With the COVID-19 pandemic having taken a strong hold over the world, we are surely living in very difficult times. Loss of lives, crashing economies, overburdened healthcare systems are a few of the major problems that we are facing today. And as a direct result of the above and some other factors, the supply chains have been adversely affected as well.
In addition to the difficulties being faced by both employees and employers, daily wage workers are undoubtedly one of the worst-hit groups amidst the lockdown in place to curb the spread of COVID-19. And with the supply chains of essential services suffering from the impact, it has become difficult to provide aid and essentials to those people.
As we all stand united in the fight against this pandemic, we wonder how would a motorcyclist respond if the government were to call for volunteers to contribute in this time of crisis or if they needed us to support the supply chain… and then it dawned upon us that there are quite a few motorcycles that we have ridden which would be perfect for requirements like these.
While many countries in the world use exotic motorcycles in different scenarios from police patrolling to emergency response, here are a few motorcycles that we think would be suitable for varying roles in these turbulent times.
Note: Motorcycle ambulances are already functional in many parts of the world. This is ‘Emergency Response’ with a touch of our own imagination so it is more like our own wishlist of motorcycles that we’d like to see go on duty during trying times like these.
The first one is the one you saw on the top. What can we say about the versatility of a motorcycle the manufacturer of which decided to name it ‘Many Roads’ or Multistrada? It takes a lot of faith to do that. And that faith is not misplaced. We have tested this motorcycle many times. Across Australia, most of Europe, Spiti and so on. And never has it left wanting more, much less, disappointed. The engine is bulletproof, has loads of power, the torque curve is smooth and a lot of it is available right from the bottom. It is ready for long distances, it is ready for tough roads, and it is ready for luggage too. And from what we hear, the new one spied recently may have a V4 and radar-assisted safety measures… It might very well be the best emergency response vehicle after those upgrades.
We can agree that some destinations are harder to reach than others. In most of the cases, it would be either climate or terrain and sometimes both. If it’s the terrain, the KTM Adventure 990 would be a perfect tool. We got to experience it in Austria in 2011 and let us tell you why it is one of the few motorcycles that came to our mind. The reasons are quite a few and rather simple. It is rugged… proper rally-ready rugged. Spoked wheels, tyres pulled off of a desert-ready Wrangler and an engine that mostly alleviates the need of braking when you’re off the tarmac. A handy tool for last-mile connectivity.
Need to do long distance in a short duration? Want to get somewhere quick? Want hundreds of highway kilometres to fall like skittles? A supercharged, 999cc, inline-4 is what you need. While the other motorcycles on this list boast of versatility, the H2 is meant for speed. And in that sense, it is a true emergency response vehicle. While it may not be as comfortable as the other motorcycles on this list, it sure isn’t a bona fide back-breaker either. We did around 20,000 km on it in Australia and it wasn’t as brutal as many other motorcycles that boast of this much power can be. Not a lot of emergencies can go unresolved with more than 200 horses (280 in case of ours).
This massive Bavarian would be a phenomenal addition to intra-city, long-distance supply runs. While it was originally meant for long-distance luxury, as we found out during our INTERMOT run in 2014, it can easily serve the purpose we are discussing here. It is powered by a 1,649 cc inline-6 which churns out 160 bhp. It has a top box and panniers on either side and they are top-notch too so transporting delicate goods can be taken care of without breaking a sweat. The amenities meant for comforts such as navigation, heated seats and grips, cruise control, and an onboard computer, it can tackle almost any adversity that may stand between the rider and their mission.
Wonderfully styled, 19” front wheel, Cruise Control, Keyless Ignition, and a push-button powered windshield. There is not a lot that the Indian Chieftain misses out on. But the best part about this wonderful motorcycle is its geometry and handling. It may not look like much of a corner carver but this motorcycle is held back only by the rider the going gets curvy. This brute boasts of a 7” ride command touchscreen display with (don’t hold your breath because it’ll take a while); Vehicle Info (speed, fuel range, RPM, gear position); Dual Trip Meters (fuel range, miles, average fuel economy, instantaneous fuel economy time, average speed); Ride Data (heading, moving time, stop time, altitude, altitude change); Bluetooth and much more. Probably the closest to being an ambulance (if needed) on two wheels.
Here’s another heavyweight for the list. The 1,833 cc flat-six that powers this behemoth is good for 170 Nm of torque and 125 bhp. It is a shaft-driven motorcycle with forward and reverse DCT transmission. We found one during our Indian in 0-100 Motorcycles project and as we reminisce our tryst with it, we can think of multiple reasons why it should be on this list. Power, size, comfort, stability, Honda (yes, that is an adjective) and luggage capacity. Goldwing offers unmatched comfort for both the rider and the pillion. Brilliant double-wishbone suspension, electronic aids, Apple CarPlay integration and so forth, only add to the already long list of reasons why the Honda GoldWing would make for a perfect Emergency Response Vehicle.
This one had to be on the list because of our vast experience with it. From the first-ride review to a 15,000 ride across southeast Asia, the Dominar 400 has proven its mettle. A brilliant concoction of comfortable cruising and power riding, it is a motorcycle that can easily wear multiple hats. In this particular scenario, the Bajaj Dominar 400 will be a perfect motorcycle for an intercity run, be it supplying goods and medicines to transporting personnel on an emergency basis. And with a few mods (like the ones we had from Zana) it can carry a substantial amount of goods without being affected too much as we found out firsthand on the #xBhpDominarGreatAsianOdyssey.