With the end of 2020 almost around the corner, let’s take a look at the top ten motorcycles that were launched in India this year
Despite the market slowdown and the lockdown, the two-wheeler market of India saw a lot of action this year. In particular, a lot of new motorcycles were introduced by various manufacturers, most of which were brand new products, and a few were updated versions of popular existing bikes.
From the entry-level Hero Passion Pro commuter bike to the premium KTM 250 Adventure, here are the top ten motorcycles to launch this year (in 2020), in the largest two-wheeler market in the world.
1. Royal Enfield Meteor 350
The Meteor 350 is the first of the next-gen RE single-cylinder motorcycles, based on the new J-platform. The brand has ditched the old pushrod architecture for a modern SOHC setup for this brand new 349cc motor, consequently smoothening out the vibrations. This new powerplant belts out 20.4 PS and 27 Nm, and comes paired to a 5-speed gearbox.
2. Honda CB350 H’ness
Honda CB350 H’ness (Highness) was a surprise launch in 2020; the manufacturer had been toying with the idea for a Royal Enfield rival for quite a while, but nobody outside the company had an idea of what’s coming. That said, this retro-style streetbike is quite a handsome machine, and its 348.36cc engine (21.07 PS and 30 Nm) is great for commuting as well as touring.
3. Honda Hornet 2.0
Honda introduced another India-specific motorcycle this year – the Hornet 2.0. The bike replaces the CB Hornet 160R, and design similarities between the two are easy to spot. However, the new model is better equipped and has a bigger engine. The 184.4cc mill of the Hornet 2.0 can generate 17.26 PS and 16.1 Nm, and comes paired to a 5-speed transmission.
4. Husqvarna Svartpilen 250
KTM-owned Husqvarna debuted in the Indian market this year with two motorcycles – Svartpilen 250 and Vitpilen 250. The Svartpilen 250 (Swedish for Black Arrow) is a scrambler-style motorcycle, built on the same platform as the Duke 250, and it uses the same 248.8cc liquid-cooled engine as well. This motor develops 30 PS and 24 Nm, and comes mated to a 6-speed gearbox.
5. Husqvarna Vitpilen 250
The Vitpilen 250 (Swedish for White Arrow) is the cafe-racer version of the Svartpilen 250; it has the same chassis, body panels, and engine, but replaces the raised handlebar with low-set clip-ons. The dual-purpose tyres are also replaced by road-biased ones. The neo-retro styling of these Husqvarna bikes is brilliant, and helps differentiate them from their KTM cousins.
6. KTM 250 Adventure
KTM entered the Adventure segment in India with the 390 Adventure, but it was the 250 which impressed us more. The KTM 250 Adv is much more affordable, mainly because it has fewer electronics onboard, along with a few cost-cutting measure here and there. Still, it gets all the important stuff, like switchable ABS, a large fully-digital instrument console, and the 248.8cc engine from the 250 Duke. For bikers taking their maiden steps into adventure motorcycling, the 250 Adv is a great option.
7. New-Generation KTM 125 Duke
In 2018, KTM introduced the first premium 125cc motorcycle in the Indian market – the 125 Duke. Recently, the manufacturer gave the bike a major overhaul, giving it the same split trellis frame and updated styling as other Duke models. It may only have a 124.7 engine, but this liquid-cooled motor can push out 14.5 PS and 12 Nm, and comes paired to a 6-speed gearbox.
8. Hero Xtreme 160R
Hero Xtreme is the newest entry into the 160cc segment, and it is quite a brilliant bike overall. Its design, based on the 1.R concept, is lovely, and the 163cc single-cylinder engine (15.3 PS and 14 Nm) has more than enough grunt for trundling around town. The slick-shifting 5-speed gearbox lends this bike great rideability as well.
9. Hero Passion Pro BS6
The BS6-compliant version of the Passion Pro arrived in the Indian market with significant changes over the older, BS4 model. The new model got a new diamond frame, improved riding ergonomics, a part-digital instrument console, and i3S start/stop tech. The 113.2cc engine delivers a modest power output of just 9.15 PS and 9.89 Nm, which is harnessed via a 4-speed gearbox. For people looking for a stylish and economical commuter at an affordable price, this is a brilliant choice.
10. Hero Glamour BS6
Alongside the Passion Pro, Hero MotoCorp also introduced the Glamour BS6 in India. Just like the Passion Pro, the Glamour got a lot of new features, like a semi-digital instrument cluster, and i3S start-stop function. The updated 124.7cc engine had a slightly higher output as well – 10.87 PS and 10.6 Nm – while the old 4-speed gearbox was ditched for a 5-speed one.