2018 has been an exciting year for us motorcycle fanatics. From the revival of the legendary Jawa to the cutting-edge electric two-wheelers, the motorcycle industry has kept us auto journos quite busy this year. Read on to find out what made it to our list of this year’s highlights.
After a hiatus of 42 years, Jawa Motorcycles made a comeback in November by launching two models.‘Jawa’, the same old classic everyone loved with a few modern elements was unveiled with the ‘Forty-Two’, which is a special edition that marks the brand’s return after 42 years.
Another highly anticipated duo that saw the day’s light was the Royal Enfield’s 650 twins. The aggressively priced Interceptor 650 and Continental GT has been winning everyone’s heart with their refinement and power.
The smallest of the electric orange pocket rockets, the Duke 125 witnessed a mixed reaction from aficionados but nevertheless, it’s quite a bold move in a market like India. Bragging the same tried-and-tested equipment from the older siblings, this motorcycle promises to be a hoot to ride.
The German brand unveiled the next generation of their menacing S1000RR. The motorcycle that started the electronics race back in 2009, received a complete overhaul. The already light bike shed 11 kg more and with an optional M-package diet, the bike tips the scale at 193kgs. The bike also boasts an all-new 999cc inline 4-cylinder mill churning 207 ponies and 113Nm and boasts sophisticated electronics. However, the loss of its trademark asymmetrical headlamps and fairing seemed to be the highlight for the keyboard gurus.
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The ADV segment is gaining a lot of traction in the country. With RE Himalayan and G 310 GS giving the riders a taste of this segment, the big cats from Triumph and BMW are receiving a lot of love from the country. The Kawasaki Versys 650 sat on the throne in the middleweight category unchallenged until Suzuki and SWM launched the V-Strom 650 XT and Superdual T respectively. Both these motorcycles, with their unique characters, have left customers spoilt for choice.
Kinetic Group’s Motoroyale, the country’s first multi-brand superbike manufacturer has been on a roll this year. The company launched the MV AGUSTA Brutale 800 RR, limited edition Norton Commando and Dominator, SWM Superdual, FB Mondial HPS 300 with Hyosung GT 250 RC and GV 650 Aquilla pro. Ranging from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 60 lakh, Motoroyale’s got something for every palate (and pocket).
Kawasaki motorcycles have always had top-notch quality and refinement. Enthusiasts everywhere (including me) were waiting with bated breath for the Ninja 400, which was to be a bigger, better sibling to the ‘300, but were shell-shocked by the exorbitant price tag it carried. Kawasaki also took everyone by surprise when it announced bookings for the 2019 ZX-6R soon after its global unveil. The ‘6R will be the country’s first full-blown middle-weight supersport.
Harley Davidson shocked the world by announcing the launch of no less than nine streetfighters and five custom models along with adventure tourers to take on the likes of the mighty BMW R 1200 GS and the big cats from the Triumph family. The Milwaukee-based company is also planning a joint venture with an Asian manufacturer to bring 250-500cc motorcycles to the market.
2018 also showcased the next step in two-wheeled mobility- Electric motorcycles and scooters. From the country’s first electric superbike, The Emflux One to UM’s Renegade Thor and Menza Lucat, companies are going all guns blazing against their gas-guzzling counterparts. Hero Electric amazed everyone by showcasing eight new electric two-wheelers for the Indian market. Bengaluru-based Ather Energy, however, seems to be leading the battle by not just launching the Ather 450 but also introducing the country’s largest charging infrastructure network.
Which of this news had you tally through your bank account? Let us know in the comments.
Words By Manaal Mahatme