In an interview on the Green day 2011 to Xbhp, Eric Vas, President of Bajaj Auto has confirmed the entry of a bigger Ninja. The concept of Green Day was to bring all the Ninja riders to the track – The actual place to ride every Ninja. The Track Day was held on 5th March in Sriperambudur Race Track, Chennai.
Though, it was held about a month back, the news is very interesting as it had a few insights on what could be Ninja’s next bike for India.
Here are a few excerpts from the interview:
When asked about the response for Ninja in the Indian subcontinent, he said, ‘’Phenomenon. As on date we have sold more than 1400 Ninjas; I think we have a phenomenal response.” He added, “It’s the first multi-cylindered bike in the country.”
For a question that was put forth to him on the pricing of Ninja 250R, without more ado he answered “It is indeed not a cheap bike….. When you compare it with the bikes in the 1000cc category, it’s phenomenally a good value….. It’s a very complete track machine, which is why it’s the world’s largest selling 250cc bike”
In terms of competition Ninja would face against Honda’s CBR250R, he quoted the price line of the latter and said, “The Honda product is very different from what the Ninja brings; The Honda is single cylinder 250cc engine and ours is a parallel cylinder 250cc engine. The response and the track performance will all be very different. ” He then said, “One would have to see what Honda means in terms of delivery and yes, Honda will help expand the market.”
Let’s now get nearer to the interesting part of the interview. When asked about the plans for Ninja’s line-up, he said, “I can’t confirm the date to you but yes we are looking at a larger Ninja to bring into the market. We are working very closely (regarding this) with Kawasaki… We are obviously looking for a segment which will allow us to expand the market.”
Regarding the time frame for the launch of the bigger Ninja, he said that it’s to be decided based on Government’s final word on the CKD norm. Once, the decision is finalized then he said it can be expected in a span of two and a half months. He said, “It’s not too far off at all, maybe even faster” and for pricing issue, “I can’t share it with you but having said that we have always worked closely with Kawasaki to get the product at the right kind of price line.”
Now, all that leaves us puzzled is what would be the next Ninja – Ninja 650R of Ninja 1000? But, as we see a lot of bikes coming in the 600cc category, we observe that a major chance for the next bike would be the Ninja 650R.