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Your Way Forward to Owning Your First Superbike

Indranil Dutta
Image source: Harley-Davidson/Unsplash

Remember Kabir from the 2004 blockbuster Dhoom? Believe it or not, this movie had a huge impact on the biking scene in India. This was probably the first, official, large-scale desi flick that introduced us to the world of superbikes. Everybody got inspired with the way the mean machines whooshed, looked, and sounded.

Ever since the biking scene in India has become a lot bigger. Many people have taken a liking for high-power motorcycles. That is also one of the major reasons that many international, premium-class motorcycle makers have landed on Indian shores over the past decade while even domestic giants have upped their game. Today, India is also one of the biggest consumers of premium bikes in the world.

Have you been thinking of getting a superbike yourself? Here’s all you need to know before you can decide.

You might often have dreamt of parking your own inline-3 or inline-4 machine in your garage. However, when you think of owning a superbike, you will have a lot of things to consider. Let us walk through these factors.

1) Are you ready for the upgrade? 

The first and foremost question that you should ask yourself is “Am I really ready for a big bike?” Well, let us assume that you have been riding a motorcycle for quite some time now which is powered by a single-cylinder, 150 cc to 250 cc engine. In this case, it is safe to conclude that you are used to a max power production of anything between 14 hp and 25 hp.

A high-capacity motorcycle, on the contrary, will draw its power from a twin-cylinder, a 3-cylinder, or a 4-cylinder mill which can churn out power figures of 100+ hp. Will you be able to control that sudden bump in power? If you have the slightest doubt, don’t consider buying the motorcycle straightaway. Try climbing the power-figure ladder gradually. It will be helpful in the long run. Go for something less powerful and build yourself up as an efficient and skilled rider before you jump to a middle-weight, a supersport or a litre-class motorcycle.

2) How to make the money to buy your dream motorcycle? 

Once you have decided that you are ready for a big bike, the next step would be to arrange the money for the purchase. Typically, you will have to spend an amount of about Rs.6.5 lakh to Rs.25 lakh to get a big bike. This will be dependent on the class, make, and type of motorcycle that you are willing to get.

For a big purchase like this, you can consider availing a superbike loan. There are several lenders who offer two-wheeler loans for superbikes. However, the best way forward would be building up your credit score before applying for a loan. A 750+ score will not only help you get the loan seamlessly; it will also help you get better repayment options. You can also start investing and saving at an early stage to make sure that you have enough funds for the down-payment at the time of purchasing your bike. Also, don’t forget to compare your options before zeroing in on the best loan offer.

3) Buying the motorcycle is not the end of your expenses

Buying the motorcycle is not the only expense that you should be worried about. There are a handful of expenses which are associated with a big bike. You need to be sure that you will be able to handle the service cost, fuelling, and other costs related to it even after paying off the EMIs.

The motorcycle will require a better quality of fuel. You will be required to refuel your bike with 93 Octane or 97 Octane petrol which is relatively more expensive and is not easily available across the country. In addition to that, you will have other recurring expenses such as the service cost which typically sums up to about Rs.10,000 to Rs.25,000 annually depending on your bike. Tyres will also be an costly affair. With a more powerful engine, the tyres will wear out faster. A set of Pirelli or Metzeler tyres for your big bike can cost you around Rs.15,000 to Rs.20,000. That said, add another Rs.1,500 to Rs.2,000 for per lakh rupees of your bike’s value and you have your annual insurance premium.

4) Consider investing in good quality riding gears and protective accessories

Once you have bought your big bike, you will have to be a lot more responsible. Consider saving some money beforehand and spend it on buying good quality riding gears. Protective riding gears can be expensive and a full setup consisting of a good quality helmet, a pair of gloves, boots, pants, and jacket can cost you about Rs. 20,000 to Rs. 30,000 at the very least. Even if you do not want to invest in a full-blown riding gears setup, you should consider getting at least a good quality, safety-rated helmet and a pair of protective boots to begin with.

Similarly, you also need to think about the protection of your bike. All of us will agree that a scratch on our motorcycle is a scratch on our heart. Accessories for motorcycles are usually quite expensive. For example, just a pair of frame sliders will cost you around Rs.3,500 to Rs.5,000. So, better safe than sorry.

5) Road Rash is fun only as a video game! 

Remember playing Road Rash as a kid? In this 90’s game, you could ride your motorcycle through city roads while breaking all sorts of laws. Rash riding was fun inside the game because you could always respawn when you made a mistake and crashed. You cannot respawn in real life, so even if you have to spend a little bit more, try choosing your motorcycle wisely and go for something that offers electronic safety features such as traction control, cornering ABS, riding modes, and Inertia Measurement Unit (IMU).

Also, be in charge of your machine and don’t be controlled by it. A public street is not the place to check the top speed that you can clock on your bike. Be considerate about your surroundings. Big bikes being powered by multi-cylinder engines are usually quite loud. Try to avoid accessories which are not street legal (such as loud exhaust pipes) as it might get you into trouble with the cops.

That said, ride hard, ride safe. Always wear a helmet, respect the traffic rules, and be a responsible rider. As you know, “With great power, comes great responsibility.”

The author is a Content Writer with BankBazaar.com, and a passionate biker himself.