The Bharat Stage VI emission regulations, or BS6 norms, have come into effect from April 1, 2020. With the world reeling under the coronavirus pandemic, India too is under a lockdown, at least till April 14, 2020. The Supreme Court has said that around 10 per cent of existing stock of BS4 vehicles will be permitted to be registered for 10 days, after the lockdown is lifted, without specifying any date. This may mean a sliver of hope and good news for dealers and manufacturers, but the transition to BS6 regulations already has claimed several victims in the two-wheeler space.
The stricter emission regulations mean manufacturers had to leapfrog straight from BS4 to BS6, and to make products compliant with the new emission regulations, the primary technology change being a move from carburetors to electronic fuel injection in two-wheelers along with bigger catalytic converters. The updated BS6 models have already had a price increase of between between ₹ 7,000-12,000 across different models and brands.
In the new emission regulations environment, some brands have decided to completely do away with motorcycles which were did not have significant sales volumes, opting to update the more important products across segments. Some of these were good products in their own right, but sadly, these will not be available on sale anymore in the BS6 environment. Here's a look at 10 motorcycles which will be a piece of Indian motorcycle history now, and no, you cant buy any of these motorcycles new, anymore.
1. Yamaha Saluto RX
India Yamaha had decided to exit the commuter two-wheeler segment altogether, so along with Yamaha's range of 110 cc scooters, the motorcycles also get hit. The Yamaha Saluto RX, introduced in 2016, as a 110 cc version of the 125 cc Yamaha Saluto. The 'RX' suffix was a revival of the iconic moniker from the two-stroke Yamaha RX-100 from the 1980s. But marketing ideas apart, the Saluto RX couldn't just make a mark in the 110 cc commuter motorcycle market, dominated by the likes of Honda, Hero and Bajaj. With BS6 norms around the corner, and the transition involving expensive technology introduction in the form of electronic fuel injection, Yamaha decided to altogether exit the entry-level commuter segment.
2. Bajaj Discover
The Bajaj Discover series, last available in two engine options - 110 and 125, is one of those models from Bajaj Auto which probably had the maximum number of models and variants at one time. Although regarded as a fuel-efficient and robust commuter motorcycle, sadly, the Bajaj Discover will not make it to the BS6 regime, and Bajaj Auto has decided to discontinue it. The entry-level commuter series from Bajaj will now comprise the Platina and CT series, while the 125 cc segment will be spearheaded by the Bajaj Pulsar 125. So, if you were thinking of picking up a Bajaj Discover, sorry, there's won't be any more discovery of that model at Bajaj dealerships.
3. Yamaha Saluto
The Yamaha Saluto was Yamaha India's re-entry to the 125 cc commuter motorcycle segment. It's a segment which has for many years been ruled by the Hero Glamour, Bajaj Discover 125 and currently by the Honda Shine. While Yamaha did make an attempt to make a fuel-efficient, yet dynamically sound motorcycle which is equally fun to ride, the Saluto failed to make any significant headway in the 125 cc motorcycle segment. And so the Yamaha Saluto has been sacrificed, in the altar of BS6 transition, along with other entry-level two-wheelers.
4. Hero Xtreme 200
The Hero Xtreme 200 range has also not made it to the updated BS6 list of motorcycles from Hero MotoCorp. Built on the common 200 cc platform which is also shared with the Hero XPulse 200, the Xtreme 200R is the premium commuter variant, while the Xtreme 200S is the full-faired variant of the same platform. Hero has updated the list of BS6 motorcycles and scooters on the company's official website, and despite being a likeable and decent product, the Xtreme 200 models seem to have been axed, at least for now.
5. Honda CBR250R
The Honda CBR250R is an iconic motorcycle in India, made even more popular due to its excellent touring capability and all-round likeable personality. First launched in 2012, the Honda CBR250R was a gamechanger and was, in a way, the pioneer of the quarter-litre motorcycle segment as we know it today, in India. With an attractive design inspired by the Honda VFR 1200F, smooth and stress-free, single-cylinder engine, the CBR250R had a loyal fan following. Sadly, the 250 cc Honda will now be relegated to history, but will be remembered as one of the most capable touring motorcycles, revered by many motorcyclists in India.
6. Yamaha Fazer 25
The Yamaha Fazer 25, a full-faired variant of the 250 cc Yamaha FZ-25 was launched in 2017. With a quirky-looking fairing, more weight, and mostly a design which left consumers more polarized than warming up to it, the Fazer 25, despite being a decent motorcycle, failed to be a success. And so, with the outgoing BS4 norms, the Fazer 25 will fade away into the past.
7. Royal Enfield Bullet 500
With the advent of the new emission regulations, Royal Enfield announced the end of an era, the 500 cc unit-construction engine (UCE) single, as we've known it for around a decade now. In January 2020, the Chennai-based motorcycle manufacturer announced that the 500 cc engine will not be updated to meet the BS6 regulations, so along with the engine, we'll have to say our goodbyes to several models, among them the Royal Enfield Bullet 500, the most affordable 500 cc model from Royal Enfield.
8. Royal Enfield Classic 500
The Royal Enfield Classic 350 may be the brand's single largest selling model, but that is not true for its 500 cc sibling. While Royal Enfield's export markets a decade ago were dominated by the 500 cc, in this day and age, that is being taken over by the 650 Twins. So, the Classic 500, the first model to get the 500 cc UCE engine, will be relegated to becoming a classic now, part of Royal Enfield history. In fact, Royal Enfield launched a limited edition model to clear out existing BS4 stock of the Classic 500, and no, you can't buy one anymore.
9. Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500
Another 500 cc Royal Enfield model that will not make it to BS6 updates is the Thunderbird. Within the Royal Enfield fan club, the Thunderbird 500 always had a significant following, particularly those looking for long distance touring. With a bigger 500 cc engine, slightly better ergonomics for long hours in the saddle, the Thunderbird 500 was the default choice of many touring aficionados and Royal Enfield fans. Sadly, even the Thunderbird 500, and with it, the Thunderbird 350 as well, won't light up the horizon of new RE bikes any more.
10. Royal Enfield Bullet Trials 350, Trials 500
Royal Enfield introduced the Bullet Trials motorcycles, apparently as a means to use up existing BS4 stock, at the same time offering a special edition model harking back to the heritage and legacy of Royal Enfield bikes from the 1950s. While the Bullet 350 has been updated to BS6, the Bullet 500 has been discontinued, and both the Trials models also have been relegated to Royal Enfield history.