Premium bike makers bet big on North India

After Harley-Davidson, Triumph and Indian, Jawa joins league

Vijay C Roy
Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, February 8

Rising disposable income and evolving lifestyle are driving the sales of premium bikes in North India, which is comparable to southern and western region at 28% each. With demand emanating especially from youth, the bike makers are leaving no stone unturned to tap the potential.

Betting big on North, the latest to enter the market is Jawa, which is likely to compete with Royal Enfield Classic 350. Every third motorcycle sold in Chandigarh is Royal Enfield and every sixth in Punjab. 

Among other major bikes in 300-400cc category are Bajaj Dominar, KTM 390 Duke and newly launched Honda CB300R. 

Classic Legends Pvt. Ltd., which re-launched Jawa in India, says it’s a Lifestyle Retro Classic bike and will create its own segment.  “We don’t compete with any brand as Jawa brand will create its own niche category in the region,” said Anupam Thareja, co-founder, Classic Legends Pvt Ltd., and founder and managing partner, Phi Capital.

However, auto experts said the only competition in the category is Royal Enfield in terms of pricing and category. The Jawa and Jawa Forty Two are priced at Rs 1.65 lakh and Rs 1.56 lakh (ex-showroom, Chandigarh), respectively.

Originally, Jawa was a Czech brand made under licence by Ideal Motors in India. The brand was discontinued in 1970s when the licence expired with the Indian partner. Later on, Ideal started making motorcycles under the Yezdi brand. Eventually, the brand Yezdi was also discontinued as the company shut operations due to losses following an onslaught from cheaper and more efficient Japanese motorcycles in the mid-1990s.

Anupam says North India has a huge potential and the company will do everything possible to have a bigger share of the pie. 

“The Northern region, comprising Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Haryana, Punjab, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu & Kashmir contributes 28% to the total sale of premium bikes in India,” he said. Almost all premium bikes such as Harley-Davidson, Triumph and Indian motorcycle have their presence in the Northern region. Overall size of the premium bike segment in India is around 10 lakh units per annum.

Also, as compared to other regions, the average age of customer is on a constant decline in this region. The average age of customers buying such bikes in North, particularly Punjab and Haryana, has declined to 30s from 40s three years ago, according to Benelli India managing director Vikas Jhabakh.

“Around 80-90% of people who have booked Jawa were not born when the brand Jawa was in India in its earlier avatar. A majority of them are either working now for few years or are in their second year of job,” said Anupam. 

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