BIKES OF 2021
RollingStone India|December 2021
2021 was a recovery year for the two-wheeler market, with brands bombarding enthusiasts with jawdropping launches across all categories. We’ve compiled a list of the best models launched in India this year.
Suvrat Kothari
2020 was among the most forgettable years for biking enthusiasts. Just when you thought you could fasten the D-ring, zip up the riding jacket and put on your boots for a liberating ride out of town, the government would extend the lockdown by a few more weeks. We motoring journalists with our press cards loved the empty roads. We, however, are not an evil breed, and the joy of motoring must be shared. Sadly, manufacturing plants were forced shut, sales plunged, and worse, many of us lost our jobs. All we could do was sit tight, wait for our jabs and pray for the economy to resume breathing.

Though nearly half of 2021 was once again lost to the second avatar of the pandemic, the big difference was that people went back to buying bikes soon after the lockdowns were eased, and brands responded accordingly. There were many exciting launches. Suzuki launched the new Hayabusa shortly after introducing it globally; Ducati introduced the lustrous V4 range; Royal Enfield reimagined the Classic 350, its bestselling model; while Bajaj gave its aging Pulsar a new lease of life with the new N250 and F250. It was a much-needed shot in the arm for motoring enthusiasts.

There were some unique entries as well, ones that shouted louder with their exuberant dresses than with their ability to walk the ramp. BMW Motorrad experimented with the bombastic 1800cc R18, while Harley-Davidson, the American ‘Hero’, made its presence felt with the Pan America 1250. With manufacturers coming out with all guns blazing this year, the launches were many, making it challenging for us to compartmentalize the new models according to their design. So, we’ll decode it by the CC displaced.

SUB 250CC

R15, RC200 and the new Pulsars

Yamaha, KTM and Bajaj made bold headlines in this category. The Japanese brand ended the year on a high note, literally and figuratively, with the YZF-R15 V4. The R15s of yore left their mark because of one important reason — the ability to deliver accessible performance in a tight and affordable package. The new R15 V4 confidently builds on that same script. It borrows its design cues from the bigger R-series Yamaha motorcycles, and its upgraded aerodynamics make it more slippery, helping it achieve its nearly 150kph top whack with more ease. Significant upgrades to the chassis include the new USDs up front. Performance, at least on paper, seems largely identical to its predecessors.

Next up, we have the brand-new KTM RC 200. After upgrading the Duke range last year, the Bajaj-owned Austrian manufacturer has rolled out a new design philosophy for the RC range, and it starts with the RC 200. While the outgoing RC 200 was primarily performance-oriented, the new RC 200 is an evolved version. It’s more accommodating and friendly. KTM says the clip-on handlebar has been raised for better comfort over longer distances while the design is more aerodynamic. Notable upgrades include a new bolt-on subframe, an LCD screen borrowed from the 250 Adventure, a larger 320mm front disc brake and switchable ABS at the rear.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM ROLLINGSTONE INDIAView All

The Incredible Journey of ‘Kacha Badam' Hitmaker Bhuban Badyakar

The man behind the unforgettable tune speaks of his musical origins, his simple life philosophy and what listeners can expect next

4 mins read
RollingStone India
May 2022

Anjuly Mathaiguru Randhawa - The Superstar Of Punjabi Music Eyes A Film Career With His Debut Movie

The artist opens up about playing the numbers game, his upcoming projects, and a ‘dream’ collaborator

10 mins read
RollingStone India
May 2022

How Lucky Ali And Mikey McCleary's Converging Paths Led Them To ‘Intezaar'

The seasoned pop singer-composer team return for the first of more new songs and an album

4 mins read
RollingStone India
May 2022

Q&A Becky G

The ‘reverse crossover’ star on empowering women, singing at the Oscars, and working with another ‘G’

5 mins read
RollingStone India
May 2022

THE LAST TREASURE HUNT

HUNTER LEWIS GREW UP AN ADVENTURE-LOVING KID IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA. FOR TWO YEARS HE PLANNED AN ELABORATE OUTDOOR QUEST FOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY. AND THEN HE WENT MISSING

10+ mins read
RollingStone India
May 2022

Saachi Asks People To ‘Stop' Putting Words in Your Mouth on New Single

The track also marks the Mumbai-based singer-songwriter’s debut as a producer

3 mins read
RollingStone India
May 2022

SUNNEITH REVANKAR TALKS ABOUT THE LONG ROAD TO RELEASING HIS DEBUT SOLO EP‘HYMNS FOR THE DRUNK'

The vocalist of metal bands Undying Inc. and The Silent Offensive floated the folk/indie project Shipperman in 2016 with the single “Pills”

5 mins read
RollingStone India
May 2022

TIES THAT BIND: MYTH AND METAPHOR IN ‘THE LOST DAUGHTER'

‘By shedding light in dark places, Gyllenhaal and Ferrante might give those who are or desire to be mothers a larger framework for their fears and anxieties and improve on the why of a landscape in which as women have more agency, they are having fewer children’

10+ mins read
RollingStone India
May 2022

Alan Walker on Gaming, Coming Back to India and Movie Score Remixes

The DJ-producer resumed his globetrotting, which included a four-city tour as part of Sunburn Arena last month

5 mins read
RollingStone India
May 2022

Carnatic Artists Sushma Soma and Aditya Prakash Offer Their Idea of ‘Home' on New Album

The Singapore-based, Chennai-bred vocalist teams up with the Indo-American producer and composer, and several others

2 mins read
RollingStone India
May 2022
RELATED STORIES

The Affordable-sports-sedan Segment Isn't for Everyone, but It's Definitely for Us

Decades ago, meals looked very different. People would scarf down something called creamed chipped beef, then, without missing a beat, mix canned tuna with Jell-O to create a tuna mold.

8 mins read
Car and Driver
April 2022

Lekker, China!

"Enjoy your first class”. We know the propensity for hyperbole in advertising. We may be sceptical of such a bold statement by a Chinese brand but times have changed

4 mins read
CAR
May 2022

GM, HONDA PLAN TO CO-DEVELOP AFFORDABLE ELECTRIC VEHICLES

General Motors and Honda are planning to co-develop some affordable electric vehicles that will use GM’s next-generation Ultium battery technology.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
April 08, 2022

Michael Scott Pit Lane: The Wrong Honda and Other Tales of the Desert Night

Everything was wrong at the opening round in Qatar. Or if not actually wrong, somehow inverted.

3 mins read
Bike SA
April 2022

Kate Schade

Some folks are born to achieve, to see world s of possibilities laid out before them, system atically overcome obstacles, and achieve every goal with al most superhuman ability. Kate Schade, the founder of Kate’ s Real Food (KRF), is the epitome of such a description. A go-g etter, her company is changing the way we stay energized in the field by upping quality, sustainability, and expectation.

3 mins read
Adventure Motorcycle (ADVMoto)
March - April 2022

Honda Fit 1,5 DOHC i-MMD e-CVT Hybrid

Honda has become known as a pioneer of hybrid technology and the latest Fit e:HEV hopes to benefit from that reputation

5 mins read
CAR
March 2022

HONDA EXEC: HIGH AUTO PRICES MAY DROP, BUT NOT DRAMATICALLY

Honda expects its factories to make more vehicles this year despite a computer chip shortage and supply chain troubles. But because it’s starting the year with so few vehicles at dealers, the company expects U.S. sales to fall below last year’s numbers.

1 min read
Techlife News
15, January 2022

Leaner, Stronger & Looking Good

2021 Honda Crf300l & Crf300l Rally

7 mins read
Adventure Motorcycle (ADVMoto)
January - February 2022

2021 Honda Ridgeline

The 2021 Honda Ridgeline came back for 2021 with mostly small updates that made the unibody truck more distinctive without losing its metropolitan vibe.

2 mins read
Motor Trend
February 2022

SEEKING THE COMPACT CROWN

HONDA’S CR-V HAS REIGNED SUPREME. CAN TOYOTA, NISSAN, OR HYUNDAI LEAD AN SUV REVOLUTION?

9 mins read
Motor Trend
November 2021