Bajaj Auto is also looking to expand its Pulsar range of motorcycles in future
Back in the late 90s and early 21st century, Bajaj and Kawasaki had a partnership going in India. The joint venture came out with some of the most popular entry-level commuter motorcycles in the market. One of them was Bajaj Caliber. Originally launched in 1998, the entry-level commuter was a rage among the masses.
The bike also grabbed attention was one of its kind TV commercials which featured the buzzing tagline “Hoodibaba”. Caliber could possibly make a return to the Indian market after Bajaj Auto recently filed a trademark for the same. If development indeed comes true, it could make things very interesting in the entry-level commuter motorcycle space.
Caliber 115 was built using Bajaj 4S as the base and was powered by a 111.6cc air-cooled motor developed jointly by the Indian and Japanese bikemakers. This unit produced a sufficient output of 9.5 bhp and 9.10 Nm of peak torque and was paired with a 4-speed gearbox.
The motorcycle could attain a top speed of 102 kmph which was a very big thing for any commuter bike back then. While performance was very strong for its segment, it didn’t return a favourable mileage which Indian buyers in this segment usually seek.
Its suspension setup consisted of a hydraulically damped telescopic with rubber boots and a swing arm hydraulic shock absorber with coaxial 5 step adjustable spring at front and rear respectively. The bike carried a neat and simple design with some basic sticker graphics in the fuel tank and fenders.
Possible Outcomes & Specs
The trademark application states that the ‘Caliber’ nameplate could be used for two-wheelers-either IC engine and electrically powered. However, it seems unlikely that it will be used for a battery-powered motorcycle. That leaves Bajaj with two options- either a 115cc from Platina 110 or a 125cc motor from Pulsar 125.
Since TVS had trademarked the Fiero 125 moniker in November last year, we believe the possibilities of the new-gen Caliber getting powered by the 125cc unit is high. A 115.45cc, fuel-injected, single-cylinder, air-cooled engine derived from Platina 110 puts out 8.5 bhp at 7000rpm and a peak torque of 9.81 Nm at 5000rpm.
The 124cc single-cylinder, air-cooled, 2-valve SOHC unit powered the entry-level Pulsar 125. This unit delivers an output of 12 bhp at 8500rpm and a peak torque of 11Nm at 7000rpm. Both these units are paired with a 5-speed gearbox. Details at the moment are very scarce. It will be interesting to see which way does the Chakan-based manufacturer opts for.