Opinion: Fear and lounging at the Auto Expo
How many motor shows have I been to? Oh god, countless. How many have all of us at OVERDRIVE been to? Er... suffice it to say, too many by far. But the 2012 Auto Expo in Delhi is special. It makes us (and I believe all of the Indian automotive journalism community) shudder. And only part of that is the cold that Delhi puts through every two years.
The Delhi Motor Show, as it's called colloquially, is a wildly different creature from the endless show at Frankfurt, the compact one in Tokyo, or indeed, any other motor show on Earth you'd care to name. It holds within it the promise of the riding and driving dreams a year or two ahead. And at least two full days of sheer personal, physically exhausting hell for those brave enough to take on the two press days. It isn't a lot easier on the public either who have to brave incredible crowds on the bustle and shove of the public days.
But my memories of it are always pleasant, but only after the issue with the report has been laid to bed, the TV episodes aired and the entire frantic web, twitter and facebook activity has passed.
What do I look forward to this year? Let's see, the KTM Duke 200 and the all-new Pulsar 200. Oh wait, Bajaj has re-iterated that their show presence will focus on their new four-wheeler (that this is at the expense of the motorcycles is, so far, unsaid but understood). Dammit. Then I'm hoping to see Jorge Lorenzo unveil something more substantial than an updated Crux, G5 or someortheotherYamahacommuter. A scooter would be all right, an FZ25 or an R25 would be pure awesome in three shades. I'm betting on the former. At least I know for a fact that there will be a bevy of beauties at Triumphs. And for the record, I'm never referring to the show models when there are motorcycles involved. I leave that bit for, erm, Bert.
While I actively dread the delayed flights in, the shivery cold and the incessant, inhuman walking that Pragati Maidan invariably requires, I can't wait to get there already. It's a lovely feeling, you know. The anticipation of seeing the new bikes, hearing the specs and then pencilling them into the coming year's calendar.
I loved the magazine calendars that used to come with pics of fast motorcycles from my youth. The Auto Expo is way better. It's like that calendar with all the useless dates removed. A living, breathing version which promises more sensory thrills than a pic on my wall. I just thank the lord that it's every other year. I calculated in an idle moment that I will be walking over the two press day more than I will in the next two whole years.
As is usual, the entire OVERDRIVE team will be there - save for the weak who can't handle the walking, heh heh - and we're looking forward to seeing you there. Here's a bonus - we're aiming to run a stars gallery at the expo featuring our pics taken with our stars - you lot. So when you spot us, give us a shout. We're always happy to talk and all, but this time, we'd dearly like a pic with you if possible.
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