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Before You Buy a Two Wheeler

There are mostly two reasons of buying a two-wheeler - need and desire. This article focuses on need based buying, which is rational and logical. There is no such thing as a perfect bike, or the best bike in the world.

Before You Buy a Two Wheeler
Every mechanical device such as a two-wheeler is intended for a specific application, and this has to be defined by you.

The first step is to define your need. From the practical point of view most people look for a workhorse that can take them to work everyday, run errands, do odd jobs, not cost too much, nor guzzle up too much petrol, be easy to put on stand and get off stand, be fairly reliable, and easily repairable with easy availability of spare parts.

Your budgetary constraints are also an important decider on the kind of bike you'll eventually buy. Apart from budget, the two most important factors in a bike are safety and comfort.


Important aspects of safety comprise braking, roadholding, balance, powerful headlights, loud horns, bright blinkers, tail-light and brake-light.

Instantaneous locking of the wheels upon applying brakes is not good braking, and can result in a nasty fall especially on a wet road. The brakes must act gradually rather than instantly.

Roadholding and balance depend on quality of suspension, seating geometry and height of center-of-gravity of the bike; the quality and state of wheel and rear swing-arm bearings, but most importantly on the quality and state of the tyres. If the bike continues arrow-straight at about 40 kms without wavering, wobbling or pulling to one side, then roadholding and balance of the bike are good.

The next important requirement is headlights, to which there are two aspects, beam power and beam quality. The beam power of most bikes is inadequate and the beam quality of most is downright pathetic. However, as far as the currently available models go, take the bike on a straight road at night. At low beam you should be able to see clearly up to ten times the braking distance of the bike and twice that distance at high beam. Also, you should be able to see clearly the side of the road on both sides.


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