#ODRewind: Versys 650 review, odd-even rule, SC ban, new TVS bikes and stricter traffic rules
2016 Kawasaki Versys 650 road test review
Last month, Kawasaki launched the 2016 Versys 650 in India at Rs 6.6 lakh, ex-Delhi. The adventure touring variant is based on the existing 650cc motorcycle platform. This is the very platform that underpins the Ninja 650 and Er-6n that Kawasaki sell in India. This sporty adventure tourer gets the same engine and gearbox as the Ninja 650 but feels vastly superior. Kawasaki have tweaked the motor to make it feel more responsive. Kawasaki also gave the Versys 650 a significant suspension upgrade making it one of the most suitable machines to clock bigger miles. Kawasaki also kept to their excellent pricing strategy in India which makes the Versys 650 a terrific deal. Read Shumi's review to know more.
TVS back in action with the Apache RTR 200 and new Victor
The BMW G 310 R is by far the most anticipated of its forthcoming motorcycles. But before that, there are camouflaged test bikes that have been spotted at various locations. TVS has been testing both commuter and performance motorcycles in India. On January 20, TVS will launch two motorcycles. The performance bike will be the long-awaited Apache RTR 200. The Apache RTR 200 will have a street-fighter inspired design. A brand new chassis will underpin the Apache RTR 200 along with a new 200cc motor. Monoshock rear suspensions, Pirelli tyres, ABS and fuel-injection will be some of its premium features. The commuter is going to be the Victor, most likely a 125cc. The Victor was TVS' best seller and was also a well engineered product and with the new version, we believe the model will tick the right boxes with a new chassis and 125cc engine.
Delhi goes through odd-even experiment
Amidst all the voices against it, the odd-even rule was brought into practice in Delhi on the first day of the New Year 2016. As expected, the number of vehicles plying on the streets of the national capital was considerably low. Delhi also reported lower levels of PM10. Those violating the rule were fined Rs 2,000 and were also handed roses by the volunteers. The Delhi Transport Corporation ran an additional 3,000 buses on the January 1, while the Delhi Metro made 70 extra trips. The Delhi High Court considered restricting the odd-even practice to a week and then asked the Government to make a ruling based on the data collected in that week. The HC will deliver its ruling on January 11, 2016.
Mumbai gets stricter traffic norms
Maharashtra's State Transport Department tightened the traffic rules by going strict on violators. The Mumbai Metropolitan Region (MMR) has stationed 30 teams containing officers from the Traffic Police and the RTO, across important junctions in the city and has been given the authority to seize and suspend the driver's licences of violators for three months. The big change is that earlier the police could only recommend the suspension to the Transport Department. Now they have been given the power to execute the suspension orders themselves. Breaking the law by jumping a red light, speaking on the phone while driving or driving under the influence of alcohol will make the authorities suspense the licence for the three-month period. And if caught driving without a seatbelt or riding without a helmet (applies to pillion riders as well), violators will go through a compulsory two-hour counseling session on road safety.
Big discounts on 2015 car models in India
In an effort to clear the previous year's stock, dealers across the country are offering lucrative deals. These offers will be valid only till stocks last. Chevrolet is offering a cash discount of Rs 30,000 and an exchange bonus of Rs 20,000 on all variants and trims of the Beat. Maruti Suzuki is offering a cash discount of Rs 25,000 on the Alto 800, and Rs 15,000 and 20,000 on the petrol and CNG trims (respectively) of the Alto K10. Rs 20,000 and 25,000 have been reduced on the price of the WagonR MT and AMT. The real catch here is the substantial Rs 2 lakh off on the S-Cross. Read more here.
2016 Maruti Swift Dzire diesel AMT launched in India at Rs 8.39 lakh
At Rs 8.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), the Swift Dzire AMT is the first diesel car in Maruti's portfolio to feature an AMT transmission. The AMT is being offered only on the ZDi trim. The fuel efficiency of the Swift Dzire AMT, as tested by ARAI, is 26.59kmpl. It's a strong product for Maruti Suzuki as it is the only one to have crossed the Rs 10 lakh units sales mark in its segment. But Maruti Suzuki will launch the new generation version of the Swift and Swift Dzire in 2017.
CS Santosh out of Dakar 2016
The first Indian to participate in the legendary rally Dakar 2016, CS Santosh couldn't complete the event on an account of a broken navigation tower. And major electrical problems on his Suzuki 450 Rally bike. Santosh gave it his maximum by holding on to the navigation cluster and riding for more than 150km. Santosh had started Stage 2 of the Dakar 127th, and managed to make his way to 97th place in the standings. From there, he managed to improve, finishing 61st in Stage 3, that elevated him all the way to 79th overall. The Bangalore-based rider finished 36th overall in his debut last year after which he used all of 2015 to prepare for the 2016 Dakar.
SC ban on 2000cc diesel vehicle registration in Delhi stays despite manufacturers' plea
Mahindra, Mercedes-Benz and Toyota collectively made a plea to the Supreme Court to re-examine the decision of imposing a ban on registration of diesel vehicles above 2000cc in Delhi. The manufacturers highlighted the large number of two- and three-wheelers in Delhi whose emissions were more harmful to the environment than diesel-powered four-wheelers. The court refused to lift the ban and asked the manufacturers to produc documentation to substantiate the assertion that two- and three-wheelers are more lethal to the environment than SUVs. The three manufacturers are badly hit considering the strong presence of diesel variants in their portfolio.