Suzuki Motorcycle India exited from the commuter motorcycle segment with the transition to BS6 emission norms, and the two-wheeler maker is looking to push premium bikes in the market going forward. The bike maker currently has products from 155 cc to 250 cc in the mass market space, and it could soon introduce a 400 cc offering as well. According to a recent report, the Japanese manufacturer could introduce the Suzuki GSX400R in India that will be pitted as a KTM RC 390 rival.
The 350-400 cc motorcycle is a fast moving segment but does not have enough presence from bike makers as much as customers would like. Apart from the KTM range, TVS is the only other manufacturer to have a fully-faired sports offering with the Apache RR 310, while Bajaj Auto retails the Dominar 400 in this space. The Kawasaki Ninja 300 and the 400 are not on sale at present. Both Royal Enfield and Honda retail modern-classic motorcycles in this segment. This leaves enough room for Suzuki to introduce a new full-faired 400 cc rival that will give you the thrills but at not a back-breaking price.
But what exactly is the Suzuki GSX400R ? As the name suggests, the GSX400R borrows its design cues from the litre-class GSX1000R. Details are not out yet but the bike could use a parallel-twin cylinder engine that would make about 45PS of power. The motor will also rev higher with a wider spread of power as well. So expect better refinement levels on the GSX400R over the KTM.
However, much like KTM and TVS, Suzuki will also have to locally manufacture its new flagship offering to achieve the price advantage. One of the major reasons the Kawasaki Ninja 400 failed to gain any traction in India was its high price tag. This, despite the model replacing the Ninja 300 globally at the same price. This should be a learning point for any manufacturer who would want to enter this segment.
A locally-built Suzuki GSX400R will not only be able to achieve a price tag under Rs. 4 lakh (ex-showroom), it will also be a product with strong potential for exports. Both the European and South East Asian markets are warm to the idea of small capacity performance offerings, which makes a strong case for Suzuki to look at a made-in-India 400R for the world without compromising on quality.
It’s too early though to talk about the project as Suzuki has not officially confirmed the development. However, we could expect the model to arrive sometime in 2023. That’s also when Aprilia plans to introduce its Aprilia RS300 and RS400 motorcycles in India. The bikes will be locally made as well, and will go on sale around that time, as confirmed by Diego Graffi, Head of Piaggio India. For motorcycle enthusiasts wanting to upgrade to performance bikes without a hole in their pocket, both the Suzuki GSX400R and the Aprilia RS400 could just be the exciting prospects that they can look forward to.
Suzuki GSX-S300 Naked Motorcycle Unveiled For China Ahead Of Launch