BMW F650GS Is Here

On- and off-roader bike has a 798-cc parallel twin engine

BMW Motorrad, the two-wheeler division of German car manufacturers BMW, recently launched the BMW F650 GS in the country. This 798-cc parallel twin on- and off-roader promises 72 PS of peak power and 75 Nm of maximum torque and weighs about 200 kg. It comes with a 19-inch front wheel and a 17-inch rear one, with disc brakes at both ends. The engine has been mated with a six-speed transmission and the bike has a telescopic suspension at the front and an adjustable mono-shock at the rear. ABS is an optional feature, which can also be switched off.

The BMW F650GS has been priced at Rs 9.99 lakh (ex-showroom, New Delhi). With the competitors in this segment being priced lower than this, the price of this Beemer sure sounds rather steep, but then it is most likely to attract a different set of customers too.

The Growth Curve

Mahindra Two Wheelers registers 7% growth, riding high on the success of Duro DZ scooter

Mahindra Two Wheelers Ltd (MTWL), a part of the US $14.4 billion Mahindra Group, continued to build its presence in the two wheeler segment. The company’s scooter sales in April 2012 stood at 10191 units, a growth of 7% over last year. The newly introduced Mahindra Duro DZ continued to receive great customer response across the country.

“We are really encouraged by the enthusiastic customer response that the new Mahindra Duro DZ continues to receive across the nation. Our future growth momentum will be driven by a range of similarly exciting, new product launches over the next few months.” said Mr. Viren Popli, Senior V.P. Strategy and Market Development, Mahindra Two Wheelers.

The cumulative sales for the company have crossed a landmark figure of three lakh units, with both the Rodeo and Duro scooter brands having a franchise of more than one lakh consumers across the country. Mahindra 2 Wheelers’ powerful 125 cc scooters cater to a range of consumer segments. The Mahindra Rodeo with its very innovative, contemporary features is popular amongst young couples, while the Mahindra Duro DZ is positioned as a solid family scooter. The Flyte is the Indian woman’s two-wheeler of choice.

Shining Colours

Honda CB Shine gets new clothes

HMSI is strengthening its market position in the 125cc motorcycle segment by unveiled the refreshed look of its popular CB Shine. The CB Shine now comes in 2 new colours – Force Silver Metallic and Monsoon Grey Metallic. CB Shine however will continue to be available in its existing colours – Black, Geny Grey Metallic and Rebel Red Metallic and now comes with new graphics on the fuel tank. In its refreshed avatar, the new CB Shine will soon be available in 3 variants: Spoke wheels with drum brakes (with tuff-up tube), Alloy wheels with drum brakes (with tubeless tyres) and Alloy wheels with Disc brakes (with tubeless tyres). The new look is bound to bring in the breed of bikers who are out for a sporty looking bike which gives good mileage and not to forget the all important front disc brake option.

Muscles and Brawn

Salman Khan becomes Suzuki brand ambassador

Suzuki Motorcycle India Private Limited (SMIPL) today announced Salman Khan as its first ever brand ambassador in India. The ‘Dabangg’ star with a massive fan-following will spearhead Suzuki’s above-the-line and below-the-line initiatives, and will be seen endorsing the new Hayate motorcycle soon.

Suzuki two-wheelers will be looking at associating with Salman Khan across the gamut of his projects, campaigns and initiatives. With the recent aggressive product launches that provides customers a choice in each segment, Suzuki two-wheelers has embarked on a journey of ramping up its presence and relationships across the country and market segments. For Suzuki two-wheelers, the iconic status of Salman Khan and his national, cross-market, cross-segment appeal combined well with the Company’s recently adopted brand theme of Apna Way of Life.

Mr. Atul Gupta, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, SMIPL, said, “We are delighted to have Mr Salman Khan associating with one of the world’s most iconic two-wheeler brands. We believe that Suzuki and Salman together will make an emotional connect with all sections of customers that Suzuki’s range of two-wheelers reaches out to. The association with Salman was driven by the imperative of quickly building a strong connection between the Suzuki two-wheeler brand and the different segments that our expanding range of products is addressing.”

Vespa LX 125 Photo Feature

Vespa is poised to make their second foray into the Indian scooter market, come April 26th. We have ridden their first offering, the LX 125, and are working on our ride report, to be featured in the May 2012 issue of BI. In the meantime, feast your eyes on these pictures.























The Girl with the Dragon Motorcycle

Full details about Lisbeth Salander’s motorcycle in TGWTDT finally emerge

It is a truth generally acknowledged that whenever Europe or Asia comes up with an excellent film, Hollywood will usually follow suit with a high-budget remake and completely ruin the original’s reputation. Not such with David Fincher, the director of several cult movies like Seven, Zodiac and Fight Club. Fincher’s attention to detail and obsession to every minute aspect of his prop pieces is legendary and his latest remake of Stieg Larsson’s acclaimed masterpiece, The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo is an apt example. Now, thanks to our friends over at BikeExif, we have some details on how the cafe-racer (ridden by Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander) that played a pivotal part in the movie was developed.

The bikes here are three late 1960s Honda CB 350s, coml,etely stripped to the bone and rebuilt to the director’s specifications by noted customiser, Justin Kell of Glory Motor Works in LA. All three CBs were restored, stripped, cleaned, re-painting, powder-coated, polished and cadmium plated for the shots. Since the shots called for good lighting, HID headlamps were fitted in the bike. Things like clutches, brakes, wiring harness and spokes were replaced and the engine was given everything new to the bits, even new valve job, pistons and rings. The carburetters were rebuilt and fuel tanks were stripped and relined. Flat track style seats were installed, covered in vintage glove leather.

All this labor showed good results in the movie, we know. After all it ain’t easy to make an old lady look the same age as a young damsel. Watch the final result here and you will agree.

Military Chic!

Ducati launches special edition Monster in collaboration with fashion giant, Diesel

If the German car-maker Audi goes ahead with its plans of buying Ducati, who knows, there may be a TDI engine powered Duke in the future. For now, check out this special edition Monster launched by the Italian marquee recently.

Diesel is an Italian clothing brand most famous for their denims. Diesel has been associated with Ducati since last year as their MotoGP team sponsor. Taking the partnership forward, Ducati has launched the special edition of their Monster 1100EVO naked street-bike called the ‘Monster Diesel’.

It has military green body panels in matte finish and yellow brake callipers on the front disc rotors while the footpegs, seat, wheels, exhaust and even the trellis chassis are all painted in black. Also, the exhaust heat shield and the seat have ribbed design. Diesel on their part have launched a special collection of riding gear and accessories under the ‘Capsule collection’. The Monster Diesel was unveiled at the Diesel store in New York city, USA recently but will arrive in Ducati showrooms only by July this year.

A Special Triumph

Triumph launches special-edition Bonneville

To celebrate 110 years of making motorcycles, Triumph has just unveiled the 110th Anniversary Special Bonneville, which will be limited to 1,000 units priced at Rs.590,000 approx. (in the UK). Each anniversary model will come with a special numbered plaque on the handlebar clamp, as well as a numbered certificate.

This Anniversary Special bike was inspired by the 1902 No.1 model, and sports a unique anniversary crest, conceptualized by the early Triumph tank badges and a retro-inspired Brooklands green and aluminum silver paint scheme.

The 10th Anniversary Special Edition Bonnevilles are expected to reach showrooms in April in the UK.

Harley Davidson designer retires

Willie G. Davidson Senior Vice President and Chief Styling Officer, is retiring from Harley-Davidson after 49 years of working at his namesake company as head of styling

April 30, 2012 will be his last day at the office where legendary work in the world of motorcycling and motorcycle design came alive. He will continue being a part of the company as an ambassador at motorcycle rallies and events, and through special design projects as Chief Styling Officer.

Over the course of his career, Willie G., now 78yrs, revitalized the design team at Harley-Davidson which gave the company unrivaled leadership in custom, cruiser and touring motorcycles. Today, the styling department is led by 19-year company veteran Ray Drea, Vice President and Director of Styling, who has worked with Willie G. in the development of numerous milestone vehicles.

Grandson of one of the company’s founders, William A. Davidson, and son of William H. Davidson, its second president, Willie G. had joined the company as its first head of styling in 1963. With a lot of responsibility on his shoulders for the look of all Harley-Davidson motorcycles, landmark motorcycles started emerging from Willie G’s styling studio. The list includes the Super Glide, Low Rider, Heritage Softail Classic, Fat Boy, V-Rod and Street Glide.

Willie G. has long served as ambassador of Harley-Davidson at rallies around the world – meeting riders, talking to customers, lending his famous signature to jackets and other apparel. We hope he continues to do the same for years to come.

2012 Honda CBR 250R launched

Honda CBR 250R - Pearl Heron Blue tri-colourAs we predicted Honda officially launched the 2012 CBR 250R in India today

Yes, the bike now is offered in the ‘Pearl Heron Blue’ sporty tri-color option in addition to the two existing dual-tone colour options – Candy Ruby Red and Asteroid Black Metallic. No, unfortunately, there is no spike in power or performance, as Honda still delivers 25.3PS power and 22.9 Nm torque. Sigh.

The ‘new’ CBR 250R Standard is priced at Rs. 1.44 lakh and Rs. 1.69 lakh (ex-showroom New Delhi) for the C-ABS version. You have to shell out another grand for the new tri-colour option. The 2012 bikes will be available at all Honda dealerships starting early March, 2012.