Trivandrum: "Bullet is what we recommend for long road trips. It is rugged, strong and can be easily repaired if something happens on the way," said Midhun, co-owner of Bigfoot Customs, a preferred workshop of city's biker clubs.
"That does not mean others like Pulsar and Duke are behind. But with modern bikes, if something goes wrong while passing through a remote location, it would be hard to get it repaired. But Bullet, because it has been around for so long, local expertise will be comparatively easier to get."
To make a bike and its rider endure long rides, especially through punishing terrains, the focus is on better performance and rider comfort.
"The seats are modified to better fit with the body structure of the rider. The carborator is worked on to give better performance. Fuel efficiency comes only secondary as the thrust is more on making the engine rigid. The mud guards are a bit raised so that stones and wet mud don't get stuck between the wheel and the guard.
"It is usual to give a bash-shield under the bike to protect the engine from being hit by stones while on long rides. The handle length and positioning is tweaked to given the rider more control over bike. Less distance between handle and hip means the rider has the ability for quicker maneuvering."
"The exhaust pipes are kept higher to cross wet areas. Finger guards are fixed for greater protection and special carriers for luggages. Usually, an extra power socket is attached in front of the bike by which mobile phones can be charged to enable GPS service."
Madhun, who is a biker himself, says that biking scene in city is growing fast, still he is not completely happy about it.
"Many youngsters, they are influenced by movies and are more interested in the cosmetic side of things, like particualr dress kits, gloves, shades and everything. When it comes to hardcore in-born riders, I reckon there are still only very few of them," he said.