Bajaj Auto unveiled a new 150cc bike ‘V’ which contains metal from India’s first aircraft carrier INS Vikrant. INS Vikrant played a major role in the Indo-Pak 1971 war, which India won. Decommissioned in 1997 from service, the pride of Indian Navy was preserved as a museum in Cuffe Parade, Mumbai, for the citizens of India till 2012, which is when the government decided to close the museum ship due to security concerns.
The government then decided to scrap INS Vikrant and sell it to a scrapyard. A PIL was filed, as not all agreed to the scrapping plans of INS Vikrant which had an emotional attachment to many Indians. Sadly, the PIL was rejected by the Supreme Court and the government went ahead with the sale and scrapping plans of INS Vikrant.
INS Vikrant was sold to a Darukhana ship-breaker via online auction. The scrapping began on 22nd Nov and ended last year. Below is a short video from early 2015, showing the final days of INS Vikrant.
Around the same time, Bajaj Auto was looking at launching a new motorcycle brand in the market. This is when advertizing agency Leo Burnett’s Saurabh Verma, Raj Deepak Das and team came up with the idea of buying all the steel from INS Vikrant and use it on the upcoming Bajaj bike, which is now known as the Bajaj V, where V stands for Vikrant, Valiant, Invincible, and so on.
Bajaj says that the V15 is their proudest motorcycle till date. It is powered by a 150cc DTSi single cylinder oil cooled engine offering 12 PS power at 7,500 rpm and 13 Nm torque at 5,500 rpm mated to a 5-speed transmission. The bike receives 240mm disc in front and 130mm drum brakes on the rear wheels while will be offered in two shades of Ebony Black and Pearl White. Positioned between the Discover and Pulsar, Bajaj Auto expects to see sales to the tune of 20,000 units per month while pricing could be between INR 60,000 and INR 70,000.
On the fuel tank of Bajaj V15, is a small memento affixed. This shiny piece of steel is what has been made from INS Vikrant’s steel. Bajaj has proudly stated that they have bought all the available steel of INS Vikrant, and with that they can manufacturer hundreds of thousands of Bajaj V. Once the steel is over, production of Bajaj V15 will be discontinued.
Interestingly, India is building another aircraft carrier with the name INS Vikrant. The work on its design began back in 1999 while it was undocked in 2011. Construction is expected to be completed this year, with commissioning into Indian Navy expected to take place in 2018.
Coincidentally, the motto of INS Vikrant is “Jayema Sam Yudhi Sprdhah” in Sanskrit, which when translated to English is – “I defeat those who fight against me”.