Indian Motorcycle Roar In this January

Indian Chief web

Cult motorcycle brand, Indian, are all set to arrive in India early next year. The big cruiser maker will introduce three variants of its Chief motorcycle on January 22.

For the enthusiast and cruiser loyalist, Indian is the only competitor to the legendary Harley-Davidson brand. Their big cruiser will take on the likes of H-D’s Touring range inch-for-inch and pound-for-pound. The Chief line of motorcycles will see three variants: the Chief Classic, the Chief Vintage, and the Chieftain. All three will be powered by the all-new Thunder Stroke 111 cubic inch engine, which raises the bar for style and the power. The 1,811cc, 49-degree V-Twin motor pumps out an estimated 100 PS and a massive 161 Nm of torque. A 6-speed overdrive transmission sends power through the belt drive setup. The numbers aside, what are your three choices?

Indian Chief Classic web

The first bike in the lineup, the Chief Classic, will bring all the styling bits which make it quintessentially Indian: the long, sweeping fenders, body work and laced wheels bathed in chrome, genuine leather saddle, and, of course, the signature Indian Chief head front-fender-ornament. You also get a host of modern amenities like keyless ignition, throttle-by-wire, ABS and cruise control.

Indian Chief Vintage web

The second is the Chief Vintage, the soft bagger of the range, which takes styling to a new level. Handcrafted details like the needle-stitched leather seat and a pair of leather fringe saddle-bags; with a quick release mechanism, as well as a big windscreen which has a similar quick-release setup. The Chief Vintage is ‘the ultimate signature bike created by Indian enthusiasts for Indian enthusiasts’, in the words of the company.

Indian Chieftain web

The third variant is the Chieftain, which builds upon the heritage of the company while looking into the future. It brings an enveloping touring fairing complete with a power windscreen, faired-in headlamps as well as a USB interface for smartphones and music players. The hard saddle-bags have a quick-release setup with remote locks. Basically, everything you need for a long and enjoyable journey on the road.

The official launch is set towards the end of January and information on pricing and availability will become clear only then. Considering that the range starts from $18,999 (Rs 11.75 lakh approx) in the US, and that the range will be imported entirely as CBU units, we expect pricing to start from about the Rs 20 lakh mark in India, no less.

Story: Jim Gorde

Ultimate Harley-Davidson Custom Bike Builders

Harley Davidson Custom Shannon Venturo web

The International Motorcycle Show’s Ultimate Bike Builder stopped in Long Beach, California under sunny skies this past weekend. The Long Beach International Motorcycle Show Ultimate Bike Builder was quite an attraction. Check out some of the epic mean machines that the builders created.

Shannon Venturo’s motorcycle – the Dazln – is a 2011 Harley-Davidson Softail Deluxe. It took third place in the Ultimate Builder MOD Harley Class.

Harley Davidson Custom Chris Richardson web

Chris Richardson came in first place in the Ultimate Builder MOD Harley Class. His 1959 Harley-Davidson FL takes elements from his bobber style combined with a fairing and hard bag to deliver an exceptional low-slung and skinny Bagger. The bike also features a 3” stretch in the rear, hand-made custom saddle bags, fairing, oil tank, gas tank, exhaust and a narrowed rear fender.

Harley Davidson Custom Gary Savill web

Gary Savill took second place in the Ultimate Builder FreeStyle Class with his Wraith Heimdall Slammer, based on a more modern 2013 edition bike.

Harley Davidson Custom Sam Baldi web

Sam Baldi took top honours with first place in the Ultimate Builder FreeStyle Class with his bike, Lost Angel, winning the big money. Lost Angel is a custom 2013 Harley-Davidson Softail which features a trans brake and centrifugal clutch.

Story: Jim Gorde

Images: Harley-Davidson

Bajaj Pulsar 200NS gets new colours

Pulsar 200 NS New Colours India 1 web

India’s number 1 name in the sports bike segment for over a decade now has just received more colour choices. Bajaj Auto have launched the Pulsar 200NS in three new dual-tone shades. Available in Passion Red, Safire Blue and, for the first time ever, Metallic White: all teamed up with Ebony Black, and an all-black as well. The new colours will add a dash of exciting new choice for buyers of this flagship Bajaj.

Pulsar 200 NS New Colours India 3 web

The mechanicals have remained unchained. You still get the liquid-cooled, four-valve, triple-spark SOHC 200cc single with 23.5 PS and 18.3 Nm of torque. The 6-speed ensures the power on tap is put to the best use, while maintaining the highest levels of performance, emissions and fuel efficiency. The pressed-steel perimeter frame ensures excellent high-speed handling and stability, aided by the Nitrox monoshock rear suspension, while the front and rear petal disc brakes take care of stopping duties well.

Pulsar 200 NS New Colours India 2 web

Sanjay Saraswat, Vice-President (Marketing), Bajaj Auto said: “The Pulsar is India’s number 1 sports bike for more than a decade now. We will continue to excite customers with new technology, unique features, class leading performance and, of course, on the styling front. The Pulsar 200NS, our flagship brand, is an absolute stunner when it comes to looks and the new dual-tone will further enhance the sportiness of the bike. The vibrant dual-tones are fresh and appealing in cosmetic terms, and make the bike look all the more attractive. We are confident that the new avatar will appeal to the new age biker, who is seeking a bike that not only offers great technology, but also unparalleled aesthetics.”

Story: Jim Gorde

Vespa VX: First Ride

The just launched Vespa VX gets the Bike India test

The just launched Vespa VX

Piaggio India have launched a premium variant of the iconic Vespa, a scooter that has become hugely popular in the Indian market for its timeless styling and its performance as well. The new Vespa VX has been brought in within a year of the first scooter’s launch, as there were areas which could be improved upon and the company was quick to take action.

So, the new Vespa VX now features a front disc brake, tubeless tyres and revised styling details – a silver-finish speedo cluster, ‘VX’ badging on the left rear panel and a more substantial grab-rail. The company has also added two new colours to the palette: Portovenere Verde (Metallic Green) and Vibrante Rosa (Pearl-effect Pink/Red). These colours replace the earlier black and maroon options for the VX. There’s also a new beige-coloured seat option, which is offered as standard for the red- and dark blue-coloured models.


The 200-mm front disc , the most important addition here

The 200-mm front disc , the most important addition here

Take the new Vespa VX for a spin and straight away the elevated levels of handling, braking and grip become evident. The 200-mm front disc is the most important addition, decreasing braking distance and providing a more sure-footed feel. Another big change is the tyres. While the old MRF Nylogrips were in tune with the retro image, their performance was not too confidence-inspiring. The new MRF Zappers are of the tubeless variety and also offer superior grip. In our 60-0 km/h brake test, the new Vespa VX came to a halt in just 2.93 seconds over a distance of 22.46 metres. That’s quite an improvement over the standard Vespa, which, with its drum brakes, took 3.09 seconds and 25.51 metres respectively to do so.

The standard Vespa LX 125 will continue to be sold alongside the Vespa VX. Piaggio India are offering the VX with a premium price tag of Rs 71,700 (ex-showroom, Delhi) keeping to their lifestyle product positioning strategy.


A distinct 'VX' badging and a more substantial grab-rail

A distinct ‘VX’ badging and a more substantial grab-rail


Locatelli and Rinaldi to represent Mahindra Racing at Italian Championship in 2013

Mahindra Racing, the only Indian factory team to compete in international motorcycle Grand Prix racing, recently announced the signing of 16-year-old Andrea Locatelli and 17-year-old Michael Rinaldi as the team’s new riders for the 2013 season of the Italian National Motorcycle Racing Championship (CIV), scheduled to begin in Mugello on April 6 this year. [Read more…]