Meet Atul Kumar from Navi Mumbai. A Banker by profession and a BIKER by heart! Atul started riding motorcycles at the age of 11 and bought his first bike- the Suzuki Shaolin during college. Later he graduated to a Hero Honda Karizma during his first career step, followed by a Royal Enfield Electra 5 speed. The ‘Big Day’ arrived when he finally pulled the ejection button, shooting out of the Electra’s saddle and landing on the 125 bhp Suzuki Intruder M1800R that later shared parking space with the Honda CBR250R.
An attendance at the California SuperBike School on his CBR250R transformed him from a highway runner to a track junkie. Since then, he is absolutely smitten and tries to hit the track as often as possible, given the constraints of having a busy working life (banker) and a busier family life (Father). His latest acquisition has been the Red Italian Lass- a Ducati 848 Evo! Considering his new found inclination towards track hunting, it was but obvious that the 848 with MotoGP inspired bits was his weapon of choice. We bombard Atul with our usual set of questions on his experiences with the exotic Italian. Over to Atul!
When did you buy the Ducati 848 Evo?
Bought it in October 2012.
Which bike did you own prior to the 848?
My previous bikes have been the Suzuki Shaolin, Hero Honda Karizma, Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 5 speed and the Suzuki Intruder M1800R.
Which other bikes do you currently own apart from the 848?
I own a Honda CBR 250R.
Why the 848? Did you consider some other bike while making a purchase decision?
Went looking for a nice street bike- test rode the Honda CB1000R, Yamaha FZ1 and many more. Saw The Ducati 848 Evo and it was lust at first sight. Had to own it no matter what!
What is the best part you like about your bike?
Its ability to lean at will, awesome handling, raw power, staccato sound and last but not the least- AWESOME ITALIAN looks!
And the worse part?
Most aggressive stance EVER! Rules out long rides, can screw your back and shoulders.
What has been your longest ride?
On this bike, it’s just been a Nasik round-trip. Used to do 3000 km rides on the Intruder at times- but this one is a pure track tool
How has been the after sales experience?
Just sent for servicing once and was happy with Ducati despite the public opinion
How much on average do you spend on service including consumables?
Rear brakes were surprisingly cheap at INR 3000 approximately. The tyres (which got rubbed off in the first track day – 4000 kms) cost Rs.26,000/-
Any independent service centre/ mechanic you would recommend?
Stuart of 7th Gear Customs. However, right now for warranty’s sake I am taking it to Ducati Authorised Service.
Where do you source the spares from?
Some aftermarket spares were sent by a friend in US. Brakes from Ducati and Tyres from a Pirelli dealer in Navi Mumbai who has always offered the best rates.
What modifications have you done to the bike? What difference has it made?
A Lowering kit since I am just 5’6” and a Stomp Grip. It has customized the bike to my size and made it more comfortable
What makes up your riding gear?
Dainese Two Piece leather riding suit. Shoei helmet, Joe rocket gloves, Alpinestars back protector and boots.
Have you ever faced issues from cops since lot of bikes out there are grey imports and inappropriately documented?
Never! Have been asked for papers a couple of times, but since I have stock exhaust and papers are in order, there has never been any issue.
What would be your next bike?
I am thinking of buying both Triumph Street triple as well as KTM Duke 390.
Any pointers on parking in public places?
Don’t and if you have to carry the cover in your backpack
What tips would you give to prospective superbike owners?
Be very sure of what you want to buy, based on your riding style and abilities. Do not bite more than you can chew.
And finally the question that we Indians love so much.. ‘kitna deti hai’?
Surprisingly 14 to 18 kmpl
On the concluding part, Atul was kind enough to let us have a spin on the 848 and it was a memorable experience. We sincerely appreciate and thank him for donning his leathers in the hot sun just for the shutterwork.
We at Motoroids wish Atul a million track day events in life and a continued bonding with his Italian babe! We wish him all the best with his biking endeavors!