Do you think that a company can develop and launch a vehicle just to see the market response? Irrespective of what you may say about that, there’s always some market study behind the launch of each product.
Bajaj Sunny is the sort of a vehicle which prompts the above question. Launched in 1990 specifically for teenagers between 16 to 18 years old (who were eligible for a license for gearless two-wheelers in India), Sunny enjoyed decent success and naturally became quite popular among the younger crowd. Its miniature dimensions always made it very easy to ride around.
Even then, the mentioned age group is a pretty thin market to go for, but of course, given the intent of the scooter Bajaj may not have expected huge sales numbers anyway. It may have indeed been an experiment to provide a motorized two-wheeler to the people who were in the touching distance of their adulthood!
But the tiny size of the Sunny does make it a toy-like scooter, almost for kids, rendering it more or less unimportant. Interestingly, that was its biggest advantage making it more approachable than any other two-wheeler on the market at that time irrespective of your age and experience. It was so small that one could hardly care any less while riding it.
It came with a small 50cc 2-stroke engine capable of producing around 2.8 BHP at 6,000 RPM. It had a single gear and that was automatic. Of course, despite it being targeted at teenagers, anybody could ride it. Many young guys and girls, in fact, used Sunny as a worthy two-wheeler to learn riding on. It was easy, unintimidating and was great to learn about balancing a motorized two-wheeler.
Even with that small engine, it could carry a load of up to 120 kg while the weight of the scooter itself was just 63 kg (dry). It had a top speed of around 50 km/h and returned fuel economy of similar numbers. Tyres at both ends were 10-inch and equipped with drum brakes, and there was a spare wheel which was mounted on the inside of the front body panel. Really, there’s nothing more to it.
In 1997, Bajaj replaced Sunny with Sunny Zip which had a slightly more powerful 60cc engine. It was also a 2-stroke motor and produced around 3.5 BHP.
On a personal note, I remember one of my friends having it when we were in school. We did ride it a lot, especially in the neighbourhood. It was too much fun and felt like an appropriate upgrade from our bicycles. Have you ever heard anybody say this kind of a thing before? A scooter as an upgrade from a bicycle?
I guess, that sums up the Sunny pretty well. And we are quite positive it can still be found and bought through OLX, so give it a try if you still fancy one.
We would also like to thank Mr. Harshit from Mahesh Motors for sparing his time and letting us experience our childhood once again with the Bajaj Sunny.