Triumph Officially Unveils Rocket 3 TFC

– Triumph Factory Custom (TFC) range will bring premium parts, higher performance, and exclusivity

– Only 750 units of the TFC Rocket 3 will be made

– Expected to make more than 180hp of power and 230Nm of torque from, a bigger, ~2500cc 3-cylinder engine

– Will get a single-sided swingarm and a new chassis

– Will get the second-generation, full-color instrument console

Unlike a typical British custom bike, which is just an exercise in swapping and chopping parts left and right, the Rocket 3 TFC is a massive upgrade and definitely worth a second look.

For starters, the Rocket 3 TFC will get a brand new chassis. The single-sided swingarm helps flaunt the alloy wheel design. At roughly 2500cc, the engine is 200cc larger than the normal Rocket 3. The power figure is expected to stand at 180; up from 148hp while the torque is up from 221Nm to ~230Nm. Given the higher power output, better rubber and braking hardware is also sure to be part of the package, which will help keep the motorcycle from kissing the ground.

It’ll feature all that, in addition to the liberally sprinkled carbon fiber and hand-stitched leather here and there. The global launch will take place on May 1, 2019. With the production capped at just 750 units, it should make this big bike a collector’s item. Triumph is calling it a concept, but it looks very much production ready and it should carry forward most of what’s visible today over to the production avatar.

2019 Suzuki V-Strom 650 XT Launched At Rs. 7.46 Lakh

– New feature includes the addition of hazard lights/blinkers

– Side reflectors removed from the tail section to the front suspension

– Nothing else changed – not even the price

Suzuki has added the hazard lights, relocated the side reflectors from the tail to the front and called it a day. It’s difficult these days to grab headlines with a middleweight bike – now that Royal Enfield has redefined the meaning of value for a multi-cylinder 650cc motorcycle.

At first glance, this 650 doesn’t stand a chance next to the Interceptor and GT 650. But, look deeper and you’ll start to see what this brings to the table. This adventure bike still continues to offer plenty of value. This bike competes with the likes of BMW 850 GS (Rs. 13.7 lakh) and the Triumph Tiger 800 XCx (Rs. 14.06 lakh.) FYI, the 750 GS and other Tiger 800 variants don’t count since they offer alloy wheels conveying their road-biased personality.

The inclusion of wire spoke wheels without ditching the tubeless convenience of dealing with punctures makes the Suzuki V-Strom 650 a great value. Not to mention, its tractable and refined V-twin engine, which is at home in the city traffic, on the highways as well as on the broken village roads. The engine heat is very much manageable even at city speeds. The reliability is also expected to be better than its European counterparts.

Bajaj Auto is now “The World’s Favourite Indian”!

Yes, “The World’s Favourite Indian” is the new Brand Identity for Bajaj Auto Ltd; which was announced today. 

  •  New identity reflects transition of brand Bajaj from being a domestic scooter maker to a global motorcycle player in 17 years.
  • 40% contribution to revenue coming from sales to over 70 countries
  • India’s No.1 in motorcycle exports – 2 out of every 3 bikes exported now carry the Bajaj badge.
  • Achieves milestone 2mn unit exports in 2018
Bajaj’s New Brand Identity

The launch of the Pulsar from its Chakan plant in 2001 marked the beginning of this riveting global ride. Building on its ‘Hamara Bajaj’ roots of providing reliable mobility solutions, the company has significantly invested in technology and innovation to design motorcycles that are sold not only in India but 70 countries around the world. It has grown to become India’s No.1 motorcycle exporter with 2 out of 3 bikes carrying a Bajaj badge. 40% of the company’s revenue is coming from international markets. It has earned USD 13bn of forex in the last 10years and hit a milestone 2mn units of international sales in 2018.

With 15 million motorcycles sold in over 70 countries, Bajaj Auto has set a benchmark for the ‘Make in India’ vision of the government. With availability and customer preference scaling from Russia and Malaysia to Argentina and Mexico, it is today possibly the largest Indian brand name in terms of customer purchase value.

Commenting on this journey, Mr Rajiv Bajaj, Managing Director said, “Our international performance is validation of our strategy of focus and differentiation. Our unwavering commitment towards building the best motorcycles in the world through design, technology, quality and customer satisfaction have made us a truly global brand. Bajaj brand is not only The World’s Favourite Indian, but also perhaps the most illustrious ambassador for Make in India initiative of the Indian government.”

He further added, “In only 17 years since the launch of Pulsar, we have become the third-largest motorcycle manufacturer in the world, ahead of several Japanese and European brands that have been around for much longer. In any market around the world, when people think of motorcycles, they should think of Bajaj. That would help us achieve our vision of being a Global Motorcycle Specialist.”

Outdoor Plan

The new brand identity would be communicated through a aggressive marketing campaign featuring TV, outdoor, print and digital media. The retail showrooms of Bajaj Auto motorcycles and commercial vehicles will also undergo a transformation with new signage and branding in line with the message of The World’s Favourite Indian.

Showroom Transformations to be aligned with New Brand Guidelines

December 2018 Two Wheeler Sales – Snapshot

A look at YoY Growth of the Two Wheeler OEMs and the Industry –

  • De-growth in the Two Wheeler Industry is a bad sign. The Two Wheeler Industry had been pretty immune to price hikes, stock market volatility, rupee depreciation – However drop in the sales means that the increase in Insurance Prices, Negative Consumer sentiment in Rural Markets, has highly affected two wheeler sales.
  • Another trend which is seen primarily this year is drop in Bike Segment – Clearly visible in Honda’s sales drop. India’s love for scooters slowly seems to be wading down. In this Financial Year; while the motorcycle segment grew a healthy 13%; scooters could grow only 5%. Also Honda now faces stiff competition from TVS, Suzuki & Yamaha in scooters segment. Quoting ET Article – Experts said urban buyers are deferring plans to buy scooters due to the rise in the cost of ownership. “Unlike motorcycles, which are used for daily commute by small businessmen and farmers in rural areas, scooters are family vehicles,” explained Ashish Kale, president of the Federation of Automobile Dealers Associations. “Scooters are more often a second two-wheeler used by the women in families in urban areas. With fuel prices and insurance costs increasing last year, many such buyers put off discretionary purchases, slowing down scooter sales.”

  • Bajaj has clearly been the biggest gainer this year! The OEMs price revision of its models has worked magic for the brand and the Motorcycle maker has grew impressively in terms of volumes.
  • Royal Enfield has been struggling off late and the erstwhile poster boy has now revised (reduced) its year sales estimates. While we see that the OEM is slowly losing its royalty and the segment is shrinking; new players such as Jawa pose a bigger threat as well.

Market Share Graph:

  • Top 4 OEMs (Hero, Honda, TVS & Bajaj) command 88.3% of the Market Share – Crazy!

Harley Davidson LiveWire – Harley’s first-ever electric motorcycle!

Harley breaks the mold and opens its doors to the rest of us with a solid product strategy

– Opened pre-bookings for the electric LiveWire which costs US $ 29,799

– Expect it to cost ~Rs. 40-50 lakh if it comes to India via the CBU route

– Revealed specs of the LiveWire

– LiveWire deliveries to commence in September 2019

– Showcased electric scooter concept for urban mobility

– Showcased electric off-road trail bike concept

An electric naked street fighter with a supercar-like 3.5-second 0-100kmph time is nothing to scoff at regardless of who makes it. It’s far more impressive considering that this crotch rocket wears the Harley-Davidson badge. The motorcycle maker is known for its laid-back cruisers with old-school push-rod V-twins and loud pipes.

As Harley’s target audience of baby boomers shrinks, they’re looking to excite the youth and get young blood on two wheels.

The LiveWire already has a production plan. The scooter and the trials bike are still only concepts. But if their production avatars end up sharing the floor with the LiveWire, that will mean a whole new direction for Harley-Davidson.

While their bikes may have different personalities, they’re all seen as cruisers. There’s no need to get the Iron 883 and the Road Glide as they both pretty much do the same thing. But a scooter, a street naked, and a trail bike are so different that a single owner could have all three in his/her garage and easily justify spending the cash. The scooter can do the grocery runs in style. The LiveWire can take you to office and back through curvy canyon roads. The lightweight trail bike will let you have fun off the road. Judging by the looks of that thing, it appears pretty hardcore and may not even sneeze at a rocky trail.

It’s nothing new and many automakers do it. Ducati, for example, has the stylish Scrambler for weekend breakfast rides, the Monster for commuting, the Multistrada for touring, and the Panigale for the track. The fact that it’s coming from Harley-Davidson makes it noteworthy.

Whether we get to see the two concepts in production form or not will greatly depend on the success of the LiveWire. It’s a big-ticket product for only the early adopters. It’s certainly a good strategy to have a small number of customers to satisfy should something go wrong. A new product with new technology is bound to have teething issues. With a big price tag, it’s going to have a smaller number of paying beta testers and limited success. A positive response from the earliy adopters should help clear the path for the other two concepts, which are not only going to be more refined but also more affordable. Which is how it should be because the mass market is neither prepared nor willing to become a guinea pig.

Harley-Davidson LiveWire Specs

– 0-100kmph in 3.5 seconds

– 177km range per charge

– Adjustable front and rear suspensions from Showa

– Michelin Scorcher tires

– 4.3-inch touchscreen console

– Available in orange, lime green, and black

– 20km per hour charge rate regardless of whether you connect to 110v (level1) or 220v (level 2)

Statewise Two Wheeler Sales – H1 FY19

Thanks to our readers for the overwhelming response on the Statewise Car Sales report. We received multiple requests to share a similar report for two wheelers as well. We are happy to present the same with this post. The format of the reporting is very similar to our previous post and we have tried to add the additional analysis of the top 2 players in the Industry as a bonus.

Around 1,04,96,415 Two Wheelers were sold in the first 6 months of previous financial year (Apr’17-Sep’17) – source. The Industry volumes have grown over 10% and have registered a volume of 1,15,31,359 (over 1 crore fifteen lakh bikes sold in the first 6 months of FY this year !!!). No wonder, India is the world’s largest two wheeler market.

Statewise Two Wheeler Sales Data (FY19 v/s FY18 comparison) –

  • West Zone ranks No.1 in terms of overall sales and is similar to statewise car sales data. Even other Zone ranking are similar to the car sales data (South being No.2; North at Third position & East at last).
  • However East’s overall contribution to India’s Two Wheeler sales is significantly higher (vis-a-vis trend seen in car sales). This clearly signifies the importance of smaller cities in Two Wheeler sales. The dependence on Rural markets is clearly visible and defines the way various OEMs operate.

Ranking of States basis volumes:

  1. The Top 10 states contributes to >70% of Nation’s Two Wheeler Sales!
  2. UP sells more two wheelers than Gujarat+Karnataka combined (PS: Both Gujarat & Karnataka are in Top 5 selling states for Two Wheelers)! There is a saying in Indian Politics that the Party which has clear majority in UP can easily win national elections. The scenario is something similar here as well – The OEM with major Market Share in UP has a tremendous competitive advantage – And this is what is giving Hero Moto Corp the leading edge.
  3. The Zone Wise bifurcation Top 5 states is – West Zone (2 states), South Zone (2 states) & North Zone (1 state).

Hero v/s Honda –

This is the most interesting competition the automobile industry will ever witness. Honda has grown exponentially in the past few years and was expecting to near the gap with Hero Moto Corp this year. However; Hero’s stronghold in North Zone has become a pain area for Honda and not having a strong offering in Entry-Motorcycles is hitting Honda badly.  However do note that Honda has overtaken Hero Moto Corp in 19 out 33 states in comparison here!

  • Hero + Honda enjoy an enviable 66% Market Share in the Largest Two Wheeler Market of the world. The scenario again is somewhat similar to Passenger Cars Market share where Maruti + Hyundai combined contribute ~68% of the Market Share.
  • However; the Market Share difference between Hero & Honda is just 6%. If you study the statewise comparison; the biggest gap and deciding state is Uttar Pradesh where Hero has a clear majority with 55% Market Share and Honda is reeling at just 15% Market Share. Having low market share in the Biggest Two Wheeler selling state of India is pulling down Honda’s aspiration to inch towards the Top Slot.

November 2018 Two Wheeler Sales – Snapshot

A look at YoY Growth of the Two Wheeler OEMs and the Industry –

  • Two Wheeler Industry grew a healthy 7.2% v/s the same period last year.
  • Hero Moto Corp stands at the Pole position and with improving sales of Motorcycles has been widening the gap with Honda Motorcycles. Hero grew just 2.1% YoY and was able to cross 6 Lakh unit sales in Nov’18.
  • TVS & Bajaj have both shown exemplary growth this year. TVS has pepped up its scooter sales and was able to scale up its volumes pretty significantly. Both Jupiter & NTorq have been doing well in 110cc & 125cc segments. While Bajaj with its dynamic pricing of entry level two wheelers have escalated its sales numbers impressively.
  • Royal Enfield volumes are kind of stagnating and have actually de-grew -4.1% YoY. We hope that 650cc Interceptor & Continental will change the scenario for this iconic Two Wheeler maker.

Market Share Graph:

  • The Top 4 Two Wheeler manufacturers capture ~90% Market Share! This speaks volumes about the dominance well-established brands have in India. Even the Top 2 OEMs (Hero+Honda) cater to >60% of Two Wheeler sales in India!