Team-BHP > Motorbikes


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 3rd April 2021, 22:27   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 253
Thanked: 182 Times
Default Maxi Scooters: India needs scooters with a bigger frame

I have been lurking in some sub Reddits like r/scooters and see a lot of maxi scooters. I initially thought these all had massive engines and hence would not be suitable for our average obsessed market. However, I was surprised to see that many of these bikes have engines with 150cc or even 125cc.

Most of our scooters have engines in this range. All they need to do is to have a slightly larger frame with 14Ē tyres. The engine probably needs to be a 125 or at most a 150 cc one. The rider gets a benefit of a more comfortable frame and ride which may be better suited for longer distances. These scooters will have significantly better storage. The companies can market these are differentiated products higher than the run of the mill scooters.

I feel that the market has matured enough for us to have more differentiation. Aprilia is of course a trailblazer in this segment, but they are limited in reach as a brand. Unless Honda or Suzuki or TVS comes up with something like this, it will not take off. TVS already makes what is regarded as the best premium scooter in the Ntorq. How about a Ntorq Plus with larger wheels, a 160cc engine (from the Apache) and it could be a big hit. What do the other members think?
jaganm is offline   (16) Thanks
Old 4th April 2021, 07:35   #2
BHPian
 
self_driven's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: Haryana
Posts: 702
Thanked: 1,785 Times
Default re: Maxi Scooters: India needs scooters with a bigger frame

While the idea looks good on paper, it may not turn out to be so in reality. Maxi scooters are like cruisers of the scooter world. They beat the very purpose of a two-wheeler for our masses, which is to squeeze through tightest of gaps in traffic. Another reason is that most people who cover long distances, even 50+ kms a day, graduate to bikes or used cars for the sake of fuel cost, comfort or safety. If there exists a segment of scooter fanatics, maxi scooters still have a chance otherwise I don't see them gaining traction anytime soon.

Suzuki already has one half-baked product in the market called Burgman or something. I've seen that thing up close and it didn't seem to offer any considerable advantage in terms of storage or comfort as compared to a conventional Activa or Jupiter.
self_driven is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 4th April 2021, 08:56   #3
BHPian
 
Amrik Singh's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: New Delhi
Posts: 394
Thanked: 1,536 Times
Default re: Maxi Scooters: India needs scooters with a bigger frame

Decades ago, residential homes and repair shops were miles apart; roads in poor condition (quite so now also, at places) it was common to get flat tyre. So, spare wheel was a necessity and Lambretta & Vespa / Bajaj were equipped with it. Now the cost cutting by manufacturers and looks demanded by consumers being important, spare wheel has been spared from the inventory. But those who have ridden pillion on Lamby, Vespa or Bajaj may recall the safety they felt with spare wheel acting as back rest.
Amrik Singh is offline   (6) Thanks
Old 4th April 2021, 11:33   #4
BHPian
 
Mafia's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: BLR MCT
Posts: 551
Thanked: 233 Times
Default re: Maxi Scooters: India needs scooters with a bigger frame

Quote:
Originally Posted by self_driven View Post
Suzuki already has one half-baked product in the market called Burgman or something. I've seen that thing up close and it didn't seem to offer any considerable advantage in terms of storage or comfort as compared to a conventional Activa or Jupiter.
Slightly off-topic here:

On the contrary, Burgman apparently has the biggest storage in the current market for a 125CC scooter.

source:




Additionally, scooters tend to be used by more than one family member because of the ease of use. This kind of restricts the budget and design one wants.

The electric scooter wave is here. ICE scooters will be gone in 10 years or so.
Mafia is offline   (5) Thanks
Old 4th April 2021, 12:59   #5
Senior - BHPian
 
rajushank84's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai/CA(USA)
Posts: 1,087
Thanked: 849 Times
Default re: Maxi Scooters: India needs scooters with a bigger frame

A premium looking scooter - like a modern take on Lambretta - will do well. But not at twice the price of other scooters, like Vespa seems to think. A better design at a comparable price will do well.

Not only Lambretta-style designs, but something like the Honda Super Cub will do well too, again at a price point comparable with other scooters. We need scooters with more space, scooters with bigger wheels and scooters with better looks.
rajushank84 is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 4th April 2021, 13:43   #6
Senior - BHPian
 
Gansan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 3,819
Thanked: 1,942 Times
Default re: Maxi Scooters: India needs scooters with a bigger frame

People's sco0ter preference has evolved into the current gearless scooter format. Nobody or very negligible numbers will buy geared scooters with higher engine capacity. Not so long ago, the standard displacement for a scooter engine was 150 cc, and in a few cases 175cc.

We must remember a 125 cc engine from the west will be more like a 200cc engine in Indian market, in terms of power. A 150cc engine may be more like our 250 cc engines. All engines on offer here are detuned.

I don't think an engine of a capacity higher than 150cc will be suitable for the gearless scooter format.
Gansan is offline  
Old 4th April 2021, 14:35   #7
BHPian
 
Cyborg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bombay
Posts: 818
Thanked: 1,154 Times
Default re: Maxi Scooters: India needs scooters with a bigger frame

Higher powered scooters will remain a niche product which may not generate numbers that manufacturers would like in India. Automatically the cost goes up and most people especially in this segment will be mileage obsessed so one more negative is added there. Why should manufacturers bother when the Activa, Access, Jupiter etc continue to fly off the shelves.

Case in point would be the latest entrant Aprilia SXR 160 priced at roughly INR 1.55 lacs. How many do we see on our roads? Even the Vespa 160 for that matter, it has the same fate.

I would love to see a Burgman 200 though which would give the convenience of a scooter and relatively enough power to keep me entertained.

Cheers

Last edited by Cyborg : 4th April 2021 at 14:41.
Cyborg is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 5th April 2021, 11:46   #8
Senior - BHPian
 
rajushank84's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai/CA(USA)
Posts: 1,087
Thanked: 849 Times
Default Re: Why donít we have scooters with different designs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gansan View Post
People's sco0ter preference has evolved into the current gearless scooter format....
I don't think an engine of a capacity higher than 150cc will be suitable for the gearless scooter format.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
Higher powered scooters will remain a niche product which may not generate numbers that manufacturers would like in India. Automatically the cost goes up...

Case in point would be the latest entrant Aprilia SXR 160 priced at roughly INR 1.55 lacs. How many do we see on our roads? Even the Vespa 160 for that matter, it has the same fate.


Cheers
I have two points of slight disagreement from this sentiment:
  1. It doesn't have to be higher displacement, just more variety of design. A scooter can very well sport different looking outward designs, both in aesthetics as well as variety in wheel size etc without it having to be higher-capacity engine. I think we need that kind of diversity more.
  2. Higher displacement doesn't necessarily have to mean pricing it like Vespa does. Vespa seems to place a premium on their brand name, along with some things like monocoque chassis. The user didn't ask for all this. For us (some of us), Bajaj and Vespa of old are synonymous, they represent the same shape of scooter.

A 150cc scooter doesn't have to be a "Vespa" 150cc scooter (meaning: doesn't have to carry all that premiumness). If Bajaj can make a Pulsar 150 Neon at 90K ex-showroom, it should be very much possible to make a 125cc to 150cc scooter at a similar price point with better looks and variety of storage space, variety of wheel size and such things.

If you say Hero Honda Street never took off, I would say look at Bajaj M80. It did quite well, and its clone/original the Honda Super Cub was once the best-selling motor vehicle of all time.

There is no reason to think the market is not receptive to variety just because manufacturers don't offer variety.

It is a bit like the regional film industries: they offer one type of package in a film over and over again, do a terrible job offering anything outside that formula, and then blame the audience that they are not receptive. Actually the audience is receptive if they come out with a good product. The need is very much there. Just because Vespa overpriced it doesn't mean the market itself is not there.

I don't believe every single scooter buyer is just budget minded. Just like we have Splendor buyers and Enfield buyers in the bike market, there are going to be two sides to the scooter buying market as well. It is a gap in supply, not a gap in demand.
rajushank84 is offline   (4) Thanks
Old 5th April 2021, 12:02   #9
KPR
BHPian
 
KPR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2019
Location: River Island TN
Posts: 416
Thanked: 964 Times
Infractions: 0/1 (5)
Default Re: Maxi Scooters: India needs scooters with a bigger frame

Quote:
Originally Posted by jaganm View Post
I feel that the market has matured enough for us to have more differentiation. Aprilia is of course a trailblazer in this segment, but they are limited in reach as a brand. Unless Honda or Suzuki or TVS comes up with something like this, it will not take off. TVS already makes what is regarded as the best premium scooter in the Ntorq. How about a Ntorq Plus with larger wheels, a 160cc engine (from the Apache) and it could be a big hit. What do the other members think?
I love Max scoots. I think Aprilia SXR160 as such is a great package. It is excellent for touring as well. When Indian market wasn't even ready for a scooter Kinetic Nova with 150 CC came. I'm sure if TVS Honda or Suzuki launches it with 150cc nothing can match the driving dynamics of SR 150 or SXR 160. Living example is Burgmann with that puny rear wheel . I've got this desire for Max scooter satiated with SR and SXR for sure. It fulfills both short and long rides with 150 CC. Anything more than that will be overkill for daily needs.
KPR is offline  
Old 5th April 2021, 12:14   #10
BHPian
 
commonman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 192
Thanked: 163 Times
Default Re: Maxi Scooters: India needs scooters with a bigger frame

I remember Kinetic Blaze . A 165 CC super scooter which gave a very comfortable ride . However, the market didn't respond nicely to this beauty and it died an untimely death. Later on kinetic itself became history.
I mentioned it here , since the view point of Indians about scooters are not about size. It always stood for utility. Travelling from point A to point B with the best mileage. Even Aprilla with 160 CC engines does not fit in the system due to fuel efficiency issues.
The cost of a bigger frame with a bigger engine also needs to look in to, which makes the manufacturers reluctant to innovate in this sector.
commonman is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 5th April 2021, 12:27   #11
BHPian
 
RavSam's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Somewhere in MH
Posts: 464
Thanked: 1,607 Times
Default Re: Maxi Scooters: India needs scooters with a bigger frame

Quote:
Originally Posted by self_driven View Post
While the idea looks good on paper, it may not turn out to be so in reality. Maxi scooters are like cruisers of the scooter world. They beat the very purpose of a two-wheeler for our masses, which is to squeeze through tightest of gaps in traffic.
True in cities, but in villages like the one at my native, cruising on a Burgman 125 like scooter is such a bliss for ~20kms ride with legs resting on the backside of the apron. Long winding roads for 70% of the ride and zipping it for the remaining 30% city/town side area.

I don't want a bike to shift gears and I need the luggage hauling capacity of a scooter.

Currently have a Jupiter there only because the rear wheel of Burgman looks way too odd and hasn't grown on me yet. Aprilia SXR is too cramped at the front. If Suzuki fixes the rear wheel to 12 incher with a better alloy design, I will lap it up.
RavSam is offline   (2) Thanks
Old 5th April 2021, 16:18   #12
BHPian
 
Cyborg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bombay
Posts: 818
Thanked: 1,154 Times
Default Re: Why donít we have scooters with different designs

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
It doesn't have to be higher displacement, just more variety of design. A scooter can very well sport different looking outward designs, both in aesthetics as well as variety in wheel size etc without it having to be higher-capacity engine. I think we need that kind of diversity more
This segment is extremely price sensitive (niche products aside) and what you are asking for goes against that. How are manufacturers going to make different designs, bigger wheels etc in the same price range? The product/s won’t sell in numbers to justify business. Why bother then?

The people who are willing to pay more only for a design change or bigger wheels with the same output are too few in number for manufacturers to bother about. Even bigger displacement scooters are suffering in sales because of their price. This is a reality in India proven by sales numbers in this segment.

Cheers
Cyborg is offline  
Old 5th April 2021, 16:41   #13
Senior - BHPian
 
Gansan's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Chennai
Posts: 3,819
Thanked: 1,942 Times
Default Re: Maxi Scooters: India needs scooters with a bigger frame

^^ Bike riders/buyers of whatever cc are usually enthusiasts who consider it their "steed". Scooter riders/buyers are usually not, and for them it is a white good just like a fridge or TV. For them it is all about convenience.

At 60, my next two wheeler may probably be a scooter. But if I am going to buy one with a larger body and wheels, it should better have a bigger engine to match. I don't want anything anemic, all show not much go type of scooter. But buyers like me will be very few.

What puts me off for some reason towards the Burgman and some other scooters is the smaller rear wheel and larger front wheel. I may be more kindly disposed towards them if only they had a smaller front wheel and larger rear wheel though. I somehow hate the idea of a smaller propelling wheel.
Gansan is offline   (1) Thanks
Old 5th April 2021, 17:14   #14
Senior - BHPian
 
rajushank84's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Chennai/CA(USA)
Posts: 1,087
Thanked: 849 Times
Default Re: Why donít we have scooters with different designs

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cyborg View Post
This segment is extremely price sensitive (niche products aside) and what you are asking for goes against that. How are manufacturers going to make different designs, bigger wheels etc in the same price range? The product/s won’t sell in numbers to justify business. Why bother then?

The people who are willing to pay more only for a design change or bigger wheels with the same output are too few in number for manufacturers to bother about. Even bigger displacement scooters are suffering in sales because of their price. This is a reality in India proven by sales numbers in this segment.

Cheers
It is not proven by numbers because such a scooter doesn't exist in the first place.

If you are taking Vespa/Aprilia numbers to conclude that "India" doesn't want 150cc scooters, that is a huge fallacy. Vespa doesn't sell not because it is 150cc, but because it is overpriced. If Vespa made an overpriced 100cc scooter that still wouldn't sell, regardless of displacement.

Increasing capacity is not going to double the production cost like that. A local player needs to make higher-displacement scooters at reasonable prices before we can say whether "India" wants them or not. The country is wide with a lot of different buyer types. I think putting the whole segment in a box - without any data - is a mistake on the manufacturers part. In the early CBZ/Pulsar days people said the same thing "150cc is too much for Indian roads, all Indians care about is mileage, nobody will buy these bikes". Nothing could be further from the truth.

On a whole other note, design aesthetics improving doesn't mean the bike has to be anemic. A bike that looks visually appealing like the Lambretta V200 with a 125cc or 150cc engine can very well be priced at less than a lakh ex-showroom, and if it looks good enough will have takers. It is just that it hasn't been explored before.

It is not true that what hasn't been sold before cannot be sold in the future. Youngsters buy scooters nowadays because they like scooters, not because they aren't interested in vehicles or that's all they can afford. They have more disposable income than youngsters did a couple of decades back. Vespa is not representative because Vespa is overpriced. Youngsters will pay for a little more for a better product but not pay for an overpriced product.

Since appliances were mentioned: this is true even for appliances. It is not true that all Indian market cares about is price, just because Indians won't throw away money for an overpriced product. If we perceive value we will pay more for a higher product. If that were not true, we would only be seeing Splendors on roads, and products like the Preethi Zodiac (Rs.8K mixie) would be an utter flop when Preethi Lavender (Rs.3K mixie) exists. Again, nothing could be further from the truth.


Name:  lambrettav200.jpg
Views: 5276
Size:  83.6 KB

Last edited by rajushank84 : 5th April 2021 at 17:19.
rajushank84 is offline  
Old 5th April 2021, 20:39   #15
BHPian
 
Cyborg's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Bombay
Posts: 818
Thanked: 1,154 Times
Default Re: Why donít we have scooters with different designs

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajushank84 View Post
Vespa doesn't sell not because it is 150cc, but because it is overpriced.
Vespa is not representative because Vespa is overpriced.
What is overpriced? Value vs price is as per a persons standing or bank balance or disposable income. For example, there is a segment which will buy LV bags starting at 1 lacs plus and think it’s value for money, others will think it’s a waste. Neither of them are wrong, it’s each persons perspective as to his/her standing in life. There is only one exception that comes to mind immediately, “The Oracle of Omaha” Mr. Warren Buffet.

Similarly this segment that we are talking about is extremely price and mileage sensitive. The couple of million Activa’s sold is proof of that, plus the Access, Jupiter’s etc. In India ~95% of sales in scooters is from this bracket. Why will manufacturers make higher capacity scooters or change designs when the mass market in India will not pay for them. Why will manufacturers bring down prices, are they here for charity or making money. They will continue to make Activa clones (majorly) and keep laughing all the way to the bank.

A simple relevant practical perspective - one of my friends has an Aprilia SXR 160 which he bought for 1.52 lacs in Mumbai. He thinks it is a super scooter and worth the money he paid. He also owns a Triumph Street Triple RS and another electric scooter too by the way.

Enough said

Cheers

Last edited by Cyborg : 5th April 2021 at 20:41.
Cyborg is offline   (1) Thanks
Reply

Most Viewed
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks