After 20 years of driving a car, I decided to get back to biking again. My criteria was clear, easy to sit, easy to use, good height for seating to reduce back pain and reasonable power and torque. I really wanted it to be as lightweight as possible. I am a bit leaner than most heavy weight people so wanted a bike I could push and shove if it came to that on the road.
Shortlist & showroom visit
A few bikes impressed me. Friend got a Harley and from a long time I was eyeing a Ninja as well. Couple of friends had RE Himalayan and Yamaha FZ so those were under purview as well. In addition BMW caught my fancy for its brand name, looks etc and also the fact it ticked few of the boxes that I had for myself. KTM was a contender too though I felt it was too sporty and too dangerous as it picks up speed way too fast.
I preferred the pedals being right below my leg rather than the fact I have to angle forward and keep my legs a bit backward (sporty seating stance). So bikes such as Avenger, or bikes such as Honda CBRs were out of scope because of their extreme cruising or extreme sporty stance. I wanted a relaxed seating and relaxed driving posture. KTM was out because of it being too aggressive for a started like me (although I may have wanted to consider the duke).. That left the RE, Yamaha, and BMW though for some reason I never decided to check out Honda.
At the time of making a decision, the Meteor was not out, so wasn’t the Highness. So it was probably an opportunity lost to test out both. When I visited the showroom in early October, there was no test ride as bike was not launched. So tentatively booked it with 20k bucks. Meanwhile a friend had a BS4 GS 310 and I managed to take a test ride and get convinced. The BS6 version then would be only better if not worse.
Booking experience and test ride at showroom
Towards the latter half of October, I got to test ride the motorbike and I felt it was a bit top heavy and bottom light. But all ergonomics were spot on and there was no issue anywhere as such. Post the already done booking I worked out some loan formalities for the bike and that process was rather smooth talking to the bankers and coordination with the showroom.
Delivery and first ride home
Day of delivery was just one month after prebooking but still one of the earliest bikes delivered in Rallye Kayene blue colour. It was a smooth take over of the bike with pending payments done and bank loans disbursed and there was not much fuss around the delivery itself.
However the staff did make some errors with insurance papers (wrong model specified) which led to cancellation of insurance and need to reinsure the vehicle. One another major issue was the registration not done due to RTO gateway payment error. I had to literally take home the bike on a temporary registration (belonging to showroom).
The ride itself was smooth though the bike is revving a bit at idle more than usual. The design caught a lot of eyeballs on the road, with people asking me how much it costed and what was the engine displacement, complimenting the colour, etc. I was pleasantly surprised at the build quality of this bike. I would have preferred a much better engine grunt, but this sounds a bit lame to my liking. Basically there is no announcement or arrival at signals or places where you get the vehicle to stop. So no notice until the big huge frame gives it away.
This bike sits tall. I mean really tall. Among a row of bikes, this bike is like easily visible no matter where this is. Filled some fuel on the way and managed to get it home. I literally had to renovate my gates to fit the bike in. This bike weighs close to 170+ kg and needs 3 feet of clear space to enter a ramp and exit.
Post sales headaches
Post sales support has been a bit on the downside with the showroom. As of writing the article my bike is still not registered. It is 15 days now after taking delivery. Other than being apologetic nothing is being done to logically close the case. I am feeling that I will already reach the first service date of November end and still the vehicle won’t be registered.
Showroom argument is “we have created temp regn for you sir, so what is the issue”, my argument is “bike has been delivered, logically close the case”. I think they need some lessons on managing customer expectations, specially when someone is paying so much for a bike.
I will write about the driving experience in further threads, but for now I will leave you with one heck of a looker bike!