“I Love Riding!”- Investigating the Bikers’ Emotive Needs within the Social Culture of Biking in India

By Amitoj Singh and Lalit Kumar Das.

Published by The Design Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Motorcycling (biking) offers mobility to millions of Indians and is therefore an integral part of Indian culture and society. The social reality of biking in India is influenced by emotional needs of owning, purchasing and riding a motorbike. This paper focuses on investigating the user’s emotional needs associated with riding a motorbike in India. The paper establishes an emotional differentiation in the bikers’ needs within the social culture of biking in India -Bread and butter biking, Travel and comfort biking, Social networking biking, Dexterous and exploratory biking, High esteem biking and Religious biking (Das and Singh, 2008). The findings are based on an extensive study conducted among 3106 owners of 22 different motorbike models from various states in India. More than 10,000 qualitative comments of the respondents were analysed and assigned to 33 distinct categories using content analysis techniques (Krippendorf, 2004). It was found that the ‘Emotive Biking Experience’ is the most important need associated with biking in India, followed by ‘Comfort’, ‘Economy’, and ‘Fuel Efficiency’. The data was studied further to analyze the dominant emotional needs associated with each biking segment. Also, the quality and intensity of ‘Emotive Biking Experience’ associated with each biking segment was studied on the basis of Desmet’s (2002) circumplex of product emotions. The findings establish that the various biking segments can not only be differentiated on the basis of the emotional needs of biking but also on the quality and intensity of emotions associated with key emotional needs. And just like the spirit of India, which is known for unity in diversity, the diverse emotional experiences associated with bikers are also connected together with a single unified emotion of ‘Love’. This emotion signifies the most popular emotional state of bikers in India for their bikes. With more than 55% of statements, describing the emotive experiences falling in this category it would not be wrong to say that the phrase, “I love riding!” truly describes the emotions of millions of users in India.

Keywords: Motorbikes, Biking Experience, Emotive Needs, Content Analysis, India

Design Principles and Practices: An International Journal, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.427-442. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.845MB).

Dr. Amitoj Singh

Assistant Professor, Industrial Design Programme, IDDC, Indian Institute of Technology, NEW DELHI, Delhi, India

Amitoj Singh did his masters in Industrial design from IIT Delhi after graduating in mechanical engineering. Currently he is working as an Assistant Professor in the Industrial Design Programme at IIT Delhi. He has worked as a motorbike styling designer for Hero Honda Motors Limited for almost six years prior to joining academics. He has been instrumental in establishing an industrial design studio and leading various motorbike design projects at Hero Honda. He currently pursuing a Doctoral research in the field of Design and Emotions, from IIT Delhi. He has designed various products-service systems in the field of automobiles, play equipments and adaptive environments. He is deeply interested in emotion centered framework for product design. His projects in the field of user experience have got him acclaim from media and industry.

Dr. Lalit Kumar Das

Head, Instrument Design & Development Centre, Industrial Design Programme, Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi, Delhi, India

Prof. Lalit Kumar Das pioneered Industrial Design education at IIT Delhi. He has developed a programme that is an excellent blend of design sensitivities and industrial propensities. He graduated in Civil Engineering from IIT Kanpur. Thereafter he did his Masters of Technology in Design Engineering from IIT Delhi and then Master of Art in Industrial Design from the Royal College of Art, London. He has a variety of interests in design and man’s innate potential to design. He has worked with artisans and has conceptualized distant education for artisans under the banner of IGNOU. He is deeply interested in sustainable approach to design and a non parochial non partisan framework for study of design. He has many publications to his credit. He has been engaging in the development of the recently announced National Design Policy.


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