As you all know, starting from April 1st, 2017, the Supreme Court has ordered all manufacturers to stop registering and selling vehicles still running on BS-III engines. To clear them before the deadline all dealers who had stock started levying massive discounts on their products, and some even lost money in this process. The industry took a ₹ 600 crore hit due to the three-day discount fest.
Then there were few motorcycles that just did not sell despite the discounts. This was the cue for the manufacturers to take them off the shelves completely and get a new replacement machine for the same ones. While some of them have been replaced, few others just could not manage to burn the midnight oil and live up to expectation. They were just phased out of the assembly lines. Here is a list of those who couldn’t make it to the party this year:-
1. Honda CBR 250R:-
Honda CBR 250R was one of the most awaited motorcycles in the Indian market. As soon as it was released in the Indian market in the year 2010, people were overjoyed, and they accepted the sports bike with an open heart. It gave the much-needed punch in the engine and also provides comfortable ride quality and handles brilliantly too. Also at that time, we were left with not many options which were as capable at commuting and also providing the sheer joy of riding on the open highway.
But as time went past, the competition became fierce, and Honda was just confident enough to update these two bikes with new paint schemes only and nothing else. Soon, the fire caught them and just simply couldn’t dose the fire anymore. The CBR 250R lost its track, particularly due to more new performance-oriented offerings coming in the market like the Austrian KTM’s and the Yamaha R3. They were better looking, better performing and better equipped with fresh styling whereas the CBR 250 R remained the same. The same happened to the 150R with the R15 and the Suzuki Gixxer SF.
The CBR 250R was powered by a four-stroke, single cylinder, liquid cooled, fuel injected, 249.6cc engine, which pumped out 25 bhp of power and 22.9 Nm of torque.Although the CBRs’ were some of our favourites, unfortunately, Honda did not want to update them with newer generations that were already selling elsewhere in the world.
2. Honda CBR 150R:-
After initiating the quarter-liter segment in the Indian market with the CBR 250R, albeit the Ninja 250 was an available nut for a premium, the brand launched CBR 150R in the Indian market in the year 2012. This trend of manufacturing the performance motorcycles in the 150cc segment was initiated by Yamaha way back in 2009 when they introduced the Yamaha R15 in the Indian market.
Bearing the exact silhouette and body panels of the CBR 250R, there was no doubt that the CBR 150R had a great road presence, which looked much bigger than what it’s heart had to offer. Powered by a four stroke, single cylinder, liquid cooled, fuel injected, 149.2cc engine, which delivered 17 bhp of power and 12.66 Nm, it was launched as a direct answer to Yamaha’s hugely popular R15. However, it never managed to dwindle the sales of the Yamaha and ended up being a poor selling product, despite being a mechanically potent motorcycle.
3. Bajaj Pulsar AS 200:-
For starters, it was the Pulsar NS 200 with a semi-fairing slapped on at the front in place of a bikini fairing. However, the Pulsar AS 200 carried a much bigger expectation on its shoulders – that of being a spiritual successor and a modern avatar of its legendary Pulsar 220F, which is still on sale and going very strong.
Being a more contemporary 200cc motorcycle over the Pulsar 220F in terms of design and mechanicals, the Pulsar AS 200 had all the high points in its favour, be it the price, design, performance and features. However, the motorcycle never picked up as strong as the Pulsar 220F in terms of sales. At the heart of the Pulsar AS 200 was a four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, carburetted, 199.5cc engine, which produces 22 bhp of power and 18.3 Nm of torque.
4. Bajaj Pulsar AS 150:-
The Pulsar AS 150 was to Pulsar AS 200, what the CBR 150R was to CBR 250R, i.e., a motorcycle with a smaller heart, but with same design and body panels as that of the latter bigger brother. Sharing the exact body panels and the front end of the Pulsar AS 200, the Pulsar AS 150 featured a smaller engine as well as some scaled down mechanicals, which included skinnier tyres and drum brake at the rear.
In the premium 150cc segment of motorcycles, it was the most powerful one, for the fact that it’s four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, carburetted, 149cc engine develops 16 bhp of power and 13 Nm of torque. The Pulsar AS 150 soon became the benchmark in the 150cc segment for the sheer amount of value for money it packed in, but then it has been discontinued to make way for the all-new revamped Pulsar NS 200.
5. Bajaj Discover 150S:-
The Discover 150F was axed almost a year ago, and now the time has come for its sans-fairing version, the Discover 150S, to depart from the production floors. The last remaining model from the new generation lineup of Discovers has failed to live up to the aspirations of commuter buyers. The Discover 150S despite being a much more modernised avatar and better finished motorcycle over previous generation Discovers, never managed to set the sales charts on fire.
Fitted with a four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, carburetted, 149cc engine, which developed 13 bhp of power and 12.7 Nm of torque, was good enough to put it as a good alternative to the similarly priced 125cc premium commuters. But then, the V15’s strong sales proved to be the final nail in the coffin for the Discover 150S.
6. Hero Impulse:-
The Impulse was launched in India with a much-celebrated fanfare, for the motorcycle was the very first product since Hero split up with Honda and decided to tread the path of the future on its own. Introduced to Indians as the very first on-off road motorcycle, the Impulse had a direct and pure design reminiscent of bigger displacement on-off road motorcycles from the Japanese and European motorcycle makers.
However, on the one hand, the Impulse scored full marks in design, features and mechanicals, and on the other, it lost the steam with the underpowered powertrain. The four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, carburetted, 149.2cc engine it shared with the other 150cc commuters from Hero produced just 12 bhp of power and 13.4 Nm of torque on the Impulse. It simply couldn’t match up with the sturdier chassis of the motorcycle.
7. Hero Splendor iSmart:-
Hero had huge hopes with the Splendor NXG, as it believed that it was this motorcycle which will carry forward the legacy of the original Splendor keeping in view the new generation buyers in the commuter space. However, after the initial success, the Splendor NXG failed to pick up the pace, which forced Hero to re-strategize. Soon came the Splendor iSmart, a cosmetically enhanced version of the Splendor NXG.
Though it retained the exact body panels, it featured new paint schemes and split pillion grab rails. The four stroke, single cylinder, air cooled, carburetted, 97.2cc engine developed 8 bhp of power and 8.04 Nm of torque, and it was the first motorcycle from Hero to feature the revolutionary i3S (Idle Start Stop System) technology, which has now made its way into almost every commuter from Hero. The discontinuation of Splendor iSmart does make sense, as the new generation Splendor iSmart 110 feels superior over the 100cc iSmart in every aspect.
Hero MotoCorp changed a couple of notions related to the concept of café racers when it introduced the Splendor Pro Classic to the Indian market. Yes, it was indeed a surprise, as nobody figured that Hero would come up with a mass-market oriented café racer, a concept which is usually related to fast and niche motorcycles. Nevertheless, the result turned out to be a not so disappointing motorcycle.
However, it was the puny size of the motorcycle and skinny tyres which look quite funny. The Splendor Pro Classic sourced its power from the four stroke, air cooled, single cylinder, carbureted, 97.2cc engine which generates 8 bhp of maximum power and 8.05 Nm of maximum torque. Due to its off-beat styling, it is a bit impractical due to no provision for pillion riders which is quite a must for a 100cc commuter. The Splendor Pro Classic was the least selling model of the Splendor lineup.
9. Hero HF Dawn:-
This is quite a surprising name on this list, as unlike other names in this list which were slow sellers, the HF Dawn was a popular brand in the smaller towns and rural areas. Packing in the reliability of other Hero commuters in a very affordable stripped down package, the HF Dawn was the cheapest offering from Hero MotoCorp in India.
For starters, the HF Dawn was basically a pared down version of HF Deluxe with a round headlamp at the front and absence of rear side body panels. Powering the HF Dawn was the same four stroke, air cooled, single cylinder, carbureted, 97.2cc engine from other 100cc motorcycles from Hero, which pumps out 8 bhp of maximum power and 8.05 Nm of maximum torque.
10. Hero Maestro:-
Launched originally as a direct answer to Honda’s legendary Activa, the Maestro was Hero’s first ever individually developed scooter post its split from Honda. Featuring a metal body and a boisterous design which made it feel bigger than the Pleasure, the Maestro gave Hero loyalists an option who perceived the Pleasure to be smaller in size and feel.
The design and feature set list was all new on the Maestro, however, what was not was the four stroke, air cooled, single cylinder, carbureted, 109.2cc engine shared with the Honda Activa. It produces 8 bhp of maximum power and 9.2 Nm of maximum torque. It was expected that the Maestro would not live long, for the fact that its spiritual successor, the all new Maestro Edge, is doing an excellent job for Hero.
11. Yamaha YZF R3:-
The YZF R3 was launched by Yamaha in India after a very long period of anticipation and confusion in the Indian market. But by bringing in the R3 in India, Yamaha fulfilled its promise of not forgetting its roots of making wonderful sportbikes, something it was seemed to forget amidst making scooters and focusing on commuter segments.
There is hardly any fault in the YZF R3, as it was one perfect motorcycle for all those who wanted to upgrade from the R15 to a twin cylinder motorcycle. Powered with a four stroke, liquid cooled, parallel twin, fuel injected, 321cc engine which generates 40 bhp of maximum power and 29 Nm of maximum torque, the YZF R3 exhibited excellent quality and performance in true Yamaha style. However, the steep pricing and absence of ABS took a toll on the sales of R3, as the motorcycle bombed in the Indian market and became one of the least sold Yamaha’s in India.
12. Yamaha FZ:-
There is no doubt that how big role the Yamaha FZ played in revolutionising the 150cc segment of motorcycles in India. Launched originally in 2008, the Yamaha FZ literally smashed all the benchmarks in the 150cc segment, as it introduced a big bike styling, modern features like fully digital meters, fatter front forks and fatter tyres reminiscent of Yamaha’s international sportbikes.
Needless to say, the FZ began to sell like hot cakes, and it was the sole model, which brought back Yamaha from ashes and made it a key player once again in India. However, with the passage of time, the FZ began to feel a bit too long in the tooth, especially after the advent of its more modernised avatar, the FZ FI. It was almost useless to sell the FZ alongside the FZ FI, thus forcing Yamaha to discontinue the FZ.
13. Yamaha Fazer:-
After a very enthusiastic start by the FZ in the Indian market, Yamaha tried to keep on going with the flow of success by launching the Fazer. Essentially a semi-faired version of the FZ, the Fazer featured a huge semi-fairing with twin headlamps at the front, which made it feel much larger in size than what it was. Also, given the steep pricing of the R15, the Fazer proved lesser expensive as it shared the rest of the FZ’s body, chassis and the engine.
It was a four stroke, air cooled, single cylinder, carbureted, 153cc unit which generates 13 bhp of maximum power and 12.7 Nm of maximum torque. However, like the FZ, the Fazer too got its second generation model in the form of the Fazer FI, and given the fact that this old Fazer was now selling in negligible numbers, it was expected to disappear soon.
14. Suzuki Slingshot:-
One of the most underrated motorcycles of its time, the Suzuki Slingshot Plus never picked up the pace even after being one of the strong performers of its segment. Launched as a successor to the not so happening Suzuki Zeus, the Suzuki Slingshot Plus had a few things in its favour, including Suzuki’s image of making reliable products.
It carried a very potent four stroke, air cooled, single cylinder, carbureted, 124cc engine which generates 8 bhp of maximum power and 10 Nm of maximum torque. However, the motorcycle looked a bit smaller in size against all of its rivals, as it had the size of a regular conventional 100cc motorcycle. It never felt a premium motorcycle or an upgrade from a 100cc motorcycle, which restricted its popularity.
15. Suzuki Swish:-
Launched as a more premium alternative over the Access, the Swish was indeed an excellent product from the stable of Suzuki. With the proven mechanicals of Access under its skin, the Swish had a sportier design and bigger-in-comparison feel over the Access, which truly complemented its punchy four stroke, air cooled, single cylinder, carburetted, 124cc engine which generates 8 bhp of maximum power and 9.8 Nm of maximum torque.
Being one of the most potent scooter engines, the sporty dynamics and chassis of the Swish, adding in some premium features like pilot lamps and part digital meters, made the Swish a hard to ignore choice if you were looking for a 125cc scooter. Sadly, even after being a well-priced scooter, the Swish, unfortunately, was a below average seller even below the expectations of Suzuki.