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Old 6th May 2010, 15:37   #61
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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Whoa!!! Sir, could you throw some light on Atlasolex pls? Would like to hear before Google.

Avanti, I think Sid provided some link on brouchers in previous page.

Couldn't get. Can you elaborate pls?
I have been trying unsuccessfully to get a picture of this (Atlasolex)moped. I remember seeing the drive unit housed on the front fork, the front wheel being the propelling wheel.

There was also a moped called Avanti. I think Sid provided a link to that.

In the Jawa/Yezdi bikes I think the front and back wheels were interchangeable.
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Old 6th May 2010, 15:52   #62
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Check this link out for Atlasolex Solex Millenium: Le velosolex en Inde

Also - http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/post-1...ml#post1553561
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Old 6th May 2010, 15:58   #63
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Default Front wheel drive moped "Atlasolex" from Googlr

Got this from google serch.
it was Rs 1795 / + Local Taxes .
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Old 6th May 2010, 16:43   #64
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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Trivia: AFAIK the Jawa/Yezdi was the only bike with interchangeable wheels and the Bobby the only bike with a stepney!
While Bobby (Rajdoot 175 GTS) came with a stepney, the fact that tyres were of the same size and interchangeable made stepney-ing possible for Jawa and Yezdi. The rake angle provided sufficient space and lots of bikes used to have a spare tyre doubling up as a crash guard on the bikes.

Having said that, I must admit I have never really seen one of these so-called stepneys being actually fitted on to the bike after a puncture. Someone else might be able to shed some light on this.
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Old 6th May 2010, 17:01   #65
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Originally Posted by justROYal View Post
While Bobby (Rajdoot 175 GTS) came with a stepney, the fact that tyres were of the same size and interchangeable made stepney-ing possible for Jawa and Yezdi. The rake angle provided sufficient space and lots of bikes used to have a spare tyre doubling up as a crash guard on the bikes.

Having said that, I must admit I have never really seen one of these so-called stepneys being actually fitted on to the bike after a puncture. Someone else might be able to shed some light on this.
No, it was not just the size of tyres. Lots of bikes (eg; Splendor) have same size tyres for front and rear, but the wheels cant be interchanged like the Jawa. But more than "stepneying", I think it would have enabled easy tyre rotation like scooters/cars.
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Old 6th May 2010, 17:15   #66
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Rajdoot 175 and Jawa suited best to the rugged roads of their times.
But even now they do manage to give me around 35 kmpl.
Beasts that have to be preserved.

Jawa is indeed a Forever Bike with Forever Value
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Old 6th May 2010, 17:19   #67
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Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
Lots of bikes (eg; Splendor) have same size tyres for front and rear,
Exactly, 2.75-18" was running on my mind when you first explained about wheel interchangable.

Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
but the wheels cant be interchanged like the Jawa.
But the above point clarified what I'd in mind. My Dad owned a 74 model Yezdi & I never knew this point

Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
But more than "stepneying", I think it would have enabled easy tyre rotation like scooters/cars.
This provokes a thought as why no manufacturer is thinking in these lines on tyre rotation. One reason probably I can think of is about the tyre treading. The front treading is different from rear, henceforth making tyre rotations useless. Any other thoughts?
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Old 6th May 2010, 17:29   #68
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Originally Posted by aargee View Post

This provokes a thought as why no manufacturer is thinking in these lines on tyre rotation. One reason probably I can think of is about the tyre treading. The front treading is different from rear, henceforth making tyre rotations useless. Any other thoughts?
That is a point. The front tyres come with rib patterns. That was not the case during the Jawa period. But we can always switch to uniform pattern tyres, it will make no difference to day to day riding. Many of my friends do.

The Rajdoot had a unique front fork - Earl spring, I believe it was called. The bike felt planted on the road.

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Old 6th May 2010, 21:53   #69
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The empire's world is upside down,
'cause the king has lost his crown..
'cause I beleive, its hard to step down from the throne..
'cause your new girl turned you down..

But still, koshish karne walon ki kabhi haar nahi hoti.

Well, actually I had earlier dated a very over ambitious babe which in turn turned out to be a behenji in disguise. Her regel crest was not so regal and appeared quite stale. So, because of her, my ambition 135 flopped..
But she made me realise that today's world needs a touch of glamour.
Then the hero in me woke up and I went to Honda, Japan and bought back some glamour to Hero Honda by announcing the launch of the Hero Honda glamour.

Sleek looking and available with a variety of eye catching paint shades, it was just the success that hero honda wanted. After many flops, this bike finally gave hero honda the numbers that it wanted in the 125 cc segment, even though it was outsold by the discover and the victor, which at that time broke many sales records for TVS.

Meanwhile, keeping its "pioneering leadership" tradition alive, Hero Honda dropped further bombshell into the 125cc segment when it announced the launch of Glamour PGM-Fi, the first fuel injected mass produced two wheeler in India and marketed it as a bike with the technology of high end cars. It was priced at a hefty premium of more than rs. 6,000 than the regular glamour and not surprisingly, it found miniscule takers and was only made to full paid orders. But while Hero Honda did not exactly taste success with the bike, it did pave the way for other manufacturers to follow suit. The bike eliminated the need for a carburetor and it was controlled by an ECU based fuel injector which helped in consistent fuel combustion, best in class mileage and class lowest emission standards. Even though the technology was supplied by Honda, owners were skeptic over the reliability of the system. It also featured a class first real time mileage indicator which gave riders of exactly how much mileage the bike is currently extracting.
The glamour is today a very successful nameplate and keeps on raking in numbers for hero Honda, even after 2 sticker jobs which now make it pretty garish.

Down south, while bajaj started tom toming its DTSi technology and started its application in smaller displacement engines, TVS was working on a revolutionary 125 cc VT-I engine with variable intake and exhaust valve timimg, another first for a production two wheeler which resulted in complete fuel combustion, better low rpm torque, reduction in jerks and again, high mileage and as a norm, low emissions.
VT-I stands for Variable valve timing-intelligent, and is a system which works similar to Honda's VTEC or toyota's VVT-I in cars.

The first bike to be launched with this technology was the centra 125, a bike that was positioned above the victor and targeted at discover 135. The technology was advertised heavily and the bike sold decently, especially at its hometown. So, jus like many manufacturers, the new tagline for luring customers was technology.

The victor, too was repositioned and a cheaper 110cc model was launched as the base model, while the remaining models were re named as the edge and GLX respectively.

Long time dormant LML made another attempt to crack the 150cc motorcycle code when it launched its delta box framed LML graptor and its cheaper round headlighted version, called the LML beamer. While the bike looked decent and had good specs at least on paper, the product sank without a trace prematurely, part attributed to the company's long run labour problems and mounting losses, which shut down the operations in kanpur for a long period of time.

Another company that was long facing labour union disputes was Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, which had a lockdown facility for many days as about 800 of its people were sacked for protesting against the management. In fact, there were widespread protests and huge violence outside the factory which was shown live in all news channels and it took the nation by storm. Even today, the company continues to face issues every now and then, prime reason that it is not able to fully utilise its production capacity which results in poor productivity rates and long wait period for customers.
Nevertheless, Honda launched its second motorbike in the Indian market, the 125cc shine. Despite carrying the Honda tag, the bike sold below expectations from day onje as the public was smitten by the craaze for diacover and the shine was clearly overpriced and under equipped with nothing new in terms of technology or design, which appeared lame or dated.

Meanwhile, hero Honda, whose splendor nameplate earned it more recognition than the company itself, launched its new bike-the 125cc super splendor powered by a "revolutionary quantum core" engine. the market had huge expectations from HH especially after the name splendor was carried over and people had expected that it would revolutionize the motorcycle market just like the original splendor did whe it was launched in 1993-94. But for HH, it was a case of a big opportunity gone lost. Bajaj, still the market leader in 125, 150 and 180 plus CC segment, continued to hold on its momentum and upgraded its discover even further by adding more features and a facelift.
Once again, people called the super splendor as a desperate move and in haste, because the bike offered nothing really revolutionary to be called a super success. In fact, competition had already outperformed it in all aspects even before it hit the streets.In fact, it looked too tame and monotonous.
Yet, still, the bike sold decently and was mainly purchased from loyal splendor customers who wanted to upgrade because of refined hero honda user friendliness, reliability and mileage.

TVS phased out its fiero nameplate due to falling demand, Bajaj had again upgraded its pulsar 180 to its all black theme, opened a new chain of "probiking" dealerships which exclusively sold this bike and the unicorn was selling decently. It replaced its fiero with a new 150cc sports bike-the apache 150, its first all new 150cc nameplate in more than 7 years.

It was a cheaper alternative and initially came with 4 gears, it had decent looks, performance, handling and attractive price which made it a successful brand, even though it lacked the polish and finesse of its rivals.
hero Honda had nothing new other than the CBZ and karizma, so it planned to achieve its ambitious goal of moving more units and increasing presence and hastily launched its bike-the achiever which is basically a bike powered by a modified unicorn motor on an ambition body. Sadly, despite the tagline-some fly higher, it did not fly more high than a toy airplane controlled by a baby and it too proved to be a costly mistake. Not surprisingly, it too bombed.
Hero Honda's core bikes were as usual given facelifts and continued to sold well, so the company couldn't care much about it.

2006 marked the biggest auto expo of its time in India and many companies displayed some daring concepts, TVS in particular.
But the star of the show was undoubtedly Bajaj's flagship bike, the pulsar 220 DTS-Fi.

It too had the country's first indigeniously developed fuel injection technology, exhaustec, twin spark plugs per cylinder, first in category rear disc brake, digital speedometer and an extended bikini fairing, not to mention the category first projector headlights.
The eliminator, meanwhile, was eliminated and its engine replaced with Bajaj's own 180 cc DTS-i unit and the bike was renamed the avenger. Most importantly, its price was dropped by a whopping Rs. 20,000 and priced at a more realistic Rs. 60,000. It too was sold at probiking dealerships. Sales picked up dramatically and finally the cruiser bike sold at respectable numbers.

Now, expectations are huge from Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi. In fact, so high that it becomes the nation's new hero. People go crazy and numerous fan clubs are started months before its launch. Talk about gargantuan expectations.

How will this shuttle perform after launch?
Will it succeed like discovery or crash like the challenger?

And while the empire prepares to regain a lost momentum by re-igniting a legend, how will the competition react?
And will the Kinetic Energy recovery system work again for the fledging brand?

Find out next.....as its only the best that stands tall.

( And OOh la la la..I m loving it!)

Last edited by sidindica : 6th May 2010 at 22:01.
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Old 7th May 2010, 07:52   #70
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Really a great thread SidIndica. Engrossing read. i read the whole thread in one go and it was just fascinating. The poetic touch, the objective approach are excellent. Please keep up the good work.
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Old 7th May 2010, 22:45   #71
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Well, actually I was just having an Italiano pizza a while back when a chick sitting nearby asked me, "sid, can you please explain the term kinetic energy recovery system to me?"

I asked her to first get me a free ticket to Italy and she goes and gets her in exchange for my pizzazz treat that I gave it to her.

We catch a Boeing 747, and the kinetic energy blazes into Italy where its energy recovery system wants to recover some of the brand's lost ground again. So, kinetic engineering and italiano announce a new joint venture to manufacture, sell and service scooters under the italiano brandname. While Kinetic will take care of the engineering part, which may not necessarily be a good thing, italiano will license the design to Kinetic. In fact, the new alliance showcased 7 scooters that they wee planning to launch across all segments, talk about going into seventh heaven even before your photo has not appeared on page 6 of newspapers.

While tom-toming about the launches, only one product ever sees the light of the day-the new kinetic italiano blaze, your shortcut to fame. Targeted directly at active, it is probably the biggest, most powerful, fastest scooter ever to handle Indian roads and at its rear it carries a "catch me if you can" tagline.
Sadly, the other 6 italiano models never see the light of the day and their photos appear on page 6 of national dailies with tributes pouring in..
While the concept sounds brilliant on paper, again its the product's execution that's left to be desired. Reviews are average at best with critics liking the scooter's design, performance, comfort and price but it was heavily criticized on poor quality, fit and finish, unrefined engine and below par brakes. initially it did manage to make a slight dent on activa's sales but subsequent months saw its sales decline and despite kinetic's best efforts to promote it, it was their own product that spelled doom for them.

Now, disappointed, I take a flyte across the pacific and land in taiwan. the plane's doors have to be opened with effort, but I just shout, "khuljaa sym sym" and wow! opportunity comes knocking the door. The kinetic energy recovery system poaches Taiwan's sym company and enters into a critical JV with Kinetic and their first product is the scooterite termed as the kinetic sym flyte. Finally, in 17 years, kinetic launches a scooter that's worthy of critical acclaim in all aspects like quality, style, performance/mileage and price. targeted primarily at scooty, it sells amazingly well despite kinetic's past notorious history and manages consistent monthly sales increase, with maximum sales coming from south and central parts of the country.
So, finally its time to recover kinetic's energy and KERS has been an effective tool, only to be taken over later....

Bajaj, meanwhile showcased two of its short lived products with dtsi-technology-the kristal which was launched and it was pulled out within just 30 months due to poor demand, lack of promotions and most importantly, bajaj's focus shifting entirely to motorcycles. It showcased and launched another product-the blade which met with a similar fate. In fact, both of them sank without a trace.
this marked the end of a long running era of bajaj scooters and "hamara bajaj" is now history as the company prepares to go distinctly ahead...

bread and butter scooters were again upgraded for the second time in form of new graphics and tweaks to the engine to meet requirements of better emission standards and more mileage. Hero Honda's slow selling pleasure scooter also got its first re-stickering.

LML factory remained shut down during that period as all efforts to save the company were sinking like the titanic...

Meanwhile, all the brutality was being witnessed in the motorcycle segment with many motors being upgraded, replaced or re-stickered and re-launched.

Abhi dheere dheere manzil ke seediyaan chadkar dekhtein hain..

The 100-110 cc segment witnessed a creation of a southern star in the form of TVS star city and TVS star sport, both sporting 110 cc CC-VTi engine, itself an evolution of centra's engine. M.S.Dhoni was selected as brand ambassador and the bikes have since succeeded in this hotly contested segment and continue to sell respectively even today after about 3 odd years of its introduction. Recently these bikes got upgrades to mechanicals and the TVS star sport was just renamed as TVS sport.

Hero Honda completed its 25 years of operation in 2008, just like Maruti Suzuki and launched many special editions of its successful splendor and passion bikes. The splendor, meanwhile was the first 2 wheeler ever in the Indian history to cross sales of magical one crore mark in 2009. To celebrate this occasion, HH lunched a special "full black edition" of splendor to celebrate the milestone. Earlier, the company launched a limited edition of splendor to celebrate the company's silver jubilee year.
The super successful passion was upgraded recently to passion pro with improved engine mileage, reliability and more importantly, an electric starter, which was fast becoming a new norm is being offered as an option. This variant has proven to be successful, too.
Carrying forwarding its splendor tradition and targeting the youth, the company also launched a new bike-the splendor NXG with all new body design and flashy graphics and like its grandfather, this bike too is proving to be quite popular wit the Indian public.
HH's semi urban commuter bikes, the successful CD dawn and CD deluxe also received significant upgrades with alloys being added along with addition of the electric start in select variants. This too is fast becoming popular in its target market.
Yamaha launched 2 bikes that time-the crux 106 cc targeting the semi urban commuter bike and the alba 106 being as a more style oriented alternative. electric start too was added as an option in the alba. Both bikes have sold decently, but sales overll can best be described as just about above average.
Bajaj had just one offering-the platina which was left untouched and only just recently re-stickered with no change to any mechanicals whatsoever.

Revving one step ahead in the urban midsize commuter bike segment (125-135cc), this too watched many bombshells being launched:

Bajaj had phased out its discover 112 and 125 cc models and completely revamped its discover 135 cc model with DTS-i technology.
Meanwhile, continuing its technology competence, bajaj had developed an all new 125cc DTS-Si engine, monicker titled Digital twin spark swirl induction. An evolution of the DTS-i, it was further designed to improve fuel combustion process and constant torque spread across varying rpms and was first launched in its all new bike-the XCD 125.
This engine was further added to the platina stable and was launched as platina 125 DTS-Si at a lower price.
The XCD series succeeded initially, so bajaj, in an evergrowing need for greed, to have presence in all segments, launched a different looking version of XCD called the XCD 135 DTS-i. Despite heavy marketing, the bike bombed and was stunned and clipped by the wings.
Yes, it was Honda that completely turned around the 125cc segment with the launch of its trendy and stylish 125cc CBF stunner bike. Positioned as a stylish and affordable alternative to the mundane looking 125 cc bikes, it was a sales success right from day one and the bike enjoyed huge waiting periods, of course the Honda name working wonders and of course sadly, capacity constraints problem unsolved whatsoever.
Honda's second offering, the slow selling shine, too gets a sticker and an alloy job.
TVS phases out victor and it prepares to fire up the 125 cc segment. But....it would take some time.
Yamaha, on its way to start a new innings, completely overhauls its management, marketing, selling and distribution channels and hires a new brand ambassador-John Abraham.
It also revamps its logo and launches its first critical new product-the 125 cc gladiator, finally with a 5 speed gearbox which is now the new norm offered as standard by competition. Critics give it a positive sign and some even say that the gladiator is the best 125 cc bike in the market today.
But the public is still not convinced, especially after the uninspiring TVC commercials are aired with public not being able to understand the message that the product that wants to convey. Ditto for the competent alba. Come on, a glamorous girl for a semi urban commuter bike? You must be kidding.
The gladiator sells at average levels. with bajaj and hero honda still going strong in this segment.
Both of hero honda's 125cc bikes, the glamour and super splendor, get facelifts with alloys and "all black" themes on glamour. The slow selling PGM-Fi variant is available on order.

2006-2008 also marks a comeback for another Japanese automaker-Suzuki motorcycles India limited and it launches its 2 new motorcycles in the 125cc segment-the heat and zeus, both targeted at urban commuter segment. While all the initial hoopla is created at auto expo with phat chicks, the bikes get a slow start in the market, as the public finds its looks and engine too boring and uninspiring, and price a bit too high. Despite 2 facelifts, the zeus has failed to make any impression in the market just because it doesn't have any USP of its own. Not exactly a disaster, but a flop nonetheless. The heat did even worse, and recently it was pulled out of the market. Improper marketing, below par dealer margins and unlnown reasons known best to them are to blame. In fact, dealerships came and shut down prematurely with a blink and you miss me approach.

The premium 150 cc segment also witnessed a drama-tic rebound.
Bajaj upgraded its pulsar lineup, both 150 cc and 180 cc and significantly upgraded its styling, mechanicals and mileage. Known internally as the "phantom" due to its blackened headlight, pulsar sales skyrocketed to new highs and the "all black on black" theme was extremely popular among the youth brigade.
TVS also dramatically improved, restyled and revamped its apache 150 motorcycle and re-launched it as the apache RTR (racing throttle response) 160. Increased wheelbase, bored out 160 cc engine, improved gearshift and the addition of the 5th gear, addition of petal disc brake in second upgrade gave it a tremendous appeal and the bike's sales turned around with massive percentage increases month after month.
Honda also facelifted unicorn twice, first by adding garish graphics and alloys and secondly by adding a "3D" chrome unicorn logo and an all black theme, finally improving its looks which now appear more striking.

Its hero Honda that is proclaimed the hero in this fierce gun battle. It fires a major shot from its cannon when it relaunches the CBZ after a 2 year hiatus as the CBZ extreme. Expectations were gargantuan and after HH launched the bike co-developed with Honda, it met with mixed reactions. While critics' response was positive and neutral, its styling drew criticism in general from the buying public, with many people shunning the confused front end. Despite all the see-saw publicity, the bike was a much needed sales hit for the numero uno. A couple of bike of the year awards also did help matters. To correct public's image of controversial styling, it was given an early facelift with new lights and graphics and new tagline-live off the edge.
The new looks again were controversial as there were some versions which offered different colored alloy wheels-black at front and red/orange at the back and HH's obsession with red paint did make the bike look a bit garish though. Thankfully, HH also offered the option of all black alloys. Ridiculous to say the least. The underachieving achiever 150 was phased out.

But still, all's not hunky dory. Hero Honda's second new offering in the 150 cc segment, the all muscle hunk, was a surprise hit for the company. Its combination of good looks (if a bit controversial for that moped like extended rear end), features, proven engine and competitive price have made it a successful nameplate. Recently, to ensure that no one messes with it, both the CBZ and the Hunk were upgraded with the ATFT (advanced tumble flow technology) engines.

Meanwhile, the action in the 200 cc plus premium bike segment was hotting up. Bajaj was determined to end the karizmatic monopoly of hero honda and was hard at work developing its technological flagship, the pulsar 220 DTS-Fi.
Being a technically complex bike meant its fair share of niggles and engineers were tirelessly testing the fuel injection system in order to make it reliable since this bike eliminated kick start and only came in with an electric start.
In the end of 2007, 18 months after the bike was showcased and after endless delays, the bike was silently test marketed in pune with only 20 units being manufactured. These bikes were handed over to a very privileged select few customers and their real life user feedback was to be taken before the bike could be commercially launched in phased manner across the country. As months progressed, the bike was being slowly commercially launched and production was kept severely restricted in the interests of quality. In the meantime, bajaj launched a new model of pulsar, the oil cooled pulsar 200 DTS-i and plonked the same motor into the avenger and called the avenger 200 dts-i.
The pulsar 200, 220 and avenger were exclusively sold at the newly created "probiking" showrooms which wore swanky international appearance and some of the showrooms also featured an inbuilt dynometer in which potential bike enthusiasts can test the bike to its limits like acceleration, top speed etc.
the pulsar 220's test time came in the hands of real consumers. reactions were mixed, with some users praising the bike and even falling in love with it, especially with the looks, technology, surprisingly mileage and of course,some loathed it owing to reliability problems, quality of service etc. Bajaj carefully listened to customers and even announced upgrade recalls on both bikes (200 and 220) thrice in order to retain customer loyalty.
Yet the bike was a slow seller...

Meanwhile, rumors of a new karizma began to circulate the internet and on seeing Hero Honda's response, people were disappointed as it was just another re-stickered job and was renamed as the karizma-R. Sales picked up but many saw it as a case of a too little too late and an opportunity gone lost....

Yet, things are starting to look rosy for an extremely struggling yet determined automaker which promises to make an extremely dramatic comeback and rebounds itself in a grand style.

Which company is this?

And how does the competition react?

And the public?
Did they show a or do they?

Find out next...as the story inches closer to the summit..

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Old 8th May 2010, 13:02   #72
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TVS Star City and Star Sport are the same. Honda filled a law suite against TVS for the usage of the word "City" and TVS was forced to drop the "City". Then it became TVS Star Sport
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Old 8th May 2010, 15:32   #73
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10 out of 10.
Yes, yamaha gets a full ten out of ten.
After ten successive product failures in the past 10 years, 2008 marked a new beginning for Yamaha motor India.
With a fresh management, new brand ambassador and promise to launch fresh new products catering to youth enthusiast biking community dramatically changed the public perception of Yamaha. At the auto expo, they displayed multiple products including their well known super bikes which they planned to launch in India in a phased manner.

dropped quadra-jets one after the another and all of them have flown their way to success.

The first bike to hit the market was the YZF-R15, a 150 cc powered 6 speed bike on a race inspired delta frame, complete with fuel injection, all telltale indicators, stylish meter console, front and rear discs, race inspired colours and backed by gorgeous looks and superb handling, the package was priced just below Rs. 1,00,000 at launch.
Its scaled down R1 inspired looks immediate captured the buying public's imagination and Yamaha finally began to taste success after a full decade. While it was almost difficult to spot a pulsar 220, the R15 became a common sight in metros, and surprisingly, upper class of semi urban areas , a market which even karizma failed to capture in the past 5 years.
While today sales did have tanked off a bit, it still sells in respectable numbers and continues to rake in profits for the Japanese manufacturer.
Since the bike's introduction, Yamaha carried out some improvements based on customer feedback and recently also introduced new colours and a limited edition 2010 in full white scheme.

While the R15 was touted as Yamaha's comeback vehicle, another star showcased at the auto expo, the FZ was the bike that single handidly revived Yamaha from a flop star to a rockstar. While the bike was overshadowed at the auto expo, when it was launched in the second quarter,the FZ 16 it became a cerfitied sales hit.
Daring styling, unlike any other 150 cc bike was a major factor that catapulted yamaha's bike to one of the top sellers list in its class. Other features like monoshock, fat rear tyre, refined 150 cc mill from the r15 and a pretty competitive price (north of Rs. 63,000) played a major role in its success. Critics praised both the quality, engine, mechanicals and handling of these two bikes and some of them even called it as the best in their respective classes.

Tasting success after a long time, Yamaha launched the third offering at a price premium of Rs. 2,000 called the FZ-S. mechanically and visually similar to the FZ-16, the bike had more sport oriented graphics and twin tone colour schemes, in addition to a visor atop th headlight. The black and yellow colour combination has proved to be quite popular amongst the target audience.

Finally, the fourth product, and the third iteration on the FZ platform was launched as the fazer, basically an old nameplate revived on an FZ with an extended fairing and some dazzling colour options. This bike, too has same mechanicals as the FZ series and is selling well for its target market and is raking in numbers as expected by Yamaha. In fact, the 3 bikes on the FZ platform have sold more than 1,50,000 units, a good comeback number for a manufacturer that was almost close to nowhere 2 years ago.

In the middle there were some contract issues between Yamaha and John abraham which meant making ad commercials without him. the issue appeared to have been resolved as he was on the poster when Yamaha launched limited edition of these bikes with a unique white and blue colour scheme.
Just a few days back Yamaha added new colours and altered the graphics of the FZ series.

Yamaha also upgraded its gladiator offerings with the launch of gladiator SS, RS and graffiti editions. While the graffiti was just a face lift, the SS and RS also cam with added features and some mechanical tweaks in addition to visual tweaks. Sales have increased as a result, even though the increase can best be termed as marginal.

The commuter bikes, the alba and G5 flopped and all will be withdrawn from the market shortly. These have been replaced by a new bike-the YBR 110, launched in the beginning of may 2010, which looks similar to the alba but gets an improved engine, new graphics and a new price tag.
The crux will continue to serve the rural commuter segment targeted at the HH CD twins.

Bajaj's pulsar 220 FI was still a decent seller despite its production being plagued by niggling issues. In fact, Bajaj suffered from serious product overlap and each variation of pulsar was cannibalizing the sales. While the 150 was a cash cow, the 180 did not do that well, overshadowed by the 200 which was selling strongly.
But unfortunately, the pulsar 220 FI's run was shortlived.
Coming under instant pressure from the competition, end 2009 was the time when Bajaj drafted a completely new plan to re-focus on motorcycles and many products were culled brutally as a result.
Bajaj completely rejigged its pulsar lineup and overhauled its 150 and 180 twins.
The latest 150 mirrored the 180 in terms of styling and the 180 mirrored the 200 in terms of styling. Both bikes featured significant upgrades to engine, gearbox,suspension, mileage and looks. A chrome 3D logo was now standard on all pulsars.
Demand dramatically rebounded and this has actually helped to substantially increase sales of the pulsar brand.
The 200 was killed and Bajaj relaunched the pulsar 220 F with a carburetor and an all black themed styling and billed it as "the fastest Indian". More importantly, its price was dropped by a subatantial Rs. 10,000 and all the unique features like projectors and rear disc brake was carried over to this pulsar model. this bike was exclusively sold through pro biking outlets and is actually selling at a more brisk pace than the erstwhile pulsar 220 FI sold.
Bajaj also redesigned its website which eliminated the pulsar 220 FI from its list, so sadly an era has come to en end.
Another variant, the lighter faired pulsar 220 S (streetfighter) was added with a fairing similar to the P200 and was priced rs. 2,000 below the 220 F version. Since these two bikes have only been launched very recently, it would only be too early to comment on long term sales success.
Look for bajaj to get an all new version of pulsar (full model change on a new chassis) in mid 2011.

The XCD did not really exceed sales expectations and was stopped. It was replaced with a newly modified discover 135 DTS-i, recently facelifted platina 125 DTS-Si and another member was added-the pulsar 135 LS.
The smallest member of pulsar rides on a lightweight chassis (LS denotes light sport) and comes powered with a segment first DTSI engine with 4 valves, 135 cc and 5 sped gearbox. Its also billed as the fastest in its class and the bike's initial sales projections have exceeded by a hug margin. Demand for this bike is strong and has made bajaj to add shifts on its two plants. In fact, this bike is expected to take the title of the best selling member in the pulsar family and has the potential to even outsell the pulsar 150 in the coming months.
After multiple ups and downs in the 100cc segment, bajaj finally decided to re-launch the discover and launched its new avatar-the discover 100 DTS-Si and boasted of best in class mikeage and range. This bike has managed to make a dent of HH's 100 cc bike sales and is selling strongly, with a wait period in the eastern parts of the country. Expect sales to remain at steady levels in coming months.
Continuing to extend its offerings, the company will launch a 150 cc version of the discover anytime soon.
The avenger carries on unchanged for now.

Hero Honda
finally gave a karizmatic touch when it re-launched the karizma with all the gizmos and called it the Karizma ZMR. Priced at close to 1,00,000 rupees and packed with all possible gadgets like an oil cooled 225 cc engine, front and rear disc brakes, fully digital meter display including real time mileage indicator, and other telltale signs. redesigned body panels etc., it is targeted at the Yamaha R 15 and citing Hero Honda's analysis of limited takers for this bike, especially with complex tech like FI, is producing very few numbers every month only against fully paid confirmed orders and contrary to rumors that it has been stopped, it is still very much in the market and is available with select dealerships only. In Delhi at least, the bike can be seen in decent numbers. While there is no noticeable increase in power, the tech has dramatically improved the engine's bottom end torque, driveability and refinement, keeping the bike's core values of user friendlyness and an ideal long distance tourer intact. Lets see how it performs in the coming months.
All of its other bikes carry on unchanged as of now with just a few re- stickered jobs and a dose of red paint here and there, often unannounced.

also injected some fuel to its tech when it launched its first PFM-FI bike, called the CBF Stunner PGM Fi. It is priced at a hefty premium and of course, is a slow seller with limited production and availability just restricted to one colour and a few big cities.
The unicorn was recently upgraded with a viscous air filter and a maintenance battery and was renamed as CB-Unicorn. Rest of the bike carries on unchanged.
The regular CBF stunner recently received a minor facelift in its 2010 edition and it too sports the aforementioned upgrades made to the unicorn.
Contrary to the reports that the shine will be stopped, Honda has recently upgraded its shine by fully altering graphics and colour schemes, adding a viscous air filter and a maintenance free battery and renaming as the CB Shine.
Its first shot at the commuter bike segment, the 110 cc CB twister, positioned as a stylish and an upscale alternative to the current 100-110 cc bikes, has started on a successful note with more than 20,000 units booked, out of which 12,000 odd have been delivered. Look for it to replicate the CBF 125's success due to its well rounded attributes.
The 150cc segment will see some more action when Honda will launch a production version of its auto expo 2010 displayed unicorn concept, expected to be called the CB-Dazzler anytime soon.

Suzuki's first foray into the 150 cc segment, the GS 150R 6 speed has seen only modest success and Suzuki plans to market it aggressively in the coming months. its first priority is to increase brand awareness and dealer network, both of Suzuki's core weaknesses. Increased "bike of the year" adverts are seen as the first step in this direction.
The zeus is stated to be completely revamped and relaunched in mid june 2010 according to many sources.

Kinetic launched a bike which came, went after a blink and you miss me appearance. It was called the stryker which now is grief striken forever.

The veteran manufacturer, Royal Enfield, sparked off its modernization programme and virtually upgraded every bike in its lineup.
A new engine with a unit construction and twin spark plug technology was designed with a lean burn combustion process and is now available in both 350cc and 500 cc configurations.
The bullet standard 4 speed is now gradually being phased out due to stricter emission standards, the machismo has now being launched with this engine with the electra also getting the makeover. All these bikes have controls and operations like a typical Indian motorcycle, contrary to everything ulta on the standard bullet. Disc brake, self start and a clear lens multi focal headlights are available as options on select variants.
Royal enfield's latest twin sparked sensations-the classic 350 and 500 have met with an overwhelmingly positive response and command a 6 month average wait period, so much so that the company has temporarily suspended bookings. It plans to keep monthly production very limited in order to maintain exclusivity.
Its sole cruiser-the thunderbird too benefited from the new engine and upgraded mechanicals ad is now a more reliable and a fuel efficient bike to drive and own.

A little known but an interesting fact is that in west Bengal, a small manufacturer named vibgyor has set up an assembly plant and is now assembling bikes with Sourav Ganguly as its brand ambassador.
It currently has four products in its portfolio-
The 100cc ka dada gallop, the 100cc persona, the 125cc hunter which looks awfully similar to the passion and the 150cc shark which appears to be a mix of the achiever and apache.
Of course, it would be way too early to comment on sales figures.

There were many Chinese bike manufacturers that were making futile attempts to enter the Indian market but only one actually managed to enter and fizzled out, this was the cosmo which launched its bike-the blaster 110 cc with first in segment remote start feature. Where it sold, how many it sold and when it went is unknown.
Of course, if you members are aware of any other Chinese manufacturer that made an unsuccessful attempt here, it can be posted separately.

Southern Storm TVS was perhaps more in the news than any other manufacturer, and all for wrong reasons.
It developed a new bike in the 125cc segment-the flame with twin spark technology and this led to a fiercely fought battle between TVS and bajaj, which accused TVS of copying its patented technology even as TVS argued that the cylinder design is different on its bike as compared to that of bajaj's design. The launch was suspended and after Madras high court order to stop selling the flame, legal battles still continued. Meanwhile TVS launched the flame with a single spark plug later that year.
After 2 years of counter arguments and all saas bahu wars, the court finally gave green light to TVS to start selling the flame with dual spark plus as the engine design is different in bikes manufactured by both the companies. eyeing it as an opportunity, the flame was significantly improved and relaunched in 2 variants recently-the SR 125 with a single spark plug and the DS 125 with the much hyped dual spark plugged engine. Coming months will be the right time to analyse and make any conclusions in terms of sales success.

Its flagship bike, the apache saw increased sales and was upgraded even further. It was launched in 2 additional variants-the RTR 160 FI fuel injection and the RTR 180 with a carb.All models received standard front and rear optional petal discs and a new digital meter console in addition to a new fuel tank housed airdam. Plans for a 220 cc apache are very much there and the bike is expected to be launched in the coming months. So far the apache nameplate has proven to be a success for TVS, just as its neo step through in Indonesia.

As we scoot higher up to the summit, all of Kinetic energy was finally recovered by Mahindra group which took over Kinetic's operations under a new entity-Mahindra 2 wheelers. All of Kinetic's models-the sym flyte, the nova and the kine scooterette were renamed and relaunched. The blaze has been discontinued.

Its current lineup consists of four products-the 75cc kine scooterette, the 125cc flyte scooterette, the 125cc duro and the 125cc rodeo "powerscooters", all of which are doing pretty decent business under the new brand name. new dealerships and improved quality of sales and service are currently on the top of the priority list. While only time will tell at how far they will succeed, all these steps are a point in the right direction. the Kinetic brand name no longer exists anymore....RIP.

The prominant player in the scooter market-Honda phased out its eterno and completely exited from geared scooter segment citing it as a loss making business case and waning demand in favour of motorcycles.
In 2009, it re-activated its activa with a full redesign including a new engine, body and chassis. It also launched a segment first combi braking system as an option on activa DX variant.
In addition to activa, Honda also launched its all new stylish aviator scooter which was actually the first Honda product to come with combi braking system. Alloy wheels are also provided as standard. Both these scooters are doing extremely brisk business with wait periods stretching to as much as 3-4 months in the west due to capacity constraints and still ongoing labor issues.
The dio was left untouched and just again re-stickered and relaunched last year.
Hero Honda's sole offering-the slow selling pleasure has been considerably jazzed up recently and is now available at showrooms across the country.
Suzuki too has presence in 125cc scooter segment with its offering -the access 125 which has proven to be a surprise sales success for the company in key markets like central and north-western part of the country.
Yamaha too has been eyeing to enter the scooter market and even displayed many scooters and conducted extensive consumer clinics for the same. It is currently unknown but an announcement is expected in the coming months.
TVS scooty has recently been upgraded significantly and has been launched as the scooty teenz and for the first time, it is also available in an electric version called the scooty teenz EV.

The Indian 2 wheeler market has witnessed lots of roller coaster rides, ups and downs, successful blockbusters and failed epics.
Yet, still the country is poised to become the number one market for two wheelers, overtaking China as early as 2012-13.

Yet, every story that has a beginning has to come to an end.
Emotional, isn't it?
But its always good to save the best for the last.

Today, the Indian 2 wheeler market is seeing a surge by the creation of 2 extremely different segments, at two entirely opposite ends of the spectrum.
These are the electric scooters segment and the imported/CKD superbikes.

Now, as we reach the summit, what better time than to dedicate the concluding chapter exclusively to these two completely different breeds of two wheelers?

Find out all about the electric two wheelers and CBU/CKD bikes in the penultimate
post-titled "THE SUMMIT", coming up next....
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Old 8th May 2010, 19:19   #74
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Globally, the new challenge in front of many companies is to lower greenhouse gas emissions and try to reduce our ever increasing dependence on fossil fuels like petroleum, natural oil and its derivatives.
One such significant step is to promote alternate ways of transportation and globally many manufacturers are toying with the idea of a battery powered automobile. With rising sales of two wheelers day after day in our country, dependence on oil has increased dramatically and so has pollution levels, even though stricter emission norms are being put into place.
Enter a new era.
Going electric is fast emerging as a new mode of convenient city transportation from point A to B.
Initially there were just a handful of companies offering electric two wheelers but the options that are available are now in hundreds. Virtually every company, names of which we haven't heard before, are venturing into this business, that of an affordable electric scooter or bike.
Many brands like:
  • Yo bikes
  • avon
  • hero electric
  • ajanta
  • TVS
  • monto motors etc
and hundreds of local brands are assembling their models of their own, some even with license from other Chinese players to give customers innumerable number of options in this segment.
And surprisingly, the Indian market has well accepted these two wheelers in an overwhelmingly positive way.
The added benefit of low purchase price, exemption from registration and no need of any kind of license to drive has made it popular among young teens and kids also.
Basically they are battery powered and travel for a particular range, usually about 30 odd kms in one charge. They have almost zero noise and absolutely zero CO2 levels which make them easy on the pocket and easier to live with also. They come in handy in small congested areas, petty work here and there and is a hit especially among the women and girl folk.
The future will be electric in the coming years and expect more manufacturers to come out with more powerful and much better vehicles in the future.

Super Sensations

2008 was also a landmark year in the Indian 2 wheeler industry as for the first time ever, major Japanese bike manufacturers announced plans to officially import and sell their million rupee plus high end superbikes. The market is now absolutely ready to accept and in no mood to repeat the F650 debacle.

was the first to jump into the foray with the launch of 2 of its global legends-the R1 and MT-01.
Both bikes are priced north of the million rupee bracket and obviously targeted at rich passionate bikers, read being positioned as a rich boys' toys.
The legendary R1 is one of the world's best known flagship bikes of Yamaha and comes powered by a 998 cc 6 speed DOHC 4 cylinder engine with a pavement crushing 180 ps of power, enough to send your adrenalin gushing.
The MT 01 gets an even brutal 1670 cc 4 cylinder OHV motor, though it produces a humble 90ps and is channeled through a 5 speed gearbox.
Both bikes have sold well considering their availability in limited cities and huge price tag. Combined sales have tallied to more than 100 units IIRC.
Last year, Yamaha also added a third bike to its CBU stable-the V-MAX.
True to its name, it comes with a brutal 1670 cc V shaped DOHC 4 pot but produces a tyre shredding 200ps channeled via a 5 speed box.

This bike, too has taken off well.
This year Yamaha launched its facelifted 2010 edition of the R1.

Not letting Yamaha sharing all the limelight, cross town rival Suzuki launched its pair of global sensations-the Hayabusa and intruder cruiser.

The hayabusa has perhaps the most well known brand equity of all, thanks to John Abraham making it popular in his film Dhoom. In fact, it is known as India's dhoom bike.
Called the hayabusa GSX 1300R, it comes powered by a 1340 cc I-4 DOHC engine with a 6 speed gearbox. In fact, it was once the fastest production bike on earth and can touch a top speed north of 320 kmph.
Its second offering, the intruder M1800R is a well known cruiser bike which comes with a bigger 1783 cc V-twin cylinder motor powered by a 5 speed box.
While the intruder has been a slow stellar, the hayabusa is selling extremely well given its size and target market and audience.

Not letting to give up its casting in the latest Japanese love triangle, Honda too ventured into this market of CBU bikes by launching its two well known global sensations-the CB 1000 R and CBR 1000 RR fireblade.
The CB 1000 comes powered by a 998cc DOHC I-4 with 123.28 HP channeled through a 6 speed gearbox.
The CBR fireblade comes powered by an even more powerful version of the 998cc DOHC I-4 with a tarmac scorching 175.54 hp channeled through 6 speed box. Competition is intense between the three Jap brands and even though the market doesn't demand volumes, sales figures have matched expectations and more bikes can be expected to be launched soon as temperature is rising to fever pitch, sun is getting closer, we all get rich, 'cause the heat is on..

Kawasaki wanted to fill the huge vacuum that was void between these million rupee behemoths and the Indian powerbikes like Karizmas, R15s and Pulsars and after years of delays, finally launched its much awaited Ninja 250R, which is locally assembled as CKD kits from Kawasaki's plant in Thailand as the two countries share free trade agreement.
powered by a fuel injected 250cc DOHC parallel twin engine, it was priced at approx Rs. 3 lakh OTR Delhi, quite expensive than what the public was expecting, creating quite a controversy and many people who waited for months to get their hands on one were equally disappointed. Lack of features like an outdated instrument cluster and omission of fuel gauge were even more disappointing.
Yet, despite all hurdles, the bike has taken off a decent start and has sold more than 250-300 odd units and commands a 2-3 month wait depending upon the region as bajaj only produces a limited number of units every month, made available at company's exclusive pro biking outlets in many parts of the country.

However, the biggest sensation so far to enter our country is none other than the men amongst bikes, the USA based Harley Davidson Motorcycles. Recently it has set up its Indian headquarters at gurgaon and has established its network of 5 dealerships which promise to provide world class sales, service and spares experience as they are owned by young passionate biking enthusiasts.

Priced between 6.7-34.5 lakh rupees, they are currently offering no less than a dozen sensational beauties. They include:
  • XL 883 Sportster
  • XL 883R roadster
  • XL 1200N nightster
  • XR 1200X
  • FXDB street rod dyna
  • FXDC super glide custom dyna
  • FLSTF fat boy softail
  • FLSTC heritage softail classic
  • VRSCDX nightrod special V-ROD
  • FLHR road king touring
  • FLHX street glide touring
  • Flhtcuse ultra CVO
  • classic ultra glide CVO
Keeping the brand and target audience in mind, the prices are very competitive and look for customers to lap up their bikes in hundreds at a decent span of time.

Hyperbike manufacturer Ducati from Italy too has recently entered the Indian market and sells its extremely costly bikes through select dealerships in a few major metro cities. Prices go up to a whopping 60 lakh.
Popular bikes include:
  • hypermotard
  • monster
  • multistrada 1200
  • streetfighter
  • sport classic
  • 1098 superbike/1198 superbike
The company had a decent start in India and is currently in an expansion process.
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Old 8th May 2010, 20:27   #75
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[The Past]
Past - well now let me tell you about the past
Past is filled with silent joys and broken toys
Laughing girls and teasing boys
Was I ever in love?
I called it love
I mean - it felt like love
There were moments when...
Well, there were moments when...

Go out with you?
Why not?
Do I like to dance?
Of course
Take a walk along the beach tonight?
I'd love to
(But) Don't try to touch me
Don't try to touch me
Cause that will never happen again
Shall we dance?

[The Future]
Tomorrow - well... Tomorrow is a long way off
Maybe someday I'll hold somebody's hand
Maybe somewhere someone will understand
You know - I used to sing: "A tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket"
I'm all packed up and I'm on my way and I'm gonna fall in love
But at the moment it's doesn't look good
At the moment it will never happen again
I don't think it will ever happen again ..

Like every event has its glorious past, glittering present and a glamorous future, our country's 2 wheel drive too had its fair share of glorious chapters and today our country's importance cannot be underestimated. Companies are investing more than ever before and more importantly, product differentiation, marketing and selling and after sales service rule the roost in luring back customers to the showrooms in this boom time.
The industry is achieving record breaking numbers and sales are touching new highs.
Yes, we are on the way to become the numero uno on track by 2015 at least, if the current performance goes as per the trends. No more you just need PHAT supermodels drooling over these machines at the expos, you need more than that because at the end, its the final product that counts.
The past 60 plus years have seen many legendary bikes and scooters launched, some continue to soldier on eternally, some leave memories to cherish, some came and gone, forgotten yet unforgettable, some remain immortal and some lost in pages of history books.

Today, virtually every company present in this market has something in offer for we, the people. No longer we have to look to another country/ manufacturer who is not present in other countries to outsource technical/ research and development skills as our country now possesses some of the world class technology and expertise to challenge the world. We as a country have proven in the past and will continue to develop and manufacture world class quality bikes and scooters that the world will look forward to ride. Exports from India too have grown significantly in the latter half of the past decade. What better testimony to that?

To conclude, it gives me tremendous pleasure and a huge learning experience while penning down this mega article live in front of all bhpians and would like to thank you all for contributing other bits and pieces that may have been left out in the middle.
Yes, every story one day has to come to an end and so does this one. An emotional experience, if you ask me. Of course, things look bright and rosy and will continue to do so in times to come.

Hope that you all liked riding with me in an experience of a lifetime and any suggestions, feedback, bouquets and brickbats are always welcome.

Enjoy and ride safe,
Cheers from Siddharth

PS: You know, somebody actually complimented me on my riding today. They left a little note on the headlight, it said 'Parking Fine.'

(But Hey, my silver jubilee celebrations are not over yet. Expect something down the line soon)
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