In 2012 we chose the best in all of eight different two wheeler categories where Bajaj walked away with double honours. Honda and Royal Enfield also tasted success in their individual motorcycle segments, Yamaha for its first scooter offering, while it was an Italian heartthrob that even with little competition in its alley was deserving enough to win the Import Superbike of the year this time around
Scooter of the Year
Venturing into the scooter space with the Ray, Yamaha has managed to shake up the segment in a promising manner. Despite being marketed and targeted at women scooter buyers in India, the Ray has amassed sizable popularity across both genders. One of the key reasons for it drawing attention is because it’s a solidly built and well-made product much like all Yamaha offerings. Powered by a peppy 113cc engine, the Ray is engineered for refinement and smoothness while being fashionably packaged to appeal to its target customers. The ergonomics, ride and comfort provided by the Yamaha Ray supersedes any of the scooters plying on Indian roads today. (Also read: Yamaha Ray: First Ride)
So when one takes into consideration the entire experience astride the Ray and factors in the lively and energetic motor delivering respectable fuel efficiency coupled with a competitive pricing it is difficult to find a flaw with the new Ray. And our jury too shared the same opinion after having put the ray through its paces amidst a line-up of rather competent and strong rivals like the gorgeously styled new Honda Dio, the iconic Vespa, the fast and fun Suzuki Swish 125 or even the Maestro, from the trusted Hero brand. The general consensus amongst the jury was that the Ray comes across as a fresh design and model from a reputed brand like Yamaha boasting excellent built quality and a sophisticated design in the burgeoning scooter segment in the country.
Motorcycle upto 110cc
Honda Dream Yuga
Honda’s weapon to foray into the clogged mass market segment, the Dream Yuga certainly left a lasting impression upon all the jury members and they all voiced a common opinion calling the Yuga a worthy successor to the iconic Hero Splendor. A frugal 109cc mated to a slick 4-speed gearbox tuned for efficient city commuting, the Dream Yuga possesses the ideal setup suited to the average Indian commuter.
Conservative and minimal in its form but serving each and every function expected of a 100cc commuter with perfection, the Honda Dream Yuga has struck all the right notes and it only guarantees that Honda will be singing a glorious tune in years to come thanks to this small wonder from the Japanese giant.
110cc - 125cc Motorcycle
Bajaj Discover 125ST
Launched without much fanfare, the Discover 125ST from Bajaj Auto made a rather subtle entry into the 125cc segment but it packed in quite a few goodies that have never been witnessed in this class of motorcycles. For starters the new Discover 125ST gets a 4-valve head with Bajaj Auto patented twin sparkplug technology while on the outside, there are corrugated fins for better heat transfer on the air-cooled engine. But then it is not simply the technology inside the new Discover that impressed our jury but the overall package of the Discover 125ST bringing class-leading tech and excellent performance matched with killer pricing which helped it bag top honours. (Also read: Bajaj Discover 125 ST: First Ride)
Enthusiast Motorcycle upto 180cc
The Honda CBR150R might not have raised a storm in the 150cc class, but it sure left its mark on our jury with its over-energetic motor eager to be revved hard and its neutral handling making it perfect machine for beginner enthusiasts as well as seasoned riders. Its lightweight physique and extremely well-drawn ergonomics gave the CBR150R added brownie points handing it the award. (Also read: Honda CBR150R: Road Test)