Year 2014 holds lot of promise for the Indian scooter enthusiasts. The rapidly maturing two wheeler segment will witness the release of considerable bike and scooter models from all categories, ranging from small displacement scooters (for the fairer sex) to larger displacement super bikes and cruisers to quarter liter entry level performance bikes (for the boys). One of the major factor that affects the sale of these new launch models in India will be pricing. India being a cost sensitive market, to charm the heart of the buyers, manufacturers are outshining each other to deliver successful products making this situation perfect for the motorcycle enthusiasts as competition aids in the release of better quality products. So, we bring you the five upcoming scooter launches that are expected to launch in India in 2014:
1) Honda 110 cc Scooter
Honda will be unveiling another 110 cc scooter soon, their fourth scooter in the segment, to further consolidate their position in the Indian Scooter market. The Japanese marque was rumored to launch a more powerful scooter with a 125 cc engine, but in order to keep to keep costs low with engine sharing and further bring in the volumes and profits. The new scooter is codenamed K24A and will be made at the company’s new Manesar plant. The scooter will be powered by a 109 cc single cylinder engine using Honda’s HET (Honda Eco Technology) for better fuel efficiency. The scooter will have telescopic front forks for better comfort and handling. The scooter will be priced aggressively and along with the trusted Honda reliability all adds up to a pretty good offering. Honda had dropped their game slightly for the past couple of months and now faces tight competition from the Yamaha’s newest entry into the scooter segment, the Ray and the TVS Jupiter, two scooters which are better than Honda’s current lineup. This scooter will be one of Honda’s steps to further cement it’s position in the fastly growing Indian two wheeler segment of our country.
2) TVS RockZ 125
TVS is planning to introduce this new two wheeler in India which is already released in Indonesia. The design theme of the scooter is sporty and different from the rest. The Indonesian version is powered by a 125 cc engine making 9.8 bhp and 9.8 Nm of torque enough for a city muncher. The highlight of the bike is the stuff available as standard with the bike. An integrated music system with onboard MP3 player and storage, FM radio and an advanced anti theft lock system with an engine kill switch. The ignition slot also glows in the dark making it easier for finding the key slot at night or in dark underground parking lots. The approximate price of the bike will be under Rs 65,000.
3) Bajaj Blade 125
With the booming scooter market, India’s third largest two wheeler manufacturer Bajaj is planning to re enter the automatic scooter market with the Bajaj Blade. The date of release is not yet fixed but it might be out by beginning next year at the Delhi Auto Expo 2014. The scooter will most probably based on the Bajaj Blade 125 concept showcased at the 2008 Indian Auto Expo. The scooter will be powered by a 125 cc air cooled four stroke engine with a four valve head paired to a CVT automatic transmission. The 125 cc unit will most likely be the 125 cc DTS-i twin spark unit on the Discover 125 ST commuter bike, which enables Bajaj to share platforms keeping down costs. In the concept form, the bike featured kick as well as electric start, an all digital instrument panel and 12 inch alloy wheels.
The scooter also featured a twin headlamp design and a front fuel filler for convenience. With telescopic front forks and twin rear shock absorbers at the rear, the ride should be well sorted out too. With all these features, the Blade 125 will come fully loaded as standard and can easily hold its head in the Indian automatic scooter market against it’s rivals, if Bajaj Auto plans to go ahead and release this scooter.
4) Yamaha Unisex scooter
After enjoying success in the scooter market with new offerings like the Ray and Ray-Z, Yamaha Motors is planning to expand its automatic scooter portfolio in India by launching a new uni-sex scooter to compete with the Honda Activa within the up-coming year. The Yamaha Ray was the company’s first scooter model in the Indian market targeted mainly at the female consumers, after which the Ray-Z was introduced earlier this year aimed at the men folk with a more male oriented design. With this new offering Yamaha plans to sink it’s teeth into the larger consumer base as Yamaha has managed to grab only 5% of the total scooter market, and the new scooter will be directly positioned against the segment leader from Honda, the Activa. Yamaha hasn’t announced any details yet but it will most likely be showcased at the up-coming 2014 Auto Expo in New Delhi. From the recent sales in the two-wheeler segment it is obvious that scooters are the future for manufacturers to improve sales, looking at the current bearish market scenario. Such is the demand for scooters that sales figures of Honda’s Activa crossed 1.42 lakh units overtaking the Splendor as the highest selling two-wheeler in the month of September. If Yamaha manages to pitch an all round adequately priced product against the Activa they have a winner in their hands.
5) Vespa Primavera
The all new Vespa Primavera made its debut at the 2013 EICMA show in Milan. This all new scooter is expected to replace the LX lineup. It shares the base powertrain with the LX series but with the new updates. The Primavera adopts an elegeant new styling and a reworked frame to create a slighltly more classy stylish, modern package. Like Porsche, Vespa has favours to gently move with the times rather than make an all new model change. The scooter has a thinner foot-board which makes way for a lower seat to make sure that even the little people will find the scooter easy to get their foot down. LED daytime running lamps have also been incorporated into the package with a flair that the Italians can only do. The final design touches are the five-spoke 11″ alloy wheels, a classic repertoire in the Vespa arsenal. At the launch, Vespa said the Primavera will have a 125 cc and 150 cc 3-valve SOHC fuel-injected engines based on the LX engines. The engines have been updated with a new crankshaft, roller-rockers and a new bore and stroke to give better torque. The new engine is lighter than before returning more fuel efficiency. Vespa says the scooter can return 64 kmpl at an average speed of 50 kmph. If Piaggio India plays this right, the Primavera could come as a fully loaded scooter with all the goodies like fuel injection, alloy wheels, disc brakes the lot or as a stripped down version with a more reasonable price. In either case, we assume that the Primavera will be there at Piaggio’s Auto Expo stand, but whether or not the company will make a commercial announcement at the Expo is still unknown.