Motorcycles

Bajaj builds its new motorcycle with recycled aircraft carrier metal

Bajaj builds its new motorcycl...
The V is an affordable commuter that Bajaj hopes will help strengthen its presence in a very competitive market segment
The V is an affordable commuter that Bajaj hopes will help strengthen its presence in a very competitive market segment
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The elegant 13-liter fuel tank of the Bajaj V is made from recycled metal sourced from the INS Vicrant aircraft carrier
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The elegant 13-liter fuel tank of the Bajaj V is made from recycled metal sourced from the INS Vicrant aircraft carrier
Bajaj introduces the 12-hp commuter V next to the sportier 17-hp Pulsar 150 in a very important market segment for India
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Bajaj introduces the 12-hp commuter V next to the sportier 17-hp Pulsar 150 in a very important market segment for India
The Bajaj V's front suspension employs conventional 33 mm forks
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The Bajaj V's front suspension employs conventional 33 mm forks
Upright riding position and a modern instrument cluster for the Bajaj V
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Upright riding position and a modern instrument cluster for the Bajaj V
The DTS-i single cylinder engine of the Bajaj V outputs 12 hp at 7,500 rpm and 13 Nm at 5,500 rpm
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The DTS-i single cylinder engine of the Bajaj V outputs 12 hp at 7,500 rpm and 13 Nm at 5,500 rpm
The V is an affordable commuter that Bajaj hopes will help strengthen its presence in a very competitive market segment
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The V is an affordable commuter that Bajaj hopes will help strengthen its presence in a very competitive market segment
This stamp on the fuel tank of the Bajaj V declares its strongest marketing asset
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This stamp on the fuel tank of the Bajaj V declares its strongest marketing asset
The Bajaj V will also be available in white color
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The Bajaj V will also be available in white color
Christening this new bike couldn't have been easier for Bajaj, V stands for Vicrant
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Christening this new bike couldn't have been easier for Bajaj, V stands for Vicrant
View gallery - 9 images

When India's first aircraft carrier, the INS Vicrant, ended up in the scrapyard after its decommission from active duty, Bajaj found the ideal raw material for a new motorcycle. The suitably-named V is a 150 cc commuter that proudly declares its hybrid heritage as part motorcycle, part war hero.

Just a few days before the 2016 Auto Expo officially opens its gates in New Delhi, India, on February 5, Bajaj has unveiled a new motorcycle that targets the 150 cc class, one of the most popular and faster growing categories in the Indian motorcycle market. Already sporting the best-selling Pulsar 150 in its line-up, the world's fourth biggest motorcycle manufacturer – and holder of a 47 percent stake in KTM AG – attempts to strengthen its Indian market share with the addition of a very special model.

The Bajaj V will also be available in white color
The Bajaj V will also be available in white color

The V doesn't really stand out because of its technology. The air-cooled single-cylinder 149.5 cc, 12 hp DTS-i motor is a rather low-tech unit, already used in several other Bajaj models. Sitting in a steel double cradle frame and coupled with simple suspension and a fairly basic brake system, it makes for a commuter whose budget pricing is probably one of its biggest advantages. But there's also a twist.

In 1997 the Indian Navy decommissioned the INS Vicrant, its first aircraft carrier that was purchased from England in 1957. The Vicrant gained its legendary status after participating in operations like the liberation of Goa from Portugal in 1961 and the Indian-Pakistan war in 1971. Initially the carrier was supposed to become a museum, but after the country's Navy declared its inability to maintain the iconic vessel it was sold for scrap in 2012.

In 2014 Bajaj managed to get its hands on a portion of this raw material, intending to put it to good use. Apparently owing its name to the INS Vicrant, the V's 13-liter fuel tank is fabricated from recycled metal outsourced from the aircraft carrier.

Christening this new bike couldn't have been easier for Bajaj, V stands for Vicrant
Christening this new bike couldn't have been easier for Bajaj, V stands for Vicrant

Dubbed as "The Invincible," the new model will go on sale in March with a projected production of 20,000 units per month. Its price has not been finalized yet, as Bajaj's officials put it in the INR 60,000-70,000 range (US$880-1,000). Understandably it will be initially offered only in India, where the historical reference of the bike will be appreciated. Later on it will also be exported to other markets.

"Buy quickly and you'll get the bike with the metal of the ship," said Eric Vas, Director of Bajaj Motorcycle Division at the new model's launch. "Obviously when it runs out it will not be made with this metal."

You can find out more in the video that Bajaj released at the launch event of its new model.

Source: Bajaj

View gallery - 9 images
6 comments
xs400
Scrap? No, gentlemen prefer virgin metal.
James P Pratt
Since the USS Ranger has been sold for scrap instead of being turned into a museum, maybe they could build motorcycles out of Ranger steel. Thousands of people, including myself, served on that ship and would be interested in buying a bike as a remembrance of a mighty war ship.
mookins
Gotta love that little 'vroom' at :57. Really good styling, quality appearance. Toss the crash bars, give it race handlebars, and I bet you could go fast downhill.
christopher
Only in a country with no observance to safety could you sell depleted uranium to put between your legs...
AntónioTavares
The term "the liberation of Goa from Portugal in 1961" might be nice for the british India that conquered portuguese India, but not for goans or the portuguese. The term "liberation" is highly obtuse. It's as if the goans were asking to be conquered by the Indian army. It was simply an anexation of the territory. Nobody asked the goans if they wanted that!
JagtygerII
It looks really retro cool, but I would be more into a 200-300cc bike as I do weigh a bit more than average Indian commuters and it would have to be able to handle rough/unimproved roads. Any idea as to who sells them in the USA?