The performance motorcycle segment is all about power at a price and this is where TVS and Bajaj shine amassing maximum sales with Yamaha following closely, while Hero and Honda continue to be dud sellers in comparison.
The success of the entry-level performance motorcycle segment laid foundation for premium bike makers to come to India. Even though the demand for premium bikes has surged forward in the past years, the entry-level performance motorcycles continue to do well in their respective space offering impressive levels of power, practicality and efficiency in a compelling package. Bajaj Auto has been the king of this pack for the longest period, followed by TVS with the Apache while Hero MotoCorp has been following up slowly but not steadily. Then there are the niche players that includes Yamaha with the capable R15 and Honda with the CBR twins. So how did they fair in sales for last month? Let’s find out.
With eight offerings in the performance motorcycle segment, the most popular of the lot was the TVS Apache that continues to post excellent numbers for the Chennai based automaker. Available in 160cc and 180cc engine options, the TVS Apache offers a high revving engine with potent handling capabilities and just the right amount of power. The Apache RTR 180 is also the most affordable bike in India to get dual-channel ABS as optional. With 22,319 units sold, the TVS Apache range is a distant first compared to other products in this space.
Bajaj Auto is soaring high with the launch of the all-new Pulsars this year. Newest to the list has been the RS 200 and AS 200 in the performance motorcycle segment while the Pulsar 180 continues to form a small part of the sales. In addition, the company also retails the comparatively older 200 NS in this segment that cumulatively sold 9428 units in June this year. Bajaj’s strategy of offering more power per buck has worked wonders for the brand and continues to monetise strongly for the automaker.
In addition to the new age Pulsars, Bajaj Auto’s tried and tested products continue to be favoured by the masses. The now old Pulsar 220F and Avenger are other favourites in the segment that consistently retail well over 3000 units every month. For June 2015, the Pulsar 220F single-handedly sold 4688 units, almost half of what the new Pulsar 200s sold during the same period, whereas the Avenger 220 sold 3336 units in the previous month. Both the models use the same 220ccc oil-cooled, single-cylinder motor that offers impressive power output figures while keeping maintenance costs to a minimum.
The arrival of new Pulsars has taken a marginal hit on the Yamaha YZF-R15 with just 1897 units sold last month. The R15 usually does over 2000 units every month, but the popularity of the new Bajaj models has certainly hit the Japanese offering hard it seems. The other Japanese manufacturer, Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India too isn’t doing well, with its premium offerings doing paltry numbers compared to the competition. The automaker sold 781 units of the CBR150R in June this year, whereas only 459 units of the CBR250R moved out of showrooms. Honda desperately needs to get the facelifted versions of both the models to the country along with some price corrections.
The most disappointing automaker in this segment has been Hero MotoCorp with the Karizma R and ZMR models. The 2014 update on both the models tarnished the high-selling brand completely for Hero that has been struggling to improve sales of its flagship offerings ever since. With just 396 units sold last month, we hope Hero has fast-tracked work on the Karizma facelift that is expected to come out next year and will hopefully bring back the days of glory to the capable product with some more power of course.