You’ve worked hard for your dream motorcycle. You saved every possible penny to convert the motorcycle on your bedroom poster into reality. But, reality, sometimes has a rude and harsh face. At least, this is the case for Raghav Swati Puri. He’d recently bought a Harley Davidson Road Glide. An absolute monster of a bike with a 1868 cc, Milwaukee eight engine. The bike is available as a CBU at an ex-showroom price of INR 33,53,000. The on-road pricing goes north of INR 40 Lakhs. At this price, one would expect the bike to come with all bells and whistles and there is nothing wrong in it.
The Harley Davidson Road Glide bike features a Boom Box entertainment system with a two speaker setup – Among many other features. It also has panniers to hold your luggage. These very features – that are STANDARD on the bike are the ones that landed Mr. Raghav Swati Puri in rough waters.
Pay fine for Playing Music!
According to Mr Raghav, he was on his Road Glide in Tilak Nagar Area of New Delhi. He had his wife as a pillion and both were wearing helmets. They were waiting at the traffic signal, waiting for lights to turn green. They had their Boom Box entertainment system at about 30% volume. Just as the lights turned green, their Harley Davidson was pulled over by a Police car. The Driver came out and said that the ACP of the Tilak Nagar Police station was in the car. He was offered two choices – either produce the documents or come to the police station.
The Police Personnel said that the Music system and the Panniers on Harley Davidson were aftermarket. Thus they were illegal and he has to pay a fine. They were not convinced even as Raghav tried to show the product page of the Road Glide. This led to an argument and he was asked to reach the police station. At the police station, the personnel supposedly played the music on full volume and issued a challan for playing music. Raghav was extremely disappointed at the way the entire matter was handled. According to Raghav, the sub inspector of the Police station was in plain clothes as he handled the case.
A disgruntled Mr. Raghav wrote to Harley Davidson India seeking clarification. He was told that under no section of the Central Motor Vehicles Rule can he be fined for playing music in his motorcycle, provided the noise levels are below certain decibel. Furthermore, according to Harley Davidson, all the CBU motorcycles conform to Euro Type approval norms, which are allowed under Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) notification to be registered in India.
What needs to be done?
The Indian market is more and more opening to high end motorcycles. But to the eyes of the enforcement authorities, big bikes rings with certain things – street racing and illegal modifications. The general stereotype needs to change and sadly it will take a long time to change. Yes, there are a few people who don’t care for anything – their life or others. But a lot of them – proper Riders – do pay attention to rules of the road and safety. They take it to the racetracks to unleash the adrenaline and not on the public roads. For a true racer – the road is never a racetrack.