Having a best selling 100 cc motorcycle in a manufacturer’s lineup might actually boost our chances for getting more powerful (F-U-N) motorcycles..
There is a very good chance that for most of us in India; a humble 100 cc motorcycle would have been the stepping stone into the world of motorcycles.
But as the years roll by, the need for speed bug bites at least some of the passionate bikers (the others move on to 4 wheelers) and the 100 cc motorcycle now seems inadequate in squeezing the adrenaline juice from our young (and maybe not so young bodies as well).
Like an addict, we begin to crave for increasing doses of excitement from our two wheelers. This basic instinct can be satiated only by getting astride and twisting the throttle on bigger and more powerful (read as F-U-N) engines.
Even though motorcycles from international brands like Ducati, Harley Davidson and not to forget the big 1000 cc bikes like the Yamaha R1, Honda CBR1000RR, Suzuki Hayabusa etc. can now be bought from a showroom in India, these ultimate dream machines remain well… mostly a dream to a middle class "biker next door" like me.
My Realistic Dream motorcycle
The best that I can logically aspire to own/ride before my hair turns completely grey is a 250-300 cc, liquid cooled (preferably a twin cylinder) engine, which can make 25-30 Ps of power and can hit speeds of around 150-160 kmph.
The Kawasaki Ninja 250R which has finally been launched in India (Hallelujah..!!) actually fits the description of my dream motorcycle perfectly. But there is just one small problem; I am now tagged by a companion for life (my wife) and therefore the Rs. 3 lakh (on road) price tag on the baby Ninja looks a bit of a stretch for my middle class pay cheque. I would therefore prefer my Realistic Dream motorcycle to be made in India, so that it comes within a price tag of around Rs. 1.5 lakhs (on road).
But with the current 100 cc motorcycle obsession of Indians, my Dream Motorcycle might seem like a distant dream..
2006: Mr. Rajeev Bajaj, the MD of Bajaj Auto had said that he wanted the 100 cc buying crowd to upgrade to 125 cc motorcycles. I too sincerely hoped for this to happen since it meant that with rising aspirations, high end Indian motorcycles might finally take the shape of my realistic dream motorcycle.
2010: The less than 125 cc (mainly 100 cc) category still enjoys the lion's share of the domestic motorcycle market and commands 74% share of the total industry sales..!! It looks like the 100 cc obsession is relentless and will continue in India for a long, long time. After all India has a huge population looking for a economical and fuel efficient motorcycle just to commute from point A to point B.
Let’s accept it; the 100 cc motorcycle in India, is an evil necessity
The writing seems to be on the wall that for healthy sales numbers, a 100 cc motorcycle which sells in good numbers seems to be imperative. Well.. the customer is king.
One can just hope that once the solution for a high volume (100 cc) best seller is found, the manufacturers would then concentrate its resources on catering to middle class bikers like me, still waiting for his Realistic Dream Bike.
Recent 100 cc stories
Bajaj Auto: Discover DTS-Si
Bajaj Auto has discontinued its XCD 125 & 135 cc models and has literally discovered sales success after launch of the 100 cc Discover DTS-Si in July 2009. Thanks to the 100 cc Discover DTS-Si, market leader Hero Honda's share in the below 125 cc category fell close to 6% to 74.6% at the end of the last fiscal (2009-10) from a previous 80% at the end of 2008-09. Bajaj's share increased to 17%, up from 10.5% at the end of fiscal 2008-09.
Honda Motorcycles and Scooters India (HMSI): CB Twister
Honda also couldn’t resist the prospect of selling 100 cc motorcycles in large numbers in India and hence has launched its 110 cc CB Twister.
TVS Motor: Jive
TVS Motor has also introduced the 110 cc Jive, the first clutch less motorcycle in India and hopes to carve a niche for itself among the 100 cc craving desi janata. Apart from the Jive, TVS has also refreshed its 100 cc Sport and 110 cc Star City for 2010.
Yamaha India: YBR 110
Compared to its other 4 stroke offerings, Yamaha India has relatively tasted success with its stylish 150 cc FZ Series and R15 motorcycles in India and. Now Yamaha wants to ride on the wave of recent success and hopes to sell its entry level 100 cc motorcycles in India as well.
Yamaha India launched the YBR 110 model with an eye on rural India. The YBR 110 motorcycle is basically the same Alba model Yamaha India with new stickers, steel grab rail and a new name.
Yamaha YBR 110 Price
Rs. 41,000 (Ex-Showroom, Delhi)
Yamaha YBR 110 Specifications
Engine type: Air-cooled, 4-stroke, SOHC
Displacement: 106 cc
Bore & Stroke: 49.0 × 56.0 mm
Compression ratio: 9.0:1
Maximum power: 7.6PS / 7,500 rpm
Maximum torque: 7.85N.m / 6,000 rpm
Starting system: Self
Lubrication : wet sump
Cylinder layout: Single cylinder
Clutch type: Multiplate wet type
Ignition system: C.D.I
Gear box: 4-Speed Constant Mesh
Gear ratios: 1st=3.000, 2nd＝1.687, 3rd:=1.200, 4th=0.875
Frame type: Double cradle type-Tubular
Front suspension: Telescopic Hydraulic
Rear suspension: Ajustable, Hydraulic Shock Absorber
Front brake: Drum
Rear brake: Drum (130mm Dia)
Front tyre: 2.75 X 18″ 4PR
Rear tyre: 3.00 X 18″ 6PR
Overall length x width x height: 2,000mm x 730mm × 1,050mm
Kerb Weight: 123 kg
Minimum ground clearance: 173mm
Engine oil volume: 1.1 liters
Fuel tank capacity: 13 liters
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