Sep 25, 2007

3 The Greatest Ever Motorcycle of India.

TBCI selects The Greatest Ever Motorcycle of India..!!

Discovery Chanel had once hosted an episode on it “Greatest Ever” program. The aim this time was to find the “Greatest Ever Motorcycle” that has been built so far.

The final top 10 list consisted of venerable Marques like "Harley Davidson Knucklehead", "Moto Guzzi V8", "Triumph Bonneville", "Honda CB 750" and "Ducati 916".

Any guesses as to which motorcycle won the top slot of the “Best Ever Motorcycle”..??

100 cc Hero Honda Splendor

100 cc Hero Honda Splendor


Well, it isn’t exactly the Hero Honda Splendor which got the top position (as might have been hinted by the photo posted above), but it wasn’t a very different motorcycle either. The motorcycle which was adjusted the “Best Ever Motorcycle” of the World by Discovery Channel was the Honda CUB..!!

About the Honda CUB:

49 cc Honda Cub

49 cc Honda Cub


Hero Honda CD100/Splendor and the Honda CUB share a common DNA. i.e is the “forward sloping” engine..!!

The Honda CUB is a 49 cc 4-stroke “Step thru” motorcycle first launched by Honda 1958. It is also and the biggest selling motorcycle in history. More than 50 million Honda CUBs have been sold around the world. The model is still in production almost 50 years later and is still the popular mode of transport in many South East Asian countries.

It was this humble 49 cc model which started the eventual Japanese domination of the world motorcycle market which ultimately saw the demise of the once dominant British Motorcycle Industry.

The reason behind the success of the Honda Cub was its engine. The simple 49 cc, 4-stroke engine was extremely fuel efficient, very robust, ultra reliable and almost indestructible. It was the engineering genius of Mr. Sochiro Honda (the founder of Honda) who was responsible for designing the revolutionary engine of the Honda CUB.

After a few years of existence the Honda CUB started to appear in bigger engine capacities of 70 cc and 100 cc.

Find more about the Honda CUB at Wikipedia



Similarity between the Honda CUB and the Hero Honda CD100/Splendor

Apart form the Honda brand which both the models share, the most striking similarity between the Honda CUB and the 100 cc Hero Honda series of motorcycles is actually nestled under the fuel tank. Look closely at the engines of both the models and it will become clear that the Hero Honda CD100/Splendor and the Honda CUB share a common DNA. i.e is the “forward sloping” engine..!!


>> The resale values of the CD100/Splendors are the highest in the second hand market.

>> Competitors (especially Bajaj Auto) have tried to attack the 100 cc Hero Honda models by launching competing models with better features and by even pricing it considerably lower.

>> The competition haven’t succeeded to unsettle the dominance of the CD100/Splendor

This Indian version of the “sloper” engine of Honda has been responsible for revolutionizing the Indian two wheeler scene and was instrumental in helping Indian consumers shift their loyalty from scooters to motorcycles.

Like the virtually indestructible engine of the Honda CUB, the engine of the Hero Honda CD100/Splendor is also the Jewel in the Crown of its manufacturer, Hero Honda. Like the CUB the 100 cc engine of the CD100/Splendor is also extremely reliable, robust and fuel efficient. The engine of the CD100/Splendor is without any doubt the bench mark in terms of fuel efficiency, reliability and an example of sound engineering. No wonder that these 100 cc Hero Honda models still continues to be the largest selling motorcycles in India and that too by commanding a premium over other competing models in its category.

The unmatched quality of these 100 cc Hero Honda motorcycles can be gauged by the fact that the resale values of these models are the highest in the second hand market. Competitors (especially Bajaj Auto) have tried to attack the 100 cc Hero Honda models by launching competing models with better features (alloy wheels, sleeker designs) and by even pricing it considerably lower. But the competition still haven’t found an answer to the dominance of the CD100/Splendor.

The love affair of Indian consumers with the Hero Honda CD100/Splendor goes to show how much quality conscious the Indian Consumer really is. Make a good quality product in India and it will definitely sell. Due credit must be given to Hero Honda for maintaining high levels of quality in manufacturing the 100 cc “sloper” engine.

Engines of the Honda CUB and Hero Honda Splendor

Engines of the Honda CUB and Hero Honda Splendor
Spot the Difference..!!

It has been a fairy tale for Hero Honda so far. The 100 cc “sloper” engine from Honda has already made it the largest manufacturer of motorcycles in the world. The only problem is that this fairy tale might not last fore ever. Sooner or later consumers would start looking for upgrading from the 100 cc segment which still has a 2/3’rd market share in India. In fact the 100 cc segment has already seen a continuous decline in sales this year while at the same time the 125 cc and above segment has shown positive growth.

The Hero Honda CD100/Splendor would probably qualify as the “Greatest Ever Motorcycle of India”

In four wheelers it was the Maruti 800 which was responsible for putting the middle class Indian family on roads. At one point there seemed to be no alternative to the Maruti 800, but the Alto (again from Maruti) has shown that given a better alternative, the market will shift its loyalties to a better product (provided the demand is there) at the appropriate price.

Similarly the Hero Honda CD100/Splendor has been responsible for putting the Indian motorcyclist on roads. Only time will tell whether the present slump in 100 cc sales indicates that the time has come for the Hero Honda CD100/Splendor to make way for its successor. Logically thinking a 125 cc motorcycle should be the next step for Indian Motorcycles.

125 cc Bajaj XCD

125 cc Bajaj XCD



Bajaj have already fired their latest salvo in the form of the 125 cc XCD (which is based on a NEW engine platform and not on the earlier 4S Champion, Caliber, Boxer, CT100, Platina engine).

125 cc Hero Honda Super Splendor

125 cc Hero Honda Super Splendor



Hero Honda can try to repeat the same in the motorcycle segment in India what Maruti has done with its Alto. It does have a product ace up its sleeve in the form of the 125 cc Super Splendor with the Quantum Core (whatever that might mean) engine, which is actually another variant of the original Honda CUB “sloper” engine. Lets see how well Hero Honda plays its cards this time.


Only time will unfold what’s in store for the Indian Motorcycling Story. Whatever might be the future, the Hero Honda CD100/Splendor would probably qualify as the “Greatest Ever Motorcycle of India”.

At least till date.









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Disclaimer:

This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.




3 Comments:

Kedar Parikh, said...

Surely the splendor was an awesome bike and did excellent for about a decade now.

But thats the end of story the NXG, Plus are all shame on HH.

Kedar
http://kedarparikh.blogspot.com/

ravindra said...

Dude i am totally convinced with your choice............


my vote for the CD100 as my dad owns a 1991 model and it runs like a brand new till the date(Despite its red body colour is all gone with time).

Isn't that amazing riding a bike for 19 years with lowest of maintainence and expense.

ravindra said...

I am totally convinced as my dad owns a CD100(1991) version, and believe me it runs like a brand new bike till the date (Despite all red in its body is now faded).....

Riding a bike for ninteen years with an average of 10km per day and that too with minimum maintenance and expense...... not a joke....

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