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Bajaj V15: The inside story of patriotism on two wheels

Bajaj V15: The inside story of patriotism on two wheels
Desirazu Venkat Desirazu Venkat Monday 15 August 2016, 09:20 AM

Introduction

‘Shaking up the established order’- a single thought that perhaps best describes the birth of the Bajaj V15. Its arrival came about when the two-wheeler maker decided to bring out a product that would stand out among the established players.

The yet-to-be named bike was built, tested and nearly signed off when the patriotic angle was brought in.  This ‘little’ stroke of luck turned out to be the INS Vikrant that had served the nation, then retired as a museum piece and was finally being scrapped. It was commissioned into service as India’s first aircraft carrier and played its part in shaping the destiny of India and Bangladesh by enforcing a naval blockade on East Pakistan during the 1971 war.

Bajaj decided to acquire some of the metal and infuse it into the bike to give it that patriotic touch. Now in a country as diverse and large as ours nothing unifies like national fervour. It provides a sense of belonging, attachment and pride no matter the distance or location.

With this much in place, Bajaj launched the V15 earlier this year. The bike was hailed for its different design and of course, the INS Vikrant connection. This allowed it to go forward as a good example of ‘commuter motorcycles can be special too’.

However, the bike managed to do so much more thanks to its naval connection. It has become a memorial for those who have served aboard the aircraft carrier as well as a reminder of one of India’s most successful combat campaigns in its 70 year of existence. In fact, during our research into the story of this bike, we discovered that Bajaj had been getting positive responses and inquiries from serving as well as retired naval personnel.   

Sounds like quite a story doesn’t it? Well that’s what we thought   too and so decided to head to the sanctum of the V15 to give you some glimpses into its assembly process at their facility in Waluj near Aurangabad. We say assembled, as most of the components are sourced from nearby vendors and put together by workers at the factory.

There too we got an additional bit of history as we discovered that most men putting the V15 together had been employed in the factory for over 25 years and have worked on models like the Pulsar, Sunny and of course the legendary Chetak scooter in its many avatars.

So here then are some glimpses from the assembly of the Bajaj V15.

1.    The naked chassis sans the major components arrives at the start of assembly line and gets its VIN number stamped on before being hoisted on the production line to be worked on.

2.    Arriving in tow with the naked chassis is a rack containing the various parts of the motorcycle like the faring, instrument cluster, tail lamp assembly, chain cover and of course, the tank which is the V15’s signature element.

3.    Once the wheels and tyres have been fitted on, workers mount the 150cc engine, instrument cluster and wiring into place. After this the bike is turned on the first time and electrical components are tested.

4.    This stage is one of the most special as it involves the mounting of the tank which features the unique fuel filler cap as well as the V15 logos both of which are signature elements of the motorcycle.

5.    This is the final stage of the assembly where the seat is added and the engine is cranked up for the first time allowing the technicians to roll the bike off the assembly line and take it forward for quality clearance.

6.    In addition to bike assembly, we also went behind the scenes of the tank painting process and watched the logos, fuel filler cap and colour palate being applied to a naked metal shell to turn it into the V15’s signature element.

7.    Here is the fuel filler cap, the component which makes use of the metal from the INS Vikrant. It is finished in chrome and bears the inscription which connects the bike to the warship.

8.    We sign off with a shot of three Bajaj V15s all neatly packed up and being loaded onto a truck to be dispatched. Ultimately each of these bikes will find a lucky rider who will get to own and honour a little piece of India’s maritime history.

Happy Independence Day from all of us at CarTrade!       

 

 

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