With about 48000 bikes sold per day, India is the biggest two wheeler market. This is not necessarily because everyone in this part of the world is passionate about motorcycles. It is in fact a result of many simple factors; and unlike China and Indonesia, this market is not going to slow down any time soon.
Barring metropolitan cities like Mumbai or Kolkata, the public transportation in India could do better, especially in cities like Pune. The roads are perennially in a state of repair or completely neglected. We never seem to have enough parking spaces, with most cars being parked on the road side, often eating into the driving space; and traffic congestion during peak hours can run for miles. To top that, India has always been a cost conscious economy. “Kitna deti hai” (which roughly translates as “what’s the mileage?”) is a standard question irrespective of whether you are talking about a scooter or a rocket launched by ISRO. So, when the question is to commute from point A to B in the most cost efficient manner, a two-wheeler bike is the undisputed answer.
Two wheelers can be further classified as –
Mopeds – These are bikes with 50cc or less engine. Traditionally speaking, it refers to a hybrid of “motorized” and “human pedaling”.
Scooters – Mostly gearless bikes similar to mopeds but with a more powerful engine. Often, people use the terms moped and scooter interchangeably. This is the fastest growing segment in the two wheeler category.
Motorcycles – These are geared bikes and are the leaders in the two wheeler segment. This category includes sports bikes, cruisers, commuter bikes, and off-road bikes.
Electric Two Wheelers – As the name suggests, this category belongs to bikes which are electric. Though they are yet to find a proper foothold in the Indian market, they are the future.
There are about seven major players in the scooter and moped market, three - Hero, Honda, and TVS - dominate the market. Honda alone controls about 60% of the sales in this category. Their most successful products are Activa, Aviator, and Dio. Maestro and Jupiter are best sellers for Hero and TVS respectively.
In the motorcycle category, out of the eleven players, five - Hero, Bajaj, Honda, TVS, and Royal Enfield - control about 90% of the market. Hero leads this category with 50% market share and Splendor has been its most successful model. For Bajaj, it has been Pulsar. In the last few years, Royal Enfield has upped their game and stolen a bit of market share from Hero and Bajaj. This is also a reflection of the buying capacity of the Indian youth and availability of better loan schemes.
This is more or less an overview of the Indian two wheeler market. Keep watching this space for more information on bikes, bike servicing and bike trips.