Owning a superbike is something that most people think is impossible. However, if you happen to look at prices, owning a superbike is much easier than owning a supercar. So, for the price of a mundane sedan, you could get yourself the performance of any super or even hyper car. Having said that, there are a few things that no one tells you about owning one. Here are 10 such things:
This is something that most people just don’t get. A superbike is designed to be ridden fast and not be stuck in traffic. While in traffic, these bikes generate a lot of heat.
This is different from normal, smaller bikes since they do not generate that much heat due to their smaller engine sizes. So a superbike in Indian traffic conditions will generate a lot of heat and could even cause your thighs to get burnt.
Superbikes have riding positions that are designed to give the best performance while at higher speeds. In traffic conditions, this can make them very tough to maneuver, thus making it less practical as compared to a normal bike. That is also something that needs to be kept in mind if you do intend to get one.
Most of the superbikes run high compression engines. India is a country where there is a dearth of good fuel. Most of these bikes require 95 RON, which is a fuel rating not available India. To improvise, you will have to use 97 Octane, something that is not on offer through out the country. Using normal speed causes some amount of knocking. You will have to rely on octane boosters to get the best out of your bike.
With the large amount of power the bike produces, wear and tear on the tyre is also extensive. These tyres are built to give the best grip when on the track, and hence wear out easily as well. Be prepared to get a new set of tyres once every 10,000 Kms. Finding aftermarket tyres or replacement brands is a tough task. Even if you do find what you are looking for, they are massively expensive.
This has to do with the amount of attention the bike generates. Since a superbike stands out, it does get a lot of people’s attention. They try sitting on it to click pictures, in some cases damaging the bike. Sometimes the bike may even fall when they sit on it, if they aren’t used to managing the weight of the bike. You will never be able to be peaceful if you park such a bike in a crowded area.
Not all superbikes are for India, but some are certainly for India
The road conditions in India are not always up to the mark. In addition, we need to take into account environmental factors such as dust and pollution. Superbikes have a stiff suspension setup and this could cause a lot of issues, especially on our pothole-filled roads. While most superbikes may not be designed for Indian conditions, there are adventure bikes that can do the job well. Take into consideration the Triumph Tiger, Ducati Multistrada, Suzuki V Strom and Kawasaki Versys. They are adventure bikes and have been designed to deal with the rough stuff. In addition to this, even bikes like the Triumph Street Triple, the Bonneville or even the Harley Street 750 are still okay for the Indian conditions.
Riding gear is a very important thing which needs to be kept in mind while buying a high end bike. You will have to invest in a good helmet, a riding suit, a pair of gloves and riding boots. They need to be of the best possible quality, instead of opting for the cheap ones.
This is an expensive affair, however this will only protect you in case the inevitable occurs. Also storing them when going out is a tough job since you will have to remove the gear when you reach your destination.
Riding a superbike takes a lot of skill, something that most people don’t realize. Where a normal bike is forgiving, these ones have way too much power on tap which means that even the smallest of mistakes could result in a crash. Managing the power is a very tough job. There are many super bike riding schools that are present, like the IndiMotard Two school where you can improve your skill. The California Superbike School also happens twice a year in India, which is something worth going for if you are looking for a superbike.
This is something that you will have to learn to live with. There will be people who will try to intimidate you or challenge you to a drag race while you are riding. You will have to learn to keep your calm. You will also have to be prepared to answer the multiple “Kitna Deti Hai” and other such questions that people will want to know about.
Service and spares
This goes without saying that service and spares for such bikes are on the expensive side. Not only that, due to the Indian conditions (dusty), some manufacturers recommend a shorter service schedule. In addition to this, parts availability is a problem. Since the bikes are niche, not all service stations keep the spare parts of such bikes, even the bare basic parts. This means that your service may take time to get done.
Also, god forbid you crash, not only will the repair bill be really high, getting the parts to repair the bike will also take a really long time, something you will have to bear with if you are entering a niche segment. If you don’t want such headaches, you could stick to brands that have a larger presence in the country, like Harley and Triumph.