Today I rode into college, and followed my usual routine of putting the mess that is my hair back in order after taking off my helmet, while looking in my mirror. One of the group of students passing by happened to see my bike and asked me some rather trivial questions. Now I wouldn't normally keep encounters like these in mind, but when you happen to be near your bike and close to four groups stop to ask you the same questions on the same day, you dont generally tend to forget.
Now I ride a Bajaj Dominar 400, a very well priced, good performing, purpose built power cruiser. And yes it is relatively inexpensive for the amount of bike that it is. On the other hand a Royal Enfield Classic 350 costs the same, produces less power and torque and yet people were asking me why I bought the Dominar and not the latter. My answer to them was simple. I wanted more power , refinement and better riding dynamics. Somehow though, I got the impression that people think that the Enfield is a better bike for the price and that even though its the same price, its mileage which is approximately 5 KMPL better than the Dominar makes it a better proposition. Then they asked me why I would want power in the first place in a city like Bangalore where we are perpetually stuck in traffic.
Well my answer to all these uninspired questions would be this. First off, Enfields still use old technology, and even though their engine produces a decent amount of torque, the transmission losses are so high that it still faces competition from the 100cc two strokes of old. Yes, they are more about the whole retro style of biking, so you shouldn't buy one to ride fast either ways. Everyone has their own riding style and preferences. Secondly, why wouldn't you want to invest in a fast bike. Any bike can go slow in traffic, but when the road opens up for those ten seconds or more, the twist of your wrist is directly proportional to the width of the smile on your face, well on a faster bike anyways...
...A feeling for which I would happily sacrifice that extra mileage. Something most Indian's will never understand.