Stop scoffing you all
I am an 18 year old automobile enthusiast and a follower of your magazine since the very first issue. Recently, Honda launched its so called mini-bike, the Navi in India. I have had mixed feelings about it. Neither do I like it nor do I disgustingly hate it. But I certainly hate the people who are scoffing at the Navi with ridiculously rubbish points. I really wanted a platform to showcase my opinions rather than ‘comment’ on images on social media. What better than India’s most loved automobile magazine! The following are the main points/reasons people often use to scoff at the Navi along with my opinions regarding them.
1. It looks quirky: I have to agree with that, but the Mahindra Mojo isn’t outright pretty either. It is to be noted that it costs well more than one lakh rupees.
2. There is no market for it: No, there is. Because it is based on the Activa, people tend to forget what it was truly designed for. It was made as a low cost alternative to the `50,000 (approx.) scooter rather than `42,000 (approx) bikes. Just like the Activa, there are no gears. You just sit on it and start riding. No frequent gear shifting needed. You can’t do that on a bike. In fact, the heavy clutch of the bike makes a good forearm workout.
3. It is overpriced: Maybe a bit, but complementing the point above, It was not an alternative to bikes. `40,000 is `10,000 cheaper than Activa and other similar scooters. People who buy it are definitely price conscious but they are not the usual ones.
4. The big empty space in the body: If you live in a metropolitan city, you will not understand its value. But if you are like me and frequently run errands to the local market you will know how useful it is. I see mopeds that are labeled ‘heavy-duty’ loaded with sacks of vegetables and other stuff. There is one sack at the back and another between the legs of the rider. The people who ride these mopeds don’t care for looks of their vehicle. They just want functionality. These kind of people are a big share of Navi’s intended market. Often I have seen those riders pedal the moped because the engine is incapable of providing sufficient power. With the Activa’s engine at a bit more premium price, the Navi will certainly seem an attractive option for them.
I really like your magazine. It has a very clean layout and a lucid writing style. Even though I am not a regular reader but I always keep an eye on the content published every month. It was really exciting for me to see Sirish Chandran on NDTV’s Great Overland Adventure along with Siddharth Vinayak Patankar. I also remember him speaking about offroading in India in one of NDTV’s event coverages. If you ever organise such an event in Jamshedpur, do notify me about that. Perhaps I will be the first person to show up there!