After having ruled the scooter segment for over a decade with the Activa and Dio pair and then having ventured into the mass market segment in India this year with the Dream Yuga, the big H is now aiming to bring bigger machines into India across the spectrum. While on the premium motorcycle side it has the new 500cc family waiting to be unleashed on the Indian market, at the lower end, Honda will be launching a premium scooter soon in India to cater to the the growing premium scooter brigade.
The new big premium scooter model will offer performance and elite features first time seen in the scooter class although the pricing will be a bit on the higher side. The scooter will be locally manufactured by Honda at its Indian operations to keep the costs under check.
Bajaj Auto has been working quite hard on the new Pulsar range and the 200NS is just a tip of the iceberg. Next in line is the biggest Pulsar of them all, a 375cc variant loosely based on the KTM 390 motor but minus some goodies for an attractive pricing. Although it will take a bit of a while for the Pulsar 350 to be in the market one can expect it to hit the Bajaj Auto dealerships by end 2013.
Always the one to beat the competition on the pricing front, expect the bigger Pulsar also to be priced competitively in the range of Rs. 1.5 - 1.8 lakh (ex-showroom), which will be a killer pricing for a 375cc machine. There will also be quarter-faired and fully faired variants of the new Pulsar that will eventually make their appearance at the Bajaj Auto dealerships in due course of time.
Well so the bigger Duke is all ready to hit the Indian roads by April 2013. Expect the bookings to open by March 2013 and the price will be somewhere in the region of Rs. 2.0 - 2.3 lakh (ex-showroom). The bike has been in the news for long and there are a lot of bikers out there who have been waiting for a good 350-400cc machine to venture into the Indian market and the KTM 390 Duke will do just that. Bringing affordable performance to the power-hungry yet cash-strapped motorcycle enthusiasts in the country.
Boasting a strong and revvy 373.2cc single cylinder engine, the 390 Duke will pump out 44Ps of power and 35Nm of torque while weighing just about 139kg (dry) resulting in phenomenal power-to-weight ratio which means it will continue to offer blisteringly quick acceleration while returning decent fuel economy.
It seems the Japanese bike maker Yamaha has finally understood the need for it to cater to the performance hungry and Yamaha loyalists in the country today. After having tried their best to rake in numbers in the lower segments the company is now focusing on larger capacity premium motorcycles that it will launch in India next year. Although the confirmation a a full-fledged 250cc motorcycle under development has been announced by the Japanese giant, it is uncertain if the motorcycle will be launched in 2013 or during the 2014 Auto Expo.
However, its great news for all bikers as Yamaha has decided to step into the affordable performance bracket. Also on cars is a larger 400cc machine from Yamaha that is ready to break cover rather soon. It could be powered by a parallel twin engine or the new inline three cylinder crossplace engine shown by Yamaha at this year's Intermot Motorcycle Show held in Cologne. One thing is for sure, Yamaha will now shed its conservative tag and will enter the premium motorcycle space with its performance machines.