Honda's 500cc model range
Expected: Mid-2013, Price: Rs 4-5 lakh, Channel: CKD
Honda recently added a new family to its 2013 model range consisting of a new 500cc family which inlcudes the CBR500, the CB500 and the CB500X. All three machines are essentially powered by the same 500cc engine but cater to different tastes of buyers. The new CBR500 line-up consists of a sporty middleweight supersports-like CBR500 complete with a full-fairing, split seat and sporty ergonomics accompanied by a CB500 naked machine taking inspiration from the bigger and badder CB1000R. The third model is a rather interesting addition, the CB500X, which is a middleweight adventure/sports touring machine with its styling identical to the recently released Honda NC700X. Bringing practicality and affordability in the current economic dip is the order of the day and this is a strong change in the strategy of big H, which has dished out some of the best machines in the Superbike class.
Platform sharing is the new way forward in the motorcycle business and going by this rule, all three bikes will employ engine and chassis as well as certain body panels from the same parts bin to keep the costs under check while adding a variety of models to the Honda range. However from what we hear, only the CBR500 and the CB500 naked will initially make their debut in India in 2013 and brought in via the CKD channel, the two bikes will carry a highly competitive pricetag to fight the likes of the KTM 390 Duke and the Kawasaki Ninja 300 as well as the Ninja 650 and the Hyosung twins.
Expected: Early-2013, Price: Rs 5 - 5.5 lakh, Channel: CKD
The newly formed DSK-Hyosung alliance has plans to get bullish on the Indian market and starting 2013 the JV will be launching two new motorcycles in the Indian middleweight space. The first to come will be the GV650 cruiser machine also knowns as the Aquila 650, which will be brought in via the CKD route and is expected to be priced between Rs. 5.0 - 5.5 lakh. Currently the Hyosung line-up already includes the ST7 cruiser which is a bit on the higher side with regards to the price, but the GV650, which is even a better looking model will boast a competitive price as confirmed by the company officials.
The next in line will be the 2013 upgraded version of the Hyosung GT650R supersports machine in its latest form complete with a two-tone colour scheme and added paint scheme options to choose from. There are no major technical upgrades to the new GT650R but it surely looks a lot sportier and menacing in its 2013 colours.
Expected: Mid-2013, Price: Rs 5.5 lakh, Channel: CKD
Triumph Street Triple
Expected: Late-2012, Price: Rs 5.75 lakh, Channel: CKD
While a lot has been said about Triumph's Daytona 675, it is the naked middlewight Street Triple which will play a major role in the Indian market once it breaks cover before next year end. Superbly priced at Rs. 5.75 lakh (ex-showroom), the motorcycle will be assembled in India under CKD route and will ply in the 500-800cc middleweight segment. Powered by the same but slightly detuned engine from the Daytona 675, the Street Triple is no less hooligan in its form as well as its function than its elder sibling, the Speed Triple.
The 600cc naked motorcycle class has seen some interesting launches in past few years and Triumph's foray into the segment will only give it the much needed boost for other European as well as Japanese giants to step into the ring. The Street Triple will have to slug it out with the Ducati 795, the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and the Hyosung twins.
Triumph Daytona 675
Expected: Mid-2013, Price: Rs 7 lakh, Channel: CKD
Much to everyone's surprise it is highly possible that the first 600cc middlewieght super-sports machine will not come into India from Japan but instead from Europe, UK to be precise. After announcing its plans to assemble a few of its models in India, Triumph looks set to bring in the popular and much sought-after Daytona 675 supersports machine in India via the CKD route. At an expected price of Rs. 7 lakh, the 675 will be one hell of a machine for its price.
As the regulations suggest, the companies cannot import motorcycles under 800cc into India which leaves Triumph with the only option of assembling the Daytona 675 in India or then locally manufacturing, which is definitely not happening in the near future. It is only due to the CKD route that the company will be able to price the 675 at a lucrative pricepoint in order to fight the rivals like the Ducati 795 and the Kawasaki Ninja 650. As one of the most successful models from its model range, expect the Daytona 675 to be one of the first few launches from the Triumph India line-up launching the machine Mid-2013.
Expected: Mid-2013, Price: Rs 7 - 8 lakh, Channel: CKD
After having unleashed its Ninja brand upon Indian bikers, Kawasaki is readying to expand its Indian product range and there is news that the recently unveiled Kawasaki Z800 streetfighter machine will make its Indian debut by Mid-2013. Made at Kawasaki’s Thailand plant, the Z800 replaces the previous Z750 naked motorcycle from its line-up. Much like the Kawasaki Ninja 250R and the bigger 650R siblings that are also made in the Thailand facility and brought into India via the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) kit channel, expect Kawasaki to introduce the Z800 in India similarly as a CKD model. Complimenting the new found capacity hike is a completely revised design makeover that gives the Z800 a hyper-aggressive and belligerent stance which is bound to steal the hearts of lovers of streetfighter motorcycles.
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