The list of automobile manufacturers who are keen on entering the middleweight motorcycle space of the Indian market has expanded with Italian brand Piaggio being the latest to express its interest in the segment.
Speaking to The Economic Times, the company’s managing director, Diego Graffi confirmed that the Italian two-wheeler manufacturer plans to introduce new products in the 250-300 cc segment. The source report also mentions that Piaggio has moved away from its initial plans to introduce 150 cc motorcycle in the Indian market as the “market is moving towards higher-displacement bikes”.
Below is what Graffi told the website:
Definitely, we are looking with a lot of interest at the motorcycle segment in India. It is natural, having a brand like Aprilia, which is well known across the world for winning in racing competitions… We are now looking more at this range (250-300cc). We need some time to introduce the products… But it is in our plans.
The 250-350 cc segment is heavily dominated by Royal Enfield. The Chennai-based two-wheeler brand accounts for almost 99% of the market share in this segment. Out of the 773,855 motorcycles in the 250-350cc segment that were sold in the domestic market in the last financial year, 764,012 were Royal Enfield motorcycles.
The details about the upcoming models are scarce, although we would not be surprised to see them being Aprilia RS/Tuono-branded products. These motorcycles would most likely carry premium hardware such as inverted front forks and a preload-adjustable rear mono-shock to perform the shock absorption tasks. Braking department will comprise disc brakes on both wheels, while the setup will be governed by dual-channel ABS.
Other key features should include LED headlights and a digital instrument console. KTM will set new benchmarks in the segment with the launch of the 390 Adventure that will pack features such as quick-shifter, traction control and ABS – both featuring lean-sensitive functions. Similar features may also make way to the 390 Duke and the RC390. It will be interesting to see if Piaggio opts to match the specification sheet of KTMs or offer relatively fewer features at a competitive price tag.
Piaggio is reportedly preparing to introduce two new products at Auto Expo 2020, and we could see the new 250-300 cc vehicles at the biennial motoring event.
In other updates, Piaggio India has announced the launch of the BS-VI compliant Vespa and Aprilia range of scooters.
Image of 2020 Aprilia RS 660 for representation only