Mar 13, 2012

20 Segmentation of Motorcycles in India (in 2012)

Segmentation of "made in India" motorcycles as seen by me..

Ever thought of how motorcycles of India are segmented?

Someone might quip: "Simple, we have 100 cc bikes for commuters, the 125 cc segment for those who need power & fuel economy. The 150 cc bikes are performance models and then the 200 (+) cc are premium bikes".

Hmm.. really? Just for the record we now have a Boxer 150 (cc) as a basic entry commuter, a Discover 150 (cc) as another simple commuter bike and the Yamaha YZF R15 (150 cc) which is currently considered as a premium model in India. Therefore segmentation by engine cc? Nope... doesn’t make sense.

Posted above is the segmentation of “Made in India” motorcycles in 2012 as seen through my eyes.

But why are all “desi” motorcycles segmented as commuters here?

In advanced markets people do their daily commute in their cars/4 wheelers. Motorcycles are bought and ridden by guys as a leisure/pleasure activity. Motorcycles in developed markets are therefore segmented for the purpose that they are designed for eg: Super Sports for track/road racing, Cruiser for riding in a relaxed manner on open highways, Adventure Tourers for long distance touring on any terrain.. so on and so forth.

When seen from a bird’s eye view, the main purpose for buying/riding a motorcycle in India is to commute. It might hurt the ego of guys riding the Pulsar 220/R15 but then lets be honest.. the main purpose of motorcycles in India for the majority is to commute. Hence bikes like the Karizma ZMR, Pulsar 220 and R15 may have an element of fun but at the end of the day they are just basically glorified commuters.

I mean how many neighbors/friends/relatives do you know in India who prefer to commute in a 4 wheeler/car and rides a motorcycle occasionally just for fun?

1. Entry Level Commuter

Segment defining models: Bajaj Platina, Hero Honda CD Dawn/Deluxe

Rational expectations: Basic model available with the least amount of money. Good fuel efficiency (around 65-70 kmpl)

Emotional expectations : The consumers of this segment don’t get affected by emotional aspects. In a way they don’t mind being seen riding entry level models.

Models in this segment: Bajaj Platina, Bajaj Boxer BM150, Hero Honda CD Dawn/Deluxe, TVS Sport, Yamaha Crux

2. Deluxe Commuter

Segment defining models: Hero Honda Splendor, Bajaj Discover 100/125/150, Honda Shine

Rational expectations: Good fuel efficiency (around 60-65 kmpl). Simple sober styling which “both father and son can ride”

Emotional expectations : The consumers of this segment don’t like to be seen buying into the least price (entry) models. These “deluxe” models has more snob/prestige value than entry level models

Models in this segment: Hero Honda Splendor, Hero Honda Super Splendor, Bajaj Discover 100/125/150, TVS Star City, Honda Shine, Yamaha YBR 110, Suzuki Slingshot

3. Stylish Commuter

Segment defining models: Hero Honda Passion Pro, Bajaj Pulsar 135, Honda CB Twister, Honda CBF Stunner

Rational expectations: Good fuel efficiency (around 50-60 kmpl). Basically commuter ambitions but with stylish aspirations

Emotional expectations : The consumers of this segment want to be seen riding stylish models compared to plain/sober deluxe commuter models. Therefore these models mimic the styling of bikes above its segment

Models in this segment: Hero Honda Passion, Hero Honda Glamour, Bajaj Pulsar 135, TVS Flame, Honda CB Twister, Honda CBF Stunner, Yamaha YBR 125/SS125

4. Sporty Commuter

Segment defining models: Bajaj Pulsar Pulsar 150/180, Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme, TVS Apache RTR 160/180, Yamaha FZ-16/S

Rational expectations: Combination of decent fuel efficiency (around 40-50 kmpl) with decent pick up and a top speed around the (100-110) kmph mark

Emotional expectations : For the first time power and pickup takes equal importance along with fuel efficiency. Bikes in this segment are also expected to be styled in a muscular manner to go along with the engine performance

Models in this segment: Bajaj Pulsar Pulsar 150/180, Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme, Hero Honda Hunk, Honda CB Unicorn, Honda CB Unicorn Dazzler, TVS Apache RTR 160/180, Yamaha FZ-16/S, Hero Impulse, Suzuki GS150R

5. Premium Commuter

Segment defining models: Bajaj Pulsar 220, Hero Honda Karizma, Yamaha YZF R15

Rational expectations: Acceptable fuel efficiency (around 30-40 kmpl) with more emphasis on power and pickup and standing slightly apart from the crowd

Emotional expectations : Apart from good power and pickup consumers of this segment expect to stand apart from the crowd, hence styling elements like Half Fairing, Full Fairing, Differentiated Styling (Cruiser/Classic)

Models in this segment: Bajaj Pulsar 220, Hero Honda Karizma, Yamaha YZF R15, Yamaha Fazer, Bajaj Avenger 220, Royal Enfield Classic 350/500/350 Standard/350 Electra, Royal Enfield Thunderbird, Honda CBR250R, KTM 200 Duke.

Suggestions, comments, discussion are welcome..

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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.


SRIKI said...

bro! u forgot MY BIKE (the GS150R) ! :(

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


thanks for pointing it out.. have added the GS150R now

Koley Nilesh said...

Nice Classification there Payeng bro. I always discuss this with my friends but they never understood this Now with this above chart i can rather have a concrete support for myself :). But I still doubt about the R15 cause It can more be called of a "beginner sport motorcycle" ( as opposed to R125 and Rs125 in the West) please correct me If M wrong . Thank You :).

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Koley Nilesh,

I know its difficult to call bikes like the R15 as a commuter but then lets be real.. it is used to commute after all (maybe with a sporty attitude)

Anonymous said...

"I know its difficult to call bikes like the R15 as a commuter"
I do not understood the will behind this article.
If a R15 or Pulsar is a so called "commuter" bike, be proud of it.
They are meant to be answer the owners requirement, if they fulfill it , then these are more worthy than super super sports bikes. No need to ashamed off.
Please note, not everybody in Italy runs a Ferrari & even Michael Shumi uses simple E class to shuttle between Home 2 track.
If something is perfect for ur requirement, its foolishness to degrade it, just because its not a classified "sports" one.
BTW, Discover channel took a survey some years ago, for greatest bike ever, and the winner was not a Harley or Honda, not even insane Y2K, but a 50cc Honda Cub! I think its best line to put as tip in ur article. Regards.

softwareprabhu said...

very realistic post about Segmentation of "Made in India" bikes. expecting similar post about Segmentation of "Made for India" bikes (ex. CBR 250R, Ninja 250R, Ninja 650R, Hyosung GT250R. etc...).


Anonymous said...

i like the way of just classifying them as 'commuter' bikes and 'sports' bikes rather than entry level, stylish, deluxe and so is always nice to keep things simple.
and never liked the idea of comparing passion with stunner.passion is a deluxe commuter.

Anonymous said...

Nice work, you've done there bro.
While I agree with most of the segments, I don't see any of the Royal Enfield machine fitting in any of the above category. Of all the bulleteers I have seen, they mostly have a separate ride for daily commuting needs. Bullet is something they use just for the sake of it. Thus bullet does not fall in a true 'commuter' category, neither I can call it 'premium', for that matter.

Seriously, Royal enfield itself is a separate segment in India. :)

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


I would agree that people are indeed buying Royal Enfield models (especially the "Classic" range) for lesuire riding. I have a neighbor who commutes in his Maruti Alto and sometimes takes out his Classic 350 for weekend rides..!!

But maybe beacuse of its price (1.0-1.5 lakhs), current Royal Enfiled models can be clubbed along with the Premium Commuters which also fall under the same price range

About Passion and CBF Stunner:

Q. Why do anyone buy the Passion when he can buy the Splendor
Ans. Because of Style

Q. Why does anyone buy the CBF Stunner when he can buy the CB Shine?
Ans. Because of Style

hep said...

couldn't agree more... anyone who thinks that they are riding "indian sports bikes" should first seek the explanation of "sports" and what it means. of course, some bikes can be used for a sporty pastime like the pulsars for stunts and r15 for some track racing, but seriously? no.. just a pastime. the indian market condition and demand is for a minimum of 80% commuting and at the most 20% sport biking such as track racing, or stunting... and in my opinion illegal street racing does not qualify as "sport biking" and neither does touring which is nothing but long commuting.

Koley Nilesh said...

Payeng bhai... One Make You forgot... what about Hero impulse... where will it fair in here ??? :).

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Koley Nilesh,

the Impulse is there in the "Sporty Commuter" segment: because of its fun factor while commuting and also because of its price

gaurav nayak said...

Hey, Payeng, you did wonderful anatomy of mind-set of indian bikers..

I feel proud i'm falling in "PREMIUM BIKER"..!!! haahaha.. Keep it up bro...

Anonymous said...

The new HONDA CB SHINE Should be on the stylish commuter side as it is
far better in looks than passion pro and its looks are more fresher than Passion Pro...

BounceBD said...

how about yamaha sz r in terms of above segmentation.?
reply please.

S.P - Biker Next Door said...


The choice of models is as subjective as the above categorization itself. I'll probably put the SZ-R under the "Stylish Commuter" segment

Urjas said...

Payeng bhai,

Can u tell me on what basis are you saying the fuel efficiencies for Entry Level Commuter and Deluxe Commuter etc are only "65-70 kmpl" and "60-65 kmpl".. bikes like Bajaj Platina and TVS Star City are advertising 102 and 83 kmpl etc. ...?? Please clarify??

Zealous Arshalan said...

You seem to exclude/omit the Royal machines(the RE's i.e. Bullet, Classic, Thunderbird). Is it a deliberate attempt or don't you consider them a part of the Indian motorcycle fraternity?

Payeng said...


According to me the RE models come in the "Premuim Commuter" category.. its there in the list above

Anonymous said...

What about New Generation Bajaj Discovers? and Honda Dream series? Hero Splendor Pro Classic & Hero passion pro TR? TVS Phoenix 125?

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