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Editor’s favorite concept bikes from 2014

2014 produced some of the best concept bikes we’ve seen in a while. As per tradition, the usual suspects made what we can only assume were their best efforts to outdo each other, and true to form, some impressed more than others. We’ve looked into the top three picks for 2014.


The BMW concept roadster, revealed at the 2014 Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este in Italy, is a step up in appearance from 2013’s BMW concept ninety which was retro-styled to exemplify the spirit of BMW Motorrad’s 90th anniversary. For those of you who love a sleek, modern aesthetic, the BMW concept roadster is bound to stir up some emotion. The Boxer Twin powered machine not only looks good, it can go too. Although BMW hasn’t officially released the bike’s weight, its compact build brings the sense that it shouldn’t be too heavy which if true, should produce a scintillating power to weight ratio given that the 1,170cc liquid-cooled Boxer produces an impressive 125hp and 92lb-ft of torque. The racing inspired seat, and the general rear section is perhaps the bike’s most striking features. Milled from a solitary chunk of aluminium, the rear section gives the bike a crouched, attacking shape which could be frightening for the faint-hearted. The concept is a dream for bike lovers, but unfortunately, this somewhat extreme concept is likely to have trouble getting approved for road use. 

This time round, Ducati seems to have gone for comfort and versatility more than anything. Incorporating three riding modes (urban, touring and sport), an adjustable seat and adjustable passenger grab handles; the Monster 1200 is a bike for any occasion. Safety for both the passenger and driver is also a major concern for Ducati as is made evident by the Ducati Safety Pack (DSP) which is standard along with the 9MP ABS system and the 8-level Ducati Traction Control. The Ducati Monster 1200 has a raw iconic design which appeals to the less is more’ kind of rider. At about 209kg, it is powered by a liquid-cooled, L-Twin second generation of the Testastretta 11 DS engine. With 4 valves per cylinder, and dual spark (DS) ignition which ensures quick complete combustion, the Monster’s 1198cc engine delivers a maximum of 135hp and 87lb-ft of torque which is more than enough power to get your juices flowing. Passionate riders love to take care of their bikes, but the Ducati Monster doesn’t really need all the attention, which is great. The valve clearance adjustment needs service after every 30,000km and an oil change is necessary after every 15,000km which reduces the cost of maintenance. The Ducati monster 1200 would make a great bike for everyday use.

Revealed at the Osaka motorcycle show, the Honda NM4 Vultus is one to look out for. The low, extended horizontal elements give a futuristic look which is akin to the CTX design concept. The bike is fully lit using LED and rides on an 18”, 200mm wide rear tire which gives an aggressive appearance from the back. The bikes massive front end, and a low seat at 25.59″ from the ground are definitely some of its most apparent features and add to the neo-futuristic’ look. However, at 745cc, the Honda’s twin clutch engine is a bit behind its competitors. Honda claims the concept is planned for production, though no dates were mentioned.

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Answer: Impact on employment is in three parts — first is of OEMs like Mahindra and others, second is of suppliers and third is of dealers. As far as OEMs are concerned they will be careful, a company like Mahindra will not lay off people easily because we know the importance of employees and it’s our responsibility but if this situation continues then we will have to do something. Till now around 2,000 people have been laid off. We are closing plants but not reducing capacity. Since last 4 months plants are being closed for 5 to 7 days. If that continues then there will be huge loss of employment. But bigger worry is for suppliers and dealers. If they do not have orders they will have to lay off people and ACMA has already said that around 1 million jobs will be lost if slowdown continues. Even dealers will be impacted in a similar way. Auto industry suppliers, mechanics, dealers, OEMs — all together is a big chunk of employers. If their employments go down then it will have cascading effect and will become a viscous cycle, which we need to avoid.

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These days, it behooves companies to adjust to the new reality that younger generation consumers and employees expect companies to stand for—and embrace—sublime purposes beyond merely generating sales and profits for shareholders, including social and even political causes. This shift is taking place mainly through greater consideration of ESG issues. Evansville, Indiana-based Berry Global, for instance, has joined about 30 other companies, including P&G, in the Alliance to End Plastic Waste to help end plastic waste in the environment, a cause célèbre among consumers.