In India, rarely do manufacturers let go of a popular nameplate. We have seen examples like the Hero Splendor, Glamour, Honda Activa, Platina, Pulsar soldier on for donkey years. Yes, to be fair, most of them got updates while some even had generation changes. Nonetheless, it is the nostalgia as well as emotions for a nameplate that forces customers to have a look at what’s on offer with the new generation. Sometimes, the reason for discontinuation may be as simple as a new model arrival or poor sales. But, we have seen and might continue to observe the same trend – nameplates after coming back have maintained the initial hype. In very rare cases, they continue to build sales. Here are few motorcycle nameplates that were done away with, but came back either in an all-new package or with just some cosmetic as well as mechanical changes.
The original Chetak helped Bajaj cement its legacy as a two-wheeler maker. With the turn of the new century, Bajaj decided to discontinue its scooters and focus on motorcycles instead. This put them at a good position vis-a-vis market standing. With mobility now turning its head towards electric, Bajaj chose this path to bring in the Chetak nameplate back. The Bajaj Chetak as we know it now is an electric scooter and a stylish one at that. It retails for slightly less than Rs 1.5 lakh now.
The first Victor was a rage given its smooth engine, high fuel efficiency and the Sachin Tendulkar connection. TVS tried adding variants to the Victor nameplate like the 125 and so on. However, with evolving competition, these bikes lost their sheen quickly and TVS pulled the plug. The manufacturer returned with the Victor nameplate a few years ago and this was an all-new bike. This being said, it still looked similar to the Star City and other commuters that TVS had on sale. TVS once again has pulled the plug on the Victor nameplate post the BS6 emission transition that the industry went through. Who knows, the bike may come back in an electric avatar?
The epitome of affordable performance bikes happens to be the Bajaj Pulsar 180. Right from the classic shape era, this bike has held the mantle of being not only powerful but also economical to run and maintain. Over the years, it got its fair share of fatter tyres, digital meter, LED tail lamps and more. However, the motorcycle was discontinued in early 2019. It paved the way for the 180F – which had a short run. The Bajaj Pulsar 180 has now made a comeback in 2021 and is available in new colours.
Honda’s first motorcycle in the Indian market happens to be the Unicorn and what a fine machine it was. The company eventually gave into the demand of the customers and provided an electric start, tubeless rubber, alloy wheels and more. However, the basic shape of the bike remained the same. HMSI discontinued the Unicorn in 2015, to promote sales of the Unicorn 160. However, we saw a revised Unicorn at the 2016 Auto Expo and the bike was launched shortly thereafter. It has remained the same even after BS6 update; the changes being a new engine, engine kill switch and enhanced seat. ABS is also part of the equation now. Even now, the bike is quite popular and in demand.
Perhaps the most iconic name in the list will be Jawa. Classic Legends resurrected the Jawa nameplate and decided to use it as it is. The motorcycle made a comeback in 2018, after being absent from India for almost two decades. While the engine is modern, the looks are retro and appeal to customers a lot. Jawa has also ensured that customers get modern goodies like ABS and the likes. Delivery issues though seem to plague prospective Jawa customers and we hear that the company is working to fix this.
Are there any other bike nameplates that you remember were resurrected? Do let us know.
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