Hey there, KTM, Bajaj, TVS, BMW, Hero, Honda, Suzuki, Kawasaki, Benelli, Harley Davidson and Yamaha, what’s up? I thought I’ll talk to you a bit about the current trends in the motorcycling world, the mammoth chasm between too big and too small bikes, and the fact that there seems to be a giant disconnect between what bikers want, and what you guys are making. This letter is not meant for Triumph, Hyosung, Ducati, Aprilia, Indian and Royal Enfield, because they honestly don’t seem to give a fuck, at least not about India.
You guys may have read Noah Horak’s article where he discusses the stupidity of creating 250 kg 1200 cc metal monsters and slapping the “Adventure” tag on them. I totally agree with that guy, he’s awesome. I like to think of myself as a motorcycle adventurer too, however my experience and recommendations in this article would be based largely on my travels within and around India.
I’ve been touring/surviving this country for about 6 years now, and have notched up close to 80,000 kms on 2 very different bikes. Starting out on a Bajaj Pulsar 150, I had some really kick-ass rides on that tiny little thing. I even took that 13 horsepower behemoth to the highest motorable road in the world, without a single second of trouble, although I don’t have the least fucking idea how I did that. It still works like a charm.
After brutally raping that 149 cc machine for a good 4 years and 48,000 kms, I finally upgraded to a KTM Duke 390 last year. Life has been so much better now that I have the safety net of ABS, and can go above 110 kmph without the fear of the engine exploding between my legs. It’s a brilliant machine, and I’ve crossed 31,000 kms on it in a year.
So here are my ideas for creating my dream machine, one that would do EVERYTHING except be good for the track. There are already a lot of track bikes available in the market, but none that can do city, mountains, and off-road with 100% confidence. Please feel free to send me 5% of the revenue when this idea goes big and you are making billions.
1. Dream bike – Engine
No need to go all ape shit here, 60-70 horses would be far more than sufficient. This figure can be easily achieved with an engine around 600 cc. A good example to learn from would the Ninja 650’s heart, 650 cc, 72 horses, and returns 25-30 kmpl with ease. All the engine needs to do is pull easily from low RPMs, give a top whack of 150+ kmph, and not be a giant pain in the ass. A sensibly loud exhaust would officially make you my God.
2. Dream bike – ABS
Anti-lock Braking System is an absolute must for Indian riding conditions. I can’t even begin to tell you how many times it has saved my life! Riding a bike is inherently dangerous, riding a bike in India is a death-wish. Intelligent bikers always try to minimize all factors that may lead to human error, and ABS is the most important step in that direction. The ability to switch it off from both wheels or just the rear would totally rock too.
3. Dream bike – Looks
You are 100% free to completely fuck up this aspect of the bike, I don’t give 2 shits about how the bike looks, as long as it performs. This dream machine will be naked of course, in favor of practicality, so try your best to completely ignore how ghastly it may be to the eyes. Whatever you do, please don’t paint the rims any color but black, it’s just a pointless nightmare to maintain.
4. Dream bike – Weight
Should go without saying, but let’s try to keep the weight as little as possible, between 160-180 Kgs maybe? Please let your imagination fly as far as the materials required are concerned, no practical motorcyclist has that psycho-sexual attraction to metal that some other cult worshipers enjoy. I don’t care if it made of paper, plastic or poop, as long as it works I’ll be ecstatic.
5. Dream bike – Price
If you do it right, this machine will sell like toilet paper, so please try to keep it a game of numbers, rather than one of insanely optimistic price tags. Keep it anywhere under 4 lacs (ex-showroom), and you’ve got a winner! Stay ready for massive demand, and try to keep the waiting period under a month. You’ll obviously need to beef up your dealer and service structure to cope with the ensuing riots.
6. Dream bike – Reliability
Not asking for too much here, fuel injection, and liquid cooling would help the engine survive for longer without the need for us to fiddle with it. Oil change interval of 7000 to 10,000 kms would be awesome. Let’s try to keep the parts as simple and easy to fix as possible, because something is always gonna go wrong, but it always helps if the spare parts do not need to be sourced directly from NASA.
7 Dream bike – Suspension
Reasonably adjustable and reliable suspension would be kick ass. It should provide enough travel to soak up our swimming pool sized potholes, while remaining tout enough to not crap out on the twisty fun. Let’s aim for a ground clearance of 170-180 mm, with a seat height of less than 800 mm, both of which are extremely important for our bump ridden roads and hobbit dwarf riders. I understand this might be hard to implement in reality than it is to type on a stupid keyboard, give it your best smack.
8. Dream bike – Range
500 kms, anything around that and I’ll personally give each one of your company’s board of directors a sweet sloppy blowjob*. This can be easily achieved with a fuel tank of around 20 liters, and fuel economy of around 25kmpl, both of which are rather common to find nowadays. Let’s not go too crazy here with 30+ liter capacity, that’ll just make the bike super heavy at full load, and not serve any usable purpose in my opinion.
9. Dream bike- The little things
PLEASE add a clock somewhere in the instrument console, and a gear indicator, and simple warnings for coolant and engine oil. DO NOT use self-cancelling indicators, they just suck donkey balls. Powerful headlights, possibly projectors, will be life savers. Riding position should obviously be straight up, no need for clip-ons and shit. Try and keep the electronics as little as possible, an accelerator cable can be fixed easily, but not a ride-by-wire throttle sensor.
These are the my ideas that I’ve gathered through my experience, and countless hours of idiotic discussions with other bikers. I’m quite surprised somebody hasn’t done this already, but all that means is that YOU have a chance to do something groundbreaking, and also get a free, mind-blowing, extremely gay blowjob* for free.
*Conditions Apply. Offer open till cocks last.