7 Bikes Let Down by Their Styling
Modified On Jan 12, 2016 By Naveen Soni
India has the world’s largest two-wheeler market, owing to which a plethora of models are available in various segments. Design or styling plays a key role in distinguishing a manufacturer’s new product from this sea of options. While most buyers here have been simply choosing one of the long-running popular models in the market for years, it is the design factor that may tempt them to pick one of the newcomers. Fresh styling can set a product apart and work wonders to rapidly popularize it, irrespective of impressive stats and technical specifications. However, it can go the other way too. A well-made motorcycle might end up being a dud for the manufacturer if they don’t get the styling right. The 7 machines listed below are examples of this phenomenon.
Seeing the Hero Impulse for the first time, made us thank our stars for finally having a low-budget go-anywhere motorcycle in India. Designed keeping the Indian customer’s regard for multitasking in mind, the bike can also be used as a comfortable daily commuter. However, the tall motocross and enduro-inspired styling came as a shock for most people in the country, who did not quite get the practical nature of its design. The lack of any sober single-colour options only added to its woes. As a result, its customer base limited to off-roading enthusiasts and those who like to ride something different.
2014 Hero Karizma ZMR:
Hero’s Karizma was one of the most appreciated and successful products in the performance segment in India till 2014, when its fortunes took a turn for the worse following its new update. The company did carried out cosmetic as well as mechanical changes, of which only the latter proved positive for one of the most loved motorcycles of the country. However, the styling of the motorcycle looks overdone and out of place, which led to rejection from Karizma lovers.
TVS came up with a 125cc motorcycle more advanced than any other available in the market - Phoenix 125. The motorcycle sports some very interesting features like a fully-digital console and gas-charged suspension along with a frugal and responsive Ecothrust engine. However, the public did not appreciate its styling because of the busy-looking fuel tank and an ungainly tail section. So, the company tried to make amends by introducing a cosmetic update to the motorcycle in 2015, which did not work well, either.
Do you remember the alien-like Yamaha Fazer from 2005? It is the probably ugliest looking motorcycle ever launched in the country and the entire credit goes to its weird-shaped split headlight and bikini fairing. While the 2005 Yamaha Fazer was a well-performing motorcycle and the overall body work was also fine, but the front section was the only element that became the reason for its elimination.
Mahindra Centuro was the first game changer for its manufacturer and received a positive response from the market. Do you know that it was based on its sibling Mahindra Pantero? The Pantero was already available in the market at the time, but only amounted to a negligible sales performance. In 2015, the company discontinued the model due to poor sales and the main reason was its awkward styling with the flat headlamp and protruding chin.
Suzuki Inazuma 250:
Suzuki launched its first quarter-litre motorcycle in India - Suzuki Inazuma 250 with a price tag of around Rs. 3 lac. Powered by a 250cc, liquid-cooled, parallel-twin engine, it was a nice performing motorcycle for weekend rides as well as touring purposes, but failed to register ample sales. The company immediately reduced the price of the motorcycle drastically. Still, the bike didn’t get the attention of buyers. The reason was its awkward styling in which the headlight played a big role, as did the lack of a full-fairing, considered a norm for a motorcycle in this segment.
LML Freedom 110:
There is no doubt that LML Freedom 110 was one of the most low maintenance commuters of its time with excellent ride quality. However, it failed to survive in the market due to its unimpressive styling comprising of an almost flat fuel tank and a fat tail section. Even after its failure, the company relaunched the motorcycle retaining the same monotonous design and the result was no different the second time around.
All these motorcycles had the capability to dominate their respective segment. However, they failed to to succeed due to unimpressive styling. Some of these motorcycles are still available in the market and will be be updated soon. We can only hope for a better design from their manufacturers for the next update.