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Old 7th November 2017, 19:07   #346
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

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Originally Posted by JayPrashanth View Post
As a brand, the kind of clarity RE's top management has about what they're trying to sell is phenomenal. They want to sell experiences, which is why they aren't chasing horsepower, etc. Bomb proof reliability would be very desirable, but that'll perhaps take some charm away and make REs too appliance-like.
"Appliance-like"... I love it. Though in the context of this thread the Dominar is probably not so perfectly sanitized. I just wrote something in another thread about one maker's reputation in the world for producing very well-engineered, very reliable, very refined, very capable bikes that are quite nearly "perfect" but unfortunately quite lacking in character (it has been said about their Fireblade vs. GSXR's, for example, and it was noted even back in the old days, with the original CB750).

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A 650cc, parallel-twin Himalayan priced at say 4 lakh rupees is something I can very well imagine myself buying.


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If I drop it, I'll be able to get spares to perhaps fix it myself. But the same story on a Triumph Tiger 800 may not end very nicely. And the LB500 was so easy to work on.
I have a feeling I'm going to be spending many, hopefully pleasant hours working on my own, rather well-run-in LB500. I may have to consult with you at points, if you wouldn't mind...

-Eric
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Old 7th November 2017, 19:29   #347
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Mod: Sorry, please retain this one and delete the one under - didn't realize it had posted.


Thanks Jay, you are perhaps saying it better than I could.

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Originally Posted by JayPrashanth View Post
As a brand, the kind of clarity RE's top management has about what they're trying to sell is phenomenal. They want to sell experiences, which is why they aren't chasing horsepower, etc. Bomb proof reliability would be very desirable, but that'll perhaps take some charm away and make REs too appliance-like.
A wife who never got sick would be... um... nice... maybe; But those nights up late nursing her - without resentment, and in appreciation for all she is, all she provides, even if imperfectly - will deepen the relationship and make it ultimately more satisfying... Hmmm...

"Appliance-like"... Ha! bikes as appliances. I LOVE that! But perish the thought! Though in the context of this thread the Dominar is probably not so perfectly sanitized, I was reminded elsewhere about one maker's reputation in the world for producing very well-engineered, very reliable, very refined, very capable bikes that are quite nearly "perfect" but unfortunately generally lacking in character (it has been said about their Fireblade vs. GSXR's, for example, and it was noted even back in the old days, with the original, amazing (but "too perfect?" CB750). The Dominar is modern and has all the requisite bells and whistles. Including, yes, a fuel gauge. And ill-positioned warning lights you can't read anyway.

But when you are well-connected with your machine, you kind of get a sense of when it is going to need re-fueling, don't you? (I do). Or when something's not quite "right" and needs adjusting before turning into a major, damaging problem. Marital analogies could be expounded again here... Your wife shouldn't have to have a gauge on her forehead for you to know when she's about to shut down... (he, he, he - see, that just infuriates her when he's too oblivious to get it). Wait a couple years and the Dominar - with some of its plastic bits faded / cracked - will be superseded by something "upgraded" - "better" - "higher-spec"... while the virtually unimproved Bullet might still be plodding along as always, and still selling. Though truly... the twin is really exciting news...

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Originally Posted by JayPrashanth View Post
A 650cc, parallel-twin Himalayan priced at say 4 lakh rupees is something I can very well imagine myself buying.


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Originally Posted by JayPrashanth View Post
If I drop it, I'll be able to get spares to perhaps fix it myself. But the same story on a Triumph Tiger 800 may not end very nicely. And the LB500 was so easy to work on.
I have a feeling I'm going to be spending many, hopefully pleasant hours working on my own, rather well-run-in LB500. I may have to consult with you at points, if you wouldn't mind...

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 7th November 2017 at 19:33.
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Old 7th November 2017, 19:38   #348
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

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.... The 500 is torquey, will probably keep up with (or ahead of) most 200/250cc modern performance bikes and get about the same mileage they do, too (30-35kmpl).

Hmmmm... am I convincing anyone but myself yet?

-Eric
Eric, you are romanticizing a metal lump too much. It's a machine. It should perform as expected, end of story. Bullet matching modern 250/250cc performance bikes? In its dreams.

There are umpteenth stories of tourers getting stuck with failed parts of bullet, while so called Jap crap goes on without any drama. Those who have not tasted what quality or reliability must be, or those in some glorified memory trip, might fall for this so called charm of keeping your bike at the servicecenter/garage more than on the road. But those who expect their machines to perform as and when required, and not have another wife/child to surrender to its tantrums, there are far better options available.

Please note that this is directed to bike, not personally to you.
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Old 8th November 2017, 09:19   #349
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

A very matured step ahead.
Bajaj Dominar has created history by becoming the 1st Indian bike to tame the world's toughest journey! Watch webcast. https://goo.gl/bBZPz4
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Old 8th November 2017, 23:06   #350
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Surprised that this hasn't been posted here before, considering this video went viral a few days back.

Impressive that the bikes made it through without a single breakdown!!! Been riding a Bajaj long enough to see that the Dominar is really is the next step up from Bajaj!



That is an epic route and ride there!
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Old 9th November 2017, 18:05   #351
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

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An analogy here to another time/place and the question of lower-quality/lower-performance "image" bikes of classic design vs. the obviously more capable modern stuff:

But how wrong I was! Let's just say that if I'd have bought a few thousand dollars of H-D stock back then (mid-90's) I'd be a rich man now. People kept buying them, waiting for them, admiring them, riding them, in increasing numbers.
See, this is where you lost me. If I wanted investment options, I would close my eyes and buy RE stock. But, when spending their money (especially in buying non-utilitarian purchases) people are going to choose a vehicle that appeals to them. So, what we are essentially saying is that lots of us just don't like REs. They do nothing for us. If a bike appealed to us immediately, our heads would never enter the picture to analyze the pros and cons. I have watched REs growing up and never really craved one. On the other hand, I saw a Ducati for 3 seconds and wanted one immediately.

Still, just out of respect for such a huge brand, I did the due diligence and test rode the entire RE line up and read up owners stories online. Nothing really jumped out and caught me. So, I have decided that I know what I like.

Incidentally, on the topic of knowing oneself, I have an interesting anecdote. Many years back in the US, just to keep an open mind, I test rode a Harley Davidson (don't remember the exact model). Let me tell you that I was freakin miserable. The laid back seat meant that I had to double over to reach the bars which put my whole body in a front facing U shape as my legs were already forward. I could not turn my head without my shoulders getting in the way. It was a horrible 5 mile ride. After watching me be really unhappy, the dealership guy suggested that I try to ride the Buell. And in an instant, I was comfortable. Everything felt right, and I was now able to appreciate that V Twin much better. The whole experience gave me confidence that I could trust my instincts about what I liked. I know I don't like REs. Subject closed. Still, I was willing to look at a different bike like the Himalayan. But, that story quickly went south as all of us know.

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RE's (Bullet's in particular) may not excel at anything, but they can do many things reasonably well:...
Who says that other bikes don't also do many things reasonably well? Barring very few tightly segmented vehicles, every vehicle in India today will do everything well. People have taken even Activas to Leh.

My guess is that no one here is looking for a vehicle that excels at one thing only. Most of us in the middle class want a vehicle that will do lots of things well without burning our pockets and our brains. And our point is that lots of vehicles today beat RE in that exact requirement.


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If you're comparing on the basis of "features" you're missing the point. Your dads / uncles could've bought Rajdoots or Yezdis, but the Bullet was always the more substantial bike, and the fact that there are a lot more of the old ones still around now (and commanding almost insane prices), whilst the Yezdis/Rajdoots (also great bikes, and produced in much larger numbers) were mostly scrapped long ago, kind of proves what I'm saying.

In an age where everyone's running after the latest and purportedly "best" - in an age where things are increasingly unsettled and transient and uncertain, I think there's a subconscious appeal to something that represents timelessness and permanence and solidity - indeed something that transcends the generations and remains relevant, appealing, and largely practical after many decades.
I will disagree with you here on two counts.

First, it is incorrect to attribute someone not buying an RE in the 80s purely to economics. While that may be the case for some, it is not the case for many many people from the urban areas. Fact is that a motorcycle purchase during the 70s and 80s were driven more by necessity rather than by passion. Consequently, you picked a vehicle that suited that purpose well. Barring rural areas that provided large stretches for cruising, REs (especially the old ones) didn't fit very well within cities as they were difficult to maneuver in traffic. That seems to have changed a bit now as people seem to have become more physically able to handle bigger bikes in urban streets. But, at that time, most of the people I knew had to quickly get to the office, or the bank, or to buy groceries. All of these activities are not easily accomplished with an RE at that time. If you are looking for a two wheeler to help with the house, then scooters with that space in the middle, made lots of sense, as people could put their bags there, not to mention a kid. I personally have stood in that space for long 10 KM rides on a Bajaj Chetak, and loved it.

Second, it is also not true that only RE owners have cherished memories of their bikes from the 80s and 90s. My father who has been fortunate to own progressively bigger vehicles in his life spent an entire week in silence when Bajaj decided to exit scooters. His Chetak is still top of mind for him. He raised his family on it. If you go online, you will find lots of stories of owners of Kawasaki Bajaj, Yamaha RX 100, Ind-Suzuki, Suzuki Samurai, Shogun, Kinetic Honda, etc. I mean you can name it, and I can find you someone who has a vivid memory of a positive life event with that vehicle. For the most part, all of these vehicles ran flawlessly and were huge successes for the people who bought them. So, very few people have the stomach for the supposed "character" or "charm" of an RE with it's less than stellar reliability. Afterall, they weren't buying bikes to work on them. The idea was to get around, or look good, or both.


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Second thing is, like it or not, the Bullet was a "dream bike" for a couple generations of Indians. Every old timer who owned one has a collection of stories from their times in the saddle. But aspirations aside, most others made do with a Bajaj Super or whatever. Improving economic conditions have made the old dream more than attainable for so many. You find retirees and 20-somethings and foreign tour groups riding Bullets and enjoying them. And you really can't get this sort of classic appeal and solid construction anywhere else in the market (well, Bonneville/H-D, if you've got 9L+ to spare). Do keep in mind that RE's are exported to the EU,UK,US and sold for much more than what we can enjoy them for here. Nobody's saying they're wonderful, perfect bikes - but they've got a certain appeal, and it's not completely irrational.
This is the thing. You said it perfectly. The appeal of an RE is driven by a larger than life image that most of us carry from our youth. This image forms the foundation of the brands positioning and marketing. But, aside from that there isn't much substance there. I say that because the REs from the 80s are a far cry from the REs of today. For one thing, they were relatively rare then which gave them an exclusivity that made you aspire for one. Today, I trip over at least 50 REs if I step out of my house for a few hours. And that's just in my neighborhood. So, for me, there really isn't any exclusivity left.

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No, it won't pull wheelies... and I could care less. If I DID want it to do that, I could put a 535 cylinder kit and bigger carb and some other goodies on it (Hitchcocks, UK) and just about keep up with a Dominar, managing roughly equivalent FE, and ten years from now, maybe be able to sell it for 2L (if it goes the way of the iron 500's), vs. the rs25-30,000 the D400 is likely to be worth.
You're very wrong if you think that everyone who isn't buying an RE is a thrill-seeking-speed-demon. I for one will mostly never even get to triple digit speeds. I am perfectly happy cruising at 70 KMPH and feeling more in control of the bike. Going fast actually makes me nervous which drains my confidence; and confidence is the biggest protective armor that a rider has. So, not all of us are looking past the REs because they don't go fast.
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Old 11th November 2017, 00:25   #352
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

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Obviously RE is making plenty of money these days, and yes they could sell them for less (certainly not rs50,000 less), but when it's quite obvious that at least half a lakh people per month in India alone are willing to lay out their money for one of their bikes, I don't see any reason that they should. Supply and demand, baby.

-Eric
Eric... just one other thought that I forgot to mention in my earlier post. One of the other reasons for RE's popularity has to be that for the absolute longest time they were the only show in town in motorcycles upwards of 100 or 150 CC. People who had the ability to pay 1.2 to 1.5 lacs for a 350 or 500 CC bike had very few options for the past decade in India. It was a perfect marriage of rising disposable incomes, and REs successful marketing of their retro cool image. I dare say that that situation has hardly changed today. The Mojo and Dominar are here. But, they will take a while to make a dent as they are all playing catch-up; trying to bite into the uber retro community that RE has successfully built around the brand with their cool showrooms, etc.

Now with their 650 CC twins, RE again has an open playing field. No one here either. The imports are way too expensive. So, RE has that entire space between 2 lacs and 8 lacs to play with for their Twins. I predict another monster success. In fact, I wish that for the brand. But, I also pray that it shouldn't become another Himalayan story.

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...Bomb proof reliability would be very desirable, but that'll perhaps take some charm away and make REs too appliance-like. :-P And less work for service centers too.

Jay
Jay.... I like it. I like it a lot actually. When I read the way you put that across, it actually sounded like we, the consumers, are the ones who are being unreasonable!! Nicely done sir. Nicely done indeed

But, just to set things straight, no one is asking for bombproof reliability. It is alright for a bike to have a niggle here or there, wherein they develop their own little personality. What is not acceptable is for the bike to break down in any fashion, which would defeat the whole purpose. We are only asking that REs have the same quality that we expect of any other bike. Just for effect, please see the thread below. While lots of people are appreciative of the Twins and are eagerly waiting for the bike, there are enough notes of caution discussing quality, with some people even saying that they will wait a good 2 or 3 years before a possible purchase. And these words are from RE owners themselves!!!

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/motorb...er-engine.html (Royal Enfield unveils Interceptor & Continental 650 with new twin-cylinder engine)

So, you have to ask yourself, what is so great about having low levels of quality becoming as much of a brand's trademark as the sound or looks of its motorcycles? Is it unreasonable to ask for transportation reliability from a vehicle? I think not.
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Old 12th November 2017, 05:23   #353
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

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lots of us just don't like REs. They do nothing for us. If a bike appealed to us immediately, our heads would never enter the picture to analyze the pros and cons. I have watched REs growing up and never really craved one. On the other hand, I saw a Ducati for 3 seconds and wanted one immediately.

Who says that other bikes don't also do many things reasonably well? Barring very few tightly segmented vehicles, every vehicle in India today will do everything well. People have taken even Activas to Leh. Most of us in the middle class want a vehicle that will do lots of things well without burning our pockets and our brains. And our point is that lots of vehicles today beat RE in that exact requirement.

....it is incorrect to attribute someone not buying an RE in the 80s purely to economics... But, at that time, most of the people I knew had to quickly get to the office, or the bank, or to buy groceries. All of these activities are not easily accomplished with an RE at that time. If you are looking for a two wheeler to help with the house, then scooters with that space in the middle, made lots of sense, as people could put their bags there, not to mention a kid. I personally have stood in that space for long 10 KM rides on a Bajaj Chetak, and loved it.

Second, it is also not true that only RE owners have cherished memories of their bikes from the 80s and 90s... you will find lots of stories of owners of Kawasaki Bajaj, Yamaha RX 100, Ind-Suzuki, Suzuki Samurai, Shogun, Kinetic Honda, etc. I mean you can name it, and I can find you someone who has a vivid memory of a positive life event with that vehicle.

The appeal of an RE is driven by a larger than life image that most of us carry from our youth. This image forms the foundation of the brands positioning and marketing. But, aside from that there isn't much substance there.

You're very wrong if you think that everyone who isn't buying an RE is a thrill-seeking-speed-demon. Not all of us are looking past the REs because they don't go fast.
Hey Mohan, think you're misreading me here a bit / overstating most of my points.

To start on the last point, never suggested it was only speed-demons passing up RE's. I am, as in all I wrote, trying to justify their ownership on some basis beyond image/nostalgia... because I really have come to see, in the UCE age, that they are quite practical all-round bikes. Here I was only addressing the complaints I see from many in these forums about the RE's (particularly the 350's) lack of power - under 20bhp in the modern age in a 180kg bike, etc. I agree the 350's are sorely underpowered, at least for the hills. It's just that I find the RE is a bike that many actually enjoy riding slow, taking time, taking in the scenery, sound, etc. My smaller bikes I can't enjoy riding slow, not in the hills, because I have to be revving them like mad all the time to get them to move at a reasonable speed up inclines. Fun, but not relaxing, not well-suited to enjoyable, easygoing touring IMO.

Certainly was not talking about investing in company stock, just making the point that people continued in H-D's case, and will continue in RE's case - 700,000 people this last year as evidence - to buy less-than-perfect bikes simply because they DO like them, in any number of different ways. It is not, IMO purely larger-than-life image / history / nostalgia, because guess what, here in our part of Himachal, I doubt a single household had a RE thirty years ago, and very few even fifteen years ago (Yezdi/Jawas were all over India the quintessential hill-station bike), AND YET the 20-something kids here are all running after them! Nothing about upbringing or memories for them here, they just like riding them. Very reasonable, level-headed older (30-40 y-o) people here do too, mind you, not talking posers. As do thousands of foreign tourists, who in their homelands had access to all sorts of much "better" bikes. For the record, nobody in my family ever had one, nor did they live in India (or England) nor had I even heard of the bike growing up. I too disliked them for a long time after coming here, but they've grown on me (at least the 500's), for many of the reasons I already outlined.

Never said other bikes can't do many things reasonably well (though anyone taking an Activa to Leh is certainly a glutton for punishment). But what we CAN do on a particular bike is of a little less import than what I might actually enjoy doing on a particular bike. Starting around 2005, I took my '92 KB100 to Leh, Nubra, Zanskar, Sach Pass, Nepal, etc, etc... Lots of great memories, and at that age, at that time, I quite enjoyed it - just as the riding partners often riding Bullets alongside me then did, on their own bikes of choice.

But today, if my wife were along, or if I needed more than minimal luggage, the KB would be the wrong bike for such travels. Fact is, you look at the numbers of each bike brand heading off to Ladakh annually for many years running, and RE's will outnumber all others at least 9 to 1. They're decent touring bikes, decent city bikes, they give good FE in a full-sized bike, etc. My wife just thinks the pillion seating is so much more comfy than my other bikes; same report from the wife of a friend here, who owned a bit more sporty and much faster, more refined machine of foreign origin. There are some other good all-rounders I suppose too, I never denied that (though in truth not very many come to mind). But if there are a few contenders, there are none that have that particular feel, look, AND the versatility - and for 700,000 people, all that together was convincing enough to lay out more cash than for a lot of other bikes. I remember one month seeing 4,000 Dominar sales vs. 45,000 CL350's, 4,500 Bullet 500's, and I don't remember how many T-birds/CL500's. I mean, "catch up" is a severe understatement. They are not going to catch up. Ever.

Never said other bikes didn't also have nostalgic feelings / great memories attached - but then most people don't rush out and buy a Fazer just because their dad had an RX. There's a design continuity and thus direct association there with the RE that just doesn't exist elsewhere.

Re: changing economics: Well, we must be of a different generation, because when I referred to "uncles" I had the 1960's more in view than the '80's. But still, even considering your timeframe, I think the historical data would very definitely bear out my assertions. Consider what a new RE cost in the 60's/70's/80's as a percentage of family income, vs. today, when people may very well keep a scooty for the tasks you well describe, but also have a lot of disposable income for an additional bike, just for pleasure riding / weekend excursions. The reason Manali is over-run with tourists from the plains today, when it was extremely quiet even fifteen years ago, is that there is just a lot more money flying around. And by the way, most of the tourists coming here by bike are on Enfields. And most of the tourists who come by other means but rent bikes are renting Enfields. Sad reality for the haters, but there is an undeniable appeal there, and the bikes will go whatever distance you want to take them, and do it reasonably well.

Well, to sum up, I'm not (thank God) a die-hard RE fan and over the past 15 years only had a few truly pleasurable experiences riding them (some not particularly pleasurable, too)... but those experiences did leave an impression, and eventually, the time came to do something about it... which is why I've got a slightly battered, rattley 500 Machismo parked outside these past couple weeks, which I've been quite enjoying riding on a daily basis. The kids like sitting on the tank (much better than my Impulse for them), the wife likes the pillion seat, and solo, the things just pulls wonderfully up these hills at a very good clip, seeming like it's hardly even trying.

Not saying everyone has to like them - I certainly didn't most of my life - but I am sure that it doesn't require someone to be a sucker to slick marketing, a wild-west poser, a wanna-be into-the-sunset epic rider to enjoy owning one. In truth, I just like taking my kids to school and back on it - and we had one of the most pleasant family rides ever (four of us) on it a couple Saturdays ago.

So we are making our own memories, sometimes with it, sometimes without. You are free to make your own memories on a Ducati or a Buell, both of which I also like very much and might own if: 1) I had them available and 2) could justify the purchase price, and 3) could figure out how to seat four on one (I passed up one such very appealing twin-cylinder bike earlier this year for the reason that it wasn't comfy for anyone - including myself - to sit on. So yeah, you near the half-century mark, and maybe just having a good seat is a viable justification for the whole bike. And yes, this Machismo is going to have a lot higher resale value than your NS/D400 ten years from now. And the Mojo is just never going to catch up, even in terms of initial sales. It will quietly disappear very soon, I'd think.

I appreciate your final points in the post below, though - RE has been very uniquely positioned, and unless another player comes in to challenge that, their sales are going to continue to outperform vs. many otherwise decent bikes.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 12th November 2017 at 05:38.
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Old 12th November 2017, 06:13   #354
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

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Eric, you are romanticizing a metal lump too much. It's a machine. It should perform as expected, end of story. Bullet matching modern 250/250cc performance bikes? In its dreams.

There are umpteenth stories of tourers getting stuck with failed parts of bullet, while so called Jap crap goes on without any drama. Those who have not tasted what quality or reliability must be, or those in some glorified memory trip, might fall for this so called charm of keeping your bike at the servicecenter/garage more than on the road. But those who expect their machines to perform as and when required, and not have another wife/child to surrender to its tantrums, there are far better options available.

Please note that this is directed to bike, not personally to you.
Just FYI, I've been to Ladakh a number of times (at least five) on three different Jap bikes (Bajaj/Hero) - one almost brand-new the first time, and a yearling the second time. Also went once along with a Pulsar rider. All of these at some point either broke down (internal gear changer problems) or exhibited extremely annoying mechanical issues (Impulse with respect to carb slide sticking, a common problem) that seriously reduced the pleasure. Bullets broke down plenty in the old days, especially the ill-maintained rentals, but much less often now in the Twin-Spark age. But I've ridden out there - and Spiti with at least five Bullet riders (various Electras incl. CI / UCE, and a 1999 std. CI), and beyond a single blown fuse - easily replaced - they had no mechanical issues whatsoever. And this was in the remotest of places out there, one continuing out along the restricted Tibetan border, etc... There people have depended on them days on end seeing no other vehicles, and the bikes have taken them through. To sum up, Jap stuff is far from invincible, and Enfields, properly maintained, are not especially problematic, in my personal experience. If they were quite THAT bad, do you really think that every single tour company up here would be using RE's exclusively?

Well, Bullets don't dream, after all they are hunks of metal. But not all Bullets are created equal, and I really do think the 500 Machismo would easily run with / run away from (having ridden them), a NS200/220 Pulsar, Karizma, (maybe or maybe not the Duke 200) under pretty much any conditions, and if you have one such machine and any doubt about it, you're welcome to come for a visit up here in Manali some time, and we'll see about it!

I've never known any Bullet owner up here who's had their bike in the shop more than on the road, but anyway, there would be nothing romantic or charming about that.

That said, if biking for you is primarily about getting whichever random hunk of machinery reliably from point A to point B, well, you are entitled to that way of thinking / operating. For me, the machine, it's feel, its aesthetics and proportions, its sound, the mechanical design (I'm an engineer), its associations, the camaraderie it may engender, its simplicity and serviceability are all part of the experience. I own five bikes of various types on two continents, and have enjoyed riding all of them. I'm coming from a position of having never really liked Bullets / never had any history with them at all, to beginning to warm up to them somewhat. Not a fanboy, not unrealistic, not a slave to fashion. I just think they work for many people, most recently myself included. If it was going to literally break down all the time, well, it wouldn't be worth it... but despite being at a major hub of adventure biking up here, I just don't know anyone who owns one that bad. As for me, I've got two weeks so far on-road, and not one minute in the shop; it starts on the first kick (without decompressing) on these near-zero Himachal mornings, and that's with an eight-year-old, rattley ex-rental, so I guess I'm doing all right so far.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 12th November 2017 at 06:24.
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Old 12th November 2017, 07:12   #355
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

I have been a speedfreak always whether it was 1991 or today. I bought my first Royal Enfield 350 Machismo in 1991 only for speed, since it could edge over the ton. But it cannot hold on for long duration at 100+ speed and the speedo would with extreme difficulty touch 120.
Overheating, vibrations and falling parts was common. I once had the air filter fallen off and an RX 100 rider handing it over to me at a pit stop (tea stop). LOL.
Sold it off after 7 years and umpteen visits to the mechanic shops for ever so many niggling issues.
Returned to India after 10 years and bought the Athena 500 and it still never felt up to speed, braking was flimsy, handling was crap unless you are looking only straightline.
Ohh yeah! and the visits to the dealer and local garage re-started. With an Enfield I was sure to have dirty palms, vibrations and unreliability.
Sold it off. HAPPY.

Went to Bajaj, there was the newly launched Pulsar 220 on the kind of dyno at a showroom in Pune. Took a test and ripped it as I would normally love to, hard, wicked down shifts and the engine responded fantastic.
Boy is this whats motorcycling is all about.
The Youth in me fired up again. Bought the 220 in 2009.
This bike has been literally literally thrashed by me revving it up and downshifting in any rpm with some wheelies happening now and then.... and the bike just keeps getting aggressive.... this has continued for 7 years until my move abroad. The bike resting waiting for my arrival.

Broken parts - none
fallen parts - none
reliability - 100%
parts changed, sprockets at 32,000 kms
tyres at 16k 34k 46k 62k, some life left in them at 73k
oil changes every 7k - using Motul

I have taken this bike to where I would dread to ever take any Enfield.
To me Enfield should be and END and FILED away.
Old technology sold at a premium and people still buy them in numbers

Wonder if I am insane or the majority, who pay a premium for crap performance when the market is flooded with 2 wheels that offer solid technology, comfort, safety if it were to be compared to this lump of metal.

Dominar is a fantastic bike, I would go for it over an Enfield any day.

Last edited by Jr Godzilla : 12th November 2017 at 07:20.
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Old 13th November 2017, 13:09   #356
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post
-Eric
I have no further points to add to this discussion. However the fact that RE managed to create such die hard fans really speak a lot about their successful branding. I think this will be the only brand in India to have such fan base. Irrespective of how strongly I feel about products, I won't defend any so fiercely. Something only a strong emotional connect can make the customers do such things.

Kudos! Enjoy your bullet, you are perfect customer for the brand.
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Old 16th November 2017, 02:24   #357
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

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Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
I have no further points to add to this discussion. However the fact that RE managed to create such die hard fans really speak a lot about their successful branding. I think this will be the only brand in India to have such fan base. Irrespective of how strongly I feel about products, I won't defend any so fiercely. Something only a strong emotional connect can make the customers do such things.

Kudos! Enjoy your bullet, you are perfect customer for the brand.
Exactly. I am bewildered too.

Damn these machines are plagued with niggling issues every week.
Not one ride I can think of, without dirtying my hands.

Last edited by GTO : 17th November 2017 at 08:20. Reason: Let's not target people from a particular profession
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Old 16th November 2017, 19:38   #358
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Note from Support: Please stick to the topic guys -> Bajaj Dominar 400
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Old 18th November 2017, 21:41   #359
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Default Re: Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400

Okay guys, I'll rest my case here. I didn't mean to come off as "fiercely defending" RE's, and in truth, upon announcement I found Bajaj's Dominar (as the innovative NS200 before it) to be an extremely appealing proposition that strongly vied for my purchasing intentions, though it seems to be far from perfect itself (badly placed warning lights, poor turning radius, ABS that's allegedly ineffective on loose surfaces, bit plasticky, a few mechanical complaints (FI mapping, etc), and a bit of a heavyweight besides).

Indeed it is the Dominar being considered here, and RE's, as a typical alternative/competitor (thus worthy of mention in this context), are not wonder-bikes, and I've no love for the wanna-be's / posers / empty-headed fanboys ("They're just so 'royal'!!!" etc). As mentioned, I'm coming from the perspective of having disliked / badmouthed Bullets for a long while against the flood of starry-eyed masses, having owned / ridden much more modern / powerful / smooth / light bikes, arguing all the points you guys do - to coming around to really starting to appreciate them for what they are, what they offer in terms of actual riding experience. If I'm swayed by emotion, so be it - what is life, what is any experience, without emotion?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jr Godzilla View Post
Exactly. I am bewildered too. Damn these machines are plagued with niggling issues every week. Not one ride I can think of, without dirtying my hands.
Maybe you couldn't, but I just yesterday got back from some hundreds of km's over two days of spirited, at points remote riding on everything from (hill) national highways to well-paved twisting one-lanes, to dirt/gravel roads high on the ridges: A lovely time astride the completely unserviced / unchecked, new-to-me, eight-year-old, admittedly mechanically rattly (God knows how many km's it's covered and how many abusive handlers it's tolerated on the Manali-Leh high-ranges over its lifetime) ex-tour-company Machismo. It was for me a maiden voyage / stress-test, and I wasn't babying it at all. Lots of full-throttle, lots of hard braking, even one little fall. Carried no spares but a puncture repair kit and a spark plug, neither ultimately required.

And no issues / no hand-dirtying whatsoever. Ran very, very well throughout, and I enjoyed my time. That should be enough, I'd say. Yes, a Dominar could've done just as well (/better), though in my case, at a considerable price premium.

Hundreds do similar things on RE's literally daily up here between May-September every year, very often with a low level of preparedness, and over my many runs in the mountains, I've seen very few of them actually broken down / being trucked back. I know it happens. But I have seen it happen with the Indo-Jap bikes, too. As I said, the tour operators are using RE's almost exclusively, those for whom a livelihood depends on good ride experiences. I know there have been some bad/problematic ones out there. Not denying that. But it's possible to own/ride a pretty trouble-free one, too (unless it was an early-production Himalayan, perhaps).

Quote:
Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
I have no further points to add to this discussion. However the fact that RE managed to create such die hard fans really speak a lot about their successful branding... I won't defend any so fiercely. Something only a strong emotional connect can make the customers do such things.... Enjoy your bullet, you are perfect customer for the brand.
(Chuckle...) Nobody's trying to convince anyone else really, and you don't have to like them. Just trying to explain why they appeal to so many, and for me anyway, it's NOT the brand, bro... There's something to be said for historical continuity and the surprisingly steadfast relevance / adaptability of a decades-old, but generally I could care less about RE as a company (I'm not British and no relative of mine ever owned or even heard of one), and the hype can be pretty ridiculous. Really, truthfully, the actual bike - the bike I've parked outside - and riding it, are what it's all about for me, and apparently for a lot of other level-headed, reasonable people who are buying them (two surgeons I know up here, a school principal, a phys-ed teacher, a couple apple farmers (incl. my landlord), a vegetable seller, a young local bike mechanic (who says he'll keep it forever, despite my generous offer to purchase), etc, etc. They're not out there terrorizing neighborhoods with their bottle silencers, much less writing anything in these forums. They just like 'em, and feel they suit them better than other stuff they could've bought.

Re: their reliability, I can't deny the anecdotal stories of some who've posted here. Also can't deny the fact that in the few weeks I've been taking note, I've had three Bajaj products (two Pulsars and a V15) break down in front of my workshop, and only one Bullet... Local shops do a roaring business in Pulsar repair/rebuilding. So anecdotally speaking from my limited perspective and in this particular context, it would seem that Bullets break down / wear out only 1/3rd as often as other best-selling bike brands...

To end on a note befitting the thread, I wouldn't be surprised if a few years from now I will have sold the 500AVL (at a profit, mind you), and picked up a dirt-cheap, awesome bang-for-the buck second-hand Dominar ABS.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 18th November 2017 at 22:08.
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Old 19th November 2017, 17:25   #360
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Originally Posted by ringoism View Post

-Eric

Eric.... you seem to have lots of time on your hands. For a non-devotee of RE, you sure have a lot to say about how awesome they are.

Incidentally this is a screenshot of my Facebook feed today. Based on my love of motorcycles, FB algorithms decided to show me the RE launch of the 650 twins. But, see how that panned out on my feed!!! Very apt if you ask me.

Ridden: Bajaj Dominar 400-imageuploadedbyteambhp1511092526.693849.jpg

Incidentally, every other video feed on my FB page worked seamlessly. :-)

Last edited by theMAG : 19th November 2017 at 19:25. Reason: Removed formatting tags
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