Another year has gone by, 2016 is here, time for new launches and face lifts of bikes in the current lineup. With rise of competition and wide choice in many key segments, companies need to constantly refresh their products and also introduce new ones to remain competitive. With many segments like commuters to performance bikes all coming under the 200 cc capacity you get lots of options if you are looking at something in this engine class.
Here are a list of some upcoming bikes heading to the showrooms in 2016:
1) Mahindra Arro
Mahindra’s two wheelers are a relatively new entry to the segment but they have carved a little niche for themselves in the market through products with unique features. Arro will join the Centuro and Pantero and will be Mahindra’s most affordable motorcycle in the lineup, powered by the same 106.7 cc engine making about 8 bhp and similar torque figures.
Since its a commuter bike, the design won’t have the flamboyance of the Centuro with gold fins and will be along the lines of the Pantero, sporting a single headlamp with a chrome lip. A long comfortable seat and front telescopic forks/rear dual shocks suspension setup should cushion your backside. Instrument cluster will be a traditional dual meter unit and round rearview mirrors in black. Alloy wheels should also be available as an option. This should be an interesting option from Mahindra in the commuter bike segment though the traditional looks might be questionable.
2) Honda NXR 160
On road off road bikes have a base in our market but so far we haven’t seen anything significant launched in this segment except for the Impulse, which Hero hasn’t updated for over three years, despite owners clamoring for a more powerful engine. Honda will soon launch the NXR 160, offering existing Impulse owners a choice and also attract new buyers to this appealing and practical segment.
Powered by the same engine as the Hornet, but tuned for more torque to help it out through the rougher situations, the 162cc single cylinder engine should provide ample power for drive-ability in the city too. 180 mm telescopic front forks and 150.3 mm mono-shock rear suspension coupled to a clearance of 247 mm should help you explore the off beaten track without any damage to the bike. Rear disc brake will also be available as an option. It will be an interesting option out of the many upcoming bikes.
3) Yamaha R15 V3.0
Yamaha’s R15 defined the performance bike segment, sure people will say its low on power and has a small engine when compared to its rivals but for sheer dynamics and handling its still the leader in the group. Two iterations of the bike have come and its time for the third update, Version three. But how can you improve something already good without raising the price too much.
One of the main requests by owners and enthusiasts would be for more power, with a larger engine. A more comfortable riding position and a louder better looking exhaust without the plastic shrouds would also be welcome. Optional ABS and more stylish LED side indicators would add a nice touch to the bike. Softer cushioning for the seats and something less embarrassing (the strap) for the rear pillion to hang on would be nice. Also a better looking sari guard too.
4) Benelli TNT 15
Benelli is one of the oldest Italian motorcycle manufacturers and is now on the comeback trail after a lot of financial problems. After entering the Indian market last to last December, DSK and Benelli have brought all its big guns and now its the turn for the midgets to share the limelight. TNT 25 being launched, now its the turn of the T 15 the most affordable of the lot.
The Benelli TNT 15 is powered by a 148cc, single-cylinder air-cooled engine paired to a 5-speed gearbox. Its Italian, so even a 150 cc bike will have its quirks, as seen on the matching fins beside the fuel tank and engine bay. Rear is also sleek as can be seen in the sharp side indicators and bulbous brake lamp. This will be the first Benelli to be made in India so the bike can be priced competitively. And when it comes, the TNT 15 will be a good option for those looking for a cool bike without breaking the bank.
5) Hero Xtreme 200
From its launch in 2013, the Xtreme was a nicely rounded 150 cc motorcycle with Hero’s trademark reliability. But with no updates for the past three years, its rivals, chiefly the TVS Apache have gone ahead with better performance and a larger engine. And now Hero has given the bike a shot in the arm with a new engine and other capable hardware.
The Hero Xtreme 200 as the name suggests gets a 200 cc engine developing about 18 bhp of power and around the same torque figures. Paired to a five speed gearbox, the Xtreme 200 now has a diamond type chassis thus making it more rigid. A new rear mono-shock and optional ABS are the final touches for the new bike. Now the conservative looks might not be the selling point of this bike as its competitors like the Bajaj 200 NS and Apache look better. But the Xtreme 200 will be priced well, undercutting its rivals while offering performance at the same level.
6) Bajaj 180 NS
The 150 to 180 cc bike segment is a crucial one for manufacturers as its a high volume one and the customers have tall demands of good performance as well as decent mileage offering good ride comfort too. Bajaj had ruled this segment with the Pulsars available in two engine options, but they are now long in tooth and need an update to keep in touch with its rivals from Yamaha, Suzuki, TVS etc.
With the AS150 already on sale, what Bajaj might launch will be a model that will lose the raked wind shield, and the fairing. What you will end up will be a 200NS lookalike with a smaller engine, maybe an updated version of the 180 cc engine with a projector headlamp. There will be some cosmetic changes like new light designs at the front and back and a typical analogue digital instrument console. We have to wait and see what else Bajaj has in store for us with this and other upcoming bikes.
7) Hero Splendor iSMART 110
Hero is getting ahead of the future hybrid race in two wheelers by launching the second iteration of Hero Splendor iSmart and the soon to launch Hero Duet-e electric scooter. The first iSmart was powered by a 97 cc engine and had a start/stop system that worked by cutting off the engine when in neutral idling for ten seconds and restarted by using the clutch. This is the bikemaker’s homage to the first four-stroke 100cc bike launched in the ’80s – the Hero Honda CD100, that
The Splendor iSmart 110 is powered by an air-cooled, single-cylinder, 4-stroke 110cc engine. The engine is mated to a 4-speed gearbox. n the promos shown today for the Hero Splendor iSmart 110, it was mentioned that you need to “fill it, shut it and forget it.” That is the bikemaker’s homage to the first four-stroke 100cc bike launched in the ’80s – the Hero Honda CD100, in a way. That marketing tag line and the bike’s fuel efficiency catapulted the CD100 to a bestseller and even in later years, the Hero Splendor was based on the same engine of the CD100. The success of that engine along with that of the Splendor contributed to Hero becoming the largest two-wheeler manufacturer in the world.
8) Bajaj V Bike
Smart marketing is a good way getting your products to sell and that’s what Bajaj has done with the V15 bike, by tapping into India’s military heritage. And what better than one of India’s crown jewel, the INS Vikrant, the first aircraft carrier inducted into our navy. Its Bajaj’s way of showing tribute for the key role she played in many battles after being ignominiously scrapped in 2014.
Apparently Bajaj is currently weighing its options on extending the brand to other segments after evaluating the success of the V15 bike. There is no shortage for metal from the Vikrant so that won’t be an issue. The new bike can sport a 100 to 125 cc engine or a larger engine above 150 cc mill depending on feedback from the buyers, whether they require more power or more mileage. We can expect the V lineup to feature other models soon and will be among one of the upcoming bikes to watch out.
9) Honda CB Unicorn 150
Introduced in 2005, the Unicorn still has a dedicated fan following with owners and riders swearing on its perfect balance of ride comfort, handling and performance. The bike is butter smooth when cruising with very few vibrations and has a refined engine that you might miss being on at idle. Updated iterations of the Unicorn, didn’t enjoy the same love as the original had and this finally prompted Honda to re introduce it.
Unicorn 150 will have no changes to it and will be powered by the time tested 149.1cc single cylinder motor outputting about 13 hp and 12 Nm of power and torque respectively. The mono shock rear setup (one of the first to be introduced on a bike in India) and the five speed gearbox are also a carry over.