Hero Electric has tied up with Bosch for powertrain partnership
Hero Electric has been the sub-brand of Hero MotoCorp, the world’s largest motorcycle manufacturer. The company is a multi-product and a multi-location enterprise with interests in Electric Vehicles, Bicycles and Healthcare. With the newfound interest in electric powertrains, Hero has made strides in this direction and are betting big on the technology.
It has been launching electric two-wheelers for some time now and has sold over 1 lakh customers. They, however, were not market spec vehicles like the Tork T6X or Ather S340 and were very underpowered. Now, they have tied up with the German Technology giant, Bosch, to get things around for them.
What are the most underrated mass oriented bikes of India?
In our number of stories, we have repeatedly said that the Indian two wheeler market is one tough field to study. The kind of demands we Indians do ask from two-wheeler makers are quite hard to conquer, as we want literally everything in one product.
Keeping in view of such demands from a very competitive market, the manufacturers too are doing a tremendous job by offering products which are offering a good blend of all the traits in one single package. Out of all these products, some do hit the sales charts with massive popularity, while some of them end up being average or low sellers, despite being a brilliant piece of engineering and design.
In this feature story, we are going to throw some light on the latter category of motorcycles and scooters, ones which are not selling as expected despite being wonderful in one way or the other. Here’s a list of all such unfortunate and underrated motorcycles and scooters, and we seriously wish that they do post impressive numbers for their makers:-
Hero MotoCorp and Uber are looking to enter a strategic alliance
Uber is the world’s largest cab aggregator which has invested heavily into running their service in India. To get a stronger foothold, the firm had launched uberMOTO in few cities of the country on a pilot basis. “uberMOTO enables riders to tap a button and get a motorbike ride in minutes. It’s a great way for people to save time and money on short trips and provides last mile connectivity at the most affordable price”.
Now, they are working to strike a chord with the world’s largest two-wheeler manufacturer, Hero MotoCorp, and start a full-fledged bike-taxis in the country.
TVS and Hero will add to the 125cc scooters in 2017.
The launch of the Activa saw the country’s first ever four-stroke automatic scooter. It singlehandedly showed signs of the rise and comeback of scooters in India.
Although it had a 100cc motor, it ruled the commuter segment, and the rest followed suit. Every other manufacturer except Bajaj started making scooters and claimed theirs to be the best one. Currently, there are scooters falling under the 100cc, 110cc, 125cc and 150cc segments, of which the 100cc and 110cc ones are almost saturated with a million options.
The 125cc and 150cc, on the other hand, have only a couple of players which the manufacturers are looking at taking advantage of. TVS and Hero are two of those.
Ducati might tie the knot with an Indian brand
Ducati always has had this insanity in them to time and again bring up machines that push the boundaries of two-wheeled glory, a boundary that will make every other manufacturer look like a speck of dust. For this alone, we must hand it to the Italian with all pomp and flair that they can literally pull off true bloody special motorcycles of unmistakable design and most profound sporting spirit.
Now, according to Economic Times, this iconic motorcycle manufacturer are planning to enter into a partnership with companies like Hero MotoCorp or Royal Enfield to have a new dig at possible engine manufacturing or strategic technology sharing capabilities.
Hero MotoCorp updated the Passion Pro for 2017
Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest manufacturer of two wheels and no one understands commuting more than this company. They have had a good run all this while, and their big guns were, in fact, the commuter segment which outsold any other motorcycle in the same segment. They were pioneers in getting electric start to the segment amongst others.
For 2017, Hero MotoCorp is upgrading all their motorcycles with new additions that are both green and excite customer satisfaction. The Hero Passion Pro also gets its due and gets an i3s moniker beside it.
Hero MotoCorp hints at entering Moto3
There is ‘motorcycle’ and then there is ‘motorcycle racing’. Each of them has a different meaning for every manufacturer. And being associated with the latter is a form of prestige to them. The term ‘motorcycle racing’ was coined the day the second motorcycle was ever made. Since then, the world of racing has seen a great deal of competition and rivalry amongst competing manufacturers and builders, all vying for the glory of unadulterated use of power and the pride of being at the top of their game.
The Indian two-wheeler industry is now evolving to become a major player on the world stage. Today they are capable of producing motorcycles that beam innovation and technology acumen at the highest standards giving the competition a run for their money.
Dakar Rally 2017 sees the chequered flag
The Dakar Rally (or simply "The Dakar"; formerly known as the "Paris–Dakar Rally") is the world’s most challenging cross-country rally event that judges the physical and mental aptitudes of the rider and the machine since its inception in 1978.
Man and machine are made to traverse the toughest of terrains that include sand dunes, mud, grass, rocks, ergs and everything inhumane for a catastrophic 9000 kilometres. It demands the greatest level of endurance and concentration to charter through the wild.
Hero HF Deluxe is updated with iSmart tech
Hero MotoCorp is the world’s largest manufacturer of two wheels and no one understands commuting more than this company. They have had a good run all this while, and their big guns were infact the commuter segment which outsold any other motorcycle in the same segment. They were pioneers in getting electric start to the segment amongst others.
The entry level commuter segment motorcycle from Hero is the HF Deluxe (CD Deluxe when Hero had partnered with Honda) after the HD Dawn. In 2010, the bike received minimal updates with regards to a few cosmetic makeovers. In 2014, a side stand indicator and a clear lens headlamp unit was installed that gave it a fresh look. The side body cowls were all new, and are longer and aerodynamic than before.
Like in all other eight 100cc commuters of Hero, this 97.2cc engine on the HF Deluxe is light and peppy, with enough zest to take on exhaustive city duties with ease. The engine develops a higher power output of 8.36 bhp, while the maximum torque output stands at 8.05 Nm.
For 2016, Hero launched a new piece of technology to their commuter motorcycles called the iSmart. It equipped the Achiever 150 and Splendor 110 with this tech which does the job of a micro-hybrid vehicle. The basic principle here is to not burning the fuel when it is not required. The system will detect when the vehicle is put to idle and this will de-activate the engine thus conserving fuel.
For example, when you roll to a halt in traffic signals, and shift to neutral, the iSmart technology will shut the engine and will start if for you as soon as you press the clutch to put the motorcycle in gear. This will help attaining better fuel efficiency and reduce running costs.
According to the source, the iSmart enabled HF Deluxe will hit the showrooms in the month of January and Hero will probably equip its entire fleet of two wheeler with this piece of innovation and help in having a better consumer satisfaction.
As per government orders, Hero might also add the AHO (Automatic Headlight On) to the HF Deluxe and the rest of its product line-up.
Hero Motorsports to enter the Dakar rally
The Dakar Rally (or simply "The Dakar"; formerly known as the "Paris–Dakar Rally") is the world’s most challenging cross-country rally event that judges the physical and mental aptitudes of the rider and the machine since its inception in 1978.
Man and machine are made to traverse the toughest of terrains that includes sand dunes, mud, grass, rocks, ergs and everything inhumane for a catastrophical 9000 kilometres. It demands the greatest level of endurance and concentration to charter through the wild.
Each of the 12 stages can range from short distances up to 800–900 kilometres per day. Both amateur and professional teams participate in this off-road endurance event on motorcycles, quad-bikes, cars and trucks across three countries in South America (since 2009). And the first entry to this monster rally from India in the Motorcycle segment is the Hero Motorsports team which will be participating for the 2017 stage that is beginning in four days from the time you will be reading this. This is the outfit’s first big milestone into motorsports.
List of all new mass oriented bikes which got launched in 2016
Like every passing year, the year 2016 too has proven to be one year which has only been progressive enough to make the Indian two wheeler market more mature and versatile. Almost all the bike makers of India did came up with something which was revolutionary and game changer for the price at which they are offered.
In this feature story, we are going to discuss all those significant all new bike launches in the mass oriented segments of the Indian two wheeler market, with some of them have been build up from scratch and are only redefining the segments and creating new records for value for money. Following are those all new bike launches meant for the common masses, with the criteria being sub-500cc category and below the price point of Rs. 2.5 lakh:-
Comparison: Bajaj Pulsar 220F vs Hero Karizma
No matter how advanced and fast-forward the Indian motorcycling scenario may have become, the credits to the growth of the performance oriented segments in the 21st century for the mass market will always be given to the two home-grown brands, Bajaj Pulsar and Hero (the then Hero Honda) Karizma. Ever since the beginning, these two brands have created quite a huge fan following which is easily commendable for something which has been developed wholly from scratch. While the Pulsar with its 150cc and 180cc siblings clearly made Indians think beyond their bread and butter 100-125cc commuters, it was the Karizma which forced the more mature enthusiasts to have that essential craving for a more refined, bigger and wholesome experience of two wheeler motoring with its bigger stance.
In 2007, the Karizma finally got a direct rival in the form of Bajaj Pulsar 220 – a motorcycle which intended to change the scenario of performance oriented motorcycling with its feature rich package and exhilarating performance. The arrival of the Pulsar 220 on the block began to make the Karizma a thing of the past and actually dated. Though it’s 2016, and both these motorcycles have come a long way as evolutionary packages. But then, one thing is still common between both these motorcycles – at the price of a premium 150cc motorcycle, these home grown 220cc machines promise a bit more value for money performance package.
Now, much has been said about both the motorcycles in the years gone – while the Pulsar 220F is still touted as one of the easiest and rider friendly entry level performance motorcycle even after these years, the Karizma was given a thorough facelift by Hero as its whole new flag bearer model. The Bajaj Pulsar 220F has recently been given a minute facelift, which once again has brought the motorcycle back to the limelight. Though these motorcycles are now existing in the Indian market for quite a long time now, which make them pretty dated in the first impression in front of the new age premium 150cc offerings from the Japanese makers, but make no mistake, as these two motorcycles are one of the most underrated machines in the price bracket they belong to, as they bring the best ratio of performance to price in this bracket.
In this feature story, we are going to compare the Bajaj Pulsar 220F and the Hero Karizma to find out which one of these two make the better home-grown quarter liter semi-faired sport tourer. Here we go:-
Comparison of premium commuters – Bajaj Pulsar LS 135 vs Hero Achiever vs Yamaha SZ-RR vs Honda Unicorn
In the last couple of years, the Indian market of two wheelers has seen an upward growth in terms of both sales numbers as well as maturity. Talking about the latter aspect, the urban Indian buyer is gradually beginning to think beyond the sole factor of fuel efficiency, as he wants something more from his machine – factors like comfort, features, added power and a bit more muscle in the machine he rides. For all these factors, it is the segment of entry level 150cc commuters which, in these days, is serving them in the most apt way. This particular category of motorcycles may not serve the fuel economy of a 100/110/125cc motorcycle, but then, it surely gives the consumer a feel of riding a bigger motorcycle, without sacrificing much on his pocket.
The oldest player of this field, Honda CB Unicorn, continues to impress its target audience with its no-nonsense approach towards design, strengthened by its robust build quality, refinement and the credit of introduction of the technology of rear monoshock in the Indian market. Yamaha also opened its cards by launching the SZ-RR Version 2.0 below the FZ range, which serves as its most affordable 150cc offering. And then, recently, Hero gave a comprehensive makeover to its underdog, the Achiever, which claims to have become much more desirable and better in its new avatar.
Finally come Bajaj Auto, which has the most versatile lineup of 150cc motorcycles in the Indian market. But then, it offers a very unique product in the market which offers the performance and features of the 150cc motorcycles aforementioned above, but at a price of a 125cc motorcycle. This product is the Bajaj Pulsar 135 LS, the only 135cc motorcycle in the country today, which aims to take all the lower positioned 150cc motorcycles. Which one of these emerges out to be the best bet? Let’s find out:-
Hero Motorcycles will now make gears for Ducati
The Italian manufacturer has given the responsibility to make their gears to the Hero MotoCorp courtesy to its experienced manufacturing and quality control. With this new development with Ducati, Hero is now in a position to make a bold statement to its image as a long standing specialist in quality manufacturing.
Echoing this idea is Hero group CMD, Pankaj Munjal who said, “This definitely is a big leap for us and we are quite excited about this new development. With this win, we are not only forging a strong relationship with a global two-wheeler leader but also reaffirming Hero’s proficiency and expertise in specialised manufacturing. We look forward to a long-term association with our patrons.”
It could be surprising to know that Hero’s client list includes German and American customers as well with BMW and Harley Davidson using products of their transmission division. As a matter of fact, more than 80 percent of Hero’s business is with global market leaders in the two wheeler industry.
All this could have been achieved only with the manufacturing unit that has seen investments of ₹150 crores able to produce the highest grade of products. Following systems that have resulted in zero parts per million (PPM) ensures high quality standards amongst global competitors.
6 kinds of Hero Splendor you can buy in India
If you were born and brought up or grown here in India, you must have been too much familiar seeing the ‘Hero Honda Splendor’ on the streets of the country. In the Indian two wheeler market, it is the Splendor which completely revolutionized the category of commuters, as it was this very motorcycle which played an important role from shifting the customer preference from 2-stroke motorcycles to 4-stroke ones, due to the change in priorities from performance to fuel efficiency more. With its ‘fill it-shut it-forget it’ philosophy, the brand ‘Splendor’ has become one very phenomenal game changer in the entry level commuter category and changed the way Indians commute on two wheels.
Even today, even after almost twenty two years after its first appearance in the Indian market, the Splendor brand has become so much popular that it still continues to be the highest selling two wheeler, which has crossed the sales mark of a whopping two crore units. Over all these years, the Splendor has seen a lot of changes and new variants, which have been introduced considering the varying customer preferences. In this feature story, we have listed down all the currently available variants and versions of the Splendor, together which make it the highest selling two wheeler brand of India – a lineup which still is hard to beat by any other commuter motorcycle form other manufacturers and even Hero (read Passion lineup). Here you go:-
2017 will see a new era for Indian Motorcycle Manufacturers
It was 1955, the Indian Government required strong, tough and go anywhere motorcycles for its army and police force to cater to the then craggy terrains. Enter the 350cc ‘Bullet’. The first batch of motorcycles in India, manufactured by Royal Enfield of United Kingdom, put together in Madras (Chennai). The start of a revolution.
Since then, the motorcycle industry in the country has grown mountains with its own share of valleys. And somewhere in between promising players emerged and managed to live up to the expectations and more. Today they are capable of producing motorcycles that beam innovation and technology acumen at the highest standards giving the competition a run for their money.
Bikes such as the Bajaj Pulsars, TVS Apaches and Hero (Honda) Karizmas are testament to this and they enjoyed their own share of cult following in the country across all age groups. But with more and more people able to afford higher capacity and tech-infused motorcycles that are entering the Indian market from all across the globe, it sounds trouble for the Indian manufacturers.
Giving a fitting reply. Bajaj, TVS and Hero have been firing on all pistons and showcased their products at the Auto Expo. Using everything at their disposal they have managed to put together motorcycles that boast of every possible technology features, performance figures, styling and comfort offered by foreign contenders.
Below are the motorcycles that will hit our streets and the best part about them: Made in India, for India, by India.
In a country that is price conscious, it was a gamble played by motorcycle manufacturers when they decided to bring in their higher segment motorbikes. If statistics are to be believed, India is in the highest rankings in terms of growing economy. And the gamble payed off. People started investing in premium motorcycles that were lauded in the performance and engineering arena. More and more players started entering the Indian subcontinent to showcase their entry level performance machines. To help you have a clear decision making ability, we have compiled 10 bikes that fall under ₹ 5 lakhs that can suffice all your needs and dreams of owning a bike that can be both practical and fun to ride.
Comparison of entry level 150cc commuters – Hero Achiever vs Bajaj V15 vs Yamaha SZ-RR vs Honda Unicorn
In the last couple of years, the Indian market of two wheelers has seen an upward growth in terms of both sales numbers as well as maturity. Talking about the latter aspect, the urban Indian buyer is gradually beginning to think beyond the sole factor of fuel efficiency, as he wants something more from his machine – factors like comfort, features, added power and a bit more muscle in the machine he rides. For all these factors, it is the segment of 150cc commuters which, in these days, is serving them in the most apt way. This particular category of motorcycles may not serve the fuel economy of a 100/110/125cc motorcycle, but then, it surely gives the consumer a feel of riding a bigger motorcycle, without sacrificing much on his pocket.
On closely inspecting this segment, we do find that the motorcycles of the higher and premium end of this segment, which comprises of motorcycles like the CB Hornet 160R, Yamaha FZ-S FI and Suzuki Gixxer, are now churning up impressive numbers. But then, it is the lower end of the segment which is forming up the biggest chunk of this segment, as far as volume is concerned. The oldest player of this field, Honda CB Unicorn, continues to impress its target audience with its no-nonsense approach towards design, strengthened by its robust build quality, refinement and the credit of introduction of the technology of rear monoshock in the Indian market. Yamaha also opened its cards by launching the SZ-RR Version 2.0 below the FZ range, which serves as its most affordable 150cc offering. And then, to cater to the reducing customer interest in Pulsar, Bajaj tried to retain its potential customers with the all new V15, a motorcycle which is quite unique to this entry-level 150cc segment, thanks to its individualistic design and the fact that it contains the metal of the very famous INS Vikrant.
After all the action from its arch rivals in the budget segments, how can Hero be so silent? Just recently, Hero revamped its most affordable 150cc offering for the Indian market, the Achiever, with an all new design and retuned powertrain, which makes it feel like an all new motorcycle. In this story, we are going to compare all these four motorcycles which form the lower end of the 150cc segment, to find out which one fits the tag of the segment leader in actual sense.
Schemes and offers going on for 2016 festive season
No matter how much the Indian two wheeler market may be suffering from ups and downs in the entire tenure of one year, the one particular period which definitely sets the cash registers ringing for all of them is the festive season of Diwali. If we dig out the history of automobile industry, the performance of all the manufacturers during this particular period of time always goes on exemplary, with all of them playing in profits more than what they usually collect in other months of the year.
Like every other year, the festive season of 2016 too has witnessed all the major players of the tow wheeler industry of India coming forward with their lineup of schemes, offers, limited edition models and new variants of the already existing models. Following is a list of all the schemes which are being offered by all the two wheeler majors of the country. Here they are.
Comparison – Hero Passion Pro i3S vs Honda Dream Yuga vs Mahindra Centuro vs TVS Star City Plus
Gone are those days, when the basic entry level commuters were meant to be monotonous, mere functioning, boring motorcycles, whose only job was to ferry people from point A to point B. In today’s world, however, to match up with the changing times and perceptions, even the entry level motorcycles are becoming premium and rich, apart from performing their very best in their core aim which we have mentioned in the first line.
Speaking of the brigade of premium commuters, Hero (the then Hero Honda) started the trend with its ultra popular Passion, which has written numerous records, owing to its ease of ownership and handsome looks (for the segment). The brilliant fuel efficiency and simple mechanicals are the reason why the Passion has found more than a crore of buyers till date, a chunk of which comes from Tier-II and Tier-III cities.
And unlike most of the common low-priced commuters, the Hero Passion brand has withstood the tide of changing times, as the parent company has regularly given the periodic upgrades to the motorcycle, both in terms of styling and performance. Over the last fifteen years of its life till date, the Passion has received a number of upgrades, starting from Passion Plus and its updates, Passion Pro and its updates, a mild off-roader in the form of Passion Pro TR and a 110cc variant in the name of Passion X-Pro. Now, in its latest update, Hero has equipped the 100cc Passion Pro with the i3S technology, which claims to enhance the performance of the motorcycle.
But going for the new Passion Pro i3S is not so easy. The main reason why Hero updated the Passion Pro was the fact that it was facing stiff competition from other competitors in terms of design and novelty. Majority of that competition has been coming from Hero’s erstwhile partner Honda, which launched the Dream Yuga with the intention of dethroning Hero MotoCorp from being the numero uno among commuters.
The competition has only become spicier with the refreshed avatars of two more motorcycles – Mahindra Centuro and TVS Star City Plus. While the Centuro has tried to lure the consumers with its very premium car-like features, the new Star City Plus has upped the game with its premium upgrade and solid build, which has shown that TVS has still not lost the steam. Which motorcycle among the four emerges out to be the best semi-premium entry level motorcycle, let’s find out:-
List of sub-1 lakh sporty motorcycles for college goers and youth
In the current times, the average Indian motorcycling buyer has a lot more expectations from a motorcycle which he intends to buy and run. While he is putting up his/her hard earned money on the motorcycle he wishes to buy, he/she expects it to be an all rounder and a complete package, which means that the motorcycle should be perfect in all parameters – it should look good, it should handle all kinds of tarmac and it should perform equal levels of finesse in both performance as well as well as fuel economy.
If the current trend of motorcycles is to be studied, it can be easily detected that the majority of the prospective buyers are the youths, out of which the college goers and young salaried class buyers form the major chunk of buyers. They want a motorcycle to be fit on all parameters aforementioned above, and they nowadays find 100/125cc motorcycles below their expectations. Since most of them have an average budget of almost 1-lakh rupees, they tend to incline towards buying the premium 150cc offerings or the entry level 200cc machines.
In this list, we have mentioned all those zestful motorcycles which have been designed keeping such youth customers in mind, who don’t mind to compromise on the kilometers per liter factor for getting a slightly more all-rounded package. Here’s a list of all the sporty motorcycles which lie below the impactful 1-lakh mark.