Adil discusses the nuances of Motorcycling in India
One of the most significant bits of feedback I received from some well clued in readers on our last month’s issue is this: the fact that the present boom in the pleasure segment of the motorcycle market in the country is fuelled by people in the age group between 35 to 45. Generally by this time in a person’s life he has it all, well set, with a wife and kids, a well-paying job, owns his own home with a car and best of all has that spare 6-7 lakh of rupees that he wants to splurge on a proper motorcycle that he probably lusted for but couldn’t afford in his youth.
This isn’t anything like a mid-life crisis and even if it were, a motorcycle works pretty well to come out of it rejuvenated! The fact remains that motorcycling today in the 250cc class and above, is directly related to the immense choice on high street coupled to comfortable financing options and also the aspirations of an emerging class of Indians who want to ride and control and savour the pulsating power of a two-wheeled iron horse. The face of motorcycling now as against two decades ago is that bikes today have become more refined with smooth torquey power delivery, great tactility to make the controls pleasing and also with great dynamics and ergonomics playing a huge mental role in making the rider feel good. Mind you the operative word is feel good and not feel powerful and this is where I have seen so many make the right move to a great bike and the pleasures associated with it. Also it ain’t about going fast and breaking the world land speed record. Far from it and it is about controlling the power and revelling in it. No wonder then that over the last three to four months we have been monitoring reader demographics and the 18-25 year segment is matched in quantum by the 35-45 year brigade. As such I feel this is something that will stand Indian motorcycling in great stead.
The above observation also reflects in the manner of our story telling and also the subjects that get featured every month. Take our cover story this month and it is an Italian lovely that isn’t from Borgo Panigale! Our sleek WSB missile for the street hails from Noale and the Aprilia RSV4 RF is as desirable and probably even more exclusive for our market than the Ducati equivalent! What is strong though is that we have a solid phalanx of international bikes on the menu from Italy, Germany, Japan and England plus also a home grown Yamaha that we spoke about three months ago but finally got now for a standalone road test. I cannot think of any scenario like this when I started writing in 1977 and every decade thereafter and that reflects the changing face of our land, its people, its growth and its embracing different pleasure pursuits. Speaking of which, if you are like us, motorcycling stamps itself on the psyche the strongest.
Before closing, I would like you guys to write in with your views on our efforts. I know that you do communicate strongly with us via Twitter and our Facebook set ups with short sharpish bursts of gyan but we would love to hear from you in much more depth and detail. I can assure that it would be rewarding for us all!