9 Motorcycles We Are Looking Forward To In 2018

That time of the year just went by when we get a glimpse of some of the most exciting two-wheelers expected to make their way to India. This year’s Tokyo Motor Show as well as EICMA, saw a lot of India-bound two-wheelers. While some are absolutely stunning and we are still drooling over the design, some others have been long time coming. This is our list of motorcycles we are looking forward to swing a leg over, tell us yours in the comments section.

1.    BMW G 310 GS: The Kawasaki Versys X-300 is here, but to the disappointment of most enthusiasts, it is over ambitiously priced. Thankfully, there is another product all set to enter the segment – the BMW G 310 GS. This may be the first time that BMW is attempting a smaller capacity adventure tourer, but when it comes with a GS badge on it, you expect it to be as impressive as its larger siblings. The BMW G 310 GS comes with a 313cc single-cylinder motor that pumps out 33.5bhp and 28Nm. With ergos that stay true to the nature of the motorcycle, the baby GS might just be the ideal motorcycle for our roads.

2.    Hero X-Pulse: Hero MotorCorp isn’t a manufacturer that you’d expect a lot of bold launches from but in 2011 they took experts and enthusiasts by surprise by launching the Impulse. Despite its limitations, the on-off roader was quick to make its way into the hearts of enthusiasts but the 150cc motor just wasn’t punchy enough to make trail rides fun. Hero has heard the plea of moto-maniacs and is all set to bring in the X-Pulse. The company showcased the production-ready concept at EICMA 2017 and the bike is expected to be launched by mid-2018. Details of the X-Pulse are still sketchy, but our guess is it will come with the same engine as the Xtreme 200S. This bike’s peak power will be about 20bhp from the same 200cc single-cylinder that works on the Xtreme 200S. The X-Pulse will be light and to support mild off-roading it will come fitted with a long travel suspension. Expect the Hero X-Pulse to be priced around the Rs 1 lakh mark.

3.    Royal Enfield Interceptor 650: This one too has been a long time coming – the Royal Enfield parallel twin. While most of us expected it to be a 750cc twin pot motor, this one actually displaces 648cc. Royal Enfield says they have done this to make it as usable for a rookie rider as fun it is for a seasoned motorcyclist. In terms of design, the Interceptor 650 stays true to the Royal Enfield’s retro-modern appeal. 174mm of ground clearance, telescopic front forks, dual-channel ABS-equipped brakes and easily manageable dimensions make it the worthy jump from the current crop of RE offerings. We just can’t wait to get our hands on it when it is launched around June 2018.

4.    Kawasaki Ninja 400: At the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show, Kawasaki announced that the Ninja 300 will soon be discontinued, not just from the Indian market but world over. Replacing it will be the new Ninja 400. In terms of power and torque outputs, this one comes closer to the super quick KTM RC390. And to the joy of enthusiasts, it has a parallel-twin motor like the model it replaces – so, better refinement. You see where we are getting at, right? On paper, the new Kawasaki Ninja 400 ticks all the right boxes of an affordable everyday sportsbike. The only arguable aspect of the motorcycle will be its price. Let’s hope that Kawasaki gets it right for this one.

5.    2018 Triumph Tiger: Ever since its global launch in 2010, the Triumph Tiger has got a lot of takers for its dual-purpose character. In India too, since the time of its launch, Triumph has sold more than 800 Tigers. Such is the importance of the adventure-tourer in Triumph’s product portfolio. The all-new Triumph Tiger promises to be better than ever before. With more than 200 new components, the new Tiger 800 promises to be a lot more sophisticated than its predecessor. The heart of the Tiger 800 has been updated too – the triple not only promises to be more refined but now produces 94bhp. Shorter first gear, more features, additional electronic-aid, stiffened chassis and a lot of other focused changes make the Tiger 800 a more capable all-rounder.

6.    Ducati Panigale V4: Boy-oh-boy! This one is sure to be mental – just a quick look at the spec sheet is testimony enough. Producing 211bhp and 124Nm from a MotoGP inspired 1,103cc V4 motor, the Panigale V4 boasts of a power-to-weight ratio of 1080bhp/ton. What’s more, thanks to its new compact and lighter frame, promises better acceleration than its predecessor, the Panigale 1299. Globally, the Panigale V4 will go on sale in three variants – base, S and Speciale and collectively they will be limited to just 1500 units.

7.    Kawasaki Z900RS: The Kawasaki Z900RS is arguably one of the most beautiful motorcycles showcased at the 2017 Tokyo Motor Show. The overall design pays tribute to the old Kawasaki Z1 with its circular headlamps and instrumentation, touches of chrome in small doses, and the tail section. Under the skin it comes with the same engine that powers the Z900 – a 948cc inline-four that pumps out 110bhp and 72.5Nm. To suit the dynamics of the Z900RS, Kawasaki has retuned the motor for better grunt in its low and mid-range. The gear ratios too have been tinkered with – shorter first and taller sixth in comparison to the Z900. When the Kawasaki Z900RS is launched next year, the Triumph Bonneville range will finally have a competitor.

8.    Norton Dominator/Commando: Just two weeks back, Kinetic officially announced that they will be bringing Norton Motorcycles to India. News of this new joint venture first came at EICMA this year, before the official announcement in India. Norton will initially bring motorcycles to India via the CBU route while it sets up a CKD facility in India. Both the motorcycles will be powered by a 961cc producing 79bhp and 90Nm. This partnership marks the entry of a new brand of motorcycles in India.

9.    Benelli Imperiale 400: It looks like Royal Enfield Classic range will finally have a direct competitor in the form of the recently unveiled Benelli Imperiale 400. The retro-styled motorcycle has a clean design that is sure to appeal to Royal Enfield buyers. The Imperiale 400 comes with a 373cc single-cylinder motor that produces 19.7bhp and 28Nm. As you would expect from a motorcycle in this class, the Benelli has focused more on the torque rating than the power output. The engine comes mated to a 5-speed transmission. Benelli clearly has been working on this new offering for a while, and we can’t wait to see how it performs against the might of the Royal Enfield.

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