If 2014 was the year of announcements then 2015 is going to be the year of launches. Quite a lot of motorcycles were announced last year in India and internationally and this year we are expecting to see a lot of them launched. While the commuter segment still remains the focus of all the manufacturers, the 200cc plus segment also seems to be really grabbing a lot of attention. The primary reason is that this 200 – 500 cc segment has seen a global rise in demand and all manufacturers are looking to cash in on this demand. Below, we have listed out what we think will be top big launches this year. For sure there might be others and maybe couple of surprises, but we have looked to cover the best and the most anticipated in this list. Lets go manufacturer wise and work our way through them.
Last year Bajaj was quite silent and they concentrated on the mass volume commuter segment and experimented a lot with the Discover monicker. This year although we expect more in the commuter segment from them, there will also be the launches of some much awaited motorcycles that have been unveiled, spied testing and all most seen everywhere except a showroom. The list of motorcycles include the Pulsar 160 NS, Pulsar 200 AS, Pulsar 200 SS the two 400 cc Pulsars the CS and SS.
We almost cannot speak about Bajaj without bringing KTM into the conversation. This year might be a little different from KTM. In all probability KTM would concentrate on their big bikes for India. Top on this list is the recently unveiled KTM 1050 Adventure and 1290 Super Duke R. There has also been talk of the 690 Duke. There was also news of the 390 based adventure bike. But there has been not much information on them except for the fact that KTM could not use the existing chassis platform and needed to develop a separate platform for it. Other possibilities from KTM include the slipper clutch on the current 390. Of course we wish all of them are coming.
Next in line is Kawasaki. You really never know what to expect from them. 2015 will see them continue strong expansion of their product portfolio. Expected motorcycles are the Vulcan cruiser, the supercharged Kawasaki Ninja H2 and the Versys 650.
Honda has totally concentrated on the commuter segment and that remains their focus for 2015. Only two confirmed big launches from them this year, the CBR650F and either the CBR300R or the CBR250R with updated styling. The CBR150R could also receive the new design update that has already rolled out in Indonesia. There is no news at all about the 500 series that have become quite the hit world over. Another interesting motorcycle in their international line up is the CB300F.
Hero continues to surprise us. After their big announcements at the Auto Expo last year this year will see the launch of much awaited HX250R. Other big launches from Hero this year include the 150cc scooter called the ZIR and the bigger capacity Impulse.
Nothing new to add here really. After the October unveiling last year, this year we will see Benelli dealerships opening across all major metros. Prices were not announced at the launch and there could be a chance that the Benelli’s for India will have a different naming. Either ways the unveiled bikes are the 600cc TNT 600i as well as the TNT 600 GT, TNT 899, TNT 1130 R and the TNT 300.
Hyosung has been doing good and selling steady numbers. They plan to make India a major hub for them with the help of DSK. Soon they will even start production here for lower capacity models apart from the CKD operation. In 2015 they are expected to launch the GD250R and the GD250N.
2015 will finally be the year we see the Mahindra Mojo. The 300cc motorcycle has been under production and development for a very long time and has seen a number of changes over the years. The biggest change is design was to the tank that received a lot of criticism. Lets just hope they price it sensibly.
TVS is expected to launch the bigger Apache this year along with the first of the bikes developed together with BMW. There is a chance that both of these could be the same product as BMW had earlier mentioned that they will have their own badging for the motorcycles they export. TVS so would in all probability stick to the successful Apache name or maybe try a new name, Draken?
The biggest launch expected from Yamaha this year is anybody’s guess. The Yamaha R25 or the R3, its still not clear which one will make it here. But surely it is coming. Then we have the 2015 Yamaha YZF-R1 and R1M whose prices have already been announced. Another interesting rumour floating around is that Yamaha could introduce higher and lower capacity models of the MT series. A 250cc naked from Yamaha could really be a game changer.
Like we said there are other models smaller and bigger that could also make it. This list above shows the ones with the highest probability. There are other manufactures also in the mix. Suzuki is expected to launch a faired version of the Gixxer 155 and then we have Ducati re-starting operations soon and other manufactures like UM Motorcycles and Indian motorcycles also gearing up for launch and expansion respectively. A very interesting year ahead indeed.