RAPTORS RIOT Machines are ready to roll
RAPTORS RIOT Machines Are Ready To Roll. The Indian automotive scenario appears to have taken an unconventional road, laughing at the mediocrity of the mundane. Just three months into this calendar and the country today has what we can term as the ‘dreams of the past decades’.
The Indian automotive scenario appears to have taken an unconventional road, laughing at the mediocrity of the mundane. Just three months into this calendar and the country today has what we can term as the ‘dreams of the past decades’. Ducati is here. Benelli is here. And Triumph is doing everything to make sure it is here to stay. However, something quite peculiar is the spurt of the sub-350 segment vehicles from international manufactures, focussing on cruisers and even American choppers.
This catalog has the Benelli Blackster 250, Keeway Superlight 200, UM Renegade Commando and the Regal Raptors. Among these, the most exciting one for every Telugus must be the Regal Raptors. Hyderabad-based Fabulous and Beyond (FAB) Motors have bought the manufacturing rights for the vehicle for South East Asia. This basically means that the Raptors sold in all the south Asian countries would be manufactured in the city with FAB Motors also mulling on establishing a Rs 1,000 crore facility in the outskirts with the support of the government. With this what we can anticipate is a legion of new bikers of this segment. “Very soon, Hyderabad will see a fully functional showroom at Jubilee Hills of this 25-year-old American automaker,” informed the MG Shahriq Jeelani, managing director of FAB Motors. The models on sale will include DD 350 E, Daytona and Bobber.
The prices of the same are Rs 2.96 lakh, Rs 3.22 lakh and Rs 3.33 lakh respectively. “The bikes range is from Rs 2.96 lakh to 20 lakh. But, the hi-end model only will be available after two years. The 500 and 800 CC bikes will be made available after one and half year. There is a lot of craze for the product. As they are well known for their looks and style strength,” informed Shahriq. Alike the Harleys, Raptors will also encourage customisation among its riders. “The DD 350 E can be modified into an archetypal American Police bike by scrapping in and adding a few accessories,” he added. Right now these vehicles will be imported in CBU condition. The manufacturing facility in Hyderabad will initially focus on assembling the bikes from a knocked off condition. “By the next two years, we will be manufacturing the bikes here,” he said. “US-based company Regal Raptor has its production unit in Shanghai and comes under Lifeng Group, which was formed in the year 1962 by industrialist Horse Zhang.
It is doing very well in the Western, Arab and Asian countries,” added Dr MG Jeelani, chairman of the Group. Soon the brand will be available in cities like New Delhi, Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Chennai, Kolkata, Trivandrum, Pune and other major cities. “We have exclusive manufacturing rights for India and eight neighboring countries viz. Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Oman, Yemen and Pakistan. We will be exporting to neighboring countries earning foreign exchange,” declared Jeelani. Here’s a glimpse into what riding these mean machines might be like
The Bobber 350 might as well be termed as a rip-off of the Harley Iron 883 Bobber. The Bobber has a thug look. You would imagine an old, mustachioed rider with a leather jacket and a bandana riding on this one. The body of this bike looks quite empty with just its metal frame, its seat, petrol tank and engine. The whole image of the bike isn’t complete till one sits on it. Its springer seat blends into the bike when the rider is seated and makes him appear as if he were sitting on thin air. The bike is a little intimidating to look at. You start the bike and you hear it accelerate and you’re still apprehensive about the ride.
It takes some time getting used to the vehicle’s acceleration and clutch response. But once you get used to it you know that the Bobber has a mind of its own and needs to be driven around like he’s the boss. And yes you do feel like you are driving a bad boy around. The placement of the handle and the foot rests are placed in such a way that the rider has a royal, stylish, thug like posture automatically. One thing about this bike is that even at gear four you know it has more power, a power in the bike that you know you are yet to try. It is quite evident that the Bobber’s ground clearance is lower than the Daytona. As said in the previous review, the bikes weren’t allowed to go out on the roads and so we couldn’t test the bikes ground clearance with a normal speed breaker. Though it wasn’t possible to check the bike’s top speed, it is said to go from 0-60 kmph in just 3.5 seconds, and I wouldn’t question that.
The Daytona 350
Have you ever ridden a bike twice your size that is just as heavier? The first impression of a Daytona will give you that exact feel right after the stand is taken off. Then you start your engine to hear the sound of a roar that will make heads turn. You start off a little apprehensively, intimidated by the bike’s bulk, but as you ease the gears up you get to know how smooth your ride is going to be and how the bike is going to respond. Within the first few meters of riding this beautiful beast, a sense of control dawns and that’s where your real ride begins.
The bike responds to your every move almost immediately and smoothly. The throttle response of the bike is smooth yet powerful. The bike is equipped with discs on both rims which respond pretty well to the rider in a controlled environment. You feel the full extent of the Daytona’s mass only when you try to steer the vehicle at a U while balancing its weight on your foot. The bike’s ignition system is such that it won’t start unless the stand is lifted. Sadly, the bike couldn’t be tested on roads with traffic as they had not been launched yet. That is another reason why we can’t comment on its top speed and its response time
DD 350 E
F or a person who is used to seeing an Avenger around will see a heavy resemblance between the two. The vehicle is smaller compared to the Daytona and the Bobber. It has a comfortable seat and a nice platform as a foot rest. The bike looks lesser evil among the two, more on the lines of tamed beast. The acceleration gives out a very smooth start and then the power kicks in. The only one that started smooth on the first go.
Let us not get carried away into thinking that the smoothness of this bike means no power. It produced the same throttle response and acceleration response. The transmission was smoother and that’s what made the bike seem smoother to drive on. The footrests give support to the entire foot and make the ride immensely comfortable. This is advantageous when you take the bike out for a long ride. Again with the DD you notice that the ground clearance is quite low and that might be its setback for Indian roads.
The wheel base of each bike its different but they all have spoke cast wheels. Every bike has a different feel to it and is different in performance.
- All these bikes have decent cubic capacities - ranging from 250cc to 350cc.
- All these bikes suffer from asthma i.e. in spite of the healthy displacement of their engines they are only able to produce as much power as Pulsar220 or Karizma R.
- In spite of producing low power, people will still have to shell out nearly Rs 2 lakh on these bikes.
The engine overheats real quick, and you can feel the heat on your calf muscles. The DD’s engine comes out a little bit so there is a chance that you can burn yourself if you’re wearing shorts. Ground clearance can be an issue. The Bobber’s petrol tank needs no key to be opened, and there were hints of paint wearing off in the inner
rims of the petrol tank. So we can’t really comment on its inner finishing.