Kawasaki launched its Versys X-300 earlier today, and while the X-300 the has all the right ingredients to be one of India’s most exciting motorcycles. Kawasaki have in their usual manner priced the X300 at Rs 4.60 lakh, which in anyone’s opinion is way too high for any mid-segment adventure tourer. What makes this even stranger is that Kawasaki has the Versys 650 at a price point of Rs 6.5 lakh, setting the deficit between the two at less than 2 lakh rupees. Kawasaki said at the launch that the Versys will be marketed as an all-purpose motorcycle, but with a price point pushing the envelop to Rs 5 lakh.
Kawasaki have recently taken over the reigns of the brand in India, from Bajaj with whom the Japanese superbike manufacturer has had a love hate relationship. During the change of hands, Kawasaki had said they will focus on bringing the brand back into the spotlight and into the Indian market. However, nothing has really changed as Kawasaki is still one of the most expensive brands in the country in terms of retail price and in after sales service. And while the products really do inspire the imaginations of the Indian populace, failed price points and the fear of long-term ownership have really brought the tide in against Kawasaki.
Now this strategy may have worked in times gone by, when the Ninja 250 R was the only serious sports bike available in the market, with a prominent brand name on the tank. But times have changed and Kawasaki really need to wake up and smell the coffee. With brands like KTM in the market and BMWs fast approaching on the horizon, Kawasaki might find their price points to be there own undoing. What’s even more interesting is that the launch report rather vaguely mentions that the bike “will be” assembled in India, at Kawasaki’s Chakan plant. Carefully avoiding to mention whether the X-300 will be a CBU or CKD, and as to what reason it’s been priced as high as it has.
Now, to Kawasaki’s undoing, with bikes like the KTM 390 Adventure and the BMW GS310 on the horizons and fast approaching. Kawasaki have made the same mistake that they did with the Ninja back in the day, they have created an aspirational stir in the market building the hype and anticipation for their competition even further. The question is how long before Kawasaki make serious corrections or accept defeat in a cut-throat middleweight market.
Image source- Motorradonline.de