Scooters have been the preferred choice of transport for Indian consumers for the past 40 years. While various two-wheelers have seen the light of the day in the Indian market, a select few have managed to reach an iconic status. Yesterday, we brought you a list of 8 iconic motorcycles that we would want back in the India market. Today, we have another such list of 5 Iconic scooters that we would wish to re-launch in India.
The Bajaj Chetak could easily be termed as the most iconic two-wheeler in India. The Chetak was manufactured by Bajaj Auto from 1972 till 2006 and was named after the legendary horse of Indian warrior Rana Pratap Singh, Chetak. The Bajaj Chetak was based on the Vespa Sprint.
The Vespa design was licenced by Bajaj till about 1980, post which the company opted for an entirely new form. Pre-2002, the Bajaj Chetak was powered by a 145 cc, two-stroke engine producing 7.5 bhp of maximum power at 5,500 rpm and 10.8 Nm of peak torque at 3,500 rpm, mated to a 4-speed gearbox.
Post-2002, with the introduction of stricter emission norms, Bajaj Auto introduced a 4-stroke version of the 145 cc engine. However, rising competition from motorcycles and then gearless scooters resulted in Bajaj discontinuing the scooter in the domestic market.
While enthusiasts and Bajaj loyalists are eagerly waiting for a new generation Bajaj Chetak, Rajiv Bajaj has consistently denied any plans to bring back the Chetak to the market.
Lambretta scooters were launched in India post-Independence in the 1950s. The Lambretta scooters were assembled in India by Automobile Products of India (API), and the first models were the 48 cc, Ld and Li (first series). API later acquired a license to manufacture and sell the Lambretta Li150 Series 2 model until 1976, which was later renamed as the Lamby for legal reasons.
The company later also launched scooters like the Lambretta Mac 175. In 1972, Scooters India Ltd. (SIL) bought the manufacturing and trademark rights of Lambretta. The company built a factory in India with the help of Italian engineers.
The company launched the Vijay Deluxe scooter, which was badged as the Lambretta GP150 for the export markets. That said, the Lambretta brand is now resurrected by the ‘Lambretta Consortium,’ which is owned by Innocenti (parent company). The company is contemplating on launching the new generation Lambretta scooters in India in 2019.
The Bajaj Sunny was the first ‘Scooterette’ manufactured by Bajaj Auto, from 1990 till 2000. The scooter was targeted at teenagers, eligible for a driving license for auto-geared two-wheelers. The Sunny used a 60 cc, two-stroke engine producing 2.80 bhp of power at 6,000 rpm and mated to a single gear (automatically engaging) system.
Bajaj Auto later introduced the Sunny Zip, with increased power and fresh design. The scooter had a fuel tank capacity of 3.5 litres and a fuel economy of 50 km/l. The Bajaj Sunny had a dry weight of only 63 kg. The scooter was used by teenagers and aged person alike. The Sunny could prove to be a convenient vehicle in today’s road traffic conditions.
Kinetic Honda 4S
The Kinetic Honda 4S was manufactured by Kinetic Honda, a joint venture between Kinetic Engineering Limited and Honda Motor Company. The partnership operated from 1984 to 1998, post which, Kinetic Engineering continued to market its product under the Kinetic brand until 2008.
The Kinetic Honda 4S was based on the Honda NH series scooters. The Kinetic 4S employed a 113.5cc, single-cylinder, four-stroke engine that produced 7.3 hp of maximum power at 7,500 rpm and 7.70 Nm of peak torque at 5,500 rpm. The scooter featured a CVT and an electric starter, both first-in-class features in India during that time.
The Bajaj Super was manufactured by Bajaj Auto under license from Piaggio to produce Vespa Brand scooters in India. The Super was based on the Vespa Super and used a 150 cc motor. The two-stroke engine produced 7.5 bhp of maximum power at 5,500 rpm and 9.90 Nm of peak torque, mated to a 4-speed gearbox.
In the early days, the Bajaj Super commanded a waiting period of 1 year. The scooter was succeeded by the Bajaj Priya and then by the Bajaj Chetak. While the agreement with Piaggio was terminated in 1977, Bajaj Auto continued production of the Super in India.