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BAJAJ SCOOTERS AND BAJAJ UTILITY VEHICLES BAJAJ CHETAK


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Bajaj Quality Gas Powered 150cc Scooters
BAJAJ GAS SCOOTERS
 
AUTOMATIC GAS SCOOTER TRIKES
FIFTY cc - ACE-50 | MOJO-50 | MINI CRUZZER-50 | SPORT 50 | RUKUS 50 | T-17 50 | T-RIDER    

ONE FIFTY cc - MOJO 150 | HAWK 150  | VIKING-150 | EAGLE-150 | CYCLONE-150      

T
wo Fifty cc - VIPER-250 | SPIDER-250 | ROAD WARRIOR-250 | SNOW LEOPARD-250


three hundred cc
- ZODIAC 300 | MAGNUM-
300 | COMPELLER-300 | TORNADO-300


MINI JEEP 125  |  POWER CART 50

GEKGO! Where There Is No Better Combination Of Quality, Price-Performance & Reliability
If Americans were to utilize one of the latest eco-friendly motor scooters available in the market, they would, on average, reduce their fuel consumption by 58% and carbon dioxide emissions by 80%.
 BAJAJ CHETAK  | BAJAJ TRANSPORT |
BAJAJ DELIVERY VAN |  BAJAJ HAUL 3-WHEEL

BAJAJ 3 WHEEL TRANSPORT/AUTO RICKSHAW
BAJAJ
TRANSPORT/AUTO RICKSHAW
3-WHEEL 175cc TRIKE

Vroom vroom!

Retiree takes pride
in his street-legal ride


Autorickshaws are hot items abroad,
but not in the U.S.


BY BILLY COX
FLORIDA TODAY

At 73, Ronald Flynn still has enough air in the tires to describe himself as "handsome, debonair, a connoisseur of fine wine, lover and defender of the faith."
Having exhausted two wives, he talks wistfully of his long lost affair with high-performing Cessna aircraft. And lest anyone doubt his petroleum-slurping street cred, there's a Chevy van and a 1978 Cadillac Coup de Ville beneath the carport.

"I keep (the Caddy) around in case Ashley Judd calls someday and says, 'I'll meet you down at the bar,' " Flynn says.

These details matter because the retired flight-control dispatcher for Federal Express doesn't want anyone to think he's lost his marbles and gone Third World.

"I've worked hard for 40, 45 years, breaking my (butt) so I could have a few toys," he cautions. "And that's what this is."

"This" is a three-wheeled, motorized contraption that looks like a prop in a British farce. Alien to American eyes but a roadway staple in Asia, Flynn's street-legal toy (unlike golf carts) is a motorized tricycle with a cab called an autorickshaw. Weighing in at 650 pounds and sputtering along atop a little 49cc engine, the vehicle's top speed is 40 mph, but it gets 70 miles a gallon.


Low-rider. Ronald Flynn drives his autorickshaw down Kiwi Drive in Barefoot Bay. The vehicle is a motorized tricycle with a cab that weighs 650 pounds, has a top speed of 40 mph and gets 70 miles a gallon. It boasts space in the rear and beneath the seats. Kathleen Hinkel, FLORIDA TODAY

How do I look? Ronald Flynn of Barefoot Bay  cruises around in his autorickshaw. The vehicle, a Bajaj, is an Indian export that requires neither a motorcycle license nor insurance to drive. Kathleen Hinkel, FLORIDA TODAY

Like at least four nearby Barefoot Bay neighbors, Flynn initially intended to buy a scooter when he went shopping online for an extra set of wheels last year. But when he came across Internet photos of the autorickshaw, he figured three tires were better than two. 

"At my age, you know? I mean, how much trouble can you get into at 40 miles an hour?" he wondered. "Unless you happen to be a real ---hole."

The thing was called a Bajaj, an Indian export that requires neither a motorcycle license nor insurance to drive. The Bajaj was better than a golf cart, since he could take it down the road to run errands, and the sticker price of $6,400 wasn't dreadful.

At this point, it would be tempting to report Flynn is riding the first wave in a rising tide of alternative transportation created by the spike in fuel prices, but Al Kolvites says that wouldn't be entirely accurate.

Based in San Francisco, Kolvites is president of ArgoUSA, which deals primarily with cycles and scooters, and has a monopoly on the Bajaj market in America. The vehicles are produced in Pune, India, but they're fabricated around an original Italian design by Piaggio, renowned for Vespa scooters.

Kolvites says Bajaj autorickshaws are huge in India and enjoy varying degrees of success in 50 to 60 countries. But they've only been imported into the States during the past two years, and he's not optimistic over their domestic prospects, despite the gas-miser reputations.

"I've been asking (Bajaj) to put automatic transmissions in their three-wheelers for years, because less than 5 percent of U.S. cars produced today have manual transmissions," Kolvites says. "But they won't do it. They say 99 percent of their customers want manual in order to get higher mileage. So it's gonna be a tough market here."

Even so, Kolvites declines to say how many autorickshaws he's sold in the States during the past two years for fear of tipping off potential competitors. What's certain is the vehicles are hard to find. ArgoUSA lists nine authorized dealers in Florida, none of whom operate on the Space Coast. Flynn ordered his from a shop in Largo called GekGo Scooters.

Not so fast on the commercial angle, Kolvites warns.

"You better do your homework first to see if you need insurance in your state or, if you do, can you even get it," Kolvites says. "See how your city and how your state treat taxis. And taxi commissions -- there's going to be a lot of resistance. It's a long, long way off before we'll see three-wheelers on taxis."

The only way autorickshaws will make a ripple with American consumers is with automatic transmissions, Kolvites insists. He's already looking to find Chinese manufacturers who can deliver.

"At that point, grandmas are gonna go crazy, because they'll be able to pick up their friends on the way to the bingo parlor and grab a carton of milk on the way home," he adds.

For Flynn, a satisfied customer who can stash groceries in the rear as well as inside the hollow compartments beneath the front and back seats, his star-spangled Bajaj nevertheless poses something of a philosophical dilemma.

"Look at this," he says as he retrieves a wood-carved giraffe head off his wall. It looks like a souvenir from Africa, but the manufacturer's tag below states otherwise. He offers a piece of pottery with a pre-Columbian aura, and a red-white-and-blue pocketknife featuring the image of an American eagle.

"Made in China, made in China, everything's made in China," says the romantic Flynn, waiting for the phone to ring as Andrea Bocelli croons "Besame Mucho" on the living-room CD player.
"Things are getting crazy."

AUTOMATIC GAS SCOOTER TRIKES
FIFTY cc - ACE-50 | MOJO-50 | MINI CRUZZER-50 | SPORT 50 | RUKUS 50 | T-17 50 | T-RIDER    

ONE FIFTY cc - MOJO 150 | HAWK 150  | VIKING-150 | EAGLE-150 | CYCLONE-150      

T
wo Fifty cc - VIPER-250 | SPIDER-250 | ROAD WARRIOR-250 | SNOW LEOPARD-250


three hundred cc
- ZODIAC 300 | MAGNUM-
300 | COMPELLER-300 | TORNADO-300


MINI JEEP 125  |  POWER CART 50

GEKGO! Where There Is No Better Combination Of Quality, Price-Performance & Reliability
If Americans were to utilize one of the latest eco-friendly motor scooters available in the market, they would, on average, reduce their fuel consumption by 58% and carbon dioxide emissions by 80%.
| BAJAJ TRANSPORT | BAJAJ DELIVERY VAN |
 
BAJAJ HAUL 3-WHEEL



 


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