The entry-level cruiser motorcycle category had hitherto been the stanchion of Royal Enfield. However, with the likes of Bajaj and Honda eyeing a piece of the pie, does Royal Enfield have a cause for concern over losing its domination in this segment? Well, the Bajaj Avenger 400 powered by the same motor as the Bajaj Dominar 400, as well as the Honda Rebel 300 will surely take the fight head-on and bring some sophistication to the segment. Meanwhile, the Yamaha R15 v3 may make presence felt as well, and continue the field of one as defined by its predecessors.
Here are the entry-level cruiser motorcycles and sportsbikes you will see in India in 2018:
That the Avenger 220 will get an elder sibling just like the Pulsar NS/RS 200 do was a given. We believe Bajaj Auto already has an Avenger 400 in the works, using the same 373cc liquid-cooled single and 6-speed gearbox as the Dominar 400. Outputs could be similar, at 35PS and 35Nm. To distinguish itself from the smaller Avengers the 400 could sport bigger dimensions and a more premium design while costing around Rs 1.6 lakh.
Honda will showcase its entry-level cruiser, the Rebel 300 at the 2018 Auto Expo to challenge Royal Enfield on its home turf. The Rebel uses a fuel-injected 286cc, liquid-cooled single cylinder engine producing 27.3PS and 27Nm mated to a six-speed gearbox. Styling is typical of cruisers with fat tyres, a low seat, and slightly tall handlebar. Expect it to be priced between Rs 2.2 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh.
Test mules of the facelifted version of the R15 dubbed the V3 have been spotted and we expect it to be launched soon. The Indian version will get the sportier new design, though is likely to miss out on the upside down forks, slipper clutch and new 155cc engine using variable valve actuation offered in Indonesia to keep costs in check. Expect outputs to thus be similar to the V2 and the price hover around Rs 1.3 lakh.