BMW Motorrad received much adulation for their new prices. And that is well deserved as the official entry of the German motorcycle manufacturer finally rationalised the eye-watering prices that its importers were charging up to this point. Prices, that frankly, were not in consonance with the rest of the Indian market. Among the bikes with the highest prices in that line-up, was BMW's flagship sportsbike, the S 1000 RR - prices ranged upwards of Rs 27 lakhs approximately. A price that fell dramatically to Rs 18.9 to 21.40 lakh. Those are good prices compared to the earlier situation for sure. But how do they compare to the other litre-class sportsbikes?
Rather well! Here we have all the inline four-cylinder 1,000cc sportsbikes. It's a closely fought and matched class with all the machines displacing either 998 or 999cc. They all make nearly 200PS with the exception of the Honda Fireblade which makes only 192PS but carries the advantage of the lightest weight. It's 8kg lighter than the heaviest machine here, the BMW S 1000RR.
All of the motorcycles boast peak power points that are at 13,000rpm or higher and the redlines are a frankly stunning 14,500rpm for many. The Honda and the Suzuki have a small edge in the peak torque department and again, this point appears above 10,000rpm for all of the motorcycles.
All the machines are also otherwise well-matched. They all have comprehensive electronics suites with a lot of tune-ability, riding modes, adjustable suspension, 120- and 190-section tyres. The biggest brakes are the 330mm rotors on the Kawasaki ZX-10R while the Suzuki GSX-R1000, surprise, uses twin 310mm discs, smaller than the norm which has become 320mm twin discs.
While there will be a winner to be sure when we compare these motorcycles later, this should be a matter of taste to the buyer. The level of performance is so high and so closely matched that the chance that you're buying a lemon is hard to imagine.
Which brings us to the price. Yamaha's YZF-R1 is the coolest looking of this quintet and it is also the most expensive. The base model is a very expensive Rs 24.74 lakh ex-Delhi while the R1-M gets up to a frankly silly Rs 33.54 lakh. The Yamaha does have the crossplane crankshaft, Rossi-developed electronics and all that but still, more than Rs 10 lakh more than the top models of all the others here. Wow.
The others all close in on the Rs 17.1 lakh to the Rs 22 lakh price band. The base Honda Fireblade is the least expensive at Rs 17.1 lakh ex-showroom while the Suzuki GSX-R1000 is the most expensive at Rs 19.5 lakh ex-showroom. Suzuki is yet to officially announce prices, though, so we could be slightly off the mark.
Of the higher-spec models, the one model that doesn't actually make little sense for Indian conditions, and will be sold in limited numbers anyway is the ZX-10RR. That's a race bike with headlights and offers very little more than the stock machine unless you tune it up to race-spec. The Kawasaki ZX-10RR is priced at Rs 21.9 lakh ex-showroom.
All the others, including the BMW S 1000 RR Pro, the Honda Fireblade SP and the top model of the Suzuki GSX-R1000, the R1000 R, offer definite increases in electronics, suspension or both. The least expensive of these is the BMW S 1000 RR while the Fireblade SP prices are Rs 30,000 higher. The Suzuki again, tops the list at Rs 22.5 lakh ex-showroom. Again, we are waiting for Suzuki to officially announce the prices.
Finally, availability. All four are on sale now and the Suzuki's bookings are now open with deliveries expected to start this June.
Have fun looking at the specs and tell us which one you think makes the most sense to you!