Bike enthusiasts can look forward to some exhilarating rides, as several new bikes showcased at 2019 EICMA are scheduled to be launched in India in the coming months. The sub-500 cc segment is currently one of the most popular in India, as bikes in this space offer an optimal combination of style, performance and reasonable pricing. With bike manufacturers aggressively targeting this segment, competition is set to intensify from 2020 onwards. If you are planning to upgrade to a motorcycle in the sub 500 cc bike, here are some options that you can consider.
Hero Xtreme 1.R: This was Hero MotoCorp’s showstopper at 2019 EICMA and it certainly justifies that title with its bold, aggressive design. Inspired by the characteristics of an arrow, the bike is draped in black with contrasting shades of red and white. In terms of performance also, the bike is primed to deliver an optimal mix of speed, agility, and balance.
Though in concept phase as of now, production spec variant is expected to debut in 2019 in India. Targeted primarily at the young generation, Xtreme 1.R comes with LED headlamp, signature LED tail lamp, upswept exhaust, and sporty graphics with Xtreme 1.R concept badging on both sides of the fuel tank.
Other key features of Xtreme 1.R include inverted telescopic front forks, prominent fuel tank extensions, shorter fenders, and sporty tail kit with stepped seats. The bike comes with flat handlebar, racing tyres, larger disk brakes, engine cowl, and performance exhaust system. According to the company, Xtreme 1.R weighs less than 140 kg.
KTM 390 Adventure: All-new KTM 390 Adventure derives design inspiration from 790 Adventure whereas engine and cycle parts come from 390 Duke. Powering 390 Adventure is a 373.2 cc air-cooled engine that churns out max power of 43 bhp at 9,000 rpm and max torque of 37 Nm at 7,000 rpm. Engine is mated to a 6-speed gearbox, integrated with slipper clutch. It comes with other advanced features such as ride-by-wire, EFI, clutch-less shifting, traction control and counter balancer.
KTM 390 Adventure utilizes a split trellis frame and has open-lattice swingarm. These components are similar to the ones used on 790 Adventure and big V-twin KTM ADV motorcycles. Suspension system comprises WP-sourced 43 mm USD front forks and a monoshock unit at the rear. The bike rides on 19-inch front and 17-inch rear wheels shod with Continental TKC 70 tyres.
Braking duties are performed by 320 mm front disks and 230 mm rear disk. The bike uses Bybre callipers and comes with Bosch-sourced switchable ABS and cornering ABS. Other key features include 5-inch TFT dash with Bluetooth connectivity, adjustable windshield, and LED tail lamps. Launch price in India is expected to be around Rs 3.20 lakh.
Hero Xpulse 200 Rally Kit: Developed by Hero MotoCorp’s Centre of Innovation & Technology (CIT), Xpulse 200 Rally Kit is designed for rally motorsport. It works as an entry level rally bike, perfect for budding off-road enthusiasts. The bike comes with various off-roading features such as increased ground clearance, long front and rear suspension with adjustment, flatter seat, extended gear pedal, handlebar risers, and rally tyres.
However, kit is exclusively for rally motorsport and is not approved for normal road use. The kit comes in ready to fit form and can quickly transform the standard Xpulse 200 into a professional rally bike. Xpulse 200 Rally Kit is a good option for young bikers who are targeting rally racing at a professional level. According to Hero MotoCorp, Xpulse 200 Rally Kit will be launched in India by Feb 2020.
Husqvarna 401 Vitpilen and 401 Svartpilen: Owned by KTM AG, Husqvarna showcased several of its bikes at 2019 EICMA including 401 Vitpilen and 401 Svartpilen. Both these bikes are based on the same platform used by KTM 390 Duke. The engine and other key parts are also from 390 Duke. However, Vitpilen and Svartpilen have unique characteristics, with the former featuring a cafe-racer design while the latter has elements of a typical scrambler.
The units showcased at EICMA came with several cosmetic updates along with some mechanical changes. For example, both bikes now come with new colour themes and have a longer pillion seat. Suspension is the same for both bikes; WP-sourced upside down forks at the front and a monoshock unit at the rear.
Braking system is also the same and dual-channel ABS is offered as standard. However, tyres are different on both. While Vitpilen uses standard racing tyres, Svartpilen comes with dual-purpose tyres suitable for both city rides and off-roading. Launch price in India is expected to be around Rs 3.20 lakh for Vitpilen and Rs 3.30 lakh for Svartpilen.