‘The Bajaj V is not trying to be a poseur. It is an honest bike.’
Mushtaq Anis was unknown to the automotive world till Bajaj Auto’s MDRajiv Bajaj introduced him as the designer of the company’s latest model and brand called ‘V’. Sumantra B Barooah speaks to the 30-year-old designer.
Congratulations on the launch of the ‘V’. What was the basis of this idea and how long did you work on the project?
This is, as our managing director Rajiv Bajaj pointed out, what we wanted to help stand out from what we have in the market. We were trying a lot of concepts but nothing was working out. We kept trying our concepts.
One day I thought the kind of motorcycle our MD is looking for is a nice, simple bike which stands out and one which connects with everyone. Basically, I wanted to make a motorcycle which I would like to ride. A nice, muscular bike which has a very imposing presence. If you look at the Bajaj V, it is very simple. It is not trying to be a poseur. It is an honest bike.
How long did you work on this project before you showed it to Rajiv?
For around 2-3 months. We had regular presentations with our MD and it went on for about 4 months (the sketching phase).
How many iterations did it go through?
This was the fifth or sixth iteration. We were trying a lot of things. One day I thought, “No, I will make a bike which I like." I made it and that’s when he liked it.
Why did you choose a 150cc? Did Rajiv Bajaj say it should be a 150cc?
The thing is, as he rightly pointed out, we wanted to stand out in the commuter bike segment. This bike in a 125cc engine would not have done justice for this kind of size. So, 150cc is the right thing which we felt.
What does the ‘V’ project mean for you?
This being my complete first project, it is exhilarating because everyone was going through the finer details. I had very different view of the industry earlier. In this project, the MD was very particular we go into the finer details, sort it out. Everything had to be right. Right from the riding stance to the way it feels, to the way the decals have to go. Everything.
Do you think the fresh perspective of a new entrant in the industry worked as an advantage for you?
I guess so. (Laughs)
How flexible or versatile is this platform?
We are exploring the opportunities. We will see, as our MD said, what we can do. It all depends on the (market) response.
So, if there’s a potential to go up or down you can do both?
What are the three key parameters of objectives that the bike is designed to meet?
I would say pride (for the rider), and that it should look solid, ride solid and tough.
(Production of the Bajaj V begins on February 5. The motorcycle will be launched in March with a price tag of a little over Rs 60,000).
Read more: Bajaj Auto reveals new V brand and new 150cc commuter motorcycle
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