Suzuki updates the Gixxer and Access for 2017.
While Bajaj has been the first and only manufacturer to have completely switched to BS-IV engines, others are slowly catching up on it. Suzuki is the new entry on the block with the launch of its 2017 line-up featuring the Gixxer series and the Access with the updated engine and Automatic Headlamp On feature.
Honda’s new ’Frontastic’ Activa 125
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. It was the first independent product from Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India Limited, a venture which Honda started on its own alongside its separate joint venture with the Hero group (the then Hero Honda).
Its simplistic design and engine reliability made it an overnight success, which it reaps even today, 15 years after its first launch. And now, Honda launched an exciting update of this start performer and christened it at the Honda Activa 125 BSIV.
Honda is gearing up for a new ’Frontastic Ride’ Scooter
As the entire nation’s manufacturers are busy updating their models to run on BS-IV engines, the Japanese Red are also doing the same and gave us a hint at bringing in a new scooter to its product line-up.
Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India’s senior vice-president, YS Guleria confirmed this development and hinted at it being a ’surprise’ for all of us. He said "It will be launched very soon and what it is, is a surprise, so wait for the launch. We can’t say anything more at this stage,".
Piaggio is prepping up a RACE edition for the SR 150
Piaggio introduced the decade’s first 150 cc scooter with the Vespa SXL 150 and set the ball rolling. Then came a machine from the same bloodline, but with racing written all over it, the Aprilia SR 150.
According to Autos Arena, the Italian marquee is readying a launch of a new edition of the fastest 150cc scooter for the 9th and calling it the "Aprilia SR 150 RACE". It is expected to be a limited edition.
The 2017 Union Budget indirectly boosts two-wheeler sales
This week was a pretty hectic one, especially in the nation’s capital where the year’s Union Budget session took place. While few were unhappy with various propositions laid down, the automotive sector beamed with joy, especially the motorcycle division.
Best commuter motorcycle to carry things around
Yes, I know. The title is quite redundant in itself. But not in India. People use anything and everything to transport people and goods around. And India being filled with narrow roads and streets, two-wheelers make the most efficient way to transport all kinds of things around as motorcycles occupy a much smaller “footprint” than the average automobile.
India is a land of 1.25 Billion people. And to transport them, there are roughly 155 - 160 million two-wheelers plying on the road at any given time of the day. Out of which, expect just a handful of them to obey rules and regulations and ride with only a pillion at the max. The rest of them carry anything and everything under the sun. Free from stuff like a roof, windows or doors, you can carry some surprisingly tall, long or wide objects on a motorcycle. Maybe a nuclear warhead even?
According to a TOI article in 2015, "owners of two-wheelers can fit a box in their vehicles to carry any goods or immediate medical aid. These vehicles will be fitted with light-weight boxes for carrying goods. According to sources, two-wheeler goods vehicles will have to be 550 mm long and the allowed width will be 510 mm and the weight of each box would be 30 kg." But this holds good on paper more than on actual application. And abusing this rule is not a difficult task to do by.
Putting too much weight on your motorcycle compromises handling and can overtax some components. But for some, it could be their daily bread and butter. And such people go in to buy motorcycles at the very low end of the market, meaning, they will all be commuter motorcycles and fortunately, India has some of the largest manufacturers of commuter motorcycles – Hero MotoCorp, TVS, Honda and Bajaj.
People carrying goods make use of motorcycles that lie within the 50cc-125cc category. They consist of both motorcycles, and off late, scooters. So we decided to give a rundown of which 5 amongst the commuter two-wheelers to use when you have some hauling to do:
Okinawa Ridge launched in India
We had, not long ago, featured the Tork T6X: the country’s first production electric motorcycle. Then a Bangalore based startup, Ather Energy, has been in this pursuit since their inception in 2013 and are on an epic journey to give the country’s first premium electric smart scooter christened as Ather S340.
Now, there is an all new player trying to make the difference in giving us a ‘Solution from Pollution’. The electric two-wheel manufacturer who goes by the name Okinawa Autotech has launched its pioneer project e-scooter, the Ridge.
Piaggio Vespa SXL 150 vs Aprilia SR 150
The word ‘scooter’ was once a synonym for one cluttery low power thing that had two wheels and a handlebar. A device that to this day is frowned upon in the motorcycle community and blaming it for taking away the ‘biking experience’.
The only thing making it tick and stay is its ease of riding around the urban chaos and for people for whom shifting a gear is a daunting task to undertake. See the pun there? It’s there on purpose.
However, things started to change in 2016. It saw the entry of two 150cc Italian scooters which take the two-wheel game to a whole new level. They were onto mucking about the boring geared entry level motorcycles in full zest, style and a mountain full of panache.
Piaggio introduced the decade’s first 150 cc scooter with the Vespa SXL 150 and set the ball rolling. Then came a machine from the same bloodline, but with racing written all over it, the Aprilia SR 150. Both scooters share the same capacity engine and this is where the similarities end. The rest of is chalk and cheese.
Honda Introduces Navi Adventure & Chrome editions
Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Pvt Ltd (HMSI) has started their New Year with a bang by launching two new variants of their popular entry level two wheeler Navi. The two newest variants are called the Adventure and Chrome editions and both of them were previewed at the 2016 Auto expo held last year.
Both the customized variants are available only with Black colour options though. The Adventure edition gets a windscreen on top of the headlamp unit, knuckle guards, added protection surrounding the headlamp, engine underguard, a duel tone seat cover and a luggage box. The entire kit is priced at INR. 8,525. The Honda Navi Chrome editions on the other hand gets luggage box, side lower guards, chrome headlamp cluster and crash guard. The entire chrome kit will set you back an additional INR. 5, 065 over the ex showroom Price.
The Honda Navi hasn’t received any mechanical changes though and is still powered by the 109.19 cc, single cylinder, four stroke, HET (Honda Eco Technology) engine which is capable of producing about 8 PS of peak power at 7,000 rpm and 8.96 Nm of torque at 5,500 rpm. Power is delivered to the wheels via the V-matic continuously variable transmission.
The standard NAVi is available in 5 colour options: Patriot Red, Hopper Green, Shasta White, Sparky Orange & Black. The Navi also achieved a huge milestone of exporting 2000 units dispatched within just 4 months. The Scooter is currently being exported to the Countries like Nepal and Sri Lanka.
Honda Navi Customized Variants Launching Soon!
Honda promised everyone during the time of launch of the Navi that they will bring plenty of customization option for their entry level scooter at a later stage. Now after almost a year of its launch Honda kept their promise and introduced the Customization option for the Navi.
Apart from the different coloured parts the Navi will also get two new variants in the form of Navi Chrome and Navi Adventure Edition. Now these variants only received cosmetic upgrades while under the skin the Navi still houses the 109.19 cc HET air cooled mill capable of producing 8 bhp of maximum power at 7,000 rpm and 8.96 Nm of peak torque at 5,500 rpm. This is the same engine which also powers Honda’s range of automatic scooters as well including the Activa.
If we talk about the two customized variants, the Navi chrome gets additional headlight protector, side lower cover, rear grip finished in chrome while it also gets an additional luggage box as well. The entire package is available only with the Black colour scheme and will cost you an extra INR. 5,065 over the ex showroom Price.
The other customized variant which will be available along with the Chrome edition is called the Navi Adventure edition. This variant gets front knuckle protector, rear grip underguard, headlight protector, a completely new seat cover, luggage box and new graphics. This entire package will set you back an additional INR. 8,525 over the ex showroom price of the scooter.
The Honda Navi is priced at INR. 39, 648 (ex showroom Delhi), while the Navi Chrome has a price tag of INR 44,713, the Navi Adventure is priced at INR 48,173 (both ex-showroom, Delhi). The Navi variants will be available soon at a showroom a near you.
“Electric vehicles is the future” is what you will see under the banner of every automotive manufacturer now. They are moving away from the addiction to liquefied dinosaurs in a bid to a cleaner alternative to protect the environment. Time and again it has been proved that electric/hybrid vehicles have an overwhelming advantage especially to ride within the town and this evolution has been a gradual process for some – and an exciting start for others.
We had, not long ago, featured the Tork T6X: the country’s first production electric motorcycle. Now, a Bangalore-based startup, Ather Energy, has been in this pursuit since their inception in 2013 and are on an epic journey to give the country’s first premium electric smart scooter christened as Ather S340. The company was founded by two IIT-ians who are committed to building smart, connected, uncompromising vehicles and seeks to reimagine urban commute with the help of technology.
Their first offering is the Ather S340, which they are building it from the ground up and promise to change the way we perceive the electric transport till now. The company has received fundings to the tune of ₹6.3 crores from Flipkart, ₹76 crores from Tiger Global and the very recently ₹205 crores from the world’s biggest manufacturer of two wheelers, Hero MotoCorp. This has allowed Ather to sustain momentum in its journey of building a future-ready product platform and to accelerate the infrastructure and ecosystem development around electric vehicles in the country.
Piaggio creates the Vespa (RED)
Since its discovery in 1981, AIDS has been responsible for the loss of more than 35 million people and more than 37 million people are living with HIV in this world. And these numbers are only increasing by the second. What is even more alarming is that life-saving anti-retroviral treatments cost as little as 30 bucks a day and yet, many affected with HIV will not see a day where they will be made aware of such a medicine even in existence.
To curb such a massive outcast, two greats named Bono and Bobby Shriver began paving the way for a new idea – (RED). It is a new generation of an organisation that was founded in 2006 with a simple mission – ‘to make it easy for people and businesses to join the fight against the deadly virus’.
(RED) has managed to raise an impressive $365 million with help of kind partners. How? (RED) puts it this way ‘When you buy (RED), a (RED) partner will give up some of its profits to fight AIDS. It’s as simple as that. Be (RED). Start the end of AIDS now.’ With this, (RED) have been associated with ‘The Global Fund’ which is a 21st-century organisation designed to accelerate the end of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria as epidemics.
This organisation have since touched over 70 million souls and assisted them in their battle against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria by mobilising $4 billion a year to support programs run by local experts in more than 140 countries.
(RED) got a new partner recently and it is from Italy. The Piaggio Group has collaborated with the organisation and have created the stunning (VESPA 946) RED – an all-red version of the classic scooter. Every purchase of this beautiful scooter, Piaggio will donate towards initiatives fighting AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.
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:-
Bajaj To Relaunch New Fully Automatic Chetak Scooter In 2017
Our very own two wheeler manufacturer Bajaj definitely has done extremely well for themselves in the recent years. Their product range Pulsar was able to create the magic that most of the two wheeler manufacturer’s dreams of. The Pulsar product range was able to provide exciting and powerful motorcycle according to Indian standards at affordable prices. They recently even introduced a completely new 150 cc motorcycle V15 which managed to look different from every other 150 cc premium commuter motorcycle available in the Indian market. The motorcycle had another interesting selling strategy and that its fuel tank is made from the metal of one of the most memorable warships of Indian war history.
One thing that we all questioned ourselves though was while the Indian scooter segment was flourishing fast why Bajaj was still missing from the scene. While Honda picked up a huge amount of success with their Activa scooter, TVS too made quite a name for themselves with their Jupiter scooter range. But now according to the recent reports Bajaj too will be reentering the scooter segment and will also resurrect one of the most renowned and trustable nameplate from their stable the ‘Chetak’ scooter.
That’s right Bajaj will be relaunching the Chetak scooter once again and this time the new scooter will be available in a modern avatar. Expect the new scooter to get a lightweight chassis, completely new engine, better brakes and comfortable suspension setup etc. Although no details of the engine are available yet but expect it to get powered by a single cylinder, air cooled engine which will be displaced in between 125-150 cc segment.
Gaadiwaadi also managed to get their hands on the leaked patented image of the scooter as well and there is no doubt that the new scooter definitely looks impressive and premium as well at the same time.
Second Aprilla Scooter Coming In January 2017
The small entry level scooter from Aprillia definitely won plenty of attention here in India when it launched almost three months ago at an attractive introductory price. Since then the scooter has received tremendous response amongst the Indian crowd. Now according to the recent reports Aprillia has decided to introduce one more scooter to the SR range.
Stefano Pelle, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Piaggio India, said in an interview that they will be bringing another new SR scooter in India. Recently Piaggio launched two new special edition scooters in India which includes the 946 Emporio Armani Edition and the Vespa 70th Anniversary edition recently. When the official was asked to provide some other details of the scooter he just commented that it will perhaps be a more peppier variant of the existing scooter.
So the statement indicates that it might perhaps be a more powerful scooter than the existing SR 150. Expect the upcoming motorcycle to also be pricier than the existing scooter and might also gets plenty of new features as well.
Their present scooter is powered by a 150 cc, single cylinder engine which is capable of producing about 11.4bhp of peak power and develops 11.5Nm of peak torque. Expect the existing SR150 as well as the new scooter to be available across all Vespa showrooms from the end of January onward.