Italian race bike manufacturer Aprilia is working on a 300c-350cc motorcycle for India based on a completely new platform which is slated for debut in the next 2-3 years.
The platform which will spawn a range of motorcycles is targeted at the mid-capacity segment of bikes which is gaining momentum not just in India but outside the country as well. Aprilia does not have bikes in the 300cc-350cc category and in all probability, India could become a lead country in the development of such bikes.
Diego Graffi, Chairman and Managing Director, Piaggio Vehicles said, “We had an amazing response for the RS150 and Tuono150 which we had showcased at the Auto Expo 2018. But the demand trend for the 125-150cc engine bikes has not been as explosive as expected. So, we have decided to keep that plan on hold and we now prepare to aim for a different kind of engine category which will be in the range of 300-350cc.”
Piaggio is the parent company of Aprilia and has so far introduced performance-driven scooters and superbikes under the brand as well as premium scooters under the Vespa brand in India. The company expects to export the proposed mid-capacity bikes to developed markets like the US and Europe as well as Latin America and Asia.
“The new platform will give us an opportunity not only in India but also for exports to Europe and US, South America, South East Asia. We see good potential for this kind of bikes,” Graffi added.
Graffi explained that the platform used by the RS150 and Touno 150 are dated and cannot be upgraded for want of being price competitive in India.
“As this is a very important investment we want to do it so we can optimise and take advantage of it. The product line of RS and Tuono are quite dated as of today so if we have to be competitive in India we have to come with a product that will support and sustain demand at least for the next 5-7 years. It will take some time, may be 2-3 years for the new platform to be developed as this is still in the concept phase,” Graffi added.
The mid-capacity segment has received a lot of attention from a variety of two-wheeler brands. TVS Motor Company
, BMW, Bajaj Auto
, KTM, Honda, Kawasaki, Royal Enfield, Husqvarna, Benelli, and Jawa are companies that have products in this segment or have plans to enter the segment.