May 22, 2012

Vespa test-ride review

I just test-rode the recently launched Piaggio Vespa. And this is a short review.

First things first, the scooter is top notch in quality, fit and finish. If someone's wondering what the hell are they charging 77k (on-road price in Ahmedabad) for, this is one of the reasons. And it does feel like it will serve the rider for many years faithfully without hurting the eye and without losing the luster.

The pick-up is awesome. So sprightly. Yes, the 125cc capacity is well utilized. The meter responds to the rider's whims on the accelerator. It's just 114kgs in weight and yet feels real solid.

Lovely colors. Must make every morning a riding pleasure. Very cool extra accessories which do justice to the design. Just the one on the front mud-guard isn't so appropriate.

Here's a limiting point of this two wheeler. It's not tiny but it's what you call 'not-sufficient' for two well-built adults. I am talking of people like me. Height around 5'10" and with average build. No, it doesn't lack in power. It will merrily take the two of you around without a fuss but the over-all size of the scooter is such. Though the seating is comfortable, it doesn't let the body stretch. Perhaps that's the story of every scooter. And of course, I am so habituated with motorcycles...

If you've got the money and scooter's what you need, Vespa will be money very well spent.

Yes, you'll forget Activas and Dios and Accesses and Duros. Promise.

Apr 21, 2012

TVS Poopache! Oops, sorry Apache!

So TVS manages to do this. Words don't fail me right now but then to criticize also there must be some motivation, right? :)

Pulsar 200NS took the entire industry by surprise it seems. Of course, other brands would love to respond. More so, once the bike gets launched. But a response like this is hilarious. Beats Karizma ZMR hands down in the ugliness quotient.

Looks like TVS has nothing new right now to offer. And looks like they are just out of their slumber to realize that they are way too behind now to save themselves from sinking to the bottom. Definitely looks like every department at TVS is trying hard to show that they are really working hard.

Criticism apart, what should TVS have done? Technological battles - twin-spark and triple-spark and so on - aside, there are quite a few ways to counter the threats from other brands. If, as is apparent, design is what they want to defend with, they can't overload themselves with 'design'. Heavier the armor, greater the chances of slow reflexes.

If all other bike-makers are launching fairing-driven designs, there's a chance to reveal a cool without-fairing design. If they are launching aggressive-looking naked bikes, there's a chance to launch a classy-looking naked bike.

Who's bloody heading the TVS design and marketing departments? And where's the lost CEO?

Jan 29, 2012

KTM Duke 200 glimpses

Sharing some pics I clicked at the Kanjurmarg Probiking showroom this aftenoon.

Pictures do not necessarily give an idea of the size of the bike. So here's with a rider with a good build and average height. Around 5'8" or 5'9".

Has a great stance I would say. Reminded me of my FZ16. The bike's really burly. Fit and finish is top notch. Comparable to (or I would say at par with) the R15. Here's how the engine looks. Again nothing like we typically see on Indian bikes.

They don't allow test-rides yet. Test-rides from mid-february. But I did switch on the engine and revved it a little. The sound's perceptibly different and louder than the current crop of bikes. I shouldn't say loud. It howls.

I was also informed that the bike's gonna have a mileage between 25-30kms/litre and that one shouldn't expect anything above 30kms/litre since it's a street bike and has a short-stroke.

One HOWLER of a bike!

Jan 22, 2012

Vespa 125 India

Pic from

These Vespas were showcased at Auto Expo 2012. Delightful. Both, yellow and red. This site estimates the price to be 55k. What do you think? Would you buy? Going by the looks, it's almost the Beetle of scooters, no? If it comes out at that price, it's gonna sell like hot cakes. I assume the fittings are just the same as seen in the pics.