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Aprilia to compete with Enfields?

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There might be an Aprilia model to compete with Royal Enfield Classic 350 which is a top-selling model in its class since launch.

A new test mule has been spotted in Europe and it has a similar engine casing as the RS 457. It also features old-school styling and body parts that indicates that the world is finally noticing the timeless appeal (and profits) of Enfield models which have built a nice empire in mid-capacity motorcycles for over a decade now.

A new retro-styled test bike is getting testes around Europe which on close scrutiny of spied photos suggests it is an Aprilia.

Multiple aspects convince eager enthusiasts to claim it is an upcoming Aprilia motorcycle. Engine casing visible on the right hand side is similar to the RS 457’s unit. This test model’s motor appears to be larger in the images. It has a larger exhaust also. But there are many features giving it an appearance of RS 457.

However, the design is not very impressive so this would have to be a very early prototype. The aesthetics of its headlight, tank shrouds, and the tail section, seem as if they were all assembled by a local garage shop. A retrofitted model is not exactly a test mule so the mystery is intriguing indeed.

RS 457 uses a 457cc, twin-cylinder, liquid-cooled engine with 47.6bhp and 43.5Nm linked to a six-speed gearbox. It has a slipper clutch. Aprilia may carry these forward with different tuning. A slim USD front forks, dual rear shocks, and single disc at both ends are possible indications as well. Its alloy wheels and TVS tyres seem to be borrowed from the RS.

It could take any amount of time before Aprilia debuts this retro-styled motorcycle in production form. The current iteration of RS 457 has just been launched in India after months of anticipation. Royal Enfield has new competition from Honda CB350, Harley-Davidson 440X and Triumph’s partnership with Bajaj apart from the revived Jawa and Yezdi brands.

Since the response to H-D and Triumph’s small engine models were all perceived as a gamble– that paid off more than expected– it seems other brands are catching on to this retro-theme-segmentation within motorcycles which have smaller engines but larger than commuter class models.

Honda 350cc models meant for India were launched in Japan as well and the Triumph-Bajaj models may go overseas too. If Aprilia makes money with its retro-bike in India, then they may realize there is a market for them elsewhere too.

Meanwhile, news comes of a Trademark for a “Goan Classic 350” by Royal Enfield which is fast growing its range of models and brand-name list.

Will there be a 650cc version for Bullet and Classic? While Enfields are chasing and pushing for bigger engines, others want to break its global hold on 350cc engine market.

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Classic Legends to get USD 105m investment

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Mahindra and Mahindra, along with others to invest USD 105 mn in Classic Legends

The bestselling ‘Scorpio’ car manufacturer will invest USD 105 million along with existing shareholders and new investors, Mahindra said in an exchange filing.This will be over the course of next two to three years.

Mahindra owns 60% of Classic Legends, which manufactures two-wheelers such as Jawa, Yezdi, and BSA.

This is while investments in premium motorcycle segment in India is heating up with Harley-Davidson and Triumph partnering domestic companies, Hero MotoCorp and Bajaj respectively.

Classic Legends has so far not made any inroads into this segment that is still largely dominated by Eicher’s Royal Enfield motorcycles.

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TVS overtakes Yamaha’s Market Capitalisation

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TVS overtakes Yamaha’s Market capitalisation to become third-largest two-wheeler maker in the world.

The market capitalisation (Mcap) of Chennai-based (India) TVS Motor has surged 37% to $9.2 billion over the past six months, as per Bloomberg’s data. In contrast, Yamaha Motor saw an Mcap erosion of $1.6 billion from its August highs.

Only seventeen months ago, TVS Motor Company was less than half the size of Yamaha Motor Co. Now, it has overtaken the Japanese two-wheeler giant in terms of market valuation. Investors continue to bet on a revival in both domestic and export markets, and TVS seemed the horse of choice, symbolic of its logo.

BTW, Indian two-wheeler manufacturers make up four of the top five companies in the world.

Bajaj Auto tops the list with a Mcap of $19 billion, followed by Eicher Motors with an $11.5 billion Mcap. Hero MotoCorp ranks fifth with a market valuation close to $8 billion.

Additionally, TVS Motors has gained dominant position in EV scooters, and has managed to gain market share in every segment over the last few years. TVS makes the 310cc BMW engines and motorcycles sold in India. TVS also owns the Norton brand.

US-based Harley-Davidson ranked seventh with an Mcap of $4.3 billion, three Chinese manufacturers are featured among the top ten two-wheeler makers in the world.

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Invasion of the Small Capacity Engines

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Small is Big: Motorcycles with less power, more styling, high sales volumes

Just as the world was recognising the perks of weekend motorcycle getaways and big V-Twin engines, there was also economic collapse, trade tariff wars and then the curse of the climate. Everyone complained about the weather and then somebody actually did something about it. Like all solutions, the proposal was a ban.

In this Article we dive into the world of small things making big waves in motorcycle industry

Click Here to Read this Comprehensive Overview of All Things Big About Small

Bajaj-Triumph Frankenstein Baby

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Triumph decided to counter Royal Enfield’s might in the sub-750cc segment by attacking its homebase.

They decided to tie-up with Bajaj who have successfully launched KTM and Husqvarna bikes in India.

However, the last time Bajaj challenged Enfield’s cruiser segment by ridiculing Enfields as ancient clumsy elephants, they failed miserably and the viewers were disappointed with the dismal method of launching the new Bajaj long-distance bike called ‘Dominar’. Since then, the Dominar brand of Bajaj is the black sheep in the family which no one talks about and no one really wants to buy.

It would be a big surprise if these two new proposed Frankenstein babies of Triumph and Bajaj can dent anything in Enfield ‘s lineup. It is forever expected to be launched ‘soon’. It missed its deadline to be showcased at EICMA where Royal Enfield shined again as a sole saviour of two-wheeled automotive segment from India.

Most likely, the Bajaj-Triumph franchise / partnership will just grab the market-share away from Honda 350 and Jawa 290. Honda 350 is available at only a handful of Big Wing Dealerships. Jawa 290 has poor customer experiences for their authorised service centers.

Worse still, it will dilute the great brand image that Triumph motorcycles already enjoys in India with decent sales of their models YoY. Hell, they are bigger than Polaris and surely more popular than Honda or Kawasaki with Triumph’s range of models, including classic retro styling, adventure-tourer, racing finesse, off-road ready models and more.

Have a look at the spied models of Triumph-Bajaj in the below video

Pssst!!! Hey, you got to peek into the Cantina for true classics !!!
CLICK TO KNOW MORE….

Tiny Triumph Motorcycle Range in Prototype – targets 200 to 750cc engine market segment

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by Todd Halterman from https://www.autoevolution.com

Tiny Triumphs and EV Motorcycle Range in Prototype Now With Indian Firm Bajaj

Triumph is now teasing the development of a series of smaller displacement motorcycles that the company plans to build with Indian manufacturing giants Bajaj.

As far back as early 2020, Triumph announced that it reached an agreement with Bajaj – one of the largest motorcycle firms in the world – to develop and build an all-new range of so-called ‘baby’ Triumphs that would fill in the 200 – 750cc engine displacement category.

While the plan called for the companies to roll out the first models in the collaboration in 2022, the project has been pushed back as a consequence of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Now that the pandemic crisis seems to be loosening its grip, both parties say they’re back on track to develop the bikes.

Triumph Head of Brand Management Miles Perkins says prototypes have already been created and plans are back in the offing.

“That’s going great guns, I have seen the development motorcycles – and the prototype for those – it’s all on track,” Perkins says. “We haven’t yet confirmed exactly what the bikes are and exactly when we will launch them but the news is forthcoming soon.”

And fear not, though Triumph hasn’t confirmed exactly which the partnership will create models, it has said the resulting bikes will be sold globally rather be sold only in Asian markets more conducive to sales of cheaper, small capacity motorcycles.

According to Perkins, Triumph found the ideal partner in Bajaj. He says the company’s large market share in India and experience working with KTM and Kawasaki were key to the deal.

“The relationship with Bajaj and conversations I have had with the team over there and the engineering team working with them are very like-minded and passionate individuals, and their focus and commitment are outstanding. They have similar leadership family principles and values,” Perkins says. “The working relationship is strong, the design development is completely Triumph, these are Triumphs and the partnership is building it and selling them around the world. What Bajaj brings is phenomenal in terms of the ability to develop quality in this volume, especially in the lower capacity range.”

Perkins also says the Triumph TE-1 EV prototype has been built and is ready for testing. It represents an electric sports bike model developed in partnership with Williams Advanced Engineering, and Perkins calls it “a blueprint for a future EV Triumph.”

Power for the TE-1 comes from an electric motor that delivers 174 horsepower at peak and 107 horses of continuous power. Triumph chose not to publish additional specifications, but Motorcycle News learned the bike weighs 485 pounds and offers up to 120 miles of range. Quick-charging technology zaps the battery pack with an 80% charge in about 20 minutes. Triumph stressed it aimed to give riders the performance of an internal-combustion-powered bike in an electric package, but what you see isn’t necessarily what will land in showrooms.

Triumph will begin testing the TE-1 prototype in the coming months, but it told Motorcycle News that it still needs to clear the cost hurdle before approving the production model. When it will do that is up in the air.

Triumph calls the TE-1 EV a prototype platform development and not an actual motorcycle available for sale, it’s a project which the company is using for “learning and developing the team’s experience but also developing the partnership of technology with several partners for a full-on electric Triumph platform that will follow in years to come.”

Excelsior-Henderson Resurrection

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by Ben Purvis from https://www.cycleworld.com

Indian firm Bajaj may be bringing back the classic American marque.

For a brief moment in the late 1990s the name Excelsior-Henderson was one of the hottest stories in motorcycling – a brand that was resurrected as a high-tech rival to Harley-Davidson after decades in the grave. Even if you don’t remember the furor over Excelsior in 1997, you already know how the story ends. The fact that those Excelsiors remain vanishingly rare more than two decades later reveals that the plan didn’t quite come together as envisioned. Just two years after unveiling the first bike since 1931 to wear that storied badge, Excelsior-Henderson 2.0 ended up closing its doors as well. But now it seems that the brand might be set to rise from the grave once more, this time courtesy of Indian manufacturing giant Bajaj.

Bajaj might not be a name that registers on your radar like Honda or Harley-Davidson, but it’s a behemoth of a company with a 75-year history of its own and a string of subsidiaries. It’s India’s second-largest bike company, after Hero, with the production capacity to manufacture 6,330,000 vehicles per year, most of them motorcycles. On top of that, Bajaj owns 48% of KTM, building KTMs and Husqvarnas in its plants in India, and it has a deal with Triumph to jointly develop and manufacture a new range of small to mid-sized machines in the near future. In short, Bajaj is one of the biggest players in the worldwide motorcycle market, and now it’s planning to relaunch the classic Excelsior-Henderson marque.

The news has yet to be officially announced, but Bajaj has already applied for trademark rights in various countries to use the Excelsior-Henderson name and logo on motorcycles, parts and clothing. It’s understood to have bought the brand name from Daniel Hanlon, who was one of the chief drivers behind the 1990s revival of the American brand that came so close to success. Bajaj’s interest in Excelsior is likely to stem from the fact that rival Indian manufacturers have been on a spending spree recently, snapping up famous motorcycle companies or the rights to their names. TVS, for instance, bought the remains of Norton earlier this year, and Mahindra owns the BSA brand and intends to bring it back into production in the near future. Meanwhile, Hero – the world’s largest manufacturer of motorcycles by volume – has recently struck a deal to develop and manufacture bikes wearing the Harley-Davidson brand name in its home market.

All of this is likely to be a response to the rapid growth of Royal Enfield, which has been Indian-owned for decades but has seen remarkable sales increases in recent years, leaving other Indian brands, which traditionally focus on smaller bikes, looking for a way to compete in the classic space.

In case you’re not familiar with Excelsior-Henderson, it started life as a merger of two bike companies (as the name suggests) back in the pioneering days of the early 20th century. Both were high-end brands with a reputation for quality, with Excelsior building 61 cubic inch V-twins from as early as 1910 and later developing the famous 45 cubic inch Super X in 1925. Henderson, meanwhile, started life in 1911 and focussed on inline four-cylinder machines. Both companies were bought by bicycle firm Schwinn – Excelsior in 1912 and Henderson in 1917 – and merged into Excelsior-Henderson, although their products remained separate. In 1931, Schwinn closed Excelsior-Henderson, refocusing on pedal-powered bikes in the face of the Great Depression.

That might have been the end of the story if it wasn’t for Daniel Hanlon’s Minnesota-based Hanlon Manufacturing Company. He saw a gap in the market for a high-spec V-twin cruiser in the 1990s and embarked on the development of what would become the Excelsior-Henderson Super X of 1998. Featuring a 1386cc (85 cu in) DOHC, four-valve V-twin with fuel injection, based on a design from British engineering firm Weslake (famous for the V12 powering Dan Gurney’s Eagle F1 cars in the 1960s, and later the Gurney-Weslake engines for Ford’s GT40s), the Super X also used unusual front suspension with massive, exposed springs. A 140-strong dealer network was established and around 1950 of the $18,500 Super X machines found buyers before Excelsior-Henderson filed for Chapter 11 in late 1999.

Although production never restarted, the Excelsior-Henderson company has remained in existence since then. An attempt was made to sell the brand and rights to its use and patents at a Mecum auction in 2018, but no buyer was found. Now it seems Bajaj has bought at least some of those rights. No doubt there will be an official announcement to confirm more details of the arrangement, but it seems that a new Excelsior-Henderson could be on the way within the next few years.

Harley Courts Mahindra, Bajaj, and Hero For Indian Partnership

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by Dustin Wheelen from https://www.rideapart.com

Harley-Davidson has been trying to find its way in a rapidly modernizing world for years now. In the saga’s latest installment, the Milwaukee-based brand ditched Matt Levatich and installed Jochen Zeits as the new President and CEO, changes have been swift and steady. From potentially nixing the Bronx to creating a Chief Digital Officer role, the new regime is implementing its Rewire plan without batting an eye.

With the company projecting jobs cuts in 2020 and speculation that the Street lineup will bite the dust, many Indian outlet are reporting that Harley’s Bawal factory could soon shut down. As the MoCo shifts its Asia Pacific operations to Thailand, talks with Mahinda & Mahinda, Hero Motocorp, and Bajaj are only fueling more rumors about the American brand’s future in the country.

Similar to KTM’s partnership with Bajaj or BMW’s TVS deal, the Bar and Shield could be seeking an affiliate to manufacture midsize motorcycles for the Indian market. Harley’s courters also include auto industry heavyweight Mahindra & Mahindra. As the owners of Classic Legends, the brand behind the Jawa revival and current BSA name-holders, the subsidiary could match the Motor Company’s retro aesthetic and satisfy its need for a global supply chain.

We should note that spokespeople from all brands involved are refusing to comment on the potential partnerships at this moment, but the talks certainly align with Zeits’ cost-cutting efforts. While the brand plans to focus on high-potential segments and markets, a presence in India is key for global success. Harley seems to be moving forward with its China-exclusive model 338R, and a similar tactic could benefit the MoCo in India.

We may be reading the tea leaves at this moment in time, but with cruiser sales continuing to dwindle in the U.S., Harley’s global presence will be more important than ever. Catering to the two most populous countries and the largest motorcycle markets in the world will be critical for the brand’s future. For now, we’ll have to wait and see if the company’s Indian factory closes by the end of the year and whether that begins a whole new phase of Harley’s ever-evolving modernization plan.

Bajaj to make Husqvarna electric motorcycle in India

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by Nithyanandh Karuppaswamy from https://www.rushlane.com

The Husqvarna E-Pilen is most likely to have India as its primary production location

KTM and its sister brand Husqvarna are betting big on electric mobility in the long term. Following an electric scooter, the Swedish two wheeler brand Husqvarna is also working on a zero emission motorcycle called E-Pilen which is most likely to employ the modular electric platform which is being developed by KTM in association with Bajaj.

The existence of Husqvarna E-Pilen came to light, thanks to an internal document which was shared at an investor meeting organized by Pierer Mobility AG (KTM and Husqvarna’s parent company). The document not only shared an early concept sketch of the Husqvarna electric motorcycle but also revealed some key details. For starters, the compact street fighter will be available with modular battery pack and two power levels – 4 kW and 10 kW.

The document also indicates that the Husqvarna E-Pilen will be ready for a launch in 2022. Further details are scarce but considering that the Bajaj-KTM modular electric platform is being developed to cater to power outputs ranging between 3 to 10 kW, this product is most likely to be one of the first beneficiaries.

What does the image say?
The low resolution image of the Husqvarna E-Pilen appears to be that of a tentative concept. As the development process nears completion, the final design and equipment are expected to change. From what we can see from the photograph, the E-Pilen derives its design inspiration from the IC-engined Vitpilen and Svartpilen street fighters. The trellis frame, USD front forks, rear monoshock, alloy wheels and tyres are likely to be shared with its siblings.

The fuel tank is there only for aesthetic purposes and the space occupied by IC engine will accommodate an electric motor and modular battery system. It remains to be seen if the rear wheel is driven by chain or belt.

To be made in India
The aforementioned modular electric platform for compact premium motorcycles will have India as its primary production base. Like the compact displacement KTM and Husqvarna products, the upcoming electric models up to 10 kW will be made by Bajaj at its Chakan facility. We can expect the e-mobility platform to also spawn KTM and Bajaj branded products in due course.

Rivals
The Husqvarna E-Pilen will be positioned as a lifestyle urban mobility solution for young audience in Europe. In India, it will be a premium alternative to the likes of the Revolt RV400 and upcoming Tork T6X.

 

Bajaj Triumph motorcycle launch in 2022

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Bajaj and Triumph will introduce new affordable motorcycles in India and abroad under a new partnership.

Bajaj Auto and Triumph Motorcycles have formally announced their new partnership to produce a range of mid-size motorcycles and platforms for the Indian and global markets. The decision was initially announced back in 2017, but the formal agreement was signed only now. The partnership will see a positive impact in either brand’s future business in India as well as abroad.

The long-term partnership agreement follows a non-equity approach under which both brands retain their intellectual property rights. Beyond the operational side of the business, motorcycle enthusiasts have been eagerly looking forward to seeing what the partnership would introduce in our market in due course.

Apparently, Triumph will introduce ‘big bike experience’ while Bajaj continues its expertise at making smaller-capacity motorcycles. Both brands will collaborate on the R&D of each motorcycle and platform, but manufacturing will be done solely at Bajaj’s Chakan facility for all global markets. Eventually, Bajaj will take over Triumph India and introduce the iconic British motorcycle brand to newer markets.

This move will also make Triumph motorcycles much more accessible in the country and have an edge over other premium two-wheeler brands. The first-of-the-line products under the partnership will debut in the Indian market sometime in 2022. There is no news of a bigger-capacity multi-cylinder Bajaj motorcycle yet, but there’s no harm in expecting something of that sort.

With the help of Bajaj, Triumph aims to penetrate further into major Asian markets that are currently dominated by the likes of Japanese motorcycles. In markets where Bajaj does not operate, Triumph Motorcycles will sell the upcoming mid-size products alongside its regular portfolio.

Hence, Bajaj will open doors to a new market in major European nations where Triumph Motorcycles leads. On the other hand, the British motorcycle maker will reap an untapped potential present in the lower, affordable, mass-volume segment. More information regarding the upcoming Bajaj-Triumph products will be shared in the coming months and as the launch timelines close in. The products’ naming will be borrowed from the roots of Triumph’s strong heritage.

While it is too early to confirm the exact specifications and output of the upcoming Triumph-Bajaj motorcycles, the partnership aims to make them “aspirational and affordable” with a targeted ex-showroom price tag starting from under Rs 2 lakh. Currently, the Royal Enfield 650 Twins are the most desirable mid-size motorcycles available in foreign markets that offer superior value for money.

With the introduction of the new range of products under the alliance, major rival brands such as Royal Enfield, Harley-Davidson, etc., might have to worry a bit. Harley-Davidson has already anticipated such a scenario and is working on a 338cc motorcycle for the affordable segments in the Asian market.