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Saturday, December 27, 2008

Manufacturers of 2008 - My Take

In midst of Security, Political and Economic turmoil, the year 2008 is now on the verge of it's culmination. Probably one of the most rough year I would say for the country as far as I remember, where nothing seemed to be going right, except for a couple of occasions. But in the midst of all this, the Indian biking community was delighted with quite a few releases and above India saw, for the first time ever, almost every bike manufacturer stepping up it's technology and participating in the race to provide better and more better bikes to the Indian Bike Community.

So here's my take on the best bike manufacturers who gifted us this year!!

1. Yamaha India
Needless to say, Yamaha India led the technological race from the very front. After launching the mighty Yamaha R1 2008 and Yamaha MT01 2008 last year in India, the company decided to take the initiative further in every possible aspect. This year, the company not only showed that technology can be incorporated at the 125cc level, by giving us the Yamaha Gladiator Type SS/RS, but also gave us our first authentic sports class replica the, Yamaha R15, coming from the line of the Yamaha R1. Finally it stunned us with the picture perfect Yamaha FZ 16, coming from the same design board as the Yamaha FZ1 Abarth Assetto Corse. Truly speaking I would say the way Yamaha India has recovered, from the verge of getting shut down to leading performance biking regime from the front, is really remarkable.

2. TVS Motors and Suzuki India
For me the second position is tied between Suzuki India and TVS Motors. TVS Motors gave us the magnificent Fi variant of it's ultra successful Apache RTR. TVS is really taking the battle head on and very aggressively. It's leaving no stone unturned to make it's mark in the performance biking segment. The ultimate beneficiary finally are the Indian bikers who are give the daunting task of choosing from the best of the best.

This year saw Suzuki India launch the Suzuki GS 150R on the lines of the Suzuki GSX-R 1000. Loaded with lots and lots of inspirations from it's bigger brother, the 150cc GS 150R is definitely stated to make it's mark on the road. Just when every thought that it's the end of portfolio for this year for Suzuki India, Suzuki landed it's Falcon on Indian soil - the 2008 Suzuki Hayabusa. Along with the Suzuki Hayabusa, Suzuki also gave us the mighty M1800R Intruder which really blasted off Suzuki's this years portfolio off the roof.

3. Honda Motors India
Honda Motors India this year made only one major release, the Honda CBF Stunner 125 from the inspiration lines of it's CBR range. Truly speaking I had my serious reservations against this bike, but guess the Indian Commuter Mass all of sudden got a bike, which looks like Karizma but gives the mileage of Super Splendor. No doubt the bike is selling like a hot cake. This bike surely got Honda Motors India it's grip back on the Indian commuter class. But I still feel that Honda Motors should give the Unicorn it's due attention.

4. Bajaj Auto
This year the country saw Bajaj in a state of coma only coming to sense twice in the entire lot of 365 days. In those two occasions when the company came to senses, quickly released two bikes, one to gauge the style cues of a future release with launching cosmetically revamped Bajaj Discover 135 DTSi and then an upgraded Bajaj Platina 125 DTS-Si. Apart from these two, the company remained pretty much in coma which finally resulted in a slip of motorcycle sales figures for the company by 5%.

5. Hero Honda Motors
Finally comes Hero Honda, which in the name of "New" bikes managed to do only sticker jobs and nothing much and therefore fell in for the last position in my list.

Disclaimer : Sales figures and profit are different, in my list I've placed manufacturers which I though best gauged public expectations and more importantly gave better technology and product to India and above all this is my personal opinion and differences of opinion are most welcome!!
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Item Reviewed: Manufacturers of 2008 - My Take Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal Chakraborty
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