Bred For Competition
A lot of people have a habit of getting disappointed by the line-ups at the latest automobile exhibitions to hit the town, clinging to the argument that there is no use focusing on machines that aren’t ready to be sold in the market at a moment’s notice. This opinion is even more vocal amongst two-wheeler enthusiasts, who already lament the limited number of options they have to pick from. While some might consider this a valid train of thought, in reality, it is the polar opposite of what the actual purpose of the event is, i.e. to showcase the best that the automotive industry has to offer, and the direction manufacturers are looking to take in a year or two. So, unless you are looking for a two-wheeler that you can buy the next day and ride out of the showroom, sit back and relax as we show you some of the best new vehicles that represent the latest trends in the world of two-wheelers.
HERO ELECTRIC AE-3
Hero has been one of the few brands that had the foresight to invest in electric vehicles from the get-go. As a result, not only do they have a large portfolio of offerings available in the market, but also the trust of the consumers who consider it one of the few brands that offer reliable vehicles with alternative technologies. However, even the most optimistic of fans would never have guessed that the company would one day bring India’s first trike to the market, that too with an electric heart. This is what makes the AE-3 such a unique offering; with a 5.5kW electric motor, mated to a 48V/4kWh lithium-ion battery, and a special gyroscope-enabled auto-balancing system that rests on twin-telescopic front forks. This enables the trike to achieve top speeds of 80kmph, and take corners at steep angles. Even though the final price hasn’t been revealed, it will certainly be one of the most unique riding experiences, irrespective of the cost.
Naked bikes are an exciting sight to behold in the high-end biking segment because most offerings in this space have happily embraced the cladding heavy front look that is almost a staple of performance motorcycles these days. This particular model bucks the trend, while paying homage to its namesake from the 80s, with the iconic front cowl that blends into the headlight thanks to the angular cuts in the design. The original Katana was the fastest production motorcycle of its time, and this current version offers similar performance, owing to the reliable 999cc engine that it shares with the GSX-S1000; which in this avatar produces a healthy 148BHP of power and 108Nm of torque. Although, one thing to keep in mind is that this model will also be quite expensive compared to the original, considering the latest technologies added to help it exceed modern performance standards. All in, the entire experience might end up costing you more than ₹14 lakh, on-road, once the bike hits the Indian market sometime this year.
VESPA RACING SIXTIES
The Vespa brand has had a long history with performance riding; with the name being synonymous with Piaggio’s racing efforts going back to the 50s. As the company and its offerings have evolved for the current generation, this image has gone through a bit of an identity crisis though, as the once famed racing heritage is clashing with the uber-luxury sensibilities being pushed through the latest iteration of plush scooters with high price tags and soft suspensions. The introduction of a limited edition Racing Sixties series gives hope to the ardent enthusiasts though; as the subtle red racing livery acts as a reminder of the iconic racing legacy, with the golden alloys marking the history of success. While this particular model doesn’t make a lot of changes to the reliable 150cc engine that makes 10.3BHP of power, and 10.6Nm of torque, it does indicate the brand’s intentions about reviving the segment that helped build their name.
MOTO GUZZI V85 TT
Whether you see it on paper or in real life, the design of this motorcycle certainly seems to give off the vibe of something that was plucked straight out of a video game. Even the bold paint scheme; featuring a striking red frame, pure white panels, and subtle yellow accents, makes for an eclectic visual experience. However, all these distractions don’t take away the fact that this is a serious all-terrain contender from the famed Italian brand, with a massive 853cc, air-cooled, V-twin engine, which makes a decent 80BHP of power, and an equal torque output; and comes with all the latest bells and whistles, such as switchable traction control, ABS with twin-discs, and a pre-load adjustable suspension setup with upside-down front forks, and a tough off-set mono-shock in the rear. Interestingly, despite all of these advanced systems, the engine remains a humble BS4 unit, which seems like a compromise for a motorcycle that will end up costing you upwards of ₹12 lakh, on road.