The Atom GP1 weighs only 85kg!
The Atom GP1 weighs only 85kg!CRA Motorsports

Atom GP1 mini motorcycle kit launched at ₹2.75 lakh | We've ridden it!

The Atom GP1 will race in a new race series which is all set to begin later this year

Coimbatore-based motorsport team — CRA Motorsports — has unveiled and launched the Atom GP1 mini motorcycle kit at ₹2.75 lakh (excluding GST). The made-in-India Atom GP1 is aimed at the young crowd, children who are looking forward to getting into motorcycle racing in India as well as abroad. It is aimed to be ridden and raced on small go-kart tracks by kids aged between 10 to 17 years.

The Atom GP1 is powered by a 158cc single-cylinder air-cooled engine sourced from an Indian manufacturer. This engine produces 14.8bhp and 13.85Nm of peak torque. It is mated to a five-speed gearbox with GP-style shifting (one up, four down). It sports a single carburetor fuel system and can hit a top speed of 105kmph. In terms of suspension, it gets a golden USD front fork and a monoshock at the rear. The Atom GP1 tips the scales at 85kg courtesy of a fibreglass body. It gets a single-disc brake setup at both ends, with only the rear being a petal disc. The Atom GP1 rides on 12-inch rims, which are shod with specially developed TVS Remora tyres.

CRA Motorsports founder Tharunkumar S told us that currently they have an annual production capacity of 250 units for the Atom GP1 and if demand increases, they will also be able to lower its price. He also told us that, apart from the engine and the suspension (which is assembled in-house), all the other parts of the bike are manufactured in-house by CRA Motorsports, save for the tyres and rims.

The Atom GP1 will race in a new proposed race series, dubbed the 'CRA Atom GP Series', which is scheduled for later in 2023. The initial national championship will host four rounds at tracks across India. By 2025 CRA Motorsports has plans to host five national championships in Asia, Europe and even the USA.

The Atom GP1 gets USD front forks
The Atom GP1 gets USD front forksCRA Motorsports

Astride the Atom GP1

I got a chance to ride the Atom GP1 at Meco Kartopia, in Bengaluru. The go-kart track where it was primarily tested over its three year development period. CRA Motorsports started developing the Atom GP1 amidst the 2021 global pandemic. Brainchild of founder Tharun, the Atom GP1 was fully developed in just under eight months. "It took us time to set up all the manufacturing machinery and hence the three year time," he told me. And for a bike, be it a small one, it's definitely a very good first effort. Sure, the fibreglass body doesn't feel premium, but the bike feels well built. It is well put together and doesn't rattle or squeak. At 85kg, it's super light for us adults and will be a good first step into the biking world for kids. Not too heavy to intimidate them, not too light to make it feel bicycle-esque. 

Once astride the motorcycle, the first thing that I noticed were the rear set foot pegs and the low set clip-on handlebar. Proper race bike this is. Once off the starter blocks, the Atom GP1 picked up pace a lot easier than I expected. Its 158cc, near 15bhp, engine has a good low-end and mid-range. The bike doesn't have a cluster, so I have no idea when it redlined, but I feel that it could've done with more revs. The engine feels vibey and could definitely do with more refinement. The GP-style shifting five-speed gearbox is fairly slick. The brake setup feels perfect for it, with good bite and feedback. TVS Tyres has specially developed Remora tyres for the Atom GP1 with a softer compound. They support the bike rather well with good performance in the dry as well as rain. It rained during my time out on the track and the tyres felt perfectly fine, never skipping a beat, even under extreme cornering.

I enjoyed riding the Atom GP1 a lot more than I imagined. It isn't very powerful, but on a small track has enough grunt to keep you entertained. And seeing a couple of young racers battling it out on the track, having a blast, was really entertaining. After the session, they told me it was quite fun for them too and a perfect platform to brush up on their skills, before turning to the big toys. 

At ₹2.75 lakh excluding GST, or around ₹3.5 lakh including GST, the Atom GP1 seems expensive, but it's nearly ₹7 lakh more affordable than its arch competitor, the Ohvale GP-0 160. Sure, the latter has a better build quality and superior mechanicals, but is it ₹7 lakh superior? I'll leave that to you to answer. 

The Atom GP1 is a really good and welcoming effort to promote motorsport at the grassroot level in India. Moreover, with experts like CRA Motorsports, who've backed a few national champions, to guide kids and have their back, it is definitely something that you should consider if you're looking to enrol your child into the two-wheel motorsport world.

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