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Market for high-end motorcycles revs up

- SUMAN BASHYAL, KATHMANDU
Market for high-end motorcycles revs up

Dec 30, 2014-Stylish and performance bikes are becoming the rage in Kathmandu and their market has swelled accordingly. It seems local motorcycle riders no more see wheels merely as a means of getting from here to there, they now have particular specifications.

Nepali dealers of high-end bikes like Ducati, KTM, Royal Enfield, Kawasaki, SYM and UM, among others, have reported fast sales growth in the premium segment.

Brands like Honda and Suzuki, which have a strong presence in the commuter segment, also have at least one or more high-end bikes, while other brands are considering launching premium models. High-end motorcycles equipped with 250 cc to 800 cc engines and priced from Rs 420,000 to Rs 2.1 million are available in the domestic market.

KTM, which entered the domestic market with the launch of the KTM Duke series in 2012, recently rolled out its new RC 200 and RC 390 premium bikes. “The popularity of these high performance bikes are such that 2,000 units of KTM Duke series were sold within two years of their debut in Nepal,” said Gaurav Pandey, business manager at HH Bajaj, the authorised distributor of KTM bikes in Nepal.

“The craze for premium bikes is not limited to youngsters. Those in the age group of 30-50 years are also ardent fans of sporty bikes.” Pandey added that rising income levels and changing leisure pursuits had also helped push up sales of premium machines.

The company has aimed to sell 50 units of KTM RC bikes monthly. HH Bajaj also sells the Kawasaki Ninja 300 cc and 650 cc bikes that are priced at Rs 1 million and Rs 1.4 million respectively.

“We are seeing a 15-20 percent annual growth in sales of our high-end bikes,” said Meghraj Poudel, head of operations at Royal Enfield, Dugar Brothers and Sons, the authorised distributor of Royal Enfield in Nepal.

He added that more and more people were riding high-end bikes. The Royal Enfield Bullet that comes with a 350 cc engine and a price tag of Rs 425,000 is the highest selling bike from Dugar Brothers. The company sells nine variants of bikes with prices going up to Rs 711,000.

In a bid to increase sales, domestic dealers have been organising various bike rallies as part of their promotional campaigns. HH Bajaj organised a bike rally with 20 racers in the Kathmandu valley recently. Similarly, Poudel of Dugar Brother said that they planned to organise bike rallies in Dharan, Itahari, Damak and Ilam, among other cities. Mahindra plans to unveil its premium bike the Mojo 300 by 2015. Balkrishna Puri, operations head at SG Global, the authorised distributor of Mahindra two-wheelers in Nepal, said that the bike would arrive in Nepal next year.

Yamaha is also planning to roll out its high-end models in the domestic market. “We are studying the market for premium bikes in Nepal, and we will be focusing on the high-end segment too as more and more youngsters are going for it,” said Jun Nakata, director of sales and marketing at Yamaha Motor India.

Published: 30-12-2014 07:06

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