Nov 15, 2006

The art of war

There isn't anything the slightest bit funny about war. But if the war is one of those metaphorical ones, all is fair, even some fun. And, if you look around, two motorcycle manufacturers are at war in India. While I'm hardly the most politically (or otherwise) correct bloke around, I'm not going to name them. However, I am going to suggest that the war could be fun.

Just last month, one of them launched a motorcycle that promises a lot and wears a very big, very prestigious name on the tank. But personally, I think that in the process of the relaunch, a lot of the essence of the original has been lost. Not in the least, the exact displacement. A number that would have allowed this motorcycle to make a lot more power than its peers and stand head and shoulders above.

And last week, I had the opportunity to ride its biggest rival. Some would say, nemesis. It turns out to be the competing motorcycle's equal. If I were to relaunch it, I'd have raised the engine to the exact same displacement as the rivals predecessor. Which would, as I've said, allowed it to make a lot more power than its peers and stand... etc.

It would also have been quite funny. I'm not sure that either of the manufacturers (who I've carefully shrouded in mystery so no one can guess their identity) are laughing. But I certainly thought it would raise more than its fair share of laughter. And give us fourth estaters more grist for the mills (to use a cliche).

Unfortunately, between the cold confines of engineering and the unrelieved landscape of business/competition, a sense of humour has been lost. Or at least, is needed. After all, they're both making mountains of money, what's a little fun on the side, eh?

At this point, I would I have liked to bring in a precedent. Something on the lines of how a great, popular Honda had ram-air but its upgrade didn't. Then Yamaha launched its bike in the same segment... with ram air. The Yamaha was much quicker and faster, won all the hearts, made huge sales and the Yamaha engineers laughed their way into the setting sun.

But here's the thing, I can't find a single example of this. If you know one, tell me about it. As it stands, it seems motorcycle engineering is a tough, serious business where few people have the time or the inclination to indulge in – what to call it – friendly jostling?

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Comparison of Honda Vs Yamaha would be not be accurate analogy here. Vices of Price and fuel economy still hold the necks of the manufacturers just like a decade ago. But yes, competition has grown meanier by day and lost the sense of humour.

Anonymous said...

Man, you really can beat around the bush at times! Why can't you name the Hero Honda CBZ X-treme and the new Bajaj Pulsar 150. And by the way, the CBZ X-treme could be hard to beat this time. At least it looks that way to me ;-D

rearset said...

No comment

Yogesh Sarkar said...

Good one, well it is about business and money. As for us consumers, well no matter how much we complain, majority of us will go with either of the devil!