Some days one would self-realise that there is a lot into motorcycling and even more into motorsports. MiniGP race bikes are one such revelation. If you ever scroll through Valentino Rossi's social media posts, apart from leisurely spending time with go-karts, you will find him riding a MiniGP bike. In today's day and age, all wanna-be racers and champions practice their skills on MiniGP bikes. The potential tap of the prospect could only be well established if we have our own made-in-India mini-racing bikes for championships and training alike. Welcome, Coimbatore-based startup - CRA Motorsports. To boost grassroots-level racing in India, the startup has launched its own motorcycle kit known as Atom GP1 at Rs 2.75 lakhs + GST. Value-for-money equation will be out of context; you will discover why?
Atom GP 1 Mini Race Bike
The Atom GP mini bike is Mr Tharun Kumar's and the team's perceived efforts that took three years to make the bike production and race-worthy. The bike gets a 159cc, single-cylinder, air-cooled,two-valve engine that produces around 15hp of power and 13.85 Nm of torque, around the same as the Apache RTR 160. However, its size and weight set the bike character apart. Weighing just around 85 kg, it has a power-to-weight ratio of 5.6 kg/ hp. It gets a 5-speed GP-style gearbox. CRA Motorsports claims the top speed of the bike at 105km/hr.
Regarding hardware, the bike gets upside-down forks at the front and a mono-shock at the rear. The overall body of the Atom GP1 gets FRP-fiberglass covering and custom-built race-tuned exhaust to keep its weight in check. It has 12-inch alloy wheels wrapped in TVS Remora tyres and a disc brake setup.
Atom GP1 is purpose-built for training, recreation and racing. The team is planning its inaugural championship season by October for riders aged 10-17 years. Currently, the production capacity of the bike is around 250 units per annum. The team is expanding its dealer network for sales and spare parts.
The alternatives to Atom GP1, like Ohavle GP160, are quite expensive as you have to bear higher import taxes. So, the affordability of Atom GP 1 opens up opportunities for young riders to sharpen their racing skills and even experience the thrill of racing.
Atom GP 1 Mini Race Bike- Track Ride Experience
Bangalore weather is usually a boon most of the time until it's my turn to experience the bike on the track. As soon as I kitted up, rain-gods spoiled the show, and I barely had 3-4 laps to experience the bike. It's a small bike, so anyone complaining about its comfort would be misleading. However, the bike is genuinely quite accommodative. Mini GP bikes are not forgiving, and mistakes could easily lead to punishment, so one gets drilled enough with the required skills to master the craft of racing. The gearbox was a bit clunky, and the vibrations were quite observant, especially on my bike. I do not have a reference point for the imported MiniGP bikes, so I reserve my judgment on how good or bad this bike is compared to them.
Definitely, fit and finish could be better, but I assume all these will be rectified and improved once the overall sport grows. I genuinely felt happy riding the bike on the track, and it felt like an occasion in itself. I had my fair share of close calls, reminding me to hone my riding skills to have more fun on the bike. Seeing kids riding fast and smart on the track produced a sense of disciplined fun. FUN - that's what really matters, and giving a context of value spoils the emotions. As long as you are having fun and crafting your riding skills, nothing really matters. Value, then- is proportional to the amount of fun you have, and the overall perspective of looking at it depends on how deep your pocket is. So, this would certainly be a great first attempt for anyone whose parents are enthusiastic about their kids racing in India. Sooner or later, hopefully, all these efforts in the right direction would grow sports and the rider in the right direction.