Production stopped at all four Honda manufacturing units in India

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As India battles the second wave of the Covid-19 pandemic, two-wheeler manufacturers have had to once again face supply chain issues and production bottlenecks. Close on the heels of Hero MotoCorp, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter, India (HMSI) has also announced a temporary closure of production across all four plants in India – Manesar (Haryana), Tapukara (Rajasthan), Narsapura (Karnataka) and Vithalpur (Gujarat).

Production will be suspended for 15 days (01 May through 15 May 2021). The company will be closely monitoring the situation and take a call on resuming production basis the severity of the lockdown. Honda will carry out its annual plant maintenance during this period. Honda associates will continue to work from home to maintain business continuity and provide the required support to their customers and business partners. On the production front, only essential workforce will be allowed to enter and carry out their duties while following all the covid-19 guidelines and appropriate safety measures.

Yesterday, we had reported that Honda has registered a trademark for NX200. Atsushi Ogata, President & CEO of Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India in an interview, stated that the company is under discussion to expand its product portfolio, and might leverage the Hornet 2.0 platform. There may also be an adventure tourer in the offing.

Honda might use the existing 184 cc motor producing 17.03 bhp and 16.1 Nm. While the motorcycle will be based on the Hornet 2.0 platform, expect some major changes to the chassis, possible 17-inch alloy wheels and disc brakes on both ends. It might sport USD forks at the front and a mono-shock at the rear.

The NX200 will compete for sales with the Hero Xpulse 200T and KTM 250 Adventure.

Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.


Honda trademarks NX200

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Honda has registered a trademark for NX200. Atsushi Ogata, President & CEO of Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India in an interview, stated that the company is under discussion to expand its product portfolio, and might leverage the Hornet 2.0 platform. There may also be an adventure tourer in the offing.

Honda might use the existing 184 cc motor producing 17.03 bhp and 16.1 Nm. While the motorcycle will be based on the Hornet 2.0 platform, expect some major changes to the chassis, possible 17-inch alloy wheels and disc brakes on both ends. It might sport USD forks at the front and a mono-shock at the rear.

The NX200 will compete for sales with the Hero Xpulse 200T and KTM 250 Adventure.

Are you excited for the NX200? Let us know in the comment section below.


Royal Enfield Hunter 350 spied

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New spy shots have surfaced of the soon to be launched Royal Enfield Hunter 350 in Chennai.

The Hunter 350 gets a round headlamp, tail-lamp and indicators. The rearview mirrors are also round and seem to be mounted on sturdy handlebars. The test unit was sporting a single-piece seat and disc brakes at the fore and aft. The motorcycle is poised to get the tried and tested 349 cc motor from the Meteor 350.

What do you think about the Hunter 350? Let us know in the comment section below.

Gallery: Husqvarna E-Pilen prototype

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Yesterday, we had covered the unveiling of Husqvarna’s first electric mobility concept – the MY2022 E-Pilen; slated to be the first in a long line-up of fully electric-powered two-wheelers (PTW) options.

Developed under the aegis of Pierer Mobility Group, the E-Pilen will sport a power output of 8 kW and a range of 100 km with its modular swappable battery system.

Additional information about the E-mobility range should be divulged close to the launch of the production model. The Husqvarna E-Pilen has certainly piqued our curiosity at motorad gears.

While we eagerly wait for the production model to be shown at EICMA 2021, here are a bunch of high-resolution images for your eyes to feast on till then!

KTM Duke 890 Tech3 MotoGP edition launched in France

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KTM has released a limited edition DUKE 890 with special livery inspired by the Tech3 team in France.

Limited to only 100 models, the motorcycle looks absolutely smashing in the KTM’s official colors. It gets a generous dollop of after market parts to up the ante. The uprated cycle parts include a small belly-pan/spoiler located under the engine, an Akrapovič exhaust system, a pillion seat cover.

The motorcycle is listed in France for 11,699 Euros; Rs ~10.54 lakhs which is a price differential of 1.17 lakhs more than the standard model.

What do you think about the Duke 890 Tech3 MotoGP edition? Let us know in the comment section below.


Honda to launch four electric two wheelers by 2024

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Honda recently announced a target to become 100% electric by 2040. Knowing how motorcycles constitute a sizeable component of Honda’s global sales, the timing could not have been appropriate to announce a slew of electric models.

The first three models to be launched by 2024 include two electric scooters and a small-sized electric motorcycle. These are squarely aimed for personal mobility in an urban setting.

We have already seen a patent application by Honda last year in which a CB125R type model can be deciphered. There is no concrete information on the larger electric motorcycle that Honda is yet to unveil, although Honda had filed a patent for an electric motorcycle with a drone built into the rear subframe.

Which model would you like to see in India first? Let us know in the comment section below.


Meet the Husqvarna E-Pilen prototype

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Husqvarna has finally unveiled their first electric mobility concept – the MY2022 E-Pilen! This is slated to be the first in a long line-up of fully electric powered two wheelers (PTW) options.

Developed under the aegis of Pierer Mobility Group, the E-Pilen will sport a power output of 8 kW and a range of 100 km with its modular swappable battery system.

Bajaj Auto and Pierer Mobility are jointly developing a common 48-volt eletric two-wheeler platform in the power range of 3 kW to 10 kW. The first product to be launched out of this partnership is the Bajaj Chetak electric scooter.

Additional information about the E-mobility range should be divulged close to the launch of the production model. The Husqvarna E-Pilen has certainly piqued our curiosity at motorad gears.

Are you excited for the E-Pilen launch? Let us know in the comment section below.


MY2021 KTM 890 Adventure & 890 ADVENTURE R Rally Revealed

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ADVENTURE HARDER

In 2019, the KTM 790 ADVENTURE model family repositioned the ‘bar’ in the midweight motorcycle market. The competition-derived bike was the definition of travel versatility. It offered performance, comfort, durability and exhilaration across a range of surfaces. No road was too long, no hill too dauting, no trip unachievable.

KTM were satisfied that all the sweat and theory poured into their testing and Rally racing would end up helping develop one of the most adaptable and efficient models in the entire product catalogue. The question then remained: aside from tweaks and modifications to keep the KTM 790 ADVENTURE range as a reference in the market sector how could the factory aim for something better?

The answer came with one word: ‘more’. Without compromising the established lithe handling and carefully considered ergonomics, the KTM 890 ADVENTURE line-up represents a significant boost. The larger powerplant, reworked electronics, augmented suspension set-up and chassis alterations mean the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R RALLY and KTM 890 ADVENTURE R offer extra torque, power and poise. More muscle with less strain.

From the genesis of the KTM 890 ADVENTURE range comes a set of further refinements to suit the acute requirements of specific riders. The KTM 890 ADVENTURE R RALLY and KTM 890 ADVENTURE R are therefore created to meet particular demands.

KTM advocates the spirit of #GoAdventure while the #AdventureHarder is directly associated with the brand’s mid-class ADVENTURE models.. With the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R RALLY and KTM 890 ADVENTURE R the brand has the ideal tools to develop and fulfil its philosophy for any motorcyclist that seeks maximum potential and full possibilities from their ride. An appealing and distinctive look for 2021 only increases the desirability of the two new vibrant ADVENTURE models and the travel options now open to customers everywhere.

890 ADVENTURE R RALLY

It’s difficult to explain the nuances of ‘limited’ and ‘limitless’ in the same sentence. But, with only 700 units available worldwide, the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R RALLY is as exclusive as it is offroad capable. Featuring WP Pro Components suspension on par with that found on the works KTM 450 RALLY, a unique color scheme, and bristling with race-derived parts, the only thing limiting the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R RALLY is the production run.

This exclusive model features a high-strength steel chassis and an upgraded and extra potent 105hp LC8c parallel twin-engine, with the major highlight feature being the special WP XPLOR PRO suspension package. Built in the same department as WP’s Factory Racing equipment, it offers similar levels of performance for extreme riding. An additional 30 mm of suspension travel front and back compared to the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R model helps clear the most awkward obstacles and also creates a seat height of 910 mm for this exclusive machine.

KEY FEATURES

  • New 889cc engine with an added 90cc of displacement
  • Limited-edition, 700 units
  • Updated engine & electronics
  • WP XPLOR Pro Components Suspension
  • Akrapovic exhaust (35% lighter than standard)
  • Straight racing seat (with 910 mm height)
  • RALLY mode and Quickshifter+ included
  • Narrow anodized rims
  • Clear screen winglets and racing graphics and colors
  • Carbon fiber tank protectors and Rally footpegs


890 ADVENTURE R

If the best places are the toughest to reach, the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R is the right machine to take you there. Boasting a new engine with increased capacity and added performance, this is a serious travel-capable offroad motorcycle ready for extreme escapes off the beaten track. Using its vast race knowledge and experience, KTM delivers a real-world package aimed at the rider who wants to explore the outer limits of every adventure.

Featuring an updated engine, the KTM 890 ADVENTURE R will entice those that want to accumulate as many kilometers on the trail as they do on the asphalt. Producing 10 hp more power that its predecessor and 12Nm added torque, the new engine also features an impressive 20% more rotating masses, making it easier and smoother to ride in low rpm. The bike slants more towards the rigors of offroad thanks to the use of WP XPLOR suspension with greater options for personalization.

KEY FEATURES

  • New 889cc engine with an added 90cc of displacement
  • Engine featuring 20% more rotating masses (Euro5)
  • More power with 105 hp @ 8,000rpm
  • Added torque with 100 Nm @ 6,500 rpm
  • Reinforced clutch
  • Improved ABS and Traction Control
  • Reworked shifting for faster gear changes
  • Updated Quickshifter+ (optional)
  • New handlebar switch for Cruise Control function
  • Chassis upgrades with aluminium steering head tube & lighter subframe
  • Reworked front & rear brakes
  • New suspension settings

MOTORAD GEARS TAKE

The 890 Adventure R and 890 Adventure R Rally are purpose-built machines aimed for the discerning adventure enthusiast. Bookings for the same have commenced in Europe.

However, these models will not be launched in India. The 790 Adventure (R?) model ought to be launched as an MY2021 model by January 2021. For now, we have the MY2020 390 Adventure to satiate our travel enduro desires in the interim.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

Bombay to Udaipur Road Trip – A Journey to Rediscover Life!

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“Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting”
— Steve McQueen

The prelude to the storm –

In the vast concrete jungles of Mumbai, there exist millions of disparate & disenchanted souls! For India’s financial capital has been perennially teeming with masses – ever so transactional in their monotonous routine, they harbor a deep desire to break free and run amok!

A constant existential angst the only binding thread among them!

Two batchmates from SIMS, Pune working in the “lush” corporate environs decide to do something about the constant melee they were dwelling in. After much deliberation, they decide to embark on a trip to Udaipur (Hopefully we will cover Ajmer & Mount Abu too!) on motorcycles traversing a distance of 1600 km over a period of 6 days!

The riders –

D Vishwakant aka Rookie
Prasenjit Debroy aka DTSI

The weapons of mass deliverance (WMDs) –

2014 Hero Moto Corp Achiever 150
2015 KTM DUKE 390

Day 1 – Bombay to Surat – 30th October

After an exhaustive day at work, rookie started for the rendezvous point at 8 am from Kalyan – a city on the outskirts of Mumbai. It is at an inflection point currently – a city battling the throes of development with rapid urgency!

I had reached the convergence point by 9 am. Rookie finally managed to reach at 9:30 am – braving incessant potholes and combating chaotic traffic! After a quick breakfast of medu-vadas and cuppa of tea, we pushed on for Surat – our target for the day.

We resided at a hotel on the NH48 overnight. At this point, it is essential to mention that I had only heard of Gujarat having some of the best highways (6 lanes no less!) in India – now I also experienced them! One can ride the pitch black tarmac for hours at a stretch – unbroken, next to zero potholes, super smooth. We were the explorers of the unknown!

I used to stop/slow down every 15-20 min on our ride (Sometimes I was asked to!) as I was overshooting rookie by a long margin – clean, clear, open roads & a warm, sunny, ever so blue sky can make your inner butterfly soar up so high and fast!

Day 2 – Surat to Udaipur 31st October October 2016

After a scrumptious mélange of idlis, sandwitches & cuppa or two, we started for Udaipur!

But, all was not to go as per the plan!

We had targeted reaching Udaipur by 6 pm, which would have given us sufficient time to scout for a suitable nesting place for 2 days – A place located equidistant from all the major tourist attractions, pocket friendly, having access to bountiful eateries, yet not too far from the main city, ample (Read: safe) parking for 2 motorcycles, WiFi and a clean & comfortable bed!

What we did not factor in was – incessant traffic in stretches across the small towns, a commute through state highway with bad or non-existent roads which slowed our average velocity, the fact that after sunset, you can’t ride fast on the highway and the most incredulous of them all – huge truck drivers can drive without headlights till they don’t realise it’s dark (Like on the wrong side of a black hole!) – which is usually around 8 pm or at the last completely blacked out patch of NH! For some reason, the lorry drivers seem to rely on – street lamps to guide them on the path to victory and other automobiles headlamps for lighting up the roads in blazing glory!

Upon reaching Udaipur outskirts finally around 9 pm, we got to know that almost all of the hotels have been booked! After rummaging through multiple hotels, we found a place to crash for the night – Matt’s hotels & resort. It is perched atop a small hillock, overlooking the NH48. Everyone who crosses in/out of Udaipur is greeted by Matt’s!

Time to call it a day! (Or, night!)

Day 3 – Udaipur (Day 1/2) 01st November 2016

Dude, where’s our hotel?

For some reason, most of the hotels in Udaipur are concentrated in a dense pocket near City Palace. After 1 hour of fervent searching on Google maps, asking passersby and shopkeepers, we were nowhere close to our hotel! Fatigue was creeping in, the urge for a bed to plonk on was getting higher by the second.

Itni galiyaan kyun hai bhai?

After umpteen rides, we figured out we had crossed 2 points multiple times in our quest to find our dwelling for the day!

Phone – Lost!!!

After giving my phone to rookie, we had just started to go towards our hotel for the nth time. At the next turn, we stopped to check our directions. Rookie laid out his hand to reach my phone.. only to find nothing there! Turns out, he had kept it lodged between tank and knee for quick access, but due to my Spiderman cover being a little slippery, the device was now not to be found!

We retraced our steps from City Palace, where we had stopped and started from, but no results! A few frantic calls later from rookie’s phone, someone switched off my cell. I shrugged and let it go as a life learning lesson – never to be too dependent on technology!

Freak Accident – Motorcycle vs Activa

We stopped at a small shop in one of the countless bylanes of Udaipur, to seek directions to our humble abode for the day. Turned out that the hotel was the building next to us! In our over-enthusiasm, rookie turned his motorcycle only to brush an activa parked directly behind and the front part got scratched!

What ensued was out of a hindi potboiler movie! We tried to explain to the gentleman that it was a freak accident and that we are tourists on a long journey, late, famished and dead tired. But no sir! He would not listen to anything. Seems he was more interested to make a quick buck! After haggling with us for over 30 min, rookie finally relented and paid-up 1000 INR for a part which would entail a maximum outlay of 300!

Freak accident 2 – Helmet

Next thing I know, my helmet fell and a part of the right rachet holding the visor together gets broken. It should not have broken ideally and neither should my helmet have fallen in the first place! Turned out, that no matter what we tried – superglue or tape, it would have to be replaced. My helmet being an exotic breed – the part was only to be found in Mumbai!

Thaanedar part 2 –

We went to Udaipur police station to file a FIR. It took us 30 min in all, but in the end we emerged with a copy of the FIR lodged.

Day 4 – Udaipur (Day 2/2) 02nd November 2016

Bagore ki Haveli – A cultural extravaganza

The haveli is located at the foot of Lake Pichola! It is decked up every evening for an elaborate display of various traditional dance forms and folk music prevalent across the length and breadth of Rajasthan! The puppet dance & pot dance are the highlights of a culture potpourri great enough to regale kings!

I open at the close! – The Good Samaritan

“A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.”
– Ralph Waldo

I had lost all hopes of ever seeing my phone again. I could not blame my friend for a tragedy which quickly cascaded into a domino effect for both of us!

10:30 pm
Last night in Udaipur. I start my other phone to check for any missed calls or text messages – it is an old phone of my younger brother, a very nondescript Nokia model.

Imagine my surprise when the 3rd miss call was answered by someone stating that my phone is safe & would be delivered within the hour!

The story goes like this; a lady had picked up the fallen phone outside City Palace itself. She very swiftly removed both SIM cards from the device to disable location tracking, only to be overcome with a sense of self-realization/fear of being apprehended by the authorities. She gave the phone to a nearby shopkeeper. The shopkeeper could not unlock the password protected smartphone, so he was unable to contact the owner.

Come evening, his son came to the shop for some chores. The son was able to view 2 numbers on the ticker, “Prasenjit Kumar Debroy XXX XXX * For Your Eyes Only*“. He picks up the phone to call my number, only to reach voicemail! The number was switched off!

They kept on trying to contact the owner, but in vain!

11:00 pm
I am reunited with my phone (A 2016 Motorola Moto X Play) after an agonizing 36 hours! The device battery was down to last 7% owing to their countless attempts to unlock the phone. The shopkeeper’s son had been quite gracious to ride all the way from home – a distance of 10 km no less, just to return a lost phone to its rightful owner!

It proved to me that good-hearted people still exist in today’s apocalyptic world!

Day 5 – Udaipur to Surat 03rd November 2016

Day 6 – Surat to Bombay 04th November 2016

The Beginning of the End – Doctor Strange

We ended our trip on a mystical high – watching a first day screening of the latest Marvel cinematic universe (MCU) motion picture. A movie which alters the way we perceive reality and time – pushing the boundary of the human mind! In many ways, the movie reinforced what I had already experienced on this whirlwind trip of a lifetime – the fact that sheer will & belief can give shape to one’s dreams, hopes, aspirations and suddenly, bring them to life!

The movie finished so soon! – time flies fast when we put our soul into an action! I reckon Albert Einstein was right after all!

And suddenly, it dawned on us that our trip was finally over and we had to get back into the grind after a day!

Dropped plans:

Ajmer – Cancelled as we were too tired by the journey to Udaipur!
Mount Abu – Ditto!

Conclusion: 

This was truly an invigorating journey. In many ways it was life-altering. It has proved to me that the human mind can achieve anything! The more we push ourselves, the more we can attain – personally & professionally!

For rookie, it was a cathartic moment when he finally crossed 60 kmph on his ride, for the first time in many years. To top it off, he gunned the throttle all the way to the wrong side of the 80s very soon!

Like me, he believes that we are limited by our own thoughts!

Unlike me, however, he takes calculated risks. I am more of a wildflower – I firmly believe it is better to learn from making mistakes than to let myself be drowned by the mundane activities that perhaps a calculated and measured (Read: corporate) life has to offer!

PS:

Rookie has since shifted to Pune in November 2016. However, our adventures & stories continue unabated for the foreseeable future!

The End of the Beginning –

“Passion will keep you going when the going gets tough.”
— David Copperfield