2015 can be termed as the year of Italian invasion in India. That apart, there was the usual flurry of activity in the vast two wheeler space. Here is a compilation of top bike launches in India during 2015 in chronological order.
The first major action in 2015 has to be the formal launch of DSK-Benelli in the country on March 19. The Indo-Italian partnership saw a comprehensive lineup of sportsbikes launched in India either as CBU or CKD. The launch lineup included TNT 300, TNT 600i, TNT 600 GT, TNT 899 and TNT 1130. All the motorcycles carried tempting introductory price tags.
Bajaj Pulsar RS 200
The Pulsar RS 200 is undoubtedly the most eagerly awaited launch in the first half of 2015. The motorcycle had been spied consistently, creating much curiosity among the Pulsar loyalists. The first fully faired Bajaj went on sale on March 26 at a starting price of INR 1.18 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi). The 199.5 cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled fuel-injected motor puts out 24.5 PS and 18.6 Nm of torque when mated to a 6-speed transmission.
Kawasaki Ninja H2
The unearthly Ninja H2 is easily the most insane motorcycle to set foot in India in 2015. The supercharged hyperbike was launched on April 3 for a hefty price tag of INR 29 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi). MS Dhoni became the first customer of the 200 PS litre class mean machine.
Suzuki Gixxer SF
Following the success of the naked Gixxer, Suzuki Motorcycle India came up with the fully faired variant called the Gixxer SF on April 7. Priced at INR 83,439 (ex-showroom, New Delhi) the compact sportsbike retained the 155 cc air-cooled motor which is good for 14.8 PS.
Bajaj Pulsar AS150 and AS200
Even as the Pulsar RS 200 was settling into a sales rhythm, Bajaj followed it up with two segment creators in the form of the Pulsar AS150 and AS200. Both motorcycles feature identical adventure tourer styling, and street bike hardware. The AS150’s new motor puts out an impressive 17 PS while the AS200 borrows its 23.5 PS 199.5 cc carbureted mill from the Pulsar 200 NS. The former was launched at INR 79,000 while the latter started at INR 91,550 (both prices are ex-showroom, New Delhi).
Yamaha India’s continued focus on the automatic scooter segment saw it launch the stylish Fascino 113 cc runabout. The scooter which is positioned as a more affordable alternative to the Vespa family entered the market on May 7 with a price tag of INR 52,500 (ex-showroom, New Delhi). It has 7.1 PS and 8.1 Nm of torque on tap.
The re-entry of Ducati to India also happened in 2015. This time, the Italian bike maker set up its official presence rather than rely on distributors. Starting from the funky Scrambler all the way up to the super aggressive Panigale 1299 R, the entire lineup is available in India.
The stylish Livo succeeded the CB Twister as a sporty commuter in Honda’s comprehensive stable of 110 cc bikes. Priced at INR 52,989 (ex-showroom Delhi), the motorcycle locks horns with the likes of Mahindra Centuro. The 109.19 cc air-cooled engine is tuned to deliver 8.25 bhp and 8.63 Nm of torque. Transmission is a 4-speed unit.
Honda followed up its commuter launch with the 4-cylinder fully faired CBR650F sports tourer. The motorcycle which was introduced at the RevFest event on August 4 started at INR 7.3 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi). The 649 cc in-line 4-cylinder liquid-cooled engine dishes out 87 PS and 63 Nm of torque.
After a prolonged wait and uncertainty, Yamaha finally treated its Indian loyalists with the R3 which is being imported into India from Indonesia in the form of CKD kits. Launched on August 11, the fully faired motorcycle carries a rather heady price tag of INR 3.25 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi). The 321 cc parallel-twin liquid-cooled motor is good for 42 PS.
After starring in countless number of spyshots, the Mojo, which had been in the making for half a decade, was finally launched on October 15 at INR 1.58 lakhs (ex-showroom, New Delhi). The 300 cc sports tourer packs 27 bhp and 30 Nm of torque. It’s currently available only in New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Pune.
New Bajaj Avenger
Bajaj gave its cruiser a much needed TLC and the end result is a set of three highly appealing variants with several aesthetic enhancements and minor improvements. The new Avenger series includes Street 150, Street 220 and Cruise 220 variants. The 150 cc variant is priced at INR 75,000 while the bigger engined variants retail at INR 84,000 (both prices are ex-showroom, Mumbai).
Honda Hornet 160 R
Honda ended 2015 with its Hornet 160 R which is pitted against the brisk selling Yamaha FZ-S FI and Suzuki Gixxer. The sharply styled street fighter starts at INR 79,900 (ex-showroom, New Delhi). The 162.71 cc air-cooled engine is tuned to develop 15.66 bhp and 14.76 Nm of torque.
Benelli TNT 25
The Italian TNT 25 wrapped up what had been a very eventful year for the Indian two wheeler industry. The KTM Duke 200 rival landed in the country as a CKD product with a starting price tag of INR 1.68 lakhs (ex-showroom, Pune). The naked motorcycle is powered by a 249 cc single-cylinder liquid-cooled motor generating 28.16 bhp and 21.61 Nm of torque.