Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members


The feel of the wind caressing your hair, whispering sweet nothings to you (and only you), and the open road sprawled out before you. If ever freedom had a feeling, this would be it.

Few vehicles evoke the visceral feeling a motorcycle does. Making the journey from point A to point B could be all about reaching a destination. But there will only be so many ways to move the soul, and riding a motorcycle is one of them.

Fun comes in many shapes and sizes too. Whether you like your ride café style or scrambler, cruiser or tourer, sports bike or just plain super naked, there’s something for everyone, everywhere. Here’s a selection of motorcycles we’re excited about.

Ducati Multistrada 950 S

The smallest displacement “multibike” (if we were to use Ducati’s parlance) it might be, but the Multistrada 950 S is a multi-faceted Italian thoroughbred like any of its larger siblings. The temptation might be strong to imagine bigger is better, or that there’s no replacement for displacement, but pump your brakes for a minute, and ponder this. While beginners will of course appreciate the more down-to-earth nature of the Multistrada 950S, seasoned riders too will appreciate its many charms, for they can make the most of its meaty potential for hours on end without tiring. This baby has been designed to be used everyday or for long distances, boasting a trifecta of comfort, style, and superior performance that is quite compelling.

The 950S boasts a fair few toys too, perhaps most notably the electronic semi-active suspension (Ducati Skyhook Suspension system) that continuously adjusts fork and shock absorber damping so the suspension Instantaneously adapts to road surface changes, which can be set to a mind-boggling 400 different configurations. This means it’s got just the right kind of damping for every kind of pothole out there.

BMW R 18

Big, bold, beautiful, BMW. The Bavarians have built a large part of their reputation on the back of silky smooth, powerful engines that have sated enthusiasts for decades. So pardon the alliteration when we say Bavaria’s latest cruiser is a bruiser. Any which way you put it -1,802 cubic centimeters or 110 cubic inches – the R 18’s horizontally opposed boxer twin packs quite a punch. Twin 107.1mm bores rumble to life and soundtrack your first tryst with it, sending every nerve ending in your body into overdrive.

The R 18 harks back to the BMWs of yore, tubthumpingly visceral in the ca-chug ca-chug of its engine note, at first rocking gently side to side as if it were a pet delighted at the very sight of you. And it’s alive in a way few vehicles are, almost too eager and unrefined at times, but always communicative and in its element out on the road. In fact, it’s deeply reminiscent of American cruisers in the way it snakes through a ribbon of asphalt.

The booming baritone of BMWs latest cruiser is complemented by the delightfully named Rock and Roll modes, as also a rain mode for slippery times. That’s quite apt, since this is a cruiser that hits all the right notes, a riff on a nostalgic songbook we love turning back to every now and again.

Triumph Tiger 900

Tyger Tyger, burning bright,

In the forests of the night,

What immortal hand or eye,

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

William Blake didn’t know it then, but he was penning a paean to Triumph’s latest masterpiece, a middleweight champion that can trade punches with the best of them.

The Tiger 900 is raring to go whatever the occasion, with this pugnacious Brit sent off to boot camp and coming back lighter, stronger, and faster than before. Except this time, there’s double trouble; The 900 has two distinct characters, split across the off-road-focused Rally models and street-oriented GT models. By eschewing the “one motorcycle to rule them all” philosophy, the 900 promises to be a specialist that carves up the specific task…tasked to it. Rally models are shod with 21-inch spoked fronts and Showa suspension with 9.4 inches of travel up front and 9 inches of travel in the rear. The GT models sport 19-inch cast wheels up front and Marzocchi suspension with 7 inches of travel in the front and 6.7 inches in the rear.

No effort has been spared in making the Triumph the king of the hill. Go forth, and conquer.

Honda H’ness

Is there such a thing as modern retro? If so, Honda’s H’Ness CB 350 (Highness, for commoners) would like you to know it has called dibs.

To CB or not to CB; that is the question enthusiasts now need to answer. His H’ness aims squarely at the likes of the Royal Enfield Classic 350, and the Jawa bikes, and this is shaping up to be a Battle Royale. It’s got loads of chrome (bling is king), but doesn’t overdo it and comes out looking more blue-blooded royal in shining armor than shiny, pretentious hack crying out for attention.

It looks and feels premium, and so it should come as no surprise to hear it’ll be sold by the BigWing dealerships, for kings do not walk among mortals. The Royal Enfield throws down a king-sized gauntlet to anyone that eyes its kingdom, but if there’s a challenger that can thrust and parry with the best, the H’ness is it.

Royal Enfield Meteor

Shooting star with ephemeral brilliance, or something more permanent? You be the judge of that. But it seems as though everything Royal Enfield touches turns to gold, and so it might be with the Meteor too. Don’t just dismiss it as the same old Thunderbird wine in a new bottle. The Meteor 350 is far removed from its predecessor, and a whole new experience lies at its heart with the all-new engine. Displacement and power outputs get a slight bump upwards, with a larger bore and a shorter stroke. Of interest is the fact that the engineers retained the long-stroke architecture.

Refinement is the forte of the Meteor, and it’ll be the first thing you notice when you get this baby to stretch its legs. Handling too is noticeably better than the T-bird since the Meteor shed 6 kilos after being put on a strict diet.

It reeks of roadster through and through though, and we imagine it’ll be quite the hit with our desi junta.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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