Storming The Bastion
Back in October of 2018, Kinetic MotoRoyale very quietly added another bike to their line up, the FB Mondial HPS 300. Journalists who attended the event - were thinking the same thing - here was yet another lifestyle bike manufacturer who was trying tooth and nail to step into an already competitive market, thinking that their overseas legacy would somehow translate well in a country like India, where market dynamics and consumer rationality are very unique, perhaps even opposite to the global ones. Needless to say, many of us actually dismissed the HPS 300 as yet another good bike that will be lost like a headless chicken in the Indian market. We couldn’t have been more wrong. Having been in the market for quite some time now, the HPS 300 has clarified certain things. In the Indian market, legacy is not enough to make a product successful.
Case in point would be Triumph’s Tiger 800, which is indeed a great legacy. However, that was not enough to salvage the previous generation Tiger 800. This year, they upgraded the bike and made it a great one. Powered by a single cylinder four strokes, 249cc engine, the HPS 300 puts down its power of 22.5 bhp and 22 Nm of torque using a six-speed wet multiple transmission. That makes it suitable for both, a city’s stop-and-go traffic, as well as the open highway. As for handling and stability, the HPS 300 checks all the necessary boxes. With four-piston callipers at the front and a single piston calliper set up at the back. As for the suspension, the HPS 300 comes with a 41mm upside-down fork in the front and dual gas-filled shocks. One complaint that we had was the ridiculously small fuel tank. You will be frequenting petrol stations. Other than that we really couldn’t see any problem with the HPS 300. Sure, as with any small scale Italian automobile there are a number of tiny issues here and there, but they are so minute and easy to live with, Not only will it stop bothering riders after a time, they may even fall in love with it.
For example, the engine vibrations coming through the seat and footpegs are very distinct. But flaws like these give the HPS 300 a character. And we all love a bit of a character and soul in our bikes and cars, don’t we?