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Old 5th October 2010, 15:05   #16
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Originally Posted by EssYouWe View Post
Maybe if you can come in below 1 lac with a 250 cc twin, it can raise a few eyebrows.
Yes, Yes.... thats what we want..

250 cc twin within 1-1.5 lac is a excellent machine to have. It will open a new segment in the bike market.
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Old 5th October 2010, 15:08   #17
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Manas,

For a start-up this is indeed a challenging proposition. 600cc cruiser segment is almost non-existent in India at an affordable price. So here is what I would look for:
  • 600 cc twin cylinder engine with a good power/torque output unlike Royal Enfield 500.
  • Dual disc brakes
  • A large fuel tank or a higher mileage to be able to do around 350 - 400 km with one tank full. Most people would want both.
  • Strong and robust build - one that should not loose its parts on the way over rough roads.
  • Easy to maintain and cheap spare parts
You also need to have a different approach to marketing to make it a success.
  • A close relationship with potential (like you are doing here) and actual customers
  • Letting the customer know that you will take care of the issues of their bikes, especially being a new bike from a new manufacturer. A big challenge.
  • An innovative way of positioning and marketing your bike
  • Price the bike as realistically as possible (which would be a challenge with low volumes). You should expect to get the volumes eventually. And this is one key factor that can actually go in your favour (Compared to the prices of M800 or Nano, bikes like Mojo etc. are way overpriced). But it can go against you if you expect the volumes to remain very low and price the bike very high.
I consider the Mahindra Mojo to be priced very high (are they going to import that thing?). The other bikes being imported are of course priced way higher than their actual worth.

-Biju

Last edited by pjbiju : 5th October 2010 at 15:12.
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Old 5th October 2010, 15:24   #18
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Hi Manas,

I would definitely buy a bike like this, for the amount you mentioned, provided the quality of the bike was better than that of the Enfield and Bajaj bikes. India needs affordable bikes bigger than 250cc.
A v twin would probably mean a cruiser? If so, i wouldn't buy one. But if the same engine (in different states of tune) were sold in different bikes (cruiser, faired sports bikes, half-faired touring bike, even maybe a dual purpose bike), it would sell for sure.
Make it, you will be surprised at the number of people who will buy it.
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Old 5th October 2010, 15:25   #19
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Hey pjbiju,

Thanks for the input.

A bit more about what we are working on:
  • A 650cc V-Twin (will have sufficient power)
  • Dual disc brakes
  • Fuel tank will be big - mileage is still being worked out as we are still developing the engine
  • Build quality will be good as each bike will be hand built and then inspected and certified.
  • Routine maintenance should be easy enough - will have to think about spares as the bike is being engineered from the ground up, so no parts from existing bikes are being used
We plan to work one-to-one with each customer so that each bike is completed around them - customized to their height, reach etc.. We also plan to stay low volume but with fairly competitive pricing (more to come on this later) so that we can provide our customers (if and when we have customers that is) with personal service.

We know where we want to be in terms of price, but we are still working out costs and will have pricing details only once we get ARAI approvals.

We are not interested in selling a lot of bikes and closing up - we want to be around for the long term - we want to use this bike as a stepping stone for more innovative ideas - not just in design, but in engineering terms. Kind of like Koennigsegg (I know I didnt spell that right, but am sure you know who I am talking about) - build high spec products which will perform the way you expect it to perform.

Hope this makes things clearer.

Oh and one other thing - investors welcome!

Again - keep your wishlists coming!


Manas


Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju View Post
Manas,

For a start-up this is indeed a challenging proposition. 600cc cruiser segment is almost non-existent in India at an affordable price. So here is what I would look for:
  • 600 cc twin cylinder engine with a good power/torque output unlike Royal Enfield 500.
  • Dual disc brakes
  • A large fuel tank or a higher mileage to be able to do around 350 - 400 km with one tank full. Most people would want both.
  • Strong and robust build - one that should not loose its parts on the way over rough roads.
  • Easy to maintain and cheap spare parts
You also need to have a different approach to marketing to make it a success.
  • A close relationship with potential (like you are doing here) and actual customers
  • Letting the customer know that you will take care of the issues of their bikes, especially being a new bike from a new manufacturer. A big challenge.
  • An innovative way of positioning and marketing your bike
  • Price the bike as realistically as possible (which would be a challenge with low volumes). You should expect to get the volumes eventually. And this is one key factor that can actually go in your favour (Compared to the prices of M800 or Nano, bikes like Mojo etc. are way overpriced). But it can go against you if you expect the volumes to remain very low and price the bike very high.
I consider the Mahindra Mojo to be priced very high (are they going to import that thing?). The other bikes being imported are of course priced way higher than their actual worth.



-Biju

Last edited by manasm : 5th October 2010 at 15:30.
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Old 5th October 2010, 15:55   #20
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So it is kind of like a custom built bike that can be registered easily.
I was wondering if ARAI would pass a vehicle that is intended for customization. Any ideas?

And maybe sharing parts with other bikes might do you good. Tapping into their sturdy OEM network will not only help you shave costs, but also allow your customers the peace of mind for spares.

All the best Manas!
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Old 5th October 2010, 16:16   #21
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I think this can have a future at even close to 3 lakhs - it all depends on how well the venture is executed.

IMO there is no point in coming close to 1-1.5 lakhs. You will have to cut down a lot fo stuff from the bike and it will lose its identity. I don't think you need to compete with established players. Carve out a niche segment. Put top quality stuff in there. Design it well. Give people some way (through choice of parts, livery) to customise their bikes. Promote it in the right places and I definitely think that you can push the bike along for around the price you are looking at.
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Old 5th October 2010, 18:11   #22
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@Cesc - All that you have talked about is what we are looking at - a niche market with low volumes is ok with us. We are not interested in competing with the established players. Bespoke bikes with something individual for everyone is what we are aiming for.

We dont want to cut down on quality or engineering. Thats part of the reason we are building from scratch and not using parts available in the market.

We plan to hand build each bike working with the buyer. A lot of the parts will have to be standard to conform with homologation and keeping costs competitive, but we will take the customization as far as it can go.

Fingers crossed! I hope it works.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Cesc View Post
I think this can have a future at even close to 3 lakhs - it all depends on how well the venture is executed.

IMO there is no point in coming close to 1-1.5 lakhs. You will have to cut down a lot fo stuff from the bike and it will lose its identity. I don't think you need to compete with established players. Carve out a niche segment. Put top quality stuff in there. Design it well. Give people some way (through choice of parts, livery) to customise their bikes. Promote it in the right places and I definitely think that you can push the bike along for around the price you are looking at.
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Old 5th October 2010, 18:31   #23
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Wow!!

I would say its a Daring Decision, but I would want somebody to take such decisions in this country.

I think if the product is good enough, people can have interest in it, I mean I would have interest in it if it were to be a 600cc V-Twin around 3 Lakhs.

One of the things that could work for you is the exclusivety and One to One relation with customer.

My best wishes in you venture brother.
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Old 5th October 2010, 19:10   #24
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If this project is for real, then good for you!

However, it is unlikely that people will put down Rs 3 lakhs for an unknown machine from an unknown company.

So your strategy should be to produce a few (say, a dozen) prototypes and run them all across the country to generate publicity. It will also tell you what bugs need to be ironed out, and what design modifications made.

After a year or two of this, you would have enough public awareness to launch the vehicle, and the confidence that it will be accepted by at least the knowledgeable motorcyclist as the genuine article.
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Old 5th October 2010, 19:56   #25
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Quote:
We dont want to cut down on quality or engineering. Thats part of the reason we are building from scratch and not using parts available in the market.

We plan to hand build each bike working with the buyer. A lot of the parts will have to be standard to conform with homologation and keeping costs competitive, but we will take the customization as far as it can go
@Manas - You're bound to have hurdles at 2 different places apart from Engineering
1. ARAI
2. RTO

I wouldn't be surprised even if someone in your team commits suicide because of these red tapists.

Do not underestimate the cost involved on these 2 places, say atleast 20-25 Lakhs or even more, but expect nothing less. Oh!!! this is the legal part I mean

Manas, have you considered...
1. Total working cost?
2. The requirements & cost of tools?
3. Fabrication requirements?
4. Design of engine, blue print, CAD tools & its cost?
5. Testing methodologies
6. Specification & design of any 600 CC motorcycle engine legally accepted in India? This involves the restriction on emission norms, exhaust noise, safety aspects. Unless you know about all these, your cost, especially with ARAI, is going to shoot up like hell.

To give an example, say you make a prototype & send to ARAI for testing by paying the prescribed fee; now ARAI rejects saying the emission norms are way too high. So you come back, work on it & then your exhaust becomes louder. Now you're losing money second time by paying fee. Point is, unless you learn every single word from the bureaucratic morons, your cost is going to go up like mad.

I'd suggest you to learn the legal formalities first & then get into actual business, unless you've lot of moolah!!!

Oh!!! There's another point to bring up - Income tax ; let me not discourage you further my friend.
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Old 5th October 2010, 20:07   #26
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Its great to see someone considering a totally homegrown product. Like Argee says, i hope you manage to overcome all the bureaucratic hurdles involved. I would certainly like to see a totally homegrown product and would put my money down on the following expectations;

Reliable, niche but not too expensive, decent service and spares support and of course design and engineering would have to be as current as possible... and ofcourse performance should be good enough to make it a worthy 650.
Whats more important that the design be ageless, something that one would not mind looking at and owning even a few years down the like.. I will use the RD350 as an ageless example... though i understand you are looking at a cruiser.

Wish you luck.

Last edited by jaysmokesleaves : 5th October 2010 at 20:09.
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Old 5th October 2010, 20:33   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
If this project is for real, then good for you!

However, it is unlikely that people will put down Rs 3 lakhs for an unknown machine from an unknown company.

So your strategy should be to produce a few (say, a dozen) prototypes and run them all across the country to generate publicity. It will also tell you what bugs need to be ironed out, and what design modifications made.

After a year or two of this, you would have enough public awareness to launch the vehicle, and the confidence that it will be accepted by at least the knowledgeable motorcyclist as the genuine article.
I agree 100%. The bike may be fantastic but if people do not believe you then your sales charts wont light up. But having said that we now do live in a very connected world with the internet and DTH Tv in a lot of homes. So if you build a good product then let the car mags and auto shows test it extensively. If/when they agree with u n share your view about the bike, then the momentum for the bike will gain. There are also forums like this and am glad to see you have taken the first step.

But launching a new bike under a new brand is no easy task. Your priority has to be to build a top notch bike quality and performance wise and then be patient with it. You should put in place a 5 year marketing and sales plan (at least) and follow it accordingly and not get frustrated after 1 or 2 years.



An interesting marketing gimmick you can look into is to try and get the title of being "The fastest indian made bike in the indian market". This should give you easy publicity and maybe even make it on few prime pages in mags and newspapers. Even though your bike is a cruiser, with a 600 cc twin cylinder i am sure you will be able to comfortably break the 150-160kmph speed barrier.

Once again full praise and admiration for your idea, and good luck with everything. I really do hope you succeed with this fantastic project of yours.

Last edited by amrisharm : 5th October 2010 at 20:37.
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Old 5th October 2010, 20:48   #28
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@Aargee and Jay - first thing we did was look at legal and financial requirements. This project started about a year and a half ago and the first 8 months was just research into what was required both legally and financially - it is only after that that we started putting together the drawings and design for the product.

We dont have a lot of moolah and are just normal working stiffs who have and are putting all their spare time and money into this project....which is why I said nothing may come of this. Any help/contacts that people in this forum have and can provide us with will be appreciated.

Once we have something together, we will probably have a "track day" organized for people to come and view, test, abuse the bike and see what they think. Will let you guys know if and when than is.

We have someone helping with the income tax, and other govt financial stuff so should make that a bit easier.

We had the marketing plan in place before the product, and I think its gonna be good. We want to make sure the product matches the hype in our heads (including build quality and performance), and if it does, it should do well in the market - create a niche for itself.

I am keeping my fingers and toes crossed!
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Old 5th October 2010, 21:10   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manasm View Post
A bit more about what we are working on:
Routine maintenance should be easy enough - will have to think about spares as the bike is being engineered from the ground up, so no parts from existing bikes are being used

We plan to work one-to-one with each customer so that each bike is completed around them - customized to their height, reach etc.. We also plan to stay low volume but with fairly competitive pricing (more to come on this later) so that we can provide our customers (if and when we have customers that is) with personal service.

We know where we want to be in terms of price, but we are still working out costs and will have pricing details only once we get ARAI approvals.
Interesting product with an equally interesting business model. Just be careful that it doesn't end-up as another b-school case study.

I feel that you should use available tech & off the shelf parts as much as possible. It will keep your costs low and you won't have to worry too much about availability of spares.

You are designing the engine in-house!! That's impressive. Good luck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aargee View Post
@Manas - You're bound to have hurdles at 2 different places apart from Engineering
1. ARAI
2. RTO

I wouldn't be surprised even if someone in your team commits suicide because of these red tapists.
Do not under-estimate the ARAI approval effort - I heard that it is pretty tedious. And you are talking about each bike being customized & built around the rider - I am almost certain that there is no provision for such a thing in the Indian Motor Law - so no ARAI approval.
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Old 5th October 2010, 21:13   #30
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Customization will be limited...it will not be like Orange County Choppers/American Chopper...customization will be along the lines of height, and reach of each individual and some more which I will talk about once we get a little further along on the project.

Well...we are working on designing the engine in-house...not many other choices around!

Last edited by manasm : 5th October 2010 at 21:15.
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