Lending new products iconic monikers has become a new trend in the Indian automotive scenario. Tata did it with the Safari and recently, Mahindra pulled it off with the Bolero Neo. The two-wheeler industry isn’t spared from it either. Bajaj resurrected the Chetak and electrified it and last year, TVS trademarked the name Fiero 250, hinting at its possible revival. Now, Bajaj Auto has gone ahead to trademark the name ‘Caliber’ in India.
The Gen-Z millennials might not be familiar with the Caliber but this commuter motorcycle used to enjoy a huge following in the Indian masses.
The OG Caliber
Let us talk about the OG Caliber first, before going down with speculations regarding what the new Caliber could turn out to be. The Caliber was the birthchild of Bajaj and Kawasaki’s long-standing marriage in India. It first hit the production line in 1998 and stayed alive till 2006. The Caliber became particularly popular because of its catchy TV commercial ‘Hoodibab’. The TVC made sure that the Caliber became a household name. It was powered by a 111.6cc air-cooled motor developed jointly by the Indian and Japanese bikemakers. This unit produced a sufficient output of 9.5 bhp and 9.10 Nm of peak torque and was paired with a 4-speed gearbox. It had telescopic front forks and a swing arm hydraulic shock absorber at the rear. Its top speed was rated at 102 kmph and that is a respectable figure for a commuter motorcycle. Among all things, it definitely should retain its top speed figures if it gets a much-deserved revival.
What could it be?
We believe that if Bajaj indeed decides to breathe a new life in the Caliber, it could turn out to be a 125cc offering since Bajaj Auto is currently missing out on all the action happening in the 125cc space. Also, Bajaj already has a potent 125cc motor that power the affairs in the Pulsar 125. If TVS also decides to make the Fiero 125 a reality in this age, it could lead to an interesting rivalry in 125cc space, with two iconic monikers going head to head, armed with modern touches here and there.
Bajaj Auto currently doesn’t have any utility-based commuter motorcycle in its 125cc line-up and we believe if at all, the Caliber brand is resurrected, the said model can be a perfect fit for this vacancy.