Scooters have made a huge comeback in India and are gradually becoming more popular than commuter motorcycles. In the recent past, Honda Activa and TVS Jupiter have both zoomed past 110-cc motorcycles to enter the country’s top five most selling two-wheelers’ list.
Not surprisingly, most of the two-wheeler manufacturers have confessed that they are now focusing mainly on premium bikes and scooters to strengthen their portfolio in our market. So, we’ve listed down some of the probable launches in the scooter segment in 2018.
1. 2018 Honda Activa 110
The Activa has completely transformed how people commute in our country. Every month about 2 lakh Activa are sold across India, making the scooter one of the bestselling two-wheelers in our country. The current 4G version was launched in the beginning of 2017 and it’s time for the yearly update. Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India should be introducing the 2018 version of Activa with additional features and some styling upgrades. It’ll be interesting to see if the Activa 110 will ditch the front bottom-link-suspension, like the Activa 125, for telescopic front forks. We don’t expect any changes to the 110-cc motor.
2. Honda 150 cc scooter
There is strong buzz that HMSI will unveil a premium 150-cc scooter during the upcoming 2018 Auto Expo. The grapevines suggest that the new scooter could be the PCX 150 which was imported to India by Honda’s R&D team but it could be a completely different model, based on the PCX 150. The suspense will end next month during the 2018 Auto Expo.
3. Hero 125 cc Scooter
Shown at the 2014 Auto Expo, the Dare concept has been in the works under the watchful eyes of Markus Braunsperger, Chief Technology Officer, Hero MotoCorp. The concept impressed many with its sharp design and features like LED lights, telescopic fork suspension, front disc brake, snazzy alloy wheels and digital instrument console. Hero will be looking at entering the 125-cc scooter segment with a new scooter based on the Dare concept, just like the Maestro 110 which is based on the Dash concept. It is expected to be powered by a 125 cc single, which produces close to 9 PS and 9.5 Nm of torque. The scooter is expected to be launched at the upcoming Auto Expo and being a Hero product we’re sure it will be priced very aggressively.
4. Hero Hybrid Scooter
The other close-to-production concept shown at the 2014 Auto Expo was the Hero Leap – the first India-made electric-serial-hybrid scooter. The hybrid scooter has been under development for a while now, and the first prototype was displayed at the 2012 Auto Expo.
Hero is looking to carve a niche with this hybrid scooter which is expected to be powered by lithium-ion batteries and an 8kW electric motor. Along with this, the scooter will get a range extender in the shape of a 125 cc combustion engine. This will give the Hero hybrid scooter the flexibility to be used as purely electric and when the batteries drain out, it can use the range extender and a 3-litre fuel tank to travel further. Hybrid vehicles like these could be the interim solution till the infrastructure for electric vehicles come in to place. The close-to-production hybrid scooter is expected to be unveiled at the 2018 Auto Expo.
5. Hero – Ather Energy Electric Scooter
Putting their money where the mouth is, Hero MotorCorp has invested Rs 205 Crore in the Indian electric motor start-up – Ather Energy in October 2016. Ather Energy displayed the India-made S340 electric scooter at GES 2017, and a closer-to-production version will be unveiled at the 2018 Auto Expo. This high-tech electric-scooter is expected hit showrooms later this year and could be priced between Rs 80,000 to Rs 1 lakh approx.
6. Suzuki Swish 125
We saw the new Swish 125 at a few international motor shows, and were hoping the scooter makes it to our shore. Currently, the Access 125 is the best-seller from the Suzuki stable along with the Gixxer 155 motorcycle. And it seems like Suzuki is readying the 125-cc scooter to grab a bigger share of the scooter segment. The previous generation Swish could make a huge impact in the market and was phased out eventually. The new version seems to have what it takes to be a success in India.
The 2018 Suzuki Swish 125 scooter has a smart design which should appeal to the youth. It gets a LED headlight with Day-time Running Lights (DRL) and LED tail lamp. Along with these, the scooter gets alloy wheels, telescopic front forks and external fuel filler lid. Like the Access 125, the 2018 Swish will be powered by a 8.7PS, 125 cc engine, which is one of the most refined and efficient motors in the segment.