Sunday, July 27, 2008

The "little trip" Suzuki Choinori.

Via: suzuki cycles

"The Choinori is a new 49cc four-stroke mini-scooter from Suzuki, aimed for the Japanese home market. Suzuki wanted to launch a small scooter model that was clearly cheaper than any other scooter on the market, and managed to do it. The retail price for the Choinori for 2003 is 59.800 Yen in Japan, that is about 40% cheaper than any of its competitors.

Simple technology and cheaper components were the key to be able to make the Choinori that cheap. There is no rear suspension, to name a detail. The small engine of the bike delivers 2 hp, giving the bike a maximum speed is less than 40 km/h. That's normal figures for Europe, but the Japanese customers are used to get more power from their 50cc bike engines.

The price could have probably be pressed down even more if Suzuki had chosen to assemble the Choinori in China, but to many people's surprise it is entirely made in Japan where the personnel expenses are high.

The customers in Japan have mixed opinions of the new Choinori. Some people think that it's uneasy because it is too slow or because it doesn't have any rear suspension but other people think it's fast enough to move around in the town (where it was meant to be used) and the the fact that it is made in Japan tells it should be reliable. Time will tell if the Choinori will be a bestseller or a flop. The extremely low price should be a great advantage.

A Japanese friend of mine tried to explain the meaning of the word ”Choinori” for me, it seems to be difficult to translate it to English. Choinori means something like ”to ride a little bit” or ”to ride around one's home, not far away”. The opposite, to ride a long trip, ”touring” in English, would be ”Tohnori” in Japanese. Choi means a little bit, Toh means far away, and Nori means to ride. That is, Choi-nori is the antonym of Toh-nori.

Suzuki developed ”high-speed plating”technology for this scooter which enabled them to make sleeveless plated cylinders at a very low cost. This made the Choinori engine lighter than Suzuki's existing four-stroke 50cc engine by about 40%. So it's not just all about being simple. There are some new technology involved that actually help making it cheap. "

(you always remember your first ride: link)

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