Motorsport Calling

Hero Moto to sponsor Narain Karthikeyan for Indian GP

Hero Moto is gearing for its entry into the world of top-level motor racing. The company recently announced that they will be sponsoring Narain Karthikeyan and his team for the Formula One Grand Prix to be held in India next month. As per the deal, the Hero Moto logo will be prominently displayed on Narain’s HRT-Cosworth F111 car, giving the brand huge coverage and publicity in what is unarguably the country’s largest sporting event of the year. 

Speaking on the ocassion, Narain Karthikeyan stated ,“Hero is one of the oldest and most prominent Indian brands and I am pleased to be associated with it. Today is a very important step in the right direction for motor sports in the country. The sport has come a long way since the day I started racing. Viewership has gone up a lot, and corporate support is now more forthcoming. Formula One is in its nascent stage in India with great potential waiting to be explored. I hope with the support from Hero Motors we will be able to scale new milestones in the times to come”. 

Commenting on the association with Narain Karthikeyan, Mr. Pankaj Munjal, Managing Director, Hero Motors said,“Hero Motors is committed to be amongst the first Indian corporate houses to compete in the Indian Grand Prix and we are indeed very proud to be associated with Narain Karthikeyan and Hispania Racing Team (HRT). The alliance with the HRT will provide a unique platform for the group to communicate its extensive of competencies to a global audience. The association with Narain Karthikeyan and HRT team has lot of synergies in our core values for which we are known for and truly reflects our commitment towards excellence, speed, growth & innovation.”

The Indian Grand Prix will be held in Greater Noida, India from October 28th – 30th October 2011. 

It’s official: new Streetfighter 848

The Ducati Streetfighter gets a smaller and (slightly) cheaper sibling

Going by the official blurb, the brand-new model from the Italian manufacturer aims to add everyday accessibility to the naked sportsbike family. The press note issued by Ducati goes on to say that the 2012 Streetfighter combines a new 848 Testastretta 11° engine with enhanced geometry of a chassis to provide confidence-inspiring agility and that the new model is user-friendlier, with a smooth and flexible power delivery, revised ergonomics and ‘Ducati Traction Control’.

As informed BI readers might remember, the original Ducati Streetfighter entered the ring for the first time at the Milan show back in November 2008, storming the hearts of all who laid eyes on it, and going on to win the ‘Most Beautiful Bike’ title. Its high performance and achingly beautiful Italian styling became the object of desire for sports-naked connoisseurs everywhere and now the 2012 Streetfighter 848 hopes to widen that appeal further with enhanced usability.

Available from November 2011 onwards, the new fighter is dressed in red for Ducati traditionalists, while yellow makes a return for mid-range purists and ‘dark stealth’ provides a matte-black reminder of the Streetfighter’s aggressive image. Pricing remains unannounced as of now.

BMW’s Concept E

Concept electric scooter charges up Frankfurt Motor Show 2011

Toeing the green line, BMW unveiled their long-awaited Motorrad Concept E at the recently concluded Frankfurt Motor Show. This concept electric scooter might be an addition to the long list that the e-scooter market already has, but it emanates a certain charisma that distinguishes it from the usual crop.

From its futuristic design to its state-of-the-art features, the Concept E is a clear representation of where the company imagines the alternative commuters might be heading for. The paintjob is a combination of black, green and white hues and the battery is stored away under its green side panel. There is a fan under the pillion seat (much like the under-seat exhaust in a conventional bike), which ventilates the battery area.

As for technology, the Concept E comes with touch-buttons on the handlebar with a display screen in the middle. Also, instead of the customary rear-view mirrors, this green machine comes with two video cameras, hidden under the tail-lamp.

Just as BMW described in their presentation, we believe this concept will turn out to be a very practical and fun-to-ride commuter, while also contributing its part to a cleaner future

New Kwaker coming … Godspeed

Kawasaki ZX-14This October will witness the green streak of the latest ZZR 1400

In the world of superbikes everyone from Japan to Italy is trying to make a motorcycle that would push the limits of speeds. Yet, many years ago superbikes started getting so quick that the manufacturers started limiting their top speed electronically. Since then, the battle for top speed is pretty much a moot point. Acceleration, engine size etc. have not been able to become the holy grail of superbike worship either. 

And continuing in this spirit, Kawasaki will be launching the latest big-daddy-of-everything-lime-green , the ZZR 1400 (or ZX-14 or ZX-14R) on October 10th of 2011. Kawasaki has maintained almost CIA like security and has not revealed any new info on the bike. It did however, release a lot of teaser videos for us to enjoy. Check them out on


Mahindra Stallio 2 be relaunched after Diwali

Mahindra StallioMahindra’s 2 Wheeler has decided to relaunch its bread and butter winner, the Stallio in November. The production of the motorcycle had been stopped in Feburary to sort out issues with the bike and it will be launched again after the festive season.

Mahindra also has announced that will be raising the prices of all their vehicles by 2% soon. While that have not announced the reason for this increase, we feel that the reason might lie in the natural inflation of money or rising advertising costs.

Kotak Money ka Matlab

Kotak Money ka MatlabKotak Mahindra Bank recently turned 25 and in its attempt to catch ’em young and to better understand their customers, they have flagged off a road trip of Enfield motorcycles.

The 3500km trip will be undertaken by 2 experienced bikers Vir Nakai and Leon Dawson and will be called Money ka Matlab Diaries (someone say Norton?). The ride starts at Chandigarh and ends at Bangalore with waypoints at Delhi – Jaipur – Ahmedabad – Udaipur – Vadodara – Surat – Mumbai – Pune and Goa. Since its flag off on 5th Sept, the trip will take 2 weeks to complete. The bikers will be stopping on all waypoints and ask people what money means to them, helping the bank gain insights into its customers’ minds.

New Yamaha R15 2.0 price revealed

2011 Yamaha YZF R15 sideThe new redesigned 2011 Yamaha R15 2.0 will be available at Rs. 1.07Lacs (ex-showroom Delhi).

This was announced today at the bike’s launch in New Delhi today. Adhish Alwani was at Le Meridien covering the event.



The 2011 Yamaha R15 features:

  • New engine fairing
  • New 5 spoke alloy wheels
  • New look exhaust
  • New rear fender and tyre hugger
  • Split seat
  • All new tail lamp cluster
  • New graphics
  • New ECU mapping
  • Bigger 220mm rear disc
  • Rear tyre 130mm and front 90mm
  • Weight increased by 5kgs
  • Aluminium swingarm (First in 150cc bike category)
  • No changes in power and torque figures
  • Colours: Racing Blue, Midnight Black & Sunset Red
  • 4% less aerodynamic drag

2011 Yamaha YZF R15 back

2011 Yamaha YZF R15 back

Honda Stunner & Aviator get new colours

New Honda Stunner and AviatorHonda Motorcycle & Scooter India Pvt. Ltd. (HMSI), has released its new refreshed look for its Aviator scooter and CBF Stunner 125-cc bike.

The Aviator will now be available in Berry Purple and Sunbeam White, in addition to the three existing colours – Rebel Red Metallic, Pearl Igneous Black and Monsoon Grey Metallic. The scooter will be available in two variants viz. ‘Standard’ with drum brakes and ‘Deluxe’ equipped with front disc brakes, with no changes in price.


The CBF Stunner would now be available with new black, white and grey graphics along with the logo on the front cowl. The 125cc machine now comes in two new colours – Candy Palm Green and Black; which are in addition to the two existing shades – Sports Red and Pearl Sports Yellow. Thankfully, no changes in price here either.


KTM Duke 200 launched … in Malaysia

KTM Duke 200 launchThe Austrians have launched a bike that many Indians want, in Kuala Lampur

It’s a relief to see the bike in flesh after just having spy shots available for what seems like an eternity. The real pain is playing spot the difference between the 200cc and 125cc versions of the Duke.

Pricing is an aspect which would certainly bring a smile to the faces of Indian enthusiasts. With the affordable-performance range now starting at the low end with Pulsar 220 and ending with CBR 250 or Ninja 250, the Duke is expected to come up close to the Rs 1.1L mark, creating another sub price range. This, we feel is quite reasonable for a bike painted in orange, with supermoto capabilities made by a Dakar rally legend manufacturer.

The Duke 200 looks like it means business and has a purposefully design. The bike’s styling is in fact so provocative, the Malaysian Prime Minister who unveiled the bike couldn’t help but swing his leg over it, never mind the inhibitive clothing or the fact that he isn’t 16 years old.

The bike will be launched in India by the end of 2011 and we can’t wait to grab the handlebars of this one, so stay tuned for a Bike India ride report.

Tour of Rajasthan 2011 is here

Tour of Rajasthan 2011Keeping the tradition alive, Royal Enfield announced the Tour of Rajasthan 2011, a bike ride across the Thar desert and some of the best Tarmac in the country.

The 10 day ride will be starting the from Jaipur, the pink city then traversing through Mahansar, Bikaner, the Sand dunes of Jamba, Jaisalmer, Sam, Jodhpur, Kumbalgarh, Ajmer/Pushkar and converging back to Jaipur.

Accommodation is on twin sharing, with with just bed and breakfast provided by the company throughout the trip. However in camps and smaller towns, dinner will also be taken care of. Please note that Pillions are not allowed on this ride and each rider will have to bring his own ride. The primary eligibility criteria is that you need to be owner of a Royal Enfield motorcycle. The bike maker will make sure that a small team of mechanics with some spares will provide service support on the tour, and even a team doctor will be at hand.

The registrations of the Royal Enfield Tour of Rajasthan 2011 have opened in a first come first serve basis and would cost Rs 16,000 per person and the cost of Petrol and other meals will be borne by each rider. Let’s roll!