The year of 2018 saw a lot of new performance motorcycles being launched in India and here is our list of best sportbikes that were launched this year and in this case we are considering only faired sportbikes launched this year in India.
Yamaha R15 V3
The Yamaha YZF-R15 was first launched in 2008 and has spawned a cult following among performance enthusiasts and a huge fan following of the sporty, entry-level sportbike from Yamaha. Almost a decade later, Yamaha introduced the latest, third-generation model of the R15. The 2018 model doesn't only get some styling updates, but significant changes all-round, including a bigger, more powerful and more technology-laden engine, updated delta-box chassis, new swingarm and revised steering geometry. The new-gen R15 gets a bunch of updates to the engine. It is a 155 cc, single-cylinder liquid cooled engine which makes 19 bhp at 10,000 rpm and 15.1 Nm of peak torque at 8,500 rpm. Then there is the rather slick 6-speed transmission as well. But the biggest update that the engine gets is the variable valve actuation or VVA. In plain speak its job primarily is to get the engine to pump out more torque and power at both ends of the rev range. The Yamaha R15 V3 is priced at ₹ 1.27 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Kawasaki Ninja 400
Moving up from 155 cc, the other new sportbike launch in India this year was the new Kawasaki Ninja 400. The new Ninja 400 gets sharper styling and a new and updated engine. Talking about the engine, the Ninja 400 gets an all-new 399 cc parallel-twin engine that makes 44.4 bhp at 10,000 rpm and 38 Nm of peak torque at 8,000 rpm. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. The engine has new bore and stroke measurements, an updated intake and exhaust system, lighter forged cams, and a lighter and smaller slip and assist clutch. With new LED headlights and H2-inspired chin spoiler, the new Ninja 400 certainly looks appealing and more like a middleweight sportbike. The instrument panel is new too, and is shared with the Ninja 650. It is priced at ₹ 4.69 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
Ducati Panigale V4
One of the biggest launches in 2018, across all segments, was the Ducati Panigale V4. It is one of the most powerful production motorcycles in India and the first ever Ducati to get a four-cylinder engine. The 1,103 cc, 90-degree, V4 engine belts out 211 bhp at 13,000 rpm and 124 Nm at 10,000 rpm from its four cylinders, while being paired to a 6-speed gearbox. Yes, the numbers are mind-boggling. With a long list of technology and electronic rider aids, and actual MotoGP technology and experience applied to the engine and chassis, the Panigale V4 boasts of being a near-MotoGP machine prototype, built with a counter rotating crankshaft which is said to neutralise the gyroscopic and inertial effects of a fast moving sportbike. There are three variants on sale in India which are the Panigale V4, Panigale V4 S and the absolute bonkers Panigale V4 R too. The Panigale V4 is priced at ₹ 20.53 lakh while the Panigale V4 S is priced at ₹ 25.29 lakh. The V4 R is the most expensive model at ₹ 51.87 lakh. All prices are ex-showroom, Delhi. The Ducati Panigale V4 range is easily one of the most mental sportbikes that money can buy in India at the moment.