The 2017 EICMA motorcycle show in Milan was an action-packed event, more so with Indian motorcycle manufacturer Royal Enfield showcasing two models based on the latest 650 cc parallel-twin engine. The dominating theme this year at the EICMA show was clearly retro-styled motorcycles, but there've been a lot of updates and new model unveils as well, particularly in the rapidly growing adventure and modern classic motorcycle segment. We take a look at the top 10 motorcycles which will eventually make their way to India. And they are not too far away; come 2018, most of these bikes will be offered on sale in India.
1. Royal Enfield Interceptor 650/Royal Enfield Continental GT 650
First on the list are the Royal Enfield twins. The Royal Enfield Interceptor 650 and the Royal Enfield Continental GT650 are brand new models, which debuted at the EICMA show. Both bikes share the same engine, suspensions and chassis, but follow slightly different design language. The Interceptor 650 leans towards the classic roadster design, while the Continental GT650 is an out and out café racer. The talking point if of course the new engine; the 650 cc parallel-twin makes 47 bhp at 7100 rpm and 52 Nm of peak torque at 4,000 rpm. The bikes will go on sale first in Europe, sometime in April 2018, and then soon after, will be on sale in India.
2. Norton Dominator/Norton Commando
Another British motorcycle brand which will be making its India debut next year is Norton Motorcycles. Norton Motorcycle Company and India's Kinetic Group have announced a joint venture at the 2017 EICMA show. Kinetic will bring the Norton Dominator and the Norton Commando to India, but only as completely built units (CBUs). So far, there are no plans of local assembly in India, but expect to see at least a few Norton bikes go on sale in India in 2018. Both the Commando and Dominator are powered by a 961 cc, parallel-twin engine which makes just under 80 bhp and 90 Nm. Don't expect competitive pricing for these born-again British motorcycles which will be imported to India and sold here, most likely under the MotoRoyale network, which also sells and markets MV Agusta bikes in India.
3. BMW F 850GS
BMW Motorrad unveiled two new variants of its middleweight adventure bike. The new variants are the F750GS and the F850GS. Both bikes share the same 853 cc parallel-twin engine, with a 270-degree firing order, but have different outputs. The engine has two balance shafts to control vibrations, and a new anti-hopping clutch that offers a lighter feel at the lever. Globally, both the models will be offered on sale, but India may just get the higher spec F850GS. The 850 makes around 94 bhp of peak power and comes equipped with long travel front and rear suspension, standard ABS, TFT instrumentation featuring an Intelligent Emergency Call app. The F850GS has a kerb weight of 229 kg. Expect prices of between ₹ 13-14 lakh (ex-showroom), once the bike is launched in India.
4. 2018 Triumph Tiger 800
One of the most popular adventure bikes in India, the Triumph Tiger 800, has got a full update for 2018. And Triumph Motorcycles showcased the new Tiger 800 XR and the Tiger 800 XC line-up at the Milan Motorcycle Show. Along with cosmetic updates, the new Tiger 800 bikes come with a technological overhaul and mechanical upgrades to make the Tiger more contemporary among growing competition. Triumph says the Tiger range has over 200 upgrades to the chassis and engine, and the result is a more responsive engine, with shorter ratio first gear which is said to give the bike better low-speed manoeuvring and off-road traction. Also new is a full-colour TFT screen, LED lighting, illuminated back-lit switchgear, as well as cruise control. Expect an India launch of the new Tiger 800 series sometime by the middle of 2018.
5. 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200
The 2018 Triumph Tiger 1200 will now be the name of the bigger Tiger, replacing the Tiger Explorer moniker. For 2018, the Tiger 1200 also gets significant updates, both in terms of cosmetics, as well as mechanicals and cycle parts. According to the variant, the new Tiger 1200 is lighter by as much as 11 kg than the outgoing model. The Tiger 1200 will also get adaptive cornering lighting, Triumph Shift Assist for clutchless gear changes and with six riding modes. Expect the new Tiger 1200 to make its India debut in the second half of 2018.
6. Ducati Panigale V4
Rated the "most beautiful bike of show", Ducati's flagship sport bike is now powered by a V4 engine, replacing the traditional L-twin unit in the 1299 Panigale. The Panigale V4 is the first mass-produced Ducati motorcycle to be equipped with a four-cylinder engine, derived from the Desmosedici of the MotoGP. The engine is rated to make peak power of 214 bhp, while maximum torque is rated at 124 Nm. The bike has a dry weight of 175 kg, and is expected to be launched in India sometime later next year.
7. Ducati Scrambler 1100
Ducati also introduced a bigger version of its globally popular Scrambler series. The Scrambler 1100 follows the same design cues as the standard 803 cc model Scrambler, but in fact, the 1100 is an all-new model. It get a new chassis, and a retuned version of the 1079 cc L-twin engine of the Monster 1100. In terms of electronics, three riding modes are offered, as well as traction control and cornering ABS. Weight of the Scrambler 1100 is limited to 205 kg, and there will be three models available with different handlebars, seats and colours. Expect an India launch sometime by the middle of 2018.
8. Benelli TRK 502
The Benelli TRK 502 will be the latest adventure motorcycle to be launched in India. According to sources, the TRK 502 will be launched before the 2018 Auto Expo, and will offer an affordable adventure tourer in the Indian two-wheeler industry. The TRK 502 is powered by a 500 cc parallel-twin engine tuned to make 47 bhp of power and 45 Nm of torque. The motor is paired to a six-speed gearbox, and the bike comes with on-road/off-road tyres, giving it proper adventure capability. Expect pricing to be in the range of ₹ 6 lakh (ex-showroom) once the TRK 502 is launched in India.
9. Benelli Leoncino
The other model from Benelli to be launched in India is the Benelli Leoncino, with scrambler styling. The Leoncino shares the same 500 cc parallel-twin engine of the TRK 502, but with design inspired by the 1960s scrambler motorcycles. The Benelli Leoncino is available in two variants - an on-road model, as well as a more off-road oriented model. India will get the road-oriented variant of the Benelli Leoncino, and expected launch is mid-2018.
10. Benelli Imperiale 400
Benelli will also launch a modern classic model in India, to compete against the likes of the Royal Enfield Classic 350. With design lines clearly inspired by the 1960s British bikes, and with some of the Triumph Bonneville series models, the Benelli Imperiale 400 is powered by a 373 cc, air-cooled, single-cylinder, fuel-injected engine. The bike comes paired with a five-speed transmission and the engine makes just under 20 bhp and 28 Nm. Expect Benelli to showcase the bike at the 2018 Auto Expo with an India launch soon after. Of course, to take on the likes of Royal Enfield, pricing will be crucial for this model's success in India.