Honda has put the 250cc market on fire by delivering a high-quality bike at a terrific price. This has resulted in almost all the bike manufacturers putting on their thinking caps and pondering on ways to capitalize on this segment. We wonder what they were doing when the entire Indian biking community was clamoring for a reasonably priced 250cc (or bigger) bike. After teaching the Indian manufacturers a lesson or two about their own market by creating history in the scooters segment, Honda seems to have sent some two-wheeler manufacturers back to school again with the packaging and pricing of the CBR250R.
The latest of the bikemakers to have shown willingness to emulate Honda is the Korean Bike maker Hyosung, which is ready to launch the GT650 and the ST7 in the Indian market. The company is planning to launch a 250cc streetfighter and cruiser bike in the Indian market next year with a price tag of less than Rs 2 lakh. Now that price may not exactly be at par with the aggressive 1.51 lakh ex-showroom sticker price of the CBR250R, but we have to bear in mind that the Hyosung GT250, unlike the CBR is a multi-cylinder bike, a V-twin to be precise and delivers more in terms of power and torque.
Diya Garware Ibanez, the managing director of Garware Motors, Hyosung’s partner in India said: “We are discussing with SNT Motors (owners of the Hyosung) to see how the volumes work out for our two models. We will follow the launch with the naked version of the GT 650R later in the year, followed by the 250cc models next year. With regard to pricing of the 250cc, we have to be right up there with the best selling models like the (Honda) CBR 250. Other models of Hyosung could also follow, as there is a big portfolio of models to choose from.”
Hyosung and Garware are already on the verge of launching the ST7 and the GT650R in India, with bookings starting on April 21st and deliveries starting by May end. The ST7 will tentatively be priced at Rs 6 lakh while the GT650R will be priced at 5.5 lakh.