The year 2013 hasn’t really been the year of motorcycles as there were very few launches. While Bajaj Auto promised us two Pulsars, they failed to launch even one. However Bajaj’s former partner managed to launched FIVE new motorcycles in the Indian market, showing their commitment to the Indian market. Harley-Davidson continued to launch new products in 2013 while Triumph finally set up shop after making an announcement more than a year back. However when it comes to the top 5 bikes of 2013, the result are 5 affordable machines which offer something significant.
1) KTM Duke 390 – Without doubt, the Duke 390 has been the top launch of this year, so much that people made an instant comparison with the legend of yesteryears, the Yamaha RD350. Any high capacity bike can zoom to 0-100 km/hr in under 6 seconds but KTM doesn’t ask you that kind of money to deliver scintillating performance. With top drawer hardware, the Duke 390 is one motorcycle which everyone should experience because it re-writes the very definition of value for money.
2) Mahindra Centuro – One of the biggest surprises in the motorcycle space, the Centuro was never expected to be as brilliant as it turned out to be. While Mahindra has loaded the bike with unheard of features in the commuter segment, the company has also managed to get the dynamics of the Centuro spot-on. All this without charging a premium which resulted in the Centuro transforming Mahindra’s 2-wheeler sales.
3) Royal Enfield Continental GT – It takes guts to do something different and that’s what Royal Enfield just did. The company launched a cafe racer which gets some unheard of features on a Royal Enfield. Although the engine could do with more pep, the Continental GT is a very fun to ride bike with surefooted handling and good brakes.
4) Kawasaki Ninja 300 – Our personal favourite bike of the year, the Ninja 300 is one motorcycle which can do it all – commute in the city, tour for long distances and race on tracks, without breaking into a sweat. With such all-round capabilities and a screamer of an engine, the Ninja 300 is only let down by its high price tag and lack of ABS.
5) TVS Jupiter – Not much action happened in the scooter space although many manufacturers continue to harp on the scooter segment showing the most growth. TVS put its money where its mouth was and launched the Jupiter, a scooter which makes the segment leading Honda Activa look at least a generation old. The Jupiter is an all-round package and easily the best 110cc scooter in the market today.
According to you, what were the top 5 bike launches of 2013?