Royal Enfield headed westwards

The Chennai based company is all set to enter the Brazilian market

Royal Enfield, the classic Indian motorcycle manufacturer has a strong desire to enter the Latin American market and wishes to begin this venture with Brazil. The company is apparently in talks with various contract manufacturers in Brazil. RE is looking for a contract manufacturer as the company doesn’t want to raise the stakes too high and enter an unknown market all by themselves. The Brazilian two-wheeler market is approximately 6-7million units a year and it would benefit RE if they enter this market. This venture will also help them to create a bigger footprint the world of two-wheelers. However, the company has not released any information confirming these plans. But we expect RE to do it shortly.

Words: Ravi Chandnani

Royal Enfield aiming high

A twin-cylinder engine bike on the anvil

 

 

Come 2013 and we might be able to see a twin-cylinder machine bearing the Royal Enfield marque. Though it may sound difficult to believe, the Chennai-based motorcycle company is said to be working on such a bike. The big bike is apparently in the concept phase and the company hopes to finish it by 2013. Along with the twin-cylinder engine bike the company will also roll out a new avatar of the Thunderbird and a new range of bikes with café racer-inspired styling. It seems that Royal Enfield are viewing Harley-Davidson as a threat now and are gearing up to compete with the American legend.

Words: Ravi Chandnani

Aprilia RSV4 Superbike unveiled in India

Piaggio showcases the spectacular line up of its global two wheelers

 

Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd., the Indian subsidiary of Piaggio & C s.p.a. of Italy, today unveiled the superbike Aprilia RSV4 Factory at the Mumbai International Motor Show along with the original, iconic scooter Vespa LX 125. Aprilia has been a part of the Piaggio Group since 2004 and the Aprilia RSV4 Factory is the flagship from the Aprilia stable. Its super compact 180 HP, 999.6 cc, 65° V-four cylinder engine is designed for maximum power and uses ride-by-wire multimap technology and a sophisticated electronic injection system with 2 injectors and adjustable height ducts for superior performance. All four variants of the RSV4 will be on sale here, and prices will start from Rs. 13 lakh for the base version, going upto 18 lakh for the fully-loaded models. Piaggio also showcased the Vespa LX 125 at MIMS to give buyers a foretaste of what to expect when the iconic Vespa brand hits Indian roads next year.

Speaking at the ocassion, Mr. Ravi Chopra, Chairman and Managing Director of Piaggio Vehicles Pvt. Ltd. Stated, “Piaggio India is proud to unveil the superbike Aprilia RSV4 in India. This bike is a living example of the technological superiority that Piaggio offers to consumers across the globe. We are in the process of bringing our global line-up of highly successful superbikes to India. We believe that today’s young and mobile Indian has a strong appetite for powerful bikes, and we see immense potential for Aprilia in India. This bike has set world racing tracks ablaze with it sheer power and technology and it will hit Indian roads soon. We are also looking forward to the launch of the iconic Vespa in the country soon. The Vespa LX 125 is much more than a scooter – it’s the original, timeless 2-wheeler that has become a “way of life” in market after market around the world”.

 

Hamara Pulsar, Hamara Discover

Bajaj to drop its name; retain only the core models’ names

 

 The brand that gave India the slogan ‘Hamara Bajaj’, a catchphrase synonymous with a whole generation, will cease to exist come April this year. Bajaj Auto Managing Director Rajiv Bajaj recently stated his intention to remove the Bajaj brand and, in its place, establish its top-selling Pulsar and Discover as separate brands in their their own light. This is not an unusual move for brands in European and foreign countries but will certainly be a first for Indian automotive manufacturers who rely on family names for their product range (read TVS, Mahindra and Tata).

“Actually I don’t want that (Bajaj) name. We have already started the process so today on a Pulsar, the Bajaj name is seen only on the engine. The same is the case with Discover. Our three-wheeler has Bajaj in small font while the initial ‘RE’ is in much bigger font. One day, We will drop the Bajaj name from there also completely”, Rajiv Bajaj disclosed in a recent interview. “Consumers know that the product is coming from Bajaj, just like I know my Audi is coming from Volkswagen. But there is no Volkswagen on the Audi product. This creates a perception that there is something more in the product”, he added.

The project is spearheaded by Fitch, the international design agency that have collaborated with brands as diverse as Aditya Birla Group, Boeing, Reliance ADAG, Tata and Microsoft in the past.

Words: Saeed Akhtar

Face/Off

 Two of the world’s greatest racing personalities come together for an epic duel. On ice.

 

 

You might not have heard of it before but Ducati and Ferrari has an annual event, somewhere up in the Dolomites mountains in Northern Italy, wherein the racing arms of both the manufacturers launch their latest team lineups and jointly share the limelight. And this year, the Wrooom Ferrari & Ducati Press Ski Meeting (that’s what the event is called) will play host to a traditional ice race between Valentino Rossi and Fernando Alonso. Ducati MotoGP team manager Vittoriano Guareschi has revealed that Rossi is fit enough to race the former F1 world champion at this year’s ‘Wrooom’ event, to be held on January 10th. Guareschi also allayed all apprehensions about Rossi’s fitness, specifically his recent shoulder injury, saying that the World Champion has recuperated and is in perfect condition for the coming MotoGP season.

This year’s Wrooom event will also give the Ducatisti their first opportunity to view the new Marlboro Ducati livery and the first public appearance of Rossi in red leathers.

Words: Saeed Akhtar

New motorcycle norm

Motorcycles to be EMC – Compliant

Recently the Ministry of Surface Transport and Ministry of Road Transport and Highways announced a new norm according to which all new models that are to be introduced in the market will have be EMC (Electromagnetic) compliant. This norm will ensure that the electromagnetic waves emitted by a two wheeler is under admissible limit and doesn’t interfere with any electronic controllers that are present on it. This EMC norm came into force from January 1st and 70% of the current two-wheelers in the market have already been tested for it at the EMC Tech Center. The ministry has also said that vehicle manufacturers have to come up with a system in order to meet the standards.

Words: Ravi Chandnani