Old Perception on Motorbikes in India

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Motorcycling in India has grown tremendously over the recent years. Its rapid growth has made Indian market the largest two-wheeler industry in World. Although the taxes imposed on the industry are supremely high, there has been an ever-growing number of consumers year on year.

The Indian Auto Sector is cementing itself as one of the favorite destinations for all major two Wheeler companies to showcase/launch their products on a global scale. Many companies are believing India is developing into a prolific auto Manufacturing hub of the future.

Both Motorcycles and Scooters are witnessing an increase in sales numbers even though the petrol cost is on the rise, everything looks rosy right now, or is there an underlying issue surfacing here?

We believe that there is an age-old perception that relates to the dangers associated with motorcycling,

One can argue here that the sales are fantastic, India is the largest two-wheeler industry in the world in terms of volume, the major players are doing really well.

People bought two-wheelers because:

  1. It is cheap
    The income of an average Indian is not sufficient to afford a car.

  2. Great Fuel efficiency
    A bike gives a mileage of 50 to 80 kilometers/liter. Fuel prices in India are one of the highest. Hmm, bike is the best option.

  3. Low Cost of maintenance
    It is easy and cheap to maintain to maintain a Two Wheeler in India, parts are easily available, service centres/shops are everywhere.

  1. Easy to escape Traffic
    In dense cities like Bangalore, Delhi, Mumbai, etc., where there is majority of working-class people, a Two Wheeler is the best option to ply in the city.

So, what is the issue here, why is this perception so relevant, why do we need bother about it?

After lot of thought, We think we need to address this issue, well by we, I am talking about the passionate Moto Nuts like me who love Motorcycling, people who believe the Industry to needs to evolve, not just in terms of numbers, we also need to evolve in terms of our age old perception and our thought process about motorcycling.

A lot of preconceived notions have been “ingrained in our Minds” about motorcycles since childhood. Notions which have developed fear in our hearts and minds.

To understand this issue, it’s important to know what happened and why to fear?

The Perception begins:

Let’s start from the 90’s, cause before the Nineties (50’s to 80’s) we barely opened our Markets to the world, motorcycling was an expensive affair, few well to do people could afford them.

In the nineties, with introduction of Liberalization, Privatization, and Globalization (LPG), we opened our economy to international market. We were reintroduced to motorcycles as an affordable means of transport that you can use, especially directed towards youth (males to be more specific) to commute daily, do stunts with friends, impress girls and to ride as rash as possible on the road.

The media played a vital role in idolizing actors by showing them ride bikes recklessly in the name of style, fashion and showcasing riders as a nuisance for others around. With this hooliganism on show, motorcycle riders those days were perceived as hooligans who ride recklessly, disregard traffic rules, & create menace on road, frequent motorcycle accidents did not help the case either. A Motorcycle became such a devil’s machine in the eyes of people.

Motorcyclist were being generalized. People who purchased bikes were treated as if they had a death wish and were declared a menace. The consistent negative image of a Rider which was projected everywhere in the society as well as the media, slowly crept in the minds of majority of people.

The youth was most affected as parents declared motorcycles as a killing machine. Well, I would agree it’s not as safe as a car but we never know considering our road situations.

Let this negativity begone. We need to change, be mature and educate.

This narrow perception has already started to evolve. The motorcycling industry has advanced so much over the years, we have groups and brands promoting safe riding now, lot of people are aware about the dangers of road rage, they follow traffic rules (yeah right), riders explore, take adventure trips across the country, in some cases the world.

All of it might be true to an extent, but let me tell you, there is a bad image of a motorcycle rider still prevalent in many places of our country and perception is affecting sales and growth of the sector.

It is unfortunate that young people lose their lives in road accidents, we wake up to point fingers at everyone from manufacturer, to the rider, even the rider’s parents. We agree there is a fault in our system, but it is not fair to zero in on one person, the fault we need to address is educating the stakeholders, especially the riders. We can create a better perception for people to think about.

Then begs the question: Can we be more educative and mature about it and change it for good?

A Simple Answer is - Yes, we can.

First let’s bury the Issue: Are motorcycle riders’ mad people with killing machines in their Hands?

A small group of irresponsible dweebs who ride atrociously on the road, should not represent a growing tribe of sane riders, who ride their machines safely, wear protective gear, abide by the traffic rules and ride cautiously on the road.

Many people need to be mature enough to realize the importance of a machine as you have put your heart and soul in them as ever growing tribe of riders, enjoy the purity of riding rather than indulging into unruly practices that might make the perception of motorcycle rider even worse than it is now.

It is not about the bike you ride or the gear you're wearing. Yes, a decent helmet would save your head from fatal injuries (challans are good enough to teach us that lesson) or any other gear could save you from serious injuries. But, it's more about basic stuff such as being a little more sensible, riding within our (and our bike's) limits, etc.

Why it is so difficult to spot women bikers?

“Women can’t ride motorcycles”. This myth should be dispelled. Women have been conditioned to think that only men can ride motorcycles, which is far away from the truth. Motorcycles have been perceived more masculine which creates this insane gender disparity. They are asked to drive gearless scooters. Couldn’t we be more sexist?

Motorcycles are like any other vehicle which has its own learning curve. It was invented for a HUMAN BEING to ride and women are HUMANS too!

Although, we are seeing a change that a number of women bikers are coming up and joining the club but most of them are discouraged by their family members or even friends.

Conquer the fear, be mature and live a Moto life.

If this feeling of perceived fear and unorthodoxies can change over time, the two-wheeler Industry would grow another 10-fold of what it is growing currently.

All the passionate riders who want the industry to take off, need to take responsibility, educate others, make them feel responsible towards the road.

And we, Motopsychcle, from our end provide our readers and viewers with helpful tips, best products, interesting services and show them the wonders and pure joy comes from riding/exploring their Motorcycles.

This will help uproot the inherent fear of danger associated with motorcycles in minds of people.

Let’s take a pledge, beat the stereotype and make it happen.

A Small Thought to Ponder

Do you think the perception remain the same or it will change in the years to come?

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