It’s December already and we’re riding into it with a sizeable number of new bikes launched across 2017. It might not have been the busiest of years for the Indian motorcycle market, but some of the Western bikemakers kept the meter ticking with a range of launches across different ranges. Even Bajaj, TVS, Yamaha and Honda got into the act with some mouthwatering rides. Here are our picks of the lot.

DUCATI SUPER SPORT S

It’s a case of love at first sight for many when it comes to this beauty from the stables of the Italian manufacturer. It looks sharp, compact and edgier than its predecessor, thanks to the gorgeous Daytime Running Lights (DRLs). What’s even better is what lies under the aesthetics. The SuperSport S is powered by the 108bhp 937cc engine that has been borrowed from the Hypermotard 939 and the Multistrada 950. But it’s tuned to suit both urban traffic conditions and the track, as the riding position is set a lot straighter than the average sports bike. At 13.39 lakh (ex-showroom), it might just be completely worth the money (if you’re capable of shelling it out).

TRIUMPH STREET TRIPLE RS

One of the favourite bikes in India’s automotive quarters, this is the second variant of the new-generation Street Triple to be launched in India, after the standard Street Triple S earlier this year. Both motorcycles share the same 765 cc in-line three cylinder engine and the chassis, but the RS variant makes more power at 121 bhp, with a peak torque of 77 Nm. Top-shelf equipment, including Brembo brakes, 41 mm Showa big piston forks and Ohlins monoshocks, takes things up a notch. So if you’re willing to spend Rs 10.55 lakh (ex-showroom), and you’re looking for a compact, easy to handle, feisty performer that can also do the daily commute, maybe your search ends here.

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HONDA AFRICA TWIN

Honda decided to revive the Africa Twin after more than a decade, and we couldn’t be happier. The bike is among the most fascinating pairs of wheels we’ve ridden this year, and is a no-brainer on this list. It looks brawny yet elegant and has a 999cc, liquid-cooled, parallel twin powerplant, which makes 87 bhp at 7,500 rpm and 91.9 Nm at 6,000 rpm. These might not be the most commanding numbers in the segment, but the bike wastes no time in building up power evenly, before skyrocketing past the peak torque revs en route the redline. The Rs 13.06 lakh (ex-showroom) price is competitive, to say the least, for a bike with great capabilities both on and off the streets. 

We’ve reviewed the bike in more detail in one of our previous issues. 

HARLEY STREET ROD 750

The new entry-level offering from the popular bikemaker might be based on its cousin, the Street 750 — but that’s about it. It comes with a steeper rake, lower trail and a shorter overall length. On duty here is the same 749cc V-Twin engine, but it lands up in a completely new avatar. Harley likes to call this engine “High Output Revolution X,” and that’s because power output is bumped by 11 per cent while torque goes up to 62Nm. The exshowroom pricing of Rs 5.86 lakh isn’t that much more than the Street 750 either, and if you’re an enthusiast, you will most likely pick the new Rod over the Street 750.

TVS APACHE RR 310

We will walk into the last month of the year with TVS finally taking the wraps off its most awaited motorcycle, the Apache RR 310. First showcased as the Akula 310 concept at the 2016 Delhi Auto Expo, the sportsbike shared its underpinnings with the BMW 310 R. The platform has been developed by BMW engineers in Germany, while both the bike

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s are being manufactured by TVS in India.The production model of the fullyfaired bike is expected to be a sports tourer, like the Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the Yamaha YZF-R3. Powering the TVS Apache RR 310 will be a 313cc, single-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine which churns out 34PS of power and delivers a peak torque of 28Nm.

KTM 250 DUKE

KTM revamped its entire lineup earlier this year, but the biggest trick up its sleeve was the 250 Duke. Priced at Rs 1.73 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) at the time of its launch in India, the model has been on sale in other parts of the world. Its entry is being seen as a move to fill the void between the 200 and 390 range. The party piece here is the all-new 248.8 cc single-cylinder motor that’s been derived from the 390’s 373 cc unit. It’s tuned to belt out 30 bhp and 24 Nm of torque, paired to a 6-speed transmission. The 250 Duke manages to pack in more power and a few features over its competition, outdoing many a rival in the market as well.

Here’s all you need to know about the entire KTM Duke 2017 range.

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