By Talal Hussain Malik (PBC Legal Dept. Head)
A tank full of fuel, some leisure time and a destination in mind is all it takes to go out ride your bike and fuel your passion, and which is exactly what some riders of the Pakistan Bikers Club (PBC) did on one leisure Sunday of March 2013. At PBC, we have riders who hail from all walks of life; students, professionals, businessmen and retired veterans so we plan our tours so everyone can benefit the group rides according to his taste. Whereas our tour of December was a long distance ride covering more than 400km where the mercurial drop tested our riders, the March 02 and 03 tour to Ravi Siphon was to test our skills on the dirt. Having obtained the permission for camping at Ravi Siphon, we were all set to move. It must have been a source of inspiration to others when fifteen riders clad in their riding apparel left Lahore cruising across the canal. Besides riding on the dirt other attractions of the tour included camping at night and not to forget the tasty fish roasted at the site. Some members also had their first time experience to cruise along the Pak-India border cruising along areas that witnessed the 1965 war.
Riding on the dirt has a charm of its own further intensified if you have the right bike for it, a trail bike. As the situation is in Pakistan, not a single motorcycle manufacturer is producing trail bike despite there being a great yearning for this awesome machine among the biker community of the country. Once you leave the metropolitan areas to ride out far you are introduced to the fact that much of the road network in the country is still primitive and considering the aspect of touring the northern landscapes the idea of having a trail bike is further highlighted. Currently in Pakistan the major motorcycle manufacturers are Honda, Suzuki, DYL and Piaggio Ravi all of them producing road bikes in 70cc, 100cc, 125cc and 150cc category. Had any one of these companies conducted a survey based on real facts, I am sure a trail bike would also be available in the market. Though, Qingqi gave some hope of bringing two trail bike models but no progress in this regard has been witnessed so far.
Our northern areas are blessed with landscape having no parallel anywhere in the world and every year we get hundreds of foreign visitors who visit Pakistan to visit these areas. Though most of these areas are connected through road network yet there are several beautiful places located in remote areas with no proper access, this is where availability of trail bikes can make a difference. This can be managed at the government level too by providing trail bikes on rent to the tourists who visit these areas, it will not only attract more tourists but will also contribute to the government’s revenue. Good ground clearance, wide handlebars, powerful suspensions with the right amount of power produced by the throttle can take you to places you had never heard of. At PBC, we are doing our own efforts to convince the motorcycle manufacturers of providing trail bikes manufactured locally at affordable prices and we hope that considering the impact trail bikes can have in boosting tourism the government will also play its role. Hoping that our efforts will not be a cry in wilderness we look forward to a better future of motorcycling and tourism through motorcycles in Pakistan.
-Published on page# 28 April-2013 edition of MOBILE WORLD Magazine