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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Security tips: Mistakes to avoid during CCTV implementation

Closed Circuit Television or CCTV seems to be projected as a solution to lots of security problems, including terrorism. Govt/Police department wants CCTVs to be installed in all the places- ATMs, bars, public places etc. But installing CCTV alone is just not adequate, one should factor the following: 
  • There should be adequate lighting for a CCTV to be able to capture decent pictures. CCTVs do not have flash and can’t capture good footage in darkness. Hence it is important to have adequate streetlights that work in the night.
  • CCTVs need maintenance. Most departments install CCTV for compliance purpose and then forget to upkeep them. CCTVs are susceptible to bad weather, broken wirings, physical/electrical damage etc. Unless they are inspected periodically and maintained well, they are useless
  • CCTVS should have good resolution. Low resolution cameras can only capture shape of the person and can’t capture his/her face from a distance clearly. This defies the purpose.
  • Public should be careful about those who walk around with their faces covered - those wearing helmets, burkhas and other form of stuff to cover their face. Without a clear face, the footage captured is practically useless. Some ATMs have sticker indicating NOT to wear helmets, caps etc while using ATM.  But this is not enforced in most places. Also no one dares to ask a Burkha clad women (or whoever is inside it) to open up and show their faces.
  • CCTVs should be checked for infinite looping. In all action movies, a general practice is to fix a bug to the camera that loops a fixed footage infinitely, so that those in control room won’t see live action but repeated replay of pre-recorded footage. I am not sure how easy it is to hack a camera and make it loop the same footage. One trick to check for this is to keep an analogue clock in-front of the camera or check it manually at regular intervals.
  • CCTVs should be more than one in number and should cover couple of angle. If there’s only one camera, it is very easy for a culprit to do a crime in such a way that he never have to expose his face to the camera. Having at least 2 cameras capturing from different position/angle will reduce such a risk.
  • People who monitor CCTVs should have an eye for suspicious behavior. Say a van stops right in-front of the camera blocking the view and stays there for long time, security staff should have an instinct to check for possible suspicious activities on the other side of the van.
  • CCTV backup duration: Most of the low cost CCTVs store footage for very short time. Systems that can store footage for at least a week or more will be ideal.
  • Choosing between video and stills: While CCTVs can record video footage, capturing high res video all day long needs large storage space. So some CCTVs are configured to take still images at regular intervals- say every 30 seconds, which helps save on storage space. This compromise has some disadvantages as accidents can happen in between the 2 still images… (A camera that captured plane hitting Pentagon building during 9/11 couldn't get the impact correctly because of similar situation)

Road trip- Bike vs Car: Which is better?

Most of my road trips were in cars. Recently I did a few trips on bikes, thanks to bike rentals that are now available and because of my recently bought new bike. Both bikes and cars have their advantages and disadvantages, when being used for a road trip. In this post of mine, I am trying to compare the two. 

#
Feature/Function
Car
Bike
Winner
1
Travel Time
Usually take less time
Usually slower, except in city conditions where bikes can negotiate traffic easily
Car
2
Top Speed
High
Relatively less
Car
3
Toll booth
Always paid, causes delay in case of long queues, factor about 2-3 Rs per km for toll expenses
Usually free, except few places like NICE Road etc, I could catch up with all cars that overtook me at the next toll both where they waited in queue while I could zip ahead in the bike
Bike
4
Luggage
More space
Less space. Painful if there’re lots of stuff to carry
Car
5
Safety
Relatively Safer. During minor accidents car’s body takes the hit, in case of medium accidents seat belt and airbags can save lives.

Cars are more stable in case of sudden obstacles like a pothole, stones etc
Safety is poor despite wearing helmet, jackets etc. Ride might be thrown off the bike in case of impact, skid etc.

Bike airbags are available, but not common
Car
6
Fuel Economy
Low
High, bikes can usually go twice or thrice the distance than a car for same amount of money
Bike
7
No of passengers
4-5 comfortably
Max 2, not possible if both have a bag each
Car
8
Luggage Safety
Bags and other stuff can be kept in car and locked
Since everything is exposed, leaving stuff behind could be risky. Either one has to carry it along or find a cloakroom or plan other means to ensure safey of luggage
Car
9
Comfort
AC, Heating, foldable seats on which one can sleep, more comfortable driving position
Not as comfortable as a car, frequent stops are required to relax and refresh
Car
10
Maneuverability & Access
Narrow roads are not accessible by car. Parking, turning etc will be difficult.
Bikes are more fun to cut a corner at high speed, negotiate small roads/congested roads. Bike can go wherever a car can go, not true other way round
Bike
11
Cost of ownership
Relatively high
Relatively Cheaper to own and maintain
Bike
12
Flat tyres
Relatively easy to manage because of spare wheel
Manageable for bikes with tubeless tyres, puncture kit and a foot pump, but not everyone carries all of these.
Difficult for radials (tube tyres)
Car
13
Protection from weather
High. Car’s body offers basic defense against adverse nature
Poor. Rider has to suffer chilling wind, rain, hot sun and other elements
Car
14
Formation, Group rides and photography
Traveling in multiple cars is not that fun as each car will be on its own. You can’t make much formations.
Riding in a group of bikes is more fun, as one can form a formation, single/double file lines etc. It is more fun in group travel than cars
Bike
15
Public appreciation
This depends on how expensive/exotic the car or bike looks like. Riding a 6 lakh Harley can get you more attention than a 9 lakh Ertiga
-
16    
 Night Drive              
 Fairly comfortable
 Not comfortable, not safe
Car
​17       ​Community Support    ​Not many. Car owners often go on trip alone, do not go in large groups of cars. There're few groups but mostly online, not as active as bike groups​There're many​ active biker communities-by city (Ex: Bangalorebikers), by Bike maker (Ex MadBulls). Very easy to interact with other bikers and plan road tripsBike

As you see, cars have more advantages- 6 for bikes vs 10 for cars. What are your thoughts?

Shettihalli submerged church updates

Shettihalli holy rosary church is an ancient church by the river side, submerged during a dam construction. Only when water levels recede in winter & summer, church is visible. Located at some 16kms off Hasana town in Karnataka, the church (whatever of it remains) draws tourists who visit this area and are aware of its presence.

This was my 3rd visit to Shettihalli. First time was in May 2011 courtesy Hoysala Village Resort. That time it was peak summer, water level was very low and lots of greenery made the scene very photogenic. Check this post for photos.

Went again in October that year, but then at that time it was almost submerged [View pics here].

I was curious to find out what will be the state in December end, which is in between the two extreme seasons I’d been there earlier. So when I had an opportunity, rode there again and below are the pictures as seen on December 28th.  Water levels had receded few meters away from the church. I reached there at about 3PM. Couldn’t afford to wait till the sunset, had to move on.




One noticeable thing was that couple of makeshift roads have been made leading to the church, so now it is possible to drive up to the church.

Few older pics for quick comparison. Each year, few more bricks from the church become victim to the water flooding. Do visit once before its completely gone.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Royal Enfield Bullet: Hate it or Love it-But you can't ignore it!

There are two kind of bikers- those who love Royal Enfield products (collectively known as bullets) and those who hate it (and prefer faster, more agile bikes, mostly from Japanese makers like Honda, Kawasaki etc)

Recently a blog post by  Akhil Kalsh attracted lots of attention and criticism for detailing several  reasons why the author thought he wouldn’t buy a Bullet, ever. This post also quoted another similar post by Yogesh Sarkar. When I read Akhil’s post, I could agree with most of the points but differed on a few. I wanted to respond, but felt it may not be right without experiencing a bullet. I have ridden few Royal Enfield products for super short span, borrowed from friends but recently I had a long enough ride in a bullet. Rented a RE Dessert Storm for 4 days from Bengaluru based Wicked Ride and rode for about 1000kms. Of course 4 days/1000kms is not long enough to judge a bike, but it gives fair enough time to experience the bike and assess it on various critical parameters. Based on my above Bullet ride experience, I am responding to 8 reasons listed by Akhil as to why he would never ever buy a bullet. 

1 Bullets have very low top speed: I agree.
I rode a RE Dessert Storm, a gold coloured variant of otherwise black & while bullet 500. It had 500CC engine, three times bigger than my Apache 160. But Dessert Storm’s top speed was pathetic. I could touch 100kmph with comfort, but starts to vibrate terribly thereafter. If there’re a runway like long straight empty road it is possible to push the bullet to 115-120kmph, but vibration and discomfort didn’t let me sustain that speed. Official top speed for Dessert Storm is 130kmph. I am not sure if that is tested on real roads with actual wind resistance and other stuff. I guess it is tested on the RE test bed, in which the bike remains stationery, only wheels rotate against the rollers on the floor. (Note: Each RE engine is hand tuned and hence there could be minor difference in their performance. )

Probably 10 years ago a top speed of 100kmph was fairly adequate, as either the roads were bad or too much traffic never let you accelerate. But today most of the highways are nice, wide and often let you ride at 120-130kmph or more at least for short durations, if not for entire journey.  Apache 160 can touch 110kmph easily, so a 3 times bigger engine bullet is expected to go a bit faster.

Yes, official speed limit in India is about 85kmph or so, but that is never practical and seldom followed. (If everyone is serious about implementing them then why manufacture cars and bikes that can go twice as fast? Ban the sale of such cars)

Reasons for RE’s poor top speed is partly its inefficient old tech engine and mainly the heavy weight of the bike it needs to pull along. When on a long ride, I might enjoy slow ride for first 50kms or so. After that I would prefer to reach my destination in reasonable time and spend time on other things like taking rest, site seeing etc. So personally I would prefer a bit faster bike, than going super slow on a bullet all day long.

Speed is a relative thing, but I feel Bullets should be made to go a bit faster in comfort. Today even 150-180cc bikes have better top speed than any RE Bike.

2 Bullets are Unreliable: Not entirely.
Earlier Cast Iron engines were indeed unreliable. But modern bullet engines are fairly reliable. During my 4 day, 1000kms journey I didn’t face any problems. Self-start worked fine in first attempt even after an all-night cold. No maintenance needed, no breakdowns. Only weak point is radial tyres, which is covered under another point. Also most of the small town mechanics can fix a bullet. But if other modern bikes like KTM/Kawasaki/CBR etc breaks down, small town mechanics may not have the know-how, tools and spares to fix them. Shipping the bike back to authorized service centre might be the only option.

It is also true that few decade old Royal Enfield bikes are still operational. Most of the competition hasn’t been around that long to assess their durability.

3 Bullets make lots of noise…Yes
Yes, they do make noise. Many villages seemed to think bullet runs on diesel, because it makes sound similar to their diesel pumpsets and generators. But then, I don’t have a complaint on this aspect. It is sort of defining characteristic to the bullet.  It also helps others to take notice of the bike. 
4 Bullets have really Bad brakes: Not really
I find Dessert Storm’s braking power adequate to its speed. Thunderbird comes with rear disc, but dessert storm has drum brakes in the rear, but I could stop it when I wanted and within the distance I wanted. Of course had the top speed been 150kmph, I would definitely vote for more stronger braking power.

5 RE bullets give poor mileage: Not true.
During my 4 day, near 1000km ride, I got an approximate 33 kmpl on the 500cc engine (not precise calculation, add +/- 2 kmpl) . This is with most of the distance covered in above average speed, at about 80-100kmph. I have heard the 350cc bullet classic gives around 50-55kmph, which I think is fair enough. Modern bullets give a mileage at par with their competition. (but competition is lighter and faster)

6 Bullets are very heavy: True.
Royal Enfield has launched Continental GT, which is much lighter, despite having same heavy engine. Other Royal Enfield bikes are heavy and are difficult for one person to lift if they fall down or get stuck in mud.
Some say this makes the bike more stable at high speed. I would agree if that high speed is 150kmph and bike is capable of surviving cross winds because of its weight.  Even 180-200cc bikes can sustain 100-110 kmph easily without getting toppled over, so Bullet’s extra weight is hard to justify. It only wastes engine power, making the bike slower and less fuel efficient.

While some weight can be shed by replacing mud guard and other body parts with plastic, most of the weight is in the engine and chassis, changing which will take huge investment, which RE is not likely to make in near future.

Bullet’s traditional customers, those in 30-35years of age or more, reasonably built and have been dreaming of bullets for long since their child hood might enjoy all these characters of bullets. But most of today’s youngsters seem to prefer  faster, more agile bikes. Check in any college campus- for every 1.5 lakh+ bike that roles in, how many are bullets and how many are from competition. Or ask those who bought a CBR/Kawasaki or KTM recently if they ever considered a bullet. Most likely that these younger customers do not prefer a bullet. Unless Royal Enfield adapts to latest technologies and makes bikes more appealing to younger crowd, their existing customer base will soon vanish.

Police department used to buy lots of bullets for its officials. But today I see most of the police staff ride a Pulsar or Apache. (Gujarath police even bought a few Harley Davidsons, so much for Make in India campaign). In my opinion all these indicate reduced preference towards Bullets in comparison with cheaper, better and more practical alternatives. Gone are the days when offer goers opted for a scooter, few bought Hero Hondas and those who were rich and well-built bought a bullet. Bike customers have more options today than they had a decade ago and RE needs to give people enough reasons why their bikes are better.

Imagine how it will be if Royal Enfield can launch a variant of Thunderbird with liquid cooled FI engine, alloy wheels, tubeless tyres, ABS, a top speed of say 150kmph etc. They can give stiff competition to Harley Davidson and win new customer base. I am sure none of the existing customers would complain either.

7 Bullets have spoke wheel with tube tyres- Agree
I fully agree. I rode all 1000kms keeping myself prepared for the worst case scenario if one of the tyres go flat and I might have to seek help. Every town I passed I kept an eye for tyre pucture shops, whose service I might need. Fortunately I had no flat tyres. That doesn’t mean bullet’s spoke wheels and tube tyres are very reliable. Replacing them with stylish alloy wheels and tubeless tyres could have been the simplest improvement Royal Enfield could have done, without any huge investments. Tubeless tyres could have made the whole bike more reliable for long rides. If Harley can make it, I am sure RE can as well, if only they make up their mind. 
  
8 Royal Enfield bikes have long waiting period- not true
Royal Enfield has started their second factory near Oragadam and waiting period is expected to come down. Not sure how much this has contributed to lowering waiting period. The main bottleneck seems to be the two brothers who hand paint the fuel tanks… The capacity of whole company is limited by the availability and ability of these 2 guys to paint the tanks. If die-hard fans think this hand job is fashionable, let them wait. But I am not sure if everyone cares for this. RE should try selling machine painted bullets or bullets with only plain colour without any additional hand paint work, if such bikes can be taken to market much earlier to waiting customers.

I called few RE showrooms in Chennai today- I was told Thunderbird will be available in a month's time and most of the models will be available in a few months. So unless you are very particular about a colour, variant etc, waiting period is not too much.
 

Overall, with my 4 day, 1000kms ride, I am not really impressed with the bullet. At least, it is not my kind of bike. I would go with lighter, faster and more agile bikes than a Harley or Bullet. Royal Enfield was always slow in catching up with technology. I hope they do catch up soon and enhance their offerings, don’t get stuck with old school of thought and sentimental feelings. Let us take an example of Mahindra & Mahindra- once they had only jeeps- rugged vehicles low on comfort and features but high on utility, offroad and durability. Mahindra didn’t get stuck to that. They did launch modern offerings like Scorpio, Xylo, XUV500 etc which were feature rich and modern enough at par with competition. M&M still has Thar and Boleros for those who prefer rough & tough ones. So RE should follow a similar path where the bikes are upgraded in terms of features and technology, while retaining the core DNA.

That is my thought on bullets. You’re welcome to express yours through comments. Valid data points and constructive criticism is welcome. However please mind your language. Certain offensive terms deemed acceptable elsewhere in internet may not be Ok here. Such comments might be moderated.

Read Srini's review of Thunderbird 500

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Angsana Oasis Resort and Spa Bangalore review

Spent 2 nights at Angsana Resort and Spa recently, located on the outskirts of Bengaluru city. This post is a quick overview of what is good and what is not that good at this resort. We were there for a company outing paid for by my employer.

Angsana seem to be focusing mostly on corporate customers and not individuals- I tried checking rates on their website but it didn't reveal any. I asked in reception if they can share the room rent details, I was told they don't have any but I can get in touch with sales person for more details.
 
Good things about Angsana Resort:
  • Very huge campus with lots of rooms, open areas and independent villas
  • Away from city- very silent and serene (except for occasional train passing sound)
  • Spacious rooms & Balcony
  • Good tennis court, Squash court and other facilities.
  • Fairly friendly staff
  • Many birds can be spotted in the campus if you have an eye.
  • Well shaped pool, though not long or deep enough, is good for quick swim or water games.
 Some pictures of the campus below
  
  

Not so good things what I experienced at Angsana Oasis Resort and Spa, Bengaluru:
1. Only 1 key card per room, even for double occupancy. This is the single most inconvenient I faced in Angsana resort. I had to share room with a colleague and resort people said only 1 key card per room. What this meant is that myself and my room mate couldn’t roam around at liberty- always had to keep coordinating where the other person is, to collect or hand over the key card. At times other person might be sleeping, in the pool or doing something else and if you need to enter the room, it becomes very inconvenient.  I asked at reception why can’t they program another key card and give me, the answer I got was “if we do that previous card will get disabled”.  This is very odd. Suryagarh inJaisalmer could provide me with secondary key card, as I wanted to keep a card inside to charge my devices while I am away. I might want to sleep while my partner is out partying- I need to wake up in the middle of night to let him in. He may be somewhere in the resort playing or doing something else without having his phone next to him, I need to physically trace him down and get the card. Very inconvenient and annoying.

I think they should fix this on priority- allow at least 2 cars to be operational for rooms that have double occupancy.

2. Locating our rooms in the night during check in was bit of a challenge. Though there were signages, they are not illuminated, so room numbers weren’t clearly visible from a distance during the night. We had to literally go close to each block and read the numbers till we found our rooms. I entered the campus through rear entrance- there was no security and I took some time to locate the reception area as there were no navigation aid.

3. There are a few monkeys and stray dogs in the campus. Be careful about your children and expensive items when in the open.
  
4. No bath tub. Shower cabin is too small for a resort. Can’t stretch arms as it will hit the walls.
5. Shampoo, Moisturizer etc are stored in very big bottles. I am not sure if they will be replaced for every guest.

Harley Davidson India Street 750 FAQs

This post provides quick answers to various questions I have been getting during past few days about the Harley Davidson Street 750 that I rented. 
Q: What is the mileage this bike gives?
A: I got 20.55kmpl. (This was the most asked question about the bike, everyone is obsessed with mileage than anything else)

Q: How much does the Street 750 cost?
A: About 5.5 lakhs on road in Bengaluru. Expect an annual insurance spend of about 20k, maintenance expense of another 5-10k minimum per service.

Q: Isn’t it heavy?
A: Yes it is, but very much manageable by ordinary folks. If you’ve ridden a bullet and Bajaj Avenger, you will be able to handle street 750. Wider tyres ensure better grip and centre of gravity is very low, so there is not much chance of rolling over. 
Q: From where did you rent it? How much did it cost?
A: Rented it from WickedRide.in in Bengaluru for Rs 4000 a day. More details in this post.

Q: What is the rental process? Is there any risk?
A: Rental process is fairly simple. There is a risk that should the bike suffer any damage, you will have to pay for it in full. So in a worst case scenario you run a risk of 5-6 lakhs. You will have to give a cheque and passport as security.

Q: How was the ride?
A: Feels good for the first timer on Harley, but nothing enigmatic as engine sound is not that attention grabbing. Surge of raw power is overwhelming. You should read my detailed review of the bike for more details (coming up soon)

Q: Is the Street 750 good for city ride?
A: Street 750 is Harley’s cheapest offering in India and its official description says it has been customized for city riding. I could manage it in the city and I haven’t ridden other Harleys to compare. Of course due to its sheer size Harley doesn’t have the agility or maneuverability of a regular bike- say Apache or Duke etc, but Street is very much drivable in city with comfort.
 
Q: What is HD street 750’s top speed?
A: I rode up to 145 kmph on NICE road, couldn’t push faster due to lakh of clear straight road and its poor braking. But I think it can go even faster, up to 160-170kmph.

Q: What is Good, Bad and Ugly about Harley Davidson Street 750
A: Good: Lots of power, stylish design, comfortable for long ride in modest speed.

Bad: Not much technology- no fuel gauge, not enough information in the console, poor rear seat posture

Ugly: Poor rear brake, Headlight that can’t be switched off, which means everyone on the road will blink their fingers at you asking to switch it off.
[Read Detailed review]
 
Q: Is it worth buying?
A: From the perspective of someone who thinks 5.5 lakhs is lot of money to spend on a bike, my answer to above question will be ‘No’. Given the cost of the bike, its maintenance and insurance, the value proposition doesn’t add up. Street 750 is certainly better than bullets in terms of power, cruisability etc, but not incredibly great. You can buy a Thunderbird 500 or Duke 390 for regular rides and rent the Harley occasionally when you feel like.

Of course, target customers for Harley are those for whom 5 lakhs is a disposable income. Those who already have different vehicles for various purposes and would buy Harley Davidson for its iconic status, not for practical usage. So for such people, few drawbacks of a Harley isn’t a constraint.

Monday, December 22, 2014

11 benefits Hero Splendor has but Harley Davidson street 750 doesn't!

You may call me insane. Who in his right mind would compare a Rs 50000 Hero Splendor with a superbike like Harley Davidson Street 750, which is 10 times more expensive? Bikers will probably hit back for coming up with such a pointless comparison. But irrespective of whether you like it or not, India's largest selling motorcycle, Hero Splendor has to its credit certain features and benefit that Harley Davidson Street 750 that I rode recently can't boast of.

Read this post to know more about Harley Davidson rental in Bangalore

So without wasting much time, here we go
Hero Spendor Benefits over Street 750

1. Splendor has a Fuel Gauge, Street 750 doesn't
Street 750 doesn't have a fuel gauge to indicate how much fuel is left. It only has a low fuel warning. What this means is when on a ride, you have no clue as to how much fuel is left and how far you can go. There is no main/reserve lever either. Probably HD believes in Man Maximum, Machine Minimum philosophy wherein rider is expected to know everything and shouldn't be counting on the machine much. So you should either keep refilling every few hundred kms or should carry some extra fuel for emergency purposes, or be ready to rush to a fuel station as soon as you see low fuel signal.
In self drive rental business the practice is to return the vehicle with same amount of fuel as it was at the time of taking delivery. Prithvi from Wickedride opened the tank lid and showed me "See, this much fuel is there". When I said "How do I measure that?" he offered to fill it up and give me full tank, as there was no other way of measuring fuel quantity.

Thankfully Splendor has a fuel gauge and also 1 litre reserve.

2. Splendor has Headlight that can be turned off

Street 750's headlights are permanently switched on, as and when ignition is ON, Day or night. This is same with few other imported bikes like Kawasakis. In certain western countries, motorcycles are required by law to keep their headlight turned ON all the time. This is probably because everyone there uses cars and no one will be expecting a motorcycle, so if there is one, headlight helps in easy identification. Also because of fog etc headlights are often needed there.

But this is not required in India. Keeping headlight ON all the time reduces bulb life greatly. If used only during night, bulb may last several years, if used all the time, it will need replacement much earlier. More maintenance expense.

The other nuisance is that everyone on the street will blink their fingers at you advising that your headlight is ON and you need to turn it off. You will feel helpless not being able to signal back that it can't be turned OFF.

A simple change in electric circuit and an ON/OFF switch could have been provided while assembling the bike for Indian market.

3. Hero Spendor has both Main stand and side stand
Street 750 only has a side stand. This is the case with many superbikes as well (Some expensive cycles also don't come with a stand). Sidestand, though convenient, takes more space. Also if you have to rotate the wheels and check the tyres or other things, main stand (centre stand is convenient. Simply not available in street (Given its weight, it might be very tricky to design a main stand that can work with manual effort)

4. Hero has Chain transmission while HD relies on Belt
While all bike manufacturers are using chain transmission, Harley Davidson still uses belt transmission for its bikes. Belt transmission is less effecient and very difficult to maintain. Chains can be tightened easily, units of the chain can be added or replaced and lubricated well. But Belt transmission, if fails midway, the journey comes to an end and bike has to be towed back to service centre, as most of the local mechanics will not have the spare belt or the know-how to fix it.

5. Splendor has a Kick start
Splendor can be kick started. (It is carburetor engine). HD is Fuel Injection and has no kickstart (Even new Yamaha FZ FI has no kickstart lever). While FI technology is fairly reliable and will work in all weather conditions and for long duration, should it ever fail, bike will be completely stranded.

Of course most of us won't be able to kick start a Harley- we will have to train an elephant to do that.

6. Peace of mind
Park a Splendor anywhere, no one bothers. Park a Harley Davidson and within minutes few people will surround the bike. You will have to keep worrying 'What if someone topples the bike', 'what if someone sits on it, damages things'. Unlike a car, all parts of the bike are exposed. So safety will be a concern as bike draws lots of attention.

7. Better ground clearance
Harley Davidson Street 750 has 145mm of ground clearance while Splendor has 159mm. I find that though 145mm of street is farily adequate, it requires that you clear speedbreakers with extreme caution. If approached with speed or if speed breaker is too big, you might end up scrapping the underbody.

8. Better service network
Any roadside meachnic can quickly fix a broken splendor, but if Harley breaks down, you will have to put it on a truck and take it back to service centre. Local mechanics won't be able to fix as they won't have tools, spares and know-how to work on Harley. This means your ride needs to be cut short if at all bike breaks down.

9. Rear brake that works!
Harley Davidson Street 750's rear brakes are hardly effective. One has to rely 75% on front brakes and very little on rear ones. They can stop indeed if there's enough straight road, but if you're doing some high speed maneuver and counting on your brakes in case of emergencies, then don't. It is like that unruly kid in the class who won't listen to class teacher unless accompanied with heavy scoldings. Simple push on the rear brake lever brings no change in bike's momentum. An unskilled rider might panic in this kind of situation, which can cause more damage. Some effect can be felt only when pressed hard or in combination with front brake. In simple words, Street 750's braking power is NOT proportionate to its engine power. So be careful.

On the other hand, Splendor's rear drum brakes are adequate for its power.

10. Splendor has a placeholder to keep the toolkit
Splendor comes with  a small box to keep tool kit and first aid box. No such provisions in Harley. First aid kit, tool kit etc can't be kept inside the bike somewhere so that they always accompany the bike. They need to be carried additionally.

11. Splendor can go 3 times farther for the same amount of fuel
Of course,with its lower capacity engine, splendor can give 3 times the mileage Harley can offer.

Now, what I said for Splendor is true for most other entry level bikes. I also wanted to mention about handlebar balancers that are missing in HD while many 125-150cc bikes have that. Handlebar balancers are strong protuding part of the handlebar which offer some support if the bike falls on the ground or handlebar hits something. Without it, rider's palm is exposed more to accidents.

Of course, if I make a list of features that are available in Harley but not in Hero, the list will be huge. Detailed review of Harley Davidson Street 750 for next post.

Similar:  BMW 320d- what you don't get for 38 lakhs * Chennai Blr weekend bike trip * Royal Enfield Factory visit *