2016 has seen a lot of unique and interesting two wheeler launches - right from the quirky Honda Navi to the Royal Enfield Himalayan and the Bajaj Dominar 400. Here's a recap of the top 10 two-wheeler launches of 2016, right from the commuter space to hi-end superbikes.
1. Honda Navi
The Honda Navi has redefined the Indian two wheeler space and underlined Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India as a truly global two wheeler manufacturer. The Navi was designed, developed and manufactured completely in India, without any inputs from Honda's global headquarters in Japan. And it's proved to be a commercial success as well.
Watch Honda Navi First Look ☟
Based on the Honda Activa, and even borrowing the same 110cc engine and making identical figures (8bhp power and 9Nm of torque), the Navi employs a bold new design, with quirky looks and is best described as a sort of crossover between a motorcycle and a scooter. Fun to ride, practical and with a very attractive price tag of Rs 39,500 (ex-showroom Delhi), the Honda Navi has proved to be a bestseller for HMSI. The Honda Navi is also the winner of the coveted NDTV Two Wheeler of the Year Award, winning the Two Wheeler Design of the Year as well as Mini Bike of the Year.
2. Bajaj V15
From the legacy of India's war hero and decommissioned aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, the Bajaj V15 is as much a marketing success as a product which has found wide appeal in the commuter motorcycle buyer. Built from metal sourced from the scrapped aircraft carrier INS Vikrant, the V15 has quickly captured the imagination and patriotism of every Indian with Bajaj's ingenious marketing campaign around the old war horse.
Although the amount of metal used in the bike's construction is more symbolic rather than the entire body being made of that metal, the V15 soon established itself as a commuter bike synonymous with strength and ruggedness. A bold new design, a little offbeat but muscular, with a long footprint and well-planted silhouette, the Bajaj V15 has become a clear favourite in the commuter motorcycle space in the short period since its launch. The Bajaj V15 is powered by a 150cc engine making around 12bhp power and 13Nm of torque. Billed as a 150cc commuter at the price point of a lower segment, the Bajaj V15 is one of the most important commuter motorcycle launches of the year.
3. Hero Splendor iSmart 110
The Hero Splendor iSmart 110 is one of the most important launches of the year, mainly because it's the first motorcycle to be completely developed in-house by Hero MotoCorp since its split with Honda five years ago. The Splendor iSmart 110 was developed at the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CIT), Hero's sprawling 250-acre R&D centre near Jaipur.
In line with Hero's brand image as manufacturers of frugal, easy to use commuter motorcycles, the Splendor iSmart 110 gets a new 110cc engine with i3S technology, the start-stop system which shuts the engine automatically after ten seconds in neutral. To restart the engine, all the rider needs to do is pull in the clutch and the motor will restart. The Hero Splendor is the largest selling motorcycle in India, and on an average sells 10 lakh units every year. Hero also leads the motorcycle market with a 52 per cent market share. Going forward, Hero will be looking to maintain its leadership position going forward.
4. TVS Victor
The Victor name is not new for TVS Motor Company. The original TVS Victor, first launched in 2001, was the flag bearer of the Hosur-based two wheeler manufacturer's commuter motorcycle line-up. In fact, in its time the Victor was so popular that it even dented sales of market leader Hero Splendor. TVS discontinued the Victor in 2007 due to a variety of reasons - rising competition and too many products in the same segment. In 2016, TVS revived the Victor name with an all-new product, in an immensely popular 110cc segment.
The new 110cc engine makes 9.46bhp power and 9.4Nm of torque, par for the course for 110cc bikes. New design, new engine and a bike with comfortable ride quality and good fuel economy makes the new TVS Victor a very good contender in the 100-110cc commuter motorcycle space. It's a well-rounded product, with an understated design and little to find fault in, and for the typical family guy looking for a 110cc commuter, the TVS Victor ticks all the right boxes, and also makes it to our list of top 10 two wheeler launches.
5. TVS Apache RTR 200 4V
Another TVS motorcycle makes it to the top 10 launches list, and it's the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V, TVS Motor Company's flagship motorcycle. The Apache RTR 200 4V was launched earlier this year and is available in as many as eight variants, including a carburetted version and a fuel-injected version and a variant with ABS. It was one of the most-awaited launches from TVS, and the bike certainly has lot of things going for it as an entry-level performance bike which doubles up as a daily commuter.
Watch Apache RTR 200 4V Vs Pulsar RS200 Comparison ☟
The Apache RTR 200 4V is a powered by a torquey engine which makes 20.5bhp power and 18.1Nm of torque, with a strong mid-range, making it ideal for riding in the city without requiring frequent gear changes. Sporty looks, very good build quality and with the right equipment and features, make the TVS Apache RTR 200 a great all-round commuter as well as occasional track machine for beginners. Ex-showroom prices for the TVS Apache RTR 200 4V begin from around Rs 89,000 for the base carburetted version and goes up to over Rs 1.07 lakh for the top-of-the-line fuel-injected variant with ABS.
6. Royal Enfield Himalayan
The Royal Enfield Himalayan is the first purpose-built motorcycle for adventure by any Indian two wheeler manufacturer. The bike has a simple, stripped-down design, but gets the right equipment for travelling to places where the roads end. High ground clearance, long travel suspension offer a comfortable ride as well as capability to go off-road. To top it all, the Himalayan is easy to handle in traffic and can double up as a multi-purpose bike - for the daily commute, long distance touring and off-road riding.
Watch Royal Enfield Himalayan Review ☟
Powered by a new, 411cc single-cylinder engine, and fed by a carburettor, the Himalayan makes 24bhp power and 32Nm torque. It's got a strong mid-range, making it ideal for operating in mountain roads. At the top of the rev range though, the noise and harshness creeps in. The Royal Enfield Himalayan has broken new ground in the Indian motorcycling scene, offering a do-it-all bike that few manufacturers can boast of. Priced at a very competitive Rs 1.55 lakh, the Royal Enfield Himalayan is the first ground-up, all new Royal Enfield to be launched in India.
7. Bajaj Dominar 400
The Bajaj Dominar 400 is one of the most-awaited bike launches from Bajaj Auto. First showcased nearly three years ago as a concept in the 2014 Auto Expo, the Dominar 400 finally makes its way to the market as Bajaj's all-new premium motorcycle promising performance for the enthusiast as well as touring ability.
Watch Bajaj Dominar 400 First Look ☟
Powered by a 373cc engine derived from the KTM 390 Duke, the Dominar makes 34.5bhp power and 35Nm of torque. It gets a new frame, a 43mm telescopic fork, a new swingarm and a massive 320mm front disc as well as dual-channel ABS. It is Bajaj's most powerful motorcycle yet and with a sticker ex-showroom price starting at Rs 1.36 lakh for the non-ABS variant, the Dominar 400 promises a lot of bang for your buck.
8. Triumph Street Twin
The Triumph Street Twin is one of the first entry-level superbike launches of the year. With the new Street Twin, Triumph has completely revamped its modern classic line-up, providing equipment and technology that has not been seen in any of the Bonneville range motorcycles till date. The Street Twin is the entry-level Bonneville, with an ex-showroom price of Rs 6.9 lakh.
The Street Twin is a stripped down base version of the new Bonneville range and gets an all-new 900cc engine, now with liquid-cooling. The engine makes around 55bhp of power and 80Nm of torque. That's not all, the Street Twin also gets a new chassis and a host of rider-focussed electronic aids including ride-by-wire, ABS and even switchable traction control. It's the perfect bike for the beginner, yet has the performance for more experienced riders as well.
9. Triumph Bonneville T120
The Triumph Bonneville T120 is a new model addition to the upgraded Bonneville series for 2016. The looks are retained with the signature classic Bonneville design, but everything else from the design is completely new on the T120. Revised chassis, new suspension set-up and an all-new 1200cc liquid-cooled engine gives this modern classic a level of performance that is instantly likeable.
The new 1200cc mill produces 79bhp power and 105Nm of torque and the bike also gets additional electronic like ride-by-wire (with two riding modes), ABS and switchable traction control. The new Triumph Bonneville T120 is an all-new motorcycle from the ground-up. It retains the classic looks, but has the performance to entertain even more experienced riders. At Rs 8.9 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the T120 is the latest Triumph modern classic with signature Bonneville looks and with all the bells and whistles of a completely modern motorcycle.
10. Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro
The Ducati Multistrada 1200 Enduro is the new Ducati adventure tourer with equipment which make it capable to take on the rough. The new Multistrada 1200 Enduro has impressive road presence, very good touring ability and an engine which underlines the fact that the Enduro has the heart of a superbike. The latest generation 1200cc Testastretta engine makes 160bhp of power and is one of the most sophisticated and capable ADV bikes available on sale in India.
Ride-by-wire with a choice of engine maps, which automatically adjust power output, throttle response, traction control, wheelie control, ABS mode and even suspension damping and rear preload are only some of the features that make the Multistrada 1200 Enduro a completely modern, hi-tech motorcycle. It may feel a little bulky, particularly in crawling traffic, but once on the move, the Enduro feels as easy as any other bike out there. Priced at Rs 17.44 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the Enduro isn't exactly your affordable ADV bike, but it's got everything going for it and more which just makes it a great all-round motorcycle.