In July 2020, eight brands will launch more than 10 two-wheelers (including one scooter) in India
As the Indian auto industry limps back to normalcy, two-wheeler brands are going ahead with their launch plans in a bid to improve sales. Automotive facilities in green and orange COVID-19 zones opened for business in early May.
On the other hand, major automakers have introduced online sales platforms as well. Some of these ‘virtual showrooms‘ even offer home delivery. Interestingly, the launches are scheduled at a time just as the monsoon season sets in; a period in the past when new two-wheeler launches used to be on hold. Let us look at some of the most anticipated BS6 two-wheeler launches slated to take place in July 2020 (in no particular order):
Hero Xpulse 200, Xpulse 200T & Xtreme 200S
Hero MotoCorp will update its ‘200’ range to BS6 specifications later this month. The list includes three products: XPulse 200 dual-sport, Xpulse 200T sports commuter and Xtreme 200S faired sportsbike. They have already made it to the official website. The BS6 Hero Xpulse 200 is powered by a 199.6cc single-cylinder engine good for 17.5bhp @ 8,500rpm and 16.45Nm @ 6,500rpm. This would most likely be the output for the other two.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350
Royal Enfield’s upcoming Meteor 350 is a successor to the BS4 Thunderbird. Based on an all-new J1D platform, it comes with a totally different ‘UCE 350’ power plant. Engine specifications remain unknown but recent spy shots reveal some interesting details. For starters, it gets a semi-digital instrument console supposedly featuring Bluetooth connectivity; a first for Royal Enfield. It is one of the most awaited launches of the year. The Meteor 350 will rival the model-day Jawa siblings and Benelli Imperiale 400.
Benelli Imperiale 400
The BS6 compliant Benelli Imperiale 400 is now open for bookings with deliveries to commence from early August 2020. Offered in three colour options of Silver, Red and Black, the Imperiale 400 is priced at Rs.1.99 lakhs which is Rs.20,000 over its BS4 variant. The Imperiale 400 gets its power via new, 373.5 cc, single cylinder, four stroke, SOHC, air cooled engine offering 21 hp power at 6,000 rpm and 29 Nm torque at 3,500 rpm mated to a 5 speed manual gearbox. Benelli is also offering after sales service benefits to buyers of the Imperiale 400 which will include access to a Riding Community called Imperiale Raiders, 3 years unlimited km warranty and a complimentary service for first 2 years with 5 maintenance services.
Honda CB Hornet 160R
Honda Motorcycle India’s CB Hornet 160R appeals to a younger segment of buyers in the commuter category. Engine specifications should remain identical to the BS6 Honda X-Blade which was launched a week ago. The X-Blade comes with a 162.71cc single-cylinder motor making 13.68bhp @ 8,250rpm and 14.1Nm @ 7,250rpm. There could also be some minor cosmetic tweaks. Once launched, it will face several rivals in the 150-160cc commuter and sports commuter category.
TVS Victor & Scooty Zest
TVS Motor Company plans to launch two BS6 products this month: Victor commuter and Zest 110 scooter (only one on the list). The former is powered by a 109.7cc single-cylinder engine as on the TVS Radeon. It makes 8bhp @ 7,350rpm and 8.7Nm @ 4,500rpm. The Scooty Zest 110 BS6 features an updated semi-digital instrument console, LED headlamp and some minor cosmetic changes. Its BS4 engine made 7.89bhp and 8.4Nm torque from a 109.7cc carburetted engine (BS6 version gets FI).
Yamaha Motor India is set to launch four new products in India across different segments, starting with the Yamaha FZ25 BS6. It gets a revised headlamp design, gold-coloured alloy wheels, redesigned instrument cluster and new colour choices (Racing Blue and Metallic Black). Engine specifications remain almost identical. In BS4 spec, the 249cc air-cooled single-cylinder engine made 20.51bhp @ 8,000rpm and 20.1Nm @ 6,000rpm while mated to a 5-speed transmission.
Suzuki V-Strom 650XT
Showcased at Auto Expo 2020, the BS6 Suzuki V-Strom 650XT does not carry any major upgrade over its BS4 counterpart. No power or performance figures have been announced yet but could remain almost the same as before. The previous BS4 version made 70bhp @ 8,800rpm and 62.3Nm @ 6,500 rpm while mated to a 6-speed gearbox. Notable features include three-level switchable traction control, 19-inch front wheels, Bridgestone Battlax dual-sport tyres, etc. It primarily rivals the Kawasaki Versys 650.
Triumph Street Triple R
The Triumph Street Triple R shares several components with the Street Triple RS that was launched earlier this year. However, it misses out on a full-colour TFT digital instrument cluster unlike its ‘RS’ sibling. The BS6 power plant remains almost identical — a 765cc inline-3 making 114bhp @ 12,000rpm and 77Nm @ 9,400rpm. Once launched, it will compete with the new BMW F 900 R and KTM 790 Duke (BS6 update pending).
BMW S 1000 XR
BMW Motorrad’s S 1000 XR sports tourer follows the launch of two F 900 models in India. It packs a new frame, updated styling and better performance. Notable cosmetic details include two-step adjustable windscreen, revised full-LED headlamp configuration, etc. Being a sports tourer, the 2020 BMW S 1000 XR receives a more relaxed and upright riding stance allowing riders to take on long distances with optimal comfort. It gets a 999cc inline-four engine generating 163bhp @ 11,000rpm and 114Nm @ 9,250rpm while mated to a 6-speed unit. The Ducati Multistrada 1260 S and Kawasaki Versys 1000 are its main rivals.