Every day, we answer a tonne of questions about motorcycles which aren’t on sale in India but are already available elsewhere or are rumoured to be under development. Interestingly, almost all of these bikes belong to the affordable performance motorcycling segment.
Some of these are already available in some South-east Asian markets, some are concepts which have been showcased by Indian manufacturers in the past and some are those which we’ve only heard about and are yet to see one in flesh. Here are eight such rumoured, uncertain and upcoming bike launches India is really excited about:
TVS’ first-ever cruiser-styled motorcycle, the Zeppelin was first showcased as a thoroughly modern machine at the Auto Expo 2018. Styled to please, the bike in its concept form boasted about a 220cc hybrid powertrain which was paired with an integrated starter generator which could also boost performance when called for. A 1200W regenerative assist motor and a 48V Li-ion battery were also part of the powertrain. It was even fitted with an action camera to record rides and top-notch cycle parts. Expected to arrive in production form next year, the Zeppelin could be powered by the same engine as the RTR 200 4V and come fitted with gadgets which could be borrowed from the Apaches
Honda CB150R ExMotion
A motorcycle which follows the maker’s Neo Sports Cafe design, the CB150R ExMotion is a looker by all standards. A little bit of retro, mixed with a lot of modern minimalism has made this motorcycle reserve a special spot in the Indian biker’s wishlist. With the 150cc space now divided in commuter and premium classes, this Honda could slug it out with the likes of the Yamaha MT-15. Powered by a liquid-cooled 150cc motor which is mated to a 6-speed box, the engine’s output numbers haven’t been officially disclosed on Honda’s Thai website. However, it packs top hardware and looks really yummy.
A retro-styled Yamaha which shares quite a lot of mechanical components with the R15, the Yamaha XSR155’s simple appeal has charmed many in India. An R15 underneath, the XSR155 is based on the Thai-spec MT-15, which unlike India, gets inverted front forks and an aluminium swingarm. Underneath the round LED headlamp, the quilted saddle, and the old-school design of that fuel tank, the XSR155 is built around the same Deltabox frame which has made the R15 such a darling.
Aprilia RS 150
Prior to the Auto Expo 2020, when Piaggio India announced that they will introduce us to a new performance-oriented machine, many thought it would be nothing else but the RS 150. Like all those expectations vs reality memes then, what we got was the SXR 160 scooter. We’re still hopeful that this machine could be introduced here in the future and for how it looks and how Aprilia makes its bikes, it could challenge the Yamaha R15’s dominance.
Bajaj Pulsar 400
Now that the Dominar is powered by an upgraded version of the 373cc motor and comes fitted with things like USD forks and a few more things, maybe its time Bajaj gave us a faired version. It is also time for them to pump some excitement back into a performance brand like Pulsar, which has been busy pleasing the 125cc and 150cc crowd. Nothing wrong with that, but we’d like to see a bike which adds more fast energy to the brand’s appeal.
Royal Enfield Himalayan 650
Ever since Royal Enfield introduced their 650cc twin-cylinder engine to the world, everyone’s been adding two plus two to conclude that a 650 cc Himalayan 650 is just around the corner. There’s no news about it, no spy pictures, but only hearsay. Someone who knows what’s happening with upcoming products at RE even told us that there is no such bike in the works and the next Himalayan will be powered by an all-new but single-cylinder engine. We hope he’s wrong. Truth be told, these guys mostly have a good laugh at the office at the expense of our imagination. Until someone’s guess hits the bullseye.
Now that we’ve bid our goodbyes to the CBR 250R and its white hair, and the CB300R is yet to be upgraded to meet BS6 norms, there’s no performance-oriented affordable Honda on sale in India right now. The latter could be re-introduced in an upgraded form. Honda fans in our country really adore the new quarter-litre machine, however, for what it is, we don’t think it’ll make it here. If it does somehow, the twin-cylinder bike won’t be priced to tempt.
Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R
What is arguably the most exciting motorcycle of the decade, the Kawasaki Ninja ZX-25R has revived the charm of small-capacity, four-cylinder engines. Although for the kind of technology and equipment it packs, even if Kawasaki decides to allocate a few units for India, the joy won’t come cheap.