Gone are the days when the economy oriented commuter motorcycles were taken by prospective buyers as rickety looking, un-stylish and featureless machines with grossly under-powered engines. The most dominant segment of the Indian motorcycle industry and the demanding Indian customer has ensured that even the most economical motorcycles come equipped with an appreciable set of features. Here’s a list of five such features, and a few more which you should definitely look out for while buying your next commuter bike.
If you think that your basic 100cc motorcycle necessarily needs to be kick-started every time you wish to set it in motion, think again! Even the most basic motorcycle models these days are available with an electric start, as an option at the very least if not as standard equipment. A large variety of entry-level motorcycles can be had with thumb starter for a very small additional amount of money. So if you wish to buzz off stylishly without having to draw that steel lever and kick it awkwardly every time you fire up, do consider the electric start variant of the motorcycle you wish to buy.
Fuel Saving Modes
While some motorcycles in the basic segment do come with efficiency zone marking on the speedometer itself, it’s not a technically correct way to save fuel, as it’s the engine speed and not the vehicle speed which defines the effective fuel efficiency. Some other motorcycles, however, come equipped with throttle actuated indicators or modes to let you know when you move out of the economy zone, helping you extract the most from the last drop of fuel. Opt for these models if you wish to enhance the fuel efficiency of your motorcycle consciously.
Adjustable Rear Shock Absorbers, Multi-rated Springs
As with most things, one size suspension does not fit all. The comfort and shock absorption delivered by your motorcycle depend on a lot of factors including road conditions, your riding style, rider weight, single or two-up riding and more. It is, thus, preferable if your motorcycle comes with a multi-way adjustable rear suspension which could be tuned to suit your requirements. Quite a few modern commuter motorcycles are available with this feature and you should, by all means, look for a machine which offers this flexibility. You could also look for motorcycles with multi-rated rear suspension springs, which offer better shock absorption over a wider range of road conditions.
Just because it’s a commuter motorcycle, it shouldn’t look or feel anaemic. Even the entry-level motorcycles these days are designed to look meaty and stylish. A big headlamp, well-proportioned panels, trendy decals, good quality paint and attention to detail makes a well-styled commuter motorcycle looks significantly better than a badly styled one from the same segment. Well styled alloys, exhaust, grab rails and tail-lamp also go a long way in enhancing a motorcycle’s looks. Ensure that you buy a motorcycle which has been styled well – citing price for a relative lack of aesthetic value is only an excuse.
More Efficiency With More Power
You read it right! Advancements in engine technology have enabled engineered to design and construct engines which offer more power and torque while also delivering more fuel efficiency for any given displacement. You’d be surprised if you look at the huge difference between the power, torque and efficiency figures of motorcycles with identical cubic capacity and price range. More often than not, bad power and efficiency figures denote use of old technology by a maker. Always compare the right specs before making your final decision
In addition to the five key features mentioned above, buyers in the commuter segment should also look for features such as a digital instrument console, day flasher, brighter headlamps, more powerful brakes, a comfortable seat and great ergonomics.
To cite an example from our own stable, the recently introduced Star City and Victor for Festive Season are commuter bikes, meant for economy conscious riders. However, they still get unique features like AHO, digital instrumentation, dual tone paint scheme and many more, over and above the features mentioned in this piece.
Think we missed a few features that you deem important on a modern commuter machine? Share your thoughts with us without any inhibitions. Who knows, your ideas might get incorporated on the next commuter machine from our stable!