Affordable performance motorcycles for 2014 (200 to 400cc)

The affordable performance motorcycle segment would be witnessing a slew of launches to the delight of two-wheeler enthusiasts across the country and we take a look at the various launches scheduled for 2014


Affordable performance motorcycles for 2014 200 to 400cc



Just a few years back, the affordable performance segment consisted of very few motorcycles between 200 to 400cc. But the situation has changed immensely and in 2014, this segment would witness some of the fiercest action among all the two-wheeler class. This shift can be credited to the new generation of consumers for whom performance takes priority over efficiency. Having said that the consumers are still price conscious even in this segment and this has resulted in all the major two-wheeler manufacturers trying their best to bring in new offerings which offer decent performance without costing a bomb. The major launches in this segment have to be the Bajaj Pulsar 200SS/375 and the KTM RC 390/200 along with the Hero Karizma ZMR and R. All these motorcycles are faired which is sure to delight the majority of the two-wheeler consumers in the country who have an affinity to faired bikes. 



Bajaj Pulsar 200SS

Image Courtesy: Nitin Agrwal



Bajaj Pulsar 200SS:

Expected Launch: Early 2014

Expected Price: Rs 1 to 1.2 lakh


Trust Bajaj Auto to always come with a surprise. When every auto enthusiast in the country was waiting for the Pulsar 375 all of a sudden pictures of a faired offering based on the Pulsar 200 NS crops up on the internet as thus it comes in to picture the Pulsar 200SS (Super Sport). The new bike would be heavily based on the 200NS but have additional features like electronic fuel injection and ABS (mostly optional). The fuel injection would be a boon during cold starts and for this purpose the bikes are getting tested in hilly regions across the country to validate its performance. Other visual highlights include LED turn indicators sourced from the KTM 200 Duke, twin projector headlights along with a small windscreen to reduce drag. To make the bike more comfortable while touring it sports raised clip-on handlebars. The faired offering would be powered by the same 199cc mill as found on the 200NS but it is expected that the power and torque figures would be hiked marginally from the standard 23.5PS and 18Nm to adapt the touring character of the bike. Bajaj have been the pioneers when it comes to providing value for money performance bikes and the 200NS wouldn’t be any different.



Bajaj Pulsar 375

Note: Pic for representation only


Bajaj Pulsar 375:

Expected Launch: Late 2014

Expected Price: Rs 1.4 to 1.5 lakh


With all its attention fixed on the Pulsar 200SS, it doesn’t mean that Bajaj has forgotten about the Pulsar 375 which would be a faired offering based on the bonkers KTM 390 Duke. Bajaj has smartly adopted the technical know-how which was developed for the 200 Duke and applied it brilliantly on the Pulsar 200NS and that’s what it plans to repeat with the 375. Which means that the design would be inspired from the Pulsar 200SS while the underpinning would be based on that of the KTM 390 Duke. Powering the bike would be a de-tuned 375cc mill as found on the 390 Duke thereby producing close to 40PS of power and 32Nm of torque and it would get features like fuel injection and ABS. Although the power loss is marginal but what would really counter it would be the bikes pricing. The 390 Duke is priced around 1.86 lakh, which makes it a value for money proposition but with the 375, Bajaj would take it a notch higher. As it is expected to be retail for around Rs 1.5 lakh and for that money a motorcycle enthusiast would be getting the same amount of power for which he normally has to shell out close to Rs 4 lakh!



Yamaha R25 Concept



Yamaha 250cc bike:

Expected Launch: Late 2014

Expected Price: Rs 1.7 to 2.0 lakh


After Yamaha launched its 150cc offering the R15 every bike buff that it would soon launch the 250cc in our country soon. But sadly that wasn’t the case as till now nothing has come through the Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer. All that is about to change, as after prolonged speculation and rumour, Yamaha finally showcased a concept 250cc called the R25, which will be part of its 2014 line-up of motorcycles at the 2013 Tokyo Motor Show. Powering the bike will be a 249cc, parallel twin engine which would be liquid cooled and feature a fuel injection. No power figures have been announced by the Japanese two-wheeler manufacturer as of now but we estimate it to be around 30PS and the powerplant would be mated to a six-speed transmission. 


In terms of design, the R25 has been heavily influenced by Yamaha’s M1 MotoGP machine and it looks a scaled down iteration given the racing livery and the Akrapovic exhaust system. This will delight most of the Indian two-wheeler buyers who have an everlasting love affair with fully faired motorcycles. One can also notice very aggressive riding position akin to its superbikes, while the tail section has been chiselled for a sporty look and gels well with the split seats. The bike features tubular chassis, telescopic fork suspension in front and employs monoshock suspension at the rear. Disc brakes have been provided at both front and rear, whether it would sport ABS remains uncertain.



Hero MotoCorp Karizma R



Hero MotoCorp Karizma R:

Expected Launch: Early 2014

Expected Price: Around Rs 1 lakh


The Karizma was among the forerunners in the affordable performance segment when it debuted in 2003. The bike was warmly welcomed by two-heeler enthusiasts as it had a beautiful amalgamation of style and power. The bike received a facelift in 2007 and since then Hero adnt updated it yet. But all is about to change as Hero showcased the next generation Karizma R which would be launched in 2014. The new bike has been developed by Hero in close collaboration with its US-based partner Erik Buell Racing (EBR). The new offerings features twin headlights, completely redesigned front faring and tail section, belly pan, new handle bars, split seat and wider profile tyres. Power figures have been hiked on the new Karizma R from the existing 17.2PS to 19PS and it would boast an acceleration time of 0-60km/h in 3.6 seconds.



Hero MotoCorp Karizma ZMR



Hero MotoCorp Karizma ZMR:

Expected Launch: Early 2014

Expected Price: Rs 1.1 lakh


Boyed by the success which the Karizma R received, Hero launched the full-faired option Karizma ZMR in 2009. But sadly the ZMR wasn’t able to ape the success of its sibling and to change the tides Hero has decided to launch an all-new Karizma ZMR in 2014. Visually the bike looks similar to the new Karizma R with the only major difference being that it has a full-faired body unlike a half-faired one. The ZMR is among the first bikes to be developed under the partnership of Hero and Erik Buell Racing (EBR) after it split from its erstwhile partner Honda. The bike would be now powered by a tweaked engine producing 20PS of power and have the same 0-60 km/h acceleration timing of 3.6 seconds. Other details that differentiate the ZMR from its younger sibling are electronic fuel injection and rear disc brakes. 



KTM RC 390



KTM RC 390:

Expected Launch: Mid 2014

Expected Price: Rs 2 lakh


The RC 390 is the highly anticipated fully-faired avatar of the 390 Duke. In tune with its supersport DNA, the bike sports an all-new 9.5 litre capacity fuel tank in sync which has been designed keeping in mind the rider ergonomics. Other notable features include mirror incorporated blinkers and a twin headlight which conveys a new direction for KTM in terms of styling. Another design highlight is the Ducati Panigale inspired exhaust set-up, which is embedded in the bikes fairing for a clean look. The RC 390 features clip on handlebars has been employed for a sporty and aggressive riding position while the footrests and pedals have been moved further back for better lean angle. The instrument cluster features a LCD display which displays details like RPM alert indicator (the best moment for shifting up), engaged gear, fuel gauge and service reminder. The overall design of the RC 390 is very fresh and sporty while taking very few design cues from the flagship RC8 superbike, which works in its favour.



KTM RC 200



KTM RC 200:

Expected Launch: Mid 2014

Expected Price: Rs 1.6 lakh


We all know what a hoot the KTM 200 Duke is to ride but there remains a section of bikers who cannot see further faired motorcycles. To please this bunch of riders KTM would be bringing in the faired avatar of the 200 Duke called the RC 200. Visually the faired offering is similar to its 375cc rival and the only major differentiating factor like that for the 200 and 390 Duke is the colour scheme. The bike would be powered by the same 199.5cc mill as found in its naked sibling producing 25PS of power along with 19Nm of torque and is mated to a six-speed transmission. KTM wants to promote the RC 200 as a sports tourer and one can get hold of touring accessories pack from the KTM Performance Parts range of aftermarket accessories and it would rival the Honda CBR 150R and Yamaha R15 in our market.



Honda CBR 300R



Honda CBR 300R:

Expected Launch: Mid 2014

Expected Price: Rs 2.7 to 3 lakh


The 2014 CBR 300R is the latest world model from the stables of Honda, which means it is a bike developed for more than one particular country or region. Visually the new offering looks much more appealing than its 250cc sibling and design influences from the CBR 500R and the CBR 1000RR Fireblade is clearly visible and works in the bikes favour. Powering it is a 286cc mill producing 30.8PS @ 8,500rpm and a torque rating of 27Nm @ 7,250rpm while PGM-FI takes care of fuelling the bike.  Power is less compared to Ninja 300, which pumps out 39.5PS from its twin-cylinder but torque figures are almost identical.


No changes have been done to the bikes underpinnings as the chassis and suspension of the CBR 300R appear akin to its smaller sibling and like the 250R, ABS doesn’t seem to be a standard fitment and would be an option. Another major visual change on the new bike is the revised styling of the exhaust pipe which is narrower and gels well with the compact silhouette of the CBR 300R. The CBR 300R would be pitched against the Ninja 300R and the KTM 390 Duke in the Indian market and would fit in between both the bikes in terms of pricing and would be brought in via CKD route.



Hero MotoCorp Impulse 225



Hero MotoCorp Impulse 225:

Expected Launch: Early 2014

Expected Price: Around Rs 1 lakh


The Hero Impulse has to be among one of the most focused motorcycles in the country on sale in the country. It created an all-new class of on/off-road motorcycles opening doors to a new take-it-anywhere motorcycle in the country. But sadly the bike hasn’t been well received by the consumers with sales sliding with every passing month. The only qualm one can point out in the Impulse was the inadequate power output from its 150cc mill. To address this issue, Hero would be launching a new Impulse in 2014 with the engine sourced from the new Karizma R engine producing 19PS of power. If Hero makes this move, we feel that finally justice would be done to the bikes potential and hopefully this wonderful motorcycle would be given a second chance by the consumers. 



Hyosung GV 250



Hyosung GV 250:

Expected Launch: Early 2014

Expected Price: Rs 1.8 to 2 lakh


The Aquila was the second bike with which Hyosung commenced its Indian operations with its erstwhile partner Kinetic. The bike was revolutionary in its own term as it was the first time that an Indian buyer could get hold of a V-twin powered cruiser without shelling out a fortune and it clocked decent sales figure. But sadly Hyosung exited the market quietly thereby leaving many of its owners in a lurch without any service back up or any source for acquiring spare parts. But Hyosung wants to forget its past and start afresh as it plans to introduce the GV 250 or the new Aquila for our Indian market in 2014. The new offering would house an air and oil-cooled V-twin engine, 8-valve motor producing 25.4PS @ 10,000rpm and 22Nm @ 7,500rpm. If Hyosung is able to price the bike below the 2 lakh mark, then it would be to sell a reasonable number of bikes given that its only real competitor in the segment would be the Royal Enfield Continental GT and Thunderbird 500 in terms of price. 



Suzuki GW250



Suzuki Inazuma /GW250:

Expected Launch: February 2014

Expected Price: Rs 1.6 to 1.8 lakh


It has been long speculated that Suzuki would be bringing its Inazuma or the GW250 for the Indian two-wheeler market. But the Japanese manufacturer has always kept mum on divulging details of it launch. Owing to this, there were also doubts emerging that whether it would ever launch a 250cc offering for our country but all that speculation was put to rest when Salman Khan was spotted riding the GW250 during the shoot of his up-coming movie Jai Ho. Since Salman is the brand ambassador of the brand it is guessed that Suzuki would be launching this bike in 2014 along with the movie. The GW250 is powered by a 248cc, liquid-cooled, parallel twin mill capable of pushing out 25PS of a power and 24Nm of torque. All this power and torque is transferred on the tarmac via a six-speed gearbox. The bike borrows its design language from the huge 1,300cc B-King naked bike (though this one weighs just 183kg) and it looks smart however, it’s not as flamboyant as its faired rivals. The bike is set to debut at the 2014 Auto Expo in February and would be brought in via the CKD route.



Mahindra Mojo




Mahindra Mojo

Expected Launch: February 2014

Expected Price: Around Rs 1.5 lakh

Mahindra created quite a stir when it showcased the Mojo back in 2010 but sadly it wasn’t able to follow up with the launch of the bike. It’s been almost three years since its unveil still there was no signs of the Mojo in 2013. But all that is about to change, as the bike has been spotted undergoing testing at various locations across the country. And all the rumours and speculations about its launch was put to rest, when Mahindra announced that after undergoing strenuous testing it would be unveiling its flagship motorcycle at the 2014 Auto Expo. The new offering will be powered by a 300cc, 4-stroke, liquid-cooled DOHC engine with electronic fuel-injection and will be mated to a 6-speed transmission. The 300cc engine will develop 26.3PS @ 8,500 rpm and has a torque rating of 24Nm @ 7000 rpm. The bike has been loaded with features like USD front forks, tubular frame, sporty instrument cluster with analog tacho and digital speedometer, LED pilot lamps and tail lamps. Other highlights on the Mojo which make it stand out are  twin exhausts, wide Pirelli Sport Demon tyres, massive front and rear petal disc brakes and LED turn indicators integrated in the mirrors. It is also speculated that design would be revised, whether this would be done or not would only be clear at the bikes unveiling. 


Kawasaki Ninja 400



Kawasaki Ninja 400:

Expected Launch: Mid 2014

Expected Price: Rs 4 lakh


Kawasaki unveiled the Ninja 400 at the prestigious 2013 EICMA show in Italy and now plans to bring this bike to our shores in 2014. Kawasaki has had decent success in the Indian market taking in to account the price at which its product retail for and buoyed by the response the Ninja 650R and the Ninja 300 received it is rumored that it would be launching the Ninja 400 soon.  Visually it resembles very closely to the updated Ninja 650R and looks like its scaled down iteration and is a sports tourer. At the heart of the Ninja 400 lies a 399 cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, DOHC mill churning out 44PS of power at 9,500 rpm. Peak torque is rated at 37Nm and the fuel injected mill is mated to a six-speed transmission. Although, power figures are similar to that of the KTM 390 Duke but the pricing wouldn’t be similar as it would come in via the CKD route making it an expensive machine to own.


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