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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“Inside are seats clad in black fabric, with the top-of-the-line VX+ still getting the all-leather treatment. There is great visibility out of the cockpit in any direction, and despite this being my first time in a fourth-generation City, I find it easy to just fall into the driver seat and work out a good driving position, aided in part by the tilt-and-telescopic tiller. The seats have good lumbar and thigh support, although the shoulder area is a bit tight around my wide-ish frame. As in the outgoing model, only the VX+ gets 60/40 split-folding rear seats. The VX’s bench-only rear accommodations is impressive for a B-segment car, and the comfort is definitely still there.

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The Honda Accord is affordable primarily thanks to the automaker’s legendary reliability: You are highly unlikely to see a new Accord requiring any major repairs for years, barring an accident. And as components for Accords are so readily available, repairs and maintenance are not that expensive , either. With a starting price of $23,720 for a new model, the Accord is one of the cheapest cars out there in the long run.

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Whitmer has done her best to quantify the price of inaction, citing a study from TRIP , an independent think tank that focuses on surface transportation, showing that poor road conditions cost a typical Michigan driver $646 a year . Whitmer’s plan wouldn’t eliminate that cost, but it could reduce it by a few hundred dollars. That is more than what the typical consumer would end up paying in new gas taxes, according to estimates from the Whitmer administration and  some  independent  analysts .

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At night – after a long work day and high-school lacrosse games or my own play practices – when I drive into our driveway, there is that sense of tranquility we yearn for in the places we live: a longing to be inside, safe, and warm. The lighting looks like candlelight seen through the big plate glass windows from the road. The front door beckons and the windows blink, keeping our house alive, vibrant with laughter and tears, hunger and rest, joy and conflict, and most of all peace.

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But what’s most impressive is the Kona Electric’s regenerative braking and how it lets you drive using just one pedal. It’s a system similar to the e-Niro’s that offers different levels of regeneration. ‘Off’ means the car will coast when you lift off the throttle and hardly lose any speed. As the levels increase, they use the motor to decelerate more aggressively when you lift off. It’s similar to the engine braking you get when changing down gears in an ICE car, clicking the left paddle to ramp up regeneration when slowing down.

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Reliability is a tricky issue. What the general public mostly knows about brands and cars when it comes down to reliability tends to be based on reputations made or broken years or decades ago. BMW and Honda are good examples. Honda has an age old reputation for reliability yet, based on research, modern Honda places 15th out of 29 brands for reliability. Whereas, BMW who had a rough patch at the turn of the century and still has a reputation for unreliability despite being in 8th place on the same list. Ford, who still has its die-hard brand fanatics, is down in 18th place. As does Chevy, the brand in 23rd place.

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Save up to Rs 2 lakh The Honda CR-V has created a loyal fan following for itself in India, as it has been around in our market since 2004. The latest iteration of the SUV receives a third row of seating, as well as a diesel engine option, for the first time in our market. The CR-V is available with a 154hp, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine that is paired to a CVT automatic gearbox and a 120hp, 1.6-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged unit that comes with a 9-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. The diesel CR-V is offered in both 2WD and AWD layouts, while the petrol variant is only available with front-wheel-drive. Honda dealerships are offering discounts and benefits of up to Rs 2 lakh on AWD variants and up to Rs 1.25 lakh on the 2WD petrol and diesel variants of the CR-V.