Sunday, 20 August 2017

KTM Duke 125 Review


KTM Duke 125 Review

KTM Duke 125 Infographic

Overview

2017 KTM Duke 125 is a small segment version of the new KTM 390 Duke with a 125cc engine. The bike gives us a fresh, aggressive design based on the same lines as Duke 390. It has some impressive array of things to offer such as bifurcated LED headlamp, all new instrument console, tank shrouds which extend to the headlight, new rear sub frame and a revised exhaust system.

Although manufactured in India, the KTM 125 Duke is not likely to be launched in the country as a price of INR 1.25 lakh+ and low fuel efficiency does not make it a good option where most bikes in the 125 cc segment come at a price of INR 55k-70k, along with very high mileage figures. Outside India, KTM Duke 125 is available in the shades of White and Orange with a tubular base frame.


Design & Style

The New Duke 125 comes with conventional naked street bike styling from KTM, coming with some sharp edge looks, which are sure to make heads turn. With the promising reliability of the brand, the bike looks like a replica of the 390 Duke with some toned down features, using the same components as the elder sibling.

2017 KTM 125 Duke is the only bike in the 125 cc segment which can show off a glorious TFT display which adapts its illumination to the surrounding light conditions. The LED headlight seems directly borrowed from 1290 SuperDuke R and the parking light also consists of 20 LEDs. The KTM 125 Duke also has extended stylized tank shrouds which are visible up to the headlights. The steel fuel tank and the high quality cast along with other aesthetic features give you a feel of a very impressive naked street bike.


Engine & Gearbox

Sure, it is normal to expect a very good performance from all the KTM Duke variants. And this one too does not disappoint, with a 124.7 cc engine giving out a power of 15 bhp @ 9500 rpm and a torque of 11.8 Nm @ 8000 rpm. It comes with a single cylinder four stroke engine which is liquid cooled. The bike comes with 6 speed manual transmission and it is a true performer in the 125cc segment with promising statistics.


Mileage

Given such power packed performance in the 125 cc segment, the KTM Duke 125 has a mileage of around 35-40 kmpl. This is not a consideration here because this bike won't make it to the Indian streets. This bike is low on fuel efficiency in the class but that won't make a difference for its international sale number.


Instrument Console

KTM Duke 125 has a single panel digital display. It comes with a digital speedometer, tachometer, trip meter, clock, odometer and a digital fuel gauge.


Safety Features

The KTM Duke 125 has first in class ABS (Anti-lock Braking System) which is unique to the 125cc segment. It uses fine technology to ensure a good user experience and enables control. It comes with an electric start, attractive split seat, pass light and pillion footrest.


Suspension

The KTM Duke 125 comes packed with high quality upside down WP suspension with open cartridge technology. The shock absorber has a progressive spring, where pre-load is adjustable providing a well balanced suspension.


Shade

KTM Duke 125 is a standard offering coming in a single Orange and White shade. This makes it look like most of it's older siblings with same color and signature styling.


Verdict

The KTM Duke 125 is a very impressive bike offering us the same panache as we find in KTM 1290 SuperDuke R. It has some serious style quotient, with the bifurcated LED lights being a show stealer. As a fan of KTM, this looks like a fair deal in the 125 cc segment and also carries the royalty coming with the brand name. It lies in the same class as Honda CBR125R and Yamaha MT-125 as competition.

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Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Like & Dislike About Royal Enfield Classic 350

Royal Enfield Classic 350 is undoubtedly the king of the current RE lineup. It sells like hot cakes with its potential to rule the streets and provide the most comfortable riding experience on the Indian highways. The motorcycle is powered by the same 346cc, 1-cylinder engine from Bullet 350, happily producing 19.8 BHP at 5250 rpm and 28 Nm of massive torque at 4000 rpm. It comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox and weighs 192 kg with all fluids and a full fuel tank. Here are the pros and cons of buying the RE Classic 350 in India.

     
Royal Enfield Classic 350 is undoubtedly the king of the current RE lineup. It sells like hot cakes with its potential to rule the streets and provide the most comfortable riding experience on the Indian highways. The motorcycle is powered by the same 346cc, 1-cylinder engine from Bullet 350, happily producing 19.8 BHP at 5250 rpm and 28 Nm of massive torque at 4000 rpm. It comes mated to a 5-speed gearbox and weighs 192 kg with all fluids and a full fuel tank. Here are the pros and cons of buying the RE Classic 350 in India.


Things We Like About Royal Enfield Classic 350


1) Powerful Engine


As the engine details were given above, it becomes clear that power and Royal Enfield are good old friends. Not just that, it takes the least effort for Classic 350 to reach its maximum ability as the values are reached at relatively lower torque than all other motorcycles available in India around its segment. The engine has loads of pulling power, making it the best motorcycle when considering a ride into tough terrains like mountains and slopes.

2) Exclusive Design



No other motorcycle around its segment carries the same sort of design language as Classic 350. It comes with a full metal body that provides it with those tough guy looks. The round headlight, huge fuel tank, curved fenders and chrome spoke wheels. The divided seat is a visual bless while the exhaust is particularly shared between all RE Bullet and Classic models. The retro inspired design language gives it a unique road presence for sure.

3) Braking and Handling


Royal Enfield Classic 350 uses a front 280mm disc brake with 2-piston calipers and 153 mm drum brake for the rear. This makes it an ideal RE to drive as cutting speeds become easy and driving at higher speeds is more promising than before. It has a different handlebar than the Bullet series, providing the rider with more confidence while maneuvering in heavy traffic. The tyres are MRF 90/90-19 and 110/90-18 on the Classic 350. These are years ahead of those found on the Bullet 350 and helps the rider attain new levels of grip on the road surface.

4) Electric Start


RE provides the option of electric start on the Classic 350 as a standard feature. This helps many potential riders that are not much familiar with the kick starter to enter the RE family an enjoy riding the motorcycle in all conditions. This option also helps those who are scared of the reverse action of RE’s kick-starter, which is considered quite dangerous on old Bullet motorcycles.

5) Powerful Headlight


Royal Enfield provides the Classic 350 with 60W/55W halogen headlight that is twice as bright as normal bulbs in most motorcycles. They are extremely useful in bad weather conditions and night time driving. The presence of pass light switch makes it even more powerful and helpful in rough conditions.

6) Excellent Mileage


Everyone won’t be familiar with this term for a Royal Enfield motorcycle but many riders have claimed a mileage of around 40 kmpl from their Classic 350. The average value never drops below 35 kmpl in most riders while with careful driving and fuel efficient throttle value, it can seriously touch 40 kmpl without any hesitation. Riders do not need to worry about super constant refills as the motorcycle happily provides 500 kilometers of riding range in a full fuel tank with medium hand on the throttle.


Things We Dislike About Royal Enfield Classic 350


1) Heavyweight


RE Classic 350 weighs 192 kg and that makes it a lot more heavier than bikes of this class. For some near comparisons, we can consider the Bajaj Dominar 400 that weighs around 182 kg. The 10 kg more weight over the heaviest Bajaj makes it a bit slower in overall top speed terms. Royal Enfield is actually not known for figures like top speed or acceleration but lowering its weight from some parts could provide an even better ride quality in the coming times.


2) High Pricing


Basically a Bullet 350 with different design and added features, RE Classic 350 commands a price tag of INR 1,35,400 (ex-showroom Delhi). The addition of disc brake and electric start, along with MRF tyres makes it expensive for sure but the gap is of around INR 22,000 in both the bikes. Royal Enfield should have provided a lower tag as many buyers skip the same because the on-road price in their city crosses INR 1.50 lakh.

3) No Fuel Gauge


Well, royal feel is a different thing but a fuel gauge could have been a better addition on the RE Classic 350. What is someone takes your bike for a ride and unfortunately switches the fuel knob to reserve due to some reason? You won’t even know when your bike gets out of fuel as there would be no indication of anything before the unfortunate halt.

4) Refinement Issues



Royal Enfield should work over the refinement issues faced by thousands of fans in terms of engine noise, harsh vibrations and false neutrals. Although RE machines are made to stay longer, not every user actually knows how to go through such a phase when you spend INR 1.50 lakh and still are not satisfied with the noise of the engine when idle.


Tuesday, 1 August 2017

How to Get Paid Per Ad View Instead of Per Click


In the world of online marketing, when you’re running ads on your blog, there are a few different ways you can get paid.

Affiliate sales. These involve you running ads that refer users to a store, where they can buy items. You get paid if they buy.
Lead generation. This is very similar to affiliate sales, except you refer people to communication with sales staff. The sales staff pay you for qualified leads – that is, people likely to buy, rather than people they can’t contact or fake information.
Pay per click. These ads sit there on your site and do nothing until they’re clicked. You get paid a small fee each time the ad is clicked by a real user. Again, it only works if the user is real, bots and repeated spam clicks from the same person don’t count.
Pay per impression. These ads sit on your site and earn you money every time they’re displayed to a real, non-repeat user. The more traffic you have, the more you can make. Because a view is so much easier than any of the above to get, these ads tend to pay a meager fee for view counts in the thousands.
Pay per impression is the easiest and least effort way to get paid for running ads on your site, hands down. The user doesn’t even need to pay attention to those ads; as long as they don’t have an ad blocker installed, they see the ads, and thus you get paid.

Because it’s so easy to get views, pay is scaled per thousand. For pay per click ads, you have a rate per click you earn. For pay per impression ads, you have an amount you earn per thousand views.

Impression advertising is often abused, unfortunately. There are dozens of traffic bots out there that claim to get around filters and work for various programs. For this reason, most of the ad networks out there – including the big one, Google AdSense – rely on a per click model.

Here’s the thing about AdSense. There are a lot of references out there to CPM advertising through AdSense. In the old days, running AdSense ads on your site was almost always a CPM – impression – payout. These days, though, very few companies want to pay for unqualified, random impressions. Instead, they want to pay for clicks or leads. Because that’s the case, AdSense ads are almost always CPC.

If you want to switch to CPM ads, you’re going to have to drop AdSense. Some ads will occasionally run CPM through AdSense, particularly when using graphical banner ads, but those are rare. You also can’t control it; it’s determined by Google. Or, rather, it’s determined by the people using Google AdWords to pay for ads; they determine whether they want to pay for clicks or impressions, and that determines how the ads on your site run.




CPM and CPC


I understand the desire to not have to worry about sales or clicks, and just make money from your traffic seeing your content. It’s a good idea, and the only thing that makes it difficult is the longtime abuse of the system. For over a decade, CPM has been ruined by people running software or gaming the system in order to make a few bucks. They make theirs, but they trash the system for everyone else.

Consider a situation where your site pulls in about 1,000 visitors per day.
With CPC advertising, say you have a 1% click-through rate. For 1,000 visitors in a day, that’s 10 clicks.
With CPM advertising, your click rate doesn’t matter. 1,000 visitors is 1,000 impressions.

Now, with CPC, say you’re getting $1 per click. With CPM, you might be getting $2 per thousand impressions. Now look at the examples above. With 10 clicks per day, at $1 per click, you’re making $10 per day. With CPM, 1,000 daily views at $2 per thousand means you make $2 per day.

It’s also arguably easier to grow your click-through rate than it is to grow your traffic legitimately. That said, through the use of traffic purchasing, cheap ads, and taking advantage of viral traffic, you can boost your traffic in the short term a lot more than you can boost click rates.

Ads in different channels also have different values. According to MonetizePros, last year the value ranged from $2.80 per thousand views for standard display ads, to $5 per thousand views for ads within emails.

There’s a lot of variation in the industry, however. It tends to have a lot to do with niches and keywords, as well as ad placement. Video ads can be much more lucrative, for example. Consider this: the more traffic a niche has – the larger it is – the lower your CPM payouts are going to be.

Why is this? Think about it from the side of the business paying for the ads. If you’re in a broad niche, like video games or health food or exercise, it’s really easy to get a lot of traffic. You don’t want to pay a ton for the traffic, because there’s so much of it you’d lose out. On the other hand, in a very narrow niche with very little traffic, you’re willing to pay more for it because you can do more with it.

CPM in general isn’t all that widely used these days. Most of the people using it tend to be running sites where they don’t care about the quality of the traffic; they have ways to monetize it that exploit loopholes or don’t require user actions. They don’t want to spend a lot, so they go for CPM over CPC. What that means is that, more so than the low payments, the primary point of failure with CPM ads is the quality of those ads and the sites they advertise.

Investing in CPM




If you want to get paid via CPM despite all of the arguments against it, you’re going to have to monitor your inbox and prove yourself. There are two ways to do CPM.

Join a CPM ad network, or a hybrid network that allows you to choose.
Attract the attention of an agency that represents a private CPM network.
The former is the route most CPM publishers take, while the latter is the more lucrative and difficult of the two options.

Before I go into dealing with agencies and private networks, let’s first talk about the public CPM networks.

The primary problem with public CPM networks is, as I’ve mentioned, the quality of the sites and site owners involved with the network. A network is only as good as the people paying into it and the people running its ads. A lot of the sites on both sides of the equation for pure CPM will be bottom of the barrel, low budget, maybe even spam sites. The networks make money from a commission, but both the payments and payouts are minor, so they have to thrive on volume. Therefore, they don’t regulate or vet their publishers or advertisers very strictly.

If you’re interested in a public CPM network, here are some options for you to explore:

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Technorati
CPXi
Index Exchange
Rhythm One
Conversant
Tribal Fusion
Each of these has benefits and drawbacks. Technorati is simple and focused on CPM ads. Rhythm One is a more modern rebrand of an older network. Conversant is a hybrid with affiliate and CPC ads as well. Tribal Fusion is one of the oldest remaining ad networks and advertises higher than average rates. I’ll leave it to you to investigate each of them and see if your site fits with their requirements.

Speaking of requirements, you might not get into all of these networks on the first attempt. See, for CPM to be lucrative, you need volume. You need a lot of traffic. Some will have higher requirements than others, but they don’t always publish them publicly. You’ll have to do some digging, contact account reps, or just apply and see if you qualify.




CPM Only

CPM and CPC
CPM agencies represent private CPM networks. Private networks have a lot of benefits where public networks don’t. Primarily, because they carefully vet their clients and publishers, they can maintain a high level of quality for both sides. They will only work with you if you refer a high volume of great traffic. Likewise, they only work with advertisers who have real, good products to advertise, who stay within the quality boundaries, and who have budgets to pay a reasonable rate.

That’s the single biggest benefit of a private network; the money. With the higher level of quality comes higher per-thousand rates.

Agencies will typically approach you, not the other way around. Therefore, in order to contract one, you need to become noteworthy enough to attract their attention. This means publishing quality content, attracting a sizable audience, and making it easy for them to contact you. It also means combing through your spam emails, because a lot of times the sort of messages these agencies send will trip spam filters. Be very careful! Always investigate a network before you sign any contract or implement any code, just in case they’re trying to pull a fast one.

Quality is very important because in an agency-run private network, there’s oversight on both sides. You will have veto power over the ads that run on your site, so you can stop ads that you deem too irrelevant or negative for your brand or visitors. Likewise, advertisers will be able to decline your site as part of the sites running their ads, for any of the same reasons.

In exchange for all of the vetting and service the agency provides, it will take a steep cut from the payments coming from advertiser to publisher. You could expect that if an advertiser is paying $10 per thousand views, you’re getting $5 per thousand, with the agency taking the rest. While this seems steep – and 50% is no joke – public networks often start with $2 per thousand from the advertiser and go down from there.

CPM as Supplemental Income

Here’s the thing. Imagine a scenario where you get in a premium private ad network, and you manage the impossible by getting a 100% fill rate – that is, always ads displayed – with those high value ads. You’re getting $20 per thousand views. Now, you want to make a living from your site, and this seems like a good setup. How many visitors do you need to make $1,500 a month? You would need 75,000 views per month, all of them qualified.

This is an absolute best-case scenario. You might be able to pull it off, but it will take a lot to manage anywhere near that amount of money for CPM. You’re more likely to be operating with CPM payments closer to $2 per thousand views. In which case, you would need 750,000 views per month; a much less feasible number.

No matter how good your traffic or how high your volume, you’re going to be making money in some other way as well if you want to be bringing in decent paychecks. You’ll be running CPC ads on the side, or selling memberships to premium content, or selling ebooks. The possibilities are endless, though they all take a lot of work.

CPM is, and always will be, supplemental income. It’s just too hard to monetize views for any reasonable amount of money, at least without significant investment first.

Making Yourself More Attractive for CPM

Large Site Analytics Example

If you’re trying to attract a CPM agency, or just trying to get into one of the more exclusive CPM networks, you have some work to do.

The number one thing you want to do is get more traffic, but you need to get it legitimately. You can’t go out and buy traffic to make your numbers look better; chances are the traffic you’re buying is more expensive than the money you’d be making with the CPM ads, so you’re just losing out. You also can’t game the system with bots; they’ll be caught and you’ll be removed from the platform with your payments withheld. Beyond sheer traffic volume, though, there’s more you can do.

Expand within your niche so you can cover as much ground as possible, to attract advertisers with interests that may not align 100% with your own, but are close enough to be reasonable on at least some sizable portion of the content on your site. You won’t be able to go full-on generalist blog, not even the biggest blogs alive do that, but you can probably stand to expand somewhat beyond what you’re currently covering.

Experiment with the ability to place ad units in unconventional locations. If you run videos, you can use video ads on any video you don’t host directly on YouTube. If you have a responsive design or a dedicated app, you can run mobile or app units, which typically pay more than just your basic website ads. You can even consider opening up a slot for ads in your mailing list newsletter.

You should also strive to put ads in places where they’re most visible. A banner ad at the top of the page is going to earn you more than a banner ad in your footer. It’s more of an algorithmic thing; when the page loads it counts a view one way or the other, but the network or agency sees that the ad is hidden out of the way and thus gives you less for it.

Don’t over-do it with ads. The more ads you have, the spammier your site looks. I know with the low value of CPM it’s easy to think you can double your revenue by adding a second ad to a page, but that kind of thinking will eventually drive away users and earn you a search penalty. It s a technique used by spam sites and you don’t want to look like you run with that crowd.

Finally, do what you can to supplement your CPM income with other forms of income. The more reliant you are upon meager payments, the more you’re going to go out of your way to focus on them, and the more likely you are to accidentally do something that hurts you. I don’t care if you have to sell ebooks, run consulting, or make a member’s section of your site; you need a second source of income if you want to be able to grow CPM naturally.