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Insurance Article

THE GREAT INDIAN TWO WHEELER EVOLUTION

November 04 2015
Royal Enfield, the pride of Indian two wheelers

Two wheelers were originally designed to offer safer, efficient and comfortable rides. They have come a long way since they first came into existence, while continuing to serve their purpose even today. Here's a glimpse of the great Indian two wheeler evolution.

Two wheelers: A symbol of pride

The Royal Enfield, the first two wheeler in circulation in the country, was initially available solely to the military. Back then, owning a two wheeler defined status, though they were not the preferred mode of transport.

This changed in the 70s, when the market opened up to new brands like Yezdi and Rajdoot. Youngsters zoomed around on these noisy machines, leaving clouds of dust and smoke in their wake.

The advent of Chetak scooters, Bajaj's debut product, was the beginning of the scooter story in India. It kicked a craze across the country and even had a waiting period for purchase at one point of time. The price of this scooter was as high as its demand.

Chetak, India's first and trusted scooter

Despite this craze and obsession, the status symbol tag of two wheelers did not wear off. The shift from being beasts of pride to commodities of convenience happened gradually.

Two wheelers: A symbol of convenience

The advent of the 80s saw India's two wheeler industry grow, forging partnerships with many foreign companies like Honda, Suzuki and Yamaha. Hero Honda's partnership made giant strides, with a slew of bikes that offered safer rides with better mileage. Hero Honda’s Splendor became a landmark product that attracted the attention of the nation's youth.

Splendor, beginning of fuel-efficiency

Two wheelers: A confluence of convenience and style

The Splendor opened the floodgates for a range of modern bikes that offered safety, comfort and great fuel efficiency. Bajaj, which was sitting comfortably in the glory of its line of successful scooters, caught itself napping while the market changed.

Pulsar, the legend of style and performance
Bajaj returned to the market in 2001 with the Pulsar, which featured a stylish design and powerful performance that was unheard of in the Indian bike market. With the fuel efficiency of a normal two wheeler, it touched the racing pulse of every college-goer.

While the bike industry grew with cheaper and fuel-efficient bikes, Honda came with its next path-breaking product that would bring scooters back in vogue for a long time to come. The Activa took over the Indian market like no two wheelers had ever done. Almost every household in the country had an Activa, which they used for tiny errands!

Activa, the path breaker and trendsetter in scooters

The Indian market has also witnessed a rise in the number of high-end sports bikes from Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki, which separated them from their Indian partners to form their own markets.

The transition doesn't mean that bikes no longer have the power and status they once wielded; it has only enhanced to international levels. Though the Royal Enfield has maintained its legacy, foreign competitors like Harley Davidson and Triumph have joined it in recent years.

The Yamaha R1 superbike on Indian roads

Along with the growth of the two wheeler industry, there has been a proportionate growth in the two wheeler insurance sector. How the two wheeler story will unfold in the years to come will be greatly determined by the passion of two wheeler enthusiasts.

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