The two-wheeler market in India is growing at an unprecedented pace. The increase in the average income of people allows them to indulge in their hobbies without being slated for frivolous spending. A decade ago, buying a bike for 1 lakh rupees was something very few people considered. But now, you can’t go a few hundred metres without spotting a Royal Enfield, KTM or Bajaj Pulsar on the roads. As the spending power of the people is increasing, they don’t mind spending more as long as the bike justifies the cost. Bike manufacturers have recognised this change in trend and they are now focusing on making bikes that bring the best of both worlds (price and performance) for biking enthusiasts. Here are the 5 most exciting upcoming 300 – 400cc bikes in India 2016 that will surely entice enthusiasts and riders across the country.
KTM Duke 390
The KTM Duke 390 is undoubtedly the most value for money bike that is currently being sold in India. It combines stellar looks with unbelievable performance and ride quality. Currently the market leader in the 300 – 400 cc bike segment, KTM has no plans to ease up on its domination and that is evident when you look at the new 2017 KTM Duke 390. A spy shot that was recently leaked shows us a radical change in design that renders it completely different from its predecessor.
With a design that is a lot more aggressive and pronounced, and a headlight modelled after the one from their flagship SuperDuke R, KTM’s new Duke 390 is surely going to make life miserable for every other bike maker competing in this segment. The engine will be the same single-cylinder used in previous models, albeit one tweaked for improved power and torque output. The 2017 KTM Duke 390 will also feature ride-by-wire technology, an upgraded ECU and a second counter-balance shaft like the one in the new KTM Duke 690. The best part is that since the production of the Duke is done locally, thanks to Bajaj, all these upgrades will only push the price up by a mere 20,000 -25,000.
Kawasaki Ninja 300
The Kawasaki Ninja 300 is perhaps the most recognisable sports bike of the last decade. Much before KTM, Hyosung, Yamaha and Honda even came into the scene, it was that trademark Kawasaki green of the Ninja 250 that used to turn heads on Indian roads. With time, the Japanese company has made its entire line-up of models available for sale in India, but its still the Baby Ninja (now the 300 cc one) that continues to remain a crowd favourite.
The Ninja 300 launched in 2013 was an upgrade to the earlier, and wildly popular, Ninja 250 but it has remain unchanged for the last 3 years. Now, in the face of ever increasing competition from bikes like Yamaha R3 and KTM RC 390, Kawasaki have announced the impending release of an upgraded Ninja 300. With the 2016 Ninja 300 boasting of brand new graphics, ABS as standard and a beefed-up engine with higher performance figures, Kawasaki will certainly try to reclaim its position as the kingpin of entry-level sport bikes in India.
Bajaj Pulsar CS400
It seems important to note that KTM and Kawasaki have both entered the Indian market in an alliance with Bajaj Auto. And while they could just sit back and watch the two foreign companies rack up the sales, Bajaj has decided to enter the same segment with its own model. In the past, Bajaj has stubbornly maintained its insanely popular Pulsar bikes at the 200 cc threshold (with the exception of the Pulsar 220F). But the times are changing and recognising this shift in trend towards more powerful bikes, Bajaj will be releasing its most powerful bike ever – the Bajaj Pulsar CS400.
With a gorgeous naked street-fighter design, the CS400 looks like a bulked-up version of the Pulsar 200 NS. The 375 cc engine powering the new Puslar borrows tech from the superb one found KTM’s Duke and RC 390 (the advantage of entering smart alliances). Bajaj have also said that they have given equal importance to ride quality and comfort along with performance. The Puslar CS400 is branded as a sports-cruiser (CS stands for Cruising Sports) which Bajaj say will ride comfortably in city traffic and will perform equally well if you hit the open highway and blow the throttle wide open.
BMW Motorrad is one of the world’s oldest bike manufacturers and it still continues its impressive legacy in the global bike market. The BMW S1000RR is heralded as one of the best superbikes ever made and its adventure focused R 1200GS is wildly popular in America and Europe. Now BMW Motorrad is one the world’s most premier motorcycle manufacturers and that sort of reputation comes with a hefty price tag. So it might be hard to wrap your head around the fact that BMW wants to compete with KTM and Honda in the more affordable bikes segment, but that’s exactly what they are doing with the new G310R.
In collaboration with TVS, BMW decided to manufacture their new BMW G310R in India to lower costs and make importing to other Souh-Asian countries easier. Incidentally, this is the first time BMW is manufacturing a bike outside their factory in Berlin. The BMW G310R is a naked street-fighter with a design that manages to be aggressive without over-doing it. It is powered by a brand new 313 cc single-cylinder engine which is the smallest capacity out of all BMW’s currently in sale. The best part is that BMW has said this bike will serve as a foundation model in India upon which they will base semi-faired and fully-faired versions.
Honda CBR 300R
The Honda CBR 250R was, and still is, the most practical and comfortable entry-level sports tourer to enter India. But having received only one update since its initial launch in 2011, the CBR 250 understandably lags behind its rivals due to outdated looks and inadequate performance. Honda didn’t really help themselves when they irritated their fans by launching the wildly-expensive CBR 650F while everyone wanted a new entry-level CBR. Now it seems that Honda has finally acknowledged the demand and announced the launch of a new Honda CBR 300R in India.
The CBR 300R looks just as understated as its predecessor and the only major difference is the twin-headlamp (borrowed from the CBR 500R) as compared to the earlier single headlamp. The engine is a new 286 cc one but Honda will be focusing on comfort and refinement more than power. So, just like the before, the Honda CBR 300R will not be competing directly with the Ninja and the R3, but will instead try to capture the sports-touring segment. The good news about this is that the Honda’s new CBR will be a lot cheaper than the entry-level sportsbikes of its compatriots.
Which one of these upcoming 300 – 400cc bikes in India 2016 are you the most excited to ride? Let us below.