From the Husqvarna 250s to the 2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin, these newly launched beauties are waiting to be cranked up – once the lockdown is lifted. Till then, we make a wish list of the top seven motorcycles and scooter we can’t wait to get our hands on.
Husqvarna Svartpilen and Vitpilen 250
The Husqvarna bikes have reached our shores and we’re eager to find out how this KTM owned motorcycle brand fares. Especially since it uses the same flavour but has been given an elegant Swedish twist. Currently, the Svartpilen 250 and Vitpilen 250 are waiting in the wings. Both these motorcycles draw power from the 250-cc, liquid-cooled, DOHC engine which also does duty on the KTM 250 Duke. But here, the single-cylinder produces 30 hp and a peak torque of 24 Nm, and comes mated to a six-speed gearbox. Svartpilen 250 can take a bit of off-roading and gets a more upright riding position along with dual-purpose tyres. While, the sportier-looking Vitpilen 250 has a more focused rider geometry. Prices begin at Rs 1.80 lakh (ex-showroom).
Aprilia SXR 160
The only scooter to make it to our list is the new Aprilia maxi scooter. Going by our experience with the sporty SR 150, we’re really excited about the Aprilia SXR 160. From the way it looks, to the 160-cc BS6 single it draws power from. It has great balance of style, comfort and ergonomics. Designed in Italy, the SXR 160 has an appealing aerodynamic design and will be produced at Piaggio’s factory in Baramati, India. When it was showcased at the Auto Expo 2020 not much was revealed by the Italian company. The Aprilia SXR 160, like the recently updated SR 160 BS6 is expected to produce 11 hp but unlike its sibling’s 14-inch wheels, will sport smaller 12-wheels. Coming to a showroom near you around September, the Aprilia SXR 160 will demand a premium over the SR 160’s sticker of Rs 1.04 lakh (ex-showroom).
Harley-Davidson Low Rider S
You ask why we’re excited? Well, it’s a Harley! These American cruisers have a maddening fan-following and are, perhaps, the most recognised premium motorcycle brands across the world. And the latest Softail to reach our shores is the Harley-Davidson Low Rider S. Priced at Rs 14.69 lakh (ex-showroom), the stylish cruiser is a special version of the Low Rider with strong ’80s California Custom cues to set it apart from its sibling. The highlight of the Harley-Davidson Low Rider S is the larger 114 Milwaukee-eight V-twin motor. That’s nothing less than 1,868-cc thumping to your tunes. We rode it on unfamiliar (and splendid, if I may add) roads of the USA but now we raring to give it a go on our roads. Nothing like a big, bad, pure-blood, American cruiser.
2020 Triumph Street Triple RS
The launch date of 25 March might have come and gone, but it hasn’t dulled our excitement one bit about the new Triumph Street Triple RS. It’s mainly because of the updated version of the 765-cc missile we got a chance to barrel around last year in Cartagena, Spain. We can’t wait to swing a leg over the India-spec version which is expected to punch out 123 hp (just like the outgoing version) and an increased peak torque of 79 Nm, which come earlier in the rev-range. Meatier mid-range – check! Easier rideability – check! Oodles of fun – double check!! The 2020 Triumph Street Triple RS will be reaching showroom soon after the lockdown and would be priced around Rs 11.50 lakh (ex-showroom).
Hero Xtreme 160R
The problem with most motoring journalists is that we’re always looking to ride new motorcycle models. But if a manufacturer gives a tiny teaser ride, then there’s a greater urge to review the bike quickly. This happened to us recently when Hero MotoCorp gave a brief ride of the soon-to-be-launched Xtreme 160R at their test track in Jaipur. The Hero Xtreme 160R has a lot going for it, from its street-fighter-like styling to the refine 163-cc, air-cooled engine. The single-cylinder makes 15.23 hp at 8,000 rpm and a peak torque of 14 Nm at 6,000 rpm while mated to a five-speed gearbox. The bike would have been on sale right now if we were hit by the Coronavirus, but post the lockdown it is expected to be launched for a sub-Rs 1 lakh price tag.
2020 Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin
Recently, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India flew in Dakar Rally 2020 winner Ricky Brabec to launch the new Honda CRF1100L Africa Twin. What’s more exciting is that the 2020 version of the adventure bike is available in Manual and the legendary DCT variants, priced at Rs 15.35 lakh and Rs 16.10 lakh (ex-showroom) respectively. The new kit also includes a six-axis IMU (Inertial Measurement Unit) to offer top-class stability. The 2020 Honda Africa Twin draws power from a 1,084-cc parallel-twin unit compared to the previous 998-cc engine, and makes 102 hp and 105 Nm. What got us excited is that the new bike has shed 5 kg over the outgoing model improving the power-to-weight ratio by another 10 per cent. We’re doing a countdown for the remaining days of the lockdown.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350
Last but not the least, is the latest from the home-bred Royal Enfield. The spy pictures of the bike that caught our attention is the Royal Enfield Meteor 350 which takes its design inspiration from the Thunderbird series. So it will get a relaxed riding position, raised handlebar, a comfortable seat, and forward-set. There’s still some time for the bike to hit showrooms but what’s most intriguing is a new and more powerful 350-cc fuel-injected BS6 compliant engine. The buzz is that Royal Enfield engineers are working on an Overhead Camshaft (OHC) version of the 346-cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine. In the BS4 version, the motor makes 20 hp and 28 Nm of torque. But after the tweaks, the engine in the Royal Enfield Mateor 350 would be not just more powerful but have improved refinement and NVH levels. The new model from the iconic brand could be priced between Rs 1.50 lakh and 1.70 lakh (ex-showroom).
The list of bikes to ride is practically never-ending, but this seems to be a good start. Doesn’t it?