The year 2020 turned out to be one big potluck of troubles, most of which simply find their roots in the COVID-19 pandemic. But much to our delight and that of motorcyclists across India, manufacturers delivered the products that had been promised a while back. So, we now have a brand new Royal Enfield cruiser, an all-new Honda classic roadster, Husqvarna has finally made its official entry in the country with two new motorcycles, KTM has made its adventure motorcycle line up more accessible, and Hero MotoCorp has a fresh commuter that turned out to be brilliant.
Royal Enfield Meteor 350
Royal Enfield launched the new Meteor 350 in India at a starting price of Rs 1,75,825 (ex-showroom) in November this year. A successor to the Thunderbird lineup, the Meteor 350 is powered by a new 349cc four-stroke, air-oil-cooled, single-cylinder engine that makes 20.2 bhp at 6,100 rpm and 27 Nm at 4,000 rpm, and is paired with a five-speed transmission.
The suspension setup includes 41 mm telescopic forks with 130 mm travel and six-step dual shocks at the rear. It gets discs at both ends with dual-channel ABS. The Meteor 350 features Royal Enfield’s Tripper for turn-by-turn navigation on the go.
Honda H’ness CB350
Honda’s very first classic roadster that stands to challenge Royal Enfield’s immense popularity in the sub-500cc classic bike segment, the H’ness CB350 is powered by a 350cc air-cooled four-stroke fuel-injected OHC single-cylinder engine that makes 20.8 hp and 30 Nm of peak torque at 3,000 rpm.
The CB350 features a segment-first Honda Selectable Torque Control (HSTC) that helps maintain rear-wheel traction by detecting the difference between the front and rear wheel speeds. The HSTC system is also switchable. It also gets a slip and assist clutch, a dual-channel ABS, and Honda Smartphone Voice Control system (HSVCS). Price in India currently starts at Rs 1.85 lakh (ex-showroom).
Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 and Vitpilen 250
Husqvarna Svartpilen 250 and Husqvarna Vitpilen 250 were both launched earlier this year at the same introductory price tag of Rs 1.8 lakh (ex-showroom). The two are powered by a 248.8cc fuel-injected, liquid-cooled, single-cylinder, 4-stroke DOHC engine that puts out 29.5 hp at 9,000 rpm and 24 Nm of torque at 7,500 rpm.
The basic difference between the two is that of form. While the Svartpilen 250 is a scrambler with dual-purpose tyres and a tall single-piece handlebar, the Vitpilen 250 is a cafe racer with low set clip-on handlebars and rear set footpegs for a forward-leaning riding stance.
KTM 390 Adventure
The very first month of this year, the KTM 390 Adventure was launched that kickstarted the Austrian manufacturer’s adventure lineup in India. And towards the end of the year, KTM made its ADV lineup more accessible with the launch of the 250 Adventure. The 390 Adventure is powered by the same engine as the 43 hp unit that powers the 390 Duke and is priced at Rs 2.99 lakh (ex-showroom). The 250 Adventure is powered by a 30 hp 248.8cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine which is the same unit that does duty on the KTM 250 Duke.
Hero Xtreme 160R
The new Hero Xtreme 160R price begins from Rs 1.02 lakh whereas the dual-disc variant costs Rs 1.05 lakh (ex-showroom). It is powered by a 163cc, single-cylinder engine that makes 15 hp and 14 Nm of torque, paired with a five-speed transmission. It comes with both a kick as well as an electric starter. It gets conventional front forks and a monoshock at the rear and a single-channel ABS on offer. Read the Xtreme 160R review here.