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.
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
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.