Adventure bikes are a rage in the Indian biking community right now. There are many bikes to choose from, and in every segment starting from 250cc all the way to 1250cc. There is something in the market that would meet every user’s needs. However, the perfect sports ADV for our market is still something to be desired.
What do you think would make a Superhit Sports ADV for the Indian market? We have put together the template for a desirable Sports ADV, that we think might make for a superhit success in India.
Engine & Performance
Well, we as Indians love multipurpose products and it wouldn’t hurt to have a bike that would not only serve as a daily commuter on the weekdays but also a touring machine over the weekends. Most high-capacity motorcycles face heating issues in stop-and-go traffic and the ride could get uncomfortable if you are stuck for longer durations. They are also bigger and flicking them through traffic is not one of their strongest suits. Hence, a smaller capacity engine would be a great fit, we’re thinking somewhere between the 390cc to 500cc mark.
A 450cc would put it smack in the middle between the KTM 390 adventure and the Benelli TRK502 as well as the latest Honda CB 500X. The desired power should be in the 45-50 bhp range, which would be a perfect balance for a performance commuter. Since it’s a sports ADV, it has to be fast and have good cruising speeds without those annoying vibrations. A refined engine that can go up to 160-170kmph and cruise at 110-120kmph without breaking a sweat would put a smile on every rider’s face.
Tyres & Wheels
Of course, the bike will make most of the miles on asphalt. This calls for dual-purpose tubeless tires. A 70:30 mix would make a perfect combination. A sports ADV, though not built for hardcore off-roading, a bonus would be if these tubeless tires are mated with spoke wheels as long as they do not add to the overall cost of the bike else, alloys are just fine. The ideal tyre size would be a 110/80 section R19 on the front and a 160/70 section R17 on the rear. A dual-channel switchable ABS is a must-have feature.
It’s an ADV and has to have a long-travel suspension. Upside down forks on the front with a min. 180mm of travel and an adjustable mono rear suspension with max. 190-200mm travel.
When you think of adventure bikes, the beamers are the best when it comes to looks. It’s no doubt that the GS series has set a benchmark in the ADV market and a bike that looks like a GS will definitely make it a Superhit. A beak, a split headlight cluster with DRLs and a tall windscreen would make a striking front end. A large tank with wing fairing on the sides and a chunky tail section to give it that big-bike feel. Of course, LEDs all around for the headlamps, taillights, and indicators will complete the overall premium look.
Tech & Features:
Today, a good product is backed by useful tech, and a few added features help deliver a good value for money product. Most of the manufacturers nail the mechanics but they struggle in the tech & features department. A Superhit bike would have a slipper clutch, ride-by-wire, and dual-channel ABS as a bare minimum. A Bluetooth enabled instrument cluster with turn by turn navigation should also be a primary offering considering most scooters have this feature now. An added bonus will be a coloured LED/TFT display to add to the premium quotient.
We are obsessed with fuel economy and given the rising fuel prices a bike that delivers good economy is definitely going to be a winner. For this particular bike, with a 400-450cc engine, the mileage would be around 30-40 kmpl in standard riding conditions.
A product is a real winner when it delivers the most bang for the buck. We already have a void between the 390s and the 500s and the price gap too is huge, with the KTM priced at 3.5L and the Benelli at 5.1L, the sweet spot for this bike will be at the same point as the KTMs but with more bang for the buck since it’s a fully Indian made machine. It is possible, as demonstrated by RE’s fabulous 650 twins. This would be a well-rounded price for all the features listed above.
Which manufacturers do you think can pull this off?
The first one that comes to mind is TVS. They already have the blueprint to build an ADV thanks to their partnership with BMW. Bajaj too can pull it off, considering their partnership with Triumph and KTM. Both these manufacturers do not have an ADV (we’re not counting KTM here) on their portfolio and have partners who carry the ADV pedigree. Hero, the somewhat underdog here could absolutely come up with a winner. They do have a puny little fun machine in the form of the Xpulse 200, a higher capacity bike with touring capabilities will surely make for a Superhit ADV.
What do you think of our recipe for this Superhit ADV? Are there any other features you’d like to see? Do let us know.