Motorcycling on a budget? Here are your new options for 2019
Motorcycling in India has stepped up a few gears in the last couple of years with the Rs 1 lakh – Rs 1.5 lakh segment being one of the hottest prospects in this day and age. We have the likes of the Yamaha R15 v3, the Bajaj Pulsar 200 twins, the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V and the newly launched KTM 125 Duke contesting for glory in this price point. Plus, the Indian buyer is not shy to spend slightly more and get something like a Bajaj Dominar 400. So, what all can you expect to arrive in the under Rs 2 lakh bracket this year? Here’s the list.
Although we were slightly disappointed with Yamaha not bringing the international-spec R15 to India (ours has a sub-par parts quality and misses out on USD fork), one could not take away from the dynamic prowess of the small supersport. For 2019, Yamaha is gearing up to offer the R15’s naked sibling in India, the MT-15. The motorcycle was shown as the Hyper Slaz concept at the 2018 Auto Expo and the naked bike has been on sale in various ASEAN markets for a while now.
While we expect this MT-15 to also miss out on USD forks, we are sure that this bike will retain the good bits from the R15, including the new 155cc mill with VVA (Variable Valve Actuation), an improved Deltabox chassis and the optional rear Metzeler rubber. And with that alien-esque styling, the MT-15 looks killer as well. Expect it to be priced around Rs 1.25 lakh, which is at a slight premium over the KTM 125 Duke.
XPulse 200 Twins
The spiritual successor to the Impulse, we’ve been waiting for Hero to launch the Xpulse 200 for quite some time. First showcased at EICMA 2017, the XPulse 200 clearly showcased the path that Hero would undertake in the future. However, almost a year down and we are still nowhere close to knowing a launch date. We are still pumped nevertheless. Why?
Firstly, it is an adventure motorcycle on a budget. There is bound to be excitement around the product. Plus, it is a follow-up to the Impulse. And more importantly, it puts Hero’s Dakar experience on to the road as their star rider C S Santosh has given his inputs as to how to maximise the motorcycle’s potential. Also, there is going to be a road-biased version of the XPulse as well, called the XPulse 200T, which makes use of 17-inch alloys at both ends. Hero has said that both the XPulse 200 and the 200T will be launched together sometime in the latter half of this month or the next. Hero has been competitive with its pricing strategy and we expect them to do the same with the XPulse as well. The XPulse 200 is likely to be priced around Rs 1.2 lakh, while it’s road-going sibling could be priced around Rs 10,000 lesser.
UM DSR Adventure 200
This was a pleasant surprise as UM Motorcycles announced its plans of introducing an adventure motorcycle for India in 2019. A few spy shots of the bike from a dealer meet, which was recently held at the company’s Indian HQ, have emerged on the internet. The motorcycle will be called the DSR Adventure 200 and it is likely to be priced at Rs 1.39 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi). It gets a small 196cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled motor equipped with a carburettor. 16.2PS and 16Nm on paper means it will have decent performance but not something worth shouting about. Thankfully, it gets a 6-speed gearbox, which should aid its efficiency.
Hero Karizma 200
This came as a bit of a surprise as we got to know that Hero MotoCorp is working on a fully faired motorcycle using its 200cc motor as a base. The Xtreme 200R was the first motorcycle to be launched on this platform and the aforementioned XPulse 200 twins are next in line. The Karizma 200 is still under development, but our sources say that Hero is pushing for a launch prior to the end of 2019. Could it carry the famed Karizma name? We’ll have to wait and find out.
What we’ve come to know though is that the Xtreme’s motor will be tuned differently and will appear in a racier avatar. It will also get fuel-injection and comply with BSVI norms. Even the mechanical elements will be the same as the Xtreme 200R. How much of a premium will it be over the Xtreme? Factor in the cost of extra plastics as well as fuel injection, we expect the new bike to be priced around Rs 1.15 lakh.
Suzuki Gixxer 250
Suzuki has seen Yamaha reap benefits from its no-frills, simple 250cc naked motorcycle. The former has been working on a similar form of a motorcycle and if rumours are to be believed, they will be launching the bike perhaps in March this year. The motorcycle will have its styling and mechanicals derived from the baby Gixxer, but this one will be beefer and sportier in comparison. A spy shot of the engine patent was seen and that has reconfirmed our suspicions of the development of this particular motorcycle. Will we also get a Gixxer 250 SF? Only time will tell.
Bajaj Dominar 400
Bajaj’s flagship motorcycle will receive a considerable revamp in 2019 as the Dominar 400 aims to become a more premium product than what it already is. It will get a USD fork, dual consoles and perhaps a BSVI-ready motor as well. It’ll also be more in line with the CS 400 concept that Bajaj Auto had shown in 2014. Prices are likely to go up by Rs 20,000 and that means the new Dominar 400 will be priced around the Rs 1.8 lakh mark.
Royal Enfield Trials 350
We have already seen spy shots of Royal Enfield testing a scrambler version of its Classic 500 and it could perhaps replicate the same with the 350 platform. The scrambler features a single seat, upswept exhaust, knobby tyres and a more commanding, upright riding posture, which should work well when standing on the pegs. There is a good likelihood it will be called the Trials 350 as the name has been profound in Royal Enfield’s rich heritage. Expect the Trials 350 to be priced quite close to the Classic 350, with just a marginal hike on the new bike.
The resurrection of Jawa has been a massive success. Its future seems to be bright as well as Classic Legends will be lining up the Perak for a late-2019 launch. A bobber at heart, the company has already announced the pricing of the Perak – Rs 1.84 lakh, ex-showroom India. With a larger heart, dual-channel ABS and better components, the Perak is said to be a sportier machine than the Jawa and Forty Two siblings. This is a new direction for the Jawa brand and Classic Legends hopes that it will have enough to propel it forward for the next couple of years.