Winged Assault

Honda CBR150R coming next month

Fast on the heels of the launch of the Honda CBR 250R, which met with an immensely positive reception, Honda is now gearing up to launch its smaller sibling, the CBR150R in the country. Powered by a liquid-cooled fuel-injected DOHC engine producing 18.3PS of peak power and 12.6Nm of peak torque, the CBR packs a sizeable punch that belies its small package. Disc brakes are standard at both front and rear. Visually, the CBR 150R bears a stark resemblance to its bigger sibling, the CBR 250R tthanaks to its adoption of Honda’s dual layered full body cowling, albeit smaller in every aspect. Apart from the powertrain, the only major difference is the twin tubular frame on the CBR 150R, which endows the bike with excellent rigidity and stablity. Expect the CBR 150R to go on sale for around Rs 1.2 lakh when it goes on sale later next month.

Suzuki Swish 125 Scooter launched

After the initial announcement at the Auto Expo last month, Suzuki Motocycles India has now launched the Swish 125 automatic scooter in India with a price tag of INR 45,431(ex-showroom Delhi).

Like its name indicates, the Swish 125 features a 125cc four-stroke engine, borrowed from the Access 125 scooter, that produces 8.7PS of maximum power and a peak torque figure of 9 Nm.

Visually, the Swish looks like a younger and sportier scooter, compared to the slightly-dowdy looking Access 125. The graphics and paint scheme also attenuate this youthful image, and should prove popular with the college-going generation. Suzuki is initially doing a soft launch, in select cities, and the full launch is tentatively scheduled around the end of March. The Japanese subsidiary will also be launching the Hayate 115cc motorcycle in April this year.

HMSI Start Phase II Of Tapukara Plant

Honda's Tapukara plant ribbon cuttingHonda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) commenced the second phase of production operations at their second two-wheeler production plant in the Tapukara Industrial Area in Rajasthan.

This will help the company to expand its production by another six lakh units per annum, giving it a cumulative production capacity of 28 lakh units per annum. The Japanese automobile major has invested more than Rs 1,000 crore in the second plant and doubled the annual production capacity. The second assembly line is flexible enough to manufacture both scooter and motorcycle models, which includes the Activa, CB Twister and CB Shine, at this plant in addition to the existing Manesar plant.

Honda’s third plant in the vicinity of Bengaluru was announced in 2011 and it is scheduled to become operational in the first half of 2013, with an annual production capacity of 1.2 million units. This capacity expansion plan will increase HMSI’s total annual production capacity to four million units.

 

HMSI Start Phase II Of Tapukara Plant

 

Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India (HMSI) commenced the second phase of production operations at their second two-wheeler production plant in the Tapukara Industrial Area in Rajasthan. This will help the company to expand its production by another six lakh units per annum, giving it a cumulative production capacity of 28 lakh units per annum.

 

The Japanese automobile major has invested more than Rs 1,000 crore in the second plant and doubled the annual production capacity. The second assembly line is flexible to manufacture both scooter and motorcycle models, which include the Activa, CB Twister and CB Shine, at this plant in addition to the existing Manesar plant.

 

Honda’s third plant in the vicinity of Bengaluru was announced in 2011 and it is scheduled to become operational in the first half of 2013, with an annual production capacity of 1.2 million units. This capacity expansion plan will increase HMSI’s total annual production capacity to four million units.

Garware Ready With GT250R

Hyosung GT250R coming to IndiaIndia’s entry-level performance bike segment is abuzz with new models from different two-wheeler manufacturers.

Kawasaki, Honda and Bajaj have introduced the Ninja, CBR250 and Pulsar 200NS, respectively, to the country’s enthusiasts, who have appreciated the bikes and set the cash registers ringing. It’s Garware Hyosung’s turn now to exploit the surging demand with the GT250R.

The company is expected to launch the 250-cc performance bike in a couple of months, the bookings for which will open in May 2012. The bike will be identical to the GT650R, except for a smaller motor which will churn out 28.89 PS and 22.68 Nm.

The company will leave no stones unturned to make the 250 a success and will also offer tempting finance schemes to woo buyers. A naked version of the bike, called the GT250, will be launched soon thereafter. The biggest challenge for the Korean bike-makers will be to price the GT250R competitively in view of the massive import duties and taxes it attracts. Most of the 200-cc to 250-cc bikes are priced well under Rs 2 lakh, except the Ninja 250R, which costs close to Rs 3 lakh.

The competition is becoming fiercer in this segment and we hope other manufacturers also join the fray.

Hyosung GT250R

 

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.

Pitstop Beauties

Pune’s most happening educational hub (Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies (Under Graduate)) is back with with bang this year with its bustling college fest -‘Sympulse’

Following in its foot steps, the college as it did last year, held an event titled ‘Pit Stop’. As the name suggests, the campus’s outdoor parking lot was a stop over for some of the fastest and most expensive bikes and cars Pune has to offer.

The event started off with car show, displaying the world’s finest and most sought after supercars and included a few classics. Students and onlookers were in for a treat with the Rolls Royce Silver Cloud, Bentley MK VI, Porsche Boxster, Ferrari F430, Audi RS5, Mercedes SLS AMG, Mercedes C63 AMG, Mercedes SL 500, Mercedes E350 Cabriolet, Aston Martin Vantage, Jaguar XJL, BMW 650i, BMW 645i and the historical London cab. Everyone watched in awe as each car turned the key to enthrall the crowd with the heart soothing sound that makes heads turn.

After gawking at these beauties for an hour, our eyes and ears turned to take a look at the ground shaking two wheeled marvels coming out of the garage and onto the courtyard. As the crowd surrounding the bikes grew larger, each owner who brought his/her love on two wheels started to talk about their bike and regaled the crowd with the screams of each ones engine. The bike that came for this year’s show and tell were the Indian Chief, BMW R60, BSA shooting star, BSA Golden Flash, Norton Dominator, Ducati 848, Ducati Monster, Suzuki GSX 1000R, Aprilia RSV4 and the BMW R1200GS.

Pit stop by Sympulse was definitely an evening that make you walk away with a smile on your face and longings in your heart to one day own one of these beauties. But the main message throughout the show was ‘ATG ATT’ which translates to ‘All the Gear, All the Time’. Safety first people.

BIKE India is proud to be an associate sponsor of this fest and contribute its part in fostering education and love of automobiles amongst the emerging youth of our country. and More information can be had from the Sympulse website at www.sympulsefest.com.

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.”

Supervehicles Fest

Pune’s premier educational institution is back with its highly popular college fest, featuring some of the most delectable machinery from around the globe

When a petrolhead thinks about supercars and fast bikes in India, he usually thinks of Bombay or Delhi being the best place to spot them. Well he doesn’t have to any more. Enter Sympulse, SCMS (UG)’s college fest, held in Pune, which hosts an event they call “Pit stop”, where the very best bikes and supercars are displayed.

Scheduled to be held from 30th Jan to 3rd Feb this year, Sympulse promises an awesome display of the world’s finest, most sought after supercars and bikes to get the adrenaline pumping. Last year, Sympulse featured a Yamaha R1, a Hayabusa, a Honda CBR 1000R, a Kawasaki Ninja and many more, including a fleet of superbly maintained Royal Enfields. Amidst frenzied roars from the crowd, all the bikes showcased revved to the limit in a deafening display of their power! This year, Pit stop is going even further with 18 bikes including the mighty Suzuki GSX 1000R and a fleet of Yamahas, and even the Italian exotica, Ducati Monster. Also featured are the Aprilia RS4, the BMW F1200 GS, and the Honda CBR 600RR.And it’s not just superbikes, Classics like the Norton Dominator, the BSA Gold Star, and the Indian Chief are also to be set on display. Pit stop promises to display a fleet of supercars that are set to awe its spectators with power fuelled madness. With cars like the Ferrari F 430, the sublime Aston martin DB 9, and the Rolls Royce Phantom set to make appearances, the event boasts of cars ranging from the Jaguar XJL, to the Hummer H3, to the Bentley VI to amaze onlookers. Other cars to look out for during Pit stop, is the gorgeous Aston Martin Rapide, the Porsche Boxster, the Mercedes E63 AMG a Chevy impala and even a London Taxi!

The distinguished guest list from last year included celebrities like Salman Khan, Riteish Deshmukh, and Miss India Universe winner, Puja Gupta. This year, the guest list will include Justice VS Sirpurkar (Acad Summit), Vikram Kaushal, Yes Bank (Acad Summit), Siddharth Agarwal, Teach for India, Pune City, Director (Acad Summit), Omkar Sane, Writer ( Prose and Poetry), actor Jackie Shroff, film director Madhur Bhandarkar and lyricist Javed Jaffrey.

Clearly a major event for petrol heads all over India, Pit stop Sympulse is definitely one event you can’t miss that puts Pune firmly on the map for cars and bikes to look out for…and if that wasn’t enough, the event is scheduled to kick off with a stunt show performed in BMX bikes! BIKE India is proud to be an associate sponsor of this fest and contribute its part in fostering education and love of automobiles amongst the emerging youth of our country. and More information can be had from the Sympulse website at http://www.sympulsefest.com/

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.