We expect 2016 to be the year that maxi scooters make their way into India. But while we were expecting big Japanese names to take that leap of faith, a few spy shots taken in Pune suggest that the first mover might be from the West.
Seen here in these captured-on-the-move photos is the KSR Moto Zion 150. KSR Moto is a little- known Austrian motorcycle and scooter brand that seems to have been around in the small capacity two-wheelers scene from 2004. At that point, it was known as ‘Generic Motorcycle and Scooter’ which admittedly is a rather unappealing name. In 2012 the name was changed to KSR Moto. We believe that this scooter will be brought to India through DSK Benelli, and we’ll get to why we believe so in just a bit.
What is the Zion 150?
The Zion 125 and the Zion 150, look virtually identical but we expect the higher capacity 151cc offering to be the more sensible pick for this category-busting scooter. This single-cylinder liquid-cooled four-stroke motor is good for 11.7 bhp at 7,500rpm. This motor is mated to a standard CVT gearbox. Suspension duties are handled by a set of conventional telescopic forks at the front and a pair of shock absorbers at the back. It also gets disc brakes at both ends. It’s a fairly large scooter with an overall length of 2,075mm and a wheelbase of 1,415mm (by comparison, the Honda Activa 125 is 1,814mm long with a wheelbase of 1,260mm). The tall 1,350mm of specified height is thanks to its large and unusually sculpted wind shield. With its larger proportions, it is fairly heavy for a scooter, tipping the scales at 146kg. Not much else is known about this maxi scooter, but we can infer from the pictures that it gets a three-pod instrument cluster with an analogue tachometer, analogue speedometer and a digital multi-function display. We also estimate the underseat storage is large enough to fit a full-sized helmet. One thing that the Zion 150 doesn't have is a flat floor board for storing cargo. The floor board features a tall spine running through the centre, effectively splitting it into two separate areas to rest your feet. This spin also features the fuel filler lid on it, which means that the fuel tank isn't located in its usual place under the seat.
What’s the Benelli connection?
DSK-Benelli hasn’t made any sort of announcement regarding this, but there seem to be a lot of connections between the Austrian and the Italian bike maker. KSR Moto’s parent company, KSR Group, is the importer of Benelli motorcycles in Germany. Also, KSR Moto’s GRS 125 and the GRS 600 are clones of the Benelli BN25 and the 600i, although in the smaller bike’s case, it sports a 125cc single-cylinder engine unlike the Benelli’s 250cc single.
At Auto Expo 2016, Piaggio had already announced that it will be bringing the sporty Aprilia SR150 scooter to India this year and will be manufacturing it here as well. Honda and Yamaha too have dropped hints about getting their own maxi scooters this year. It stands to reason that DSK-Benelli too would want a slice of this pie. And going by the level of aggression that DSK Benelli has shown in the past we wouldn’t be surprised to se them to kick off the new maxi/sporty scooter segment later this year.