Suzuki Motorcycles India has launched its mass market product the Hayate. Hayate has been translated into English as ‘Fresh air, Gentle breeze and even Tornado’. Kawasaki pulled out of MotoGP and called its team and motorcycle Hayate after Dorna threatened to take them to court for not fulfilling contractual obligations. So they raced as Hayate and the world was told it was the equivalent of tornado Suzuki has been using the more gentle translations.
The Suzuki Hayate features a 112.8 cc engine and the styling is generally reminiscent of the 125cc Sling Shot which has not been setting sales charts on fire. In fact, Suzuki post its split with TVS has tasted success only with its Access scooter (and preliminary reports suggest that the Swish, which is a sportier looking version of the Access is also doing alright) and its motorcycles the Heat and Zeus (both of 125cc capacity) have had to be withdrawn from the market due to their being complete non-sellers. The 150 cc GS – R is also a rare sight on the roads. The Sling Shot too has not really set markets on fire and if the trend is anything to go by, the Hayate is not likely to turn into a block buster. But we hope for Suzuki’s sake that the Hayate will turn things around because it is a company that makes solid and reliable products that need more success than they have seen. Suzuki seems to have at least got the pricing right with prices starting from Rs. 40,162 (kick start, ex showroom Pune) and Rs. 42, 162 for the electric start version (ex showroom Pune).