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Honda_Activa_3G_LeftHonda 2 Wheelers today announced the continued success of its popular automatic scooter Activa, which has bagged the title for being country’s top selling scooter for the fifth time this fiscal in January 2016. Last month Honda sold a total of 210,123 units of the iconic automatic scooter Activa in India crossing the 2 lakh sales mark. This brings the Activa’s sales over four times bigger than the nearest competition, Hero Maestro, which recorded total sales of 48,000 units in January 2016.

In its official statement, Honda 2 Wheelers mentioned that to meet the growing demand for the Active, the company is currently manufacturing the scooter is all four plants at Manesar Tapukara, Narsapuram, and Vithalapur. In fact it’s not just the Activa, but all the Honda scooter models are in the top 10 selling scooter models in the month, says Yadvinder Singh Guleria, senior VP for sales & marketing at Honda Motorcycle & Scooter.

Commenting on this new milestone Gularia said, “For Honda, 2016 is a landmark year and the positive momentum will only grow further. Honda’s new 4th plant in Gujarat – its first scooter only factory has started commercial production in January 2016. This is a GAME CHANGER. The additional capacity will help us to spread ‘Scooterization’ even to the last mile network and serve our customers with speed. Parallely, this plant now allows us to optimize production of motorcycles with special focus on recent fun motorcycle launches viz. Livo, CB Shine SP and CB Hornet 160R.”

In terms of impact on industry, thanks to the growing sales of the Honda Activa, the Japanese two-wheeler giant was able to help the industry grow by 2 per cent points to 30% in April-January period of FY’2015-16. And this is just with Honda’s contribution of automatic scooters. In addition Honda 2 Wheelers saw some great success in the motorcycle segment as well with the newly launched Honda Live 110cc motorcycle and much more popular 125cc premium commuter CB Shine.

In a very short span since its launch, Honda’s urban sporty 110cc motorcycle Livo has crossed 1 lakh unit sales milestone led by overwhelming demand of first time aspirational urban customers. This milestone comes at a time when overall 110cc mass motorcycle segment continues to decline by -6% led by weak buying sentiment in rural economy. At the same time Honda’s leading 125cc premium commuter CB Shine reclaimed the premier spot as segment leader with 76,562 units being sold last month. With this the CB Shine sales jumped a massive 23% taking Honda’s pushing Honda’s market share in the segment up to 46%.





With car sales down, it has been quite a challenge that the automotive industry is facing. However, there is one part of it that is doing well and that is the motorcycle segment. Most of the concentration with regards to sales has been the 100-110cc commuter bike segment.

The segment has already registered over 6.2 million sales in the financial year of 2013-14. The success has been thanks to the concentration of the companies on mileage over power. Hero Motocorp over the years has had strong presence in this segment but bikes like Honda’s Dream Neo has managed to give the likes of the Splendor tough competition.

TVS recently made the headlines by introducing the Star city+ and Yamaha too has announced plans to manufacture world’s cheapest motorcycle costingRs. 30000 in India to attempt and establish themselves in the commuter bike segment.

With more than 20 offerings in this segment we give you the top picks:

TVS Star City Plus

TVS is back with the launch of the Star City Plus which is the latest avatar from the Star bike family. The bike was first showcased at the Delhi Auto Expo and is a refreshed and premium variant aimed to attract young buyers who are now spoilt for choice in this continuously growing entry-level motorcycle segment. Since this is the most recent one to be launched we wait to see how the market reacts to it. But TVS has made it one competitive bike.

Price: Rs. 44,000 (ex-Showroom, Delhi)

Engine: 109cc

Claimed Mileage: 86 km/l

Hero Splendor

Now, there is a slight confusion over the number of Splendors in the market. There is the Splendor Plus, Splendor Pro, Splendor NXG and the latest of them all, the Splendor i-smart. With so many versions, it is easy to see how successful this bike has been for Hero. The easy to maintain 100cc engine, has made life easier for customers and with the i-smart the company is taking it to the next level. The i-smart has a new technology developed by the company called the i2S. This green technology helps the engine to shut automatically when idling and turns it on when needed thus increasing the fuel efficiency. So, a Start/ Stop function in a bike.

Price: Rs. 42,750-48,550

Engine: 98cc – 104cc

Mileage: 65-70 km/l

Honda Dream Neo

The Honda Dream Neo was the 2014 NDTV motorcycle of the year in the upto 110cc segment. It is the first commuter segment bike from HMSI to get HET or Honda Eco Technology. The styling and mature looking bike with an analogue speedometer and fuel-gauge was an instant hit. Value for money is the only way to describe this bike.

Price: Rs.43,842-47,869 (ex-showroom Delhi)

Engine: 109cc

Claim mileage: 72 km/l

Honda Twister

Now some might say that this is an old bike and yes it has been in the market for a while now. The sharp looks and slightly raked rear shows that the target audience is the youth. With the 110 cc engine and the smooth gear box the Twister scores high on ride and handling as well.

Price: Rs. 47,691

Engine: 109cc

Claim mileage: 74 km/l

Bajaj Discover 100M

Now, one cannot completely discount Bajaj from this competition and with the Discover line-up of bikes it caters to a different sub-section in the commuter bike segment. The entry level Discover model has defiantly eaten up a small slice from the big cake which is dominated by Hero MotoCorp.

Visually the 100M and 100T are no different as the bikes come with a muscular fuel tank and alloy wheels very much like the 125ST. The 100M misses out on a monoshock and the fuel switch on the side panel.

Rest all features are very similar to the Splendor pro series – Electric start, low maintenance battery,4 valve engine but Bajaj has managed to make its bike look better.

Price: Rs. 48,028

Engine: 102cc

Claimed mileage: 82 km/l




Maruti Suzuki India first unveiled the Vitara Brezza at the Auto Expo 2016. The new sub-4 metre SUV from the Indo-Japanese carmaker is based on the bigger, Suzuki Vitara that retails in a number of global markets. Though nearly the same size as the Ford EcoSport, the Vitara Brezza is more beefy, aggressive, and bettering looking SUV compared to the EcoSport. The SUV comes with a number of style additions like projector headlamps, dual tone body colour and other customisation options that gives it a more premium feel. The car will be available only with the 1.3-litre diesel engine that produces a maximum of 88.5bhp and a peak toque of 200 Nm that comes mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox.


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                                                                               Passion Pro TR

Hero MotoCorp unveiled a slew of new and revamped products at the 2014 Auto Expo followed by back to back launches through the course of the year. The company will launch three more bikes with the onset of the festive season.


These three bikes include the Splendor Pro ClassicXtreme Sports and the Passion Pro TR. These motorcycles will be launched in the period starting from now to the end of September. While the Passion Pro TR has already reached a few dealerships, the other two bikes are yet to be officially launched in the Indian market.


The Splendor Pro Classic is a cafe racer styled motorcycle based on the Splendor Pro. The bike’s fascia sports a classic round headlight with a cafe racer cowl and round-shape rear view mirrors. It boasts of a new handle bar, new chrome parts for the front and rear fenders and a suspension cover.


Xtreme Sports


Hero MotoCorp recently launched the 2014 version of the Xtreme and the Xtreme Sports is based on this bike. It comes with new decals and additional features. The Passion Pro TR also comes with new colour options and graphics but also features off-roading capable tyres, a head-lamp grille, a high and bigger front fender, new knuckle guards and differently designed side mirrors. There are no mechanical changes to any of the bikes and they come equipped with the same engine specifications as those of the outgoing regular models.


Passion Pro TR


Pawan Munjal, Hero Moto-Corp chief, said, “We will be rolling out three new bikes the Passion Pro TR, Splendor Pro Classic and the Xtreme Sports in quick succession over the next five-six weeks. We have already commenced  the despatch of Passion Pro TR to some key markets. There is surely going to be more as we head closer to the festive season, but I don’t want to divulge everything at this time.”


Splendor Pro Classic


Source: ETAuto




TVS Victor – the name ring a bell? The Victor was the flag bearer of the Hosur-based two wheeler manufacturer’s commuter motorcycle line-up a decade ago. The old TVS Victor, when launched in 2001, did almost the unthinkable for TVS Motor Company. A refined, yet frugal engine, as well as comfortable ergonomics and good ride quality made the TVS Victor immensely popular.

Also Read: TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Review

During the time it was in production, the TVS Victor developed a loyal fan following, and even dented sales of the market leader in the commuter motorcycle segment. Rising competition, and a slew of new products in the same segment however saw the Victor brand eventually discontinued in 2007. History lessons apart, the Victor is a very important brand for TVS and one, which now the two-wheeler manufacturer has again revived, in a fresh, new product in the 110cc commuter motorcycle segment.

Indeed, the 2016 TVS Victor, has a lot of expectations riding on its – er, handlebars. The new Victor however, is not just a facelift or a “tweaked” and upgraded version of the old model. TVS says the company did considerable market research to understand what the target customer seeks in a new commuter class 110cc motorcycle. So, the development of a brand new product claiming several best in class features and technology was begun. And those efforts show in the result.

Looks & Design

The 2016 TVS Victor is refreshingly new. The overall design speaks out high quality – full proportions and a muscular silhouette point to the contemporary styling of the bike. Sharp creases run along the length of the body and complemented by smart graphics create an essence of a ‘premium’ commuter motorcycle.

2016-tvs-victor-827_827x510_51453275160 (1)

A modern part-analog, part-digital speedometer takes pride of place in the cockpit. Although not over-the-top hi-tech, the instrument panel is neat and offers good readability. Switch gear is of decent quality too, although the engine kill switch has been given a miss. Instead, that switch has been swapped for the hazard lights. The short and stubby exhaust muffler looks good and supposedly engineered for better performance and efficiency.


The single piece seat is wide and long and there’s been considerable thought and research given to its design and development as well, says TVS. The result is a claimed best-in-class comfort for both rider and pillion. The large clear lens headlight too has been designed keeping in mind the voice of the customer. Although we didn’t get a chance to check its effectiveness, the headlight is also said to give best-in-class illumination, both on low and high beam. Then of course, the rear end gets a sleek look with a softly rounded grab rail and a smart looking hexagonal tail lamp flanked by clear lens indicators.

Engine and Performance

The most significant change however, is in the heart. The all-new single-cylinder, air-cooled, 110cc engine from the company’s Ecothrust series makes 9.46bhp at 7,500rpm and 9.4Nm of peak torque at 6,000rpm. What’s worthy of mention here is that TVS has designed the engine with a unique combustion chamber oil cooling jacket around it, making for better performance, better NVH levels and very good throttle response.


The engine starts with a mild note and performance is par for the course. Initial pick up is quite impressive and so is in-gear acceleration. What is noteworthy is that refinement levels are quite commendable – and are clearly evident at speeds between 55-70kmph – speeds normally where such commuter bikes will eventually be ridden. That’s not to say that the 2016 TVS Victor is not capable of higher speeds.

At the TVS Motor Company test track in Hosur, we managed to hit a top speed of 94kmph. And for a 110cc engine, there is no sense of harshness or vibrations even at higher rpms. The TVS Victor can easily cruise steadily between 70-80kmph, without breaking a sweat or even letting the rider get any sense of the engine feeling strained or protesting from high-speed riding.

Ride, Handling and Brakes

Ride quality is on the softer side – again to cater to the customer voice. But the TVS Victor offers a supple and comfortable ride. Whether going through undulations on the road surface or even over broken terrain – the likes of which we subjected the bike to at the test track – the Victor took everything in its stride without protest or giving any sense of losing its composure.

2016-tvs-victor-827_827x510_71453275272 (1)
Although not meant for sporty riding, the TVS Victor manages to put a smile when put through the paces of the test track. The chassis doesn’t get in the way of sporty riding and offer surprisingly good handling, even when cornering hard. The new TVS Remora tyres – which are said to offer reduced rolling resistance yet significant improvement in wet grip – offer impressive grip. Braking is handled by a 240mm petal disc up front and a 110mm drum at the rear. Overall braking is quite effective and offers confident stopping power from the combination.


The 2016 TVS Victor is positioned at the premium 110cc segment – and it will compete against the likes of the Honda Livo and the Hero Passion XPro. The new TVS Victor is without doubt a well-rounded product, with little to find fault in. How it fares against the competition is another story and we will of course do a full comparison review soon.

Where the TVS Victor could have seen some more improvement is perhaps in the overall design and styling – making it more desirable for the consumer it caters to. But then there is always that customer in this segment who likes the design to be a little understated than brash and young. And that is where the Victor with its simple, yet elegant looks, will have its bases covered well.


The new TVS Victor is priced at a very 49,490 (ex-showroom Delhi). What you get at that price is a very good 110cc commuter motorcycle – one that will meet most of your requirements – great looks, refined motor, comfortable ride and very good fuel efficiency. Will it revive the magic the Victor brand did for TVS? Not easy to predict. But from all indications, this Victor is certainly going to be a winner, at least for us.

Photography: Rahul Kapoor and Preetam Bora


Have you ever wondered what the next generation of cars will be? We already have projects which range from dealing with autonomous vehicles and many others which are aimed at making urban transport a less of a nightmare. An urban vehicle is the need of the hour and ZF has been working on one such project and it’s called the Smart Urban Vehicle concept.

The company says that the concept has been built entirely in-house and though it might not be quite the looker, it is the technology it comes with, that speaks volumes about how the concept takes into account two of the most important aspects of urban transport – fuel efficiency and maneuverability.

When you look at the picture above, you see how innovative the company has been. You can see that the front axle is more flexible than ever as it allows for steering angles of up to 75 degrees. According to ZF, the technology reduces the steering effort substantially during parking and turning maneuvers, thus making it adept to handle city traffic conditions.

What the car also boasts of having is a Smart Parking Assist system. As all Parking System assist systems go, this one too is made to automatically parallel or perpendicular park itself into any open space. So, there are the usual sensors on the car but in this car there are twelve ultrasound sensors and two infrared sensors which can find an available parking space and then guide the car into it.

ZF has also made sure to keep up with the times and the Smart Urban Vehicle concept also comes equipped with a PreVision Cloud Assist assistance system that uploads the car’s route to the cloud. According to what ZF says, “If the driver follows the same route again, the system calculates the optimum speed for an approaching bend on the basis of these empirical data and actual vehicle data. The assistance function then throttles back the torque early on before entering the bend, to the point where the bend can be negotiated without any mechanical braking.” What this in turn will do is protect not only vehicle’s battery and braking system, but also provides safety on blind corners.

There’s not a lot that’s been said about the concept vehicle when it comes to specifications. ZF has only said that the car will come with two electric motors, each producing 53 bhp and it is because of this that the car is able to reach a top speed of 150 km/h. The Smart Urban Vehicle Concept makes a strong statement for itself as it takes into account the problems faced by many motorists on a daily basis in cities and simplifies them through technological advances. The concept then is something that could be put into daily usage.



Tata Motors, the Indian automobile giant, has received an order to supply 1239 of its high-mobility 6×6 multi-axle trucks from the Indian Army. This is the single largest order bagged by any Indian Private OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in land systems under the DPP by the Indian army. The order is for ‘Material Handling Cranes’ for the loading-unloading and transportation of ammunition pallets, spares and other operational equipment.

The Tata 6×6 is designed to cope with extreme on or off-road loads, and it has completed a total trial duration of 25 months, says the company. It has gone through trials like water-fording, on cross country terrains and plains and at VRDE’s (Vehicle Research & Development Establishment) torture track.

These trucks come fitted with central tire inflation system (CTIS) that allows driver to adjust the tyre pressure from his seat. The CTIS provides the vehicle with better traction on different types of terrains, especially when carrying heavy loads. The vehicle’s cabin is modular with HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and is ready for up-armoring. The company also says that these trucks can run at sustained speeds of 40km/h, on sever cross country terrains.

Mr. Vernon Noronha, Vice President, Defence & Government Business, Tata Motors Limited said, “We at Tata Motors are extremely proud to have bagged the single largest order, among Indian OEM’s from the Indian army, for the most technologically advanced High Mobility Load Carrier system ever built here in India. The order is a validation of our strategy and growth potential, for our durable and extensive range of defence vehicles, designed and developed with our evolving customers, including that of security forces across the world. As leading suppliers of mobility solutions to the country’s security forces, we will shortly commence delivery of these high-mobility vehicles”.

The Tata Motors 6X6 High-Mobility MAV can be customised for a wide range of applications such as –

– CGT (Common Gun Tower)

– MBRL (Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher)

– MFU (Missile Firing Unit)

– MSV (Missile Service Vehicle)

– FSV (Field Service Vehicle)

– SRSAM (Short Range Surface to Air Missile)

– QRSAM (Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile) vehicle

– LLQRM (Low Level Quick Reaction Missile) vehicle

– MRV (Medium Recovery Vehicle)



Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India Private Limited (HMSI) has started taking the bookings for its high-end sports motorcycle CBR650F in the country. Interested people can now book the bike for a token amount of Rs. 50,000.

Also Read: Honda Livo 110cc Motorcycle Launched in India at Rs.52,989

The Honda CBR650F is powered by a 649cc 4-cylinder double overhead camshaft (DOHC) engine and is mated to a 6-speed gearbox. The fully-faired bike’s performance is rated at 86bhp, while peak torque stands at 62Nm.

Honda had announced in October last year that it will start making the CBR -650 in India, which will allow the company to price the bike competitively. However, Honda is yet to finalise the facility where it will manufacture the bike. Also, we are told the localisation level for the Honda CBR650F will stand at about 14 per cent.

The bikemaker has a total of four plants in the country – in Vithalapur, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Karnataka. Y S Guleria, Vice President, HMSI, had earlier said, “The purpose (to start manufacturing the bike in India) is to build in India and also the affordability aspect will be considered for customers with Make in India commitment.

Upon its launch, the Honda CBR650F will compete with the Kawasaki Ninja 650 and the Benelli TNT600 GT. We expect the bike to be priced between Rs. 6 lakh – Rs. 8 lakh.



There were rumours last year that Mahindra’s Two wheeler division had discontinued the Pantero bike but the company announced later that it wasn’t the case. However, now, it’s a different story altogether. Failing to show any sales performance the company has taken the decision to discontinue not one but four bikes – the Pantero, Duro, Flyte and the Kine.

The Pantero was launched in 2013, and there was a big responsibility on its shoulder to power ahead with the Centuro. Sharing the same single-cylinder 106.7cc engine with the Centuro, the Pantero produced 8.5bhp and was mated to a 4-speed gearbox, but it was the features that the Centuro had that made it a big hit among buyers and the Pantero didn’t really make the cut.

The Duro DZ, as it was called after the update, too hasn’t been a great performer. The design of the Duro DZ was similar to the Kinetic Nova and had a traditional analogue instrument cluster but was among the comfortable 125cc scooters in the market. However, the Duro DZ had a number of competitors and couldn’t stand the test of time.

Both the Flyte and the Kine too are victims of poor demand. While the Kine is an entry-level scooter powered by a carburettor based, air cooled 71cc petrol engine that produces 3bhp and 5Nm of torque, the Flyte comes equipped with a 125cc, four stroke engine producing 8 bhp. The Kine cost around Rs. 33,000, the Flyte was priced about Rs. 44,000 (both ex-showroom Delhi).

It might seem like a drastic measure to many, to discontinue 4 vehicles, but it is a very brave decision. It shows that the company is making way for new products and not hanging on to those which are non-performing ones. Its just makes good business sense then because the company will focus all their energy on bringing out the 300cc Mojo which is coming next month as it is a make or break model for Mahindra.