The Indian two-wheeler market is one of the largest in the market and almost every major brand has a presence in our country. A buyer now has multiple choices of two-wheelers above the commuter segment ranging from scramblers, cruisers, and performance-oriented bikes among others. While a lot of models on sale today are quite new, there are some bikes and scooters that have been going strong in the market for eternity. Here is a list of a handful of bike brands that have been on sale for more than 15 years
Bajaj Pulsar 150, 180
First launched back in 2001, the Bajaj Pulsar range of motorcycles is one of the best selling and most popular bikes in India even now. Nearing 20 years of production, the Pulsar twins can be credited for introducing India to modern, fun bikes without spending a fortune. The Pulsar series has also enabled Bajaj Auto Ltd to establish itself as a world-class motorcycle manufacturer. Bajaj Auto Ltd has been quite regular with updating these motorcycles. However, the base design has been pretty much the same. The NS and RS series bikes are the most modern members of the Pulsar family while the 150, 220F and 180F are based on the same old design and platform as the original Pulsar, albeit several changes have been made on them.
Royal Enfield Bullet
The Royal Enfield Bullet is an iconic bike in true sense. The Bullet has been in continuous production since 1948 which makes it the longest surviving production motorcycle ever. While the Bullet has received some updates to keep it somewhat relevant, the motorcycle is still really dated and needs to be replaced with a modern version. The bike still reeks of old-world charm and has an aura of its own, despite having several practical issues. No doubt then that the bike is still loved by the masses.
The Apache is to TVS what the Pulsar is to Bajaj. Launched way back in 2005 as a 150 cc bike, the Apache has now expanded into a whole bike series with engine capacities ranging from 160 cc to 310 cc. The Apache series offers some of the best and most affordable performance oriented motorcycles in the Indian market. TVS came out with regular updates and technical enhancements resulting in a bike series that can give much higher priced bikes a run for their money. The latest model in the Apache series is the Apache RR310, which is based on the BMW G310 R.
The Honda Activa is another two-wheeler that needs no introduction. It has been on sale in India for more than 15 years and was first launched in 2001. It is the highest selling automatic scooter of India for a long time now. It also has a 125 cc model now that offers more power and premium looks among other enhancements.
No one expected the Unicorn to have such a long production run but here it is, selling in decent volumes even now. The bike hasn’t received many updates during its lifecycle but the high refinement levels, fuel efficiency, and reliability it offers have enabled it to beat the test of time. However, a modern replacement of the bike is sorely felt now and Honda should launch a new generation Unicorn that takes forward the legacy off this bike.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird
The Royal Enfield Thunderbird is one of the most comfortable cruisers on sale in India right now under Rs. 2.5 lakh price mark. It has been on sale for more than 15 years now and the basic design and architecture has remained more or less the same till now. The manufacturer, however, is developing a new generation model of this bike that will be launched in 2020 and will sport BSVI compliant engines.
The Hero Splendor is the highest-selling motorcycle since forever. The Splendor was launched in our market in the year 1994 and has remained pretty much the same in all these years. Mostly, all the changes this motorcycle has received, in all these years, are some cosmetic updates. While we fully acknowledge the high frugality and reliability of this motorcycle, we really want the company to replace this motorcycle with something that looks fresher and has more features.
Another commuter motorcycle from Hero MotoCorp that has been on sale for a long time now is the Passion. The Hero Passion was launched in the year 2001. While it has received many updates in the last few years or so, the commuter motorcycle needs to make way for a more modern and feature-laden motorcycle.
Like the Pulsar, the Discover is another motorcycle from Bajaj Auto Ltd that has been on sale for a long time now. The first-ever Discover is still being sold alongside the second-gen of this motorcycle. At the moment, the Discover range is available with a 110-cc and a 125-cc engine. Basically, the Discover has been playing second fiddle to the Pulsar range of motorcycles. Bajaj has been quite regular with keeping this motorcycle updated but it’s high time Bajaj starts focussing completely on the new-gen Discover.
The Bajaj Avenger is currently the most affordable cruiser bike in India and traces its roots to the Bajaj Eliminator. Since the bike shares its basic design and architecture with the Eliminator, it can be said to be more than 15 years old now. The current generation model comes in either a sporty, street trim or a blingy, cruiser styled trim and the engine on both the bikes are also different.