What should be the price of the Pulsar 375, KTM Duke 390 and the Honda CB 500?

Cheque

13 might be considered an unlucky figure in various traditions and cultures, but never has been a year filled with such fireworks for the biking enthusiasts. When we say enthusiasts, we don’t mean the ones with deep pockets for whom buying a litre class is as convenient as picking vegetables from the market. In no ways are we disregarding the passion of people who own one, but they belong to a completely different assortment in the Indian biking scenario. The major slice of the pie belongs to buffs for whom higher displacement and more bhp has been a twinkling dream, no matter what their present possession. These have been the very people who have exploited their motorcycle mills to the limit and have treaded paths for the budding bikers to follow.

The fact that a Royal Enfield motorcycle once a pre-determined tool for long distance touring and Himalayan wandering has been obliterated by a breed of saddle-tramps for whom displacement was a mere number and not a geographical restriction. With toddlers like Splendors hitting the highest motorable pass in the world to Pulsars and Karizmas adding to the tally of endurance riding- be it scampering around the Golden Quadrilateral or populating IBA’s certification list with entries from India. Riders who piggy-bank’d their pocket money and ditched their favourite mobile-phone purchase for a much bigger dream. No matter what the displacement- they bought the steeds that could fetch them the max thrills from the money they put down- not to mention the bells and whistles as a bonus. These are exactly the enthusiasts we are talking about!

KTM Duke 390

Back 10 years, the biking population was starved of bikes to choose from. With hardly any options to pick in the performance segment, one couldn’t see beyond a CBZ, Pulsar, Karizma or a Royal Enfield. But there has been a paradigm shift, though very slow but for the better, and much to the joy of the enthusiast. He now has a bigger list to eye and zero on a choice with a wise calculation of the offering vis-à-vis his hard earned rupee. To add to the cheers, there are bigger and better machines out there waiting for their turns to walk the ramp. As for the fireworks referred to at the start, we at Motoroids have been bringing every story that mattered to the Indian biking junta- from glimmers to full-fledged unveilings, if it has been happening around, it has been here. A varied set of wheels is waiting on the other side of the tunnel to hit this side soon.

Bajaj Pulsar 200NS

The KTM Duke 200 was a scorcher in its own right, and the KTM Duke 390 spec-sheet that would spell nothing less than putting a space shuttle between your legs. On a similar bloodline, the Bajaj Pulsar 200NS has been on a parallel war footing with the Duke and would simultaneously push the edges on cubic capacities with the Pulsar 375 in the making albeit at an attractive price. The Honda CBR250R despite its early QC flaws settled down as a suave performer and clicked well with the touring segment. With the new Honda 500s already unveiled at EICMA last year, it’s just a matter of time before it makes to our shores and in three different flavours to cater i.e the CBR500R, the CB500 and the CB500X. The Kawasaki Ninja 250R though placed at a higher price bracket has its own gang of admirers, more so for the impeccable finish that it adorned and the performance that made it the best 250cc ever. The newer Ninja 300R avatar will only add more greenery to the envying competition. And lastly, a brand that might not go well with bikers- Mahindra Motorcycles with their first performance offering, the Mojo 300. Moulded to an odd-ball design, it still has the hardware to stand a bout with the biggies.

2013 Honda 500 motorcycles

Today we take this opportunity to ask the very breed of biking enthusiasts to place their bets on these offerings and what amount of their hard earned money are they willing to put down on their choices. Different people have different notions about their rides- in the end motorcycle is all about emotions. To some the sprocket shattering acceleration of the Duke 390 might appeal at a much lesser price, and others won’t mind shedding a few extra bucks for the relaxed runners in the Honda variants. From the value conscious buyer who’d blindly pay for the appetizing Pulsar 375 to a crowd who’d choose the Mojo just for that exclusivity tag. Or someone, who just loves green so much that others are plain colour blindness.

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300R

From our end, we have done our bit to scale the two ends that we feel fits the price sensitive Indian motorcycle industry. And we want you to tell us what price are you willing to pay for your favourite set of wheels you have been eyeing since it has been making news. Prices might have been announced internationally for some, but the Indian pattern has had its own psychological trend. Hence not necessary that similar pricing strategies may be adopted by manufacturers for the same product being sold on the other side of the world.

Mahindra Mojo 300

So go ahead, place your bid.

Bajaj Pulsar 375                     : Rs.1.50 lacs to Rs.2.00 lacs
KTM Duke 390                        : Rs.1.75 lacs to Rs.3.00 lacs
Honda 500 variants                : Rs.2.50 lacs to Rs.3.50 lacs
Kawasaki Ninja 300R              : Rs.3.00 lacs to Rs.4.00 lacs
Mahindra Mojo 300                : Rs.1.50 lacs to Rs.2.50 lacs

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5 comments

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1

The Ninja 300 @ the same price point and my cheque is ready...!!

2
Anand Krishnan

2013 is certainly going to usher in the new breed of affordable performance for the adrenaline junkies in us. Honda with its array of new models in the 500 CC segment is going to create a new market of enduro / touring enthusiasts who don't like to worry about scraping ascents and large speed breakers.

The Ninja with a fresh engine and even better looks is going to be a killer . It will continue to appeal to the crowd who still wish to have a track focused looker and performer no matter where they ride. The fact remains that much of their rides will be spent in the Indian urban jungle.

Amongst the nakeds, the KTM will just make it better by infusing the 390 steed with phenomenal power to weight ratio available at the flick of the right wrist. It will continue to bully the canyon carvers and the track scorchers no matter what kind of roads or twisties one desires to throw at her. Add to thism a terrific price tag which bajaj is so good at , it will be extremely difficult to say no to this mean machine.

What needs to be seen is how is Yamaha going to up the ante and try to be a game changer with the FZ and R15 in a bigger displacement category.

All in all , its going to pour performance and I would say all are welcome !

3

2013 is the beginning of the Indian motorcyclist enthusiast year. What needs to be seen is how will other Motorcyle manufacturers present in India or not-yet present in India will react to these models listed above. Two years back I did fortell that the Indian Biking scenario will gradually step up from the 250cc segment by 2013-14 and that the 300-600cc segment will be the hottest and most suitable segment (considering the overall infrastructure in the country) for us enthusiast in the country. Many disagreed with me saying that the 250cc segment is just starting to be established in the country, then how can you even think of bigger segments in such a short span of time? . Anyway, I am sure that from here forward, things will get hotter and hotter by the day. So for all those who have not got their piggy banks yet, better start and I'm sure in the next 2 years or so, things in this segment will be very exciting.

4

As for 2013, the KTM Duke390 and the Honda CBR 500 should heat up things. And at 2.5lakhs for the faired Duke and 3.5 lakhs for the CBR500, these two will be the benchmark for all other products to come in this segment. I am a big Ninja fan as well, but the CBU route that this machine is brought to this country does not appeal to me. I don't think its fair that I should use my hard earned savings to pay for something at double the price than the rest of the world does, no matter how good it is. The Mojo, well we still have to see if it still has the same mojo when it went viral across the web space. I do applaud Bajaj for being brave enough and having the heart and ears to hear our cries and pleas and take us motorcycle enthusiast into confidence with his scheme of things. Giving us the Indian Biking Brotherhood (and Sisterhood) the opportunity to experience performance bliss at reasonable an affordable prices. I do hope the Pulsar will retail around 1.5 lakh.

5

Its easy for u and i to say Rs. 2.5 - 3.5 lacs is a good price point for any of the above motorcycles. But how many of us would go out and actually sign on the dotted line? Even if some of us will, that number will still be small.. not enough to bring about a radical change in high capacity bike sales in India, nor big enough to make bike manufacturers to stop concentrating on volume segment and start looking at 250 cc + seriously. IMHO, 2 lacs is a magical figure, anything south of which can give the feeling of immense value for money for Indians (a faired KTM 390 for 1.99 lacs might just make me sell my honda 250 and make me stand at the queue in front of a KTM dealership.)