The last week has been a good one for motorcycle enthusiasts in India. For starters, Yamaha launched the latest iteration of one of its most popular bikes in India and has promised more action as the year progresses. Bajaj and Honda too announced their intentions of launching interesting new products. And there were quite a few developments in the electric two-wheeler space as well. So without further ado, here is what different two-wheeler brands were up to in the week gone by.
Without a doubt, the last week belonged to Yamaha as it launched the FZ Fi Version 3.0, the latest iteration of its popular street naked. The bike gets a host of improvements over the outgoing one while also getting a substantial price hike. The FZ Fi Version 3.0 is now more stylish, gets better equipment and more importantly, is safer than the older bike. Can all these changes help it fend off an increasingly strong competition? We’ll find the answer to that soon.
While the FZ Fi Version 3.0 was definitely the star of the show, Yamaha also launched the FZ25 and Fazer 25 with ABS. And just as we had reported a couple of weeks back, the quarter-litre offerings from Yamaha get a dual-channel ABS unit.
Bajaj debuted its newest marketing initiative, ‘The World’s Favourite Indian’, this past week. But more interestingly, the 2019 Dominar 400 was officially revealed for the first time as part of the new campaign. The visuals gave us a glimpse of the new Dominar’s colour options, enhanced styling and USD forks. On the sidelines of the launch, MD Rajiv Bajaj also confirmed some interesting developments about the company’s Urbanite electric two-wheeler. Turns out Bajaj is indeed working on an electric two-wheeler. The surprising part was that the product might debut earlier than expected!
After its naked sibling got the ABS update a few weeks back, KTM finally launched the RC 200 with ABS. With the update, it’s now only the 250 Duke in KTM's India portfolio that is yet to receive ABS. However, KTM fans in India were preoccupied with an even more exciting development - the KTM 790 Duke is likely to launch in March. When launched, the 790 Duke will completely shake up the middleweight bike segment in India.
Kawasaki breathed new life into the Ninja 300 by localising many of its components. That decision made the bike among the most affordable twin-cylinder motorcycles in India. The company has now gone a step ahead and localised many of the baby Ninja’s spare parts and the results are astounding. The move has resulted in a huge price drop for the Ninja 300’s spare parts.
News of the CB300R coming to India set the internet ablaze. And just when hype from the initial news was fizzling out, Honda announced the CB300R’s India launch date. Details of the bike’s pricing, test rides and deliveries are expected to be announced at the launch event.
Last week also saw Honda discontinuing the CBR650F, which was India’s most affordable four-cylinder fully-faired motorcycle. However, the development was not all that disappointing as it means Honda will bring the CBR650R to India. Not only does the 650R have sportier styling than the 650F, but also gets a more powerful engine and better equipment.
Triumph has been steadily updating its ‘Modern Classic’ lineup of motorcycles and India is likely to get the first of these updated bikes in February, when the company launches the 2019 Street Twin and Street Scrambler. However, we also got confirmation that the new Speed Twin will be launched here in March.
The British brand is also making waves in the motorcycling world with its 2019 Rocket III power cruiser. And it further upped the ante by unveiling the Rocket III TFC and Thruxton TFC, which are custom versions of the two bikes straight from Triumph’s Factory Customs division. Besides loads of carbon fibre and extra horsepower, both motorcycles will be limited to just 750 units each!
Royal Enfield is working on updating its entire product lineup to meet the new safety regulations and as a result, has no new launches in the pipeline. However, there was something to cheer for its fans as Royal Enfield announced an ‘End of Season’ sale on its riding gear and apparel. Regardless of whether you are a Royal Enfield fan or not, this sale is worth checking out.
Okinawa further strengthened its India portfolio by launching the i-Praise electric scooter. The company has given the scooter several updates over the standard Praise, chief among them being a detachable lithium-ion battery pack.
And after Hero Electric and Bajaj, it appears as if Mahindra will be the next big Indian automotive brand to venture into the electric two-wheeler space. While there was no official word about it from the company, its GenZe 2.0 electric scooter was spotted testing in India. GenZe is an American electric vehicle manufacturer fully-owned by Mahindra and is known for its feature-packed electric scooters.
One name we didn’t expect to see in this section, however, is Ducati. Yes, you better believe it as Ducati’s CEO confirmed its electric bike is under development. In fact, the company plans to electrify its entire lineup by 2030!