Here are some bike brands that have been on sale for at least 15 years now
The Indian two-wheeler market has been evolving at a pretty fast pace. Suddenly, an average Indian two-wheeler buyer is spoilt for choice and can pick from a wide range of options in almost every segment of the mainstream bike market. While we have many new bikes launching every year, there are some models that simply refuse to die. Some of these bikes have managed to stay alive for generations, which means at least 15 years or more. Here, in this post, we take a look at some of the legendary bikes that have been on sale since time immemorial.
Bajaj Pulsar 150, 180
First launched in 2001, the Pulsar brand has pretty much revolutionized the 150cc-plus two-wheeler segments of the Indian bike market. While Bajaj Auto Ltd has been regular with updating the P150 and the P180, their base design remains pretty much the same. Even the last few upgrades haven’t come with too many substantial updates to the motorcycles. While these motorcycles have been responsible for bringing a lot of success to the company, we think it’s high time it puts its entire focus on the new-generation (NS-based) Pulsars.
Royal Enfield Bullet
The Royal Enfield Bullet is a legend like none other. On sale in India since 1948, the Royal Enfield Bullet has the longest production run of any motorcycle. Of course, it has been given many updates to keep things at least somewhat fresh. While the Bullet is no longer the largest-selling model in the RE range, it is still the most recognizable motorcycle on our roads. The Bullet is still a hot favorite of all those wishing to buy a brand-new motorcycle with loads of retro charm. The Bullet simply refuses to die.
The Apache can find its routes in the Suzuki Fiero 150cc motorcycle that was first launched in the year 1999. While the company recently launched the new Apache RR310 that’s based on the BMW Motorrad G310, the RTR 160 and RTR 180 are based on the original Fiero-based Apache. The bikes are still pretty competent, mind you, but the need of the hour is all-new models that have been developed from scratch.
First launched in 2001, the Activa has been the most popular 4-stroke automatic scooter in the 100-110cc category. The Activa’s high reliability, easy availability of spares, refined engine, and decent mileage has garnered it a huge fan-following. While the Activa has seen a generation change and many facelifts, it’s still not the most radical or even the most modern scooter you can buy.
The Unicorn was first launched in 2004. It has soldiered on ever since with minimal updates. Thanks to a good mix of refinement, mileage, and reliability, the Unicorn enjoys a great brand image. While even we are too impressed with these virtues, we think it’s high time Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India comes up with a replacement that offers all these qualities along with the design and features befitting of a motorcycle of this day and age.
Royal Enfield Thunderbird
The T’bird has been on sale since the start of this Millenium. The only cruiser-style motorcycle in the RE range, it offers all the qualities of a typical Royal Enfield motorcycle, along with the design and relaxed ergonomics of a cruiser motorcycle. The T’bird recently got a new ‘X’ range of variants, which bring in some new features and a fresher look. However, the base design and architecture has been pretty much the same for almost two decades now.
The Splendor has been the obvious choice of many first-time motorcycle segments. First launched in 1994, this entry-level motorcycle has remained largely unchanged all this while. Hero has been pretty regular with updating their popular motorcycle with new features and minor visual enhancements. However, it’s high time a thoroughly modern replacement comes in to put this commuter motorcycle to rest.
The Passion has been the more stylish sibling of the Splendor since the year 2001 now. Akin to its more humble sister, the Passion has received several minor updates in the last few years. However, the commuter motorcycle needs to replaced with a much more modern and upmarket model. The Passion is yet another motorcycle that has got a bit long in the tooth now.
The first-gen Bajaj Discover is another model that has been on sale since time immemorial. The original Discover has been on sale alongside the second-generation models. Currently available with 110cc and a 125cc engine options, this motorcycle plays second fiddle to the original Pulsars. While the company has been regular with updating the motorcycles with new features and minor visual enhancements, the basic design and architecture have remained pretty much unchanged.
Based on the Kawasaki-Bajaj Eliminator, the Avenger is the only cruiser motorcycle in its manufacturer’s stable. The Avenger shares much of its design and architecture with the Eliminator, which makes the cruiser over 15 years old now. While the motorcycle has received many new engine and features during its lifespan, there’s still more than a trace of the Eliminator on this cruiser bike. This one’s another motorcycle that is getting a bit long in the tooth now.