Best bikes 2019: Bring back the retro with the all new Ducati, Kawasaki, Benelli and Triumph

Which one do you want in your garage?

Kawasaki W800 Kawasaki W800

Kawasaki has expanded its product line-up in India by launching the retro-themed W800 at Rs7.99 lakh (ex-showroom, pan-India). It was back in February 2019 when the Japanese motorcycle manufacturer had announced its plan to introduce the W800 in the country. For now, the W800 will be available only in the Street variant and in one dual-tone paint scheme — metallic flat spark black/metallic matte graphite grey. The Kawasaki W800 is a successor to the brand’s W series models and a tribute to the W1 that was sold in 1965 and was the precursor to the legendary Z1 and H2 motorcycles. The W models were clones of British vertical-twin standard motorcycles from that era that had the unique 360-degree firing order (which means both pistons rise and fall together). Another unique feature of the motorcycle is the old-school bevel gear cam drive, which uses vertically set shaft and gears to connect the crankshaft with the camshaft. Powering the motorcycle is a 773cc, air-cooled, fuel-injected vertical-twin that makes 52hp and 62.9Nm of torque. The retro motorcycle carries a minimalistic design with few modern-day features like LED headlight, slipper clutch and ABS.

Watch out for a true blue Ducati

Ducati Diavel 1260 and 1260 S Ducati Diavel 1260 and 1260 S

Ducati Diavel 1260 and 1260 S: One of the most anticipated motorcycle’s from Ducati’s new line-up, the Diavel 1260, is soon to be launched in India. The second-generation model of the sports cruiser, expected in both standard and S variants, is powered by a new engine which gets a small bump in displacement and is shared by the recently launched Ducati Multistrada 1260 Enduro. This model gets mechanical and aesthetic updates. While its design has stayed true to the original model, the styling tweaks make it look more modern and aggressive. The angular headlights resemble the one on the XDiavel, while the tank panels appear more muscular. Powering the sports cruiser is Ducati’s Testasretta DVT 1262cc L-twin engine that makes 159bhp and 128Nm of torque. Rider aids include cornering ABS, traction, wheelie and controls. It also has three riding aids: Urban, Touring and Sport. Other features include backlit handlebar switches, 3.5 inch TFT colour display, and self-cancelling turn indicators. The brakes are taken care of by Brembo M50 monoblocks. The S variant gets Öhlins suspension at both front and rear with Ducati Quick Shift up and down Evo (DQS) as standard.

Taming the lion

Benelli Leoncino 500 Benelli Leoncino 500

Benelli Leoncino 500: Benelli has launched the scrambler-style Leoncino 500 in India, priced at Rs 4.79 lakh (ex-showroom). In the international market, it is available in three variants: Standard, Trail and Sport. However, Benelli has only introduced the standard variant in India for now, which is available in two colour options: Steel Grey and Leoncino Red. 

In terms of aesthetics, the front mudguard sports a small lion figure recalling the Lion Cub motorcycles of the '50s and '60s. The scrambler bike gets LED headlight full-digital instrument cluster. Powering the motorcycle is a 500cc twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine shared with the recently launched TRK 502. The motor makes 46.8bhp and 46Nm of peak torque and is coupled to a six-speed transmission. The Leoncino 500 features a tubular steel-trellis frame which is suspended on a 50mm USD fork and pre-load adjustable monoshock. For braking duties, the bike gets 320mm twin-disc setup with four-piston callipers at the front and a 260mm disc with a single-piston calliper at the rear. Benelli is also offering a 5-year unlimited kilometre warranty on the Leoncino 500.

Ride the rocket

2019 Triumph Rocket 3 2019 Triumph Rocket 3

2019 Triumph Rocket 3: After successfully introducing the TFC-badged limited edition Rocket 3, Triumph has finally taken the wraps off the all-new standard Rocket 3, which will be built without a production cap. The big-sized sports cruiser was launched in not one but two variants: The Rocket 3R and the Rocket 3 GT. Both the versions share a lot of mechanical components with the Rocket 3 TFC, including the 2500cc, inline-triple engine produces 164.7bhp and 221Nm of peak twist. 

Not only is it the biggest motor seen on a production motorcycle yet, but it’s also the torquiest production motorcycle engine and makes 11 per cent more than its predecessor. Despite the bump of 200cc in terms of capacity as compared to the engine powering the outgoing model, the new 2500cc triple is 18kg lighter and gets new crankcase assembly, new lubrication system and new balancer shafts. The weight-saving theme continues on other parts of the motorcycle as well, including the new aluminium chassis, which has helped drop another 22 kilos of weight. 

The new electronic package with an IMU developed by Continental gives the new Rocket 3 cornering ABS and lean-sensitive traction control. The new Rocket 3 also gets features like hill hold control, cruise control and even Triumph’s second-generation TFT console.

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