Wednesday, 27 February 2013


Mahindra two-wheeler after re-entering in the motorcycle space of the country announced that they are in the final stage of testing their upcoming premium motorcycle Mahindra Mojo 300. Viren Popli, Mahindra and Mahindra Executive Vice-President, said, "Right now we are undertaking some final tests before launching it in the market." This statement is an indication that the company will launch the bike anytime soon. Mahindra recently launched the re-badge version of its commuter bike Stallio christened as Mahindra Pantero 110. Mr. Popli revealed that the engine of this motorcycle has been designed at the research and development centre at Pune, set up at a cost of Rs 100 crore.


The bike will feature a 300cc-single cylinder, four stroke, fuel injected motor, which operates on a 4 valve-DOHC layout and cranks out the maximum power of 25bhp. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, which transfer power to the rear wheel through a chain drive. The bike's suspension and brakes has been designed to do heavy duties as it is a sports bike, the suspension of the bike comes in the form of upside down front forks and a monoshock layout at the rear. While, the bike’s wheels come shod with chunky tyres and disc brakes on both wheels.


While unveiling the company's latest 110cc motorcycles Mahindra Centuro and Pantero in Tamilnadu market, Anoop Mathur, the President of Mahindra and Mahindra Two Wheelers, said, "the company wants to become a player of substance with the launch. The two motorcycles were designed at Pune R&D facility." Admitting that M&M was a late entrant in the crowded two-wheeler market,he said they have been steadily increasing market share after the launch of scooters.


He also added that the company plan to launch three more scooter variants before the end of this year. "Hopefully we should have three more variants coming this year", he said. The company currently manufactures its two-wheelers in Pithampur facility. Popli replied in the affirmative when asked whether the company was looking for exports of its motorcycles, saying some markets would be South Africa, Latin America and South East Asia. "Already we are exporting our scooters to some overseas markets. We will stretch it further", he said.


The bike is expected to cost Rs. 2 lakhs which means the bike will compete with the likes of HondaCBR250R, Kawasaki Ninja 250R and upcoming KTM Duke 390. 

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


KTM, which is the highest selling premium motorcycle brand in Indian two-wheeler market this year, is fortifying the racing culture in the country by conducting 'KTM Orange Day' globally, where KTM owners gather to race and share their riding experiences. On last Sunday, KTM conducted the second version of its “Orange day” in Mumbai. The “Orange day” is conducted to make the customer experience the racing genes of the KTM Duke 200. It gives the KTM owner an experience of performance of 200 Duke and also an opportunity to interact with the fellow KTM 200 Duke owners on a race track. 


With more than 223 world championship titles in the various categories, including the consecutive 12 prestigious Dakar rally titles, racing is integral part of brand KTM. The racing philosophy is demonstrated in the way the bikes are designed. By using light but high strength alloy components, KTM bikes have one of the best Power to weight ratio in its class.


The “Orange Day” was organized at Inorbit Mall Parking Area, Link Road, Malad West, Mumbai. The Orange Day started at 9:30 AM with the riders registering themselves for the racing. A classroom session was organized by a racing expert on the basics of racing and how to extract the most out of the KTM 200 Duke. This was followed up by a demonstration on the track and then the final race. Podium finishers were awarded and the event ended with a breath taking “stunt show” on KTM 200 Duke. All the KTM owners in the city were invited to participate in the Orange Day.


Besides all the action on the track there was service-camps, stalls for KTM Powerwear and Powerparts, refreshments, music and a general ambience of fun and camaraderie. Speaking at the occasion,Mr. Amit Nandi, KTM India Head, said“ The KTM brand has its roots in racing and we want KTM owners to experience the thrills that a KTM bike can provide on a race track.Orange days, which is conducted in every major city, will keep on growing in scale in the next few months. This is the second time we are conducting Orange Day in Mumbai, as the first version had received very encouraging response from KTM bike owners. KTM is an exclusive premium brand and we are keen to ensure we provide KTM customers an experience that is uniquely KTM.” Now KTM has planned to organize “Orange Day” in other Metro towns of India also. 

Sunday, 24 February 2013


Over the holidays, I found the perfect utility light for my dad to use while working on his motorcycles. My father is a serious collector, specializing in vintage British bikes. His basement and garage are full of Nortons, Triumphs, and BSAs, among others, and he spends countless hours restoring and rebuilding them.The perfect example of an artist-meets-mechanic, my dad is always on the lookout for new tools to help improve his restoration techniques. This year, it was me who found his new go-to gadget - a unique LED flexible work light (conveniently sold by Pegasus Lighting, the company I blog for!): 

A unique LED flexible work light for motorcycles

The light has 24 bright white LED and is battery operated with a long and sturdy flexible neck. It also has a solid clamp and magnetic base. My father said he had never found something quite so perfect for doing detailed work on his beloved bikes. (And trust me - he’s been doing this for a while). Let me show you the ways he can use this light:

To light the body from above, my dad can attach the strong magnet to the bike’s muffler, and curve the light up and around.

A unique LED flexible work light for motorcycles

When he wants to illuminate his work from another angle, he can use the heavy-duty base to balance the light on the seat. It has enough weight to stay put.

A unique LED flexible work light for motorcycles

The strong clamp also lets my dad position the light at even more angles. He really likes the plastic and rubber guards on the clamp, which protect his bikes from any scratches or damages. 

A unique LED flexible work light for motorcycles

My dad also uses the clamp to attach to foot pegs. This lets him easily see what’s going on at the very bottom of a motorcycle. 

A unique LED flexible work light for motorcycles

  To focus on the tiny intricacies of the motorcycles, my dad can fit the small LED light into a bunch of different nooks and crannies within the body. After using the light for awhile, my dad marveled about the sturdy flexible neck, which stays put even if he accidentally bumps into it.

A unique LED flexible work light for motorcycles

To learn more about this motorcycle utility light from Pegasus Lighting, you can view it here

Bio: Annie Josey is a blogger at Pegasus Lighting, an online lighting retailer specializing in unique, handy lighting products. At Pegasus (and in her everyday life), Annie has made it her goal to help everyone use light to improve life. In her free time, Annie enjoys reading, bicycling, and learning how to ride motorcycles from her dad. To learn more about this and other lighting projects, you can connect with Annie on Google+.

Friday, 22 February 2013


American auto marque Polaris Industries, which is best known for its All Terrain Vehicle being well sold in India, has confirmed that the company will launch its high-end motorcycle brand 'Victory' in the Indian market by the end of 2013.

motorcycle brand 'Victory'

The Indian bike market has been showing a significant hike in cruiser and tourer segments in the past 2-3 years. So I think, it is the right time to introduce Victory in India which is already pretty well known in this segment. Victory cruisers qualify the excise limits, thus Polaris might import the bikes as completely build units that can result in hefty price tags of the Victory bikes. The company might have to face some fierce competition from a few of the already well-settled bike manufacturers like Harley Davidson, Hyosung, Honda and Suzuki.

motorcycle brand 'Victory'
All the Victory bikes get power from a 1,731cc V-Twin four stroke, air/oil cooled engines, which come mated to six speed manual gearboxes. A carbon fiber reinforced belt drive is used to transfer the power to the rear wheel. These V-Twin engines are one of the most advanced and powerful that any motorcycle uses. Victory uses few of the most advance technologies which includes the self-adjusting cam chains, hydraulic lifters, electronic fuel injection and an SOHC/4 valves per cylinder layout.

motorcycle brand 'Victory'

Pankaj Dubey, Managing Director and Country Head of Polaris India confirmed, "Yes we have decided to launch 'Victory' in the market by the end of 2013." However, Mr. Dubey refused to disclose any of the details and price strategy, saying it is too early to decide on prices. Though we can consider his quote about the US and other markets price being over 26 lakh can be a hint.

About off-road vehicles, he said, "Polaris has demonstrated various types of All Terrain Vehicles to the Defence, Police and paramilitary forces, as these can be used in surfaces like beach sand, mining areas, thick jungles and rough surfaces." He also believes that Polaris Military Racer, with its infrared light, 360 degree firing range, can be mightily useful for the forces. He further added that the company is negotiating with departments and are quite sure of getting good orders from India. Polaris India is expecting to do business of around Rs. 500-600 crore by 2017-18.

Wednesday, 20 February 2013


Paper Air Filters:

The most commonly used motorcycle and ATV air filter is the paper filter. This filter consists of laminated paper fibers that are sealed at the ends or sides of the filter. Some paper air filters include supporting inner or outer metal screen shells. The paper used in these air filters is molded in a “W” pattern. This molded “W” is designed to increase the surface area and to decrease the restriction of air passing through the filter.

The paper air filter must be kept dry and free of oil. If the paper air filter becomes excessively dirty or contaminated with oil, it must be replaced. Don’t try to clean a paper air filter with soap and water because this will damage the paper fibers and cause the filter to fail. You should use compressed air to clean a paper air filter. Be careful not to damage the filter.

Foam Air Filters:

It uses a special foam and oil to trap dirt and other contaminants. When this type of filter is dirty, you can clean it in a warm, soapy water solution, rinse it, and dry it. When the filter has dried, you must apply a special oil specifically made for foam air filters. Excess oil must then be squeezed out of the filter.

Gauze Air Filters:

This filter is very similar to the paper air filter. Surgical-type gauze is used to trap the dirt as the air passes through the filter. When this type of filter gets dirty, you can clean it in warm soapy water, rinse it, and dry it. After drying, you must apply a special gauze-filter oil when servicing this type of filter.

Tuesday, 19 February 2013


Compression and Leak down Tests

Compression tests and leakdown tests provide a good indication of the general condition of an engine’s piston, rings, and cylinder area.

Compression Test

Compression tests are done on both two-stroke and four-stroke engines. To do a compression test, remove the spark plugs. Then, using the compression gauge measure the compression of each cylinder while the engine is being rotated rapidly by the electric starter or the kick or pull starter mechanism. This test ensures that the engine compression is high enough to heat the fuel and air mixture to a combustible level. The compression reading will normally exceed 125 psi. If the compression is below 125 psi, it indicates possible worn parts, and more than an engine tune-up might be needed.


Unfortunately, the results of a compression test can be deceiving. For example, if the engine isn’t in stock condition, if the battery doesn’t turn the engine fast enough, or if the testing procedures aren’t correctly followed, the compression test may indicate that the engine should be disassembled and rebuilt, when the engine is actually in good working condition. Always remember to hold the throttle control in the wide-open position when checking engine compression, to allow the maximum amount of air to be drawn into the engine. If the throttle isn’t held open, the compression reading will almost always read too low.

When the compression test has been performed correctly, there are other items you’ll need to consider. If the compression readings are all below the service limit, but the readings for all cylinders are relatively close and the engine isn’t smoking and is running okay, the compression test by itself is seldom a good reason to disassemble the engine and do an expensive engine rebuild. If the compression readings for the cylinders of a multicylinder engine vary more than 15 percent, there’s a good possibility that the engine has a problem that will need extensive repair work.

Leak down Test

Leak down tests are performed on four-stroke motorcycle and ATV engines. A leak down tester consists of a calibrated pressure gauge that’s connected to a pressure regulator, a pressure source, and a flow restrictor. As a general rule, a leak down test provides a better indication of any internal engine problems than a compression test. The test is done by pressurizing the cylinder when the piston is at top-dead-center (TDC) on the compression stroke, and measuring the rate at which the air escapes past the rings, piston, and valves.

LEAK DOWN TESTLeak down Test

A range of acceptable air loss percentages is given by each tester manufacturer. A leak down tester indicates when an engine probably needs repair. It also tells you where the problem is located. By listening for escaping air at the air box, the exhaust system, and engine crankcase filler-cap, you can determine if the problem is being caused by the intake valves, exhaust valves, or the piston and rings. Leak down testers are available at most quality automotive tool suppliers.


Saturday, 16 February 2013


Avis and Effie Hotchkiss:

Avis and Effie Hotchkiss were mother and daughter. In 1915, they rode from New York to California to attend the San Francisco World’s Fair on a three speed V-twin Harley Davidson which made them the first female riders to cross the United States. That Harley Davidson was equipped with a sidecar to accommodate Avis. It took them nearly two months to reach California. Upon reaching San Francisco, Effie made it a point to make a splash in the Pacific Coast ocean so that she experienced the waters of both coasts before making their way back to New York.

Adeline and Augusta Van Buren:

Adeline and Augusta Van Buren
Adeline and Augusta Van Buren were sisters. In 1916, they climb up and down Pike’s Peak with a pair of Indian Power+ Bikes which made them the first people ever to climb up and down Pike’s Peak. They too completed a transcontinental ride. It took nearly two months to complete the 3,300-mile trip.

Bessie Stringfield:

  Bessie Stringfield was the first African-American woman to travel cross-country individually. It was at the age of 19 in 1929. She did it with a 1928 Indian Scout. Bessie traveled through all of the lower 48 states during the 1930's and 1940's at a time when the country was rife with prejudice and hatred. She later rode in Europe, Brazil, and Haiti and during World War II she served as one of the few motorcycle despatch riders for the United States military. Must Known fact about her she is famously known as the Motorcycle Queen of Miami and Bessie Stringfield started riding when she was 16.

Friday, 15 February 2013


The 2nd edition of the Vintage & Motorcycle show beginning tomorrow at Khasa Kothi hotel, Jaipur. More than 100 vintage to be staged on the show. The vintage collection includes classic motorcycles manufactured between 1933 and 1980, which was during the first and second world war probably. Some of the bikes left unmodified to preserve the heritage. Some famous iconic brands like BSA motorcycles, Indian, Harly Davidson, Royal Enfield, Triumph, James, Excelsior, Norman are also part of the show which will be a treat to the visitors.The show is organized by Convoy Control Club, a club of bikers, who are interested in vintage bikes and cultural heritage. The club is dedicated to serve the society with its enthusiasm. The club has been involved in various social causes, like HIV aids and rights of deaf and dumb. They organize bike rallies on various social causes to increase the passion for the vintage bikes and heritage.


Mr. Upendra Shastri, President of the Convoy Control club said, "I started this club in 1995 with the idea of preserving our cultural heritage, today we have grown to 166 members, all of us being equally passionate about our goals." He further said, “We are expecting a good response this time, last time we showcased a total of 70 bikes, but this time we are expecting 120 bikes, we are growing good and I feel that we have been successful to motivate people to preserve their heritage.”

The two-day event will start on tomorrow. Margaret Alva, Governor of Rajasthan State will inaugurate the show, while Princess Diya Kumari of Jaipur and Honorable Narendra Singh will be the chief guest. On Day 2 of the event, there will be a bike rally around the city starting from the venue to continue to the Jawahar Circle ending at venue. This rally will have around 100 vintage bikes wowing the city from 2 pm to 4pm, which will be flagged-off by B.L. Soni, Police Commissioner, Jaipur City. After the rally, an award ceremony is to be held to honor the bike owners. Thakur Vikram Singh, President of Golf Club, Jaipur and Mr. Satish Jangir, Owner of Oriented Restorer will judge the bikes for various award categories. To add more spark to the show, a group of Harley owners called Jodhpur Harley-Davidson group is driving down to Jaipur to showcase their rides in the show. If you have time and interest in motorcycle, it is a good chance to see some of the legendary vintage bikes. DON'T MISS IT!

Thursday, 14 February 2013


KTM,one of the famous Austrian motorcycle company, has recently acquired the brand Husqvarna from BMW Motorrad. It is now planning to launch their second bike Duke 390 in the next few months in India. KTM reported its best ever annual sales in 2012 with a total sale of more than107,000 units. The combination of KTM and Bajaj is getting better with the success of KTM Duke 200 which has already sold more than 8500 units. The next big launch after Duke 390 that KTM is planning is a toned-down version of superbike RC8. It is a 250cc racing replica of the RC8. KTM is also working on the tourer version of Duke 390. Bajaj is importing a few units of the RC8, only for displaying the bike at selected KTM outlets.


The market of 200cc and above bikes are on peak these days and these bikes are performing well which is evident from the success of Duke 200. This section is mainly ruled by the Japanese bike makers and there are few other bikes like Honda CBR250R and Kawasaki Ninja 250R which has also shown outstanding performance. 


The current bike might be christened as KTM RC25 which will be manufactured at Chakan and will be sold in markets across the world. We are expecting KTM RC25 to feature a single cylinder 250cc engine, which is expected to churn a power output of around 30bhp and a torque output of about 25 Nm. If the bike satisfies our expectation, then it has to be the most powerful 250cc motorcycle in the country. KTM RC25 is expected at a price below the Duke 390. Bajaj-KTM combination is known for it's competitive prices and so the price will be the biggest factor against the likes of Kawasaki Ninja, the Hyosung GT250R and the HondaCBR250R motorcycles.

Tuesday, 12 February 2013


KTM,one of the famous Austrian motorcycle company, has recently acquired the brand Husqvarna from BMW Motorrad. It is now planning to introduce the brand in India which means KTM might become the leader in the off-road segment.

The CEO of KTM Auto Stefan Pierer recently in an interview to Money Control talked about the combination of KTM and Bajaj Auto and the new acquisition. This acquisition will be beneficiary for Bajaj-KTM alliance as they are going to launch the brand Husqvarna in India. We know that Bajaj holds 47% stacks in KTM and both are already in a manufacturing alliance. Their first motorcycle KTM Duke 200 received a good response by selling more than 8500 bikes. Husqvarna is the cult bike brand, which is known for its off road riding. With Duke 200 proving that such bikes can be successful in India, it is a good idea to launch it in India. So, KTM is hoping to extend its current agreement with Bajaj to include the Husqvarna and launch the first made-in-India Husky within the next two years from Pune. 


Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM Auto says, "First Husqvarna motorcycle will be launched in India in 2 years. Proposed Husky model for India to be made at Bajaj's Chakan plan will use joint engine platforms of Bajaj-KTM for Husky models. Joint-engine platform to be used for 125-200cc segment for Husqvarna."


KTM reported its best ever annual sales in 2012 with a total sale of more than107,000 units. With its latest acquisition, Husqvarna along with the other Swedish brand under its belt, KTM is aiming at over 120,000 units by the end of 2013. Especially after the success of Duke 200 in India, they are expecting a good number from emerging markets like India.

Monday, 11 February 2013


Karl von DraisIn 1817, Karl von Drais, a German baron, invented a horseless carriage that would help him get around faster. The two-wheeled, pedal-less device was propelled by pushing your feet against the ground, The machine became known as the “draisine,” and led to the creation of the modern-day bicycle.

The term “bicycle” was not introduced until the 1860s, when it was coined in France to describe a new kind of two-wheeler with a mechanical drive.

Orville and Wilbur Wright, the brothers who built the first flying airplane, operated a small bike repair shop in Dayton, Ohio. They used their workshop to build the 1903 Wright Flyer.

The two-wheeled, pedal-less device known as the “draisine”
Fred A. Birchmore, 25, circled the globe by bicycle in 1935. The entire trip, through Europe, Asia, and the United States, covered forty thousand miles. He pedaled about 25,000 miles. The rest was traveled by boat. He wore out seven sets of tires.

There are over a half billion bicycles in China. Bikes were first brought to China in the late 1800s.
About 100 million bicycles are manufactured worldwide each year.

Over the past 30 years, bicycle delivery services have developed into an important industry, especially in cities, where the couriers have earned a reputation for their high speed and traffic-weaving skills.

Americans use their bicycles for less than one percent of all urban trips. Europeans bike in cities a lot more often—in Italy 5 percent of all trips are on bicycle, 30 percent in the Netherlands, and seven out of eight Dutch people over age 15 have a bike.

The Tour de France is one of the most famous bicycle races in the world. Established in 1903, it is considered to be the biggest test of endurance out of all sports. Lance Armstrong, an American cyclist, is the only rider to have won seven titles (1999–2005) after surviving cancer.

Bicycle Moto Cross (BMX), an extreme style of bicycle track racing, became a sport in the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Maris Strombergs, of Latvia, received the gold medal for Men’s BMX, and Anne-Caroline Chausson, from France, took home the gold in the first Women’s BMX Olympic event.


Michael Laverty produced one of the big surprises of the first major test of 2013 when he rode the Paul Bird Motorsport Aprilia ART machine to a best lap of 2.03.874. That left him just 0.083s behind Randy de Puniet and while Aspar rider Aleix Espargaro was comfortably the fastest CRT rider in Sepang with a best time of 2.02.628, Laverty trounced new teammate Yonny Hernandez and also finished ahead of the likes of Hector Barbera, Karel Abraham, Hiroshi Aoyama and Colin Edwards.

The former British Superbike contender slashed close to three seconds off his pace throughout the test and he admitted that his eye-catching display would have surprised a few people. Having climbed up the rankings from 25th on day one to 18th on the overall leaderboard. Laverty’s impressive performance has boosted his confidence that he can be competing to be the top CRT rider in some races during 2013.

Having tested the Aprilia ART machine in Sepang this week, Laverty is expected to switch to the PBM frame for the next test back in Malaysia later this month. The British-built frame will run an Aprilia motor and use the standard Magneti Marelli electronics package in 2013.

Laverty said, “I think I have surprised a few people. There is so much emphasis put on how long it takes to adapt to the tyres and the brakes and how much harsher the more rigid MotoGP bikes are to ride, I think everyone expected it to take a little bit longer. I’m surprised I felt quite comfortable so quickly and I’m happy to have achieved my goals. It would have been worse to be scratching my head wondering where I could make up some time. I’m happy enough because I knew I had a lot to learn. I had to learn the circuit as well as the bike, tyres and brakes but I steadily chipped away and got a little more comfortable. I wouldn’t say I exceeded my expectations but I am kind of where I hoped I would be.”

 “My target coming into MotoGP was to surprise a few people and battle for CRT honours and I think that is realistic. Someone said to me it must be nice knowing I’m not out of my depth but I never thought I would be. It is nice to prove that I’m not. My goal this season is to be one of the top CRT riders, earn a place here next year and get a prototype engine in a PBM chassis if it all works out. The transition to a MotoGP bike has been quicker than I thought it was going to be.”, he added.

Saturday, 9 February 2013


To increase the sales Mahindra Two-Wheelers has launched Rodeo Std, a cut price version of Rodeo Automatic Scooter. Rodeo Std is priced at Rs. 45,000, which is Rs. 3000 lesser than Rodeo RZ. With Mahindra Rodeo not doing well, Mahindra is hoping for a better sales with the new version. In order to slash the prices, Mahindra has removed a bunch of features, without affecting the outer look. The anti-theft locking mechanism has been replaced with a conventional key hole. Front fueling cap has been replaced and now fuel filling inlet has been repositioned under the seat, so you have to lift-up the seat for refueling. The under-seat light has been eliminated. The informative digital instrumentation console is now replaced with an analog unit, so there is no digital speedometer and tachometer on the Radio Std. The mobile phone charging socket has also been removed.

Mahindra Rodeo Std automatic scooter is now available at all Mahindra Two-Wheeler dealerships across the country. Rodeo RZ Std variant has the same 125cc four stroke engine mated to a CVT automatic gearbox. It also retains the telescopic front forks. The scooter is an affordable offering from the manufacturer but it has not attracted many people due to the reduction in features. The scooter is expected to compete against Suzuki Swish, Acess, Honda Activa and Hero MotoCorp Maestro. I think only the reduced price might help it. 

Friday, 8 February 2013


TVS Motor Company which is a chennai-based Indian two-wheeler manufacturer is preparing to launch two scooters and one motorcycle. The most important thing is the re-entry of TVS Victor, while the two automatic scooters will be India’s first Hybrid automatic scooter, Qube Hybrid and a 125 cc Automatic scooter. Qube will give all-new direction to the Indian scooter market. Qube was first showcased at 2010 Auto Expo and then at 2012 Auto Expo. The scooter has a 100cc four stroke engine paired with an electric motor which comes with extended battery pack to ensure a longer covering range. 

TVS Victor

These two scooters are expected to have a higher fuel economy of 70kmpl. TVS Qube will have three different riding modes namely Electric, Hybrid Economy and Hybrid Power. The scooter has a cool LCD display displaying battery charge, fuel levels, speedometer, odometer, time and other check-lights. It has regenerative brakes that will help to keep the battery charged to achieve more fuel efficiency and ensure longer travel range. TVS will lead the market if these features works great.

TVS Qube Hybrid

Victor making its re-entry into the 100-110cc space of the Indian motorcycle market which is the biggest pie(about 65 per cent) of the Indian motorcycle market. Hero MotoCorp is the leader in this space and TVS has the minimal share in it. In last few months, there are many new entries increasing the competition including Suzuki Hayate, Honda Dream Yuga, Bajaj Discover 100 T. 2013 TVS Victor might use a re-tuned version of Star City’s 109.7cc, four stroke engine. The second scooter, which is a 125cc automatic scooter is still under process. There are some news that it is using the 125cc motor of the Wego and will compete against the likes of Suzuki Access and Swish, Mahindra Duro DZ and Rodeo RZ and the upcoming 125cc scooters from Honda and Yamaha. With the success of TVS Phoenix and the entry of these three new products, TVS is looking to attain a higher place in the Indian two-wheeler market.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013


Europe's largest two wheeler manufacturer KTM has acquired the motorcycle brand - Husqvarna, which was a cult brand of German bike major BMW Motorrad till date. We know that Indian two-wheeler major Bajaj Auto holds 47% stake in KTM. In a press statement, BMW Group confirmed stating it has signed a purchase agreement with Pierer Industrie AG (Austria) for the acquisition of 100-year old Husqvarna Motorcycles. The acquisition will proceed subject to approval by anti-trust authorities. Both companies have agreed not to disclose the purchase price. It was sold to Italian motorcycle group Cagiva and became part of MV Agusta Motor S.p.A, in 1987. 


BMW acquired Italian firm Husqvarna from MV Agusta in 2008. BMW has invest in a significant amount in production and future product portfolio of Husqvarna in 2008. In fact some of BMW engineers had moved to Husqvarna's R&D set up. Both these companies have similar products, so synergies will be better utilised. KTM gets technology, distribution and product portfolio and it can further enhance the market share.


Husqvarna, which had sold the maximum of 15,000 units a few years back, posted 15.7% growth in 2012 by selling close to 10, 751 units, however it still continues to be loss making. When contacted Rajiv Bajaj, MD, Bajaj Auto confirmed the development but declined to give more details on the acquisition. By buying Husqvarna, KTM will expand its presence in Europe and it will also help the Austrian brand maintain its leadership position. KTM recently overtook BMW and the acquisition will help KTM create a second brand in the region.


Some source confirmed that Stefan Pierer, CEO of KTM has acquired 100% stake in Husqvarna, in his personal capacity from BMW. Husqvarna, which is a 100 year-old Swedish brand will eventually be transferred to KTM by Pierer with the deal finalized last week. 


Bajaj reasoned: "In Jack Trout and Al Ries's book of 22 immutable laws of marketing, the 8th chapter on the law of duality -says - in the long run, every market becomes a two horse race. As the market matures, top two players end up with 80% of market share. Thus with two strong brands KTM and Husqvarna - KTM places itself in a powerful position to defend its world leadership in off-road and premium motorcycles."


“And just like KTM products, Bajaj Auto's Chakan plant could possibly become hub for exports for products below 400 cc.” said Bajaj. "Just like how KTM gained from the low cost of manufacturing from India, Husqvarna too can reduce cost by manufacturing products out of Bajaj Auto's Chakan plant in Maharashtra." Bajaj added.


Surjit Arora, auto analyst with Prabhudas Lilladher said, "From a strategic point of view, the acquisition is a good fit. The Husqvarna products will further expand portfolio and enhance Bajaj's image of a sporty bike maker. It is difficult to comment on specific financials, but today KTM is a profit making company, going ahead it will boost earning per share of Bajaj Auto in the next two to three years."

"Bajaj Auto's future product may also get a boost. One has already seen the positive rub-off effect of KTM technology on Bajaj Auto's product, this will further enhance Bajaj's technology and one may see positive benefits of Husqvarna technology on Bajaj Auto's products,"" said an industry analyst who did not wish to be named.


The entity is currently managed out of Varesa, Italy. Husqvarna has a range of off-road, supermoto and street bikes, including the Nuda 900 and TR650 range of street bikes, SMR 630, 511, 125 and SMS 125 range of supermoto bikes, the TXC cross country range, the TE Enduro range as well as a mini cross range.




World's largest two-wheeler manufacturer Hero MotoCorp on Sunday said it has recorded highest monthly sales of 5,57,797 units in January 2013. The company sold 5,20,272 units in the same month of 2012. The previous highest sales was in May 2012, when the company had sold 5,56,644 units. Hero has registered a growth of 7.21 percent.

Hero MotoCorp Senior Vice-President (Marketing & Sales) Anil Dua said, "Our new motorcycle launches like Ignitor and Hero Passion X-Pro are receiving excellent customer response, while growth in our scooters, Pleasure & Maestro, is outpacing the industry growth. "The overall two-wheeler industry is again showing good volumes, and we are hopeful of keeping up the momentum," he added. During the month, the company also commenced construction of its fourth manufacturing plant and the Global Parts Centre (GPC) at Neemrana in Rajasthan. Hero Motocorp will invest a total of Rs 550 crore in setting up these facilities, the statement added.


The company sold 29,785 units in January 2013 as against 26,300 units sold in January last year in the domestic markets. It has registered a growth of 13.2% in domestic sales during January 2013 as compared to the corresponding period last year.

Speaking on the results, Mr. Roy Kurian, National Business Head, India Yamaha Motor, said, “We are indeed pleased with the sales growth that we’ve witnessed in the past month on account of our strong product portfolio, upbeat customer confidence and the launch of the scooter Ray in September last year, which has invariably managed to keep the growth consistent. We recently introduced the Yamaha Female Training programme in Chennai, Bangalore and Kolkata, the response to which has been highly encouraging. We shall continue with our endeavors as far as customer engagement programme is considered. The calendar this year is teeming with activities and I can assure you, that we at India Yamaha Motor shall strive to deliver only what we think is best for our customers.”

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