Thank heavens, because almost all the cool roadsters of the world have now made it to Indian shores. Here are a few middleweight streetfighters we’re crushing on these days, and so should you.
TRIUMPH STREET TRIPLE RS
Launched late last year, the Street Triple RS has been one of the most talked-about bikes in automotive circles. It has the same 765 cc in-line three cylinder engine and chassis as the basic Street Triple, but makes more power at 121 bhp and a peak torque of 77 Nm. Top-shelf equipment, including Brembo brakes, 41mm Showa big piston forks and Ohlins monoshock set it further apart. At Rs 11.13 lakh (ex-showroom), it makes for a worthy, compact, easy to handle and feisty performer that can also be a great daily commute partner.
The younger sibling of the GSX-1000, this new Suzuki looks as angry and sharp as the former. With 113 bhp and a peak torque of 81 Nm from a 749cc four- cylinder powerplant, the GSX-S750 makes more power and slightly more torque than the GSR750 it replaces in international markets. There might not be one single stand-out aspect of the bike, but where it excels is at being a fine sum of all its parts. And for all its thrills, it comes with a reasonable sticker price of Rs 7.55 lakh (ex-showroom), enabled by it being a CKD import from Japan.
Unveiled as a part of the huge Kawasaki ensemble last year, this one slots into the space previously occupied by the Z800. It takes you one step closer to Kawasaki’s flagship litre-class naked bike, with an all-new design, chassis and powertrain. The motor is a 948cc, inline four that makes 124 bhp and 98.6 Nm of torque. A 20 kg weight loss from the Z800 preserves the super-fast characteristics, but it also remains very friendly between your legs. At Rs 7.68 lakh (ex-showroom), it makes for one of the most impressive bikes in the segment.
Famous for being an absolute hooligan and powered by a stonker of a triple cylinder engine, the Japanese middleweight was reintroduced in India late last year after being withdrawn due to the new emission norms. The MT-09 gets a 847cc 3-cylinder engine, which makes 113.4 bhp and churns out peak torque of 87.5 Nm, when mated to its six-speed gearbox. The biggest chink in its armour is the Rs 10.88 lakh price tag, which might yet not be enough to fend off Yamaha loyalists.
DUCATI MONSTER 821
Another bike that recently made a comeback following its retirement due to stricter emission norms in India is this familiar Monster. Last month, it returned with a new set of features and a more competitive price tag of Rs 9.51 lakh. The bike is powered by an 821cc, Testastretta, V-twin engine, good for 107 bhp and 86 Nm. It’s coupled with a six-speed gearbox with an optional bi- directional quick-shifter plus a slipper clutch. Don’t you simply love that double-barrel exhaust?
MV AGUSTA BRUTALE 800
Giving the Japanese streetfighters some competition is this beast from Italy. And it’s a beast in the true sense of the word, at least if we go by its looks — the all-new, sharp fuel tank, the droopy headlamp with an elliptical LED DRL and a unique tail design with neat, integrated grab rails. Power comes from a 798cc in line three- pot motor that makes 109 bhp and 89 Nm of torque. As for the pricing, you have to pay the premium for exclusivity, as is so often the case with Italian machines. Ex-showroom Rs 15.6 lakh.
KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THESE
ROYAL ENFIELD INTERCEPTOR
The upcoming RE Interceptor 650 is a retro-styled street motorcycle. It’s powered by a 648cc, air-cooled, four- valve SOHC, fuel-injected parallel-twin motor (46 bhp, 52 Nm). Expected to be launched later this year with a price tag of around Rs 3.5 lakh.
KTM DUKE 790
The ‘ultimate street weapon,’ KTM unveiled the Duke 790 in Milan (EICMA) last year. This will be its first-ever motorcycle to boast a parallel-twin engine and is expected to shortly make an India debut. Price expected to be around twice of the Duke 390.