BMW Motorrad, as you know, is coming to India for the long haul. So far, the German manufacturer has been represented by a duo of importers who sold a handful of CBU products only. When asked be OVERDRIVE a few years ago, a company spokesperson told us that while BMW Motorrad considered India important they didn't believe it was a market which needed anything more than brand presence in the short term.
This was turned on its head when the KTM Dukes made in India helped the Austrian manufacturer beat BMW Motorrad to the top in the European motorcycle maker table.
Since then BMW has found a partner in TVS. While the Indian company wouldn't open itself to a stake/JV deal thanks to its history with Suzuki, a partnership was firmed up fast. As you know, the TVS and BMW have been working together on a motorcycle platform that both will derive products from. BMW showed the G 310 R at the 2015 EICMA show in Milan. We expect this motorcycle to be at the BMW Motorrad stand taking center stage. The G 310 R is expected to debut in select markets - Europe and maybe USA shortly. The Indian debut is expected later, perhaps by June. TVS will manufacture the motorcycle in Hosur with quality control being by BMW.
BMW Motorrad India plans to sell the G 310 R in India through its own dealership network. We expect current importers Deutsche Motoren and Navnit Motors to be absorbed into the new setup, more details on which will be announced at the 2016 Auto Expo.
Flanking the G 310 R will be one iconic and one very impressive motorcycle. BMW Motorrad will showcase its R 1200 GS and the S1000XR at the 2016 Auto Expo. Both will be CBUs and hence very, very expensive.
BMW showed the S1000XR at the 2014 EICMA show in Milan as a 2015 model. The S1000XR is a sport touring model which uses the engine and chassis from the S1000R sport naked with minor mods to suit its role. The S1000XR wears a lower mounted exhaust to permit luggage placement and has the full suite of electronics. Expect prices in the Rs 25-35 lakh range with optional add-ons.
The other motorcycle needs no introduction. The 2016 R 1200 GS is not all-new but it's a very, very impressive tourer. The GS uses a part liquid-cooled 1170cc engine that makes 125PS. But the bike is famous for its sweet feel and calm poise on the highway. In India, the GS is a very expensive motorcycle which can top Rs 35 lakh with options.