India’s love for 2 wheelers

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The worlds largest 2 wheeler market

A look at any Indian street will tell you that the love for two-wheeler vehicles certainly trumps the affection for cars. Nearly every household owns a two-wheeler, regardless of whether they have a car or not. A rather speedy way to get from point to point, highly fuel efficient and cheaper to maintain, especially for those on limited salaries or shoestring monthly budgets, two-wheelers are a clever way to navigate the roads as well.

In the process, India’s heavily congested roadways and traffic signals have best been navigated on the humble two-wheeler vehicle, and it is, therefore, no wonder that it is a hot favourite. Consequently, there is a rising trend for manufacturers and bike brands to make a beeline to India to market their wares. There is a rising dominance of motorcycles up to 150cc in the Indian market, while the 500cc and above category of motorcycles in India has also surged considerably.

Whether rural India or urban India, the two-wheeler has gained prominence and inclusion in most homes. The reason for this is the need to navigate rough roads that have potholes, or are not proper roads, sometimes dust tracks, even. The affordability of fuel is also a huge factor in augmenting an incremental tendency to rely on two-wheelers to get around town. As opposed to a car, managing a two-wheeler saves about 50-60% of the monthly income. With the rising global crude oil prices, and the Governmental decision to deregulate fuel prices, there is a need to rely on two-wheelers rather than cars to get around town.

Two-wheeler production in India has grown by leaps and bounds over the years. It grew by 7% in 2013-14 with 16.9 million units, as compared to 15.7 million units in the previous year. 12.5 million Motorcycles, 3.7 million scooters and 0.7 million mopeds were produced in this financial year. Domestic sales have also seen a 7% growth and companies sold 14.8 million units (as against 13.8 million units) during 2013-14. This, in effect, translates into an equivalent of a $14 billion industry (USD) without even considering other paraphernalia like suppliers, accessories, dealers and the like.

Gearless scooters are especially among the more preferred and highly sought after two-wheeler vehicles. Motorcycles generally command a major share in the market. The rise in the number of gearless scooters on the road comes from the need to chart appropriate traffic movements, especially since there is high traffic on the roads that commuters must beat to get from place to place. This segment of two-wheelers enjoyed a 25% growth from 2011-12 to now.

The most significant amount of two-wheelers come from the rural sector, especially because of the extent of utility it offers. The preference in the urban sector tends towards lighter vehicles and gearless vehicles, particularly among office goers and school students, so that they can chart a comfortable path without being beaten down by traffic, or fixing their commutes in a way that they have to leave earlier than necessary.

Overall, the trend appears to be in favour of bigger engines. Consequently, the Average Motorcycle Engine Displacement Index, or AMEDI, has been steadily increasing. It was 111.64 cc in 2012, but increased to 113.36 cc recently. In sum, the Indian two-wheeler market has grown eighteen fold in the last 3 decades. A plethora of factors come together to create this trend – everything from utility to price, low maintenance to fuel efficiency and the condition of Indian roads along with rising fuel prices.

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When Should You Upgrade From 2 Wheeler to 4 Wheeler

Bike to Car

“Never” says the two wheeler aficionado; “upgrade?” he roars “it is actually cage up!”

“As soon as you can afford it” opines the convenience champion

“When the family size grows beyond two” suggests the pragmatic

Thus, the decision to move from two wheels to four is largely individualistic. Some safe tips, specific to 2015 context:-

  1. When the cost of ownership of the additional wheels (not just fuel .. but also service, insurance and capital !) is affordable
  2. Provided there is safe parking available – at work and at home
  3. If your spouse announces that he/she needs to keep up with the Joneses, oops Iyers, Raos, Jains or Agarwals – 🙂
  4. When your commute distances are long and constant – generally speaking two wheels are short haul, around-the-corner usage variety. A four wheeler is handy for long rides.

With the advent of taxi-hailing apps and the business opportunity it has spawned amongst drivers’n’owners, it is now one more decision point! Read on for some other views

http://www.business-standard.com/article/pf/to-hire-or-own-a-car-115092700733_1.html

The Author, Kalyanaraman M, is the Consultant – New Products with TVS Credit Services

Motorcycle Diaries

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For any biking enthusiast, riding a bike is more than just getting from point to point. It is all about the experience, the feeling of the wind in your face and of liberation that comes with speed. But this experience isn’t complete without the perfect motorcycle gear to go with the process of riding a bike. Here is a bunch of must-haves when it comes to motorcycle gear. We take you through the most important motorcycle accessories for all biking enthusiasts in this list.

  • A good rain suit: Unlike the rain coat that can make you look like Plastic-Man, the rain suit is a thin layer that goes over what you are already wearing. Thin and light, they are easy to store and wear, and do not interfere with your riding. A rain suit is versatile enough to be stored in your saddle bag, and also lets you see in rainy weather, so effortlessly that your manoeuvres are not in the least bit affected. It’s all very well to look like those awesome men in Fast and Furious and Hrithik Roshan in Dhoom 2, but seriously, the expectation-versus-reality deal will make you see sense in buying a rain soot.
  • A pair of rain over-boots: In principle, the same as rain suits, the rain boots protect your feet from rain. Soggy feet can be a pain to deal with, and these boots help you walk with dry and happy feet. Boots are also exceptionally important beyond the rainy season. They protect your feet from crashes and bad weather, while also cushioning them sufficiently to give you comfort. Unless you are very particular about walking like there are slugs wedged between your feet and your shoes, you really should be buying some over-boots.
  • A photo chromic visor, or a clear visor can be exceptionally useful if you are riding in the bright sun or at night. An extra visor that automatically adjusts works very well in terms of clarity and visibility, while also protecting your eyes. Of course you probably think you can see through rain and sun because, well, you shower and are not bothered by the tubelight at home. But no. Not on the road.
  • A windshield is a clever hack to help you cruise at high speeds without much difficulty. It also cuts down on rider fatigue, and keeps you protected from excessive dust and rain.
  • A backpack: A motorcycle bag is a great find, particularly when you are carrying a lot of things along while you commute from point to point. The backpacks that are light, easy to detach and storage oriented make a comfortable companion for your every need.
  • A mask or a balaclava, which keeps your face and neck warm if you are riding against the wind or in cold weather, and keeps you cooled and helps you wipe off your sweat if you are riding in heat. It is also a good way to protect your neck from sand, rocks and bugs, while also keeping your helmet liner clean.
  • Hand guards are vital when you know that your grip on the handlebars can get disrupted by sweat, or the cold. It helps keep your hands dextrous and capable of manoeuvring the bike comfortably. How exactly you manoeuvre your bike remains your skill, but if you can’t get a hold on it…
  • Side mirrors: Side mirrors are exceptionally useful in that it helps make navigation in traffic and on the highway very easy. Not to forget admiring your own delightful face every now and then.
  • Bungee Cords and Lashing Straps help create extra cargo room on your bike, allowing you to carry all that you need, securely and without any impinging on your space. Before you think we are encouraging you to get all stunts-man-on-the-bike-yo, send that thought packing and buy yourself this stuff to stay safe on the bike!

Sources:

http://www.bikebandit.com/community/articles/12-must-haves-for-motorcycle-commuting

http://motorcycle-central.com/10-must-have-motorcycle-accessories/

http://www.dmv.org/how-to-guides/motorcycle-accessories.php