Year 2014 brought us some really enticing performance motorcycles without a hefty price tag. The year also saw some important launches in the mainstream segment offering more options to the two-wheeler buying people in the categories that really matter for the market. Year 2015 looks extremely promising, and we have already provided you the biggest list of the possible upcoming bikes for India in the coming year. What we also need to do, however, is to look at the year gone by and list down the most important launches witnessed by the market. So here it is, the list of the 10 most important launches in the year 2014. Do let us know if you have a different list, though. Enjoy the read.
KTM RC 390
KTM took the country by storm with every new product. The Austrian two-wheeler major recently shook the affordable performance motorcycle segment with the introduction of the RC390. This fully faired motorcycle, with its 373cc liquid cooled single cylinder engine from the Duke 390 and competitive pricing, was bang on money. RC390 is track focused and has aggressive ergonomics which makes it a fun to ride motorcycle. Rumours are also doing the rounds that the RC series will soon receive slipper clutch further aiding riders perform aggressive downshifts and enjoy that trip up the hill even more.
Engine: 373cc single-cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled engine puts out 43.5PS of power and 35Nm of torque.
Price: Rs 2.05 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
Competitors: Kawasaki Ninja 300, Hyosung GT250R
The KTM RC200 also made its debut along with the RC390. While the design and colour scheme remains similar to the RC390, the major difference between the two is the power-plant and ABS. The RC200, with its relatively lower power output figures and lack of ABS, is targeted to the cost conscious audience who want good performance in the sub-2 lakh INR category. If you can live with fewer horses as compared to the brilliant KTM RC390, the RC200 is just the right motorcycle for you.
Engine: 199.5cc single-cylinder, 4-stroke, liquid cooled engine that produces 25hp of power and 19Nm of torque.
Price: Rs 1.60 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
Competitors: Honda CBR250, Hyosung GT250R
2014, in a way was the year of naked streetfighters and the Kawasaki Z250 is among one of the finest machines in the 250cc category. The Kawasaki Z250 is essentially the naked version of the Ninja 250. With a design borrowed from the Z800, the Z250 looks and feels like a higher capacity motorcycle. And while the Rs 2.99 lakh (ex-showroom) price tag my appear to be steep, what you do get is a unparalleled build quality and a fantastically well-engineered product. Stay tuned for a detailed review in a couple of days.
Engine: 249cc, four-stroke, liquid-cooled and parallel twin-cylinder engine that puts out 32PS of power and 21Nm of torque.
Price: Rs 2.99 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
Competitors: KTM Duke 200/390
Also read; our other lists related to the year 2014-15
- Cars: Top ten Reviews of 2014
- Top 10 premium car reviews by Motoroids in 2014
- Top read Motorcycle reviews in 2014
- Top 10 Premium bike reviews by Motoroids in 2014
- Top 10 bike launches of the year 2014
- Upcoming Bikes 2015: Scooters, Motorcycles and Superbikes coming to India
- Upcoming Cars 2015: Hatchback, Sedan, MPV and SUV launches you should look forward to
Another naked from Kawasaki was the ER-6n. The ER-6n is based on company’s highly acclaimed and successful Ninja 650. The only difference between the two motorcycles is at the front where, instead of Ninja 650’s twin-pod headlight, the ER-6n gets a single piece illumination unit. The absence of the fairing makes it a good city motorcycle however the absence of a windshield would be of concern for the long distance tourer. The ER-6n is also very slightly more peakish in its power delivery as compared to the Ninja 650. Our review of the motorcycle is coming soon
Engine: 649cc parallel twin-cylinder, four-stroke, liquid-cooled and fuel-injected unit producing 71.1bhp of power and 63.7Nm of torque.
Price: Rs 4.78 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi)
Competitors: Hyosung GT650N
Triumph Thunderbird LT
Triumph Motorcycles received a positive response from the Indian audience as the British two-wheeler major continues to grow in the domestic market. The manufacturer expanded its product line up in India by unveiling the premium cruiser from their global range, the Thunderbird LT (Light Touring). The Thunderbird LT will give Triumph Motorcycles a competitive edge within the luxury cruiser segment which is currently dominated by American manufacturer Harley-Davidson.
Engine: Thunderbird LT is powered by a 1,699cc eight-valve DOHC motor that produces 94PS of power and 151Nm of torque.
Price: Rs 15.75 lakh (Ex-showroom Delhi)
Competitors: Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic
Polaris have done wonders to this iconic American cruiser motorcycle brand. The premium motorcycle brand arrived at the Indian shores this year with three products – Chieftain, Chief Vintage and Chief Classic. These three motorcycles share the same chassis and engine and are differentiated by their respective body work and accessories. The retro styling Indian motorcycles assimilate modern tech and present themselves as utterly desirable products. The premium pricing will guarantee an exclusivity factor to the owners.
Engine: The Indian trio is powered by a newly developed 1,811cc Thunder Stroke 111 V-twin engine that produces 139Nm of torque. Horsepower figures are usually not disclosed by American two-wheeler manufacturers.
Price: Rs 25.50-31.99 lakh (Ex-showroom Delhi)
Competitors: Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic, Triumph Thunderbird (Although the price tag is much cheaper, the characteristics of the Thunderbird and Thunderbird LT bring it closer to the Indian line up.)
Harley-Davidson too extended its line up for the Indian audience in 2014 with the introduction of four new motorcycles – Street 750, Breakout, Street Glide Special and CVO Limited. While the latter three are in the premium segment of cruiser motorcycle, the Street 750 is placed in the relatively affordable price range. The Street 750 also won a the heart of the jury and received the prestigious 2015 Indian Motorcycle of the Year award.
Speaking about the other three motorcycles, the Breakout is the latest addition to the Softail family of Harley-Davidson motorcycles. The Street Glide Special, on the other hand, comes equipped with loads of features such as Boom Box 6.5 GT infotainment system, Batwing Fairing with splitstream vent, dual halogen headlamp, enforcer cast aluminium wheels and Reflexes linked brakes with ABS to name a few. Lastly, the Custom Vehicles Operations (CVO) motorcycles, which are limited edition hand-crafted originals, push every boundary of style, luxury and performance and promise the ultimate custom ride experience to the owners.
Price: Rs 4.27-49.23 lakh (Ex-showroom Delhi)
Competitors: Indian Chief Vintage, Triumph Thunderbird LT
Hero MotoCorp Splendor Pro Classic
With the competition in the 100cc segment on the rise, it was high time for Hero MotoCorp to introduce something appealing in the Indian market. Hence, the two-wheeler major created a new variant of its highest selling motorcycle, the Splendor. But this is not just another Splendor with slightly different graphics. The new Splendor Pro Classic dons a cafe racer styling but with the tried and tested 100cc engine from the Hero family. The motorcycle is one of the finest looking 100cc motorcycle in the Indian two-wheeler market today. You really have to see it in the flesh to realize that it’s not as bad a product as some people would make you believe it is.
Engine: The 97.2 cc, air cooled, 4 – stroke single cylinder OHC engine produces 8.36 PS of power at 8,000 rpm and 8.05 Nm of torque at 5,000 rpm.
Price: Rs 44,150 (Basic Variant) and Rs 47,750 (Self Start) (Ex-showroom Delhi)
Competitors: Most of the 100cc motorcycles
Yamaha FZ/Fazer Version 2.0
The 150-180cc segment in the Indian two-wheeler market is very crucial and Yamaha understands the importance of keeping up with changing times. Hence, the Japanese two-wheeler major revamped its FZ series and the Fazer for 2014. The 2014 upgrade witnessed the introduction of fuel injection along with a slew of cosmetic upgrades. The new motorcycle receives a slightly under powered engine but it also comes with lower kerb weight. The Yamaha FZ16 and FZ-S and the semi-faired Fazer version 2.0 received mixed response from the audience. While some appreciated the fuel injection and cosmetic upgrades, others were disappointed with the slightly lower power figures.
Engine: The 149cc engine has been tweaked to produce 13.1PS at 8,000rpm and the slightly lower overall torque 12.8Nm at 6,000rpm.
Price: Rs 81,250 (Ex-showroom Delhi)
Competitors: Suzuki Gixxer 155, Honda Unicorn 160, Hero Xtreme Sport.
Honda CB Unicorn 160
The Honda CB Unicorn 160 was the surprise of the year. The original workhorse from Honda, the 150cc CB Unicorn received a major overhaul in the last few days of this year comprising of a slightly higher 163cc power plant with Honda Eco Technology (HET). The new CB Unicorn gets a slightly beefier appearance to appeal to a younger audience. The motorcycle also receives Honda’s Combi-Brake System (CBS) which is claimed to have improved the braking significantly.
Engine: The 163cc engine with Honda Eco Technology (HET) produces 14.7PS at 8,000rpm and 14Nm of torque at 6,000rpm.
Price: Rs 69,350 (standard variant) and Rs 74,414 (CBS variant) (Ex-showroom, Delhi)
Competitors: Suzuki Gixxer 155, Yamaha FZ series Version 2.0, Hero Xtreme Sport.
Suzuki Gixxer 155
The Suzuki Gixxer 155 grabbed quite some attention at the 2014 Auto Expo, not only because of modern day styling, but also because of the nomenclature. The term Gixxer was originally used for the litre-class Suzuki GSX R1000 motorcycle which was one of the leaders of the supersport motorcycle pack. So does it do justice to the name? Read the answers in our review.
Engine: The Suzuki Gixxer 155 comes with a 154.9cc single-cylinder air-cooled four-stroke engine that produces 14.8PS of power at 8,000 RPM and 14Nm of torque at 6,000 RPM.
Price: Rs 76,280 (Ex-showroom, Delhi)
Competitors: Yamaha FZ series Version 2.0, Honda CB Unicorn 160, Hero Xtreme Sport.
If you think that 2014 was action packed then 2015 will definitely blow you off! Here is a list of motorcycles that are likely to land on Indian shores in 2015. Do let us know your thoughts and opinions through comments below.