Desi bike designers make a splash at Auto Expo '12

Mumbai, Delhi, Jaipur designers' customised choppers give int'l mean machines run for their vroom

International superbike giants came roaring in with their meanest machines at the Auto Expo 2012, with Harley Davidson, Triumph and Ducati rolling out their latest products for India. But amid these giants, Indian customised chopper designers also made their presence felt. Rajputana Customs of Jaipur, Vardenchi of Mumbai and Mod Bikes of Delhi grabbed a lot of eyeballs with their customised bikes at the expo.

Bike art: Akshay Varde of Mumbai with their choppers. Pics/Rajeev

As a large number of people gathered around these handmade bikes and posed for pictures alongside them, even officials from Harley Davidson came over to appreciate the masterpieces. "This is one of its kind. This bike is India's first handmade customised Harley Davidson chopper. We call it 'Raj MATA' as she is the queen of all bikes. This bike is specially designed for a Mumbai-based businessman who bought a 1200 cc Harley Davidson bike and asked us to modify it for him. We have used Rajasthan's rick culture and handicraft to make this bike.

Onkar Singh

We have used Jawaja leather, fine gold and Silver Koftgari work," said Vijay Singh from Rajputana Customs. Singh's previous bike customisation was for John Abraham, who has kept it in his drawing room. Getting maximum attention was India's famous chopper designer Akshay Varde, who has sold his bikes to various Bollywood celebrities. At the expo, Varde stood out with his white-and-blue 'Infinity'.

Hot wheels: Ashish Chordia, CEO, Ducati India, and Mirko Bordiga,
CEO, Ducati Asia-Pacific, unveil the Monster M795

"This beauty took us two months to build and it has got dazzling chrome with graphic paint. We have used Royal Enfield engine with the bike. Its angled yet comfortable rake along with the low-slung seat gives a very grounded and stable ride for a long trip along the highway. This is the first bike in India to have JBL's audio system with it where you can listen to the radio and connect it with USB and iPod. Although, to have music system on bikes in India is not allowed, we believe in building futuristic bikes," said the Mumbai-based Varde of Vardenchi Motors.

Delhi-based Onkar Singh was also there with his two choppers. "I have been making choppers for the last 10 years from our workshop in Kirti Nagar. We have been using Royal Enfield's engine for customisation as it gives out high output, which makes it best for modification. The bikes we build not only look good but also are high on performance. The bikes we have displayed here is Marvel chopper and Miracle chopper," said Singh.

The international line-up
 Italian mobike brand Ducati unveiled the Monster M795 with a price tag of Rs 6.99 lakh on the second day of the Auto Expo 2012 at Pragati Maidan. The company has developed the bike specially for customers in Asia. "The new Monster 795 has been eagerly awaited in India and we have priced it attractively to make it easier for the Ducatisti to own their favourite brand," said Ducati India CEO Ashish Chordia.

* Earlier, iconic British motorcycle manufacturer Triumph launched its 2012 line-up of motorcycles for the Indian market, consisting of seven of the company's most prominent bikes -- the parallel-twin Bonneville, Speed Triple, Street Triple, the off-roader Tiger 800XC, the Daytona 675 and the cruisers Triumph Storm and Rocket III. The company is in the process of setting up three to four dealerships across India and will expand to 10 to 12 dealerships by 2013. 

* Even the US cult bike maker Harley Davidson yesterday launched two locally-assembled models at prices starting from Rs 9.95 lakh, which is much lower than that of imported motorcycles. FXDB Street Bob and FXDC Super Glide Custom, previously offered as Completely Built-up (CBU) imports, will now be available at all the seven dealership of Harley-Davidson. The two bikes belong to the company's Dyna family of motorcycles. FXDB Street Bob will be available for Rs 9.95 lakh as against the earlier Rs 13.95 lakh. The FXDC super Glide Customs will be retailed at Rs 11.5 lakh as against Rs 15.45 lakh (CBU). The assembly plant is at Bawal, Haryana.

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