Ride to Live, Live to Ride

Having grown up in a family of automobile dealers, Saurabh Jyoti developed an early passion for motorcycles. The Director of Jyoti Group of companies and Syakar Trading Company Chairman has managed to collect an incredible range of motorbikes from around the world. In an interview with The Himalayan Times Auto Plus, he shares the gems of his collection and details the joys and challenges of owning a motorcycle in the City

Why do you prefer motorcycles to four-wheelers?

Riding a bike is like meditation for me; it is my stress-relieving therapy. It is also the fastest and most efficient way to travel on Kathmandu’s roads.

Tell us about the motorcycles in your garage

I have 24 motorbikes parked in my garage, but the ones I’d like to mention are:

Honda CBR600F3: This 1997 model is designed like a Café Fighter, and you might be surprised to learn that it was actually made in Nepal. Its headlights, integrated tail light and single seat were designed by the team here.

Webster Vardenchi Chopper: A cruiser bike with a 300 section rear tyre with single-sided swingarm. It is a customised Spider-Man themed bike.

MV Agusta Rivale 800: An Italian 800 cc supermoto-style motorcycle that comes with an in-line three-cylinder 798 cc engine. It is a super smooth ride.

Honda CBR1000RR: The 2012 model from Japan is one of the fastest motorcycles I own; its top speed is 290 kmph.

Honda CB1000R: The Italian Honda 1000cc is very comfortable to ride and feels as light as a 250cc. The naked motorcycle is the perfect ride for everyday travel or touring.

Suzuki B-King: It is a limited edition motorbike from their 2007 production line. It came out in 2001 as a concept motorcycle and was also used in the Transformers movie, but the model was discontinued in 2012.

Honda CD175: The 1971 vintage motorcycle with a twin-cylinder engine emits a fantastic sound and is not only in running condition but is still as powerful.

Suzuki Hayabusa: It is one of the iconic bikes in the history of motorcycles. Although it is an older model, it gives a top speed of 280 to

290 kmph.

Ducati Diavel: It comes with a 1198 cc Testastretta engine. It is technologically advanced and very powerful and comfortable to ride.

Which motorcycles have caught your eye recently?

I just got the new KTM 390 Duke, it is the perfect ride for Kathmandu because it is very compact and yet quite powerful. We are launching the Honda CRF1000L Africa Twin and CBR1000RR and I am really looking forward to keeping one of each for myself. I would also like to own a Confederate P120 Fighter Combat and Kawasaki Ninja H2R.

What is your take on motorcycle customisation in Nepal?

There is no clarity on the country’s vehicle customisation and modification policy. Therefore, the government first needs to review the act. I see no harm in modifications as long as they do not affect the handling or safety of the vehicle. Also by allowing customisation, we can create revenue and jobs in Nepal— it can be an opportunity for engineers, companies and new talents to showcase their creativity.