Words by Ajinkya Nair
EICMA 2017 was interesting, to say the least. With a number of innovative concepts (like the little turbine fan which powers the dash on the Honda CB4), and some pretty exciting launches, but very few of those will ever make it to our roads, unfortunately. However, there will be some which will make it to India. Here’s our list of the list of motorcycles which are bound to land on Indian shores soon:
The craziest of the lot, it got the crowds at EICMA in frenzy. The 790 Duke is based on an all-new engine platform, thanks to a new generation 799cc, parallel- twin unit. The other twin cylindered KTM you might have heard of so far is the 1290 Super Duke R but that gets a V-twin. Also, KTM has hinted at a new line-up of models, based on this engine. The 790 Duke punches out 104bhp and 86Nm and also gets state of the art electronics. And obviously, being a KTM, it is lightweight at 169kg. And even better, it is going to be made in India so expect the prices to be considerably lower than the rest of the competition.
Everybody knows about the latest REs. Both powered by the same all new 650cc parallel twin that the company recently revealed to the world, the two motorcycles that have been launched span two different motorcycling worlds. With an upright seating position, tear-drop style fuel-tank, quilted twin-seat and wide-braced handle-bars the Interceptor takes inspiration from the original Interceptor 750 of the early 1960s and follows a retro-roadster design theme. The Continental GT 650 on the other hand explores the other end of the Swinging Sixties’ motorcycling culture with its clip-on handlebars, elongated fuel-tank, rear-set footrests and crouched riding position recalling the quintessential café racers of the mid- and late- 1950s. In the words of Siddharth Lal himself, the Interceptor represents a “California cool” lifestyle whereas the Continental GT650 is all about “tucking in and giving it a bit more go”.
Hero has currently employed a 200cc single-cylinder air-cooled with oil-cooler, fuel injected motor on the Xpulse. While they did not give us all details on the motor’s figures, a few Hero officials did confirm that it was the same motor shown on the Xtreme 200 at the 2016 Auto Expo, albeit this running a different tuning. Markus Braunsperger, CTO had knowledge of the Impulse’s shortcomings in the engine department and he was rather happy to have something to show us with a larger displacement. But more than that, the engine would not only meet Euro IV (adhering to BS IV inadvertently) but also Euro V and BS VI emission norms, clearly thinking ahead. Another significant update is on the suspension front. The long travel front fork may perhaps be the same as on the Impulse but you get a new monoshock equipped swingarm for handling the rear duties. The Xpulse also makes use of a 21-18 inch tyre size combination and comes shod with Metzeler Endurance 3 Sahara rubber, at least on the prototype. Retardation at both ends would be done via disc brakes and Hero has told us that the bike will come equipped with ABS.
The best handling bikes from the 60s will also be coming to India! The Commando and the Dominator, share the same 961cc parallel twin mated to a five-speed gearbox with a 270-degree crank developed in-house by Norton. The dominator, however, is based on the exclusive Domiracer and gets higher spec components while still keeping the retro café styling in check.
Triumph Motorcycles has launched the new Tiger 800 XC and XR motorcycles at the EICMA show in Milan. The company claims to have made more than 200 upgrades to the chassis and engine. The 800cc triple-cylinder motor now produces 94bhp of power and 79 Nm of torque. The gear ratios have also been tweaked, the new shorter ratio 1st gear enables enhanced off-road traction, low-speed maneuverability and acceleration. With the addition of the ‘Off Road Pro’ mode, it now gets a choice of up to six riding modes.
Replacing the “Explorer” moniker, the 2018 Tiger 1200 weighs up to 10 kgs lighter than the previous version. This was achieved with changes in the engine, exhaust, and chassis. This shaft-driven motorcycle makes an impressive 139 hp.
The 1262cc engine which was first seen on the XDiavel now finds a home in the heart of the Multistrada. Due to the Desmodromic Variable Timing (DVT), loads of torque is now produced earlier in the rev-range, which is a boon for off-road adventures. Some other substantial changes is the rake angle, which has been increased to 25 degrees (from 24 degrees), and a 48mm longer swingarm, both of which have led to a longer wheelbase. All these factors result in making the new Multistrada more off-road friendly, rather than a sport bike. The Multistrada is available in three trim levels: Multistrada 1260, Multistrada 1260 S, and Multistrada 1260 Pikes Peak.