Hero Electric to enter European markets

The Indian electric vehicle manufacturer plans on introducing Europe-Only bikes

 

 

Hero Electric, one of India’s leading electric two wheeler manufacturer is all set to enter the European market by 2012. For this, Hero is developing electric bikes that utilize Hero’s in house technical expertise along with technology support from a Taiwanese Firm. The company plans on manufacturing the bikes in India and then exporting them to Europe. These bikes will only be available in the European market and not in the domestic market. The launch is expected to happen within a years time and apparently the company is in talks with distributors in Europe. After which the bikes will be sent for homologation process to various countries in Europe. Pricing and other specification of the bike have not been revealed yet. The company is excited about entering a new and big market however, theyare also expecting low sales initially.

 

Words: Ravi Chandnani

Segway to hit Indian shores

The personal transport maker introduces the x2 and i2 in the country

A word that best describes the current state of Indian automobile market really well is – BUZZING!
Almost every week a new player enters this market by introducing its product to woo a fraction of the 1.2 billion Indians. Segway Inc. the US based personal mobile vehicle maker is the latest firm docking at the Indian shores. The firm makes zero-emission, battery operated two-wheelers on which a person stands and can zip around narrow indoor paths or out-doors, at a max speed of around 25 km/h. You might remember it from the Mall Cop movie.

This could be an ideal toy of the spoilt rich brats as it has a steep price of over Rs 3 lakh, making it out of reach for most of us. Now, why would a flourishing US firm enter a market at the other end of the globe? Obviously, Segway sees some sizable profit in India and the spoilt brats make up just a fraction of their target audience. According to Jason G Barton, Vice President, Worldwide Sales, Segway Inc. says that the company’s focus will be on commercial usage and for policing where it sees tremendous potential. These vehicles can be of high practical utility at places like the Special Economic Zones (SEZ), airports, golf courses, malls and large factories. You know, just like Paul Blart did in Mall Cop.

The US firm has tied up with Bird Group of Companies, which is into high-end retail covering BMW cars to luxury yachts. Ankur Bhatia, Executive Director, Bird Group, said that its prime target would be commercial establishments and the firm will also offer it on lease. The fun and practical Segways will be imported from New Hampshire near Boston the Indian partner will display and market it through its 30 centres across the country. To start with Segway will offer base models namely the x2 and i2. As these pictures suggest, the i2 the saner of the two apt for indoor use, while the more rugged x2 can be used outdoors. The fun two-wheelers are now available in India. Now, it’s too short a notice to save that big an amount. Guess we have to join the security force of an upmarket mall to get you a ride report.

Words: Sarmad Kadiri

2011 Karizma R

Hero Honda tweaks the 223cc bike to keep it fresh

India’s leading two-wheeler maker, Hero Honda has giving a minor face-lift to the Karizma-R. We are not sure if we can call it ‘new’ but the pictures below highlight some of the visible changes. The price and engine specs remain unchanged.

Words: Sarmad Kadiri

KTM’s future plans

Dutch magazine spill the beans on KTM’s strategy for the next two years

Recently, our friends from Nieuwsmotor.nl visited the KTM headquarters in Mattighofen, Austria, and went back home with some very interesting tidbits, skillfully gleaned out of Robert Prielinger, head of R&D for KTM’s streetbikes. We have the extract here.

According to Prielinger, KTM will launch all-new versions of the Super Duke and Adventure bikes in 2012, which will be fitted with brand-new twin-cylinder engines. The 2012/2013 KTM Super Duke is likely to be a very high-tech machine, with a 1200cc V-twin and advanced electronics, including sports-ABS, traction control and ride-by-wire technologies. The off-road-oriented 2012 Adventure would be available with at least two engine sizes – 1200cc/1000cc and 700cc/800cc. Next year, the KTM Duke 690 may be replaced with the Duke 700, fitted with a revised single-cylinder engine and revamped styling. There might also be a more expensive ‘R’ version of the Duke 700, with higher-spec components.

KTM, in collaboration with Bajaj who now owns more than a third of it, will also continue to develop smaller streetbikes for India and other Asian markets and some of these bikes will also make their way to Europe by mid-2011. The two companies have started working in close coordination in the area of technology development. In fact, the 2011 RC8R even uses dual spark plugs in each of its cylinder heads, which is a development of Bajaj’s patented DTSi technology. The two companies will continue to develop small capacity single- and twin-cylinder motorcycle engines for Asian markets, while Bajaj will also introduce the KTM brand in India shortly, which is the world’s second largest motorcycle market.

 

Words: Saeed Akhtar

New CEO astride Royal Enfield

Dr. Venki Padmanabhan takes the riding seat as R. L Ravichandran moves on to the Eicher Board

Royal Enfield Motors, manufacturer of the iconic Bullet motorcycle has announced the appointment of Dr. Venki Padmanabhan as the company’s new Chief Executive Officer. The motorcycle maker has in the recent years strengthened their brand image in India and internationally by their witty commercials and bike rides. Dr. Padmanabhan will have the task of taking this to the next step.

Dr. Padmanabhan first joined Royal Enfield two years ago, acting as COO under marketing wizard CEO R.L. Ravichandran. During that time, the company posted a 21-percent growth in sales volume, 54-percent growth in sales turnover and a return to two digit profitability. Prior to joining Royal Enfield, Dr. Padmanabhan, a citizen of the United States and an Overseas Citizen of India, was Managing Director of Chrysler’s South East Asia Global Sourcing Office based in Chennai, India and responsible for $1 billion worth of material sourced to its parent manufacturing units in the United States.

Words: Sarmad Kadiri

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

The Doctor returns

Rossi hopes to be fully fit before the Malaysian official test

Seventy-three days after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder, The Doctor returned to the track at Misano Adriatico aboard a Ducati 1198 Superbike. The purpose of the test was to ascertain the status of his shoulder which, though recovering nicely, is still quite painful, just a few days ahead of the first test in Malaysia with the Desmosedici GP11.

“First of all, thanks to Filippo (Preziosi) and to Ducati, who organized this test,” said Valentino Rossi. “Misano Circuit let us use the track on a day when Mattia (Pasini) was planning to ride in order to confirm his own condition. The track more or less confirmed what we expected: the shoulder is painful—especially under braking, when the front area hurts, where they stitched the tendon. Movement is stable enough, and we’re also doing not so bad with endurance, but apart from that, it hurts a lot and isn’t very strong. Let’s hope it gets a little better in these next few days before the test in Malaysia. Once we’re there, we’ll work with the riding position in an effort to make the most of the situation and collect important information with the Desmosedici, even though I’m not in top form. Today I did a total of 25 laps on the 1198 Superbike, which is sort of a ‘historic’ motorcycle for Ducati: beautiful and fast. I liked it!”

 

Here’s wishing Rossi all the best for the upcoming MotoGP season.

The Doctor returns

Rossi hopes to be fully fit before the Malaysian official test

Seventy-three days after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder, The Doctor returned to the track at Misano Adriatico aboard a Ducati 1198 Superbike. The purpose of the test was to ascertain the status of his shoulder which, though recovering nicely, is still quite painful, just a few days ahead of the first test in Malaysia with the Desmosedici GP11.

“First of all, thanks to Filippo (Preziosi) and to Ducati, who organized this test,” said Valentino Rossi. “Misano Circuit let us use the track on a day when Mattia (Pasini) was planning to ride in order to confirm his own condition. The track more or less confirmed what we expected: the shoulder is painful—especially under braking, when the front area hurts, where they stitched the tendon. Movement is stable enough, and we’re also doing not so bad with endurance, but apart from that, it hurts a lot and isn’t very strong. Let’s hope it gets a little better in these next few days before the test in Malaysia. Once we’re there, we’ll work with the riding position in an effort to make the most of the situation and collect important information with the Desmosedici, even though I’m not in top form. Today I did a total of 25 laps on the 1198 Superbike, which is sort of a ‘historic’ motorcycle for Ducati: beautiful and fast. I liked it!”

 

Here’s wishing Rossi all the best for the upcoming MotoGP season.

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

Royal ride for charity

Prince William planning a motorcycle ride in India

 

They won’t have been married long, but Prince William, the elder son of the Prince of Wales and the late Princess Diana, will be getting away from his new bride sooner than expected as he plans a royal bike ride round India. 

According to our international correspondents, Prince William is planning another charity motorcycle trip after the success of his last 1,500-kilometre trip around Africa in 2008. As of now we do not have information about the route or the bike the Prince would be riding. This trip will be organised in association with Swinton Bike Insurance of the UK and the company says that the prince has more to prepare for than just for his wedding, as a trip of this magnitude requires a lot of hard work.

Words: Sarmad Kadiri