Mumbai: 'Malfunctioning' superbike causes Virar man's death

Updated: 05 December, 2018 11:02 IST | Samiullah Khan | Mumbai

The incident occurred on Sunday morning when Zoheb Merchant and his group of 15-18 bikers had gone on their usual Sunday ride from Virar to Dahanu

Zoheb Merchant on his bike. Pics/Hanif Patel
Zoheb Merchant on his bike. Pics/Hanif Patel

A nagging defect in his superbike allegedly led to the death of biker Zoheb Merchant, 28, on Sunday morning. The Virar resident was on his way home after a joyride with his biker gang, when the front brake of his MV Agusta F3 800 jammed at Manor, throwing him off in another direction. This was the third time his superbike had malfunctioned since he bought it.

Merchant is survived by his parents, three brothers, wife and a six-year-old son. He was the eldest in the family and had a business selling firecrackers. The incident occurred on Sunday morning when Merchant and his group of 15-18 bikers had gone on their usual Sunday ride from Virar to Dahanu. When they were on their way back, the front brake of Merchant's bike allegedly jammed, leading him to lose control of the bike and ram into a divider.

Zoheb Merchant's bike
Front brake of Merchant's bike allegedly jammed, leading him to lose control of bike and ram into divider.

One of his friends said, "We have a bikers' group and every Sunday morning, we ride the bike while following proper safety and traffic norms. Whatever happened came as a huge shock to us. Suddenly, some defect occurred in his bike, jamming the brake of the front tyre disc, which then led to him losing control of the bike and falling on the road." Third time Since they were riding at full speed, the impact of the malfunction became such that he was thrown off the bike in another direction. His vehicle, meanwhile, fell near the direction of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai National Highway.

Merchant's bike is manufactured by the Italian motorcycle maker MV Agusta, and retails for around R 20 lakh. According to his friends, since he bought it, he'd faced the same defect twice, which is an electric malfunction that jams the front tyre disc. He'd got it fixed and extended the vehicle's warranty till March 2019. He'd also written a Facebook post about the earlier issues he faced. However, the same defect occurred a third time, leading to his death.

Cause of death not known Another friend said, " We managed to bring an ambulance to the spot and took him to a government hospital on the highway, where he was declared dead on arrival. Looking at his body, doctors were shocked at not finding any external injuries." He had minor injuries on his head due to the impact of the fall. The cause of death has not been revealed as the post-mortem report is yet to be released. His friends suspect he died of internal bleeding.

Zoheb Merchant's bike
This is the third time the MV Agusta 800 had allegedly malfunctioned.

While the case had initially been registered at the Virar police station, the matter has been transferred to the Manor police station as the incident occurred in their jurisdiction.

An officer from Virar police station said, "We have registered a case under section 304( a) ( death by negligence) of the Indian Penal Code and various sections of the Motor Vehicles Act against unidentified accused." Motoroyale, the dealer from whom Merchant bought the bike, couldn't be reached for comment.

18 No. of bikers in Zoheb's group

3 No. of times his bike glitched

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First Published: 03 December, 2018 20:30 IST

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