India readying to take on new genre of cruise super bikes
International bikemakers such as Harley Davidson, Triumph Motorcycles and Ducati unveiled their super bikes before awe-struck Indian bikers as they vie for the wallets of a booming middle-class with aspirations for a Hollywood-like lifestyle.
With the explosion of big biking lifestyle machines making inroads across India with the U.S. major Harley Davidson, the Italian Ducati and British Triumph, urban riders are readying to take on the new cruiser genre of motorcycles and loosen their pockets despite the economic gloom hitting the market.
Recently at the at the 12th Auto Expo held in Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, located on the fringes of New Delhi, high top end bikemakers unveiled made-for-India machismo cruiser style and chopper design bikes targeting domestic markets.
"Normal motorcycle industry in India almost eight hundred thousand motorcycles are sold per month while as a super premium motorcycle industry just three thousands motorcycles a year. So, I think there is a huge chance for this industry to grow because in India per capita income is growing, the infrastructure is developing, Indian customer is travelling across the globe so he is getting to see lot of products now all these products which he could only see on internet or webpage or on you tube, now they are available in India," said Vimal Sumbly, Managing Director, Triumph Motorcycles India.
On Friday, at the Auto Expo Triumph, the Iconic British bike maker expanded trendiest model portfolio in India with the launch of 'Daytona 675'.
The bike has made a huge opening receiving 160 advance bookings in the country's IT hub Bangalore and southern cultural city of Hyderabad, while New Delhi and southern Chennai's gen-next waits eagerly to ride the dream machine.
"Our riders are graduating into bigger motorcycles and they want to enjoy motorcycling so when rider wants to enjoy motorcycling they would love to have bigger displacement motorcycles and our infrastructure is also improving so both together the market is growing," said Suresh, product development for Suzuki motorcycle India.
Japanese Major, Suzuki has also launched a superbike recently, Suzuki Intruder M1800RZ, which has eyeball grabbing road presence and was endorsed by Bollywood superstar, Salman Khan.
Major global players like Yamaha, Triumph, Harley Davidson, Ducati, Honda, are targeting the young generation of urban riders who pay attention to detail - for the wheel, the footrest hangers and the swing arm in particular - is top notch.
Bike analysts say superbikes are an agreeable blend of muscles and athleticism that are making waves in India because of improved roads and rising enthusiasm in motor sports events in urban youngsters.
"Well as an Indian I was always concerned about fuel economy and I use to see people always going for fuel economy. But I am a youngster too so I like to drive a bike which has more power so I have a passion for bike. Today also when I came from my home driving 70 kilometers I came on my bike but that is fazer (Yamaha bike) that has only 150cc. So with superbikes coming in I think we can explore more, we can have fun but yes you have to keep the safety in mind also. But I think superbikes coming in its going to be a good way ahead," said Jasmeet, Hero Motocorp, deputy manager, who came to visit the auto expo.
The international bikemakers are targeting the top-income bracket where the riders want variety of options which are making waves in Hollywood style settings and also on the biking circuit.
"Since we can see that earlier superbikes were only looked upon as sports or cruisers but as you can see now you have different range of motorcycles also coming in like a Tourer, and sports cruisers and those larger track motorcycles as well so it's a very growing sector in itself," said Ajay Rawat, a bike enthusiast.
Most Indians commute using motorcycles or scooters and it is common to see families of four or five on a single vehicle snaking through heavy traffic or even over pavements escaping jams. As the economy slows, two-wheelers comprise the only category of the auto industry to register growth this year.
Sales of motorcycles with an engine displacement of 350 cubic centimetres or less, which make up the bulk of the market, have risen about 3.5 percent so far this fiscal year, show data from the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM).
Sales of more powerful bikes, including those from Harley and Eicher Motors Ltd's Royal Enfield, have doubled over the same period. Industry watchers say strong growth is likely to continue in the medium term, as consumers in the luxury segment are not as vulnerable to the impact of a slowing economy.
(Posted on 11-02-2014)