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Bajaj to launch a new sub-500 cc motorcycle under Rs 2 lakh in India by June 2017

The Financial Express logo The Financial Express 17-03-2017 FE Online

Bajaj Auto is primarily known for its Pulsar range that is sold in India. The popularity that the Pulsar brand has garnered for the company only proves that Bajaj's strategy for development of affordable sportsbikes has a considerable fan following in the country. With the Dominar 400, the motorcycle manufacturer took the game further into an affordable, but a more powerful sub-500 cc motorcycle segment, a category that has been dominated by Royal Enfield for a number of years.

The aggressive starting price tag of Rs 1.36 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi immediately attracted attention and although Bajaj hasn't delved into a cruiser motorcycle segment, the Dominar 400 has started to eat into Royal Enfield's market share. But, is the Dominar 400 the only sub-500 cc motorcycle that the company is looking at? In a recent conversation with Money Control, Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director, Bajaj Auto said there would be another entry in the sub-500 cc segment within Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. According to a render by Indian Autos Blog, the new offering could be a fully faired version of the Dominar 400 and bear the same moniker as its naked streetfighter sibling.

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In terms of specifications, the new offering would be powered by the existing 373.3 cc, four valve, triple spark motor that generates 34 hp of power at 8,000 rpm and 35 Nm of torque at 6,500 rpm which is mated to a 6-speed transmission in the Dominar 400. This powertrain is expected to remain the same for the upcoming motorcycle as well as braking by 320 mm front disc and 230 mm rear disc brake setup. If the motorcycle is introduced in a fully-faired format, according to the render, it will be slightly heavier than the Dominar 400 which would reduce its performance by a small margin.

The sub-500 cc motorcycle segment has seen a number of new players enter the market. BMW will soon introduce its sub-500 cc naked motorcycle has been jointly developed with TVS. While the BMW G310R will be a naked motorcycle, TVS will bring out a fully-faired version, which is expected to be priced around Rs 2 lakh. This motorcycle will be christened the Akula 310 and will borrow its engine from the smaller BMW motorcycle in India. Based on the pricing of the new Bajaj motorcycle, it would be interesting to see how it would fare against the upcoming and existing competition.

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