Being comfortable on one’s own motorcycle, or preferred motorcycle format, is great. But sometimes, going over to the dark side can be an enlightening experience. Recently, I did a comparison in which I compared three different motorcycles; the Royal Enfield Super Meteor 650, the KTM 390 Adventure and the BMW G310 RR. From the looks of it, this is as odd as it gets as all three of them bring something completely different to the table, and I thought so too when I began working on the story. The plan was to spend a week with all three, and to go through a tank of fuel on each one of them. Little did I know that this little exercise would end up being a whole new revelation for me.
Let me set some context here by saying that I love a naked motorcycle or what some might call a roadster. I love the simplicity of it, and for me, it’s that one style that can do it all. Over the last one year, I have been having flirtatious encounters with ADVs and sport-tourers which have left me thinking about them, but I have always retorted back to naked’s being the best there is out there for me. But this time however, it was different. This time, all three motorcycles were parked at home for a week, and therefore, I got to actually live with all of them and see what they were actually like in the real world on an everyday basis. And that changed things.
You see, while I might have been spending time thinking about ADVs and sport-tourers, you wouldn’t ever catch me dead on a cruiser. I simply never liked the style. It was too laid back for me. I like to rev out my motorcycles and feel (read as go) fast on them, and a cruiser just doesn’t do that! And then, I rode the Super Meteor. It’s everything a cruiser is, and more. It’s comfortable, relaxed, it can go fast with a flick of your wrist, the braking hardware is impressive, and while it is not a corner-carver, I wasn’t afraid of showing it my moves around one. It wasn’t a hair-raising experience or an adrenaline rush, but, was it enough?
Surprisingly, yes. Unknowingly, I had accepted a cruiser with open arms, so much so that I often found myself picking up the keys to the Super Meteor over the 390 ADV or the G310 RR for my morning milk runs. All of that because despite its 241kg kerb weight, it didn’t feel like a chore riding the RE. Now, yes, it didn’t win the comparison. In fact, it came last, but, that’s not the motorcycle’s fault. The only reason it found itself in that position was because the rear suspension was so stiff, and being a cruiser and all, you know there’s not a lot of leeway there. The problem is our roads, or the lack of them. I am not complaining about the new highways that are being constructed at a mind-blowing pace, but rather the city roads which aren’t always in the best of shape.
So, what’s the point of all this?
Earlier, I wouldn’t have bothered twice about looking at a cruiser. Now, because of the Super Meteor, I know that a cruiser is only half the problem, and if the roads were smooth, I wouldn’t hesitate one bit before picking up the keys to one. So the next time you are out buying a motorcycle, and are browsing, I suggest you take a good hard look at the ones you outrightly ignore first, because your own bias might keep you from something that you might end up liking!