Deserted roads and powerful motorcycles were made for each other, and whenever both come together, a great time is almost guaranteed.
Which is exactly what I was having as the 250cc Kinetic-Hyosung Comet and I boomed in and out of corners at triple digit speeds, going hell for leather like a jet on afterburner. It was becoming obvious, pretty quickly, that the Comet wasn't averse to gratuitous frolicking and was clearly enjoying the pace.
To be fair, the Comet's no grouch at steady canter either. But the 250cc V-twin motor, shared with the Aquila, has a hunger for revs. It isn't at its happiest until the tacho needle's begging for mercy. The revvy motor happens to fit the Comet's sporty package quite well. Power builds from 4000 rpm onwards.
Serious thrust lies between 7000 and 10000 rpm where, without undue vibration or signs of stress, the Comet surges along very nicely indeed. The transmission, however, isn't quite as sorted. A few false neutrals do dog your steps, but you're usually having too much fun to hold it against the Comet.
It only takes about an hour for the Comet to get in your blood. You'll keep returning to the sweet spot between seven and ten thousand rpm for doses of adrenaline. At which point, the road side spectator will see little more than a red blur that crests the next rise in a flash and is gone. Unfortunately, the emissions-friendly exhaust allows the Comet no more than a whirr for a soundtrack. But tuners abroad promise that a replacement can fix that very nicely.
The rev-freak engine is but half the story, though. In corners, the central attribute of the Comet is stability. Turn-in isn't too quick, but the set-forward, wide handlebar makes light work of steering itself. Going at a step below full-on race pace, the Comet feels composed, relaxed and neutral rather than rushed, nervous and angry.
It seems neither to egg you on, nor hold you back. It just does what you need it to do. While the Comet isn't as easy in traffic as, say, a Hero Honda CD-Dawn, it isn't too unweildy either. Threading through the errant hordes is easy enough and with a little time, you'll even make U-turns with your feet up.
Ride quality is quite plush too and the Comet only complains on proper moonscapes. Bring out the perfect roads though (and we're getting more of those by the day), and the Comet is more playful than a puppy full of caffeine. In keeping with its character (and our sort of trigger happy traffic), the brakes are quite sharp.
A gentle squeeze will unlock tons of retardation. The single disc is quite effective, but for those who can never get enough, the gold-finish upside-down forks (an Indian first) have space for a second rotor and calliper set to be mounted.
You can see that it looks absolutely gorgeous. The fat, sculpted tank, brushed-finish top triple clamp, dominant twin-spar frame, cool gold-finish upside down forks, alloys and fat tubeless tyres all add up to a bona fide head turner. Prepare to explain the bike's name and specs to loads of people if you are planning to buy one.And you can still buy one. Kinetic is selling about 500 of these and bookings close around the 20th of December. At about Rs 200,000 on-road in Mumbai, the Comet is probably the least expensive way to break into the multi-cylinder club. And what an entrance it'll be!