We are expecting a lot of action in the affordable performance motorcycle scene in 2019. Here’s a list of five such bikes that we just can’t wait to get our hands on.
2018 was a good year for two-wheeler enthusiasts. The year started with the launch of the new TVS Ntorq – a scooter that has changed the game in the 125cc class. Yamaha brought in the YZF-R15 v3.0 which improved on everything that we have loved about the motorcycle. BMW offerings became a lot more accessible thanks to the launch of the G 310 R and the G 310 GS. And finally, to end the year with a lot of excitement, Royal Enfield brought in the twins and the Jawa brand made a comeback.
2019 promises to be equally exciting for moto maniacs with a lot of products expected to be launched at an affordable price. We make a list of 5 motorcycles that we are really looking forward to seeing in the New Year.
1.) KTM 390 Adventure
While the world was expecting KTM to showcase the 390 Adventure at EICMA 2018, there were no such announcements or unveilings from the brand. That being said, KTM has been testing the 390 Adventure in India, and spy shots of the motorcycles have just surfaced earlier this week. If the spy shots are anything to go by, we can expect the ADV to make its India debut in the second half of 2019. Although the 390 Adventure test mule was heavily camouflaged, we could decipher a few design details – follow the link to know more about the motorcycle. Given that the gruelling Dakar Rally forms a huge part of the KTM DNA, the 390 Adventure is sure to be true to its claims. More importantly, a 44-odd-bhp ADV, on paper, seems like a perfect fit for Indian conditions. While it will be able to perform highway duties effectively, it will be light and manageable off the road.
2.) Hero X-Pulse
We loved the Impulse when Hero first launched it, but our only grouse was the limited power it had on offer. Since then enthusiasts have been desperately waiting for a more powerful version. The X-Pulse promises to be that. Hero unveiled two versions of the X-Pulse at EICMA 2018 and both are expected to be launched in India. One of the reasons why we loved the Hero Impulse, and it is likely to remain with the X-Pulse too, is that it is extremely easy on the pocket. Broken parts, falls and damage are a common affair with any motorcycle with an adventure spirit. Since the X-Pulse shares a lot of its cycle parts with the Hero Xtreme 200R, it should be easy to manage and a good motorcycle to learn the basics of adventure touring. More about the Hero X-Pulse here
3.) Jawa Perak:
At the official launch of Jawa, the company showcased another factory-custom Bobber styled offering – Perak. Expected to go on sale around mid-2019, the Perak will be priced at Rs 1.89 lakh (ex-showroom). This makes it the most affordable Bobber styled offering in the country. We saw it at the launch, and let’s just say it looks absolutely fabulous. The matte grey paint scheme, the single seat draped in tan leather and bar-end mirrors all reflect a true-blue Bobber. Although the Perak uses the same motor as the Jawa and the 42, a longer bore ensures that it displaces a marginally higher 332cc. At 30bhp and 31Nm, peak power and torque is also marginally higher. With the kind of quality that Jawa motorcycles promise and that exquisite styling, we are sure that the Perak will find many takers.
4.) Bajaj Triumph Product:
It has been more than a year since Bajaj and Triumph joined. While exact details of the partnership weren’t quite revealed, it is safe to assume that a middle-weight offering may come out of the partnership. While Bajaj syncs the development of the Pulsars with the KTMs, they don’t have any such base to move up the ladder from the Avenger range. Triumph, meanwhile, has the renowned Bonneville range that is universally accepted and loved but the most affordable offering for the brand retails at around Rs 8 lakh. There huge gap in the market middle-weight segment for both these players and that is where they are likely to come together. Speculations aside, Bajaj’s affordability and reach, clubbed with Triumph’s premiumness and reliability is surely a great combination to look forward too, at least on paper.
5.) Yamaha YZF-R3:
We just love the Yamaha YZF-R3 for its friendly, usable and fun nature. The Japanese bikemaker unveiled the 2019 iteration in October and we can’t wait to get our hands on it. To start with, it looks spectacular. The R3’s design is now in line with the rest of the ‘R’ range. Yamaha claims that the M1 inspired fairing helps reduce aerodynamic drag by 7 per cent which in turn results in an increase in top-speed of 8km/h. As opposed to standard telescopic forks up front, the 2019 version will come fitted with upside down ones. Each of these updates bring with it the promise of a better all-round package, one that certainly excites us given our love for the current R3. Here's more about the YZF-R3