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

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

KTM RC models in India soon

KTM RC India web

KTM thrilled many with their RC200 and RC390 sport models when they first showcased them. Now though, the website update would mean that they will be in India sooner than we expected.

KTM RC200 India web

The KTM India website states that the RC200 and RC390 are ‘coming soon to India’. This means that the launch is likely to take place in the first half of 2014, rather than the latter half as we first expected. The bikes will roll out of Bajaj’s Chakan facility and are expected to carry price tags only slightly higher than their respective Duke siblings.KTM RC390 India web

Both bikes retain the same engine specifications as the Duke line, but feature parts and bodywork specifically made for the RC line. Thus, you get a four-valve, liquid cooled single cylinder motor: 199.5cc and 25 PS in the RC200 and 373.2cc and 43.5 PS in the RC390. The tank capacity is only marginally lower at approximately 10 litres usable. The dry weights for the RC200 and RC390 are 137.5 kg and 147 kg respectively.

The RC line will offer a much sportier riding position than the Duke line and come packing full fairings, aggressive styling and what is sure to be nimble handling. The RC line is the first derivative of their Moto3 program. However, expect performance to be thrilling while being offered in a package which lasts longer and brings higher levels of refinement and durability. For the uninitiated, KTM’s track bike and Moto3 contender, the RC250R, makes 50 PS at 13,000 rpm from a 249.5cc single. The bike weighs only 83 kg. That’s a power-to-weight ratio of 602 PS/tonne!

KTM RC250R Moto3

We expect Bajaj to showcase the KTM RC200 and RC390 at the upcoming Auto Expo. The response they generate will in all probability decide the time of launch, and it looks set to be sooner rather than later already.

KTM RC390 India 2 web

See more of what you can expect from these bikes in this video:

 

Story: Jim Gorde