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Old 3rd May 2010, 11:08   #31
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Shogun was a 110cc, Shogun has really the boss! attitude. i used to wait for it to get warmed up as it sounded fantastic when it was hot!

It was a shooter but post 100 one would feel the jitter. but must say it is one of the best bike i have owned till now...miss the roar and the bike:(

Sometime in May 2000 i picked the Shogun, its 10years.....
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Old 3rd May 2010, 13:57   #32
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The Royal Enfield Explorer came with 7 spoke alloys and a three speed transmission.

There was another RE product called the Silver Plus moped which also came with alloy wheels. The Silver Plus came with a two speed hand shift transmission initially. Then RE introduced a three speed hand shift.. Both the Explorer and the Silver Plus featured 49.9cc two stroke engines that pumped out 6.5 Bhp. This preceded the Hero Puch as India's first geared moped. Both these products bombed.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 3rd May 2010, 14:13   #33
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@Sid - Would appreciate if you can cover few points on a moped called Avanti Garelli. I'm sure that there was a moped available by this name; however I'm not aware about the availability period or the manufacturer.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 14:36   #34
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MODERN ERA

Phew...how times have changed!

But these glorious days are forever here for us to remember!

Well, well..
The 2 wheelers.
You know, hmmm..
there is something really unique about them, really, unique.
No, I am not kidding.

Its their size.
I mean, size does matter! Doesn't it?
Especially in a country where pizza reaches faster than a 100,101 or 102.

But while these vehicles had decent mileage and performance, the Indian public wanted more. The scooter segment actually started to show decline from this era, but wait, don't completely write off yet. Why? Find out later...

Now coming to the concept of performance bikes, HH did deliver in this front with the CBZ but sales were mediocre at best. This was one of the first bikes in the modern era to be offered with front disc brakes as an optional extra. While production was kept in line with demand, HH actually underestimated the demand for the disc brake equipped variant and produced too many front drum braked motorcycles which were languishing in dealer lots. Later, these had to be sold off at a rebate of Rs. 2,000. Production of he drum brake equipped variant was eventually stopped.

If there was one negative thing that premium performance bike like the CBZ carried, it was a premium price. But not necessarily, performance should command a premium, it seems, someone told Bajaj Auto.

Bajaj, known more for its scooters, really struggled to get a foothold in the motorcycle market and even its latest product, the caliber waned off the public radar, again beaten black and blue by the passion. Bajaj tried yet another onslaught in the 100 cc segment with the launch of the so called rugged boxer and boxer CT twins but still couldn't hold a candle to Hero Honda, which virtually monopolised the 100cc segment, thanks to splendor and passion twins.
But not everything was rosy out there. Surprisingly the boxer did sell decently in rural areas, once dominated by CD 100/CD100 SS twins.

Hero Honda decided to give a cosmetic refresh to the bike and relaunched it as the joy which miserably flopped in the market despite decent advertising.
Not willing to give up and pissed off the boxer's rural success, they thought to give it an era of a new dawn and again the bike had its name changed to, well, HH dawn. Old wine in new bottle with a new name didn't mean that it had to succeed. That bike too, flopped.

But behind all the curtains, LML too was eying a spray and prey oppurtunity to enter the motorcycle segment and it sprayed a bottle of perfume on Daelim Motorcycles, Korea, so much that it too sensed an opportunity to come to the Indian market and for LML, the bait was the right prey to catch it.
Talk about having your own cake and eat it too. But of course, its not easy to cakewalk the intense competition.

The Joint Venture was named as LML-Daelim Motorcycles Limited and they launched two new motorcycles-the adreno and the energy.

Both these bikes were powered by category first 3 valve 110 cc engines and of course, according to the new emerging trends, 5 speed gearboxes. It was the adreno, though which looked unlike any other bike in the market, especially with its extended bikini fairing, it was quite a looker and was targeted at youth commuters. The energy, sporting same chassis and mechanicals, was targeted at typical stereotypes. Both the bikes sold decently well for the target audience that it was intended for, especially at big cities.

Pulsating, isn't it?

Of course, with all the drama unfolding, a movie was secretly being scripted behind the curtains starring a struggling automaker, bajaj auto limited. In the beginning I had mentioned about the concept of an affordable performance bike, it was Bajaj that grabbed this opportunity of filling a big gap that had persisted between the 150cc and other 100-110 cc bikes.

Enter the pulsar era.
Designed from a clean sheet of paper, the pulsar was not just "any" other bike. In fact, it took off from where the RX 100 was laid to rest some time back. The nation's youth were clamoring for a bike that is muscular on looks, muscular on performance, decent on fuel consumption for a not so muscular price.
Actually IIRC, it was the country's one of the first motorcycles that was conceived, developed and produced using fully indigenous techniques of production, without any outside partner, even without its partner Kawasaki's support.

The highlight of this bike was undoubtedly its muscular styling, especially its fuel tank, which looked sensational especially from the rear quarter angle. While many people often used to refer two wheelers with feminism, Bajaj took the masculine route and advertised the bike as "definitely male."

Launched finally in 2001, it was available in 150cc and to one up the competition from HH, also in 180 cc. Disc brakes and self start were of course, available as options.

Take about 2 teer se ek shikar-ek aage, ek peeche...

Aakhir kar hume bhi to is daal mein jagah chahiye, so what agar hum sab hai panchi ek daal ke?

On paper, the bike had everything-muscular looks, muscular engine and performance, decent claimed 50 kmpl mileage and not so muscular price. Despite being short on refinement and lacking that finesse of HH CBZ, the bike took off to a flying start and this made pulsar a household name amongst the country's youth. Finally, a worthy product from Bajaj since about 15 or more odd years it ventured into the motorcycle territory. The pulsar become a generic brand in its own, more so than bajaj, and often people started to compare most of the 150 cc bikes with nothing but a pulsar. HH was a leader, Bajaj a follower but what a follower it was beginning to be!

The 150 cc accounted for a major chunk of the sales and despite complaints of poor shifting gearbox, engine roughness, clutch wear etc, the bike became an important cash cow for bajaj. Not resting on its laurals, engineers were continuously working on improving the bike right from the launch date.

Seeing the overnight success of pulsar, Suzuki reinvented itself and fresh from start, launched an alternative called the fiero in the heated 150 cc segment. Suddenly, within 3 years, there was a triangular war being raged between CBZ, Fiero and Pulsar 150, all fighting it out for a slice of the 150 cc pie. And Yamaha was as usual, dwindling....

Now, while all the action has been witnessed in motorbike market, what happened to the scooters?
Did they die a premature death?
or did they rise like a phoenix?

Find out next...as the thread is about to get re-activa-ted...


Last edited by sidindica : 3rd May 2010 at 14:40.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 14:49   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
@Sid - Would appreciate if you can cover few points on a moped called Avanti Garelli. I'm sure that there was a moped available by this name; however I'm not aware about the availability period or the manufacturer.
Is this the model?
Brochure sourced from Moped Central
Attached Thumbnails
Revisiting the glorious chapters of India on 2 wheels-garelli86linea.jpg  

Revisiting the glorious chapters of India on 2 wheels-garelliearly80slineb.jpg  

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Old 3rd May 2010, 15:15   #36
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A small correction there sidIndica.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sidindica View Post
MODERN ERA
....

Enter the pulsar era.
....
Launched finally in 2001, it was available in 150cc and to one up the competition from HH, also in 180 cc. Disc brakes and self start were of course, available as options.

Seeing the overnight success of pulsar, Suzuki reinvented itself and fresh from start, launched an alternative called the fiero in the heated 150 cc segment. Suddenly, within 3 years, there was a triangular war being raged between CBZ, Fiero and Pulsar 150, all fighting it out for a slice of the 150 cc pie. And Yamaha was as usual, dwindling....

Suzuki launched fiero along with CBZ and the year was 2000 and not in 2001. 2001 was when pulsar was launched and sweeped the competition under the mattress. Suzuki tried getting back traction on the segment by launching the stupid cousins named fiero-f2/fz/fxyz .

I believe Suzuki finally closed down on fiero chapter and started on the apache to counter the pulsar.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 16:45   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by santhosh_kumard View Post
A small correction there sidIndica.



Suzuki launched fiero along with CBZ and the year was 2000 and not in 2001. 2001 was when pulsar was launched and sweeped the competition under the mattress. Suzuki tried getting back traction on the segment by launching the stupid cousins named fiero-f2/fz/fxyz .

I believe Suzuki finally closed down on fiero chapter and started on the apache to counter the pulsar.
Fiero's (F2/FX) were not as stupid as you think. They could easily run to 100 kmph in as much time as CBZs/Pulsars could do (in power mode). In the economy mode, these could manage 55 kmpl with ease. The factors that lead to their demise were lack of 5th gear & poor sales support by TVS (especially in North).

In fact, the 150cc mill of the Fiero (carried over from Suzuki Fiero) was the same as what Apache (150) was launched.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 16:57   #38
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Agree with Santosh, when i had gone to book the SHogun back in 2000 May they had the Fieros on display/sale and the sales guy tried hard to push Fiero instead of the Shogun...

Quote:
Originally Posted by santhosh_kumard View Post
A small correction there sidIndica.



Suzuki launched fiero along with CBZ and the year was 2000 and not in 2001. 2001 was when pulsar was launched and sweeped the competition under the mattress. Suzuki tried getting back traction on the segment by launching the stupid cousins named fiero-f2/fz/fxyz .

I believe Suzuki finally closed down on fiero chapter and started on the apache to counter the pulsar.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 18:07   #39
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Quote:
Actually IIRC, it was the country's one of the first motorcycles that was conceived, developed and produced using fully indigenous techniques of production, without any outside partner, even without its partner Kawasaki's support.

I think it was the TVS Victor which was he first fully indigenous bike.
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Old 3rd May 2010, 21:11   #40
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Nice writeup SID, gets me back to an era when Pune was beginning to be flooded with two wheelers.

I do not recall reading about TVS 50 in this thread. Came into existance in the early 80's. This was the moped that gave TVS a jumpstart in the business.

Being a Puneite (The city with most two wheelers) I remember the time when Bajaj announced a group booking scheme for its BOXER CT...

Rs 1,00,000 = 4 Boxer CT bikes.

People would still buy the Splendour with a wait period of 2 months
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Old 4th May 2010, 00:48   #41
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Before both the Fiero and the CBZ, the first modern four stroke in India was the Yamaha YBX125. This peppy, ultra smooth motorcycle simply failed because the erstwhile Escorts Yamaha positioned it as a mileage bike that delivered 75 Kmpl while it actually was an out and out power bike that made 11 bhp@8500rpm, a hoot to ride especially when you consider it's 100 Kilo dry weight. When Yamaha finally dumped Escorts, it repositioned the YBX as a power bike, replete with a tachometer and a new graphics theme, but then, it was a little too late as the Fiero, CBZ and later the Pulsar had captured most of the performance four stroke segment. The Yamaha YBX125 in essence was the first four stroke performance bike in the country, much ahead of both the Fiero and CBZ.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 4th May 2010, 00:50   #42
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D.V.R View Post
I think it was the TVS Victor which was he first fully indigenous bike.
Correct. It was the TVS Victor which the first fully indigenous bike. The entire R&D except the suspension development(which was partly done in Belgium) was done in India.

Cheers,

Jay
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Old 4th May 2010, 11:32   #43
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MODERN ERA
Scooters re-activa-ted

Scooters.
Yes, scoooooooooooooters.
I mean, you know there is something cool about them. Cool as a cucumber, perhaps?

I recall when scooterwalas made fun of bikers when their bikes used to get punctured in the middle of nowhere and they were stranded in search of a tyre repair shop.
Why? Because scooters came with stepneys as backup for this critical problem, which the motorcycles lacked.

Well,of course, many movies displayed heros and heroines scooting on cool looking vespas of the 1970s.
And the lambys of the 60s, 70s and 80s..

But sometimes,
kabhi kabhi inki bhi judaai hoti hoi.
badi lambi judaai,
hai-yo rabba,
badi lambi judaai...

Well, I think that the good old days are not over yet, because
shrishti ka niyam is like a cycle, meaning something has to make a comeback someday sometime...

And the new millennium heralded a grand comeback of a star which reactiva-ted the scooter segment.

The Honda group, already having ventures with Kinetic and Hero group, decided to and enter our country on their own. A spanking new state-of-the-art manufacturing facility was commissioned at Manesar, near Haryana and a new company was registered with the ROC, titled Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India and their first product was the activa, a simple, sensible 100 cc 4 stroke scooter.

It came with sky high expectations, especially from a brand which held a sterling reputation for producing quality products with class best internal combustion engines which are environmentally friendly and fuel efficient. And despite initial skepticism,the public gave the activa a cautious but a successful response. Month after month, helped by innovative marketing and word of mouth, sales skyrocketed and the scooter sold in record numbers in Rajasthan, MP, Chattisgarh and many parts of the south, and it has become one of the most successful nameplates in the Indian 2 wheeler industry, till this day.

What was there in the activa that made it extra special and worth the premium it was commanding?
Well, at least on paper, there was nothing groundbreaking, nothing. It had convectional mechanicals that all scooters had but why did it succeed and single handidly kick started the scooter market that was facing a major doom?

The answer lies in engineering depth. Quality. And some little innovations like the tuff-up puncture resistant tube and innovative body opening for the mechanics to work on the engine during service. Refinement levels never before seen on any scooter till date. Smooth as silk, never seen on any scooter till date. And fit and finish, miles ahead of any scooter seen till date. Yes, it was conservatively styled, stingy on equipment and priced at a premium, but it was worthy of the extra cash and lady buyers, especially working class women and college teens, lapped it in big numbers, and even today, Honda's below average after sales standards and constant labor problems aside, continues to be the default scooter of choice.

Now with the segment reactivated, how does the competition react?
Bajaj's legend, which fizzled out badly after initial success, is sent back to the drawing board and it goes in a beauty parlour and comes out dramatically restyled as the legend NXT-2, with improved engine refinement and reliability but that too sells below average in many cities, in fact, it bombs even badly than its predecessor. Such is the Honda craze..

LML makes futile attempts to revive its products like the NV and select but of no avail. It does have its loyalists, but not in that number to be really considered as success. Much earlier before the activa, it launched two short lived scooters-the LML star, a jazzed up NV and Vespa smart, erstwhile sensation with a new name and a reduced price. Both bombed miserably..

Now what was Kinetic upto?
Despite having Honda at its partner, the original modern scooter sees a waning demand and kinetic tries to reinvent itself by launching a 2 stroke scooter called Kinetic marvel. Its refreshingly different from whatever kinetic had offered and sales are just about average, though strong in central India.
However, to counter the activa, kinetic needed something different. And while in the meantime Honda decided to end its joint venture with Kinetic, Kinetic engineering, whose products were now termed as mediocre with poor quality, especially fit and finish, went a sea change in management and decided to invest heavily in R and D and improve quality. Their scooter business was their cash cow, so kinetic decided to give the activa, which was a hot property, some cold storage stuff and launched their much awaited NOVA scooter, with a bigger 135 cc 4 stroke engine, priced cheaper than the activa and packed in many features as standard which were offered on the activa as options. They tom-tomed that bigger is better and by one upping them in the displacement stakes, they thought that the nova is the right tool to counter the activa.

Now, how did the public react? Once again, cautiously given the past track record of Kinetic products. Many auto magazines carried comparison tests of both scooters and though they termed the activa as the winner, they did praise kinetic for their efforts and even called as nova that could be a game changer for kinetic provided constant improvements are carried out. Though the scooter still sold considerably less than the activa, at least it sold in decent numbers and can be termed as a home run that kinetic finally wanted in the past decade. Dwindling demand killed the marvel though.

TVS spectra was discontinued and its sole scooter offering, the scooty was heavily upgraded and renamed as scooty pep, which again was a sales success. All the positives were kept intact and the negatives were improved upon.

Bajaj's scooter lineup had only the chetak 4 stroke and Legend NXT-2 that time, all other scooters were phased out later.

Motorcycles were of course, the toast of the season, and as contributed by Jay in prior posts, Yamaha launched its first 4 stroke called the YBX 125 and was its first attempt to comeback in the fiercely competitive motorcycle market, now dominated by HH and Bajaj. Advertised as a 4 stroke bike for mileage conscious, it was a far cry from Yamaha's past image of a maker of lightweight performance bikes, as its successful RX 100 legacy showed. The Indian public couldn't digest the idea of a Yamaha bike that is high on mileage (somewhat like HH's image that had built in the minds of the public) and not surprisingly, despite being actually a pretty competitive product, it bombed, making it Yamaha's fourth successive failure after its RX-G, RX 135 and RX-Z flopped.

It even launched a cheaper stripped down model targeting the commuter segment called the YD 125, but it sank without a trace. Success was still a far cry from Yamaha, which split ties with escorts and escorts was now history.

Hero Honda, reeling from two flops in rural commuter bike market in the form of joy and dawn, finally tasted its first success in half a decade when it relaunched the dawn in a cheaper avatar called the CD Dawn. The CD moniker was back and the Indian public took to it positively.

In the 150 cc segment, it was a straight war between the fiero, CBZ and pulsar with the pulsar being a chartbuster followed closely be CBZ and fireo, which also sold decently.

LML also simplified the garish stickering and improved the mechanicals of its 110 cc twins and relaunched as the adreno FX and energy FX.

One major segment that witnessed creation and growth in motorcycle segment was the emergence of 125 cc segment, in between 100cc and 150 cc segment. More about it will be covered later.

The evergreen moped segment was declining, but TVS and Kinetic were dominant players with Kinetic launching its V2 moped and TVS launching its XL super power rider 70cc moped that time.

The step through segment just vanished that time with hero Honda's sole short lived offering, the street, being phased out due to less than stellar demand.

Now, as the era progresses, the competition will get even brutal. It may seem that all izz well, not not necessarily rozy..

The coming years will witness the creation of more segments and categories and companies will invest heavily into more products...

A struggling company will re enter with a new joint venture as behind the curtains, the empire prepares to create a chariasma-tic new segment which promises to revolutionise the Indian two wheeler industry as it prepares itself into a cruise-mode..


Find out next, as the story gets more enticing as companies try to eliminate the charismatic competition...

Last edited by sidindica : 4th May 2010 at 11:43.
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Old 4th May 2010, 13:39   #44
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Great One, Sid.

Did any of you guys know the bike, "Prowler" ?

It was from Kawasaki stables, a 2 stroke 110 CC bike with a semi fairing,
Obviously it bombed big time, as the 2 stroke production of bikes were stopped very soon after its launch.

Also, the LML Graptor. a 150 cc bike that was pinned to take on the Pulasr head on.

Kinetic also lunched the infamous Comet and Aquilla. I think Comet (250 cc) was a reasonable success early on and then fizzed out.

Then there was a 110 cc caliber (round headlight) and the hoodibaba campign with 115 cc New Caliber (with semi fairing). They also had Aspire, another flop. Kawasaki offered Eliminator, which was proced exhorbiantly

Yamaha, after its YD125, gave Enticer, in a cruiser type of chasis, same 125 cc engine from the YBX.

Oh, i am just getting caught in this history. :-)
I really appreciate the effort, Sid. Its easy to comment but to write pages after pages is somthing not everyone can do.

Last edited by Mi10 : 4th May 2010 at 13:41.
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Old 4th May 2010, 14:44   #45
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If I remember right - There was an TVS Suzuki Supra SS which use to belch out 16bhp in stock. Can some body throw light on this.
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