The year 2019 will witness some hot action in the performance motorcycling space, where some most-awaited bikes are scheduled for launch this year. Enthusiasts have waited for some of these machines for too long and their prayers should finally be answered. These upcoming motorcycles will cater to a diverse crowd, where there will be something for everyone. Let’s take a look at the Top 8.
The first in the list is a surprise that was announced recently. To be launched on the 8th of February, 2019, the Honda CB300 will be the bike maker’s first mass-market performance offering in years. To be imported in India in a CKD form, the bike will be assembled before it goes on sale under the INR 2.5 lakh mark. Introducing Honda’s Neo Sports Cafe design to the Indian audience, the CB300 will be powered by a 286cc, DOHC, liquid-cooled, single cylinder engine which cranks out 30.9 bhp @ 8,500rpm, with peak torque of 27.5 Nm, delivered @ 7,500rpm. Mated to a 6-speed gearbox, the CB300R will cover 0-200m in 9.2s.
After countless delays, the Hero Xpulse 200 and 200T should go on sale in the month of March 2019. Vying for the most affordable adventure bike tag, the touring-focused Hero Xpulse 200T will be priced slightly above the INR 1 lakh mark when it goes on sale. On the other hand, the ADV-spec Xpulse 200 will ask for a little more than its tarmac-happy sibling. Powering both the bikes is an in-house developed 200 cc motor which made its debut with the Xtreme 200. The single-cylinder, air-cooled engine is good for 18.4 PS, cranks out 17 Nm of torque and comes paired with a 5-speed gearbox.
Bajaj’s flagship motorcycle is nearly ready for launch with its brand new updates. The 2019 Bajaj Dominar 400 gets revised ergonomics to keep the rider more comfortable for longer distances, gets USD front forks, a radially mounted front disc brake, a secondary display above the fuel tank lid, a new double-decker exhaust system and some updates to the engine which should make the power delivery smoother and vibration-free. It is being said that the updated bike could be more powerful and faster than the outgoing version and the motor could employ a DOHC setup, along with ride-by-wire among other things. The updated Dominar should go on sale in Q1, 2019 at a marginally higher price than what the existing bike asks for.
Countless Yamaha fans were expecting this motorcycle to launch alongside the Yamaha FZ Version 3.0. The disappointment grew further when the bike maker launched the FZ with its power figure unchanged. However, Yamaha seems to be playing it smart and will be filling the gap between the YZF R15 and their FZ with the MT-15. A naked version of the R15, the MT-15 is tipped for launch on March 15th, 2019. However, like the fully-faired 150 cc motorcycle, the naked will be introduced with telescopic forks and an uncomplicated rear swingarm, unlike the international version sold elsewhere.
For years, enthusiasts have awaited the launch of this motorcycle, which has now finally moved into the road-testing phase of development. A genuine alternative to the Royal Enfield Himalayan, the KTM Adventure 390 will be powered by the same motor which powers the Duke 390 and the RC, however, in a different state of tune which will be more adventure motorcycling friendly. In terms of kit, test mules have been spotted running alloy wheels, which has caused some disappointment. But hey, it could be offered with spoke wheels as an option. If if it’s not, it’s not a big change for a DIY job. Expect this motorcycle to arrive towards the end of this year or even earlier if KTM has planned a surprise.
Available internationally, for 2019, the Yamaha R3 gets new body panels which are more aerodynamic, better suspension, and revised ergonomics. The result? Even with the same mechanical components, the 2nd gen R3 is faster in a straight line, offers a sportier riding position and looks the part. Now if only Yamaha doesn’t decide to shortchange us with this edition too and launches it with conventional forks and a price which is the only thing that stands between a smitten buyer and the charming machine.
The Honda CBR 650F has been taken off the bike maker’s India website and could be soon replaced with the CBR 650R, which is a more sportier evolution of the motorcycle. The CBR 650R is a more aggressively styled machine in comparison to its relaxed, yet, fast enough predecessor. In terms of power, the new CBR 650R’s motor is essentially the same as the one which propelled the 650F. However, the 649 cc motor now revs till 12,000 rpm instead of the 11k clicks earlier and makes 95 bhp of power and 64 Nm of torque.
In comparison, the older bike had to do with 85.28 bhp. In terms of kit, the CBR 650R gets an exhaust system which is tuned to sound better, it gets full-LED illumination at the front and back, an LCD display for instrumentation, an assist and slipper clutch, and the motor gets Honda’s Selectable Torque Control which maintains rear wheel traction. Expect the bike to be launched in Q2, 2019 at a price which is slightly higher than the 650F.
This upcoming middleweight adventure-tourer could start something new for the bike maker, which is looking to start afresh in the Indian market. There’s the Royal Enfield Himalayan as the entry-point into this genre of motorcycling and the BMW GS 310 too. But if one wishes to upgrade from there, it’s quite an expensive journey until the likes of the Versys and the V-Strom 650. And that is where the Benelli TRK 502 can slot itself and carve a niche.
To be launched on the 18th of February, 2019, the Benelli TRK 502 will be the bike maker’s first all-new product in India, after the brand’s revival plan for the country was announced last year in partnership with Adishwar Auto Ride. Powering the bike is a 499 cc, liquid cooled parallel-twin good for 47 bhp at 8,500 rpm and 45 Nm of peak torque at 5,000 rpm, channelled to the rear wheel via a 6-speed gearbox.