It’s not just concept cars that fail to make it to production lines, the same holds true for bikes as well. And while the snazzy ones can continue to grace auto show floors for as long as possible, it’s heart-breaking to see the near-production-ready examples not being produced. There also are vehicles that were talked about and even tested by respective companies, but in the end, they didn’t reach the bike dealerships/enter series production. We look at five such gems.
Starting with the one that a kind dealership in Mumbai can make for you, even if the company does not:
Hero Impulse 223
Hero Impulse was a breakthrough product, not because of its styling but the utility. It could take on the worst of roads, actually no roads, and come unscathed. The long travel suspension was a plus point but the 150 cc engine was sadly not powerful enough. And that, knowing the fact that Hero had a larger gem of an engine that could be slotted in, was a disappointment.
While the larger engine version was never brought out by the company, a dealership in Mumbai took on the task and presented what the Impulse should have been from day one, a 223 cc Impulse.
Showcased first at the 2012 Auto Expo and again in 2014, the Leap is a serial hybrid scooter. The one of a kind two wheeler uses an 8 kW motor and a 124 cc range extender engine. Being a serial hybrid, it means the engine will only be used to charge the battery unlike parallel hybrids which can utilise both together.
The Leap can do a 100 kmph at max (when running on the support of the range extender) and with 60 Nm of torque available from standstill, it promises to be very useable in stop-go traffic.
A diesel bike isn’t an everyday sight, but the Altius Scimitar wished to change that. Based on a Kawasaki KLR650 platform, it came with a 670 cc engine that made 33 hp and 53 Nm of torque. But it wasn’t just about the engine either – the bike was a proper off-roader (think Impulse but more potent).
It came with wire-spoke wheels, sat 211 mm off the ground, could manage a 150+ kmph top speed, and offered a range of 653 kilometres on a single tank of diesel – it was said to return 46+ kmpl.
And a couple from the past:
Showcased a little more than a decade ago, the TVS Chicane was the 250 cc concept that the company presented at the 2004 Auto Expo. While the Apache went on to take its place in the market, the Chicane was sharp-looking and nothing short of otherworldly.
With TVS moving towards the 200 cc category with the upcoming Apache, it’s almost like a full circle now.
Remember the Suzuki Hayabusa-based B-King? The Taurus was clearly inspired by it, but as a 250 cc naked, it looked pretty interesting. The dual disc brakes up front, a single one at the rear, a radiator up front, all these were a novelty back in the day.
It could have worked wonders for the brand in a way the FZ did for Yamaha. But one must also keep in mind that the market, especially the quarter-litre segment, wasn’t as big as it is now. It’s not too late, TVS…