Why I decided to buy the Ather 450X after test riding many petrol bikes

I was riding a spaceship around. A hardcore gasoline sniffing, 2-stroke loving, mechanical engineer smitten by a glorified appliance with wheels, the heresy I thought to myself.

BHPian Nayra recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

We thought we were most probably going to take the second hand route but read aargee and nitro.1000bhp's comments and decided to go visit Hero, Honda and Suzuki's showrooms nonetheless and we think we have decided which vehicle we would end up with.


The first showroom we checked and and it was such a bad experience that I do not believe we would want to ever touch a bike made by them. Walked into the showroom which felt less like a showroom and more like a warehouse but still fine, as it looked like they were mainly catering to the commuter class of vehicles. Saw row of Xpulses parked in front of the showroom and was checking it out while dad was parking his car. A sales person comes out and tells me to not touch the bikes and asked me what I wanted. Thought it was fairly rude but figured this is how Hero showrooms worked. Told him I was looking for a Splendor or any high mileage bike so he calls me inside.

Walked in and He gives me a bunch of brochures, walks away and starts gossiping about some coworker with another sales person. Wah! how polite and welcoming.

Dad enters now and I told him what had happened and let him take the lead. He starts by asking for a test ride of a Splendor Xtec to which both the guys start laughing and tell him no one takes a test ride of a Splendor, they just buy it. Dad is not really the best most composed guy so I figured it is best we walk away to avoid an escalation. Never again.


A much better experience. Polite and the employees actually seemed interested to sell their vehicles. Took the test ride of the Honda Activa and well, perhaps the Aprilia has spoilt us but it felt extremely weird to ride? Oddly light and toyish. Dad is a bike guy who hated the dynamics so much he turned back 50m into the ride and cancelled the bike instantly.

So I guess scooters are out of the equation for now. (or so we thought).

Asked him about other commuter bikes to which he said they do not have any test ride bikes at the moment but can arrange on requesting beforehand.

A funny incident though, parked my Ninja right in front of the showroom and there were a bunch of sales people standing outside. They saw my getting off the bikes and one of them went "Sir this is not Bigwing franchise". He looked fairly confused when I told him I knew and wanted to check out commuter bikes


A brief and to the point visit with no shenanigans. Was on the Access within 10 minutes of entering the showroom and while it felt much better to ride, the uneasiness of the small wheeled scooters did not dissipate.

Saw the Burgman and though I was thought it was swell but my dad said he would rather walk around than be seen riding that. To each their own.

Upon asking for any commuter bikes we were informed that they had only 1 bike named the Hayate at the moment. The only commuter bike which had a test ride and it was much better than riding scooters but the drop in power relative to the Ninja was something I had not considered. Perhaps because I had ridden it back to back, it felt even more lethargic, almost like I was towing along heavy boulders. Regardless, much better than scooter dynamics and our focus was going to be on bikes.


The wild card entry. We passed by the Ather showroom while returning home and figured why not? Walked in and my god what a breathe of fresh air which I guess comes with the much higher price point of the products they sell but more than anything what I noticed was the respectful nature of every person. I told him straight up it is outside my budget but I am curious to which his demeanour did not change. Sat my down, explained every aspect of the vehicle from top to bottom and answered the 100 queries my dad and I had and offered a test ride even though we did not ask for it (LEARN HERO MOTOCORP).

We test rode the Ather 450x and it felt like I was riding a spaceship around. A hardcore gasoline sniffing, 2-stroke loving, mechanical engineer smitten by a glorified appliance with wheels, the heresy I thought to myself. It was absolutely fabulous. Felt extremely close to the dynamics of the SR150 without the weird weightless feeling we got from other scooter. Clean, cheap energy coupled with the solar panels we have in our home, its not just cheap but almost free. The range was adequate and barely any components to break so reliable too. The perfect vehicle for our needs. Well almost perfect since it was a clear 1 lakh over my budget.

It was my dad's turn to take it for a spin and I half expected him to turn back halfway through and hate it but no, he rode and kept riding again and again, gets off the bike and just goes "Yup this works" and as they say parents know best so who was I to tell him otherwise. Went inside inquired about the booking amount and variants and told him we will book the bike on Thursday due to auspicious reasons. The wonders good and respectful sales associates can do.

We (mainly me) are still a bit confused about whether EV is the way to go especially considering how absurdly over budget we went but I think our usage case does make a good argument but it is still unnerving. We have zero experience with EVs because it us straight up sacrilegious in our household. "Internal combustion is the heartbeat of modern civilization" as my dad says.

After riding the Hayate, I know for a fact that if we had been able to test ride the Splendor, we would have certainly bought it if it was anything like the Hayate but Hero does what it does and we do what we do. Customer experience takes precedence for my dad and if we are treated like a nuisance and mocked before buying the bike, I do not want to think about the experience if problems arise after buying the bike.

Well there you have it! Ather 450x here we come (for now).

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