BMW Motorrad clocks the 2 million mark

Chris Pfeiffer celebrates with burnout action

BMW Motorrad celebrated the production of its two millionth unit at the Berlin Spandau plant since its inception in 1969. The company has expanded its markets across 130 countries over the four decades. The Bavarian manufacturer celebrated the event with a special edition R1200GS, unveiled by the popular stunt rider Chris Pfeiffer and a stunt show on his BMW F 800 R. An enthusiastic Chris ended the event with a burnout spelling out ‘20000000’. BMW, with a daily production of up to 510 units, has gotten the Spandau plant very busy. The humble beginnings in 1969 recorded an annual production of 12,000. With fresh new models like the S1000 RR and the luxury tourer K1600 GT the figure has risen to 97,076 units in 2010.

Words: Aniruddha Mulgund

Hero Honda to be renamed Hero Moto

Hero group applies for a name change

As their first step after the spilt from their 20-year old venture with Honda Japan, Hero group has applied for a name change from Hero Honda to Hero Moto. As per further information, the brands under this group will however remain unchanged. The name change process is likely to take about two months’ time.

Words: Gasha Aeri

 

Hero Electric Goes West

 

Electrovaya and Hero Electric showcase electric scooters for the North American market

 

Hero Electric recently augmented their collaboration with Electrovaya Inc., the Canada-based manufacturer of Lithium Ion SuperPolymer batteries. As part of this collaboration, Hero Electric showcased its electric scooters, powered by Electrovaya batteries, at the recently-concluded International Spring Motorcycle Show in Toronto. Hero Electric has also developed two electric scooters unique to the North American market, the Zion and Optima Plus. The Hero Group subsidiary plans to start selling electric scooters fitted with Electrovaya’s Li-ion batteries in the Canadian market in the third quarter of 2011. According to Sohinder Gill, CEO of Hero Electric, the scooters will initially be marketed in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the distribution network will thereafter be expanded to most of the critical markets in Canada.

“Hero Electric is an established company with a solid brand reputation in an industry that will see its share within the transportation market grow as the price of oil continues to rise,” said Dr. Sankar Das Gupta, CEO of Electrovaya Inc. “Our Lithium Ion Super Polymer battery technology is an ideal fit for the two-wheeler electric vehicle model because of its scalability, efficiency and green NMP-free production process.”

 

Words: Saeed Akhtar

Red repartee

 

Bike India meets the Ducati top bosses at the Diavel Asia launch in China

 

Italian sportsbike maker Ducati has been expanding its brand presence in India steadily in the last few years. It currently has three dealerships in the country and has launched most of its motorcyles here. We met the brand’s top management at the Asian launch of their latest offering, the Diavel that isexpected to be launched in India anytime now with a pricetag of around Rs 20 lakh. The Diavel is Ducati’s first cruiser, sharing its engine with their flagship 1198 Superbike. Like every other manufacturer, Ducati is also excited about the growing Indian market. They have a brand image as an exotic Italian bike marquee and want to cash in on the strong motorcycle culture in India. However, Ducati will only sell premium, taking into consideration that they have hardly any niche left in the volume segment that is dominated by the Japanese. They want to stay true to their L-twin engine-Trellis frame formula, offering only their global products here. However, to improve their position in Asia, Ducati is setting up a production plant in Thailand which will be operational by the end of this year. This will reduce the prices of their bikes in India due to the free trade agreement (FTA) between the two countries.

 

Words: Piyush Sonsale

Hero Honda investing in its solo future

 

Big budget deals and makeover in progress

 

Japanese motorcycle giant Honda is making profit from their ex-joint venture Hero Honda even post break-up. Honda first sold their stake in the joint venture to their partner Hero group for almost Rs 4,000 crore last December. Hero however, is still dependent on Honda for technology. So as an immediate measure, Hero has struck a deal with Honda where the former will produce the Honda engines for their existing products under a licence till June 2014. Hero will pay around Rs 2,350 crore for the same over the course of the deal as royalty to Honda! On the other hand, Hero is now focusing on their solo run in the Indian motorcycle market where they are currently the leaders. It has hired a UK based creative agency Law and Kenneth to create a new brand identity and its communication, along with another international firm Wolff Olins for the same job. Hero wants to revamp their brand completely and though allowed by Honda to retain their name till 2014, want to change the brand name and logo to suit their new strategies.

 

Words: Piyush Sonsale

Made In India

BMW bikes to sport Hero gearboxes

Hero Motors recently signed an agreement with BMW Motors, under which the former will become sole supplier of gearboxes to BMW Motorrad, the two-wheeler arm of BMW Motors. Hero would be developing motorcycle gearboxes both for domestic and international markets.

The deal would be valid for a timespan of four or five years, depending on the transmissions sourced for different products by BMW Motorrad. Pankaj Munjal, managing director, Hero Motors, said, “We have developed the gearbox ourselves. Usually, components such as engines and transmissions are made by the company itself, as they involve advanced technology. We have achieved the expertise. BMW Motorrad will source gearboxes from us for products it sells globally.” “That Europe is the best place for sourcing components is not necessarily correct. The landscape is changing. Our transmission business, for one, has been growing over 70% a year for the last few years, he added. 

Hero Motors is part of the Hero Group business conglomerate that is worth around $4.5-billion globally.

Words: Saeed Akhtar

New CBZ Xtreme

Launched with a face-lift

 

Hero Honda have introduced a face-lifted version of their 150-cc commuter, CBZ Xtreme. Apart from the following cosmetic changes, there is no change in the 149.2-cc, single cylinder air-cooled engine of the bike.

 

  1. Digital- analog combo instrument cluster

  2. Ignition shutter

  3. Side-fairing on fuel tank with new graphics

  4. New 5-spokes alloys

  5. Front and rear disc brakes

  6. LED tail lamp

  7. New rear shockers

  8. Exhaust shield

  9. Clip-ons

  10. Step pillion seat

  11. Undercowl for engine

 

The new Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme has been priced at Rs 72247 and Rs. 68942 (OTR, Delhi and Mumbai respectively).

 

Words: Gasha Aeri

Garware Motors launches Hyosung super bikes in India

Bikes to be available in 5 cities; bookings open now!

Bike fanatics in India have a reason to rejoice as Garware Motors along with S&T Motors today announced the launch of two new super bikes – GT650R and ST7. The GT650R fully faired sports bike is priced at Rs. 4,75,000 (ex-showroom-Delhi) for single tone colour and Rs. 4,90,000 (ex-showroom-Delhi) for the dual tone colour, whereas ST7, a 700cc cruiser, is priced at Rs. 5,69,000 (ex-showroom-Delhi). Deliveries of these bikes will start by mid of June.

The bikes were unveiled by Ms Diya Garware – MD of Garware Motors and Dr. Taekwon Kim, President S & T Motors Corporation.

Garware Motors will open bookings for these bikes from April 20, 2011 and will be initially available in five cities – Pune, Mumbai, NCR, Bangalore and Goa. The dealers appointed will be the sole retailers for Garware-Hyosung motorcycles, genuine parts and accessories and will operate authorized service centers across all cities in India. Garware Motors has plans to open 5 more dealerships in Hyderabad, Cochin, Chennai, Ahmedabad & Chandigarh within next 2 months. During this introductory period offer, customers also get a ‘Welcome Kit’ which consists of a helmet, performance T Shirt, cool Glares, Leather Key chain & a Garware- Hyosung cap.

Garware Motors has also tied up with HDFC bank, India’s leading financier of two wheelers. HDFC bank would be providing retail finance to Hyosung customers at very attractive rates.

TVS’ shining StaR

TVS StaR crosses 30 lakh mark

TVS Motor Company recently announced that their 100-cc commuter TVS StaR has crossed the 30 lakh unit sales mark since its inception in 2004. TVS offers ‘TVS Assurance’ a 5-year, 50,000 km warranty on TVS Star range of bike, which includes Star, Star City and Star Sport.

Moreover, the successful and dependable captain who led the the Indian Cricket team to become the world champion, MS Dhoni, makes an inspiring brand ambassador for the popular city commuter.

Words: Gasha Aeri

InterGlobe ushers Vyrus, Hollister and Grinnall to India

InterGlobe Aviation, popularly known as owners of Indigo Airlines, brings in Vyrus, Hollister custombikes and Grinnall trikes to India

InterGlobe General Aviation transfigured its identity as InterGlobe Established Products PrivateLimited – THE ESTD and has brought a bunch of luxury and lifestyle products for the growingpopulation of high net worth individuals (HNIs) in India. The portfolio includes Italy based Vyrusbikes, Germany based Hollister Custom Motorcycles and U.K. based Grinnall. Nigel Harwood,President and CEO, THE ESTD, informed that he wishes to cater to the growing number of youngHNIs in India who seek thrill and adventure by representing a number of global luxury productmanufacturers in the country. Commenting on the arrival of Hollister bikes in the country, Harwoodannouced that its time for the current Harley Davidson bike owners in India to switch over to evenheavier Hollister custom motorcycles. Volker Sichler of Hollister Motorcycles expressed his happinessover being represented in India under the brand, THE ESTD. He disclosed that around 90 percentHarley owners in Europe spend an average of 10,000 euros in customising their bikes besides the costof the bikes. A handmade, base model of Hollister custom bike costs roughly 30,000 euros in Germany.Hollister displayed their Custom Twin Special which sported a stretched 16 liter fuel tank with a singleseat. According to Sichler, the bike could be customised and delivered to the customers in India within6 months of order. The Custom Twin Special is likely to cost over Rs 38 lakh including the importduties.

 

 

Also on the display was a Vyrus. They are known as a small scale sports bike manufacturer whichproduces only 2 models namely 984 and 985. The maker sources engines from Ducati (a 2 valve 992 ccand a 4 valve 999 cc for 984 and 985 respectively, both mated to a 6 speed gear box). Both the modelswould be available for sales in India and are expected to cost over Rs 20 lakh. Further, the brand wouldalso represent Grinnall trikes in India which are known to be built using engines from BMW. The trikescome with the options of 2 front wheels and a rear wheel as well as 1 front wheel and 2 rear wheels.Besides the bikes, brand The ESTD would also offer select super cars such as Koenigsegg, Gumpert,Deronda and luxury yachts and boats.

 

Words: Amit Panday