Honda finally readies itself to launch Africa twin in the country by June 2017. It is expected to reach India as CKD units. The launch that was supposed to happen earlier was delayed due to an earthquake near the company facility in Hamamatsu, Japan which produced the assembly kits. The price for this adventure tourer is not yet officially known but it is expected to be anywhere between Rs.16-18 lakh. However, it is still unclear whether India might receive both manual and Automatic Dual Clutch transmission variant or any of these.
All new Africa Twin will be powered by a 998cc, liquid cooled, parallel twin engine developed using a four stroke Unicam 8-valve head design. This motor will produce 94bhp worth power and 98Nm of torque. The global markets feature Africa twin as both 6-speed manual and 6-speed DCT transmission variants while confusion still prevails on the Indian spec model.
The DCT variant comes with three riding modes- D for normal, S that gets three stages as S1,S2 and S3 for sports, G for off-road. There is also an incline detection system that helps to balance and ride at any inclination by shifting gears accordingly. The ground clearance is at 250mm, thanks to the short height of the engine under the hood. This was achieved as a result of the careful planning done to accommodate the water pump and clutch case together.
Built on a steel semi double cradle frame, the Africa twin matches agility, stability and balance in equal measures. Suspension is taken care of by adjustable Showa inverted forks at the front with four-piston brake calipers and rear Showa forks with hydraulic preload adjustment. Fuel tank capacity is massive at 18.8 litres enough to ride long range upto 400kms. The tyres are 90/90-21 and 150/70-18 tubes which is best suited for off-roads compared to alloy wheels.
In terms of safety, the Africa twin features Honda Selectable Torque Control that comes in three modes. It is easy for the rider, especially on off-roads to switch on the ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) to apply to the rear wheels.
Africa Twin will be competing against the likes of Triumph Tiger, Kawasaki Versys 1000 and the Ducati Multistrada after the launch.
MV Agusta launched the 2017 iteration of their popular model Brutale 800 in India last month. The previous generation of the same never reached India and as a result, this model seems to have enticed quite a few luxury bike enthusiasts in the country. It was launched at an ex-showroom price of Rs.15.59 lakh.
Piaggio Group recently launched two superbikes named Aprilia Shiver 900 and Dorsoduro 900 in India, from their flagship brand Aprilia. The bikes originally priced at Rs.13.33 lakh (Shiver 900) and Rs.13.84 lakh (Dorsoduro 900) are sold at an introductory price of Rs.11.99 lakh and Rs.12.50 lakh (all prices, Ex-showroom Pune) respectively until June 30th, 2017. Aprilia that has marked its presence in the country earlier through bikes like Tuono and RSV4 adds two more to their Indian line-up through this launch.
Royal Enfield had updated engines on their two best-selling models,Bullet 500 and the Continental GT in the European Market. Now they have launched the 2017 Classic 500 and the Himalayan too with an updated Euro-IV compliant engine. The Eicher Motors owned company is strengthening its global portfolio with updated models and an increasing number of showrooms worldwide.
Royal Enfield motorcycles powered by BS-IV engines are now available in India. The entire lineup is said to have received the engine upgrades with AHO (Automatic Headlamp On) feature (both being stringent norms), even though no official statement has been released by the company yet. According to reports from financial express, Electra 350 was spotted already on sale at one of the company dealerships with updated features as the BS-IV engine and AHO. Other models too are believed to go on sale with the same upgrades in another week, as April 1st, 2017 is the deadline for these norms to be implemented on all motor vehicles in India. The prices have been hiked for the new range of BS-IV motorcycles from Royal Enfield.
Honda launched the first scooter in India, Activa 125cc with an engine that complies with BS-IV norms. The New Activa also becomes the first scooter to get an AHO (Automatic Headlamp On) feature, which is about to be mandatory on all vehicles in India from April 1st, 2017 as part of safety regulations. Not many cosmetic updates have been provided on this best seller. However, few prominent tweaks are seen like the new pair of LED positioning lamps that fit perfectly into the chrome apron on the front, a protuberant Honda badge and also a mobile charging socket.
Bajaj has launched Dominar 400 with a heavy price tag; something that has been familiar here only with the Royal Enfield range of motorcycles. Entering the 1-2 lakh price range itself is a daring game, but seems like Bajaj has everything in place to claim its position in the premium bike segment.