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Old 2nd April 2021, 19:03   #1
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Default Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

Over the years we have all seen two wheelers with unconventional design/looks plying on the roads. While looks are definitely subjective, unconventional looks or quirky designs are polarizing without doubt. As rightly mentioned by BHPian cool_dube, it would not bode well to term the unconventional looks/designs UGLY in the forum.

https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...ml#post5028755 (Ugliest Cars in Indian automotive history)

In automobiles, looks alone don’t sell. But, having said so, there are examples where design/looks probably had a major say in the downfall of a few decently specced sets of wheels. My list of few such INDIAN two wheelers.

Rajdoot GTS 175
Fondly known as “Bobby Bike”, was definitely a head turner. This was probably not meant for the masses and wouldn’t classify as a sales dud IMO.

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Hero Honda Street
Bajaj M80, a step-thru like the Hero Honda Street was a decent hit at least in the rural areas. Even though the Street had an innovative feature like clutch less rotary gear transmission unit, it failed to sell in large numbers. The design wasn’t well accepted in the market.

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TVS Suzuki Fiero
To counter the highly successful Hero Honda CBZ, TVS launched the Fiero. The performance was more than decent, but the unconventional looks probably deterred the potential buyers.

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Yamaha Libero(First Gen.)
After the demise of RX series bikes owing to stringent emission norms, Yamaha struggled for years to have a decent market share. In the early 2000s, Yamaha managed to catch eyeballs for sure by launching Libero, but..

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Yamaha Fazer 125
If Libero was oddball, Yamaha went a step further ahead and launched the Fazer 125!

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Suzuki Slingshot
I always believed Suzuki had good mechanicals, the designs probably did not do justice. They were either too bland or too busy. Overcorrection probably led to this.

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Mahindra Mojo
Another bike with a lovely powertrain but polarizing looks. Poor marketing made the matters worse.

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Hero Karizma ZMR
The first gen Karizma had a lot of fans and definitely had the performance to go with the looks. The ZMR version and its disproportionate design left even the die-hard fans disappointed.

Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks-karizmazmr.jpg

Honda Navi
Quirky design, fun-to-ride machine. I doubt Honda will be proud of the sales figures. Personally, I like this tiny Honda.

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Honda Cliq
With the unbeatable Activa and the funky Dio in their arsenal, what were Honda aiming for with this!?

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Honda X Blade
A strange name and a stranger front end design.

Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks-hondaxblade.jpg

Suzuki Intruder 150
With disproportionately bigger body panels and an even bigger name, I guess Suzuki lost the game well before actually playing it.

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Image Credit: Various sources from the internet. Copyright respective owners.

I might have missed a few. Hope to see some additions to the list, without offending anyone or calling names. Thank you.

NOTE: Moderators may delete this thread, if it is inappropriate.

Last edited by Emvi : 2nd April 2021 at 19:15.
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Old 2nd April 2021, 19:52   #2
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Default re: Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

GAWD!!!

Take those eyesore Libero and 1st gen Fazer away.

Haven't seen those wretched designs on road for atleast a decade. Good riddance. Just couldn't come to terms with those headlights ever.

Not a biker, so my views may not be appropriate ones.

The Karizma ZMR. Textbook example of how not to do a facelift. The Karizma and pre-facelift Karizma ZMR were pretty good looking ones. How did they manage to destroy that design with those vertically stacked lights, only they know. The Intruder looks weird only because it looks like a big bike on a small chassis, or more specifically those skinny tyres are the culprit.

Rest of the list, unconventional they maybe, but surely not ugly.

Especially the Fiero. I liked it for the lights. Clean and integrated designs without those stick out ears indicators.

Last edited by DicKy : 2nd April 2021 at 19:55.
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Old 2nd April 2021, 20:12   #3
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Default re: Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emvi View Post

Yamaha Fazer 125
If Libero was oddball, Yamaha went a step further ahead and launched the Fazer 125!

Attachment 2139820
Thanks for sharing this and bringing back my childhood memories. My mama's first bike was the Yamaha Fazer 125 , in the red color though ! As a kid, I used to drool at it's twin headlamps, the disk brakes and the brake lights. This silver color does look weird though. The design was surely polarising back in the 2000s

Quote:
Suzuki Intruder 150
With disproportionately bigger body panels and an even bigger name, I guess Suzuki lost the game well before actually playing it.

Attachment 2139818
Fast forward to 2018, and guess what my mama bought ! Yes this Intruder 150 . I've driven this bike for considerable distances and I can say it is great comfortable cruiser for it's engine capacity. If you're on a budget, and looking for a comfortable cruiser it is a good contender sans the oddball styling. It's heavy enough so winds are not much of bother on the highways. And yes I'll agree it looks ugly as hell.
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Old 2nd April 2021, 20:18   #4
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Default re: Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

IIRC, LML had also introduced a few quirky looking bikes in the early or mid '00s, named Energy, Adreno and one more whose name I can't remember. Too lazy to dig up their pics.
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Old 2nd April 2021, 21:05   #5
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Default re: Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

This particular bike in the same exact shade. It was marketed as a sports tourer but never really served that purpose due to its weak engine and 5 speed gearbox.
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Old 2nd April 2021, 21:18   #6
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Thanks for sharing.
Bringing back sweet memories of my buddy Prio(Kim) in Lucknow during school days in mid '70's just after movie Bobby released, who had a yellow Rajdoot GTS (dhui dhui) the muffler made that sound.
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Old 2nd April 2021, 22:06   #7
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Default re: Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emvi View Post

TVS Suzuki Fiero
To counter the highly successful Hero Honda CBZ, TVS launched the Fiero. The performance was more than decent, but the unconventional looks probably deterred the potential buyers.

Attachment 2139827
I always liked the Fiero and don't think it was unconventional looking. During my college days (early 2000's) this was a good competitor to Pulsar and CBZ all launched at around the same time. We had all these bikes in our gang and used to enjoy ribbing each other about our choice of bike. Only issue I used to face whenever I exchanged bikes with my friend was with the kicker. I always used to hit my shin against the footrest.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Emvi View Post
Yamaha Libero(First Gen.)
After the demise of RX series bikes owing to stringent emission norms, Yamaha struggled for years to have a decent market share. In the early 2000s, Yamaha managed to catch eyeballs for sure by launching Libero, but..

Attachment 2139821
This brings back memories. I remember when it was launched there was a marketing campaign. Whoever drove the longest distance with a 100 ml of petrol, they would be given this bike for free. Many of my friends tried too but alas no one won.
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Old 2nd April 2021, 22:14   #8
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Default re: Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

The Fiero was a good bike and definitely a slightly oddball design but ugly...not convinced. Maybe I’m biased because I used to ride a pre-owned one for about a year. I’d bought it when I moved cities having sold off a pre-owned HH Passion. I sold it off to buy the Pulsar180. And in a sense it was the perfect go between bike for me - little more juice than the Passion to prep me up for the Pulsar.
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Old 2nd April 2021, 22:35   #9
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Default re: Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

More than 2 decades ago, LML Energy & Adreno were launched. This was the time not many knew about fairing & this engine also had 3 valves instead of conventional 2. Personally it looked good to me, but was chewed off by CBZ very easily. During it's last stages all I could spot was broken fairing motorcycles (Overall Chennai is anyway famous for poor maintenance of vehicles anyway)

Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks-lmladrenoandenergythefairedthenakedthebeauty1200x9001.jpg
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Old 2nd April 2021, 22:44   #10
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Default re: Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks-splendor-classic.jpg
Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks-splendor2.jpg
IMO, nothing beats the cafe racer version of our very favorite Splendor!

Last edited by VKumar : 2nd April 2021 at 22:46.
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Old 2nd April 2021, 22:50   #11
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Default re: Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

I can't really see what was unconventional or strange about the Suzuki Fiero. I mean what's the yardstick for conventional here? Round headlamps?

I used to think it was quite the looker for its time, especially in silver. That ugly eye piercing purple also somehow used to get my attention. The TVS revisions definitely didn't look as good though.

I miss the days when manufacturers didn't think hard about making purple bikes.

It still is a fun bike to ride in the city if you don't forget you're riding an all-down shifting pattern.




Quote:
Originally Posted by saikishor View Post
This particular bike in the same exact shade. It was marketed as a sports tourer but never really served that purpose due to its weak engine and 5 speed gearbox.
I was so enamoured by the design and that colour scheme of the Fazer250 that I had gone and almost bought a bike I didn't want.

Last edited by drt_rdr : 2nd April 2021 at 23:02.
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Old 2nd April 2021, 23:40   #12
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Default re: Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

The Suzuki Fiero was ok in my books. It was in line with the industry standards back then.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emvi View Post
Yamaha Libero(First Gen.)
Attachment 2139821
Yamaha Fazer 125
If Libero was oddball, Yamaha went a step further ahead and launched the Fazer 125!
Attachment 2139820
I remember back when this bike was launched. I was in India for the summer vacations and if my memory serves me right, there was a huge buildup campaign for these in the newspapers. Not sure if it was the libero or Fazer, but they had a picture ad covering the entire back of the newspapers for almost 7 days a week, and then they came out with this. Honestly I don't think much folks brought this bike. However the Fazer model name plate got reinvented in 2009 with the faired version of the FZ which was at least good to look at.

Certain models however received ugly exterior designs when their next gen came out for example the Karizma, CBZ, Apache etc. Their original versions are still beautiful & cool to this day !

Last edited by TrackDay : 2nd April 2021 at 23:45.
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Old 3rd April 2021, 00:13   #13
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Default re: Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

The Hero Honda Sleek with Honda's immortal 100cc engine was too sleek for the market in the mid 90s and did not sell well. Bajaj SX Enduro with its flappy front mudguard did not endear to many folks either, it had the looks and the sound but did not go as well as an RX or a Shogun. Both were odd looking bikes in the conventional 90s.

Hero Honda Sleek
Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks-sleek.jpg

Bajaj SX Enduro
Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks-enduro.jpg
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Old 3rd April 2021, 06:42   #14
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Default re: Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks

Quote:
Originally Posted by drt_rdr View Post
I can't really see what was unconventional or strange about the Suzuki Fiero. I mean what's the yardstick for conventional here? Round headlamps?
Unconventional was the light clusters, both the front and the rear. With integrated blinkers, it was so reminiscent of a scooter than a bike. I don't think there were bikes with such a design before Fiero and probably not many after as well. I won't term the design bad, but wasn't to everyone's liking.

Last edited by Emvi : 3rd April 2021 at 06:52.
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Old 3rd April 2021, 09:05   #15
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Scooter love? It’s getting rather hard to find good pictures of these.

Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks-aa3de543838c4b88bf9ec863d79a38bc.jpeg
richer version of regular Kinetic HondaDX. I remember riding one and it being supremely comfortable.

Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks-1261df2e74274540aedfad69d8e6a96f.jpeg
We had the first gen Saffire which can only be summarized as concept bike. Later versions came with dual shock and also a name change to “Wave”.

Indian two-wheelers with unconventional design / looks-d699bc2a42d1463ca5609d8fed8d596b.jpeg
Strange contraption this Bajaj Rave.
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