The ADV Revolution

7th Feb 2019 7:00 am

Rishaad talks about the proliferation and advent of adventure bikes in India.

We are what our environment forges us to be. Our wishes, desires, even the way we think, are largely dictated by what we grow up surrounded by. Take motorcycle enthusiasts, for example. The love is typically ingrained at a very young age, most likely when you see or hear your first big bike. From there on out, you grow up idolising the world’s best racers and lusting after the fastest bikes. But what happens when the environment you live in doesn’t want to play ball?

In my case, childhood was blissfully spent drooling over the latest superbikes from HonKawaYamaZuki and scheming up ways I could have one of my own. But it was only once I actually started riding big bikes on our roads that I discovered that naked sports bikes are what you really want if you value fun beyond pose value. But even then, the constant anxiety eventually gets to you and while it breaks my heart to say this – I love a good sports bike, but I don’t think I want to own one here. At least not until a racetrack opens up at a reasonable distance from home.

Happily, I have found a new direction, one that I’m enjoying more with every new experience – I’ve discovered the awesomeness of adventure motorcycles. This too has been forged by our environment, because an ADV bike doesn’t give a damn about anything our road system can throw at it. These motorcycles generate their happy feelings not by the ability to ride at breakneck speeds, but by flattening the road and shrinking the horizon instead. Being able to shrug off the very same surface that would have a sports-bike owner wincing in fear is a pleasure in itself.And, of course, the fact that these bikes tend to be tall and spacious is an added bonus for bigger/taller folks like myself.

Hopefully, these bikes will be the next big thing. Today, we’re in the age of the retro revolution, which is nice, but old-school motorcycles don’t really serve much purpose aside from being big on nostalgia and approachable in nature. ADV motorcycles have a more focused role in comparison and while we haven’t quite gotten there yet, I believe this will be the next big wave in the premium segment. The growth has already begun and 2019 will see machines like the highly anticipated KTM 390 Adventure, Benelli TRK 502, Hero Xpulse and more. In a country with a great outdoors like ours and an exploding number of people keen to explore, ADVs are a bit of a no-brainer. I know my next motorcycle will definitely be one of them.

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