23Yamaha RD 350 - Blast from the Past
So, you are an adult, love motorbikes and got yourself a KTM Duke 390. It is plenty quick, you love riding it around town and occasionally, go touring on it as well. You love your life at the moment and believe you’ve never ridden anything better. Most likely you would be right, the Duke is indeed a wonderful bike and by far the best performance motorcycle your money can buy. Nothing else comes close in its segment once you’re out of neutral!
See all used RD 350s listed on OLX for sale and you might find an interesting deal that fits your budget.
But if you talk to, for instance your father, about it then he might tell you that he feels the same for some other motorcycle. The interesting thing about technology is that it allows us to create the best that can be at that moment. Every generation has seen some of the most memorable motorcycles of its time. That being the case, the Duke it is for you, but to your dad, it might very well be something else that evokes similar emotions, perhaps, a Yamaha RD 350.
When 2-Strokes Walked the Earth
There was a time when the Jawa and the Yezdi ruled on the Indian streets. However, it wasn’t until the RD 350 that we got to see the true performance potential of a two-stroke motor. It came to India in 1983 and was sold by the Escorts Group as the Rajdoot RD 350. Although, Yamaha originally made it in 1973 for a very short duration till 1975 due to strict emission norms getting in place. On the other hand, it was a technologically advanced motorcycle in India even in the mid 1980s.
People who have a soft corner for the performance motorcycles of the past are extremely fond of the RD 350. Given the fact that India never saw any of the iconic four-stroke multi-cylinder motorcycles, the legendary two-stroke Yamaha was the best we ever experienced in that time. Its performance was a revelation and a bit overwhelming for many riders. The RD 350 was the quickest and the fastest motorcycle of its time with a true top speed of around 160 km/h, numbers that are still considered a benchmark for home-grown motorcycles.
Personally, I have never been a fan of the RD probably because I never got to experience it in its full glory, but also because it went through two major changes specifically to suite the Indian market. First, the front disc brake was replaced with a drum because the concept was quite alien to us and second, the engine was detuned from its original 39BHP to 30BHP. More specifically, the RD 350 in India came in two versions – High Torque and Low Torque. The former made 30BHP while the latter made even lower 27BHP. All this was done to make them fuel efficient. What a surprise! I also feel it looks quite passable and it never made me turn my head.
Yet, I understand why some people adore it and keep it alive. Even I have to nod my head in agreement that the sound is quite intoxicating at full chat. The narrow power-band is something, I’m sure, would be worth experiencing. The RD 350 represents an era of motorcycles which was ended by the ever rising concerns for the betterment of the environment. In fact, people who love two strokes feel robbed by the advent of four-stroke motorcycles.
And just to reiterate the beginning of this feature, while we love the small KTMs, the Ninja 300 and the R3 today, I’m positive most of us wouldn’t mind seeing the revival of two-stroke sportbikes. After all, technology can do wonders.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks to Anil Sharman for letting us spend some valuable time with his RD 350. We understand that it is not easy to maintain such a motorcycle and it is quite a hard work to keep it running good, however, if you are someone looking for an iconic two-stroke, we are positive you would find one on OLX.
22Kawasaki ZZR 400 - A Taste of 400cc Inline 4s
Naming a motorcycle is an important part of its identity. It gives us an idea of what it is meant for and it establishes a distinction among various motorcycles. Honda uses CBR and CB to separate their track oriented faired sportbikes from the naked ones. Yamaha achieves the same through their YZF and FZ lineup. Every manufacturer does it to highlight the diversity in their lineup.
See all used Kawasaki bikes for sale on OLX and you might find your favorite one.
Kawasaki is another bike maker that has motorcycles in a wide variety of segments, from sportbikes to cruisers and from standards to sport-tourers. Their ZZR lineup represents their sport-tourers and the biggest and the fastest of them all is the Ninja ZX-14R, known as the ZZR 1400 in certain European markets like the UK. Naturally, though, it did not start there and the ZZR has had sportbikes from as low as 250cc. We came face to face with a 400. We were fortunate enough to locate one through OLX and tell this story. Perhaps you too can try your luck if you are looking for a motorcycle like this one.
The ZZR 400 is a sportbike with a 398cc inline 4 DOHC liquid cooled engine and produced 53BHP of maximum power at 11,000 RPM and 37NM of torque at 9,000 RPM. It was introduced in 1990 and remained in production till the early 2000s. It had conventional telescopic forks at the front and a mono-shock at the rear. Braking duties were done by double disc at the front and a single disc at the back. At the 197 kg dry, it was definitely not a light weight motorcycle.
By today’s standards, the ZZR 400 looks pretty outdated with rounded looks and little attention to aerodynamics. However, this motorcycle compels us to think and contemplate of how good it would be to have it in production today with updated looks, engine and the chassis and suspension. The performance from 398cc inline 4 engine should be absolutely satisfying in all possible riding conditions. We fear that modern motorcycles like the Ninja 300 and R3 with parallel twin engines are to serve the similar purpose and they are better motorcycles in almost every way. But their engines, without a doubt, leave a lot to be desired as far as the attitude is concerned.
Riding the ZZR 400 made few things clear – it did not have the handling prowess of today’s Quarter Litre motorcycles, but at the same time, the sound and the feel of its inline 4 engine is quite unmatchable. And we would love to see experience the same once again.
We Sincerely thank Mr. Amandeep Singh for taking out his time and letting us ride his motorcycle.
Luckily this Kawasaki ZZR400 is available for sale on OLX. If you want to buy this Click Here
We advice you to check all the necessary papers and take a test ride before finalizing the deal.
21Benelli TNT 600i – The Special Edition
A 600cc inline 4 is often considered an ideal combination of high performance and usable power. A mix which is fun in city traffic, blast on highways and immensely satisfying on the fastest race tracks. No doubt that the middle-weight motorcycles are some of the highest selling performance motorcycles in the world.
See all used DSK-Benelli Bikes for sale on OLX and you might find your favorite one!
In the last five years or so, India has also been witnessing a rise in performance motorcycles in different segments from international manufacturers. Unfortunately, while we have some of the most expensive and the fastest motorcycles, we are still a bit devoid of options when it comes to the middle-weight category. The proof of which is in the fact that we have only one 600cc inline 4 from Japan so far and that is the Honda CBR650F. There are more such motorcycles that will do well in our market. Triumph Daytona 675’s success proves that there’s good potential for Supersport motorcycles in India. We believe it is only a matter of time that other companies realize this and so, we would love to see the likes of Yamaha YZF-R6, Honda CBR600RR and Kawasaki ZX-6R on our shores.
Interestingly, lack of these motorcycles demands our focus on the presence of Benelli, the Italian motorcycle manufacturer that has been through the toughest of times and has managed to make a comeback under the ownership of the Chinese group Qianjiang.
Benelli has an interesting lineup of motorcycles and has been quite aggressively making efforts to expand their business across the country through various DSK dealerships. And while we feel frustrated that most Japanese manufacturers are yet to make a move, it is good to see Benelli stepping up with a couple of sportbikes with precisely the right hardware and price.
One of these is a streetfighter, TNT 600i, with a 600cc inline 4 DOHC liquid cooled engine and a 4-into-2 under seat exhaust setup. The design is spot on to get our attention but what about the power? Well, it is far from disappointing at 85.1PS at 11,500 RPM and 54.6NM at 10,500 RPM. One of the only negative points in the motorcycle is the high wet weight of 231 kg and the lack of ABS.
We Sincerely thank DSK Benelli and Mr. Shirish kulkarni for letting us ride TNT 600i – The Special Edition
Minus these, the 600i is an impressive motorcycle with good performance and sound. Like a typical naked with slightly sporty ergonomics, it offers an involving riding experience around bends. The steel trellis frame, upside-down forks and mono-shock at the rear ensure that the overall riding dynamics are on the sportier side. Benelli introduced a limited edition of 600i with metallic golden colour and it looks quite premium as well.
The TNT 600i is proving to be the best-selling sportbike from Benelli in India and we are not surprised. It is precisely for reasons we started this feature with. We hope that it continues to sell well as it is a pretty good motorcycle at a very competitive price. Its success is important for the betterment of this segment and, of course, for us.
You can find it even cheaper on OLX. So, do a quick search and give realization to your dream of owning a multi-cylinder sportbike.
20Yamaha YZF-R6 - Yamaha’s Middleweight Screamer
The YZF-R6 is undoubtedly one of the most popular sportbikes in the world. So much so, that the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer hasn’t really updated it significantly since 2010.
The R6 was introduced in 1998 and went on to become one of the most successful motorcycles in Yamaha’s stable. The first generation of the R6 looked a bit rounded, but from then on, its styling has continuously become edgier and edgier. The latest generation of Yamaha’s Supersport motorcycle is the edgiest of them all with a tightly packed front end and the sharpest tail section in its entire segment.
In fact, as far as the looks are concerned, the R6 is the sportiest motorcycle in its class. And while it is not the most powerful, it is the lightest Supersport at 181 kg ready-to-ride. Remarkably, even though it has not been updated as regularly as its competition, the R6 still manages to look one of the most modern and up-market sportbikes irrespective of the category.
Good for us, we were fortunate enough to spend some time with this sleek sportbike. The YZF-R6 we rode had gone through some modifications; most prominent of those were the Ohlins mono-shock and the Akrapovic exhaust. It also had aftermarket clutch and front brake levers. And in the black colour, the R6’s toned bodywork appeared totally sinister. Even at a stand still, it looked like it is cutting air.
The R6 has one of the best handling characteristics among sportbikes. Even through our stint on it, we could feel that the handling is sharp and extremely responsive to rider inputs. No doubt it will be crazy fun on racetracks. We only hope and wish that Yamaha would see its potential in the Indian market given that the Triumph Daytona has been quite successful on our shores.
We sincerely thank Mr. Rohit Chandrashekar for taking out his time and letting us ride his motorcycle.
Finally, we would like to sincerely thank Mr. Rohit Chandrashekar for taking out his time and letting us spend some wonderful moments with his lovable Yamaha YZF-R6.
And for all of you sportbike enthusiasts out there, we understand you may not always find your favourite motorcycle out there in the market, but you can always try and find one on OLX.
19MOTO GUZZI AUDACE
Can a mass produced motorcycle be unique? In a way, it can be, if you make it too expensive or in limited numbers or simply sell it in select few markets. Do any of these and you will have fewer people buying it eventually making it a rather rare sighting at most places and motorcycle meet-ups. This shall pass the high-end Ducatis and the MV Agustas as unique.
But this isn’t the kind of uniqueness we are referring to. We want to talk about uniqueness in its truest sense, which is when you look at something you say it is unlike anything. Something which has a certain visual characteristic that is totally uncommon. Sure the Ducatis are unlike most Superbikes with their L-twin motors and they come sans any graphics, but they are still not quite there when it comes to being distinctive enough. It is the reason people customize their rides.
However, let us point your attention to Moto Guzzi to start making sense of things. To say all their motorcycles are powered by V-twin engines wouldn’t do justice to the brand. It needs to be seen and to be shown to really understand that the transverse mounted V-twin engine in a Guzzi is one of the few unique designs currently in production.
And we got to experience one in the Audace – Moto Guzzi’s stripped down cruiser.
Possibly the most important design elements in any cruiser is its engine. If it’s not substantial and beautiful enough, it can ruin the whole style completely. A cruiser’s engine is its brawn and its heart at the same time. And it is all the more prominent in Moto Guzzi Audace.
The transverse mounted V-twin engine with the two cylinders protruding at either side is Audace’s biggest visual impact and there’re no two ways about it. This arrangement makes everything else big and wide as well. The fuel tank has to be wide enough to keep the proportions alright. When everything is put together, the first-half of the motorcycle looks big and wide, highlighting its mechanical beauty. The drag-bar handlebar and shorter mudguards add muscularity to the design.
The Audace is quite impeccably finished. There are no unnecessary gaps and flimsiness anywhere. It is very much an Italian masterpiece. The quality of switches is admirable and so is the stitched seat. The bottom of the engine looks big enough to power something much bigger. Aesthetically, it doesn’t feel like a motorcycle engine. The shaft drive further magnifies its mechanical charm.
Give a slight throttle in neutral and see the Audace tilt slightly to the right; such is the nature of the transverse V-twin. The exhaust note is typical for this engine but does not have a laid-back attitude.
For all its big size and heftiness at 299 kg, the Audace is pretty good to ride even in the normal city traffic. It handles surprisingly well repeatedly making the rider realize that modern engineering can do wonders to the bike’s dynamics. The performance from the 1380cc, air-cooled, 8-valve 90 degrees V-twin engine is responsive, to say the least. With 96 BHP at 6,500 RPM and 121 NM of torque at 3,000 RPM on tap, the Audace advances with authority and is one of the best performers in its category.
One of the things that impressed us very much was that it never got uncomfortably warm in the traffic. We could feel some warmth at our legs but it never bothered us enough to dilute our riding experience.
We immensely enjoyed every minute we spent on the Audace. It is a unique and special motorcycle with rich and exotic appearance. For sure, it is absolutely worth keeping.
Today, there is more than one way to own such a lovely motorcycle as rather than going to the showroom, you can search it on OLX and maybe, you will get lucky.
18HARLEY-DAVIDSON FAT BOY
It’s fascinating to realize how motorcycles have impacted our lives. Many of these wonderful machines have gone on to symbolize motorcycling in their own ways and given birth to a unique lifestyle. And not just that, they have characterized us and continually reflected our mood and personality on the road. They are a part of our identity and we become a part of theirs.
It compels us to recall some memorable moments from the years gone by that glorified both the man and the machine. One of them was in 1991 when Arnold Schwarzenegger rode a Harley Davidson Fat Boy in the movie Terminator 2. It is a truly great movie and Arnold gave one of the best performances of his career, but his robotic character was flawlessly magnified by his ride, the Fat Boy.
The typically substantial dimensions of the motorcycle were the perfect match to Arnold’s bulked up physique. And while his personality was intimidating to the bad guys, the overall ease of his character was aptly complemented by the Fat Boy’s laidback attitude. It would be hard to find another example when a motorcycle and the rider have been so well-paired. Arnold never looked cooler and the Fat Boy became a badass.
Since then, I have wanted to ride the Fat Boy and it has remained my favourite motorcycle in the Harley Davidson lineup. It is well built and looks tough enough to last more than a lifetime.
The Fat Boy was introduced in 1990 with a 1340cc engine and received various upgrades over the years. In 2016, the Fat Boy comes with a Twin Cam 1,690cc engine which produces 133 NM of torque at 3,500 RPM. It is a ‘Softail’ which means that the frame looks rigid (no shock absorbing mechanism at the back) but actually employs a shocker completely hidden from the view.
We sincerely thank Eagle Rider India for letting us ride FAT BOY.
The overall styling is a classic American cruiser with a comfortable and wide reach to the handlebar, slightly forward foot floorboards and a broad seat. 17-inch wheels at both ends make the whole motorcycle look absolutely proportionate. Would I want to change anything in it? Well, the brakes certainly need more power and a double disc setup would be a huge improvement.
The Fat Boy is one of the most successful motorcycles for Harley Davidson and, in some ways, their identity. It is the face of motorcycling in America and is an integral part of the company’s heritage. As far as I’m concerned, I’ve been overwhelmed by many motorcycles and I always desire more than one. But the Fat Boy always gets my attention no matter how many times I have seen it already. It is like if I personify Harley Davidson as a human being, then the Fat Boy would be a limb it can’t do without.
17Suzuki GSX-R1000 MotoGP Edition
For sportbike manufacturers, racing is integral to motorcycle development and there’s nothing bigger and grandeur than MotoGP. The pinnacle of motorcycle racing where the usage of technology is as paramount as the rider skill itself.
Some of the world’s top motorcycle manufacturers compete at the highest level to display and prove their technological prowess through their racing machines. Not meant for production, these bikes are like prototypes developed solely for racing on track. Various technologies used in these motorcycles get trickled down to production motorcycles depending on their feasibility.
Given the nature of the sport, it is extremely expensive and demands huge financial investment from manufacturers taking part in it. It can take a toll on companies and, at times, they are forced to withdraw.
Suzuki is one of those manufacturers that has been through this situation when they left MotoGP in 2011 due to the lack of required finances to carry on the development of their racing motorcycles. But it was only temporary until the Japanese company pulled things together and made a pretty successful return in 2015 with their all-new GSR-RR race bike.
To celebrate their return to the highest level of racing, Suzuki introduced a MotoGP edition of their flagship GSX-R1000 Superbike. It is considered one of the most rider-friendly sportbikes in its class, however, it is quite behind in terms technology compared to some of its rivals.
We sincerely thank Mr. Pavan Prakash for taking out his time and letting us ride his motorcycle.
The MotoGP edition comes with the GSX-RR livery and almost manages to look like its clone. The blue colour has a fantastic shade and looks rich. The inline 4 999cc engine is unchanged and produces 182.5 BHP of power at 12,000 RPM and 116.7 NM of torque at 10,000 RPM.
Also, there are three riding modes and a Slipper Clutch. The front suspension is Showa big-piston forks that are fully adjustable. It is almost the same as the standard GSX-R1000. However, Suzuki will likely launch their 2017 GSX in near future as they revealed an all-new GSX-R1000 2017 concept recently.
16DSK Benelli BX 250 Motard
Staying true to their aggressive approach for the Indian market, Benelli has some interesting motorcycles coming up in future adding variety to their already decent lineup.
One of those is a machine built to be two motorcycles in one – a road bike made to look like an off-roader – and it is the BX 250 Motard. Revealed at the 2016 Auto Expo in Delhi, the BX 250 is a versatile motorcycle with long travel suspension, road-biased tyres and the styling which resembles a dirt-bike. And that is exactly what a Motard is.
It is a pretty interesting motorcycle indeed and whenever it will be launched, the BX 250 will be one-of-a-kind in the Indian market. It appears to be a great motorcycle to learn the basics of off-roading with decent power on tap.
The engine is a healthy 250cc liquid cooled unit and produces 25BHP at 9000 RPM and 20NM of torque at 7500 RPM making it into a pretty spirited performer. Doing the shock absorbing duties at the front is a pair of substantial 50mm upside-down forks while the rear is handled by a link-type mono suspension. The tyres are 17 inches and are equipped with a single disc each. The motorcycle is thin and tall with a seat height of around 890mm. The exhaust is routed from under the seat in a typical off-road fashion.
On our brief ride, we discovered that it is an extremely light-weight motorcycle and effortless to throw around, exactly how a motard should be. The suspension handled a variety of road conditions with aplomb and it shall be a hoot to ride in the city. However, replace the stock tyres with dual-purpose rubber and it will be an even better off-roader.
We sincerely thank DSK Benelli for letting us ride the BX 250 Motard
DSK is aggressively promoting Benelli throughout India and has opened a number of dealerships in various cities. The companies Italian roots make it an interesting choice among motorcycle enthusiasts, and its Chinese owners aren’t really a big deterrent.
We were left impressed by the BX 250 and believe it will be worth the wait.
15MV Agusta Brutale 1090
We believe, on the basis of aesthetics, you can divide motorcycles into two teams – Italians and the rest of the world.
There is no doubt that some of the most beautiful and stunning motorcycles in the world are made in Italy. What is even more interesting is that they are also some of the best performing motorcycles in their respective segments.
Right now, we are talking specifically about one of the most exotic names in the industry – MV Agusta. A brand so special that, one can argue, has never made a bad looking motorcycle and this is understating the facts. If you have motorcycles like the Brutale, F3 and F4 in your arsenal, then you have not only managed to not produce a bad looking bike, you have created a trio of the most incredibly looking motorcycles of their times. And that is now.
What struck us instantly upon seeing the Brutale is that it is an astonishingly polished motorcycle, something which has been crafted with patience and the right dose of subtlety. Its design evokes multiple emotions all at the same time. It is beautiful and elegant. Stunning and naughty. If it had a soul, she would know you want her. If we had to personify it further, we would say she’s the beauty with brains. And that is a deadly combination.
But just to limit our imagination, we will leave it as a motorcycle!
The Brutale 1090 is powered by a 1078cc engine which produces 144 BHP at 10,300 RPM and 112 NM of torque at 8,100 RPM, numbers more than enough to send a tickle across your spine. And of course, that inline 4 engine generates a buttery smooth exhaust note which hums and howls depending on where the bike’s rev needle is. Rest assured, it is pleasing to the ears at all engine speeds.
MV Agusta’s have always had up-market parts. At the front, there’s a pair of 50mm Marzocchi forks and a single Sachs progressive shocker at the back. Brakes are Brembo with steel braided lines.
The styling and the overall build quality further highlights the affluent stature of the Brutale. You would be happy to park it in your living room, but at the same time, it wants to be ridden and is a treat on the streets. It is a well-engineered motorcycle, the handling and braking are top-notch and the performance is right up there as well.
The Brutale is unique, special and shall be treated as one. It is imperfect and the fuelling at low RPMs is known to be jerky. It is pricey and not many people get to own an MV Agusta. But it is worth every penny you would spend on it.
14Honda Grom - – Good Things Come in Small Packages
The interesting thing about notions is that you can pick certain realities of life and turn them into catchy phrases. Like in this case, it is part of a bigger picture, but true nonetheless – good things often come in small packages – like your favourite mobile phone, food, clothes and, maybe, a motorcycle!
In case you’re wondering about the last part, you would know what we mean when you’ll see exactly what we have for you this time. Introducing, the Honda Grom, the cute little 125cc motorcycle and it is so much fun. If we were kids, this would be our favourite toy hands down.
Honda has done a remarkable job in putting together a motorcycle like this. It doesn’t just look cute or full of sophistication, it’s been cleverly designed to please a wide variety of bikers. Remember, it is not a kids bike, it is a full-fledged motorcycle made small. For example, the dynamic headlight design and those eye-pleasing upside-down forks lend it an aggressive attitude similar to that of a streetfighter. The disc brakes and the high-mounted, almost under seat exhaust further enhance the sportier appeal of the Grom. Yet, the small wheels and the toyish bodywork make it playful.
Playful, that is exactly what it is meant for, to play around in your neighbourhood while not appearing like a jerk. It is fun rediscovered and an ideal solution for the mid-life crisis. Have you ever been in a situation when no particular motorcycle appears good enough? When nothing catches your attention and stuff about bikes that normally impresses becomes passable. That is a time when something like Grom could do wonders to your mood. It would reset your mind and pull you out of your lazy life.
The 125cc horizontal layout engine is a perfect choice for this bike. The performance is unintimidating and can be fully extracted on many occasions. It has been a hit since it came out in 2014. Honda has created a new category with the Grom and Kawasaki has joined with their 2017 Z125 PRO. When one of your toughest rivals responds in a similar fashion, it confirms you’re on the right path.
We would love to see this in India, although, we are not sure of its success. The fuel injection and the up-market hardware in Grom will definitely make it expensive for its segment. However, after having swung our leg over it, we have been convinced that we want one.