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Old 19th November 2012, 19:35   #16
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

The most important factor to consider while buying a dream bike is how the test ride goes. I did a whole lot of research and finally zeroed in on a Harley Super Glide Custom for myself this February. Went and test rode a few bikes. Came back home riding a BMW R1200GS. I had done a lot of research in and out. All of it went down the drain and today I'm the happiest I have been ever. This bike gives me more that what I wanted from a bike. In short even after so many months of having bought this bike, I have a HUGE smile plastered on my face when I ride it.


PS: One thing that differs between you and me is that was over the superbike phase when I purchased my second bike. So since you are entering that phase, I would suggest you to go out there and ride the bikes and sit at the showroom and look at them. How they look, how they feel and you'll have a clearer picture in mind. Also once you go to the showroom, just buy the bike. Too much research will again dampen you feelings and you'll be left in the lurch again.

PS 2: All of these bike and I mean all of these have super abilities and unless you are Valentino Rossi, you can't even harness 40% of its abilities. And it is true for all riders in this country barring a few who have grown doing track days and riding and riding and riding!


Go to the showroom and buy your bike instead of looking for answers in this virtual world!
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Old 19th November 2012, 20:46   #17
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

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Originally Posted by navpreet318 View Post
.. did a whole lot of research and finally zeroed in on a Harley Super Glide Custom for myself this February. Went and test rode a few bikes. Came back home riding a BMW R1200GS. I had done a lot of research in and out. All of it went down the drain and today I'm the happiest I have been ever. This bike gives me more that what I wanted from a bike. In short even after so many months of having bought this bike, I have a HUGE smile plastered on my face when I ride it.
...
Yes Navpreet, I have gone through your buying experience as well in last couple of days..

Actually, the more I think about it in terms of advice from Sheel, the more I find myself settling down for R3R. The only drawback being, forget the test ride, even the showrooms aren't in place I am trying to reach out to an R3R owner in Delhi through another forum for his first hand experience of the bike in our conditions. Specially the heating aspect!!

And you are so true about harnessing the capabilities of these bikes, though your estimate is pegged a bit on the higher side. I would consider myself lucky if I am able to utilize even 20%! I am being completely realistic here and not ashamed of accepting my limitations
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Old 20th November 2012, 07:16   #18
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

Despite your details explanations of what you want the bike for, I am confused. People choose type of bike, engine configuration, brand, performance capabilities based on whatever emotional need they want to fulfill. The needs you seem to want to fulfill don't seem to fall into the types that various bikes fulfill.

You have selected cruisers. Straightaway there is a problem. Cruisers are typically large machines with long wheelbase and relaxed steering geometery that makes them slow and sluggish in handling terms. Its not a problem in the home of the cruiser, in the US, where big wide roads with sweeping curves, huge distances and thin orderly traffic minimize the handling handicap to a level acceptable to those not looking to ride around like their hair is on fire, while providing a stylish, cool, laid back experience of sitting astride an anachronistic engine that thrills not with power but with its characteristic rumbling feel and sound.

It fits into the american cultural paradigm of appeal of the open road, and lets people feel like they are tapping into the Rebel Without a Cause myth.

Coming to India, cruisers rapidly breakdown. We don't have The Open Road in the american style. We have densely populated chaos. The experience that one would have of a cruiser in the US is not really possible here. Their huge size and lazy handling mean that they are cumbersome in most indian conditions.

So what are we left with? Harley ads in India are always pushing the american national myth of the open road, freedom, rebellion. But what is a cheesy but still relevant exploitation of a national ethos in america becomes cynical marketing when transplanted to India. Oh, I've no doubt that it works to sell harleys here, but indian culture does not celebrate individualism, individual freedom, rebellion against the norms and values of the mainstream, the dream of the rebel heading out onto the open road to leave behind what he has left behind. In the US, most harley buyers aren't individualist rebels either. But enough are. And the rest get a chance to play the role of rebel by buying a harley. In India, with no instinctive grasp of the amerian ethos, we are left with little more than a pretence of macho flashy cool.

There is no other reason to buy a cruiser. Macho, flashy, cool.

But the thing is, cruisers are so cumbersome in INdian conditions, you have to be honest with yourself and consider whether their cumbersome nature will overwhelm their coolness. My dad's brother rides a Kawasaki Vulcan 2000LT and I've ridden it on the vast open roads of suburban washington, and I am mortified to think of riding that thing in India.

For all the driving I do on the highways, I've never seen a harley out on the open road. I see them parked in show off fashion in prestigious gathering places like Khan Market, and out on sunday morning group rides around the roads of lutyens delhi with Hayabusas and what not.

So my first statement in response to your question is this: Don't go about this with the dreamy diffuse thinking that have. Be clear about what you want and what you're going to get. Cruisers are large, sluggish handling, cumbersome bikes that will get you a lot of adoring attention, perhaps fill your own heart with joy and the sight and sound, but are not likely, in India, to produce the adventure and freedom that sells cruisers in the west.

I envsion myself riding back to delhi after a day's ride and I shudder in horror to think of riding a rocket III in delhi evening traffic from the kundli border to, say, defence colony or new friends colony. And I try to think of the roads where this bike could be enjoyed, apart from the heavily trafficked national highways, there aren't any roads around here where the rough surface wouldn't wreck the pleasure.

Still, if you are determined, my thoughts on these bikes:

1. Triumph Rocket III. I love this bike for its longitudnally placed inline triple engine. But I'd never buy it. Its far too heavy, far too large, far too long.

2. Ducati Diavel. Better handling than any cruiser, damn fast too. if you are determined to buy a cruiser, this one would be the least cumbersome.

3. HD Rod. Not sure which one you mean. The watercooled harley? That'll be somewhere between the diavel and rocket III in manageability.

I am making such sparse comments because the looks you can judge for yourself, the performance you don't care about, your brand preference I can't comment on, the handling doesn't matter much except so far as their manageability is concerned.

My own advice would be to forget about the cruisers and buy an AT instead. AT = Adventure Tourer. They are the type of bike best suited to Indian conditions for those more interested in the ride than the poser value. They are manageable in the worst conditions of traffic, they can handle almost any condition of road comfortably, they are comfortable for touring and adventure riding, and they handle well enough to be quite entertaining. They are the SUVs of bikes.

I wish BMW offered the F800GS in India, but it doesn't, so your choice is the R1200GS. If and when Triumph comes to India, you'll have the option of the Tiger 800XC. If those don't excite you, there is the multistrada. If the ATs don't do it for you, I recommend a Suzuki Bandit 1250 or a Ducati monster.


Any of these bikes will be more usable, more fun, more satisfying than the cruisers you have named. The only reason to buy a cruiser instead of these bikes is if you must have the style and image of the cruisers, whether for your own satisfaction or to impress other people. I am not saying that style and image are wrong reasons to buy a bike. You should buy whatever fits your reasons for buying. but you ought to be clear on what the reasons are. If looks, style, prestige, and posing values are not at the top of your list, don't buy a cruiser. If they are, buy a cruiser.

Last edited by Harbir : 20th November 2012 at 07:28.
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Old 20th November 2012, 08:01   #19
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

@ harbir - the statement made by you on adventure tourers (AT) that " they are the SUVs of bikes " was brilliant. I cant agree enough to the face that they are the best genera of bikes for Indian riding conditions.
Although not exactly an AT and on a different tangent i did a delhi - chandi trip on a kawasaki 650 just to gauge its performance compared to my fat gsxrr and I was amazed how well this bike is suited for our roads , city / highway both. The thread starter has a far greater budget to play along with and I think the bikes he can consider should be far more practical and enjoyable than the ones he is considering.
Having said all this , I think one should get a bike that he is passionate about. It may not be the most practical but if it can give you a smile every time you park it in your garage after a ride , I think its a decision well made.

Last edited by bigron : 20th November 2012 at 08:17.
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Old 20th November 2012, 08:11   #20
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

The Ninja 650 is also a very good choice for INdian conditions. I would have prefered the ergonomics of the Versys cousin of the ninja 650 for its AT like riding posture, but on the whole the Ninja650 is far more usable in Indian conditions than cruisers. It is light, maneuverable, and agile as needed for our conditions, even if it is much less so than the typical Indian 125 tiddler bike.
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Old 20th November 2012, 19:33   #21
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

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Originally Posted by Harbir View Post

There is no other reason to buy a cruiser. Macho, flashy, cool.
Though I agree with you on most things you have said about Indian riding conditions, I am not in agreement with generalizing statements.

India is a large country and not all places are the same. I try and ride almost everyday (except when it rains) and have managed to clock some serious mileage on all my bikes, Harley included. It's all about one's priorities in life and opportunities available.

Now, the OP has stated his choices, obviously after having studied the market to some extent, and his own preferences factored in. Now whether he rides the nuts off the bike, or it stays as a lawn ornament is his choice completely, but that does not mean he cant ask for opinions on his choices.

If thought practically, a Karizma or CBR250R are probably the best suited bikes for India, and can do anything and go anywhere comfortably. But I doubt that was an opinion the OP wanted to hear.

I just saw this thread go all over the place with choices, and felt sorry for the OP. I am guilty as well by introducing the Griso.

@AlokSriva, Hope you make a decision that makes you happy, whichever bike you choose.

Cheers

Ride Safe.
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Old 21st November 2012, 22:39   #22
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Ok,

Without making too much of a hash of it... My humble suggestions-

Start with a 2nd hand cbr600f4i ! Very forgiving and a pleasure to ride.

THEN take your call. You say cruiser, but how much are you going to ride it? Are you going to do really long distance ? There are hyper sport and there are sports tourers which perfectly fine for the 200km ride on the weekend.

Cheers.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 00:01   #23
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

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.. You should buy whatever fits your reasons for buying. but you ought to be clear on what the reasons are..
Thanks a lot Harbir! Sincerely appreciate the efforts and time you took to write such a detailed explanation, pros and cons, and most importantly, a critical review of requirements.

What those reasons are? Hmm, hmm, umm, hmm.. have gone nuts
Need - there isn't one.
Practicality - never was on my list. On a ligher note, with 240 section rear tyres for each of the shortlised bikes (considering Indian roads/traffic), let me lookup what this term stands for

Irrespective of the bike I end up buying, and no matter how much I drive, I am pretty certain my usage won't ever be able to justify the purchase. I might end up spending more time polishing all that chrome than what I spend riding, but are such purchases ever made on account of a reason? You fall for it, and that's it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bigron View Post
.. Having said all this , I think one should get a bike that he is passionate about. It may not be the most practical but if it can give you a smile every time you park it in your garage after a ride , I think its a decision well made.
You said it buddy!

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Originally Posted by gthang View Post
.. @AlokSriva, Hope you make a decision that makes you happy, whichever bike you choose..
Thanks gthang!

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Ok,

THEN take your call. You say cruiser, but how much are you going to ride it? Are you going to do really long distance ?
Doesn't matter dear friend, there are certain things you end up doing on account of your heart than head. Probably this is one of those for me. I don't know, I might be riding 5 kms or 500 kms in one go, but the ride ought to be the one which I fell for and not what I compromised with.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 00:33   #24
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

Given ur requirments I would recommend HD Fat Boy. Pure cruiser looks ( since you want a cruiser) , nice road presence.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 01:43   #25
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

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Ducati India has its horror stories; Triumph had to abort its flight even before it could hit the runway; HD is the only one with an unblemished(?) history so far in India.
Ducati anywhere has its share of horror stories - the Italians are temperamental bikes, and this is well known despite the fact that their bikes are so desirable. That rules it out for long individual rides, though if you live in a town with a decent service/spares setup you should be okay with short rides out of town.

Triumph - despite the odd story of small niggles, they seem to have a much better reliability story overall. Especially for the Bonnie/Scrambler/Tiger XC800, do not know many with the larger Triumphs though. Not sure about support in India (or anywhere outside UK/W Europe, really).

The V Rod's engine is considered fairly bulletproof. Dont know much about the cycle parts, but generally speaking the V Rod owners tend to visit the service centres like most cars - only for oil changes. This is very unlike other Harleys whose owners camp out in garages under the elaborate excuse of "customization"(like Jeeps). It is a fairly competent bike, and HD seem to be at least a bit serious about their service network.

I cannot believe that I actually suggested an HD, but thats how it pans out between these three.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 02:03   #26
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

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Ducati anywhere has its share of horror stories - the Italians are temperamental bikes, and this is well known despite the fact that their bikes are so desirable. That rules it out for long individual rides, though if you live in a town with a decent service/spares setup you should be okay with short rides out of town.
Longest, if at all I end up doing, would be 460 kms one-way stretch to my hometown. Therefore, this problem would be there for any of the brands under consideration. Heck, let me be realistic, my hometown doesn't even have a Mitsu dealer/workshop

Quote:
Triumph - .. Not sure about support in India
They are yet to open their shop in India - 2nd quarter of 2013 is what is being claimed now. Initially they were to be functional during 3rd quarter of 2012.

Quote:
The V Rod's engine is considered fairly bulletproof. Dont know much about the cycle parts, but generally speaking the V Rod owners tend to visit the service centres like most cars - only for oil changes. This is very unlike other Harleys whose owners camp out in garages under the elaborate excuse of "customization"(like Jeeps).
That's because it ain't really a Harley engine
Jokes apart, the only deal breaker for a Night Rod Special would be the riding posture. Other than that, there isn't anything else that the bike can be faulted with - of course, this is purely my perspective.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 02:15   #27
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

Is this going to be your first bike?
As Harbir and Big Ron have already said,I too would recommend the Ninja 650 whole heartedly.Though it does not have the oomph of the Americans and Italians,but it is almost the perfect bike for Indian roads(Though stock exhaust can bottom out under extreme conditions),ample power,excellent low end torque,easily manageable in traffic,and not to mention,the seat and handlebar set up make up for an almost perfect riding posture for long rides,if you can live without the Oomph and a lacklusture exhaust note,this is the bike to purchase,and not to mention,you will save a lot of moolah,and probably you can purchase a Entry level Ducati as well with the money saved.
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Old 22nd November 2012, 02:36   #28
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Is this going to be your first bike?
As Harbir and Big Ron have already said,I too would recommend the Ninja 650 whole heartedly.Though it does not have the oomph of the Americans and Italians,but it is almost the perfect bike for Indian roads(Though stock exhaust can bottom out under extreme conditions),ample power,excellent low end torque,easily manageable in traffic,and not to mention,the seat and handlebar set up make up for an almost perfect riding posture for long rides,if you can live without the Oomph and a lacklusture exhaust note,this is the bike to purchase,and not to mention,you will save a lot of moolah,and probably you can purchase a Entry level Ducati as well with the money saved.
I was wondering why haven't we heard from you, and here you go.. ought to have wondered for something else, next time I will keep a tab on what I wonder

If I don't buy any of these bikes, I can buy an X1 according to an advert in y'day's TOI - 21.xx ex showroom! But am I hitched to it? Absolutely not..

There's a saying in Hindi which roughly translates to - if one's aunt had moustaches, she wouldn't be the aunt, but the uncle..
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Old 22nd November 2012, 08:52   #29
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

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That's because it ain't really a Harley engine
Please see this pic and an old brochure, courtesy www.1130cc.com

http://www.porscheengineering.com/fi...letype=default
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Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?-hd-porsche.jpg  

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Old 22nd November 2012, 09:04   #30
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Default Re: Triumph Rocket, HD Rod or Ducati Diavel?

I wouldn't get too excited about the porsche designed engine. harley didn't have any expertise in water cooled engines, and when it started to look like air cooled engines wouldn't be able to meet future emissions regulations and they needed to develop the experience, they contracted porsche consulting service to develop a water pumper for them. It meets harley's design and characteristics brief, and there is little about it that whispers porsche. And as V-twin motorcycle engines go, its good, but not much of a stand out. What it does is bring modern cooling, emissions, and performance together with the characteristic harley sound and feel. thats its achievement.

Last edited by Harbir : 22nd November 2012 at 09:09.
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