The Vespa Connection

Piaggio plans to redefine the scooter market in India with the new Vespa range

A few months back, Bike India broke the news of Italian two-wheeler conglomerate Piaggio relaunching the Vespa brand in India. And now, reports of sightings around the Piaggio plant in Pune suggests that the first scooter from the iconic Vespa stable to be launched in India will be the LX 125.

From its markedly retro design to the styling of its headlamps and horns, the LX 125 scooter bears all the characteristic Vespa design cues. Unlike most Indian scooters, but in keeping with the international Vespa tradition, there is no spare wheel at the back, just a minimalistic chrome grab rail instead. According to our sources, alloy wheels (both five and three spoked) and disc brakes are available, although it is not clear whether if they will be a part of standard equipment.

In its second Indian outing, Piaggio plans to peg the Vespa brand as a lifestyle brand that will be targeted solely at the fashion-conscious urban customer. Bring it on, we say.

New Kwaker coming … Godspeed

Kawasaki ZX-14This October will witness the green streak of the latest ZZR 1400

In the world of superbikes everyone from Japan to Italy is trying to make a motorcycle that would push the limits of speeds. Yet, many years ago superbikes started getting so quick that the manufacturers started limiting their top speed electronically. Since then, the battle for top speed is pretty much a moot point. Acceleration, engine size etc. have not been able to become the holy grail of superbike worship either. 

And continuing in this spirit, Kawasaki will be launching the latest big-daddy-of-everything-lime-green , the ZZR 1400 (or ZX-14 or ZX-14R) on October 10th of 2011. Kawasaki has maintained almost CIA like security and has not revealed any new info on the bike. It did however, release a lot of teaser videos for us to enjoy. Check them out on www.bikeindia.in.

 

Mahindra Stallio 2 be relaunched after Diwali

Mahindra StallioMahindra’s 2 Wheeler has decided to relaunch its bread and butter winner, the Stallio in November. The production of the motorcycle had been stopped in Feburary to sort out issues with the bike and it will be launched again after the festive season.

Mahindra also has announced that will be raising the prices of all their vehicles by 2% soon. While that have not announced the reason for this increase, we feel that the reason might lie in the natural inflation of money or rising advertising costs.

New Yamaha R15 2.0 price revealed

2011 Yamaha YZF R15 sideThe new redesigned 2011 Yamaha R15 2.0 will be available at Rs. 1.07Lacs (ex-showroom Delhi).

This was announced today at the bike’s launch in New Delhi today. Adhish Alwani was at Le Meridien covering the event.

 

 

The 2011 Yamaha R15 features:

  • New engine fairing
  • New 5 spoke alloy wheels
  • New look exhaust
  • New rear fender and tyre hugger
  • Split seat
  • All new tail lamp cluster
  • New graphics
  • New ECU mapping
  • Bigger 220mm rear disc
  • Rear tyre 130mm and front 90mm
  • Weight increased by 5kgs
  • Aluminium swingarm (First in 150cc bike category)
  • No changes in power and torque figures
  • Colours: Racing Blue, Midnight Black & Sunset Red
  • 4% less aerodynamic drag

2011 Yamaha YZF R15 back

2011 Yamaha YZF R15 back

KTM Duke 200 launched … in Malaysia

KTM Duke 200 launchThe Austrians have launched a bike that many Indians want, in Kuala Lampur

It’s a relief to see the bike in flesh after just having spy shots available for what seems like an eternity. The real pain is playing spot the difference between the 200cc and 125cc versions of the Duke.

Pricing is an aspect which would certainly bring a smile to the faces of Indian enthusiasts. With the affordable-performance range now starting at the low end with Pulsar 220 and ending with CBR 250 or Ninja 250, the Duke is expected to come up close to the Rs 1.1L mark, creating another sub price range. This, we feel is quite reasonable for a bike painted in orange, with supermoto capabilities made by a Dakar rally legend manufacturer.

The Duke 200 looks like it means business and has a purposefully design. The bike’s styling is in fact so provocative, the Malaysian Prime Minister who unveiled the bike couldn’t help but swing his leg over it, never mind the inhibitive clothing or the fact that he isn’t 16 years old.

The bike will be launched in India by the end of 2011 and we can’t wait to grab the handlebars of this one, so stay tuned for a Bike India ride report.

ST7 accessories coming soon

Hyosung ST7 AccessoriesAimed at making good-looking machines look even better.

The premium cruiser segment is catching up in the Indian two-wheeler market as never before. Today not only does the buyer have numerous options to pick from, but every bike maker is trying to woo him with goodies to make his ownership experience better. Following the same lines, Garware Hyosung have decided to deck up their cruiser ST7 with accessories that would make this good-looking machine look even better.

The set of accessories offered by the company include front windscreen visor, crash guards, leather tank pad, foot board, leather saddle bags and back-rest for the pillion. The bike’s branding has been used extensively over the accessories and since they are being imported currently, the whole set has been priced at Rs 1.25-1.5 lakh. The company says that it will try to bring the cost down in the near future.

Hyosung ST7 Accessories Back rest and Foot pad

 

Hyosung ST7 Accessories

White Honda CBR 1000RR 2012 “spotted”

2011 Honda CBR 1000RR WhiteHonda, seems to have a new marketing strategy. While most manufacturers let their bikes be “accidentally” clicked by “random” people while testing and generally roaming around, Honda has decided to do away with the blanket of secrecy. The new Honda 2012 has been found to be on display at a showroom in Hong Kong.

The bike doesn’t appear to have been given a major overhaul but rather just some nip and tucks. The big brother CBR gets new alloys, fairings and forks. The front designed has been enhanced and is sharper now. For the rider, the cool new display might come as a refreshing change.

Given the rising prices of superbikes, Honda might have an advantage by being able to under cut the competition with its price saving methods used to make the new CBR 1000RR. Of course, we can only confirm this once the bike is launched internationally. And yes, as always, we will let you know what the bike is all about once we get our hands on it. Meanwhile you can enjoy the video on www.bikeindia.in.

 

Polaris to launch ATV range on August 24th

Polaris ATVPolaris, the international “fun machines” maker, launched ATVs from its Sportsman, Ranger and Ranger RZR series along with Outlaw, a 50cc off-roader for kids that even the parents would love to ride.

The Sportsman range is what the Indian audience will be able to identify with as a regular ATV while the Ranger and Ranger RZR series look more like rugged golf carts with doors. The Minnesota based manufacturer is also quite serious on doing business here which is reflected by its 900cc engines. Previously, even the high performance 1000cc bikes which are well known in India and have a wide sales base here, have been skeptic and have taken a great deal of time to test the waters in the new market. Polaris, it seems, has taken the “go anywhere” spirit of the ATV culture to heart which we believe makes sense in this case because they are also bringing their luxury range of cruisers through their brand Victory motorcycles, to India in 2012. Bold move, we hope it works out well. We wish them best of luck.

Harley-Davidson drops the bomb on India

Harley Davidson Fat Boy Special silverHarley Davidson, the bad boy motorcycle manufacturer from hamburger land has launched its popular Fat Boy Special model here in India, taking to total number of available models to 15.

The bike is priced just below the 20Lac mark (ex. showroom Delhi) where it will compete with Yamaha V-Max and Ducati Diavel. The new bike sits lower than other HD in the market and is overall, a treat to ogle at.

 

The bookings for the bike will open this month and it can be ordered from any Harley Davidson showroom in India. To help make the purchase easier for customers, HD has also signed deals with HDFC and ICICI banks. The bike will be imported as a CBU while plans are drawn up to assemble more Harleys in the country itself.

With Victory motorcycles soon entering the small market of Indian luxury cruiser bikes, we can hope to see competition do what it does best, lower prices.

More Victory(ious) moments

Victory 8BallVictory motorcycles, the niche cruiser manufacturer has just upped the ante and announced its new range of 15 picture perfect motorcycles.The Cross Country bike gets a bigger sibling named Cross Country Tour and there’s also a new limited edition bike, the Cross Roads Classic LE, while the Victory Vision 8-ball will no longer be available.

Victory motorcycles are known to mass produce choppers that look like custom-made-bad-boy-bikes. It also has a range of bikes for the really long cruises which feature extended wind protection and enough luggage space to store the bodies of two policemen.

Victory motorcycles have already made up their mind to wreak havoc in the sparsely competitive market of upmarket cruisers in India. It will be up against its true blue American adversary, the mighty Harley Davidson. Since they are also developing a 500cc V-Twin engine for India, we expect neither side to go down without a fight.

We wish both of them luck. May the most hardcore criminal ride free.

Victory Vision