Why the Polar Odyssey is the perfect testing ground for two-wheeler safety

In my last blog outlining the issue of two-wheeler road safety in India, I spoke about the role played by the riding habits and road conditions. While these are essential for road safety, a lot of times, these two factors are out of the hands and control of riders themselves. Left at the mercy of other riders on the road and the authorities to improve roads, riders cannot control the outcome here. What they can successfully control though, is choosing the right bike that suits their riding style and offers safety features that other bikes do not have.

At the Polar Odyssey – an Arctic to Antarctic ride covering 50,000 km over 17 different countries – the opportunity is right to test some of these safety features that can change the face of rider safety in the Indian two-wheeler market. At Bosch, we have narrowed down these safety features to two key areas for now – effective braking and reliable engine performance. We feel that with these two areas under control, two-wheeler riders can truly focus on enjoying their ride without worrying out extreme conditions that can threaten their safety or balance.

Testing braking safety at the Polar Odyssey

PictographThe riders are close to finishing the North America leg of the odyssey right now and will soon be venturing into South America across some of the most dangerous routes that adventure bikers have dreamed of. These include some dangerous stretches such as the Dalton Highway, the Dempster Highway and more. In some places, the roads here are filled with gravel and loose dirt making it extremely difficult for riders to maintain control over their bikes. Needless to say, quick braking on these roads is dangerous and ill-advised. However, with Bosch ABS (Antilock Braking System), the riders have got the reassurance that they can reliably brake suddenly and not lose any traction of the tires. This is leading the riders to maintain good speeds over the journey and cover distances faster and stick to the schedule of the Polar Odyssey.

Bosch’s ABS is one of the lightest that is available in the market today (it does not weight more than half a kilogram) and it can effectively be used for front and rear wheels. This makes it a great option for developing and developed countries alike, and enables riders to enjoy traction control, off-road control and high vibration resistance at extremely high speeds. Added with the improved vehicle stability and riding comfort, this ABS is one of the most advanced in the market for all road conditions.

Boosting engine performance at the Polar Odyssey
Another parameter that Bosch is consciously focusing on is the engine performance of its indigenously developed engines for the India market. We call it the EPM44 and it includes all aspects within the engine that make it function smoothly on all roads and in all weather conditions. Since the engine is the operating system of any bike, we are constantly innovating new technologies to deliver superior performance and safer emission regulations in two-wheelers. At the Polar Odyssey, Bosch’s EMS is being put to the test everyday and is performing way beyond all expectations.
Whether it is the control unit that synchronizes fuel, air and spark in the engine, the air pressure or temperature controls, or the electric fuel injector within the two-wheeler, Bosch’s EMS manages the entire process seamlessly and delivers smooth performance at all weather conditions and altitudes for a bike. Riders from the Polar Odyssey attest to the fact that Bosch’s EMS delivers performance that makes safety a no-brainer, and Bosch is working round the clock to enhance these features even further to flourish in the complex Indian market.

With regulations in the Indian mobility market – ABS becoming mandatory for two-wheelers and emission regulations changing – the time is ripe for innovations to shine. Delivering safety mechanisms that meet these new regulations while improving performance is Bosch’s vision for the market. Combined with our German engineering heritage and localized Indian engineering talent, we are confident that we are well placed to meet the demands here and the Polar Odyssey is a great testing ground.

*The Polar Odyssey is a pole-to-pole journey that will take 3 riders from the Arctic to Antarctic on Bajaj Dominars and cover more than 50,000 km across 17 different countries in 2 continents. It is one of the most ambitious and challenging adventure motorcycle expeditions ever undertaken by a group of Indian riders. You can read more about The Polar Odyssey here.

About the author

Prabhu Panduranga

Prabhu Panduranga

Regional President, Powertrain Solutions Regional Business unit Head, 2 Wheeler & Power sports
Prabhu Panduranga is the Regional President for Powertrain Solutions - PC Segement (formerly known as Gasoline Systems) in Bosch Ltd. since September 1st 2016. Currently, he also holds an additional reposonsibility of Business Head of 2 wheeler & power sports division in India. Prior to this role, he was the Managing Director of Bosch Automotive Electronics India Pvt.Ltd. He has been associated with the Bosch Group for 30 years, having worked in various divisions within.

Prabhu Panduranga was born on July 18th, 1964 in Karnataka (state) India. He is married and has two children. He holds a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Mysore University and a PGDBA from Bangalore University.

Career stages in the Bosch Group

1987: Joined Bosch Group (MICO) and worked at Naganathapura plant with responsibilities in different plant functions until 1995.

1995-2008: Worked with Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Ltd. in R&D for Electronic Control Unit (ECU) for Diesel Division in various capacities. He was also responsible as Head of Department for ECU development (hardware and software systems) for passenger car segment for emerging countries.

2008: Commandeered as Regional Business Unit Head for Diesel and Gasoline ECU business at Bosch Limited, India.

2010: Assumed additional responsibility as Global Head for two-wheeler systems and business development in Gasoline Division of Bosch

2013: Appointed as Managing Director in Bosch Automotive Electronics India Pvt. Ltd.

2016: Took over as Regional President of Gasoline Systems India & Regional Business responsibility of 2 Wheeler & Powersports India.

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