Aug 26, 2010

O my God! It's the Slingshot!

Now who's betting on this one?

Promises a world-class ride. Priced to compete with the premium 100cc bikes.

My take, this is a ridiculous attempt to woo the Indian commuter. Hero Honda is the brand for the Indian commuter. Splendor and Passion. If you want excitement, then Pulsar 135LS or Yamaha SS125.

What's different here, I wonder. So a good reason to stay away from this one.

Aug 19, 2010

People are calling Yamaha's bluff. Why don't they seem to get it?

Yamaha just introduced YBR 110 and SS 125. If I were to summarize the instant reaction of motorcyclists online, it would be:

"YBR 110 is a rehashed ALBA and SS 125 is a rehashed Gladiator!"

And in essence, this reaction sounds so true. Why? Just when you look at the pics or the actual bikes you get it. The upper pic is Alba, the lower one is YBR. Also, why did Yamaha launch YBR? Coz Alba wasn't selling. But people can see they are both the same! So YBR might also have a tough time selling.

Now motorcycles and motorcycling is a hot topic online in India. And thousands and lacs of motorcyclists or prospective motorcycle-buyers are active online seeking guidance, sharing info and in turn guiding others in what to choose and what not to. People can see what's the truth.

Pitch all the interactive noise online against the monologuish claims in mass-media advertising and check what wins. Why do you think Yamaha's motorcycles commuter/executive commuter segment do not work?

One might say, Hero Honda has also been an active rehasher and has been doing it successfully. My guess is, Yamaha rides on a premium image and Hero Honda is just too massy. A huge chunk of Hero Honda owners might not be aware or even interested in the buzz online. Yamaha prospects though would be keen to know what people are saying online simply because of the stakes involved.

Yamaha needs to acknowledge this fact and draw inspiration from their FZ16 and R15 efforts. They need to offer something genuinely new instead of just changed names and whistles and color-schemes.

Aug 17, 2010

New Gladiator from Yamaha

Did I surprise you? Probably :)
Alright, Yamaha has discontinued Gladiator. So, is it good or bad? Depends on how Yamaha views the situation.
Here's a perspective. 
Gladiator has been around for quite some time. Few years, to say the least. Biking fraternity knows Gladiator. Why? May be coz of marketing, may be coz of blogs, may be coz of the fact that it comes from Yamaha. There could many more reasons.

Looking at it from purely a business point of view, the brand Gladiator seems to be present in prospects' minds, even if not favorably. In today's world, marketing is unarguably the biggest challenge and perhaps the biggest cost. I am asking, can Yamaha leverage this brand 'awareness' equity?

Of course! Few reasons to my claim and a couple of solutions.

The brand name GLADIATOR is very good. People can have views on the 'degree' of goodness but they can't deny that it can be a good motorcycle brand name.
Coming from Yamaha, the name GLADIATOR has the potential to carry forward all the attributes attached to the brand Yamaha in India. You agree?

So, the name's taken care of. The awareness of the name is also taken care of. Now what?

Try imagining a 300cc kind of cruiser with the name Gladiator.
Try imagining a naked 250cc (or even a 150cc with a good big tank :)) with the name Gladiator and coming from Yamaha.

To my mind, the second offering might fit better. Importantly what it could do is save Yamaha the hard part of marketing coz the name is already there in people's minds. It will also match the actual product with the already established name and therefore, find it easy to get people to accept the bike.

The thing is if a Hero Honda Hunk (I don't deny it's a decent bike) could sell here, a 250cc naked Gladiator would rock. Besides, aren't Gladiators often imagined naked, if we go by the Hollywood movies :)!

Aug 10, 2010

The Gladiator who never was

The Gladiator never fought. People didn't give it a chance. You know why? Coz the body didn't do justice to the name it carried.

To just explain in simple words, imagine the bike FZ16 with the name Gladiator instead of the name FZ16. In all probability, you will find it agreeable. 125cc bike with that kind of form just couldn't cut as Gladiator.