About two months ago, I walked into a Triumph showroom with very little money and after a bit of paperwork, rode away with a full on multi-cylinder big bike. Having done that, I filed a column in OVERDRIVE called Stop Waiting that I'm happy to see appears to have inspired many of you to visit the showrooms and have a closer look at your dream machines.
The Harley-Davidson Street 750 can be yours for a downpayment of Rs 80,935 and a monthly EMI of less than Rs 10,000 for five years
But a string of emails seemed to suggest that many of you still believe that the dream multi-cylinder machines are just unaffordable. Are they, really? Have a look for yourself.
I walked into a Triumph showroom with very little money and after a bit of paperwork, rode away with a full on multi-cylinder big bike
In sum, I found that you could easily get yourself a multi-cylinder machine if you had as much as Rs 1.5 lakh to cover the downpayment and then have about Rs 15,000 available to pay the monthly EMI.
That sounds too simple, right? There is a catch. The financially minded among you will realise that the interest rates, which are usually around the 12 per cent mark mean that you pay a hefty interest for the privilege of riding a fast machine. This is perhaps not a good idea if you approach a motorcycle as a depreciating asset with a high interest loan sitting on top of it weighing things down. However, given how life altering and life affirming motorcycles are, it's a conscious choice I made and I am happy with it.
The near 12 per cent interest rate (12.25 for the Ducati Monster 821) means that you pay a hefty interest for the privilege of riding a fast machine
Assuming that you're past that, just have a look at this table. These prices are Mumbai prices (some of the more expensive in India) and these are unnegotiated interest rates. Most banks have a 1-1.5 per cent leeway if you are, for example, already a customer. There is no express mention of insurance or other paperwork because the lion's chunk is in the on-road price and if it isn't, the amounts are never deal breakers.
For the money you'd buy a KTM 200 Duke cash down, for instance, you could pick up an ER-6n on EMIS, paying as little as Rs 10,328 every month for five years
Here's perspective. For the money you'd buy a KTM 200 Duke cash down, for instance, you could pick up an ER-6n on EMIS, paying as little as Rs 10,328 every month for fiveyears. That's without having to go to a different showroom. If you went to Harley-Davidson instead, for instance, you'd get a Street 750 or a Superlow for even less of a downpayment, paying under Rs 10,000 and Rs 15,000 a month for fiveyear loans, respectively.
If you can pay a bigger downpayment, the EMI amounts come down. To wit, I paid a downpayment of Rs 3 lakh for my Street Triple. My EMI is Rs 15,148 a month for 48 months. In comparison, if you were to pay the minimum downpayment - Rs 1.95 lakh for the bike, your EMI would be Rs 16,653 for fiveyears.
The point is that the table shows the minimum initial outlay for each motorcycle and what EMI options it creates. I would use that as a reference. What I actually did - and I think you should too - isfigure out the monthly EMI that you can afford. Which in my case was Rs 15,000.
When you talk to the bank representative at the showroom, you tell him that the EMI is fixed. Ask him for downpayment and tenure (loan period) options keeping the EMI constant. This creates an alternative scenario where you find a loan arrangement you are comfortable with. And even if it doesn't get there, you know now what you need in hand for the downpayment - a target to aim for.But hold on, just being able to handle the downpayment and the EMI isn't enough. A little more thought is required.
First, riding gear. If the downpayment or EMI comes from a compromise on riding gear then you should reconsider and maybe wait a bit more before taking the plunge. The simple fact is that riding safely is more critical than your dream motorcycle.
Next, consumables. Assume these bikes will return between 15 and 25kmpl depending on the bike and how you ride it. You should be able to afford the fuel. Remember to ask about service cost and service intervals. The Triumph cost me roughly Rs 5,100 for the first service but the next one is in another 10,000km so I'm sure I'll have another Rs 5,000 when required. Being able to afford to keep the bike on the road is critical to your ability to enjoy it. In the consumables list is tyres. The faster bikes will run through a set of nice tyres in 7,000 to 10,000km depending on how you ride. Budget about Rs 25,000 per set of tyres.
Next up are fixed costs. For example, between my KTM and Triumph, I have a fixed insurance cost of Rs 20,000 annually. This isn't going to go away as long as I have both.
What happens after a few years? Well, if you intend to sell the bike, get a good price and move up to something even bigger then you must be able to keep the bike in mint condition.
In this case, you should also spend some time finding out which brand and bike arelikely to fetch the best resale values. I hate the idea but I know people who've rotated a stunning slew of exotics through their garage by not riding them too much and ensuring the bike stays mint. Not how I would play it but it works.
Finally, remember that when you move up to a properly fast machine, something changes fundamentally. Treated badly, a 70PS machine is a lethal weapon. They must be treated with respect and taken care of. Whether mental or financial, be sure you have both those things ready. Financial is probably far easier to get right than the mental. Think about riding better.
|Motorcycle||On-road Mumbai (Rs)|
|H-D XG750 Street 750||5,204,35|
|Kawasaki Ninja ER-6n||5,59,553|
|Benelli TNT 600i||6,01,593|
|Kawasaki Ninja 650||6,05,543|
|H-D XL 883L Superlow||7,56,110|
|Triumph Street Triple ABS||9,25,273|
|Ducati Monster 821||11,50,366|
|Motorcycle||Interest rate (%)|
|H-D XG750 Street 750||12|
|Kawasaki Ninja ER-6n||8|
|Benelli TNT 600i||13.5|
|Kawasaki Ninja 650||8|
|H-D XL 883L Superlow||12|
|Triumph Street Triple ABS||12.5|
|Ducati Monster 821||12.25|
|Motorcycle||Loan amount (Rs)|
|H-D XG750 Street 750||4,42,000|
|Kawasaki Ninja ER-6n||4,45,000|
|Benelli TNT 600i||5,10,000|
|Kawasaki Ninja 650||4,80,000|
|H-D XL 883L Superlow||6,42,000|
|Triumph Street Triple ABS||7,40,200|
|Ducati Monster 821||9,10,000|
|Motorcycle||Down payment (Rs)|
|H-D XG750 Street 750||80,935|
|Kawasaki Ninja ER-6n||1,22,500|
|Benelli TNT 600i||99,893|
|Kawasaki Ninja 650||1,34,000|
|H-D XL 883L Superlow||1,16,610|
|Triumph Street Triple ABS||1,94,812|
|Ducati Monster 821||2,47,761|
|Motorcycle||36 month EMI (Rs)|
|H-D XG750 Street 750||14,785|
|Kawasaki Ninja ER-6n||15,217|
|Benelli TNT 600i||24,366|
|Kawasaki Ninja 650||16,413|
|H-D XL 883L Superlow||21,475|
|Triumph Street Triple ABS||24,763|
|Ducati Monster 821||30,331|
|Motorcycle||48 month EMI (Rs)|
|H-D XG750 Street 750||11,748|
|Kawasaki Ninja ER-6n||12,812|
|Benelli TNT 600i||17,307|
|Kawasaki Ninja 650||13,140|
|H-D XL 883L Superlow||17,064|
|Triumph Street Triple ABS||19,675|
|Ducati Monster 821||24,079|
|Motorcycle||60 month EMI (Rs)|
|H-D XG750 Street 750||9,945|
|Kawasaki Ninja ER-6n||10,328|
|Benelli TNT 600i||11,735|
|Kawasaki Ninja 650||11,140|
|H-D XL 883L Superlow||14,445|
|Triumph Street Triple ABS||16,653|
|Ducati Monster 821||20,357|