BMW Motorrad Nine T spied testing

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BMW Motorrad enthralled motorcycle enthusiasts all around the world last year at EICMA when they showcased Roland Sands iconic Nine T concept. Rumoured to be the Bavarian brand’s final air-cooled, boxer-powered offering to the masses, the street-fighter is undergoing rigorous testing in Italy.

Company officials have revealed that the BMW Motorrad Nine T is capable of producing 90 PS of power along with 110 Nm of peak torque. The production ready version has the DNA of the BMW S1000RR with an elongated fuel tank, it also appears from the spy pictures that Akrapovic have custom designed the exhaust for the Nine T.

What’s even more exciting is the fact that BMW head honchos have disclosed the unveil date for the Nine T street-fighter; October 16th is the red letter day for BMW Motorrad fans the world over. The price has also been rumoured to be around the $ 19,000 (INR 11.8 lakh) mark.

Story: Sayem Syed

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New, faster Karizma slated for 2014 launch

Karizma-ZMRHero Motocorp have been widely reported in a variety of media outlets to have announced the introduction of 15 new products by 2014, including an all powerful, revamped, Karizma, which will also hit the showrooms in accordance with this time line. The announcement was made as part of Hero’s Global Sales and Marketing Conference in Macau, China.

While the new Karizma is expected to retain the same engine as the current one, it is the first of Hero’s two-wheelers to have been re-tuned and developed in coalition with American technological partners Erik Buell Racing, the direct consequence of which is that the old mill will produce more power than ever before.

The 15 new products will include reboots such as this one along with completely new designs. Hero hope to bring these new bikes into the market between the October – December period in 2014 so that they can capitalise on the historically lucrative festive season.

Going Vroom with Honda

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Weekends for a biker are the perfect time to unwind, and when a biker unwinds, it translates to a fun bike ride out on the open road with buddies. Over the weekend, we joined two-wheeler giant Honda Motorcycle & Scooter India for their latest customer experience initiative which reached out to their range of premium motorcycles owners. On an early Saturday morning, Honda organized their first fun ride in India for its superbike owners, who possessed either a CB1000R, CBR1000RR Fireblade, VT1300 CX Fury or a VFR 1200F, from Mumbai to Nashik. The initiative was so that Honda superbike owners could twist the throttle and experience the true performance of their bikes as well as have a chance to interact with the fellow Honda superbike owners.

As we started off from the Honda Wing World showroom in Andheri, Mumbai, the atmosphere surrounding us was thick with excitement as crowds gathered to have a peek at big bikes that were about to burn rubber and zoom off in a flash. Being astride a CBR 250R on the highway, I found it almost impossible to keep up with all 25 bikers. Out on the open highway, no matter how much the CBR 250R tried, it was no match for what its big brothers could churn out. After finally catching up with the other riders, we settled down for a nice lunch at Sula Vineyards in Nashik, which came after a safety briefing on how to ride a superbike properly and go for a round on a mini test track.

Y.S Guleria, Vice President, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India said, “Mumbai roads do not allow our owners to enjoy the ride on the superbike they possess. Honda in India focuses on safety riding as its business direction as we believe that safe riding training on these mean machines is equally important by giving the riders all possible safety tips to follow while riding on the road.”

Story: Rommel Albuquerque

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Honda’s Big Plans for the RCV 1000

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Honda look set to enthrall enthusiasts come EICMA 2013 later this year. Rumour has it that the Japanese marque will shed some light on the much-awaited RCV 1000 MotoGP replica. Ever since the RCV 1000 surfaced on the internet, there has been much talk regarding this amazing piece of machinery.

However, the RCV 1000 will be unlike any replica ever made; this bad boy is expected to come with a price tag of a whopping €100,000 ($133,500 / Rs 84.5 lakh). For this amount of money, Honda are set to deliver a bike with specs pretty close to those of the RC213V Dani Pedrosa and Marc Marquez are riding.

Although there has been no official news by Honda regarding the RCV 1000, few insiders claim that the masterpiece on two-wheels is already ready. All we can say is that we would have to wait until EICMA 2013 to see the RCV 1000 in all its grandeur.

Story: Sayem Syed

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Women Bikers Début at Raid De Himalaya

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Established in 1999, Raid De Himalaya is a yearly rally event that is executed under extreme duress brought about by the high altitudes of the Himalayan range. In the history of this precarious rally which features events for both two-wheelers and four-wheelers, participants have had to face up to a variety of hazardous circumstances such as the ever present temperatures that fall below 25°C, ice-covered roads, oxygen depravity at a heights of around 6000 metres above sea level, and natural calamities such as blizzards, earthquakes and snow-ins.

Clearly this race isn’t for those of the faint hearted, and this year, for the first time in the history of the rally, a woman rider, namely Sheetal Bidaye hailing form the city of Mumbai will participate in the experts only Moto-Quads rally, while a young 20-year-old student from Fergusson College, Pune, Kalyani Potekar, will compete in Raid Xtreme Alpine category which is for the newer, less experienced riders.

These courageous women will pit themselves against the elements, beginning their journey from Shimla, and traversing through the high mountain reaches of Khardung La and Wari La all the way through to Leh, where the rally comes to a close.

According to Vijay Parmar, President, Himalayan Motorsport, who are the event’s organisers, this journey will be fraught with challenges, he said, “The Wari La climb happens in 14 kilometres, while the Khardung La climb takes 32 kilometres. The descent is equally steep and rapid into the Nubra Valley. The challenge of the Raid lies in competitive driving at these impossible altitudes, which demand the best from both man and machine.”

The rally, that sees only a quarter of its competitors cross the finish line on an average, enters its 15th year and will run from the 4th to the 12th of October.

Story: Harket Suchde

Second TVS assembly line in Africa

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In a statement issued by company officials Indian two-wheeler brand TVS stated that its in plans to setup an assembly line in Uganda. TVS Motor Company has been present in the two wheeler segment in Uganda for about a decade and has around eight dealers offering sales and services. The Chennai-based firm is one of the largest exporters of two wheelers and three wheelers from India.

Speaking to the media TVS Motor Company President, K N Radhakrishnan, said the company has reaffirmed its commitment to the Ugandan customer with the opening of its distributor Yuvaraj International Uganda Ltd. He also added that the company also intends to launch two new motorcycle models during this period.

While addressing his views to the media Radhakrishnan said, “Uganda is a market with a large potential for two wheelers and with commencement of the assembly line and introduction of new products, we plan to reach 25 per cent market share within a year of commencing operation with our new distributor.”

Story: Sayem Parvez Syed

Two-wheeler sales decline 0.14% in July 2013


Though overall the two-wheeler industry saw a slowing trend, some manufactures reported strong sales. Here’s a gist from the industry.

Hero MotoCorp sold a total of 4,87,545 units in July 2013, up by 0.7% from 4,84,217 units in July 2012. The company recently launched operations in Kenya, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast and propose to commence operations in Peru in August 2013. The company also announced an investment of Rs 152 crores ($ 25 million) for a stake of 49.2% in its US-based partner Erik Buell Racing.

Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (HMSI) clocked a total of 2,87,177 units in July 2013, its highest monthly sales ever. Of this, motorcycle sales were 1,47,635 units (up by 35%) and scooter sales were 1,39,542 units (up by 8%). For April-July 2013, motorcycle sales rose by nearly 24% while scooter sales were up by 9.6%. HMSI now occupies the second position overall (domestic sales plus exports) and has a domestic market share of 24%.

Bajaj Auto sold a total of 2,46,828 motorcycles in July 2013, down by 20% from 3,08,858 in July 2012. For April-July 2013, motorcycle sales fell to 11,06,878 units, 14% lower than 12,91,481 units in the same period last year.

TVS Motor recorded total sales of 1,46,671 units in July 2013, down by 7.1% from 1,57,954 units in July 2012. Within this, motorcycle sales were up by 8% to 57,886 units from 53,355 units, and scooter sales were down by 9.7% to 36,900 units from 40,895 units. Exports grew to 20,140 units from 17,092 units in July 2012.

Yamaha Motor India reported a growth of 57% in sales during July 2013 as compared to the corresponding period last year. The company sold 37,494 units in July 2013 as against 27,858 units sold in July last year in the domestic market thereby registering a domestic sales growth of 35%. In the Export markets the company sold 20,657 units in July 2013 as compared to 9,135 units in the same month last year achieving a growth of 126%. The overall sales stood at 58,151 units in July 2013 while 36,993 units were sold in July 2012, thereby registering a 57% overall growth.

Story: Gaurav Nagpal

2013 Dream Yuga


Triumph coming to India by November 2013

Bonneville_mainThe iconic British motorcycle marque Triumph will soon be seen on Indian roads, as the company has just confirmed plans for a launch by November 2013. Speaking about the plans, Paul Stroud, Director Sales & Marketing (Global) for Triumph emphasised the importance of India for the company’s global strategy, and said that 2013 was a very important year for them. He mentioned that they had carefully studied the Indian market and were confident about their timing and efforts to provide a complete Triumph experience.

The company also announced the appointment of Vimal Sumbly as the Managing Director for India. Before Triumph, Vimal worked with Bajaj Auto Ltd as the General Manager Sales, and has nearly 16 years of work experience in automobiles. Vimal, an ardent biker himself, will take the lead on sales development and growth of Triumph in India.

Commenting on his new role, Vimal said that he was delighted at joining Triumph and believed the brand has a well-thought-out strategy for the Indian market. He reemphasised their commitment to develop “truly iconic motorcycles” that were distinctive in terms of looks, design and performance.

Triumph will be assembling some of its models in India at the CKD (Completely Knocked Down) facility, currently being completed at Manesar in Haryana. The company is scouting for dealer partners at various strategic locations in India to ensure the widest enjoyment of the Triumph experience. The company plans to provide genuine parts and after-sales services as well as authentic merchandise and accessories to cement this experience.

Story: Gaurav Nagpal