A Special Triumph

Triumph launches special-edition Bonneville

To celebrate 110 years of making motorcycles, Triumph has just unveiled the 110th Anniversary Special Bonneville, which will be limited to 1,000 units priced at Rs.590,000 approx. (in the UK). Each anniversary model will come with a special numbered plaque on the handlebar clamp, as well as a numbered certificate.

This Anniversary Special bike was inspired by the 1902 No.1 model, and sports a unique anniversary crest, conceptualized by the early Triumph tank badges and a retro-inspired Brooklands green and aluminum silver paint scheme.

The 10th Anniversary Special Edition Bonnevilles are expected to reach showrooms in April in the UK.

Harley Davidson designer retires

Willie G. Davidson Senior Vice President and Chief Styling Officer, is retiring from Harley-Davidson after 49 years of working at his namesake company as head of styling

April 30, 2012 will be his last day at the office where legendary work in the world of motorcycling and motorcycle design came alive. He will continue being a part of the company as an ambassador at motorcycle rallies and events, and through special design projects as Chief Styling Officer.

Over the course of his career, Willie G., now 78yrs, revitalized the design team at Harley-Davidson which gave the company unrivaled leadership in custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles. Today, the styling department is led by 19-year company veteran Ray Drea, Vice President and Director of Styling, who has worked with Willie G. in the development of numerous milestone vehicles.

Grandson of one of the company’s founders, William A. Davidson, and son of William H. Davidson, its second president, Willie G. had joined the company as its first head of styling in 1963. With a lot of responsibility on his shoulders for the look of all Harley-Davidson motorcycles, landmark motorcycles started emerging from Willie G’s styling studio. The list includes the Super Glide, Low Rider, Heritage Softail Classic, Fat Boy, V-Rod and Street Glide.

Willie G. has long served as ambassador of Harley-Davidson at rallies around the world – meeting riders, talking to customers, lending his famous signature to jackets and other apparel. We hope he continues to do the same for years to come.

2012 Honda CBR 250R launched

Honda CBR 250R - Pearl Heron Blue tri-colourAs we predicted Honda officially launched the 2012 CBR 250R in India today

Yes, the bike now is offered in the ‘Pearl Heron Blue’ sporty tri-color option in addition to the two existing dual-tone colour options – Candy Ruby Red and Asteroid Black Metallic. No, unfortunately, there is no spike in power or performance, as Honda still delivers 25.3PS power and 22.9 Nm torque. Sigh.

The ‘new’ CBR 250R Standard is priced at Rs. 1.44 lakh and Rs. 1.69 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi) for the C-ABS version. You have to shell out another grand for the new tri-colour option. The 2012 bikes will be available at all Honda dealerships starting early March, 2012.

2012 Honda CBR 250R ready for launch

In a quick comeback to all the recent developments in the country’s 200 cc to 250 cc motorcycle segment, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) has reloaded the CBR 250R

and is geared up to launch the 2012 version sooner than you think. How does first week of March ’12 sound?

Currently, the 249.6 cc bike can churn out 25.3PS peak power @ 8500rpm and 22.9Nm maximum torque @ 7000rpm, and with ABS weighs 167kgs. The competition has beefed up in the meanwhile as the new KTM 200 Duke can produce 25 PS and weighs just 136 kg, while the new Pulsar 200NS at 145kg produces 23.52PS, giving them an edge in the power to weight department.

If you noticed, we used the word ‘currently’, by which we mean (and hope), that Honda will be looking at working on the ECU so that the CBR 250R whips out slightly more power and at the same remains frugal. Moreover the HRC red-blue-white livery along with other new shade will continue to draw eye-balls. Wonderful stuff!

On the price front, the smashing KTM 200 Duke and Pulsar 200NS price tags will make sure that the 2012 does not cost the moon. The 2011 version of the Honda is priced at Rs 1.59 lakh for the non-ABS version and Rs 1.87 lakh for the ABS equipped CBR 250R, on road Pune. However, we can expect a slight bump in price by a couple of grand.

We are loving it as the 250-cc game intensifies. And while Honda is at it, wouldn’t we love to see a street-fighter inspired 250 from the Japanese auto giant?

The New Order

Bajaj have a crackling winner on its hands, says Saeed Akhtar, after his stint aboard the Pulsar 200NS at the company’s Chakan racetrack


Shift+Delete. Forget everything that you know about Pulsars. Throw all your preconceived notions about how the infusion of KTM chromosomes into the Pulsar DNA ought to turn out, out of the window. Because, and we are glad to report this, the Pulsar 200NS is a completely different breed of beast from its predecessors, and interestingly enough, even from the bike it shares its platform with, the KTM 125 and 200 Duke.

Visually, the 200NS is an arresting machine. The new tank shrouds, exposed twin-spar frame, brutish front end and relatively spartan rear end has moved the visual mass forward, endowing the bike with a proper mean streetfighter look. It also helps that the engine, gearbox (in glorious brushed gold finish), radiator, and underslung exhaust all combine to create the impression of a much fuller and grown-up bike than it really is. Fat tubeless tyres and petal discs moored to ten-spoke alloys at both ends round up the big-bike impression.

With 23.52PS of power on tap at 9500rpm and 18.3Nm of turning force at 8000rpm, the triple spark plugged, four valves SOHC, 200NS is a hoot to ride around the Bajaj test track in Chakan, near Pune. Bajaj’s ExhausTEC technology has lent a discernible edge to its low-down power and it could pull cleanly and progressively from as low as 2000rpm, all the way to the 10,000 rpm redline in 6th gear. Oh yes, there is a sixth gear now. Barrelling down the main straight we saw an indicated 141kmph on the speedo before hitting the anchors. That’s proper fast! Bajaj claims a 0-60kmph timing of 3.61 seconds and sprint to 100 from naught in just 9.83 seconds – which we will confirm once we strap our timing gear onto it – and it certainly felt like the bike was capable of achieving it. Like in the current Pulsars, this one also has a counterbalancer, but here it makes the bike a lot smoother, which, combined with its rev-happy nature and slick transmission, makes it an exhilarating machine. Vibes are practically non-existent, even at the top of its rev range when the orange shift light is blinking madly, begging you to upshift.

Handling is another area where the Pulsar 200NS has dramatically improved. Gone are the archaic twin shock-absorbers at the rear, now replaced by a monoshock with piggyback gas canister which endows the bike with excellent stability and poise in and out of corners. A longer wheelbase and bigger 100/80 and 130/70 tubeless tyres shod on 17 inch rims are the other factors for this newfound prowess. However, as with the Pulsar 220, we still wish the rider’s footpegs were mounted a bit higher, preventing it from grounding and enabling riders to exploit its cornering abilities to the fullest on trackdays. Should not be much of a bother for normal street use though. 280mm and 230mm diameter petal discs at both front and rear does the stopping duties and they look smashing but we will reserve judgment over how efficient they really are until the full road-test next month. 

Ten years ago, the Pulsar brand came out of nowhere and transformed a nondescript ‘scooter-maker’ into the torchbearer for affordable performance biking in the country. Today, with the launch of the Pulsar 200NS, they are attempting to re-revolutionise the segment and the first impression is they they have succeeded resoundingly. Agreed, the competition is much hotter and bigger now, but we still feel that the 200NS will hold its own against everything it is pitted against. The crucial element, like always, will, however, be the pricing but that has always been Bajaj’s ace card, so there. Expect the 200NS to retail for around INR 90,000 to 95,000 (ex-showroom, Pune) when it goes on sale at the end of next month. A stylish, power-packed, feature-filled, fun-to-ride streetfighter for less than a lakh? Take a bow, Bajaj!


Watch the walkaround video here.


Read the full ride report in the March 2012 issue of BIKE India, on stands soon.

Specially Yours

Yamaha R15 v2.0 Limited Edition colours goes on sale

Visitors to the Yamaha stall at the Auto Expo last month will remember the two Yamaha R15 v2.0s in striking limited edition colours very vividly. Both the two versions, WGP 50th Anniversary Edition and Fiery Red Special Edition have recently gone on sale now, at a slightly higher price point than the standard version. While the R15 WGP edition is priced at INR 1,11,000, the Fiery Red edition is priced at INR 1,10,000, both ex-showroom, New Delhi. As befitting the LE monicker, these two editions will be produced in limited numbers, just about a couple of thousand units. So, in case you are planning to get your hands on one these, we suggest you hurry to the nearest Yamaha showroom ASAP.

Launched! Honda Dio 2012

dio scooterClose to a decade after the original launch of the light-weight Dio, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) has given the automatic scooter a much needed upgrade.

And thankfully, the scooter gets a thorough revision, with a bigger and more powerful 109-cc motor, which has been borrowed from the new Activa, and produces 8.11PS of power @ 7,500rpm and 8.66Nm of torque @ 5,500rpm. Honda claims that this will improve fuel efficiency by 15 per cent, the fiber bodied scooter will now return 55 kpl.

The re-styled 2012 Dio looks chunkier and more sporty with the new aerodynamic design. This is the first gearless scooter in India to sports tubeless tyres and in combination of Honda’s ‘Combi Brake System’ which would improves stability and braking. Other new features include a maintenance-free battery, viscous air filter, 3D emblem and enhanced luggage space under the seat. All this for an attractive price of Rs. 42,362 ex-showroom New Delhi. The new Dio will be available at Honda showrooms from the last week of this month and will be offered in five new colours – Sports Red, Matt Axis Grey Metallic, Pearl Sunbeam White, Candy Palm Green and Leblon Violet Metallic.

Speaking about the launch N.K. Rattan, Vice President – Sales, Marketing & Corporate Affairs, HMSI said, “The increased convenience and comfortable riding position of New Dio will appeal to both style conscious young males and females.”

UPDATED – 2012 Bajaj Pulsar – LAUNCHED!

Pulsar 200 - 2012Ladies and gentlemen, say hello to the new Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS!

Exactly ten years ago to this very day, Bajaj Auto Ltd. took the country by storm with the launch of the Pulsar brand. Ever since then, the Pulsar has ruled the premium motorcycling segment in the country, with yearly cosmetic and visual upgrades doing their part to keep it abreast of the competition. And now, the all-new Bajaj Pulsar 200NS Naked Sports (NS) has finally been unveiled, ready to take on all comers.

The first visual impressions convey a more muscular and grown up bike, albeit one that retains characteristic Pulsar styling cues that are discernible at even a glance. A large twin-spar frame dominates the side profile view, while the beefier tank and side panels give a new dimension to the Pulsar. Upfront, the suspension seems to be much beefier than before, shod with larger 100/80-17 tubeless rubber while the rear features a meaty 130/70-17 tyre, also tubeless. The headlight unit is a completely new interpretation of the Pulsar unit and we absolutely adore its Transformers-like angry face. Expect the Pulsar 200 NS to be priced below Rs 1 lakh!

Echoing what we have seen in numerous spy shots earlier, the rear panels are borrowed from the Pulsar 135LS, but the big news is the welcome inclusion of a monoshock rear suspension – Bajaj’s first. Powering the new Pulsar is a four valve, liquid cooled, triple spark motor. Good enough for 23.52 PS@9,500rpm and a peak torque figure of 18.3Nm@8,000rpm. That, coupled with the kerb weight of 145kg and the six-speed ‘box, gives the Pulsar 200NS a theoretical top speed of 136 kph, 0-60kph in 3.61sec and 0-100 kph in 9.83 seconds. Tell-tale lights and indicators remain the same while the exhaust has now been moved to under the bike, which should help in mass centralisation and lend the bike a low centre of gravity.

More information coming soon…. Stay glued to your computers and smartphones.

2012 TVS StaR City

TVS has upgraded its popular 110cc motorcycle StaR City with a new variant – the 2012 edition.

The bike will now feature cosmetic changes like dual tone body colours, new headlamp and clear indicators. StaR City 2012 edition will come in six new colour combinations, which include ‘Electric Green’, ‘Bold Blue’, Red Blaze, ‘Gold Spark’, ‘Silver Strike’ and ‘Crimson Flash’.

There are no changes to the CVTi (Continuous Variable Timing Ignition) engine and TVS claims a mileage of 83.9 kilometers per litre. The base version TVS StaR City 110cc starts at Rs. 38,650/- (Ex Delhi) with a five-year warranty.

TVS gearing up to regain third spot

Tvs QubeChennai based auto major, TVS Motor Company, announced that it would launch four new two-wheeler models this year.

The game plan is to launch two motorcycles in the executive segment and two scooters so that it can topple Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India from its recently acquired third position in the two-wheeler market, as TVS has slipped to forth position.


The first to enter India will be Qube, a hybrid scooter, in June 2012, which the company had displayed in the last two Auto Expos. Initially TVS would like to see the response the hybrid scooter gets and would introduce just 200 scooters before its commercial launch in 2013. The Qube has two sources of power, including a 100cc four-stroke engine and an electric hub motor. The rider has the option to choose from a range of modes, depending on his or her requirement. This hybrid system charges the lithium ion battery when the brakes are applied and utilizes this power whenever required. Something like the KERS used in Formula One cars. In addition, it also has a stop-start hybrid which would further saves fuel. One has the option of using the electric only mode for short trips and, obviously, the engine only mode is present as well.


According to TVS the Qube delivers significant emission reduction and improved fuel economy in city traffic driving with 35 % reduction in CO2 emission, 30% HC + NOx reduction and an increase of 35% in fuel economy. The company claims a fuel economy of around 70kpl in typical city riding conditions.


TVS will also introduce a brand new motorcycle model in the entry level 125-cc segment with 4-speed gear box in June 2012. Apart from this, the Victor model with be re-introduced along with a new a 125cc scooter in December 2012.


These models will hopefully fetch bigger numbers for TVS, but we would have liked to see the upgraded Apache range also mentioned in the announcement. Enthusiasts calling TVS.