Oct 19, 2007

Money does matter

I have a friend who is employed with one of our two-wheeler manufacturers. From the very start, I've heard him laugh at the idea of someone launching big bikes here. Once, I pointed out that the online discussion forums (fora?), email lists etc were full of enthusiasts practically begging for the stuff. Every other post laments the fact that new latest-greatest is basically 20cc more than the last one, makes 0.6 bhp more and promises to have better, um... grab rails than everyone else ever has.

His response was simple, 'And how many of these desperate enthusiasts will actually put down the money, then?' I have to admit that I do not have the answer to that question. In the ideal world, the response would be all-inclusive, but this isn't the ideal world.

Then he said, 'Suppose, by chance, a significant number did actually turn out to be desperate enough to BBS their way to a bike (that's beg-borrow-steal). Do you think they would be able to afford regular Rs 6,000 oil changes? Or be willing to shell out that Rs 40,000 they might need to replace a fairing after a minor off?' That's true enough. Even if I had scratched together the money to buy a big bike, a 6,000 buck service would probably mean a serious drop in the fuel budget for the month.

Upshot? The wheels of the motorcycle industry are turned by the same thing that turns every other industry on. Money. Yes, we enthusiasts do invest a lot of emotion into these machines, a lot more than you could with a more mundane product, like say soap. But the fact remains, the two wheels of progress must be powered by money. Your money. And if you haven't got enough already, progress will be slow. Sigh.

WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU GUYS DOING SITTING AROUND AT YOUR KEYBOARDS. GO OUT AND MAKE POTS OF MONEY NOW!

6 comments:

The BATFAN said...

Most of us get the pots of money for staying around the keyboard :)

theslayer said...

^ ROFL!

Hrishi said...

That's exactly what i am doing :)

BTW, most of us are not after SBKs but more practical ones like a quart liter, or a little more than that.

Come on rearset, all of us understand and are aware of our limitations...

first_synn said...

^All valid comments.

The person who you quoted seems to be oblivious to the fact that nowhere in this world are SBKs considered to be "the practical choice". Take any country, and serious bikers are a niche category. They buy bikes coz the damn well please to, and their numbers can be counted with your fingers and toes.

The yearly sales of all the SBKs combined in a country like Australia are in 4 figures. And that's a developed country with awesome roads and a proper biking culture. There is every chance that India can do at least 500 a year, if the proper after sales network (and sensible pricing: Ya hear that guys in the parliament? SENSIBLE PRICING~!)is in place. Blame the failure of the RD (for a myriad of reasons) for the "Cold feet to performance" approach of our manufacturers.

Of course, mere mortals like myself would find salvation in a proper 250/400 multi.

Revhard said...

@Hrishi :

Its practical quarter liters now , few years on it'llbe 600 ...then ....

Well , I'd like a practical sport bike ( money limits aside ) , one will tough plastics ( if plastic is avoided in favour of light metal , even better ) . I won't mind the extra weight if it's tough and durable . As long it's not continental tourer weight class ...

N.Fielder said...

"40,000 they might need to replace a fairing" - I've got a BMW R1100s and never came off in 60 000km but bumped into a the end of a light truck once (without dropping the bike!) since the ABS version1 took a bit too long before reengaging. The headlight was broken and the fairing, although not broken, needed readjusting. The bill was 150 000.

The bike is THE bike in my opinion but for Germany only. It's sweetspot is between 140km/h and 200km/h. In Britain the BMW got me close to loosing my license and it's not much fun either, too clunky and unrefined under 100km/h and the torquiness is'nt helping either.

Here in India I got a Machismo 350 and I believe it's THE bike for India (OK, the 500 would be nice). 90km/h on the East Coast Road thrills as do 220km/h on the Autobahn, I'm helping my mechanic to feed the kids and if you fancy hair raising moments, just wait; every 2 months clutch or brake cable will snap. Garanteed!