The convenience of owning a motorbike in Dhaka
Ever since men left caves, their never-ending journey began. Exploration is not just an activity; it is rather a behaviour that we inherited from our ancestors. Our legs had to be extended, for there was much land to be discovered. And so, Man started riding.
Living in an overpopulated and developing country, it's hard to avoid the traffic. Four wheels aren't the best choice for everyone, in terms of convenience, especially in Dhaka. I had to learn this the hard way. For an undergrad student, coming from a family of limited means, maintaining a car wasn’t different from keeping a pet elephant. As much as it costs money, it cost even more time.
The inconvenience had to end, and so I sold my project car, a 1987 Corolla 2 hatchback. After using motorcycle ride-sharing apps to commute, I thought: why don't I ride by myself? Having never driven one before, I gathered courage for my convenience and decided to buy a motorcycle. Exploring the market, I decided to go for a scooter instead of a motorbike as scooters are easier to ride, I thought. Looking only at the pros, I went for a Mahindra Gusto 110cc.
Three years passed by. I was riding the scooter. I found it very comfortable and easy to maintain. It saved me a lot of time and money. On the other hand, I faced trouble in handling the scooter as it has small wheels. On rough roads, the scooter would often slip because it has less traction.
As the days passed, I felt a higher need for social validation for my ride from the people around me. Being a part-time musician I have a strong urge for showmanship. I started looking for a flashier ride that would satisfy my greater needs. Then I came across a cruiser bike, Regal Raptor Daytona 125cc. I've never felt so sure about something. I had to have it as it matched my personality and it certainly has the alpha vibe that most men would enjoy. I went for one despite all the negative reviews regarding the price and availability of the spare parts and incredibly low mileage compared to the sports bikes and commuters bike in the market. As it's a cruiser bike, the sitting position is quite comfortable and looks rather aristocratic, if I may say so.
The braking and handling are quite smooth. I feel like it's a lot safer than scooters or other sportbikes. It surely has a head-turning effect on the pedestrians as well as other riders on the streets. I have found the validation I wanted, as I get noticed everywhere I go. It boosted my confidence and ego. It feels like I'm putting up a show while I ride. The bike is a bit heavier than most bikes, it weighs around 250kg. The weight makes it a bit tiring to ride it in heavy traffic. But as for the show I put on I feel like it's worth my effort.
I came across a wonderful club called the "Bengal Cruiser" the first cruiser segment motorcycle club of Bangladesh. The members are mostly seniors and well established respected men with young hearts. We go on rides and we share our pride in riding cruiser bikes. The club is planning to host social welfare and awareness events in the near future. Ever since I started riding my cruiser bike my experience in riding completely changed and I feel like a new man. Life, riding a cruiser bike is more like a fierce Viking on a raid.
This article first appeared in Motoraid Bangladesh. It is being republished under special arrangement with Dhaka Tribune. For more news, reviews and musings from the motorcycle community, visit the MotorAid Bangladesh Facebook page