segment, and the Suzuki GSX-S300 will be the right bike to compete with the likes of KTM 390 Duke, Bajaj Dominar 400 and the BMW G 310 R. The GSX-S300 (Haojue DR300) features LED headlights, inverted front forks, dual-channel ABS and much more as part of the standard equipment. The motorcycle employs a 298cc parallel-twin, liquid-cooled motor that is mated to a 6-speed transmission.