India's commuter bike segment might have felt a bit ignored at the recently concluded Auto Expo 2014, with most manufacturers choosing to attack the higher end of the market. However, IAB has picked out 10 bikes that you can look forward to in 2014 all under 250 cc.
Hero Splendor Pro Classic
Hero shocked everybody a little with the Splendor Pro Classic cafe racer at the Auto Expo 2014.
The bike features the same engine as the regular Splendor - one of the largest selling commuter bikes in India. Power comes from the same 97.2 cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine that does duty on the Splendor Pro. This unit develops 7.7 hp and 8.94 Nm of torque and is mated to a four-speed gearbox.
Hero has revealed that the Splendor Pro Classic cafe racer would be launched before the end of March 2014.
Mahindra Centuro (With Disc Brake)
Mahindra's successful city runabout, the Centuro, had crossed 1 lakh units in sales recently.
The manufacturer had already launched a cut-price version of the Centuro, the Centuro N1 last month. At the Auto Expo 2014, the Centuro was displayed for the first time with a disc brake, that the company said would cost between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000 more than the regular Centuro.
Mahindra had said that during the Auto Expo that the Centuro with its disc brake would be launched "within the next few months."
Hero Xtreme Sports
Hero had showcased the Xtreme Sports much before the Auto Expo 2014 began.
The Xtreme Sports gets an air-cooled, four-stroke, single-cylinder, 149.2 cc engine which produces 15.2 bhp at 8,500 rpm and 12.8 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm. The transmission is a 5-speed unit. A 240 mm disc brake is standard at the front, with the rear getting an option between a drum brake or a 220 mm disc brake.
Hero Motocorp has confirmed to us that the Hero Xtreme Sports would be launched before the end of August 2014.
The Suzuki Gixxer is the first affordable bike set to be launched in the market by Suzuki since the 110 cc Hayate.
The Gixxer gets a single-cylinder 155 cc carburetter-fed engine, for which the company hasn’t released performance figures. However, the digital tachometer shows a 12,000 rpm rev band with the red line starting at 9,500 rpm. The bike gets disc brakes as standard at the front, while the rear gets a drum brake.
Suzuki has confirmed that the Gixxer would be launched before the end of August, 2014.
The TVS Victor name will make a comeback soon to India.
The TVS Victor was one of the best-selling models for the company before it was discontinued in 2008. However, TVS has confirmed to us that the Victor would be launched before the end of 2014.
Little else is known about the bike, other than TVS informing us that the Victor will be underpinned by the same platform doing duty on the TVS Phoenix 125.
Yamaha R15 v3.0
Yamaha had recently announced that it would shift its focus from scooters to motorcycles in India.
The Yamaha R15 v3.0 might just be the first product of that focus as our sources have confirmed to us that the new R15 would be launched before the end of 2014.
Currently, the R15 is powered by a 149.8 cc single-cylinder engine that makes 17 PS and peak torque of 15 Nm. We expect the new version to retain the same engine, with a boost on performance figures.
Hero Passion Pro TR
The Hero Passion Pro TR was showcased at the Auto Expo 2014 as a part-off-roader for youngsters.
The Passion Pro TR gets chunky tyres that give the bike a ground clearance of 165 mm. It is powered by the same 97.2 cc engine on the Splendor Pro Classic cafe racer and the Splendor Pro.
The Passion Pro TR has been confirmed to launch before the end of March 2014.
Shown only as a concept so far, both in Japan and at the recently concluded Auto Expo 2014, the Yamaha R25 is a successor to the R15.
It will not replace the R15, but will stand as a more powerful sibling. Yamaha hasn't disclosed details about the engine for the R25, just said that it would be a newly-developed, liquid-cooled, four-stroke, 250cc, in-line two-cylinder, fuel-injected engine. The drive will be transferred via a 6-speed gearbox.
We expect the R25 to enter into production soon as the concept shown at the Auto Expo was extremely close to a production version.
UM Global has revealed plans to launch four new bikes for India. The bikes will be assembled, as of now, in partnership with a yet to be disclosed Indian manufacturer. The American bike maker has maintained that even though it starts with assembling the bikes here, there would be constantly increasing levels of localisation.
The UM Renegade Sport has been confirmed for India in two avatars - a 223 cc version and a 200 cc version. The 200 cc variant features an air-cooled single-cylinder engine that develops a 15.22 hp and peak torque of 14.67 Nm. The bike weighs just 110 kg. The 223 cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine develops 18 hp and peak torque of 15.5 Nm.
Two other models, the Renegade Commando and the Renegade Limited edition, are also planned. Both the Renegade Commando and the Renegade Limited get the same 223 cc engine as above.
New Yamaha FZ-S
The FZ-S was showcased as a concept at the Auto Expo 2014 in an icy blue avatar.
The concept also sported a dual-tone colour with special body graphics. An air-mounted inlet right before the fuel tank and a modified exhaust, along with a newly designed rear mudguard and a fresh taillight cluster were seen.
There hasn't been any confirmation as to when the FZ-S will be launched, but given that the current FZ-S is up for a refresh, we expect the update to come before the end of 2014.
TVS Star City+
The TVS Star City+ was unveiled at the Auto Expo 2014.
The bike gets the same 110 cc EcoThrust engine from the TVS Jupiter, on which the four-stroke, air-cooled, single-cylinder engine produces 8 hp and has a peak torque of 8 Nm. We expect this engine to be retuned in order to extract more power for the Star City+.
TVS has confirmed to us that the Star City+ would be launched before the end of April 2014.