Apr 5, 2010

14 Indians have unadventurous taste. Part 1: Dual Purpose & Supermoto Motorcycles

We need more kinds of motorcycles in India.. is it about time..??

Indians have unadventurous taste in motorcycles. That’s what was stated by Yamaha India officials in late 2007.

At that time, I was of the opinion (in fact offended) that how Yamaha could pass such a comment about Indian bikers? That too when Yamaha did not have a single exciting model in their (pre 2008) line up for India.

But just after a few months, when Yamaha displayed the racy R15 and the beefy FZ16 at the 2008 New Delhi Auto Expo, I had to eat humble pie. I now appreciate what Mr. T. Ishikawa, the then MD of Yamaha India had in mind for Indian bikers.

..not even a single dual purpose motorcycle for a country of one billion plus..!!

Till then, the middle class enthusiast Indian biker had to be either satisfied with their staple diet of Bajaj Pulsars (150/180/200/220) or maybe the TVS Apache, Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme/Hunk/Karizma. Honestly speaking there was not much of a difference in these models both in terms of looks and technology.

But today even I’ll say that, we Indians do have unadventurous taste in motorcycling. To support this statement, I’ll write about a few categories of motorcycles which are popular worldwide but have zilch presence in India.



1.Dual Purpose/Sport motorcycles:

What is a Dual Purpose/Sport motorcycle?

Kawasaki KLX 250S - Dual Purpose

Kawasaki KLX 250S - Dual Purpose

These motorcycles are designed to be ridden on moderately bad roads and also on good paved roads with ease. For these reason these dual purpose motorcycles are fitted with dual purpose tyres, which can be ridden on good and moderately rough terrain as well. The ground clearance and the suspension travel of these dual purpose bikes are greater than city bikes to cope up with bad terrain.

Most of our Indian roads are less than perfect and these dual purpose bikes actually make more sense than our normal city bikes. But then, there is not even a single dual purpose motorcycle for a country of one billion plus..!! Amazing..!!



2. Supermoto Motorcycles:

What is a Supermoto Motorcycle?

Kawasaki KLX 250SF - Supermoto

Kawasaki KLX 250SF - Supermoto

A Supermoto Motorcycle is a cousin of Dual Purpose/Sport motorcycle. Supermoto bikes have same kind of ample ground clearance and suspension travel like dual purpose bikes. The main difference between a dual purpose and a Supermoto motorcycle is in the kind of tyres and wheel sizes.

Unlike a dual sport motorcycle, which comes with dual purpose tyres, a Supermoto bike comes fitted with Fatter and Slicker Road Tyres. Also both the rear and front wheel size of Supermoto bikes are mostly of 17 inch diameter (like other street bikes), whereas dual purpose bikes come with a smaller rear wheel and a larger front (usually 21 inch dia.) wheel. The Supermoto motorcycle therefore more at home on paved roads than on bad roads.

Kawasaki KLX 250SF Rear Tyre

Indians have a fascination with fat tyres. Supermoto bikes should therefore have a better chance of being accepted by our desi bikers than dual purpose motorcycles.

These bikes sure do look like fun. But then would Indians be adventurous enough to accept Supermoto motorcycles?



For those who do not like bikes styled like off-road motorcycles:

Not all dual purpose motorcycles need to look like derivations of pure motocross/off road motorcycles. For example, the BMW 650 X Country has the looks of a street naked motorcycle and still retains the characteristics of a dual purpose motorcycle.

BMW G650 X Country

Off late manufacturers have started making factory produced Supermoto motorcycles which do not look like derivatives of dual purpose motorcycles fitted with 17 inch road tyres. Examples of such new age Supermoto motorcycles are the Aprilia Dorsuduro, KTM 990 SM, Ducati Hypermotard. They come equipped with alloy wheels, are heavier and have powerful engines compared to traditional "Dual Purpose motorcycle derived" Supermoto bikes.

Aprilia Dorsoduro



Now are you game enough to experiment with Dual Purpose / Supermoto motorcycles..??







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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.









14 Comments:

vamsi said...

its long time have seen such a article from u!! looking for more of this type

Siddharth Soni said...

Can't agree with you more.

I don't think it's a coincidence that I was contemplating doing a poll online whether Indians would buy such bikes or not. Don't think my blog's so popular that the poll represents the desires of Indian bikers. :) But anyway...

Well presented. Thanks.

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Sajal said...

I for one am not a great fan of the Dual Purpose or Super Moto machines, but yeah at the same time, if you talk about Indian conditions, then a Super Moto or a Dual Purpose bike is more potent than Street bikes, specially when you consider rides like Rohtank, Leh-Laddakh!!

I guess some years back, Bajaj (or it was some other manufacturer) came up with a Dual Two-Stroke Purpose bike, Green Colored.... I'm not remembering the exact name, and inspite of being from one of the Indian makers that bike didn't catch up in the market, not even in the college crowd, because the Two-stroke league was hogged by the presence of the mighty RX-100 and RD-350.

It's more of a mental block that there is no acceptance of the Dual Purpose machines, else you talk about moutains and the Dual Purpose/ Super Moto is your machine!!

Shaiju B said...

The name of the Green Colored Two-Stroke Dual Purpose bike is SX Enduro

Sajal said...

@Shaiju B
Yeah right mate.... the Bajaj SX Enduro!! The sole attempt by any Indian Manufacturer to introduce off roaders... but alas all in vain
:(

Guess Bajaj launched the bike way too early when Bajaj Motorcycles was in some deep mess.

Payeng said, about the popularity of Off roaders in Foregin countries. So much so, I've seen a Yamaha R1 converted to an Off Roader. Just search it on Youtube and you would get the video.... just imagine a 189 bhp Off roader :o

Payeng said...

@All, yes the Bajaj SX Enduro was the first and only attempt to manufacture an on-off road kind of motorcycle in India.. but I guess it was way ahead of its time and it's execution wasn't propeer (as Sajal has pointed out).

Another example of a True Blue Dual Purpose motorcycle in India was the BMW F650 "Funduro" which was imported as a CBU by Hero Motors in the mid nineties.. but then it was way over priced in India for its time and went on to become a flop in terms of sales. The motorcycle was superb though.

chunky said...

Show Yamaha Tenere! It is a very beautiful bike. Oh, and Moto Morini Granpasso too.

Anonymous said...

that aprila super moto

chunky said...

Show Yamaha Tenere! It is a very beautiful bike. Oh, and Moto Morini Granpasso too.

Sajal said...

I for one am not a great fan of the Dual Purpose or Super Moto machines, but yeah at the same time, if you talk about Indian conditions, then a Super Moto or a Dual Purpose bike is more potent than Street bikes, specially when you consider rides like Rohtank, Leh-Laddakh!!

I guess some years back, Bajaj (or it was some other manufacturer) came up with a Dual Two-Stroke Purpose bike, Green Colored.... I'm not remembering the exact name, and inspite of being from one of the Indian makers that bike didn't catch up in the market, not even in the college crowd, because the Two-stroke league was hogged by the presence of the mighty RX-100 and RD-350.

It's more of a mental block that there is no acceptance of the Dual Purpose machines, else you talk about moutains and the Dual Purpose/ Super Moto is your machine!!

Anonymous said...

These sport bikes mentioned here kinda looks like those dirt bikes by KTR , Yamaha etc. which are used in motocross championships, that takes place in Bangalore and other parts of the globe.

im not talking about four wheeler dirt bikes though lol.

The Dirt-Bikes were also shown a lot in the late 80s-early 90s action films .
Remember the scene in film Hard Target where Jean Claude Van Damme stands on his dirt bike and aimed his gun at the villain.
Here it is - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrlUWh2ZlHo

Im in my late teens and i just love these dirt bikes.
They are full of punk and freakin awesome ... too bad the mass indian public have no taste in such bikes.
btw i hail from Calcutta lol.

In western countries dirtbikes are very poplar among the youngsters
Heres an awesome clip - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7ub0mpHs6g

Anonymous said...

Thanx a lot for publishing my above comment about dirtbikes.
Btw do you have any news if Suzuki or Yamaha have any plans on bringing these bikes to india?
I have been waiting for quite a few years , for these bikes to arrive in Indian Markets :(

I have heard that in Bangalore theres a showroom in Queens Road or something, where they keep lots of dirtbikes in one corner of the showroom.
Do u think if i contact the dealer of suzuki or yamaha and order a dirtbike from any bangalore showrooms having suzuki yamaha models , to be transported to my city for my purchase, Will it work?
thanx .

S.P - Biker Next Door said...

@Anonymous

The Hero "Impulse" is the best option we Indians currently have that is closest to a Dirt Bike

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