The year 2018 has almost ended and we spent the better part of the year riding and reviewing the best two-wheelers which were launched in India. Surprisingly, 2018 did not see a single manufacturer launching any mass market commuter motorcycles in the 100-110 cc segment. Instead, the action moved to premium commuter motorcycles. Even in the scooter segment, there were only 125 cc scooter launches in 2018. But the biggest action came in the middleweight segment, starting with the 300 cc Jawa bikes and going up to the Royal Enfield 650 Twins, all within a price bracket of ₹ 1.5 to ₹ 3 lakh. Of course, adventure bikes continue to remain the favourite flavour as do modern classics. Here's a look at some of the best motorcycle reviews of 2018.
1. Ducati Panigale V4
The Ducati Panigale V4 - a manic, 211 bhp superbike packed with the performance to scare you silly, and electronic riders aids to make a hero out of you on a racetrack. We spent a day hustling this near MotoGP-spec Ducati superbike at the Sepang International Circuit in Malaysia. And we came back overwhelmed with the V4 engine's performance and the bike's overall handling. It's quite possibly one of the most memorable reviews of the year.
Also Read: Ducati Panigale V4S First Ride Review
2. 2018 Honda Africa Twin
The Honda Africa Twin, or CRF1000L got updated for 2018, and we spent a day getting to know the new bike better. Riding it on the busy streets of Mumbai, and then on to a beach in the suburbs, the Honda Africa Twin certainly underscored why it's possibly one of the best adventure bikes to ride when the road ends, and the rough stuff begins.
Also Read: 2018 Honda Africa Twin First Ride Review
3. 2018 Triumph Tiger 800
In 2018, Triumph updated its popular middleweight adventure bike, the Triumph Tiger 800 with quite a few changes. The engine displacement remains the same, but components have been updated, and the top-spec variants now get a full-colour TFT instrument panel. Also new is an additional Off-Road Pro mode in the Tiger's electronics suite. It may look somewhat similar to the outgoing model, but a lot has changed on the Tiger 800. And to find out, we rode the 2018 Tiger 800 models around the Atlas mountains in Morocco.
4. Suzuki GSX-S750 Review
Middleweight performance bikes offer a great deal of fun. They are the ideal bikes to upgrade from smaller, less performance-oriented motorcycles, and are affordable too, compared to full-size litre-class superbikes. The Suzuki GSX-S750 is such a bike, offering a superb blend of performance and handling, and at a price, which makes it incredible value for the performance it packs. We rode it on the racetrack, and we rode it on normal streets, and each time the GSX-S750 didn't fail to impress us! Easily one of the sweetest performance bikes of the year!
Also Read: Suzuki GSX-S750 Review
5. Royal Enfield Interceptor 650
The Royal Enfield 650 Twins were probably the most-awaited motorcycle launches of the year. We rode the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 first in the US, and then again rode both bikes in Goa, in hot and muggy weather. While the performance of the new 650 cc parallel-twin engine blew us away, Royal Enfield took these exceptional bikes to a whole new level by announcing the prices. At ₹ 2.5 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the Royal Enfield Interceptor 650, it is tremendous value for money, and an overall great product. We enjoyed riding the Interceptor 650 and we still can't get enough of it, and looking forward to riding the bike again.
Another celebrated name in motorcycling which made a comeback in 2018 is the Jawa brand. Launched by Classic Legends Private Limited, a company in which Mahindra & Mahindra has stake in, the new Jawa and Jawa Forty Two bikes are powered by an all-new 293 cc four-stroke engine. The new Jawa bikes certainly tick all the right boxes in the looks department, and styling is a definite nod to the 1960s two-stroke Jawa bikes. Period correct looks, great handling and performance make the new Jawa quite a fun bike to ride.
Also Read: 2018 Jawa First Ride Review
7. Yamaha YZF-R15 V 3.0
India Yamaha updated the 150 cc, full-faired, entry-level sportbike in 2018 with the third version. The Yamaha YZF-R15 V 3.0 gets a new 155 cc engine which puts out 19 bhp of power and updated styling. We rode it on the racetrack, and we rode it on the streets, and it's easy to see why the R15 is so popular, because one thing it doesn't lack is fun! It's got great dynamics, pretty good performance for the small engine and is an overall great bike.
8. TVS Apache RTR 160 4V
TVS Motor Company updated the Apache 160 with a brand-new four-valve engine and updated design. Although in styling the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V looks quite similar to its elder brother, the Apache RTR 200 4V, the little Apache is a lot of fun to ride, even on the daily commute. It's now one of our favourite models in the premium commuter segment, and we had a great time riding the bike, during the first ride, and while commuting in the city when we had the bike for an extended stay in our garage.
Also Read: TVS Apache RTR 160 4V First Ride Review
9. TVS NTorq 125
TVS also introduced a new 125 cc scooter in 2018. The TVS NTorq 125 boasts of being the first smart-connected scooter which offers a feature-packed full-digital instrument panel, including a dedicated app and turn by turn navigation. With sharp chiselled looks, great dynamics and tremendous performance, the TVS NTorq 125 is one of our favourite scooters of 2018.
Also Read: TVS NTorq 125 First Ride Review
10. Ather 450
Bengaluru-based tech start-up Ather Energy introduced a brand new premium electric scooter in 2018. The Ather 450, the top of the line electric scooter, has the performance and handling to compete with conventional scooters, but it goes a step ahead. The Ather 450 is a smart-connected scooter which offers satellite navigation, remote diagnostics and more. At nearly one lakh 30 thousand rupees, it's certainly priced at a premium, but the performance, technology and features of the Ather 450 make it feel premium, even at that price.
Also Read: Ather 450 First Ride Review