rediff.com

NewsApp (Free)

Read news as it happens
Download NewsApp

Available on  

Rediff News  All News 
Rediff.com  » Getahead » New bikes bank on the X factor

New bikes bank on the X factor

February 28, 2014 13:01 IST

New bikes bank on the X factor

     Next

Next
Swaraj Baggonkar

Digital displays that tell you when to refuel, engine immobilisers to prevent thefts are features new bikes boast of to stand out from the crowd.

Could there be an intuitive bike that detects if its rider is nearby?

Indian buyers are increasingly going to have bikes to choose from that hold a candle to intuitive and feature-heavy four-wheelers.

For example, bikes that get switched on after detecting their rider nearby or bikes whose in-built systems automatically turn off the power, when the rider moves away, and activates motion sensors of an anti-theft alarm.

Some bikes are geared to not leave the user in the dark with head lamps that stay on for a few seconds, after the engine is switched off, for the rider to walk away safely.

Standard four-wheeler features like digital displays do indicate how far the bike could go before refuelling and engine immobilisers to prevent theft are on offer as well.

Gone are the days of the 1990s and early 2000s, when new models, irrespective of the manufacturer or the brand, used to get swooped up by customers for their refreshing design or marketing gimmick.

From bikes that are intuitive to bikes that are kitted out just like cars, manufacturers are pulling all stops to get the consumer's attention.

After all, it is increasingly difficult to break into the two-wheeler market that is fiercely contested by India's big three -- Hero MotoCorp, Bajaj Auto and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India (together controlling 80 per cent of the market).

With consumers oscillating between the world's largest-selling brand Hero, Bajaj, known for its affordable performance bikes and Honda, one of the world's best known brands, new entrants are packing their bikes with as many innovations as possible.

Little-known Miami-based manufacturer, UM Motorcycles, is one such company that is looking to entice the Indian buyer with a host of never-before-seen features.

Please click NEXT to continue reading...


Image: Um Xtreet
Photographs: umglobal.com

     Next

New bikes bank on the X factor

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

With light emitting diode (LED) bulbs in the headlights, tail lights and fuel tank, USB charging port, blind-spot mirror embedded in the rearview mirror, and an anti-flat system in the tyres to make them puncture-proof, its Xtreet claims to be the only bike in the world with such a combination of features.

The company has even developed a helmet that can connect the rider with another biker or a pillion rider, or a phone or music player via Bluetooth. The helmet is equipped with LEDs on the back, complete with turn signals.

UM Motorcycles specialises in making affordable bikes and scooters, with distribution across 137 countries, ranging from Latin America, Africa to Asia. It operates in the mass segment with engine capacities from 100cc to 250cc.

Other sub-brands include the Renegade Commando and Renegade Sport. It will bring its entire portfolio comprising sportsbikes, cruisers, dual-purpose bikes and scooters to India.

Rajeev Mishra, director, UM India Two Wheeler, says, "Our bikes will go on sale by October-November. They will be very price-competitive. A a 200cc bike will cost Rs 75,000 and a 230cc Rs 1.3 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh."

Please click NEXT to continue reading...


Image: UM Xtreet
Photographs: umglobal.com

Prev     Next

New bikes bank on the X factor

Prev     Next
Prev

Next

The Bajaj Pulsar 200NS, Bajaj's flagship 200-cc motorcycle, costs Rs 90,000, while the Honda CBR250 is priced at Rs 1.61 lakh (both prices ex-showroom, Mumbai).

Austria's KTM, a premium brand part-owned by Bajaj, sells the Duke 200 at Rs 1.35 lakh.

Please click NEXT to continue reading...


Image: The Bajaj Pulsar 200NS
Photographs: mypulsar.com

Prev     Next

New bikes bank on the X factor

Prev     More
Prev

More

In less than six months, more than 100,000 units of Mahindra's Centuro 110 cc bike have been sold.

For a company whose first product, the Stallio (now rebranded as the Pantero), failed in the market, and led to a sharp decline in consumer confidence, the comeback with the Centuro is regarded as a success.

Mahindra executives credit the fancy features that the Centuro comes with. For instance, a rider will be able to spot a Centuro in the dark with the help of 'find me lamps' that light up at the press of a button on the key.

An anti-theft alarm, engine immobiliser and a multi-information digital display are the other features.

Viren Popli, executive vice-president, Mahindra Two Wheelers says, "The unique features on the Centuro are discovered by buyers, we are not promoting them. This is helping in raising the value of the model and spread word-of-mouth and bring in new buyers."

Will the mass-segment buyer, who has the choice of tried and tested brands move to lesser-known models, leave alone manufacturers?

An executive at one of the top three two-wheeler companies, who wishes to remain anonymous, says, "In a maturing market, there will be companies who would target the unusual buyer. This buyer is not as interested in the brand as in the product. But they form a small market. Eventually, these same companies will have to recalibrate their focus on branding."


Image: Mahindra Centuro
Photographs: mahindracenturo.com

Prev     More
Source: