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Old 2nd May 2013, 13:53   #1
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Thumbs down Bike options for Service Personnel

I need to buy a few bikes for our service guys.
The travel routes are all trucking routes around Mumbai, like JNPT Road, Bhiwandi area, NH4, NH8, NH3 etc. They often have to travel 75-100 KM and sometimes at night. Cannot completely rule out rainy season travel also.

I need bikes with following qualities -

1. Must be safe to drive. This is very important. Most of the service guys are 20-27 years of age and posses certain amount of hero attitude. They are expected to undertake risky maneuvers every now and then. So, the bike needs to have enough power to accelerate out of situations. Need to have powerful brakes and good tires.

2. Riding comfort is also important as they have to do some head grinding work after travelling. So, lesser energy sapping the ride is, the better it is.

3. I would love to get the max possible fuel efficiency, but not at the cost of an unstable ride.

4. Service and maintenance should be easy, reliable and not very expensive. I am not looking for cheap service though. I would prefer 360 degree serviceability at authorized service centers with genuine parts.

5. Headlight should be strong and have a properly focused beam suitable for night driving among high glare of on coming trucks on two lane roads.

I was as such thinking of about 50-55K, but I can spend another 10-15k more for a better option.

Although common sense tells me to buy the least powered bike available out there, for the best fuel efficiency and least herogiri quotient. But that may not be a good idea, keeping the safety in perspective. On the other hand, all these bikes will be GPS Tracked and our back end team will monitor speeding with acute focus.


Please suggest a few good options for this kind of usage.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 14:04   #2
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Default re: Bike options for Service Personnel

For such usage I would suggest TVS Star City. Rugged performer and very reliable and cheap servicing history.

Though I have not driven the bike myself, I speak from others experience, especially in semi urban and rural areas. People swear by it power (load carrying capacity, nit in terms of adventure), bullet proof reliability and cheap/ easy servicing. The throw of the head lamp is also good. Though I doubt the tyres, that is if they are same as TVS Chakra, which are horrible in wet surface.

Last edited by MotoNanu : 2nd May 2013 at 14:25.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 14:12   #3
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Default re: Bike options for Service Personnel

I would suggest you take a look at the new Bajaj Discover 100t or the 125st. Both are very competent bikes with brilliant engines and good ergonomics.

The 100t comes with a drum brake setup and double shocks at the rear and the 125st comes with disc brakes (front) and monoshock setup at the rear.

Being a bajaj product, these bikes are pretty easy on pocket to own and maintain.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 16:20   #4
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Default re: Bike options for Service Personnel

This is a mirror image of the requirements at my previous company. Service personnel riding out to Manesar, Greater Noida and beyond etc etc

Some years ago the guys were given a budget and asked to chose their rides and the result was 15 odd bikes with an almost even mix of TVS, Honda Unicorn & a couple of Suzuki GS 150s. I specifically remember the Suzukis as there were only two and on a few occasions when I rode them I found them to be very well balanced, refined and I was fresh after riding 35 to 40 kilometers (one way). I know I seem to be making a mountain out of a molehill but for a guy nearing 40s (at that time) and not accustomed to riding (was riding after nearly 17 years) it is a big deal. The Hondas were good too but somehow I felt the GS150s to be more poised, with a more comfortable riding position and better suited to puttering around in traffic as also to pull on the highway, the TVS were mobile massage seats Guess ease of service and average must have been close for all three, I honestly have no specific information on that front.

Anyhow, when I left the organisation the Suzukis were still going strong, almost as good looking as they were when bought a couple of years back. In comparison the TVS were looking the worst and the Hondas were par for the course. These are general observations and not as if I stopped and inspected them. The other thing that I recall was that even though the Suzukis were a new launch they were available off the shelf and there was a waiting period for the Hondas.

Guess all I am saying is that do look at the Suzukis as they seem to be good bikes but tend to be overlooked and do post a few snaps of the fleet as & when you get them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
I need to buy a few bikes for our service guys.
The travel routes are all trucking routes around Mumbai, like JNPT Road, Bhiwandi area, NH4, NH8, NH3 etc. They often have to travel 75-100 KM and sometimes at night. Cannot completely rule out rainy season travel also.

I need bikes with following qualities -

1. Must be safe to drive.

2. Riding comfort

3. I would love to get the max possible fuel efficiency, but not at the cost of an unstable ride.

4. Service and maintenance should be easy, reliable and not very expensive.

5. Headlight should be strong and have a properly focused beam suitable for night driving among high glare of on coming trucks on two lane roads.

I was as such thinking of about 50-55K, but I can spend another 10-15k more for a better option.

Please suggest a few good options for this kind of usage.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 16:37   #5
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Default re: Bike options for Service Personnel

My friend who had a similar necessity has bought a few CB Twisters for the delivery guys working in his shop. It is reliable(as its a honda), decent looking for younger drivers, good mileage and easily maneuverable. It also has adequate power for driving in a steady 60kmph speed.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 16:42   #6
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Default re: Bike options for Service Personnel

You can look at:
1. Hero Splendor or Passion (whatever version is going on now! is it pro/sport/x?)

2. Somehow I haven't read much positive reviews about Suzuki 125cc bikes. GS150R is a gem, but costs pretty high than 110 cc motorbikes. However, the best among 150cc bikes. Unicorn too is similar, but I have heard some negative reviews about it , as echoed by Sen above.

3. (purely my thoughts) TVS and Bajaj are best kept as personal bikes, and not office bikes. If the owner is really caring, the bikes can last long, but if he is not much caring towards them, they deteriorate much faster than Suzuki and Honda.

4. Honda had a 'Yuva' bike launched, basically a Honda splendor. You can consider that too.

5. If you are considering automatic scooter (if you expect some of them to carry any luggage), then suzuki access, honda dio/aviator (not activa because it's suspension is not as good as the rest two and you are keen on suspension part) or TVS scooty. Scooty can last really long while looking battered. Somehow Access too can become battered soon, still can go a long time.

Good that you are considering safety aspects as well, not just the best mileage with least tension! Generally, I would advise you to stick to Honda or Suzuki.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 16:56   #7
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Default re: Bike options for Service Personnel

I think the Honda CB Twister with disc brake fits the bills perfectly if it was just city riding. However, since your team would be using the bikes on highways, I can vouch for it that the bikes wont be that stable in cross winds; You would need a vehicle that has good grip and not skinny tires. My recommendation would be to buy the HH Hunk (if you can live with the name).

I am an ex owner of HH Hunk and used to ride it to Taloja daily from my home in Mira Road; it is roughly 65 one way. Hunk was not only stable, comfortable and gave me a decent mileage of 50/55 KMPL.

The newer versions comes with front and rear discs and some other gizmos. HH service should be easily available in Bhiwandi.

If not this, May be a Unicorn or something. IMHO, please go for a 150 cc bike with decent tire grips; your staff will love you!
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Old 2nd May 2013, 18:09   #8
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Default Re: Bike options for Service Personnel

Quote:
Originally Posted by sen2009 View Post
They are expected to undertake risky maneuvers every now and then.
Just out of curiosity, May I ask what are these risky maneuvors and I wonder what the service job is that "expects" risky behaviour?!
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Old 2nd May 2013, 18:23   #9
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Default Re: Bike options for Service Personnel

Hi,

A very interesting purchase requirement. Being service personnel, and looking at bikes that can be called all rounders I would suggest you to look at the 125cc offerings by our manufacturers as they offer

-Optimal mix of power and economy
-have safety (disc brake and tubeless tyres)
-have a certain flair in design
-Being 'premium', relative to 100cc offerings are quite well built.

And the bikes that I would look at are HH Glamour, Honda CB Shine, TVS Phoenix. All the three are well built, good engines, have disc brakes, good headlights and are very comfortable with an upright riding position.

cheers!
sai
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Old 2nd May 2013, 18:31   #10
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Default Re: Bike options for Service Personnel

Thanks everyone for the overwhelming response.

So, the main contenders are - Suzuki GS150, Honda Unicorn Dazzler and Honda Twister.

I totally agree with the general opinion that Bajaj and TVS are best kept as personal bike. These bike will see fair amount of abuse and also, the service guys may not report all issues in time.

I think I will check out these 3 bike - Unicorn. GS150 and Twister very soon.

I saw a bike called Honda Stunner, which IMHO falls more or less in this category. The styling is very aggressive, but the ride is quite mute (I felt). Anyone has owned this? How is the breaking and grip?
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Old 2nd May 2013, 20:52   #11
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Default Re: Bike options for Service Personnel

I think you should go either TVS Star City or Bajaj Platina. I am just suggesting because I have seen these products in similar usage profile. For instance, the delivery boys of Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza use either of these two.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 22:07   #12
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Default Re: Bike options for Service Personnel

Quote:
Originally Posted by MaxTorque View Post
I think you should go either TVS Star City or Bajaj Platina. I am just suggesting because I have seen these products in similar usage profile. For instance, the delivery boys of Pizza Hut and Domino's Pizza use either of these two.

Is that so? That is a very strong point in favor of these bikes in terms of safety and maintenance.

Only difference with my needs is that these bikes run very short distances, and mostly in urban environments.

In the night, out there among the trucks and a blinding dust storm, it is a very different riding condition.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 22:19   #13
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Default Re: Bike options for Service Personnel

Quote:
Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
You can look at:Hero Splendor or Passion (whatever version is going on now
I am with Hero as the ideal choice in this service as Hero bikes can withstand abuse and cope very well with rough usage as well. I have had first hand experience about them in this aspect as experienced in my organization. Maintenance was comparatively less expensive too.

Last edited by rajeev k : 2nd May 2013 at 22:24.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 22:52   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
I am with Hero as the ideal choice in this service as Hero bikes can withstand abuse and cope very well with rough usage as well. I have had first hand experience about them in this aspect as experienced in my organization. Maintenance was comparatively less expensive too.
I also had quite a similar view on Hero, much similar to the general view on Maruti in cars.
But some people told me that Hero Splendor has not remained as good as Hero Honda Splendor. They said, that in fact it was better to buy old HH Spendor than the new one. For a splendor like bike, I should buy Honda bike.

However, these are not from very well informed people. So, I ask here.
Is it true?


Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbafett View Post
Just out of curiosity, May I ask what are these risky maneuvors and I wonder what the service job is that "expects" risky behaviour?!

The job do not require any risky maneuver at all. But the boys often do them, however much scolded or admonished.

We need to visit 70-80 KM away places at night. Outside of Mumbai at night, its either sky bursting rain or blinding dust storm. And with truck headlight glares, it is a very difficult riding condition.

I need a bike which will inspire confidence and help in a calm riding style.
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Old 2nd May 2013, 23:24   #15
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Default Re: Bike options for Service Personnel

If you can afford a 150cc motorcycle, then nothing like it. The Unicorn and GS150 make a lot of sense. It fulfills all your requirements.

However, I would suggest you look at the Discover 125ST as well. Personally I liked the bike, and should suffice your needs as well.
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