ABS became mandatory this year on 1st April and the bike models without the safety feature are discontinued
As we all know that all motorcycles and scooters above 125cc are now equipped with ABS, what’s the status of those models which were not updated with the safety feature? It was 1st April 2019, the first time in history in the Indian two-wheeler industry that mandatory safety norms came into enforcement.
According to the regulations, all two-wheelers above 125cc engine will have to be equipped with Anti-lock Braking System (ABS). Not only that, scooters and bikes under 125cc to come equipped with Combined Braking System (CBS). The Government made this move to curb accidents which are caused due to wheel slippage under hard braking.
Let’s see how many bikes got discontinued due to the safety regulation.
Honda Unicorn 160
We earlier reported that the sales of Unicorn 160 dropped down to zero units in the month of November 2018. The main reason for this was that it was positioned above tried and tested Unicorn 150 and new stylish X-Blade 160. Whoever went inside a Honda showroom, the mature customer picked up Unicorn 150 and youngsters ride out X-Blade or Hornet 160R.
It was evident even before April that bike would be axed by the company owing to near zero numbers. Honda updated Unicorn 150, X-Blade and Hornet 160R with ABS long before as they knew the bikes bring revenue. However, it is not officially stated by the company whether the bike is discontinued or just selling off old stock. Unicorn 160 is still available on the HMSI website but ABS is nowhere to be seen.
Also Read: Bajaj Pulsar NS200 ABS Review
Next bike in the list is Bajaj ‘Vikrant’ V15. This motorcycle was launched to honor India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant after it was scrapped in 2014. Bajaj reportedly bought 10 tonnes of its metal and made V15 motorcycle’s fuel tank with it. Initially, the sales of V15 were good as it was a great power commuter (commuter segment with 150cc engine).
Over the course of years, the sales dwindled due to stiff competition in the segment. With minuscule sales, it was not wise for Bajaj to inject money to do R&D of ABS on V15. With April 2019, the bike was discontinued, as one cannot register non-ABS bike post implementation of safety norms. There is no official word from the company about its fate though but is better to consider it gone.
Hero Xtreme 150
Hero launched Xtreme 200 at a price of Rs 89,990 ex-showroom with single-channel ABS. With this, the Xtreme 150 lost whatever charm it ever had, sales fell down to the floor. One cannot find a counter for the fact that Xtreme 200R is a better value for money proposition against 150. So, in my opinion, Xtreme 150 was dead long before the mandatory ABS norms kicked in.
See, Karizma actually vanished from enthusiasts minds in 2014 when the older version of Karizma R was replaced by these weird looking motorcycles. These bikes were designed by EBR, who only made liter-class bikes. Coming back to 2019, Hero did not update the Karizma range with ABS so the bikes are not on sale.
Instead, Hero launched Xtreme 200S sports tourer motorcycle to fill the gap. The Karizma bikes sold only 72 units in last 8 months before April 2019. This showed clearly that no one is interested in these bikes. Also, the sales were mainly from rural areas where people do not have much knowledge about other bike models on sale.
Yamaha SZ-RR and Fazer 150
Another 150cc power commuter to discontinue is Yamaha SZ-RR. All thanks to low interest in Yamaha’s commuter bikes, poor sales and stiff competition from the rivals, the SZ-RR is no more in the showrooms. Yamaha is clocking volumes with its FZ series and R15 in India.
The touring motorcycle Fazer 150 is also discontinued due to lack of ABS. Yamaha to now focus on bringing sports motorcycles in the country which will cater to now growing the demand for performance bikes in the country.
Yamaha launched R15S when R15 V2.0 was in the Indian market. This motorcycle was actually made available again in a bid to increase the sales of R15 brand. This motorcycle had lower pillion seat and was more practical than the Version 2.0. However things didn’t go as planned, R15S didn’t sell much.
With the launch of R15 Version 3.0 people literally forgot R15S as it had become an obsolete model. This was the main reason which encouraged the Japanese bike maker to discontinued the model in the country. In other news, Yamaha might launch XSR155 in India which is a retro performance motorcycle.
Ride Safe, Ride Hard, and always wear a helmet while riding. Stay Tuned for more from the world of motorcycling.