What is the best thing about owning your own bike? Could it be the sense of freedom you experience when you’re riding on your two-wheeled stallion? Or the extra attention and envious glances that begin to come your way? An increase in the sheer number of possibilities that become open to you? Or maybe simply the opportunity to travel to places that you could earlier only have travelled to by hitching a ride on someone else’s ride? Most probably, the best reason for owning your own bike is all of the reasons given above as well as some special ones unique to you.
What is true for every man is that we love our bikes! Even if the bike we own isn’t a Harley Davidson or high-end Japanese model, we’re still in love with it, it’s our first love and we’ll remember our first bike even when we’re 40 years old by when we have bought, used, and sold several bikes and cars.
If money were no object, you would probably opt for the snazziest bike which would cost upwards of 10 lakhs and give poorer mileage than large four-wheelers. Money, however, is of prime importance when we decide to buy a relatively expensive item like a two-wheeler. Thankfully today’s bikes that are priced below 2 lakhs still come with numerous attractive features that were available in only much more expensive bikes only a few years ago.
Although we agree that there is a significant gap in the features available in a bike costing between 50K to 100K and one priced between 100K to 200K, yet bikes priced between both these price ranges have numerous similar and attractive features. For instance, most bikes that cost more than 1 lakh rupees will have a 6 gear transmission which is also common on bikes that are priced slightly below 1 lakh rupees. The advantages of that 6th gear should not be overlooked, too many bikes in years gone by provided unnecessary suffering to their owners who felt the need for an additional highest gear. If you are going to buy a bike that costs up to to 2 lakh rupees you should certainly expect to have a ride that has 6 gears.
Additionally, long gone are the days when vehicles, cars and our beloved & best bikes in India included had tire tubes, tubeless tires today are as commonplace as, well, tires with tubes used to be. This doesn’t mean that tubed tires are a rarity because they are still found in some of the lesser expensive bikes, but the ease offered by tubeless tires means that they are the preferred choice by young bike enthusiasts. We recommend that even if you are on a tight budget when it comes to spending on your bike, you must ensure your bike has tires of the tubeless variety.
We also remember how even a little more than a decade ago the tires on most mass-produced Indian bikes had spokes and only costlier superbikes had the coveted alloy wheels. How far we have since, today huge numbers of mass-produced Indian bikes come fitted with alloy wheels. Alloy wheels’ weight less than spoked wheels meaning they have a lower unsprung weight, that is the weight put on the suspension of the bike and is of particular importance when the bike moves over uneven surfaces and leans when turning corners. The lower the unsprung weight the less load there is on the bike’s suspension and hence the bike does what you want it to do, namely, accelerate, brake, and turn corners better. Thankfully alloy wheels are no longer confined to only the realm of superbikes as they are easily available on bikes that are priced less than even 1 lakh rupees leaving aside their ubiquity in bikes that cost between 1 to 2 lakhs.
Lastly, although many old-school bike lovers love analogue dials, the later generation of millennials want digital technologies to provide comfort in their lives. Our generation wants our motorcycles to be one with the age of seamless interconnectivity brought forth by smartphones and 4G networks. Hence digital speedometers, odometers, and tachometers are widely popular and important features on newer bikes. Any new bike you decide to purchase should have a digital footprint as, more likely than not, you have grown up surrounded by technology and are far more comfortable with it than is Generation X or even older millennials are.
We admit we can’t tell you what bike is precisely the right one for you because that’s entirely subjective and the sheer number of models that fall under the 2 lakh price range is vast. However, we are offering you a guide to what your newest bike simply shouldn’t be without, everything else you decide your bike must have will be pure gravy.