Upcoming middleweight motorcycles in India

Middleweight segment includes motorcycles with an engine displacement in the range of 250 cc to 800 cc

6th Sep 2019
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With the festive season already on in full swing, two-wheeler makers are all gearing up to introduce several new models to lure customers. The premium middleweight motorcycle segment in India has been experiencing a major demand for the past few years. To cater to this surge, motorcycle makers are all set to launch several new products in the next few months. Here are 5 upcoming premium middleweight motorcycles which are set to launch in India soon:


2020 Yamaha R3

2020 Yamaha R3


The Yamaha R3 may still be listed in India, however, the bike is no longer on sale. The Japanese bike maker is gearing up to introduce the updated Yamaha R3 in India soon. The company will be using increased localisation to keep prices competitive.


Yamaha R3 will be powered by the same 321 cc parallel-twin DOHC motor. Coupled to a 6-speed gearbox, the engine produces 42 PS of power and 29.6 Nm of torque. We expect the Yamaha R3 facelift to get the new colours which have be announced for the European market. Besides that, the powerplant can be expected to be BS-VI complaint to meet the upcoming emission norms in India.


Suspension duties of the Yamaha R3 (international version) include 37 mm upside-down KYB fork up front and a monoshock in the rear. The latter gets adjustable preload. The bike also gets a front nose with new LED headlamps. Aerodynamics of the machine has been improved and the R3 now claims an increase in top speed by 8 kmph. The tyres are sourced from Dunlop in the international market but India may get Metzelers which were also offered in the older edition. Also, the instrumentation console will be the new all-digital unit.


The recently discontinued version of Yamaha R3 in India was priced at INR 3.51 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). We expect the facelifted R3 to be positioned near the INR 4 lakh mark.


2020 Kawasaki Z400

2020 Kawasaki Z400 side profile


After the debacle of Z250 and Ninja 400, Kawasaki managed to gain significant market share with the launch of a localised version of Ninja 300. The Japanese bike maker is expected to launch the Kawasaki Z400 in India next month. However, we would love to see Kawasaki to follow the localisation route and offer the Z400 at a more accessible price tag.


At the heart of Kawasaki Z400 is the same 399 cc liquid-cooled, parallel-twin, DOHC unit. Mated to a 6-speed gearbox, the engine can produce 48 PS of power and 38 Nm of torque (Japan version). The European version though is limited to 45 PS to meet A2 licensing norms. The instrumentation console is the same as the one seen in the Z650, while a slipper clutch will be standard. The frame inspired from the trellis unit seen in the maniac Ninja H2.


What makes the Kawasaki Z400 a great options for Indians is the low 785 mm seat height. Also, the bike is fitted with LED headlamps. The wait though is to see what price point Kawasaki introduces the Z400. The Ninja 400 starts at INR 4.99 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi). We expect the Kawasaki Z400 in India to be priced just shy of INR 4.5 lakhs.


KTM 790 Duke

KTM 790 Duke motion side profile


KTM India will be launching the KTM 790 Duke in the next few weeks via the Completely Knocked Down (CKD) route. The naked streetfighter will be assembled at KTM-Bajaj’s Chakan facility. The motorcycle has started reaching dealerships and will be packed with features to the gills.


Powering the KTM 790 Duke is a 799 cc parallel-twin LC8c engine. Coupled to a 6-speed gearbox, the engine can squeeze out 105 PS of power and 87 Nm of torque. Suspension system will include upside-down fork from WP while the rear gets a monoshock. The features list includes Motor Slip Regulation, cornering ABS, Motorcycle Stability Control, ride by wire and riding modes (Street, Rain, Sport and Track).


The Austrians have also fitted the KTM 790 Duke with a slipper clutch, bi-directional quick-shifter and a traction control. KTM 790 Duke competes against the Ducati Monster 821, Yamaha MT-09, Triumph Street Triple and Kawasaki Z900.


We expect the KTM 790 Duke to be priced above the INR 8 lakhs mark. KTM India has been upgrading its dealerships in the country to prepare for the upcoming premium offering.


Husqvarna Vitpilen 401

Husqvarna Svartpilen 401 and Husqvarna Vitpilen 401


Tracing its origins from the KTM Duke 390, the Bajaj-KTM alliance is all set to launch the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401. This retro-modern motorcycle will be made at the same Bajaj-KTM facility where the alliance makes the small-displacement KTMs. And boy do we love the minimalistic approach taken by the designers at Kiska for the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401.


The engine of the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 is the same 373 cc single-cylinder unit from the KTM 390s. In its present tune, this powerplant produces 43.5 PS of power and 37 Nm of torque. Gearbox is a 6-speed unit which is assisted by a slipper clutch. Suspension setup include the same 43 mm upside-down fork from WP in the front. The rear gets a monoshock unit in the rear with adjustable preload.


The progressively styled Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 gets a circular LED headlamp. Unlike the TFT unit from the Duke 390, the smallest street offering by Husqvarna gets a retro-styled circular LCD instrumentation. Besides that, the Husqvarna Vitpilen 401 gets spoked wheels and will be offered with premium rubber.


We expect the Husqvarna Vitplien 401 to be launched at a premium than Duke 390, around INR 3 lakhs mark. Also, the Swedish-Austrian brand will also launch the off-road centric Husqvarna Svartpilen 401. Launch expectations are around Diwali 2019.


Benelli Imperiale 400

Benelli Imperiale 400 side profile


The senior management at Benelli has confirmed that they will be launching a budget 400 cc motorcycle in India. Taking on Royal Enfield, the Benelli Imperiale 400 fits bang in the middle of the Sino-Italian brand’s aspirations.


Benelli Imperiale 400 is powered by a 374 cc single-cylinder, air-cooled, SOHC engine. Mated to a 5-speed transmission, the engine can produce 21.07 PS of maximum power and 29 Nm of peak torque. In terms of styling, the Benelli Imperiale 400 gets a retro headlamp, taillamp and twin pod instrumentation. Designers have also use dollops of chrome to add to the classic, retro appeal.


Also, the Benelli Imperiale 400 is shod with a 19-inch front wheel and an 18-inch rear unit. The bike is suspended over 41 mm telescopic fork up front and twin springs at the rear to keep costs under check. Brakes include discs at both ends.


We expect the Benelli Imperiale 400 to be launched next month with a price tag near INR 2.5 lakhs.

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