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Honey, I shrunk the race bike!: Ohvale GP-0 160 | Autocar India

Written by Raghav

Very similar to bonsai vegetation, the Ohvale GP-Zero has most of the options of a full-size race bike, simply miniaturised. So, after all, we may solely ship our most miniature rider to check it.

Printed On Might 13, 2022 07:00:00 AM

Nothing embodies the phrase ‘large issues are available small packages’ fairly just like the bike you see in these photos. In case you are a eager follower of motorsport on two wheels, then you recognize that everybody from up-and-coming pre-teen racers to Valentino Rossi himself is at the moment coaching on a model of Italian minibikes known as Ohvale. To seek out out simply what it’s about these bikes that’s making th likes of MotoGP world champion Fabio Quartararo make a beeline for them, we tried one out in its pure habitat: a go-karting observe. However in a number of months’ time, it may very well be you driving one in every of these machines, as a result of the very first FIM MiniGP India Sequence is about to kick off quickly, with the purpose of discovering India’s first MotoGP star. The championship will likely be open to budding racers aged 10 to 14, with the highest 2 finishers being flown to Valencia in October for the World Ultimate, scheduled to happen alongside the MotoGP season finale.

When you don’t fall inside that age bracket, you needn’t be too bummed, as a result of the model has additionally begun promoting its bikes to anybody in India who needs to purchase one. If the scale of those bikes has fooled you into pondering they’re some kind of toy, the worth tag will definitely shatter these illusions. The mannequin line-up ranges from 110cc single-speed to 160cc and 190cc 4-speed machines, with costs beginning on the Rs 7 lakh mark and going as much as round Rs 11 lakh. The bike we rode was the GP-0 160 4-speed EVO, which produces 15hp, rolls on 10-inch wheels, and can price you Rs 8.20 lakh. And all these numbers are earlier than you consider 28 % GST. A big a part of these eye-watering figures is all the way down to our import duties, however even with out these, the Ohvale line-up begins across the ¤4,000 mark (Rs 3.Three lakh) in its homeland.

The exquisitely machined rearsets are adjustable.

When you stand up shut, although, you perceive simply why that’s so. Sure, it’s small in dimension, however every thing about this bike is beautiful. Proper from the supplies used to the construct high quality and end ranges, and the spec of the {hardware} is totally high notch. It seems and feels precisely such as you’d anticipate a hand-built Italian race bike to. The spec sheet can be fairly spectacular: a 4-piston monobloc caliper upfront, an Arrow exhaust system, a totally adjustable monoshock and the other way up fork (unique to the EVO variant; solely preload is adjustable on the usual bike’s fork).
First up, the plain query. Will you match on it? The quick reply is sure. Clearly, house is at a premium, however the precise rider’s triangle is surprisingly roomy and you’ve got more room than you’d suppose. Likely, taller riders will really feel somewhat cramped within the leg area, however ergonomics are adjustable (rearsets and clip-ons may be moved), and if Valentino Rossi can contort his close to 6-foot body onto this bike, you’ll in all probability handle too. Apart from, it’s not the kind of factor you’re going to be spending lengthy hours on – these bikes aren’t street-legal so utilization will likely be restricted to quick stints on go-kart tracks.

With the plain distinction in dimensions – particularly the smaller wheels – it could be unreasonable to anticipate the little Ohvale to behave like a full-sized bike. The best way it suggestions into corners and may be flicked round is in contrast to anything, and till you recalibrate your inputs to account for this lightness and reactivity, the bike can really feel  twitchy and unstable. However that’s a part of what makes these bikes such improbable coaching instruments. The wiggles and wobbles that you just’ll expertise in your preliminary laps aren’t all the way down to an inherent instability of the bike – it’s merely the bike highlighting and magnifying your poor inputs as a rider. Shift your physique round just a bit too aggressively or on the fallacious time, and you’ll unsettle the bike. Any pointless drive by means of the handlebar, and the bike will very loudly inform you that you just’re doing it fallacious. All of the minor infringements {that a} bigger, heavier bike will forgive and overlook, this bike will spotlight. Conversely, it can reward your good inputs simply as generously because it punishes the dangerous ones.
 

Begin making use of the right driving strategies – use your legs to grip the bike, use your core power to help your higher physique, apply solely mandatory and sufficient drive to the handlebars, and so on – and also you’ll have an enormous grin in your face as you effortlessly benefit from the razor sharp dealing with and great grip from the sticky bespoke PMT slicks. Actually the one option to get a fast lap time on this bike is to be clean, exact and mainly textbook in your driving model. And when you grasp that approach and handle to go quick on this bike, I’ve little question you could switch that approach over to a full-sized bike. A number of laps on this bike, and also you perceive precisely why it’s the coaching software of alternative for a few of the greatest circuit racers on the earth. Whether or not you’re simply beginning out with observe driving, or a grasp of the craft, there’s all the time an enormous chunk of studying and a substantial amount of enjoyment on provide aboard one in every of these pocket rockets.

The ‘rocket’ a part of that tag may appear somewhat far-fetched, with an air- and oil-cooled 160cc single producing 15hp. However, in actuality, it feels greater than sufficient, and also you’re hardly ever left wanting for energy within the tight and twisty confines of a go-kart observe. All of the controls really feel precisely as you’d anticipate from a race bike – there may be barely any play to talk of within the throttle, and when you twist it, response is tremendous crisp, and fuelling from the Dell’Ortocarburettor is totally spot-on. When you’re silly sufficient to deal with this bike like some kind of toy, a high-side crash is a definite chance, as many movies on Instagram will spectacularly show. However be taught to be clean with it, and also you’ll recognize the chunky energy supply and meaty unfold of drive throughout the rev vary; you possibly can even get away with being a gear too excessive generally. The shift sample on the fantastically exact 4-speed gearbox is all-down, which, not fully coincidentally, is precisely what a modern-day MotoGP bike makes use of, simply two gears much less. The superb braking set-up additionally does its bit that will help you emulate your MotoGP heroes. Chew and modulation can be found in spades, supplying you with the boldness and precision you must begin trail-braking all the best way to the apex of tight corners.

There’s completely no getting round the truth that these bikes are an costly proposition. Within the type we rode it in, this bike will price you upwards of Rs 10.5 lakh by the point it’s parked in your storage, and that looks like a really tough determine to justify, a minimum of on paper. That very same quantity, or much less, may purchase you exponentially faster, extra highly effective bikes. However in case you’re severe about bettering your observe expertise, the Ohvales will train you extra about observe driving in a day than most large bikes will in a month. Then there’s additionally the truth that it’s usable on a far larger variety of tracks (any decently sized karting circuit will do), whereas studying with a fraction of the danger (falls will likely be smaller and slower, and the bikes are designed to carry up properly within the occasion of a crash). When you do have the luxurious of with the ability to afford and justify one in every of these, there may be completely nothing else prefer it in the marketplace proper now, and the rewards and delight you get from driving one in every of these is actually distinctive.
 

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Raghav