From supersport motorcycles, street fighters to cruisers and adventure tourers, over the past few years India has got almost every kind of motorcycle there is. And I say ‘almost’ because, until now, you couldn’t quite get your hands on a chopper unless you took your motorcycle to a specialist who could modify it. Spotting the gap in the market, Gaurav A. Aggarwal, Vijay Singh and Amitabh Biswas got together to establish Avantura Choppers – India’s first and only chopper motorcycle brand. The Mumbai-based bike maker, sources some key parts from countries abroad and builds swanky choppers in India. The newly established company has put together two motorcycles – Rudra and Pravega. We got our first taste of genuine choppers in India when we took these two for a spin on the hilly roads of Mulshi.
Long and Shiny
Two words that describe the Rudra and Pravega perfectly well – long and shiny. Like you’d expect from a chopper, both offerings have generous doses of chrome. The tall handlebar, long rake and wheelbase, low seating posture, wide tyres and the funky paint, all come together to give these two the street presence of an authentic chopper. To achieve that, Avantura Choppers has had a lot of valuable inputs from Kevin Alsop, founder of Big Bear Choppers as they managed to rope him as the Chief Design Engineer. Further, to give customers the chopper experience without compromising on the comfort, they have lots of customisation options to choose from. This allows the customer to work closely with the production team to not only select the colour combination of his bike but also ensure that it is ‘fit to size’. Avantura Choppers had two versions of the Rudra for us to experience how much of a difference these customisations can make in the overall riding experience.
Coming to the two motorcycles in question, at 2,908mm the Rudra is longer of the two bikes. The Pravega, on the other hand, is 2,627mm in length. Well aware of the condition of the roads in our country, Avantura Choppers has ensured that both these motorcycles have a respectable ground clearance of 150mm despite their over 2,000mm wheelbase. Seats have been sourced from US-based Mustang. It doesn’t feel too soft or firm and has just the right amount of comfort. Build and paint quality is impressive but the exposed cables do steal some of its charm away.
Part of the Matter
Apart from the seat, Avantura Choppers sources a lot of its parts from specialist companies abroad – the engine from S&S, the brakes from Beringer and the tyres from Avon. First, let’s address the heart of the matter. Both these motorcycles are powered by an air-cooled 2,032cc V-twin motor. Since they are currently in the process of being homologated by ARAI, Avantura Choppers haven’t given us the peak power and torque ratings. Thumb the starter and the engine comes to life with a loud roar. The engine has a very mechanical feel to it much like some of the Harleys. There is ample of grunt in its low range to make overtaking an absolutely easy affair. The Rudra tips the scale at 344kg while the Pravega is 347kg but even then, the engine doesn’t struggle to gain speeds. Being a high displacement air-cooled unit, the engine heats up pretty quickly. Although the bikes we rode weren’t fitted with heat shields near the foot pegs and on the pipes, Avantura Choppers says they will be fitted on customer motorcycles.
Both the motorcycles have been plonked with a Promo 6 Speed Transmission by Rivera. The transmission shifts precisely but lacks feel especially when upshifting. The short ride that we got on the Rudra, it kept showing false neutrals on the instrumentation. Funnily, this wasn’t an issue with the Pravega even though it has been fitted with the same transmission. That being said, on both motorcycles we had to struggle to get the N to illuminate when at standstill. Clutch action is heavy too and driving in traffic can be quite a painful affair.
Let’s face it, both these motorcycles are extremely intimidating to look at, especially with those large wheels it comes fitted with. But once the motorcycle is in motion, it isn’t exceedingly difficult to manage. Of course, you can’t expect it to handle like a cruiser but for what it is, the Rudra and the Pravega are both rather easy to manage. Avantura Choppers has also managed to get the riding posture absolutely right. The ergonomics are absolutely comfortable with everything from the handlebar, pegs to switches well within reach. Riding them for long hours will be quite easy as long as you find long stretches of open smooth road. The Rudra and Pravega aren’t motorcycles you’d want to ride on rough roads. The limited suspension travel and the stiff springs mean that your lower back knows the depth of every pothole on the road.
Both the bikes come fitted with Beringer’s six-piston brake callipers. They perform the task of stopping these near 350kg motorcycles with a fair bit of composure but we wish it had a bit more feel.
Price and Deliveries
Avantura Choppers has launched the Rudra and Pravega at Rs 23.90 lakh and Rs 21.40 lakh respectively. The company will commence bookings of both the offerings at the upcoming India Bike Week later this month. The motorcycles will be delivered three and a half months from the booking date.
Both the motorcycles are impressive first attempts at developing choppers in India but there is no denying that they feel a bit rough around the edges, not something you’d expect from a motorcycle that bears a heavy price tag. Avantura Choppers assured us that they are working towards fixing some of the issues that we faced during our ride experience.