April 2018

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Development and Improvement

THE INDIAN TWO-WHEELER MANUFACTURERS IN THE PAST DID not have an R&D department or, if they had one, it was more like a resting and dreaming department. Most of them thought that they did not need one as it amounted to a waste of money or they were not allowed to have one by their partners. The two local manufacturers that have a good R&D facility are Bajaj and TVS, and now Hero MotoCorp have set up a massive R&D centre on the outskirts of Jaipur in Rajasthan.

In this modern age just having a good R&D department is not enough; taking part in motor sport is also very important for the product. Besides, this gives the R&D engineers exposure to improve their capability. Motor sport also helps the R&D with riders who can push the bikes to their limits and give a feedback to the engineers as to what changes are required to further improve those bikes.

If a manufacturer wants to make adventure sport bikes, then they need to take part in rallying and motocross events. If, on the other hand, they decide to focus on street and sport motorcycles, then they need to compete in road racing (circuit racing). Today TVS have a big advantage over the rest of the manufacturers because they have been taking part in racing for the past 35 years and it gets reflected in their products such as the Apache RTR160, 200 and the RR 310.

Aspi Bhathena

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