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‘Racing, swerving in Delhi immature’: Superbike clubs call for stricter rules

Superbike clubs in Delhi mourned the death of Himanshu Bansal in an accident at Mandi House. Members of biking community called for mature riding and stricter rules.

delhi Updated: Aug 17, 2017 10:50 IST
Sweta Goswami
Sweta Goswami
Hindustan Times
Delhi news,Mandi House,Batch of Soul Superbikes
Bikers said rasy availability of superbikes is also a reason for a spurt in such accidents and unlike other countries, the insurance for bikes in India is also extremely cheap.(HT FILE)

The death of a 22-year old biker Himanshu Bansal in a road accident in Delhi’s Mandi House area has brought the spotlight on the need to re-examine regulations for superbike users.

The close-knit, but growing biking community, mourned the death of Bansal, who lost control of his Benelli TNT 600i bike while trying to save a pedestrian crossing the road, but also called for the need to inculcate the habit of riding responsibly. They said that speeding coupled with a lack of infrastructure contribute to the mortality rate as road quality is important in ensuring biker safety.

“Motorcycle riders, especially the youth, need to respect the rules of riding. Racing, making cuts and curves in the middle of the city that too during peak hours is immature,” said Supreet Sehgal of the Batch of Soul Superbikes (BOSS). In fact, bike racing in itself is wrong and is not something biking clubs practice, he said.

In Monday’s incident, Bansal had gone with friends to Connaught Place. On their way back, they planned to race up to their houses in Vivek Vihar.

According to Dr Arun Thareja, founder of the Group of Delhi Superbikers (G.O.D.S), the government needs to tighten the noose on impulsive riders. Easy availability of superbikes is also another reason for a spurt in such accidents and unlike other countries, the insurance for bikes in India is also extremely cheap.

“Nobody is bothered about riding experience. In India, anybody who is 18 and has money can walk up to a store and buy a superbike. The transport authorities need to make the process of getting a licence more rigorous. In Europe, people have to give the test multiple times to finally get the licence,” Thareja said.

Besides, the UK has four categories of motorcycle licence alone, which allows two-wheelers of different capacities based on age and experience of the people. For example, an A1 licence is open to 17-year-olds upwards and restricts riders to 125cc, without L-plates. The A2 licence restricts one to motorcycles of up to 35kW (47bhp), and the test must be taken on a bike of more than 20kW (27bhp). This is open to 19-year-olds and older. Finally, the A licence is a full motorcycle licence, available only for those aged 24 and over.

But in India, anyone who is 18 years and above can ride anything from a 60cc TVS super XL to a 1300cc superbike.

“Speeding is not a stamp on someone knowing how to ride a sports bike. Because these machines have so much power, their brake system needs thorough understanding as it is different from normal bikes. Moreover, having a good safety gear is a must,” Sehgal said.

“Superbikes have disc brakes and using it properly only comes with practice. These bikes can run at such high speed that it all boils down to the art of balancing — be it the brakes or the speed or the manoeuvring,” he said.

When asked about conducting awareness campaigns, the police said that it organises road safety awareness weeks. “But there has been no campaign exclusively for bikers yet. A number of bikers do not wear helmets, change lanes randomly and sometimes don’t even have licence,” a police official said.

First Published: Aug 17, 2017 10:43 IST