TVS launches Max 4R LX

TVS ups the Max 4R with a sturdier makeover


The recently launched Max 4R from TVS has undergone a few changes and a sturdier variant has been launched in the form of the Max 4R LX. The new variant is aimed at the rural commuter and will be powered by the same 109.4 cc engine. The minor changes will include a better cushioned seat and  changes in the handling and safety features along with an optional mobile charger on the go. The commuter will be priced at Rs. 39,090/- and will be available at all TVS outlets across Maharashtra.

Words: Aniruddha Mulgund

Elec-Trans announce ‘rent-a-bike’ campaign in Pune

Elec-Trans announce ‘rent-a-bike’ campaign in Pune.

Pune goes green with electric bike rentals.

Elec-Trans announce ‘rent-a-bike’ campaign in Pune.

Pune goes green with electric bike rentals.

ET Elec trans Ltd. has announced the ‘rent –a- bike’ campaign in the city of Pune. For the first phase the company has appointed three franchisees in the city and will be renting out 50 bikes. The electric bikes will be powered by a 750 hp motor and will be completely eco friendly.  If all the formalities will be completed by the Region Transport Authorities (RTA) the services will be available from 29th May itself. Bikes will be charged on per minute basis.

Although bike rentals have been available in Goa, Kerala and Himachal Pradesh for quite some time, the concept of electric bikes in a city is unique and purpose oriented. Hopefully, the concept will be adopted in other cities across the country where personalized mobility is preferred.

Words: Aniruddha Mulgund

Royal Enfield makes a mark globally

6 % of sales expected from global sales by 2012

Royal Enfield makes a mark globally

6 % of sales expected from global sales by 2012

In the last 5 years, Royal Enfield has made significant strides in the global market. From North America to Europe in the West and Japan to Australia in the East, today Royal Enfield has pride of place across the globe. By 2012, Royal Enfield’s export would contribute around 6 per cent to its annual sales and find its presence in more than 40 countries around the world. In 2010 Royal Enfield was ranked among the top 10 selling motorcycle brands in UK in the 125-500 cc category and after reviewing the available models at the Progressive International Motorcycle Show in New York in January 2011, Popular Mechanics has ranked the Royal Enfield Classic Chrome and Bullet 500 among its Top 10 picks from the show. It has also found a place in Celebrity talk show host Jay Leno’s garage

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