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Old 15th August 2009, 15:12   #1
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Default Indian Two Wheelers that flopped

The Ford Edsel was a car which was much hyped before its launch and it failed in the market miserably (1957-59).As its name is synonymous with market failure in the world of automobiles, we would like to discuss our own Edsels from here in India as far as the two-wheeler market is concerned.

The Peugeot Sportif a 65cc moped launched in 1985 by M/s Chamundi Mopeds, Mysore failed in the market as it was ahead of its times. The price tag was Rs 6.5K with a battery, self start, indicators, alloy wheels and so on.

Automobile Products of India Ltd - These people made the Lambretta Li150 and later the Lamby 150, based on the Inocenti design, which sold well in the 1960's and 1970's. In the early 1970's they launched a 175cc Mac 175 version on this design which failed to pick up sales wise.

Bajaj Auto - Bajaj Auto has had a very successful innings in our market with its Piaggio designed two wheelers for decades. Deviations from the main design sometimes proved costly for them.The exceptions were the very successful 125 cc Bajaj Cub and the 12 V electronic ignition Chetak of the 1980's, to name a few.

Their failures started with the Bajaj Rave that they promoted as a step-through design for the m80 sometime in the early 1990's.

Next came the Stride that was a more plasticky Chetak. Not exactly a failure' but the poor quality plastics fell off or became whitish grey and the lost lustre gave a poor look to the Hamara Bajaj.

The Bravo too was derived from the Chetak but did not go well with buyers. Again the launched the Legend which was a four stroke version of the Chetak but it miserably bombed. Next in line, was the Chetak 4 Stroke which again failed.

In the bike segment their much hyped model Byke was advertised as a 100 kmpl, 100 cc bike but that concept failed after the initial sales due to the market hype.

Kinetic Engineering- this company has a whole list of failures as apart from the Luna TFR, TFR Plus and Kinetic Honda they did not find commercial success and popularity with most other models they launched like the Luna Magnum, Luna Super,Kinetic Nova,Luna Super Star,Kinetic Safari, Kinetic Zing and Kinetic Honda 4S to name a few.

TVS- The TVS Spectra, their first foray into the four stroke scooter market in the mid 1990's was a disaster.

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image cartradeindia website

Last edited by Mpower : 17th August 2009 at 20:43.
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Old 15th August 2009, 16:28   #2
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The Lamby Polo launched by Automobile Products of India in 1985, to succeed the Lamby 150 was an utter disaster. The company was in financial trouble and with sales failing to take off API collapsed shortly thereafter. It made three wheelers for a few years till the late 1980's before finally hanging the boots.
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Old 15th August 2009, 16:55   #3
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Some more examples that bombed are:
  • Narmada scooters : PL 150 Scooter
  • Sooraj diesel bike
  • Royal Enfield explorer bike
  • LML Beamer,Adreno,Energy fx bikes and trendy Scootrette
  • Monto motors Cosmo blaster
  • can we count Pune based Kanda motors Bikes...

Last edited by Mpower : 17th August 2009 at 20:47.
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Old 15th August 2009, 17:12   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agspins View Post
Some more examples that bombed are:
  • Narmada scooters : PL 150 Scooter
  • Sooraj diesel bike
  • Royal Enfield explorer bike
  • LML Beamer,Adreno,Energy fx bikes and trendy Scootrette
  • Monto motors Cosmo blaster
  • can we count Pune based Kanda motors Bikes...
  • Oh God! Thats a nice addition agspins. I would also like to add a few:-
  • Digvijay from Rajasthan government, based on the Vijai design.
  • Enfield Silver Plus 65cc moped
  • Enfield 22cc moped of the 1980's.... forget its name?
  • The famous BSA Bond of the early 1980's. This 50cc motorbike was made by Broke Bond India (tea makers) and Feroz Khan was shown around in advertisements driving the BSA Bond
  • A 4 stroke moped called Cadila that was out in the 1980's but sold only a few thousands and failed
  • Kelvinator 150 cc scooter from the fridge maker in the 1980's based on the Vijai Super design.
  • Avanti Garelli moped from the 1980's.
  • Toro Jazz moped in the late 1980's from Escorts Ltd.
  • PL 170 Vespa from Andhra Pradesh Scooters Ltd

Last edited by Mpower : 17th August 2009 at 20:45.
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Old 15th August 2009, 17:25   #5
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  • Kawasaki Bajaj Enduro SX, Wind 125
  • Hero Honda Ambition, Joy, Street
  • Yamaha RXG, Crux, Libero
  • Yezdi 175, 350
  • TVS Champ, Star
  • Suzuki Heat, Zeus
  • Bajaj Saffire
  • Kinetic 4S, Nova, Blaze

Last edited by Mpower : 17th August 2009 at 20:46.
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Old 15th August 2009, 19:33   #6
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Add Enfield Mini Bullet, Fury, Fantablos, Yamaha Rajdoot RD-350, Rajdoot Rajhans AKA Runabout, Eliminator, Vespa XE(it was 100CC).
Anyone knows the 80CC 4 stroke moped launched in 1985 or 86 which use to claim 70KMPL and Hero Honda came in with 80KMPL and wiped the market.
Anjan i think so you gave me the answer, confirm if it was 80CC as still i know one guy in my native who is havig this moped.

Last edited by Ajaybiz : 15th August 2009 at 19:39.
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Old 15th August 2009, 19:53   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anjan_c2007 View Post
Enfield 22cc moped of the 1980's.... forget its name?
Racked my brain a lot and the answer is the Enfield Mofa 22cc. Alongwith I would also mention the 35cc Luna Wings from Kinetic and the sub 50 cc (don't know how much exactly?) Atlas Solex made by Atlas Cycles Ltd, Sonepat, Haryana, in the late 1970's.
The Enfield Mofa and the Atlas Solex (French collaboration with the makers of carburettors and mopeds) had small engines on the front mounted above the front wheel. The engines used to turn alongwith the handlebar while turning.
And the greatest punchline now! None of these needed a RTO registration or licence to drive as they were below the designated cubic capacity for RTO formalities.
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Old 15th August 2009, 22:29   #8
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The TVS Champ and the Vespa XE were not flops.

The ones that really flopped:
Leo Girnar scooter from GNFC (or was it GSFC?)
Avanti scooter from Kelvinator India.
The Supra Motorbike from TVS.
The BYK from Bajaj.
The SX Enduro from Bajaj.
There was a 50 CC four stroke moped called Cadi, don't remember the mfr.
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Old 15th August 2009, 22:36   #9
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The list from my side is :

1) Bajaj Kawasaki Caliber ( 7.7 hp one, the original ).
2) Bajaj Wind 125 ( I believe this was best engine in case of refinement and gearbox was good, which is quite nice considering gearbox as bajaj's Achilles heel ).
3) Kawasaki Eliminator ( was good with that smaller Kawasaki engine ).

Suzuki heat and Zeus deserve to fail. This is from a Zeus owner.
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Old 16th August 2009, 00:20   #10
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Add to list of failures:
Hero winner
Panther .. bade paiyon ki badi shaan ...

Hey, TVS champ was not a failure. So is TVS 50XL. They were hit models!
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Old 16th August 2009, 02:04   #11
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Oh man! My uncle had a Stride and boy it used to vibrate so much even at 50 kph that your hands would fall off, even if you are a pillion!

These days the two wheeler market is so volatile, it is a great risk buying a new model. You never know it may not even last 3 months. A new model which is more or less some old model with new graphics and shape comes up every few months. We do have exceptions though

Last edited by rageshgr : 16th August 2009 at 02:08.
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Old 16th August 2009, 02:26   #12
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LML Supremo anyone? I remember it having a heady price tag for the day and ridiculous FE claims!
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Old 16th August 2009, 02:40   #13
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Your post reminds me of the LML Adreno and Energy. I don't think these two fared too well either. Then comes Kinetic Aquila.
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Old 16th August 2009, 18:07   #14
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Thats a big list, so many flops? Can we have a picture of each. Would be helpful for those like me to figure out how those looked.
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Old 16th August 2009, 20:23   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Live To Jive View Post
Kawasaki Bajaj Enduro SX, Wind 125
Hero Honda Ambition, Joy, Street
Yamaha RXG, Crux, Libero
Yezdi 175, 350
TVS Champ, Star
Suzuki Heat, Zeus
Bajaj Saffire
Kinetic 4S, Nova, Blaze
The Yamaha Enticer can also be added to the list of failed Yamahas.Perhaps all their models but for the RD 350, RX 100, RX135 and now the FZ 16, FZS and maybe the Fazer were not successes. Even the R15 is losing its sheen now!
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