Back in March 2016, India’s Ministry of Road Transportation and Highways (MoRTH) stated that starting April 1, 2018, ABS would be mandatory for all two-wheelers newly launched with displacements of more than 125 cc.
The time has come. From now on, all new motorbikes larger than 125 cc that will be launched for the Indian market must be equipped with at least single channel ABS as standard. All bikes below 125 cc must comes with CBS. The Indian government has also issued a nationwide deadline of April 1, 2019 for every dealer to comply with its inventory. Manufacturers have one more year to ensure that all bikes for sale will either be equipped with ABS or CBS according to displacement.
The policy will make buying new motorcycles a bit more expensive for the Indian people, but the government cites road safety as its main priority — with the belief that safety features should be the norm instead of premium options. Since India is the second largest market for two-wheelers in the world, the move has created growth opportunities for suppliers. Companies like Continental and Bosch have already started manufacturing electronic brake systems in India. Making ABS mandatory in India has encouraged the development of cheaper single channel ABS systems for smaller displacement motorcycles. In the long run, the change in India towards motorcycle safety will make ABS more affordable for developing markets around the world.
Royal Enfield has stated that they have been ready. The Indian manufacturer announced its compliance with mandatory single channel ABS starting with the new Bullet line with the Thunderbird series to follow. The Royal Enfield 650 Twins are already slated to include ABS as standard, while the Himalayan is being fitted with ABS too.
Bajaj Auto has just pulled the Pulsar 135 LS from its Indian website, since the addition of ABS would make the “baby Pulsar” too expensive for its target market. Bajaj will start its Pulsar range from 150 cc, and relegate the 135 for export.