13 might be considered an unlucky figure in various traditions and cultures, but never has been a year filled with such fireworks for the biking enthusiasts. When we say enthusiasts, we don’t mean the ones with deep pockets for whom buying a litre class is as convenient as picking vegetables from the market. In no ways are we disregarding the passion of people who own one, but they belong to a completely different assortment in the Indian biking scenario. The major slice of the pie belongs to buffs for whom higher displacement and more bhp has been a twinkling dream, no matter what their present possession. These have been the very people who have exploited their motorcycle mills to the limit and have treaded paths for the budding bikers to follow.
The fact that a Royal Enfield motorcycle once a pre-determined tool for long distance touring and Himalayan wandering has been obliterated by a breed of saddle-tramps for whom displacement was a mere number and not a geographical restriction. With toddlers like Splendors hitting the highest motorable pass in the world to Pulsars and Karizmas adding to the tally of endurance riding- be it scampering around the Golden Quadrilateral or populating IBA’s certification list with entries from India. Riders who piggy-bank’d their pocket money and ditched their favourite mobile-phone purchase for a much bigger dream. No matter what the displacement- they bought the steeds that could fetch them the max thrills from the money they put down- not to mention the bells and whistles as a bonus. These are exactly the enthusiasts we are talking about!
Back 10 years, the biking population was starved of bikes to choose from. With hardly any options to pick in the performance segment, one couldn’t see beyond a CBZ, Pulsar, Karizma or a Royal Enfield. But there has been a paradigm shift, though very slow but for the better, and much to the joy of the enthusiast. He now has a bigger list to eye and zero on a choice with a wise calculation of the offering vis-à-vis his hard earned rupee. To add to the cheers, there are bigger and better machines out there waiting for their turns to walk the ramp. As for the fireworks referred to at the start, we at Motoroids have been bringing every story that mattered to the Indian biking junta- from glimmers to full-fledged unveilings, if it has been happening around, it has been here. A varied set of wheels is waiting on the other side of the tunnel to hit this side soon.
The KTM Duke 200 was a scorcher in its own right, and the KTM Duke 390 spec-sheet that would spell nothing less than putting a space shuttle between your legs. On a similar bloodline, the Bajaj Pulsar 200NS has been on a parallel war footing with the Duke and would simultaneously push the edges on cubic capacities with the Pulsar 375 in the making albeit at an attractive price. The Honda CBR250R despite its early QC flaws settled down as a suave performer and clicked well with the touring segment. With the new Honda 500s already unveiled at EICMA last year, it’s just a matter of time before it makes to our shores and in three different flavours to cater i.e the CBR500R, the CB500 and the CB500X. The Kawasaki Ninja 250R though placed at a higher price bracket has its own gang of admirers, more so for the impeccable finish that it adorned and the performance that made it the best 250cc ever. The newer Ninja 300R avatar will only add more greenery to the envying competition. And lastly, a brand that might not go well with bikers- Mahindra Motorcycles with their first performance offering, the Mojo 300. Moulded to an odd-ball design, it still has the hardware to stand a bout with the biggies.
Today we take this opportunity to ask the very breed of biking enthusiasts to place their bets on these offerings and what amount of their hard earned money are they willing to put down on their choices. Different people have different notions about their rides- in the end motorcycle is all about emotions. To some the sprocket shattering acceleration of the Duke 390 might appeal at a much lesser price, and others won’t mind shedding a few extra bucks for the relaxed runners in the Honda variants. From the value conscious buyer who’d blindly pay for the appetizing Pulsar 375 to a crowd who’d choose the Mojo just for that exclusivity tag. Or someone, who just loves green so much that others are plain colour blindness.
From our end, we have done our bit to scale the two ends that we feel fits the price sensitive Indian motorcycle industry. And we want you to tell us what price are you willing to pay for your favourite set of wheels you have been eyeing since it has been making news. Prices might have been announced internationally for some, but the Indian pattern has had its own psychological trend. Hence not necessary that similar pricing strategies may be adopted by manufacturers for the same product being sold on the other side of the world.
So go ahead, place your bid.
Bajaj Pulsar 375 : Rs.1.50 lacs to Rs.2.00 lacs
KTM Duke 390 : Rs.1.75 lacs to Rs.3.00 lacs
Honda 500 variants : Rs.2.50 lacs to Rs.3.50 lacs
Kawasaki Ninja 300R : Rs.3.00 lacs to Rs.4.00 lacs
Mahindra Mojo 300 : Rs.1.50 lacs to Rs.2.50 lacs