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Saturday, April 9, 2011

India's infancy in motorcycling

India is the country which has one of the highest consumption of two wheelers, which is of-course limited to the commuter segment more than anything else. But at the same time, India does have a large population of performance mongers for whom more is never enough. That craving for just that last drop of juice just doesn't die. But the problem is, the Indian market is driven by price more than technology and quality, and that's one of the main reason, which keeps the manufacturer from pushing the envelop. It's always, you do first and then I'll do it depending if you succeed or fail. It's basically a goose chase of gaining more number in customer base than providing a formidable product.

But at the same time, the Indian mentality around motorcycles has not matured much either. Now, here I'm not referring to what's the notion of a common man is about motorcycling (where will you ride a motorcycle with all this power!!), but here I'm referring to the after market support that's available for Indian motorcycles. Probably, the only motorcycle that enjoys the most after market support is the Royal Enfield Bullet, but then again, most of the after market support that's available is cosmetic, like chromes, lights and gauges. Some serious work is being done by groups like the Rajputana Customs and the Verdanchi , but that's very much it. What about the other 150cc and above motorcycles? The most these bikes can get are cheap and crappy cosmetic modification of panels. Serious motorcycle after market support is lacking big time. Much of this is to be blamed on us bikers only. I mean, very few of us actually show interest in understanding actually what we want from our bikes. Most of the dudes around who ride the Pulsars, Apaches, FZs and the R15s are most concerned with looks rather than some serious actual modifications.

Now you would be blaming me of being guilty of blabbering, but see the kind of after market support our own Bajaj Pulsar gets in countries like Columbia, Philippines and Indonesia. It's immense considered to what we get here, in the country, where the bike has spawned into a revolution. Once a very dear friend of mine told me, that we don't get such after market support for Indian bikes, like we get for the exported ones, because these bikes don't deserve that kind of after market support. Well, to a large extent, when we bring into consideration factors like Cubic Capacity and BHP outputs, well the Indian bikes really do not deserve such after market support, because, there's not much canvas of scope available here. But what the hell!! You do not paint an already painted picture. You need a blank canvas, that that's how I perceive of Indian motorcycles, and specially the 150cc and above segment. There's a host of refinements, up gradations that are possible on these blank canvases, taking their capabilities, performance and handling to newer levels where no one thought that these motorcycles with low capacity and single cylinder engines could achieve. The list of jobs that can be done is quite long one, right from engine performance kits, to body kits and panels, exhaust system, suspension kits, electrical kits and the list goes on. The market is also un-tapped for the custom motorcycle segment, where an entire motorcycle is build from scratch as per customer's requirements, much like what Rajputana Customs and Verdanchi are doing, but we need more such custom works for motorcycles other than the Royal Enfield.

With the Indian motorcycle market getting more and more aware of the immense option that's out there and with the envelop of spending capacity of the average Indian youth stretching, it's all about spreading the awareness and providing a wide range of services, with the right blend of price and quality.
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2 comments:

  1. Most bike owners/riders in this country find it hard to replace a broken rear view mirror or a turn indicator which goes kaput.

    On the other hand look at countries like Thailand which is basically a step thru + scooter market for 2 wheelers yet6 look at the amount of modifications that the recently launched CBR250R has got.

    According to me its the Passion and interest that the bike riding crowd generate.. the market will automatically follow to serve the need.

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  2. Payeng Dude

    Rightly said there bro and therefore I said -

    "Much of this is to be blamed on us bikers only"

    But at the same time, I do feel that it's the market's reluctance to start showing option. Consider this as an example, before Pulsars started digital console and backlit switches, who thought of having those standard options, and now we slam even the Ninja 250R for not having them. So, it's a case where the market generated awareness towards having certain features/upgrades/mods. If people are aware that things can be done, then they would automatically start getting the drift and vice verse.

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Item Reviewed: India's infancy in motorcycling Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal Chakraborty
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