I’m not sure I can use the phrase ‘Pure motorcycling’, as I am pretty sure than Royal Enfield have put their mark on that. More specifically though, I don’t want this to be just about RE, and more about the general approach of so many Indian motorcycle companies.
Without pillaging the twitter accounts of various bike companies, you can take it from me that a very quick flick through them will provide you with some very wholesome biker & travelling content. Mountains, deserts, forests, tundra with 300-450cc bikes it’s all there!
We’ve got pics of proud riders in various gorgeous natural backdrops, vistas of the gracious hills of Ladakh and none of the usual trappings associated with much of the European motorcycling content. We could point out the lack of large touring bikes and the ubiquitous metal panniers, but it’s fairly inconsequential to the point I’m trying to make. Somehow the brands are doing such a good job encapsulating the essence of what it is to just ride.
Chicken or egg?
So have they played up to an already popular theme, or did they create it? They after all are not the only manufacturers with popular low CC bikes in the sub-continent: Benelli, Bajaj, Keeway, to name but a few. Yet, despite that fact it seems to be the home brands who have cornered this area without much effort.
Take the Benelli 400, roughly the same engine as the Mahindra & Royal Enfield offerings, a similar appearance and the same analogue controls so popular with it’s competition. The lacking brand appeal though seems to have truncated its sales and has prevented what should be it’s rightful place in the mountain passes with it’s competitors.
So did they?
In my humble opinion no, the brands just gave everyone what they really wanted. An affordable, no frills adventure on a great looking retro-classic motorcycle without any of distractions, just you and journey ahead. The appeal of certain brand and an undeniable heritage in some cases has essentially just stacked the numbers, in a different equal market I could quite easily see a more even mix of brands lining up to conquer the mountains.