2013 has been a great year for bike enthusiasts especially with products like the KTM Duke 390 and the Royal Enfield Continental GT being launched at VFM prices. 2014 looks even more promising. Check out what’s in store this year.
1) Bajaj Pulsar 375 – After launching the Pulsar 200 NS, Bajaj Auto has revealed that they will launch two new Pulsars out of which the Pulsar 375 is one of them. It comes with a nice fairing, projector headlights, large windscreen and clip-on handlebars. The Pulsar 375 also comes with ABS. This new bike will get a fuel-injected engine based on the KTM Duke 390 which is likely to produce 38 BHP of power and 30 Nm of torque. The chassis, instrument cluster, tyres and wheels on the Pulsar 375 will be similar to the Pulsar 200 NS and Bajaj is expected to price this bike at around Rs. 1.80 lakhs (on-road, Mumbai). The Bajaj Pulsar 375 will compete directly with the Honda CBR250R.
2) KTM RC 390 – KTM launched the Duke 390 recently and the enthusiasts were delighted with the prospect of owning a performance-oriented bike at a not-so-high price. However, the Duke 390 is a naked bike and many people love bikes with full fairing just for the sporty feel that they give. KTM has got just the right product and it is the RC 390. Basically, the RC 390 is an almost similar bike to the Duke 390 and the only major difference is that it carries a full fairing. It will be powered by a 373.2cc, single-cylinder engine which produces 43 HP of power and 35 Nm of torque and mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The RC 390 won’t be as comfortable as its Duke sibling since it has a very sporty riding stance.
3) Honda CBR500R – Honda is going to launch the CBR500R in 2014 and it will be showcased at the Auto Expo. The bike will be powered by a 500cc, parallel-twin, liquid-cooled engine, producing 47 BHP of power and 43 Nm of torque. Top speed is claimed at 185 km/hr and 0-100 km/hr takes 5.7 seconds. Honda will launch only one variant of this bike and ABS will be offered as a standard feature. The Honda CBR500R will compete with bikes like of the KTM RC 390 and Kawasaki Ninja 300 and it is expected to be price around Rs. 4 lakhs (on-road, Mumbai). Buyers will surely find this expensive and hence the RC 390 will find more takers just because of its competitive pricing.
4) Hero 250cc Bike (with Erik Buell Racing) – Hero Honda had a fairly large market share until recently. After its JV with Honda ended, Hero MotoCorp is surely facing a slight crunch and hence they need to rely on new product launches to maintain their position. The company has now gotten into a collaboration with Erik Buell Racing to jointly develop a new 250cc bike. This new bike will be shown at the 2014 Auto Expo and will also be sold in the USA. This new 250cc bike will get a proper fairing, petal discs and a monoshock rear suspension. Powered by single-cylinder engine, this bike is expected to produce 26 BHP of power and 23 Nm of torque. The engine will be liquid-cooled and mated to a 6-speed transmission. Hero MotoCorp will price this new bike very aggressively to compete with the Bajaj Pulsar 200 SS.
5) Suzuki GSX150R – If you go through our post on November 2013 bike sales, you will notice that Suzuki is performing terribly in the bike segment. The main reasons for this are poor marketing, fewer number of dealers and an unknown cost of long-term ownership. Suzuki is now coming up with the GSX150R and it will go on sale by the end of the year. It will feature a liquid-cooled and fuel-injected engine. The GSX150R will have a full fairing and it will compete with the Yamaha R15 and Honda CBR150R. Prices are expected to start at Rs. 1.10 lakhs (ex-showroom, Mumbai).