India is a growing economy and a very big market. We have been touted as the next big stop for ‘automobile companies’. After seeing such potential, every brand now has a store or is planning to open stores. As in any case of business, when there are multiple players there will be a lot of competition. What this has led to is great products with all the boxes ticked for our market. One such fruit that this has given us is the KTM 390 Duke that was crowned bike of the Year 2018.
“This bike is so good that it deserves to be mentioned amongst the Indian idols like Jawa, Yezdi, Bullet, RD 350, RX 100, Pulsar and the R15.”
This motorcycle did what a dad does for his son when he turns 18, he sets the son free for him to fly. Similarly, the Mattighofen bike gave wings to all the bikers who were craving for something that would fill their stomach and yet would keep them wanting for more. This bike is so good that it deserves to be mentioned amongst the Indian idols like Jawa, Yezdi, Bullet, RD 350, RX 100, Pulsar and the R15.
Now that the market is most competitive and the 390 seems like the best with all of its engineering and corporate magic, I am forced to ask what next?
So, which is the bike that is going to topple the mighty Duke? The answer lies in the preparation of the other brands. From TVS to RE all have gone to their drawing boards and we can now see the glimpses of their intentions. Let’s start with TVS and BMW, they joined hands to jointly develop motorcycles. The first bike that has come out is a serious contender, the TVS Apache RR 310. And it looks really nice with the shark inspired styling and the beautifully formed upper T, the setup is also very interesting as they have slanted the engine backwards to free up space for the engine to be moved ahead, so that the swingarm can be elongated without increasing the wheel base resulting in a stable layout with compact dimensions.
Well, all of this is on paper and the real test would have to be how it rides. Another bike which is very interesting and might surprise us is the Ninja 400. With the new bike, comes an upgraded frame with the engine as the stressed member, slipper clutch, more power, reduced weight, H2 inspired styling and a huge possibility for it to click with the Indian riders(finally). BMW Motorrad will also launch its variation of the 310 engine and chassis layout called the G310 R and the GS 310 which will also want a bite or the entire cake for itself.
The highly anticipated is the Royal Enfield’s 650 twins and man they look beautiful, very good fit and finish unexpected from RE, they sure will pull a lot of crowd and even further cement RE as a brand which can compete with the 600 from other brands. Yamaha will launch the upgraded R3, which is essentially the same bike except for the ABS and euro 4 compliance.
But it doesn’t end here, the brand that started the fight (read KTM) might just launch a new bike. Let’s not forget the KTM RC 390 full overhaul is due.