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Old 17th February 2015, 20:10   #16
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

The what matters to the people when choosing cruiser, is not just the engineering part or comfort. It is the cult following. People buy Haley Davidson to be a part of that cult. Purists riders who enjoys long rides and not interested in being a part of any cult may go for Japanese cruisers, because what they need is a reliable (applying the universal law that states, Japanese machines are very much reliable and bullet proof) and comfortable cruiser. But for others who need more than a motorcycle for the money they put down, they choose American cruisers (Harley Davidson or Indian). Even Triumph cruisers IMHO are a league below Harley Davidson. Because the bike that pops into our head when we hear the word "cruiser" is not a Goldwing, not a VTX 1800, not a VMAX, not a Thunderbird, it is a V twin Harley Davidson.
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Old 17th February 2015, 20:24   #17
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

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Originally Posted by abhi29 View Post

And that brings me to the subject here Ė Why donít we have any Japanese entry level cruisers in India?
If you were a Japanese manufacturer who has been trying for last couple of decades to break into and make a dent into the cruiser segment without much success in a mature market like the US, would you want to gamble in a developing market?

Japanese cruisers of all kinds exist, and all are probably mechanically better than a Harley, but they still can't make an impact in market share globally.

Japanese giants have scratched their heads over this for years.

Maybe they should gamble and come to India. But where are the numbers?

Cheers

Ride Safe.
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Old 18th February 2015, 15:30   #18
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

Nice topic and analysis Abhi29. After going through the replies I can relate my experience with many of them. I own a Aquila and pretty happy with it. It's the old one - marketed by Kinetic.
Firstly, not many of the people who ask questions about my bike (it's a looker, you may agree :-P) know the company Hyosung, forget about the the brand Aquila. And once I answer them, the next expression is - oh it's like Harley Davidson!! Now I have stopped answering many of the questions. I just smile.
However, I would't say that there is no market for japanese cruisers. In my opinion, the market is ready and waiting for some beautiful cruisers - but if the price is right. Yes, there are people who buy some mean machines with a hefty price tag, but a average enthusiast will definitely think twice before investing anything above Rs.400,000 (I know, there will be few people asking questions that "Why aquila is not a success despite the price of less that 400K?). But the Indian mentality is what'd it cost to maintain, easy availability of parts and spares and of course reliability - where only the Japanese bikes can win. ( consider, for me I have to source many of the parts online - as my CDI bike parts are not easily available or are absurdly expensive).
Again, cost definitely matters - otherwise, why Suzuki had to stop it's Inazuma sales ( yes yes, it was not a cruiser - but i am just trying to make a point :-))

Let's see if the Japanese Big 4 will start some cruiser revolution in India.
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Old 18th February 2015, 21:40   #19
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

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Originally Posted by Mr.O View Post
The what matters to the people when choosing cruiser, is not just the engineering part or comfort. It is the cult following. People buy Haley Davidson to be a part of that cult. Purists riders who enjoys long rides and not interested in being a part of any cult may go for Japanese cruisers, because what they need is a reliable (applying the universal law that states, Japanese machines are very much reliable and bullet proof) and comfortable cruiser. But for others who need more than a motorcycle for the money they put down, they choose American cruisers (Harley Davidson or Indian). Even Triumph cruisers IMHO are a league below Harley Davidson. Because the bike that pops into our head when we hear the word "cruiser" is not a Goldwing, not a VTX 1800, not a VMAX, not a Thunderbird, it is a V twin Harley Davidson.
At first I though the Intruder was from the Harley. I was kind of surprised to see the Suzuki badge on it. So yeah, the Intruder comes to mind when I think of cruisers, but only after I have gone through the a range of Harleys and array of The Indian Motorcycles.
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Old 19th February 2015, 14:59   #20
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

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Originally Posted by gthang View Post
Maybe they should gamble and come to India. But where are the numbers?
Very valid point there sir, I agree to a great extent but I want to list down some points that can be worth considering -
  • Indian two-wheeler market is among the biggest in the world in numbers. Although dominated by small capacity commuter bikes and scooters, Big bikes segment too is growing by leaps and bounds
  • In a market so big and diverse, any decent product will find its takers. Even if the market share is low and the product only caters to a niche, the numbers may still be better than what they get in many other developed countries
  • For an example - Hyosung sold around 400 bikes in the period of Jan-June'14 in Australia, can be roughly translated to around 800-850 bikes in the year. Whereas, DSK Hyosung sold around 1800 units in the same period in India. Isn't that a better number for a relatively lesser known brand, fighting against HD and RE in cruisers and Kawasaki and KTM sportsbikes. IMHO, Japs sure have better chances than Hyosung
  • KTM too wasn't a widely known name in India a couple of years back. Today KTMs are selling like hot cakes, doesn't it point to the fact that a right product at the right price will always find takers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by preetamkabra View Post
Let's see if the Japanese Big 4 will start some cruiser revolution in India.
Hyosung - Garware partnership wasn't really working and it showed in their numbers . Now looks like DSK is turning it around, they have recorded better numbers and have really aggressive plans. With more dealerships and local manufacturing coming up, they look committed to offer even better value for money and better ASS. I think they do have what it takes to bridge the gap between RE and HD. IMO, its high time they start investing more on branding and they can grab a good share by the time Japanese arrive and you wont have to deal with those questions anymore
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Old 22nd February 2015, 14:30   #21
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

OP - somehow by "entry level cruiser" I thought you meant Yamaha Enticer.

Jokes apart, I think Honda should launch something like the Rebel 250 in India. It costs around $4000, I think its a great little bike to get around in, comfortable too .
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Old 22nd February 2015, 17:10   #22
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

Excellent thread, Abhi.

I think gthang has hit the point home.

Why would the other jap manufacturers bring their vehicles into India if there's a relatively less chance of it being a success.

Lets face it, most of the decisions made by normal Indians who are in the market for a premium motorcycle is based on brand appeal.

I think Harley has laid a pretty tough act to follow, what with all their hog day events and other exclusive events which add appeal to your regular consumer.

Plus can the regular service centres take care of the needs of the premium offerings from their respective brands?

Regards,

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Old 23rd February 2015, 10:16   #23
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

Just back from IBW. This 250 V twin was on display in the DSK Benelli stall.
This is what i call an entry level cruiser.

About the pricing, no one in the stall had any idea.

Image Source: Google Images

(yet to unpack my bag and download the pictures from the camera)
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Old 23rd February 2015, 12:11   #24
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Wow, I just felt like I am looking at my aquila clone (2003 model). But yeah, great one. About pricing, hope it should be around 2.5 to 3 L.
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Old 23rd February 2015, 20:51   #25
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

I think that that particular bike above looks cheesy and fake.

Wouldn't spend 2.5 or 3 lakhs on it.

Although if priced cheap would make an ideal platform for a custom.

Regards,

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Old 24th February 2015, 11:22   #26
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

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Originally Posted by B O V View Post
I think that that particular bike above looks cheesy and fake.
If it was a photo of Harley would you reconsider your words? Perhaps you are turned off by the color scheme?
In fact for a Harley you need to get to Soft-tail level to achieve the cruiser shape. I am sure no one here considers Sportsters and Dynas as the original cruiser shape.

Mr.O has VERY RIGHTLY said that "what matters to the majority of people when choosing cruiser, is not just the engineering part or comfort. It is the cult following. People buy Haley Davidson to be a part of that cult"
And perhaps that is why everything else seems cheesy and fake?

Last edited by alpha1 : 24th February 2015 at 11:23.
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Old 24th February 2015, 12:00   #27
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
If it was a photo of Harley would you reconsider your words? Perhaps you are turned off by the color scheme?
In fact for a Harley you need to get to Soft-tail level to achieve the cruiser shape. I am sure no one here considers Sportsters and Dynas as the original cruiser shape.

Mr.O has VERY RIGHTLY said that "what matters to the majority of people when choosing cruiser, is not just the engineering part or comfort. It is the cult following. People buy Haley Davidson to be a part of that cult"
And perhaps that is why everything else seems cheesy and fake?
Hmm sadly I agree that this mentality exists but I don't agree that it should. I think India needs to go through a cruiser phase or a Harley phase or whatever, and get over it. A few bikers I know around my workplace (here in CA) are very much in it for the riding, not for the brand. They own a Yamaha FZ6, a Honda Shadow, a Harley Sportster, a Ducati and a BMW tourer. These are guys who ride thousands of miles every season, and respect all brands. No one considers Harley Davidson to have a halo or anything like that, and quite often comfort is the main factor when choosing a bike. And Bimmers and Goldwings are often chosen over Harleys.

Of course there are the "Harley only club" riders, but no one (except other Harley riders) gives them a second thought.

I'm sorry, saying the Sportster isn't a real Harley is almost as ridiculous as saying things like the Electra isn't a real Bullet or something like that. What is a real Bullet or a real Harley anyway? Harley's best and most admired bike to date - the VROD - is very different from its typical cruiser models. Harley is working on an electric bike right now.

I don't hate Harleys or anything, but I don't think the Roadstars or the Boulevards are any less. I've had the pleasure of riding a Roadstar for some time (and a Warrior too). I can bet you, most people can't tell the difference between a Roadstar and a Harley.

I think some of these brands and cults are overstated/overhyped in our country. We need to own and ride these for some time and get over the brand name. I'm not saying all brands are meaningless - but I think we tend to exaggerate a bit when it comes to foreign brands.

But back to topic - I do wish Yamaha and Honda would launch their entry level cruisers. The V-Star 250 would be a great buy for around 2.5 lakhs.

Last edited by rajushank84 : 24th February 2015 at 12:05.
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Old 24th February 2015, 12:47   #28
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

Quote:
Originally Posted by slicvic View Post
Just back from IBW. This 250 V twin was on display in the DSK Benelli stall.
This is what i call an entry level cruiser.

About the pricing, no one in the stall had any idea.

Image Source: Google Images

(yet to unpack my bag and download the pictures from the camera)
Though I haven't seen the bike in flesh, but from the pictures it looks a notch below the Aquila 250. I find Aquila better not only in looks but also in overall fit and finish.

IMO, I don't think DSK is going to put it in the same bracket as the aquila 250.
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Old 24th February 2015, 13:15   #29
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

I remember Horo (Hero Honda in 2001) were in talk to launch Honda Magna 250 but seeing the fate of Eliminator they dropped the plan. Possibly Honda might consider that to launch it in India as entry level cruiser.
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Old 24th February 2015, 13:46   #30
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Default Re: Entry-level Cruiser Motorcycles: Dearth of Japanese options

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Originally Posted by alpha1 View Post
If it was a photo of Harley would you reconsider your words? Perhaps you are turned off by the color scheme?
Even if it was by any of the "Premium" brands, my words remain. I cannot see any beauty in that motorcycle.

I do believe that a motorcycle has to achieve a few basic lines to look nice.

No not the colour scheme.
  • See that front end? Looks out of proportion.

  • The name Blackster?

  • Look at that rear fender? Once again out of proportion

  • Would you pay 2.5 to 3 lakhs for it?

Its just my opinion, didn't enforce it on anyone.


Regards,

BOV

Last edited by B O V : 24th February 2015 at 13:53.
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