Bajaj Auto reveals new V brand and new 150cc commuter motorcycle

By revealing its all-new 150cc V motorcycle, Bajaj's latest product has taken centre-stage and is the first two-wheeler big-ticket launch in the build up to the Auto Expo 2016 which opens later this week.

Autocar Pro News Desk By Autocar Pro News Desk calendar 01 Feb 2016 Views icon47494 Views Share - Share to Facebook Share to Twitter Share to LinkedIn Share to Whatsapp

By revealing its all-new 150cc commuter motorcycle – the Bajaj V – the Pune-based motorcycle manufacturer’s latest product has taken centre-stage and is the first big-ticket two-wheeler launch in the build up to the Auto Expo 2016 which opens later this week.

Speaking at the new product unveiling today in New Delhi, Eric Vas, president, motorcycle business, Bajaj Auto, said the V brand creates a new segment, just like mini-SUVs have done for the four-wheeler segment.  

The Bajaj V will be a “solid commuter” motorcycle, said Vas. India’s most celebrated aircraft carrier, the INS Vikrant, which was consigned to the scrapyard, lives on in the Bajaj V, whose fuel tank assembly is specifically the part that has been made out of the metal from the warship. All V motorcycles will sport the INS Vikrant insignia. While the company has enough metal from the INS Vikrant to go into a large number of Bajaj Vs, ultimately there will be a limit to which this edition can be produced. 

With this move, Bajaj Auto is hoping to establish a two-wheeler connect with the armed forces, a sentiment which bonds with a large percentage of the country's population. The company is understood to have purchased a substantial amount of the scrap metal of the warship, melted it and then used it in the making of the first V brand motorcycle.  

Therefore, pride of ownership for this motorcycle, which is neither a sporty machine nor purely a workhorse, is one of the USPs of the product. The Bajaj V is powered by a new 150cc DTS-i twin-spark engine, which is tuned for low-end torque and develops 11.76bhp at 7500rpm and 13Nm at 5500rpm to straddle both the 125 and 150cc segments. The Bajaj V, which weighs 135kg, is shod with an 18-inch tyre in the front and a 16-incher at the rear and will come with a front disc brake.  

Other product highlights include a double-cradle frame, large 33mm dia front fork and rear shock absorbers, a 55/60W trapezoidal headlamp (claimed to be 60 percent brighter than other motorcycles) and a removable rear seat cowl (which can be detached to seat the pillion). 

The new V’s styling is more café-racer albeit with a hint of cruiser. This is down to the stance because of the 18-inch front and 16-inch rear tyres shod on smart-slim 10-spoke alloy wheels. Its contemporary design mixes sporty and muscular bringing a new flavour to the commuter space. This new family of motorcycles looks set to live alongside its successful and more simple-looking Discover range. From the wind deflector on the headlamp to the boat-tail rear, and the swoopy design in between, there’s a lot to like on the V. The chrome dual shock absorbers at the rear, the red contrast stitching on the seat, the removable cowl for the rear seat and the smart instrument cluster, all make it very appealing. The instrument cluster features a fuel gauge that switches from green to red as the fuel level dips really low. 

According to Vas, "The Bajaj V will usher in a new era in commuter motorcycling. We believe the Indian customer buying a commuter motorcycle deserves something that is substantial and solid. The V will change the experience of commuter biking, much like the way the Pulsars changed sports biking."

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The new Bajaj V motorcycle will be priced between Rs 60,000-70,000 – most likely Rs 65,000 – with deliveries to commence in March. "We will commence production of the V from February 5 and shipments by the beginning of March 2016," said Rajiv Bajaj, managing director, while unveiling the company's latest creation.

"The price will be closer to Rs 60,000 and it will be positioned in the 500,000 executive bike segment where our presence has been elusive," added Rajiv Bajaj.

The pricing is based on the premise that the 125cc bike market starts at around Rs 58,000 and the Pulsar is priced around Rs 70,000. The V, which slots in between these two, will create a new price segment.

Rajiv Bajaj said the manufacturing facility has a production capacity of 20,000 units per month, which will be ramped up based on demand. "The initial focus will be on marketing the V in the domestic market. We will look at exports later on as we do with all our models," he said.

Bajaj Auto is to begin mass production of this model on February 5, with deliveries to dealerships starting by mid-March. The V's pricing will be officially announced closer to end-March. 

(Inputs from Shobha Mathur, Kartikeya Singhee & Amit Panday)  

Also read: Interview with Mushtaq Anis, designer of the Bajaj V: "This is an honest bike."

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