The entry level sports bike segment in India is the latest hotly contested one. There are lots of potential buyers looking to buy their first sporty two wheeler, so manufacturers both old and new are always trying to attract attention by launching new and different bikes.
Here are a list of some upcoming bikes that will be launched soon in 2017:
Yamaha R15 Version 3
The second version of the Yamaha R15 was an all new update but a Version 3 update is on the cards now. Rivals of the Yamaha R15 have caught up with the once segment leader and an updated bike will soon be launched so it can once again be the final say in the segment.
Inspired by the R6, the Yamaha R15 Version 3 has an all new aerodynamic front design with LED headlamps. There is also an all new 155.1cc single cylinder engine producing 20 PS of power and 14.7 Nm of torque, that is 3 PS more than Version 2. The new bike might also get a slipper clutch for a more relaxed riding experience.
The UM Xtreet offers an all new design in this segment and that should be a huge selling point of the bike. For starters the bike offers the best power to weight ratio in the segment with 16.6 bhp coming out of the 179.9cc engine. With only a kerb weight of 127 kg, the bike should fly. The bike also gets front and rear disc brakes.
Styling is also sharp for a middle weight sports bike with the full LED front and rear lights. The rear is especially stylish and gives the look of a bigger bike. Paired with stylish alloys, the UM Xtreet when launched in India should definitely find some takers. Pricing will be the key factor though.
Benelli TNT 150
As part of its brand strategy in India, Benelli has launched its big bikes and now its time to bring in the small bikes that bring in the volumes for the company. Powered by a 148cc air cooled engine, the TNT 150 produces about 12 bhp and 11 Nm of torques which is enough to move 117 kg of kerb weight. So the Benelli TNT 150 shares the ancestry of its bigger bikes of being sporty.
The design of the Benelli TNT 150 is also a sporty one and not like a commuter bike at all. From the side, the bike looks really sporty with a stepped rear seat and a retro style Benelli logo on the muscular fuel tank. Front headlight resembles the one on the Duke 200. There are also stylish fins under the petrol tank for more effect. With the Benelli brand name and affordability the TNT 150 might make the Italian marque a household name in India.
Benelli Dragon 150
The Benelli Dragon 150 is the faired version of the TNT 150 but with some more changes. Designed especially for the Asian market, the Benelli Dragon 150 is aimed at the Yamaha R15 Version 3. So it is safe to say the bike will be sporty. Even if the Dragon has a full fairing, the bike will still weigh less and be manageable for the rider. Unlike usual bikes where the naked bike gets an add on fairing, the Dragon 150 will get a different tail section and alloys. Design should be similar to the bigger Tornado 302.
Engine might be the same 150cc unit but will be tuned to produce more power if the Dragon is aiming to take on the Yamaha R15 Version 3. With a good market for fully faired bikes in India, the Benelli Dragon 150 should fit in well and be a good option for those looking for a stylish Italian sportsbike.
Bajaj Pulsar 150 NS
Bajaj has sort of ignored the under 200cc segment and concentrated on bigger bikes like the Dominar but that might change with the launch of the 150NS. 150cc bikes are the stepping stones into sportsbike territory in India and Bajaj had spearheaded that segment with the launch of the Pulsar range. With the launch of the 200NS, the latest iteration of the Pulsar range was showcased but those changes aren’t yet reflected in the lower range of the Pulsars.
So the Pulsar 150 NS will get a 200NS style body with the star shaped alloys. There is already an AS150 version, so all Bajaj need to do is to remove that raked front fairing and add some stylish graphics. Engine might get a slight tweak to produce a bit more power and torque. The Pulsar 150 NS will be welcomed with open hands by the legions of the brand’s fans in India.
Hero Xtreme 200S
Xtreme 200S after launch will be India’s most affordable and practical 200 cc motorcycle. But don’t discount it as another value for money product from Hero, there is more to the Xtreme 200S. Powered by an air cooled 200cc engine, the bike should have about 18 bhp and a similar amount of torque. So performance will be on par with the segment leaders and more than enough for open highway cruising. ABS might also be available by paying some extra.
Design will be the Achilles heel of the Hero Xtreme 200S as the bike needs to look the part to get the attraction of the younger crowd, at which the bike is targeted. With a tentative launch date sometime in 2017, the Hero Xtreme 200S will soon become another choice in this bike segment beside the Apache RTR 200 and Pulsarr 200 NS.
Bajaj Pulsar 180 NS
The second of the Pulsars, the 180 can also do with some up-gradation like the 150. The 180cc engine will go well with the 200 NS style body work making it an affordable sporty package in this segment. New styling will also help to improve on the ride and handling of the bike making it a more exciting prospective.
Styling might be like on the revised 200 NS with 180 stickered on the fuel tank as seen on the latest bike. There will also be a sport body coloured belly pan at the bottom to cut through the air and will add a bit of excitement to the design. When launched, the Bajaj Pulsar 180 NS
Too lazy to type anything, so re quoting from the best F1 driver in the world:
“On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit'. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high.”
― Ayrton Senna