A Harley can set you free, says Panaji based vinery owner Karl Coelho as he talks of the pleasures of owning the superbike, to Shoma PatnaikHarley Davidson as a status symbol is catching on among the rich in Goa. Several mine owners, industrialists and politicians have a Harley in the garage along with their fleet of supercars. One wonders where they must be riding the mean machines. For businessman Karl Coelho owning a Harley is not just about possession. It is about fulfilling a dream since he always wished for the prized bike since boyhood.
He is the first Goan to set up a vinery in Nasik and his wine under brand name ‘Vallone Vineyard’ is selling well in Goa, Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore and UK market. His is a boutique wine and a successful product. But listen to him talking about his Harley and you know what the true passion is.
An avid biker Coelho says that he is purchased his bike quite recently since deciding to work from Goa. For several years he resided in Japan and came back only in 2008. In younger days like all boys owning a Harley was an unattainable wish. He is happy that currently he is affluent enough to afford one and also reasonably young to enjoy the bike. He owns a ‘Super Bob’ a big engine Harley that is very nimble and considered most suitable for touring as well as riding. It cost Rs 12 lakh.
The price you learn is just one aspect of the cost. Customizing is another element since each owner goes all out to put an individual stamp on the bike. The cost of modifications can sometimes be more than the bike since owners tend to spend lakhs on alterations. Coelho is been pretty lavish when you consider that customizing was nearly half of the cost of the bike. Most new owners do that, he discloses as they go overboard with lavishing attention.
Goa he adds is the best state in India for the Harley rider since there are all kinds of terrain to make the journey an exciting affair. There are mountains, beach side roads, highways and interior village roads. Compared to the other states the traffic is light and roads decent. The scenery is beautiful too and so with the Harley Owners Group (HOG) he rides everywhere.
Tiracol, Canacona, Chorla Ghats are best long rides to go to and also city roads early in the morning. He ride alone without his wife or daughter as the ‘Super Bob’ is a single-seater. It is better this way, Coelho discloses as having a pillion can be distracting what with having to look after their comfort.
Riding solo and speeding through long winding roads. Swooping down the mountains, gliding down winding roads makes him feel free. It is ‘me time’ when the mind gets clear and deeper issues can be mulled.
Goa’s brotherhood of Harley owners is increasing. There could be at least 50 owners according to Coelho who says that South Goa has more Harley owners than the north. Several of them are shippies who have money and never find time to ride. Apart from the local moneyed, politicians are also owners although they are never in any HOG group.
Participating in group rides or events is the only way to satisfy speed urges and recently Coelho along with two other HOG members is driven about 8,000 km to Bhutan and back. The biking culture is just picking up in Goa and the opening of a dealership is a boon for owners. Previously for any servicing people had to travel to Mumbai since the bike needs specialized tools and obviously cannot be entrusted to any untrained hand.
A Harley can easily take in Goa’s monsoons though it needs meticulous clean-up. There are special cleaners and polishes available for the tyres and tanks and they are all company approved products. The dealer-service station in Caranzalem charges Rs 500 for the wash.
It is not the best performing machine around, not the fastest or the neatest. It is not even environmental friendly. And yet the brand evokes cult following.
Goa customer base growing, says dealer Reddy
Goa’s customer base is growing as well-off professionals come into the Harley fold, said Srinivas Reddy, principal dealer. The showroom opened in late 2013 and the response is good, he said. The showroom has all models on display except for the top touring range of above Rs 29 lakh. The delivery time depends on the availability of colour and model that a buyer wants. It is equipped to customize each motor cycle as trained technician are available in the service centre. Service staff are trained from company head quarters at Gurgaon.
Harley Davidson, India commenced operations in August 2009 and appointed its first dealership in July 2010. The company plant is at Bawal, Haryana where the bike is assembled from completely-knocked-down (CKD) parts. India is the second country where the company has CKD assembly plant after Brazil. Approximate 4,000 Harleys are estimated on Indian roads.
Increasing market share
for green cars
The market for environmentally friendly cars is getting bigger. With hybrid, hydrogen, electric, and diesel power trains all available, looking for a “green car” is now more confusing than ever. Best green cars are most fuel efficient. Different green cars offer a unique appealing mix of efficiency, practicality and price. Auto manufacturers are making stronger advancements each year in creating more environmentally friendly vehicles. Ever since the first hybrids started hitting the mass market a decade ago, electric motors have taken on more and more of the motive duty. It’s only a matter of time before they take over all of those duties.
Weather affects electric car mileage
If you are mulling buying an electric car to cut on travelling costs and save the planet, consider the factor of geography with new research pointing to regional energy sources and climate greatly affecting emissions and driving range. Even as governments across the globe – including the Indian government that provided fresh budgetary allocation for electric vehicles recently – are encouraging the use of electric vehicles to save the environment, researchers have found that emissions and driving range can vary greatly depending on regional energy sources and climate. Most electric car models can only go about 100 to 160 km. IANS
As Google works on rolling out the latest version of its self-driving cars for road tests, the company has also revealed that its vehicles have been involved in a total of 13 accidents since the program began. That number was accrued over nearly two million miles of testing in six years, and most importantly, all of the accidents have been the fault of other drivers, not Google’s autonomous cars. Considering how many miles the cars have traveled and how many years they’ve been on the road in some form or another, it’s almost surprising that there haven’t been more incidents. It’s definitely surprising none of the accidents have been the fault of Google’s autonomous technology. Despite people’s assumptions that computers can’t make the necessary decisions required to avoid accidents, it appears that at least for now, that has yet to be the case.
News of Google’s driverless cars being involved in several accidents spread quickly, and a number of consumer groups, especially one called Consumer Watchdog, raised concern. Part of this concern is because the newest generation of cars that Google is testing have no driver inputs whatsoever and operate entirely autonomously, but there were also concerns that Google hasn’t been transparent enough about the accidents its cars are involved in.