August 2009

www.motoroids.com

VOLUME 1 ISSUE 1

8
VARDENCHI VIVAAN GOD’S OWN CHOPPER YAMAHA R15 PERFORMANCE UPGRADE

E RI DE! E I NSAN ON

YAMAHA FAZER ‘FAIR’ ENOUGH TO CALL IT A TOURER?

3 NUTTY BOYS, 3 RICKETY BIKES, 300MM RAINFALL, 500KM, 1 DAY 0 LOGIC, ,

FUN!
HIMALAYAN ODYSSEY ‘09

8

August 2009

I make you a promise. For Motoroids, you, the biker of this country will always come first

Hello,
I
know it’s been longer than usual since we last met, and I hope the delay has been worth the while. During the hiatus, we’ve been trying to create a magazine that touches the core of your heart, brings a smile on your face as you browse through it and excites you as much as it excited us while making it. We would like to assume that we have been fairly successful in our attempt. However, if you think there are any pages that need to be sent to the bin, do let us know and we’ll do the needful. This magazine is yours in every perceptible meaning of the word, and if there’s something in it that you don’t want, there’s no reason for it to be there. Motoroids2 is an attempt to relate to the incredibly fervent biking community of the country that has been largely ignored by media for as long as I can remember. Having worked with the erstwhile only bike-specific monthly publication in the country, I know how passionate, how loving, how giving, how large and most importantly how callously ignored the biking fraternity of our country is. While our market is cluttered with various car-specific or primarily car-focused publications, the biker of the second largest motorcycle producing country in the world remains ignored for reasons beyond my comprehension. Motoroids2 is a reverence to the ever-enthusiastic Indian biker who disregards dampeners like hazardous road traffic, tattered roads, extreme weather, expensive fuel and wheezy engines to take to the road and celebrate the spirit of freedom and adventure. With Motoroids2, I make you a promise. That for the entire team of Motoroids2, you, the biker of this country will always come first. That Motoroids2 will always be about living and enjoying the true spirit of biking. And that what doesn’t excite us or you enough will never find any space on these pages. I call all the motorheads on steroids to come and join us for the incredibly exciting journey that awaits us. Let’s ride together! Rev freely, Amit Chhangani amit@motoroids.com

02

August 2009

MISSION IRRATIONAL Cover story Faired Enough? Yamaha Fazer first ride The Hymn of the Holy Hulk Vardhenchi custom chopper A Touch of Evil Yamaha performance parts Himalayan Odyssey 2009 The name says it all

15 34

Braking News News with a pinch of salt

08 61 67 67 68 69 71 73 74 80 82

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38 45 49

Biker Personality Shailesh & Nikunj Gala Moto Magnate Anurang Jain, MD, Endurance Group Moto Clubz Rubber Rippers Dreamgear Sub-zero stuff Now Showing Latest coolest flicks Acid Test Long term tests

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A Mann thing 53 Mann+Hummel MD goes to the Himalayas

Mindrevvin’ Amit Chhangani The Fat Biker Rohit Paradkar Motomusings Mihir Gadre

12 13 13

34 74

Tech Speak Quasiturbine engine Clutch tales India’s first biking superhero History Rotary engined bikes Crazy, crazy, world!! Funny pics

International Motorsport IOM, MotoGP & WSBK Indian Motorsport Gulf Monsoon Rally & JK Tyre championship

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The Imp eccable Store

POWER

Branches: NORTH - Delhi : 98101 365 24, Chandigarh : 98145 365 24, Punjab : 98148 365 24, Jammu : 9419263069, Jaipur : 98280 365 24, Ghaziabad : 98719 95542 Lucknow : 99360 365 24, Agra : 98970 365 24, Uttrakhand : 96341 31999 Haryana : 98719 95538 Ambala : 9996 313194, CENTRAL - Indore : 98930 365 24, Nagpur : 98227 365 24, Raipur : 93012 365 24, SOUTH - Bangalore : 98440 365 24, Chennai : 98401 365 24, Secunderabad : 98490 365 24, Palakkad : 98473 365 24 EAST - Kolkata : 94330 365 24, Jamshedpur : 93340 07434, Bhubaneshwar : 92383 365 24, WEST - Mumbai : 98206 365 24, Pune : 98231 365 24, Ahmedabad : 98250 365 24

For all India distributor / dealership enquiries pls call : Vinay +91 98719 95545

SMS 'Battery' to 56767 Toll Free - 1800 1800 007

THE TEAM
An assortment of loons, goons and buffoons

August 2009

AMIT “andy” CHHANGANI
The sailor of this ship full of lunatics is a nutty guy himself. No wonder he readily approves whacky stories. While Jack Sparrow would be a fitting name, we prefer calling him ‘Andy’.

karni singh rathore

The royal blood in Motoroids is our exquisite offering to sophisticated marketing world. Just for the record, he has his own fort in Rajasthan

” G dre ail Maleed for peauts for a an Mihir “Sn
pay, wo ft Infosys for higher Geek incarnate. Le th us for free. while, now works wi rk

Pradeb
Our in-hou se extortion specialist is As long as sh responsible e works har for getting d this magaz we accept al us al ine remains l currencies free. Keep th l the funding. . e money co ming,

Gauri “

Cookie

” lokar

Ran away fro m jail, then b roke into his instantly. Sold own house, w his platinum as driven out ring for surv be associated ival. Heck, h with us. e is still brok e to

“Kandi” B

iswas

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05

Aditya “ClickClick” Bedre
Our Chennai correspondent can be often spotted on the beach or on a race track. The Photographer with a cam in one hand and a tender coconut in the other is our man on the job!

Kiran “StickMan” Kadaba
Our performance tester is a life size fido dido, except that he prefers Carlsberg over 7-Up. Nobody knows when was the last time he had water.

August 2009

ajay katkar & ramakant chougule
The Karan-Arjun designer duo came along like reborn souls when we needed them the most! We like their work so much that we have put them on a leash…

eshan “ShaTTarbug” shetty
Our official shooter is the tiniest photographer, in the world, but makes it up with his enthusiasm, though after a point it starts getting on your nerves and you want to smash his 40D in his face.

rohit “Mr. Rash” paradkar
Our Features Editor is fond of sleeping. He drank Complan as a kid and slept, and has kept growing along the wrong axis. Till date.

06

BRAKINGheart skip a beat STOPPIE NEWS: News that makes our
Veefer 1 200 confirmed Pedrosa finally wins

August 2009

Remember the kick-ass V4 concept that Honda showcased last year? The radical concept gave subtle hints about what the nextgen VFR could look like when it hits the market in 2010. But we don’t need to wait that long to take a peek at what’s coming. What we have here are some leaked photos of the final production model of what we think is the VFR 1200! Yes you read it right, the

800cc mill will most probably be replaced with a 1200cc engine producing close to a 180 horses. Don’t expect this bike to go for the ‘Busa or the 14’s throat though. This machine will instead be one of the most desirable sports tourers money can buy and like all the previous VFRs, will showcase Honda’s next-gen cutting edge technologies.

After the mind blowing duel between Rossi and Lorenzo at Catalunya this year, and the epic battle between the Italian and Stoner at Laguna Seca last year, all MotoGP fanatics were expecting a nuke-war at this year’s American GP between these top three racers. But the result was far from it! Dani Pedrosa who has been in the championship contention this season without a single win, came out of nowhere and took pole positin during qualifying. Come Sunday and the Frodo Baggins-lookalike converted his pole position into a race victory – a first for Repsol Honda since the Catalunya victory last season. It took the entire race distance for Rossi to catch up with Pedrosa but his pace wasn’t enough to pass the Honda. This victory seems to have pumped up the confidence of the team. This fact was instantly visible at the following race at Sachsenring. At the same circuit last year, this Spaniard had one of the most horrifying MotoGP crashes ever when bike went flying off the the first corner. This year however, he overcame that mental hurdle and finished third on the podium. With new components coming to the RC212V, the Honda-Yamaha battle will hopefully restart soon!
08

BRAKING NEWS: SLIDE News that’s neither here nor there
City bike goes touring Bajaj chucks the 200; the 220 chucks fuel injection
The Pulsar 220 DTS-Fi failed to impact the market the way everyone expected it to. Recently there were rumours of the bike going off the shelf and the quarter fairing with its jazzy headlights filtering down to the P220’s heir, the P200. But in reality, its the poor Pulsar 200 that seems to have been axed with its proverbial assets like the tank shrouds and fat rubber having been donated to the P180 and P150. The 220 on the other hand has gone through a lung surgery and has lost its precious fuel injection. We like the fact that the price of the new 220 has been reduced, but wonder why the FI system was introduced in the first place, if it had to be taken off again.

August 2009

Bajaj re-Discovers commuter segment
Bajaj Auto will roll out out a 100cc bike based on its Discover platform(!) around the 27th July. The bike has even been christened “Discover 100”(!!). This entry level commuter is powered by the company’s popular DTSSi tech equipped engine mated to a 5-speed gearbox. The Pune-based manufacturer claims its new motorcycle has the longest wheelbase in its class. The bike also sports electric start, alloy wheels along with LED tail lamps to offer a complete package. At the time of going to press, the new entry level commuter was flaunting exshowroom (Delhi) price tag of 40,000 rupees. We like the bike and its pricing, but don’t quite like the confused positining of the Discover brand with 112, 125, 135 and now a 100cc variant being offered.

Yet another variant based on the FZ platform! But this one’s even better looking than the ‘crowned’ FZ-S. Based on the design theme of the Fazer 1000, Yamaha’s baby Fazer is a good looker and a definite head turner. The quarter fairing doesn’t appear like a ‘stuck-on’ component, but flows well with the design. And before you jump to conclusions, no, those headlights are not from the R15, but are instead smaller and curvier. While the orange, red and black colours are carried forward from the FZ, the new electric blue is what we love the most! The handlebar has been raised a bit for a comfortable riding posture since Yamaha’s ad campaign is targeting this bike towards the touring genre of bikers. We love the looks, but don’t quite agree with Yamaha about the touring part.

09

BRAKINGHAVE BEEN NEWS CRASH NEWS: News that SHOULDN’T
Sign bikes later, learn to race first!
MotoGP events are not only about the 125/250/800cc races. There’s a lot more that happens around the paddock and introduction of special edition production motorcycles is one such exciting activity. MotoGP’s Laguna Seca round this year witnessed Ducati unveiling a Hayden-edition Ducati 848 which will be produced in a limited number of 100 units. The price tag exceeds the stock 848’s by 500 dollars. Staunch Hayden haters that we are, we would have that graphic and that autograph removed even if it was offered at no extra price to us. We wonder who’d pay for it before Hayden properly passes his team mate at least once on the racetrack.

August 2009

After 1098 R, now its ZMR...

Michael Jackson dies of cardiac arrest
We know he wasn’t a biker. But his music is what a lot of bikers grew up listening to and still listen to when munching those kilometers. Jackson’s death comes across as the end of an era. We are sad...

Seen here are photos of the 2009 Hero Honda Karizma. Unless you have been hiding in a nutshell, there is a probability that you have already seen these floating around on the internet. When we first looked at them in our mailbox, our unpleasant exclamation was ‘What were they thinking???’ We thought CBZ Xtreme transition from the good ol’ CBZ was the worst they could do, but this disproportionate white elephant defies that too! Our sources however are calming us down by guaranteeing a host of new technologies under the bulbous fairing – from fuel injection and an army of sensors to a 3-stage low emission exhaust system and unparalleled riding comfort. Let’s wait and watch! To let us know what you think about the new Karizma, write to us at Letters@motoroids.com
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Columns
AMIT CHHANGANI MINDREVVIN’
Biking is about experiencing something inexplicably ecstatic in something that appears so trivial and usual from outside the helmet

August 2009

Biking is a potion that can keep you young forever. A recent ride sent me 8 years back in time...

A

h, that sweet, throbby note of the punchy Fiero engine. No sound in the world is as sonorous – I can feel the pulse of the first love of my life as she breathes. As I shift my weight across the breadth of that narrow seat while riding to Pachgani, I feel like a mushy teenager, going all gooey in his heart. Someone seems to have wiped 8 years off my life. I am once again the 19 year old reckless teenage lad hanging off his bike who never had a worry in the world. There’s hardly any grip on those skinny tyres, but do I care? I am going all nostalgic as I climb up the curvy road. This is the same road I brought my childhood friend for a ride to when I first came to Pune. It was raining as heavily as it is raining today and I almost crashed into the valley while charging downhill overenthusiastically. Nothing seems to have changed. The bends are still as inviting, the tar still as smooth, the bike doesn’t seem to have aged a day, nor do I. Can’t figure where I had lost my real self for so long – it suddenly feels so special to be alive. We are riding for the cover story of the inaugural issue of Motoroids2. The conditions are perilous, and the weather unrelenting. We are

drenched in water head-to-toe and frozen to the spine. None of us have a fancy, fast bike under his bum, nor are we on a record bashing run. There isn’t really a big purpose to this ride, but isn’t that the point? Does there really need to be one? We’re riding just for the heck of it and loving every moment of it. And that’s the real essence of biking - experiencing something inexplicably ecstatic in something that appears so trivial and usual from outside the helmet. The agitation within me that has been chewing me up for years together seems to have been laid to rest. The inference is simple – biking is a therapy. It’s a liberating, soothing, intoxicating exercise. If you have not ridden for long, just pick your bike up on any given day, rainy or sunny, kick it alive and ride it for as long as your body allows. You would somehow find some sense in my words. After climbing up the beautiful windy road leading to Mahabaleshwar, all soaked and crumpled on the skin, I stop for a moment before stepping into the restaurant where we are supposed to take a halt. I think of asking my fellow teammates if they were alright, as I am freezing myself. The brilliant smiles on their faces give me my

answer even before I can utter a word. An hour later, even after being subjected to some torturously cold ice cream in a chilly weather, with heavy rains and unsettling crosswinds making riding extremely perilous, the team is not in a mood to call it a day. Nor am I. We ride through some of the worst weather ever, through some really hazardous road conditions, at speeds that would be excruciatingly boring in normal state of affairs, and for a painfully long period of time. Surprisingly, I am still having a whale of a time behind that half-fogged visor as marble sized raindrops patter loud over my lid. I am a little concerned about the rest of the team members who have taken a 70km longer route along with me courtesy an overflowing river blocking the road back to Pune. As we take a halt for a top-up after the taxing ride, I apprehensively take off my helmet to see what shape the team members are in. And this is when the wide grins on their faces authenticate forever what I have always believed in – riding can never be boring. Let me know your views and comments by writing to me at amit@motoroids.com
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Columns
ROHIT PARADKAR THE FAT BIKER
extra dough for a legal import, but just like all of us, even they find the mindless import duties ludicrously high to justify the spend. So if so many illegal bikes were registered, where have they disappeared? Well, unfortunately in our country, most law-related actions are reactive, and not pro-active. We start talking about things when the damage is done. So, in tune with the Indian rituals, DRI or The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence is taking what it calls ‘action’ against the ‘culprits’. What these good people have suddenly realized is that there are too many old imported superbikes on the road, while the companies have started importing them only recently. So they hunt down these bikes, verify the documentation and slap a challan onto the owners’ face, demanding the applicable duty. They claim that the bikes came in as spares (which attract five times lesser duty than a CBU); and later got assembled at various workshops around the country. Fake bills of entry were then made and the bikes were registered at the local RTOs. We are sure there is truth behind this story. But my question is, where were all these authorities when the bikes came in? Why didn’t the RTO verify these so called bills of entry with the Customs department right at the outset? If the said 700 bikes were imported as spares, and then registered as completely built imports, why didn’t the Customs department realize that something scrupulous was cooking? Does the government really want us to believe that all these bikes were imported, assembled, then registered and sold without their authorities playing a vital role in the whole process? In fact, I have heard of numerous incidents in the past where people have tried their level best to import a completely legal bike into the country, but to no avail. The Customs officers at various levels have denied passing it out clean for the sheer fact that they can’t earn their chaipaani if the bikes go through the legal channel. How many such officials has the DRI nailed? What further questions their credibility is their demand for the unpaid duties, from the end customer. If any importer imports a commodity via the wrong channel and sells it to me at a price that I can afford, with all the legal documents in place, it’s the importer who is at fault, not me! But since the DRI has failed to nail the importers, they are now hiding their incompetency by making the customers pay. I think DRI should act first to clean their own side of the house, before accusing the customers. I urge you to unite, demand for the answers to all these questions and if need be, fight.

August 2009

So what happened to all those imported bikes that used to gather outside clubs every Saturday evening?

I

am as normal a bike enthusiast as you all are. I have dreamt about all those big bore motorcycles while I didn’t have a penny to buy even the cheapest commuter in town. Sighting an imported bike on the roads of this country, for as long as I can remember has been as rare as spotting a snail in a desert. But the last few years have been totally different. There are all sorts of imports, ranging from the puny CBR150 to the mighty ZX14 gathering up outside every hangout, motorsport event and even Sunday morning rides. Where did all these bikes suddenly emerge from? And an even bigger question is - where have they suddenly disappeared? The first question has boggled the minds of the top honchos at all the bike makers who have brought their litre-class wares to country. While Honda, Yamaha and Suzuki have together managed to sell about 200 motorcycles in the past 18 months, the grey market, as everyone likes to call it, has registered more than 700 new motorcycles. These are dream numbers for the Indian subsidiaries of the Japanese Big Three. Substantially more bikes are sold via the grey channel because of the humongous price advantage over the official imports, amounting to as much as 5 lakh rupees in some cases. It’s not that the big guns who buy these models in the grey market can’t afford the

25s are the new 100s, they say. Well I don’t think so. The problem with the current 125s is that the manufacturers are never satisfied with just 25% improvement over a 100 cc bike. They are always hunting for something extra and in doing so they tend to just lose the plot, entirely. The Super Splendor and Glamour FI go all out for fuel efficiency. But apart from that, they don’t offer any significant upgrade over the 100s and retail for at least 10 grand more. The Yamaha Gladiator tries to deliver a good topend whack but loses out big-time in terms of drivability. The Stunner goes for low-end grunt and drivability is no better than the 150s in terms of fuel-efficiency and has a top speed only marginally better than the 100s. The Stunner FI does manage to do all things right but what were Honda smoking when they came up with a price tag of 73 thousand bucks? Maybe today’s manufacturers need to take a leaf out of the history books. The only 125 that didn’t try to be anything more than a 125 was the first 4-stroke 125 to be introduced into the market. Launched in 1998 the YBX 125 was actually a nice machine without any pretentious figures on its spec sheet, but it didn’t sell. Sadly, the bike was too far ahead of its time and it list price of Rs. 52,000 was same as today’s 125s. The fact that there are a couple of excellent 100cc bikes in the market makes life even more difficult for 125s. Especially the HH CD-Deluxe and the TVS Star-Sport are excellent products available at fantastic prices. These bikes have been honed for decades compared to 125s which are more or less experimental products. It will take bloody perfection from any rival to beat them. Moreover these 100 cc bikes never feel lacking in the engine department anyway. It’s the chassis, suspension, tyres and brakes which feel vastly more inadequate than the engine. I personally think that the only 125 worth buying today is the Suzuki Heat. At Rs. 41,000 (On-Road, Pune) it matches the 100cc bikes in terms of price and is actually better than the 100s in terms of drivability, refinement and performance and build quality. Thanks to the great low-end torque, it also delivers great fuel efficiency in real world riding conditions. After years of trying and failing to dethrone the CD100/Splendor/Passion from its top spot , Bajaj famously announced that it will no longer have a presence in the 100cc segment. I cheered their words. I envisioned that soon Bajaj would come out with a simple product with more sense than style, say a CT-125 for around 35 grand. Sadly, the vision never materialized. Times changed and Bajaj had to back-track on their own words. Nothing wrong

MOTOMUSINGS
The one-two-five Conundrum
with that, I say. Even Porsche announced that they would never make a diesel car but they did, while BMW’s M division swore that they would never touch their SUVs and but even they did. It is okay at times to roll with the punches. Who’s had the last laugh? Porsche and BMW are doing pretty well for themselves, in these recessionary times while other big-guns have gone bankrupt. Words don’t matter; it’s the products that matter. It seems that Bajaj are finally getting it right, at least in theory, by launching the Discover 100 with a stiff chassis, wide tyres, meaty suspension, electric-start and a 5-speed gearbox for a killer price-tag of Rs 44,400 (On-road, Pune). In India the only thing people brag about is not top speed, not bhp but ‘average’, even the ones buying premium bikes. So if you want to be one of those confused souls, you are better off with a 100cc bike. But if you are one of those enlightened souls who looking for the perfect balance between performance, fuel-efficiency and value, do yourself a favour and go for a 150, because with a 125, you will end up getting neither.
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1

MIHIR GADRE

500 km, 3 riders ,7 assignments, 1 day

August 2009

Mission Irrational
...you need no reason to ride
Photography Art

Eshan Shetty & Ameya Mundle Ramakant Chougule

01.

Quick off the mark and fast once on song - the Pulsar will have a major advantage on the highway

Mihir’s Pulsar 150

02.

The best overall package of the three. This HH has won the Speed Run in the past. Adversaries be cautious!

Rohit’s CBZ

01.

Amit’s Fiero

Robust as a tank, light and nimble off the road, and reasonably quick on it, the Fiero is a strong contender.

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THE SUPPORT TEAM
01.
Our fair skinned, hazel eyed, sweet sounding boy thinks he’s the smartest of the triad. He is as well organized and planned on the paper as a US military operation, and probably as ineffective on the ground. His Pulsar is in top nick though, and boasts the best acceleration and top speed of the three oldies we have here. Best of luck, little boy, you’re gonna need a lot of it!

August 2009

PRADEB BHATTACHARYA BISWAS
Our Bengali babu is officiating in this contest as a referee. He’s just lost a platinum ring, and the three contenders won’t think for a moment before telling his mom that he sold it, just in case he tries to act too bossy

AMEYA MUNDLE
We have included him in this contest to pay homage to Michael Jackson, look at his face and you’d know why. An avid wildlife photographer, Ameya was acting as our lensman for the day as well

The former Bike India deputy editor just can’t stop grinning as his bike is running like clockwork. The skinny TVS Srichakra tyres on his machine may not have leaked air in ages, but they’re going to give him a hellish time on the slippery twisties around Pune. Quick and composed on the road and off it, Andy has a good chance of winning the battle, save he’s a tad too enthusiastic for his own good!

02.

SAGAR SHELDEKAR
If you have an R15 at your disposal, you don’t need a reason to ride. Sagar owns one, and he very kindly agreed to come along as a member of the backup team. Unfortunately the first run that he was a part of didn’t last for too long

03.

ESHAN ‘MIDGET’ SHETTY
The evil mind behind all those missions - Eshan didn’t disclose the details to us till the last moment. Hats off to him for planning everything out so immaculately. Oh, and if you haven’t realized yet, he’s also our official shutterbug A heavyweight contender, not just because of his girth, but also because of his biking abilities, experience on roads around Pune and that Speed Run winning CBZ he’s running. Rohit A.K.A Rash has been preparing for this showdown for days together and that smug face makes it quite evident that he’s got a trick or two up his sleeve. Competition should be afraid, very afraid!

GAURI LOKARE
Gauri was the official videographer for the event, and was assigned the task to capture the action on video. The undisciplined contestants made sure that the camera was packed and kept back in the bag within half an hour though
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August 2009

Pune The rules are as simple as the assignment. To start with, the contending bikes have to be out-of-production 150cc motorcycles – older bikes get more points to start with. For every extra cc over the least capacity bike, there’s a penalty of five points. Breakdowns, defined as the bike requiring repairs to be mobile again, will cost 50 points each. Points for individual missions will be revealed as the ride progresses. All the bikes are filled to the brim, a little before the end of the ride all the bikes get topped up to find out the most fuel efficient machine. It’s a test of the machine’s reliability, speed and efficiency, and that of the rider’s skill and stamina

Khambatki Ghat Poladpur Mahabaleshwar

All the riders are supposed to stick together. You’d think it’s a measure taken by the judges to prevent us from acting smart and filling up fuel to show better efficiency at a later point, but that’s not the case. All the riders will be stripped of cash, clocks and cells when they start so they better stick with the gang if they don’t want to get stranded in the middle of nowhere and get eaten by a lion. The riders are allowed to hurl abuses, call each other names and use other verbal means to bring the morale of the competitors down. Tinkering with the competitors’ bike is not allowed in the open though. Do it surreptitiously, or you’ll be disqualified. If you have to mix laxatives in drinks or pull out a spark plug cord, do it when nobody’s around

01

02
Satara

Slippery roadS, poor viSibility, unreliable old bikeS and worn out tyreS – it’S going to be exciting!

I

Rash’s big plans for the ride got a massive jolt when he discovered a puncture in his front tyre (and ego). Mihir and I rejoiced for obvious reasons We had to get to repairing the tyre ourselves as the kid at the puncture shop preferred playing with the balloons. Moreover, we don’t endorse child labour When the bike moves, the massive vacuum created behind that monster will make the gases rip their way out! Shhh! You may laugh if you want, but I am applying for the Nobel Prize this year for uncovering the safest place for inflated balloons in the entire universe

01.

t’s simple. We go to Mahabaleshwar and come back. Easy peasy! Except that it’s raining cats and dogs in and around Pune, with the highest rainfall of the season recorded on the re-scheduled ride day (read on for for details on the re-scheduled day). We’ll be riding completely soaked, with our balls frozen and will have a whole array of tasks to accomplish on our way and back. Slippery roads, poor visibility, unreliable old bikes and worn out tyres – it’s going to be exciting. Moreover, we’re explicitly told by the judges that they have some surprises in store for us. We’re game!

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August 2009

Kick start your bikes. Every extra kick after the first one attracts a penalty of 10 points. Make sure the ignition is on, fuel cock is in the right position and you’ve ‘kicked’ the thought of making sissy excuses out of your mind – because excuses won’t work. Good luck with that Pulsar, Mihir!

01

e had to blow five balloons, tie them with a string anywhere on our bike or gear (for the next mission) and kick start our bikes. All the balloons were to be scrutinized by judges to make sure they were properly inflated. Even before the mission started, it seemed like Rash was hit by a rubber-breaking tragedy. Experienced mortals would know how disastrous such accidents could be. Not only had the big man lost two of his balloons (pun not intended) but his bike too had lost the one within its front tyre. The CBZ which was looking the most promising machine of the triad till now had technically broken down. This meant a penalty of 50 points for the RSA Prez. Mihir and I in the meantime had the meanest grins on our faces. After about half an hour of delay, for which both Mihir and I appealed for a 500 points penalty ANDY against Rash, and which was overruled owing to his old friendship with Eshan, we sat on our bikes, ready RASH

W

to kick them to life, and praying for a smooth ignition. I have always had immense faith in my Fiero as far as turning its engine one goes. It once came to life in just half-a-kick after staying unattended for four months. Rash was the first to try his luck though, and the Hero Honda reliability stood true to its fame. My Fiero too, like always didn’t let me down and her heart went throbbing with just a slight push of the lever. While the CBZ and the Fiero stood in tune with the expectations, it was Mihir’s original Pulsar 150 that defied its notoriety for fussy starts. None of us got an advantage in the inaugural round. While all this kick starting business looked a little too formal for our action loving tendencies, little did we know what awaited us was one of the most exciting rides of our lives!

PRE-MISSION cc -25 mfg yr 90 cc -65 mfg yr 100 cc 0 mfg yr 80

KICKSTART

CUMULATIVE 65 35 80

0 0 0

01.

MIHIR

We wonder why Rash is standing behind his HH even as Mihir I pose proudly beside our steeds. Don’t bother yourself brother, there’s no way you can hide that big paunch of yours.

02. 01. 03. 04.

The world would end the day that Fiero doesn’t come alive in one kick. And it obliges, like always. No surprises with Rohit’s CBZ either - a gentle push of the lever and the original 150 starts breathing Alas! Both Rash and I were expecting at least a 40 point headstart here. That Pulsar too uncharasteriscally came alive without a fuss

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All five intact! I am winning, I am winning!

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Each rider has to ride with five balloons tied to his bike/gear for 70km up to Khambatki ghats. Each balloon is worth 20 points. This mission is designed to endorse birth control. The more rubber you break, the more the disadvantage you have, and the more you suffer. You’d be given the option to keep your balloon on the bike for the entire run. If the balloon survives, you get 300 extra points. If it bursts, you lose 300

e – I had is half don lived ell begun August 2009 was short otion. W bikes in m out. My happiness d soon came my hea t ids triad y task cu om above ns above s Motoro rent theories m commuterS on two-wheelerS rode along and aSked me heard a bo two balloo e he geniu ugh, as I ous diff remaining and I wasn’t very e tho queStionS in marathi which i reckon were querieS about h vari n. The ents th a m up wit after I beg ng crazily keep sition aug my mental State ere flutteri st. The key was to which po ns the most. Rash as to my head w g they’ll la oo to go n ity of ball equation ot allowed in longev e were n re how lo complex ambatki eck, but w cient su lues in a and coeffi at the speed in ch nd had to reach Kh qualified arious va t in v cy, drag pu cien n th m/h, a being dis s fuel effi conclusio below 50k to prevent t I had done a that relate and came to a andlebar r an hour a h ity on a little ove sion. I realized th s on the of elastic ir were so e balloon tion against the mis m the and Mih ost of th c eir fro tying m um prote both Rash the majority of th a string re maxim ons with istake, as h o it m ile I will ensu of the ball distance w hin their arms, wh . to see if e tied one back of his helmet st in the it lo w ing wind. H ing safely om snapp reduced the out from ge frame alloons sitt protect the string fr at me, car his hu coming imed b ly to created by w stones self-procla eir rode slow road thre e vacuum ing the th nd make th ir, be ons at the s on the Kid e ballo op, look a g. Mih o st thre flutterin timum ed hard to ile commuters on tw ality tied ont for op rivers brak h ed’ person d s in w e fr ‘balanc e a laugh e question oons at th milies hav d asked m s about my d two ball rear an opted fa elers rode along an ere querie ifferent. I whe , as I kon w balance. a little d lf with hich I rec n ride fast ry was ering myse hang Marathi w uldn’t eve y theory ve M I co than both ns It wasn’t a rs ate. And mon sense letting the balloo mental st ke care of. ta eele for com chances rubber to than of two-wh gs where the h a herd had some e. Rather it ar, thin scienc r handleb g riding w cts were rs, saying grab rail o with various obje nice feelin you, pointing finge ces. It off the g ir natural n their fa red ing der in the surroundin st grins o em collid e ea an of th tie them batki app g the wid them to w and havin I allowed and Kham er place to kfully tt more, g difficult ctually was. Than o what be keep some margin a was gettin ry – air. S it to rm of territo her than e in the fo t? And just to the grab rail. much fart ing for m the helme than ite wait emed of them I tied two arted, my theory se ne there was resp for error, st ’s o Rash re we aster… Even befo st. Mihir’s two and eir a dis ey set th g be th in to be work burst even before on had Ballo

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01.

Someone kindly cancel my Nobel nomination. I now realise my theorem was wrong. NEVER tie balloons to your helmet if you want them to last!

02. 03. 04.

There - I have that burst green one as proof! Once again Rash makes a futile attempt to conceal his girth behind those puny balloons. Things people would do to woo girls! Balloons or no balloons, Mihir’s pace on the bike always remains the same - crawling slow!

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what an irony – the backup vehicle had down, while disasterthree SuppoSedly unreliable bikeSbrokenrunning like the were a dream

August 2009

e were expecting this ride to have some bad surprises for us in store. We were not sure whether our respective bikes were ready for such a tough grill. Mihir and Rash had borrowed their respective bikes from their friends, so they didn’t have a clue about the health of these machines. My Fiero had recently been started after a hiatus of 4 months, and even I didn’t know if something was just about to fall off. The chances of a calamity were quite high, so we wanted our backup vehicle to be reliable. My Opel Corsa’s engine malfunction light was coming on and going off at will, so we decided to go with Rash’s more reliable Palio. Unfortunately, the big flippant guy hadn’t checked the coolant and oil levels in his machine for ages, and just when we were beginning to experience the real thrill of this ride, the Palio decided to come to a halt. What an irony – the backup vehicle had broken down, while the three supposedly unreliable bikes were running like a dream. The coolant hose of the Palio had developed a big hole due to overheating, and the engine won’t start. This was a big letdown, as some serious planning had gone into this ride, and it would be difficult to reorganize everything for a later day before the launch deadline.

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01. 02. 03.

Isn’t this the biggest coincidence in the world? Two Fiat Palios breaking down at exactly the same point! Oh, so that was the problem. The car didn’t have (ho)s, err hose in it. Rash gets one for himself. Mihir the great Gadre went off-roading, and later required two assistants to arrive back safely

04. 05.

Pradeb suggested towing the car for as much distance as possible with each bike, as one of the additional missions ‘Why don’t you show us how’ suggests Mihir

CARRY OVER ANDY RASH MIHIR
65 35 80

HOLD MY BALLONS
60 40 20

CUMULATIVE
125 75 100

The show must go on! Motoroids refused to cancel the story for another cover story, as they didn’t want to compromise one bit on thrills. Three days later, we started off from the same point again, this time with Eshan’s Swift DDiS as the back-up vehicle. The bikes were filled to the brim again and five balloons were suspended to each of the three bikes. A little more than an hour later, I emerged victorious with three balloons hanging off proudly from my bike at the foothills of Khambatki. Rash was left with two, while Mihir, even with all his planning managed to save only one ballon from liquidation.

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Words

Amit Chhang

ani
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Enough of your balloons – it’s now time for some manly job! Motorsport fans that you all are, your next mission is a timed sprint of the Khambatki ghats. You will be flagged off together for a fair start. The first and second finishers will score 5 points for each second gained over the third finisher

was the Fiero the line, but somehow it motorsport event off Pulsar and ince it was a got the holeshot with the be a part of, we that Hero Honda we were going to CBZ trailing it. The poor nt organizer Eshan the es, wasn’t demanded our eve wasn’t in the best of tun e energy drinks. which mark no matter to supply us som dy to cross the 6,000 rpm rs were expecting a rea The Pulsar on While we three musketee hard I wrung the throttle. d Bull coming our how of its own. The hot babe with a crate of Re other hand had a problem d was a spooky old the t to the bike was way; what we got instea t that connected the helme t chai on our table. nu urely ride! The man banging a tray of ho ating this timed run as a leis at we got, Ameya, tre y to extend While we settled for wh meanwhile cruised happil into the depths of Fiero ched though, with the camera car moved d. As the corners approa d photo-op spot. its lea at the back of Khambatki to secure a goo t my weight disadvantage ng Bengali babu I pu d to give Amit Meanwhile the marshalli mind (cough) and decide at and stood below my a couple of reached the end of the gh gh fight. It hardly took me in his hand and his a tou from him, but a tree with a stop watch ners to snatch the lead at’s exit. Eshan, with cor e to rev higher four eyes glued to the gh er that the CBZ’s reluctanc onised with Pradeb’s aft g spot on the his watch already synchr me stuck at a very wron the first timed run had uphill. While Amit waved as a flag-off sign for rev range throughout the , he had two of the ride. the power to overtake me e been the quickest had The Pulsar should hav

August 2009

01 02

the pulSar Should have been the quickeSt off the line, but Somehow it waS the fiero that got the holeShot

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01.

‘Only chai as breakfast for the contestants’ announced Mr. Midget. We looked on with puppy paces as the crew hogged on everything in sight

04.

...the lightest rider-bike took the lead, while the CBZ and the Pulsar had their own reasons to not cross the 6,000 RPM mark

02. 03.

05.

The three letters that started it all, the CBZ - a name that enthusiasts still vouch by! The three bikes got an equal start but within seconds the positions changed...

Bengali babu Pradeb forced himself into the frame. I tried to shove him off, but this damn guy doesn’t mind getting punched for publicity! Mihir meanwhile tries to dry his shoes for the Khambatki run...
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August 2009

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01. 02. 03. 04. 05.

As the curves began, I took the lead over the other two stooges... ...increasing the gap corner by corner... ...while poor Andy Andy struggled for grip... ...and Mihir didn’t understand why the heck were the two riders in front of him were shifting thier asses off the seat... The CBZ rivals tried to get into my large slipstream! But in vain. Weight is not everything guys. It’s the skill of using the powerrrrrrr!

was second and third gears. Moreover, he very weirdly split ratios in his Fiero’s of the Khambatki ghats ewhere at the start lacking traction to make the move. Som the view and the serene ride, whistling, enjoying the Pulsar rider was enjoying . trundling along at his own sweet pace Fiero light the Khambatki, I could still see that dim As we reached the peak of back the points I had Amit if I had to gain in my rear view mirrors. I had to lose the downhill, found the solution. At second corner on lost to him. And then voila! I e. Since I know the s battling for real estat I saw a couple of state transport buse opportunity my hand, I quickly capitalized on the Khambatki like the back of wed. By the time Amit corner that follo and overtook both those buses on a wide overtaking a again blocked the entire road, making came through the buses had , but by then I had managed to pass them difficult task for him. He somehow meanwhile got – seven seconds ahead of him. Mihir already crossed the finish line ground score to his slow et by adding a back into a dramatic mood within his helm himself that tling inside his helmet and convincing riding. He was actually whis k by ‘The Who’. How rite classical rock trac he had successfully replicated his favo l Male some was, the dramatic whistling gave the Snai weird is that! But whatever it nd Andy. Inspite of the , 13 seconds behi kind of a boost as he finished hardly, ahem ristics. But what aged to stay true to its sporty characte throttle issues, the CBZ man t that it was trying to over the Fiero – a face it highlighted most was its supremacy . defend throughout its lifetime Rohit Paradkar

CARRY OVER ANDY RASH SNAIL MALE
125 75 100

ONE WAY SPRINTERS
65 100 0

CUMULATIVE
190 175 100

Words

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August 2009

Showcase your MX skills over the 1-mile course and bring back / deliver the souvenir from / to Pradeb in the least possible time. The winner gets 100 points added to his kitty, while the runner up walks away with 50 points. The tail-ender gets laughed upon...

01. 02.

Rash just wouldn’t give up, here he’s trying to hide his humungous belly even behind the CBZ’s puny mirror. Pradeb trying to make sense of the instructions being relayed to Amey

04. 05.

And Rash unable to get going inspite of spinning the hell out of his rear wheel. Amit doesn’t find the course any more difficult than his daily commute.

he course was set-up at the foothills of Khambatki. It consisted of a bullock cart trail winding across the moorlands and onto an uphill meadow interspersed with slush gravel, pebbles and puddles. The path then led up to a kutcha wall on which Pradeb was made to stand like a sculpture of guerilla (pun not intended) warrior. We were instructed to deliver/ collect our priceless souvenir to/from Pradeb to the start-finish line as quickly as we dared. First all three of us went for a sighting lap during which I missed a turn, got lost and joined the highway some 50 yards before the start/finish line. Amit set-off first, on the off-roaders’ favorite TVS Fiero. With a dry weight of just 115 kg, a short wheelbase, compact dimensions and a light front end, we were sure that it would have the MX

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round licked. Amit just zoomed through the course as if he was riding on streets of Pune, feet up on the pegs and the victory firmly in his sight. He took the precious stone from Pradeb and splashed back thru puddles and muddles making light work of whatever the course threw at him. The Fiero worked like clockwork, just blaring away its scooter like soundtrack without even missing a beat! Amit set a blinding pace through the course with a time of 5 minutes flat. Rash went in next, pressing on through the course on his beloved CBZ. The undulating terrain and the trigger happy CBZ meant that his ride was turning out to be a double fencing match against the terrain as well as the bike. He somehow managed to keep the front end pointing in the right direction until the time he hit the grasslands.

03.

Amit unable to stop his bike inspite of a locked rear wheel

the path led up to a kutcha wall on which pradeb waS made to Stand like a Sculpture of guerilla warrior

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ng to be so lucky next he know that he wasn’t goi of slush and a gentle up his bike and must The killer combination time around. He picked t Rash was sliding into when the CBZ went uphill gradient meant tha have gone hardly 5 yards er than the intended e Rash went down every other direction oth down yet again. This tim g an inch of progress. got caught under the one without even makin with the bike and his leg ing till our stomachs rescue, but Eshan first Amit and I were laugh bike. He called Eshan for rtune. Finally the rear the whole spectacle ached at poor Rash’s misfo made sure that he had got had enough of spinning to Rash’s aid. Shaken tyre decided that it had on camera and then went favour by finding some easy for the rest of the around and did Rash a and stirred, Rash took it r precious souvenir to course in 6 minutes 34 grip. Rash returned ou course and completed the t he had wasted a lot sing terra firma twice. Pradeb and knowing tha seconds. Not bad after kis even harder on the way twice, I decided of time started pushing After seeing Rash go down he was carrying too much than sorry. I concluded back. We could see that that it was better to be safe down. Rash went hard be the key around the momentum on the way that smoothness would the rear to lock up, tried rds of Master Oogway onto the brake causing course, and keeping the wo site lock and bang! The my mind, I was poised to correct it with oppo from Kung-fu Panda in his legs. Luckily enough on the other two. bike just slipped thru to do a ‘hare and tortoise’ ore it fell, but little did Rash had gotten off it bef

August 2009

01. 02. 03.

Our precious souvenir that acted as a relay baton for the challenge. Rash-crash no.1 brought to you in complete detail by Eshan. Rash-Crash no. 2. “Abe Eshan stop shooting and help me pick the bike up”.

04.

First gear, check. Landing gear in place, check. Mud - bad, grass good.

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E71 is perhaps the best example.Attempting to relive the bestseller iththe E75, the Finns have stuck to the winning perhaps the best is not easy to follow.

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Ready to be flagged off, I took my position at the start line, blipped the throttle and, damn, I stalled it! Miffed at myself, I kicked the Pulsar to life and set-off to retrieve the treasure from Pradeb, with Rash and Amit laughing away at my misfortune. The Pulsar was by far the least ideal bike for MX with its heavy steering; forward biased weight distribution and a hair trigger clutch. Both the Pulsar’s brakes were useless with the rear brake-liners completely worn off and the front pads surviving on tenterhooks. I decided to tackle the whole course in first-gear, so that the throttle would give me total control over the rear tyre and more so because I wouldn’t need to use the Pulsar’s confusing ’box. Also it would keep my speed in check and keep me safe from any unwanted surprises the track threw at me. Because of the many trips that had been made on the trail before my run and relentless rainfall, it had become even more slippery than what it was at the start of the day. On my sighting lap, I had noticed that the terrain beside the actual trail had much more grip than the actual trail. So with this trick up my sleeve I intentionally elected

to run last. I rode alongside the trail trying to avoid it as much as possible and made it through the grasslands without any fuss or drama. I quickly put our souvenir into my jacket pocket (where it remains, to this day) and started on my way back. I tackled the downhill run with utmost caution and made it back in one-piece. I made sure that I didn’t get lost this time and crossed the start-finish line in what I thought was a good time. But alas, all that smoothness and caution had cost me time and forget Amit, my time was even slower than Rash’s at 7 minutes 21 seconds. I lost the challenge but I learned an important lesson – slow and steady won the race by fluke! Words

August 2009

raSh returned our preciouS Souvenir to pradeb and knowing that he had waSted a lot of time Started puShing even harder on the way back

01. 02. 03. 04.

Pradeb trying to give Rash a pep talk by doing some frantic hand movements. Amit had a moment at the puddle but still managed to keep both the wheels on the ground. Eshan’s jeans with wierd green poop all over it, eeew! People trying to make sense of Rash’s happy -high expression.

05. 06.

The first dog in the world to get the Loreal hair colour. We later found out that it wasnt green poop but chutney from that packet , which got sprayed onto Eshan’s jeans as Rash stepped on it. Later Amit stepped on it to see how it would have happened, and this time it got squirted on to Eshan’s face. Poor guy!

Mihir Gadre

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With his crushing victory at the dirt track, Amit built up a healthy lead of 65 points. Rash was running in second place with 225 points and after my hat-trick of defeats I had been relegated to 3rd place.

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ANDY RASH SNAIL MALE

CARRY OVER
190 175 100

GETTING DIRTY
100 50 0

CUMULATIVE
290 225 100

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ith muck from my mud-slinging adventures having spread all over my gear, I was now praying for a heavy rainfall to wash off the dirt. People on the way to Mahabaleshwar were amused by the sight of the three stooges with a foolish grin on their faces and mud splattered across their bikes and gear. As we reached the foot hills of Wai Ghats, the light drizzle turned into a heavy rainfall and I got my much needed shower. Andy once again started struggling for grip on his TVS Shreechakras while Mihir as usual turned into a dot in

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August 2009

the RVMs. Eshan by now had passed us and was probably waiting at some location to catch us on his camera. Or so we thought. After a while we spotted Ameya ready to shoot us with a wide lens, as the midget was busy using his tele-lens to capture some females bathing in the waterfall. I wondered how god managed to fit such a big pervert in such a tiny body. We reached Mapro Gardens as told and waited for the Snail Male to arrive. Apparently the cold weather at this hill station was making it difficult for the fair Brahmin boy to whistle. All that was coming out of his mouth was vapor. And

since the sweet sounding boy didn’t have his whistle boost, he managed to get even slower. Incredible! After regrouping, we were briefed about the mission. This was one challenge that put a wide smile on my face for obvious reasons. All that had entered our stomach since morning was the sad tea, some bugs and plenty of rain water. Some real food was what we needed now. But what was in store for us was hard to consume, ultra cold thick shake with big dollops of ice cream in it. And we had to finish big glasses of it in three minutes flat apiece! How cruel can someone

So the tea wasn’t enough for you monsters, eh? How about having your fill of some freezing cold, ultra heavy thick shake while you shiver to death? You will compete with each other trying to finish as may thick shakes as possible, even one glass of which is difficult to consume. Every glass of shake consumed will award you 50 points. Announce in advance if you think you’ll not be able to finish the next glass in the stipulated time, or be ready to be disqualified from the round

people on the way to mahabaleShwar were amuSed by the Sight of the three StoogeS with a fooliSh grin on their faceS and mud Splattered acroSS their bikeS and gear

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August 2009

get!

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Thankfully Eshan had been kind enough to allow us to choose the flavor we wanted. While Mihir and I opted for a chocolate flavor, Amit made a grave mistake by opting for butterscotch flavor. We took the coupons and headed for the counter, while our commander in chief decided to browse through the entire menu card. Our devil brains pounced on this opportunity and we asked the guy at the counter to add extra sugar syrup to the butterscotch shake. Within a couple of sips, Andy was already making faces. ‘It tastes a tad too sweet’ he said, with the funniest expression on his face, as Mihir and I tried to conceal our chuckle.

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01. 02.

This is an example of what our palms were reduced to after riding around in the rain for the better half of the day. Andy gets the three glasses full of thick shake with an evil smile on his face. The smile soon changed into the wierdest face he has ever made...it was the scurpulous shake to blame

was Eshan who had to make a trip thanks to the greenery on his arse

06. 07. 08.

No its not just KFC, even the chocolate shake is finger lickin’ good! Take my word for it... Amit is stung by the worst brain-freeze ever! Unfortunately he recovered from it within minutes of finishing that shake... Thanks to our whacky mission, this man was assigned to job to serve none other than us! Look at that sinister smile while filling up my glass; I suspect Andy’s bribed him

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I was at utter ease as round one got over. Man the chocolate shake rocked! How was the butterscotch Andy? We thought Mihir was slow only with the bike! I guess he was consoling each spoonful of thick shake before sending it to his belly... This sign was a reminder of what we would need soon, would we exceed our limits. Ironically it

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The Sheikh of Shakeistan curls his moustach in pride after gulping down all that cold think chocolate without breaking a sweat

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After finishing round four way quicker than my time limit, I had all the time in the world to pose around with all those glasses...

those wonderful slices, Ameya keeps track of the time...

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...and more. Andy, somewhere in the background was still trying hard to push the shake down his puny throat

Look at that face! He should have given up long time back. Pradeb praying to god that Andy leaves the last two slices for him...

CARRY OVER ANDY RASH SNAIL MALE
290 225 100

THE SHEIKHS CUMULATIVE OF SHAKEISTAN
200 250 100 490 475 200

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Round five was my favorite sandwiches!! While Mihir and Pradeb get jealous looking at

And then the inevitable happens! The giant laughs and shakes the very foundation of Mapro Garden! Bow down to the winner you mortals....

As all the three glasses finished, it was time for round two. This time Amit decided to shift to chocolate too and accompanied us to the counter since he had started suspecting us already. This round however was a disaster for Mihir. The Snail Male was slow at eating too! Poor guy refused to contest round three for the fear of disqualification, leaving only Amit and me in contention. Round 2 made us feel stuffed and sick with an overdose of that ultra heavy and ultra sweet syrupy shake. With the progress of Round 3, our stomachs were accelerating along the X-axis. But neither of us was ready to give up. Amit was still ready for more. I was already feeling sick, but it was a matter of pride so I had to fight on. They say the mind gives up ten times

before the body does. I had made up my mind, I had to do it. I decided to gulp down my fourth glass to put some mental pressure on Amit. The trick worked a bit with Amit looking a little bothered, but he wasn’t going to give up so easily. He finished his fourth glass within the set time too! Since these rounds failed to get us a verdict, and another round would have surely made us die, we mutually decided to shift to sandwiches – where the one who finishes more in 3 minutes takes the victory. My bigger mouth-n-belly combo came in handy as I stuffed down three slices as Andy struggled to finish two and a half! What followed was a loud devilish laughter and an even louder burp, announcing my victory! Words

Rohit Paradkar
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August 2009

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Ride on the Mahabaleshwar-Poladpur ghats till you spot the marshals’ car, waiting to catch the contestants unaware at a surprise location to check whether they have maintained average speeds of 40 kph. The contestant with average speed closest to 40 kph will get 100 points followed by 50 for second place and no points for third place. Warning: Watch out for heavy fog, wild animals, land-slides, streams and huge boulders on the road. Be fast and face double the penalty

02

e stopped at the M’shwar petrol-station with Rash and Amit’s bellies swinging out and me (who was disqualified unfairly in the previous round, by the way, citing reasons that I was a slow eater. Well for the record I always have been and will remain a slow eater) hoping that all that eating would cause an emergency nature’s call and make them stop in the middle of the ride to take a poop. It was decided that our support car driver/ photographer/marshal Eshan would get a head start of 15 minutes and three of us would be flagged-off one-afterthe-other at an interval of 5 minutes. Pradeb’s watch was synchronized and the support car sped off into the fog. No one had any idea where it would stop. Its location had purposefully been kept secret so that we would have to

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maintain a speed of 40 kph at all times, poop or no poop. Rash was flagged off first followed by Amit while I elected to go last. I was hoping that my fellow rivals hadn’t accounted for their bike’s speedo errors and had cunningly kept my mouth shut so as to not remind them. I set off into the heavy fog keeping the needle stuck at a speedo indicated 50 kph. The road to Poladpur was the most challenging bit that we had encountered on our ride, so far. The conditions were treacherous as the day of our ride saw the heaviest precipitation of the season. There was heavy fog reducing visibility to just meters ahead of the bike. Streams were gushing over the road and huge boulders had washed up onto the tarmac. Rash even swears that he saw a huge cat leaping across the road.

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Amit was pissed at the paparazzi while I scratched my head in bafflement as eshan announced the surprise mission in the heavy fog and rain. Rash was the first one to be flagged off, but the poor guy took the wrong route. Amit got fooled by the under-reading speedo. “Does 40 kph always feel this fast? Must be because of the ghats”. The fog had cleared up and I was trying to claw back all the time lost in the ghats.
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But at the same time it was also the most scenic riding-road of the journey with gushing waterfalls and steep mountains on one side and an even steeper valley on the other side. Engulfed in fog, it didn’t even feel like a part of this mortal earth. I had a moment where I forgot about the challenge, the TSD, the corners, the apexes and the speed. I let go of the throttle and just took a moment to take it all in. It was the most surreal biking experience of my life, watching my own shadow in the fog. The shadow looked like a ghost rider having a radiant halo around it. Even after riding for 200 odd kilometers in heavy rains, soaked to the bone, I still wanted to keep on riding. I never thought that I would have the best riding experience of my life astride a crummy old, fork-out, Pulsar. Thanks to Amit’s under-reading speedo, he hurried through the course exceeding the set speed limit by more than a few km/h and lost the challenge in-spite of being the fastest. That’s the beauty of the TSD format – you need to

have a precise control over your speed in order to win. Rash meanwhile took a detour by mistake at the starting point, but luckily realized his mistake in time and asked a local for the correct route. However, he had lost a chunk of time and even after pushing to the limit down the ghats, was unable to complete the course in time averaging 3 km/h below the set speed. Meanwhile, I had got past the ghat section and the road had opened up giving me a chance to make up for the time lost in the ghat section. Evil Eshan was nowhere to be seen till Poldapur, which meant I had to take a U-turn and try and find him on my way back. A couple of km later I saw the Swift. They had stopped a little earlier than I expected and I knew I was slightly faster than 40 but still I was closest to the ideal velocity and came away triumphant in mission 4. Words

August 2009

CARRY OVER ANDY RASH SNAIL MALE
490 475 200

RAID DE POLADPUR
0 50 100

CUMULATIVE
490 525 300

Mihir Gadre

it waS the moSt Surreal biking experience of my life, watching my own Shadow in the fog. the Shadow looked like a ghoSt rider having a radiant halo around it

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August 2009

Told you to be easy on the throttle, didn’t I. Now you will repent for the time you revved your bikes to it’s redline and beyond. The bike that will be the most fuel efficient will be awarded 100 points to his tally, 50 points for second place and of-course none for the guzzler

01. 02. 03.

to fill her up.

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The bikes surprised us with their unfailing reliability throughout the ride. That is Rash’s CBZ, but where is he? We aren’t allowed to refuel. Must be hiding somwhere nearby. Poor Rash went broke filling up fuel in the CBZ and even got caugt trying

04. 05.

Rash trying to prove his innocence after getting caught, trying to sneak fuel into his CBZ.

Pradeb trying to pull his hair out due to frustration. Dude, relax its okay, take it easy now, what?

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other, I had a hunch that in some way or the fter a day full of hard-riding, we e into play the fuel efficiency angle would com stopped at a dhaba warming our after all. during the challenge. This is India fingers with cutting chai, looking a mileage No story can be complete without out at our bikes sparkling with dew se mode, I had n as test. Whenever we were in crui drops and looking just as ready for actio even though it bikes’ maintained a steady 70 kays they did in the morning. I shared the ywhere and got detour meant that I reached last ever enthusiasm. We had taken a 70km . Rash’s CBZ with a new nick-name from the guys as the road to Wai was blocked. Even dy running on fatigue was out of the game. It was alrea miscellaneous muscles protesting and ll en-route to Pune. steaming reserve and required a re-fi setting in, I wanted to ride more. The neck between white It was going to be neck and chai too was working its magic and our though. Both the colour. Amit’s Fiero and my Pulsar faces were slowly regaining their lost y while sipping ented bikes being fantastically sting But Eshan just couldn’t stand the cont s were almost a ptly, he fuel. Mind you, all three bike look on our faces for a minute. Prom lakh kilometers there decade old with close to one took out his diary and announced that Pulsar came out colour clocked on their odos. The would be one more final challenge. The of fuel for the fastest tops consuming just 6-litres from my face drained out faster than the the Fiero right elf from 375 kilometer journey and Indian. Somehow, I controlled mys up just 6.5 litres of expected on its heels after burning wrestling him to the ground. I half last two missions to some unleaded. My wins in the the challenge to be a night time rally reckoning, I till I had put me right back into the God-forsaken location without any food ing so hoped. Why are Rash and Amit look dropped dead. Male? l be a worried? Is it because of the Snai I was wrong though. It was going to the ride mundane fuel efficiency test. All along Words Mihir Gadre

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CARRY OVER ANDY RASH SNAIL MALE
490 525 300

SIPPER OR SUCKER
50 0 100

CUMULATIVE
540 525 400

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t was time to calculate the final scores. With 2 wins apiece, all three of us were confident about our victory. Eshan took out the tally board and, damn, the smile got wiped off my face, I had lost the challenge. Rash had won the two big point scoring missions but the breakdown had cost him dear. Amit had emerged as the victor. Inspite of the 50 point penalty for missing mirrors, he had won the challenge by a 15 point margin over Rash. Rash and I obviously didn’t agree with Eshan’s crappy scoring system and the argument continues to this day…

August 2009

03

375 POINTS

Had he been a bit faster, he would have had the first two finishers licked! Planning is good, but Mr. Snail Male would require a bit more pace to get lucky next time

01 02
475 POINTS
Had it not been for that unfortunate flat tyre and the poor show in TSD format run, the big man may have won

490 POINTS

Consistent througout the run, Andy proves that experience matters!

CARRY OVER ANDY RASH SNAIL MALE Gear Courtesy: DSG
540 525 400

PENALTIES
-50 (NO RVMs)

CUMULATIVE
490

-50 475 (BREAKDOWN) -25 375 (ONLY ONE BLINKER)
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August 2009

FAIRED ENOUGH?
Mihir Gadre ponders whether Yamaha has gotten the Fazer right on the second attempt

Photography Art

Eshan Shetty Ajay Katkar

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August 2009

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t is a proven fact that Indian bikers are extremely fond of fairings. From ancient bullets to humble HH CD100s there has never been a bike on which people haven’t tried to slap on a home made fairing. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that for decades, the Indian buyer was deprived of this simple piece of plastic and now they just can’t do without one. Today, the fairing fetish has gone so far there is hardly any bike left in the market which is available exclusively in a non-faired version! Personally, I am not a big fan of fairings, firstly because at speeds that our bikes are capable of, the fairing mostly serves only cosmetic purposes rather than aerodynamic ones. Secondly, even the smallest of the fairings hamper visibility and compromise my pothole dodging capabilities. Thirdly, they increase the weight (6kgs in case of the Fazer) and also the girth of the bike requiring you to be extra cautious while parking into that tiny slot, which was just vacated by a Splendor. But Yamaha has learned its lesson the hard way. In India you have to give the buyer what he wants and not what you think is good for him. I am sure that by now every Yamaha showroom in the country must be irritated out of their minds answering enquiries from FZ and FZ-S owners whether the Fazer’s fairing can be bolted on to their bike. Looks are totally a personal thing, so for me the new fairing works wonders front-on but loses the plot when viewed side-on. That’s probably because it has wavy, organic lines while the rest of the bike has a lithe muscular look. The quality of the fairing job is top notch with no excessive flex in any of its panels and why not? Nothing less is expected of Yamaha. Yamaha engineers have played around with the Fazer’s ergonomics making slight changes to the seating position and have succeeded in taking some of the weight off the rider’s palms compared to the FZ; however, the problem hasn’t been remedied completely hampering its much advertised touring credentials. It has a plastic panels over the tank, which means that magnetic

tank bags are out of the question and doesn’t have any bungee hooks, either. The new fairing mounted mirrors have a huge wingspan of close to 3 feet from one pointed edge to another and have a tendency to poke adjoining riders (specially at traffic lights) in the wrong places, which can be a bit of an issue. The engine is lifted straight out of the FZ. The bike pulls like a dream from low revs accompanied by a satisfying growl from the mid-ship exhaust. And the gearbox is as good as they come from the land of the rising sun. The gearing is super-short giving excellent pace off-the-line; ideal for all the traffic light GPs, however it does take its toll on the bike’s cruising abilities. The engine feels laborious and runs out-of-breath past its midrange and doesn’t rev as freely as mills from any of its rivals be it Honda, Suzuki, TVS or even Bajaj. The lack of tall fifth gear and a weak top-end mean that the Fazer isn’t really ‘ready for touring’. Whatever the promos may say, the bike remains a city slicker and the whole touring hoopla is just a different theme the advertising agencies were told to come up with. The Fazer has first-rate cycle-parts with those ridiculously fat tires, front and rear, suspended from equally fat front forks and a monoshock at the rear. Its handling capabilities far outweigh those of the engine. And it is this excessive over-engineering that makes the FZ line of models so likeable. I think that it bears an uncanny resemblance of character to the sporty SUVs or SAVs like say a Porsche Cayenne a BMW X6. It has ultra-wide low profile tyres and a stiff suspension but, it won’t really break lap records at the track, just like an X6. It has enough grip and confidence to blast through potholes, gravel and muck without worries, but the fat rubber hampers its feedback, which is evident on stretches of smooth tarmac, just like an X6. One more thing that it shares with the SUVs is the fuel efficiency or the lack of it, again, just like an X6!

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The instrument binnacle is lifted straight off the FZ, albeit without the garish orange stickers. The offset void left in the place of the lock looks odd.

01.

02. A neat floating panel wears the logos. 03. The fairing looks so R6 from head-on, nice.

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02

Fitting it on your FZ will require some tedious welding and changes to the electricals costing around 8 grand, provided you can persuade your dealer or a local mechanic to do it for you.

04.

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August 2009

Specifications
Price Displacement Power Torque Kerb Weight Equipment

Yamaha Fazer
Rs. 80,779 (On-Road, Pune) 153 cc 13.81 bhp at 6,500 rpm 14 Nm at 3,500 rpm 141kg (FZ16 - 137 kg) Elec. Start, Disc Brake (Fr), Mag wheels, Monocross suspension, Dual headlamps 100/80R17 (Fr), 140/60R17 (R)
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Tyres

August 2009

Verdict
When I saw the FZ-16 I instantly thought that this is what the Pulsar should’ve become. The first generation Pulsar started off as a naked street-fighter but gradually lost the plot with each upgrade. Bolting on a fairing to an already successful model is easy money, but the Pulsar brand lost its identity. Is the FZ treading the same path? Maybe, this is what happens when manufacturer delivers far too much to customer demands. Then there is the matter of price. At Rs. 80,799 (On-Road, Pune), it is around 15 grand more expensive than its 150cc rivals. Agreed that the FZ is dynamically far more accomplished than any of its 150 cc rivals but engine could’ve been better. Instead of adding increasingly bigger fairings to the FZ, Yamaha should’ve kept the FZ a street-fighter and should have opted for a different, bigger platform for a touring bike. Overall the Fazer along with the FZ16 and the FZ-S can lay claim on the top-spot in the 150 cc segment (not considering the R15 that is), but only by a whisker and certainly not enough to ask for such a hefty premium over its rivals. Its price-tag does put it bang into the new Pulsar 220 and Karizma territory, both of which are potent machines in their own right, especially the new 220 with a lot of standard kit, good-performance, and fantastic value-for-money. The actual Fazer (the 1000cc one) is based on the ‘06-07 R1 and gets all the hi-tech stuff from the superbike, why can’t our Fazer be based on the R15 platform tweaked suitably for torque and touring? Or do we have to wait till the third attempt?

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August 2009

Rohit Paradkar engulfs himself in the aura of Vandenchi’s divine creation

photography Art

eshan shetty ajay katkar ramakant chougule

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August 2009

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kshai Varde is one of the best custom bike builders I have met till date. This evening he was to amaze our team with an unusual creation of his. I drove past the marine lines to meet this guy. But it was all looking different today. It wasn’t a regular Mumbai evening. There wasn’t a single couple sitting along the sea face, nor a soul briskly walking around. The sound of the waves was loud and distinct even with Mumbai’s traffic very much trying to overshadow it. The stars twinkled no more as the rain gods clouded the sky. The scene looked set for yet another torrential rainfall coming down on the metro. We continued to the rendezvous point, unsure about Akshai’s presence. But as we waited, the scenario started to change. Coincidence as we would call it, the dark clouds were slowly disappearing; the night life at Bandra was coming alive again; and then suddenly our ears started concentrating. It was the familiar thump. Vardenchi’s latest creation was making arrival onto the scene. The pedestrians paused, the cars made way and a white hulk with a wheelbase longer than an ape’s leap rode into the crossroad. There it was, a new chopper, a new design and the usual theme. What stood in front of us was truly amazing – and as you would expect, better than Vardenchi’s past creations.
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August 2009

It was the familiar thump. Vardenchi’s latest creation was making an arrival onto the scene

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August 2009

01. 02. 03.

The original 1980s Bullet 500 powerplant along with the organic exhaust pipe provides one of the most sonorous thumps anyone has ever heard Puny as they may seem, that headlight housing commences the inscription of the Hanuman Chalisa on the chopper The single-sided swingarm unit is upgraded now and provides better dynamics to Vadenchi’s choppers. The belt drive sprocket looks as stunning in motion as at standstill. The number plate too is makes a style statement

04. 05.

The chromed Pulsar alloys sit firmly between the new elongdaed fork-pipes Just like the new swingarm, the mono-shock absorber mounting has been modified too for better comfort. The overall finish has improved by leaps and bounds, not only in the cosmetic, but also in the engineering department

01 03

02

04

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August 2009

I walked around the metal sculpture repeatedly to absorb its stunning design. This chopper is probably one of the longest that Akshai’s team has ever built. The entire body work looked similar to the Vardenchi choppers that I have ridden earlier, but this one stood out. It’s finished in bright pearl white, but what sets it apart is the beautiful inscription of the entire ‘Hanuman Chalisa’ which runs right from the headlights to the rear fender. We have seen skulls, flames, tribal art and even air-brush artwork on choppers, but something like this is a completely novel idea. Akshai told us that the enthusiast who summoned this bike is a devotee of Lord Hanuman, so he wanted a chopper that could in some way signify his devotion towards the deity – and hence the inscription. To maintain its originality, the Avadhi poem isn’t translated, but instead inscribed using English

alphabets. No stencils were used either, rather an ethnic font depicting those of the ancient Vedas was used by Akshai’s mom to inscribe the poem on to the bike. The whole idea has been executed very well. Believe me when I tell you, this chopper looks far more breathtaking the in flesh than in any of the photos. As crowd started gathering around the chopper, I asked Akshai for the keys. With a smile on his face he replied ‘There are no keys for this bike. Its so holy, no one would attempt to steal it…’. I smiled back, got onto its saddle and rode away. The bike is loud with its straight through exhaust pipes, but the thump is pure, for it comes from an old 1980s Bullet 500 powerplant. It has the ability to shake the ground that it’s riding on and make an announcement of its arrival while still being a mile away! Surprisingly, it’s very convenient to ride too. The

revised suspension elements are sufficiently comfortable, while a recalculated steering geometry makes it easy to maneuver this lengthy motorcycle. The donor bike being almost three decades old, has the least clutter of cables you can come across making the finished product appear very clean. The whole customization has cost the owner

much more than the price of a brand new hatchback, but it’s worth every penny, for every inch of this bke puts you in the spotlight. Be it the 200-section tyre; the large 17” chrome draped rim; the single sided swing arm or the sheer wheelbase of this steed – it all gives this chopper its unique character. Its not that Akshai hasn’t used these

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August 2009

This chopper is probably one of the longest that Akshai’s team has ever built

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August 2009

To maintain its originality, the Avadhi poem isn’t translated, but instead inscribed using English alphabets
components earlier, but on this particular model, they look special. The quality, the fit and finish and the execution is all perfect. It’s so exquisite, it can make the pedestrians on a Mumbai street freeze in awe. And that’s saying something. Be it anyone on the road, from the taxi-wala waiting for his fare to the odd aunty in her saree, they all take a pause to have an eyeful. I have ridden a lot of motorcycles that wet dreams are made of. But the feeling that I had while riding this machine was out of this world. I knew that I was the only person on the whole planet who was riding this piece of art at that moment – for there wasn’t another one like it anywhere! Such is the aura of Vardenchi’s divine creation, that it can even make an atheist start worshipping the pagan god. A verse from the Chalisa that befits this chopper as aptly as it does to the deity himself, reads, ‘Aapan tej samharo aapai, Teenhon lok hank te kanpai’. (You alone are befitted to carry your own splendid valor. All the three worlds (entire universe) tremor at your thunderous call). I couldn’t agree more!

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A touch of evil
Yamaha lifts the performance ante higher with a first of its kind performance kits in India for the R15 and the FZ

August 2009

Photography Words

Aditya Bedre Kiran Kadaba

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August 2009

he R15’s launch last year was a radical move by Yamaha to re-enter the performance biking segment in India. About a year after redefining the performance benchmark in the country, Yamaha wanted to make waves yet again, especially with rivals Bajaj Auto introducing the new Pulsar 220 and claiming it to be ‘The Fastest Indian’. To demonstrate the even more wonderful capabilities of the R15, Yamaha India brought down some performance parts for the R15 made in Japan by Daytona Racing, and wanted us to get a taste of the brew they had prepared. Little surprise that these parts were developed in Japan, as the bike itself was designed and perfected at the track at Sugo.

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The list of the upgrades includes a performance ECU, camshaft, full system exhaust, 298mm wave braking rotors, steel brake lines, adjustable rider foot pegs, and last but not least, a quick throttle. All of these have been launched by Yamaha as their goodie package for the track junkie. These parts will be available to everyone but are recommended only for professional track use. In a fashion similar to the R15’s launch, the foretaste of performance kit came with the Sriperumbadur racetrack serving as the platter. Yamaha got a bunch of bikes ready for us media population. There were 2 R15s ready with the performance bits and 4 stock ones to guage the difference. Logically, we wanted to get out on

track with the stock ones so that we have a benchmark to compare the modded ones with. As I went out on the sighting lap, I realised that the riding position on the modded bike is just so perfectly balanced that even me at a good inch over 6 feet was pretty comfortable on the bike. I could not have asked for anything better. A lap down, I felt really good. Midway through the start-finish straight, 10,000 RPM in fifth, I slotted it into sixth and the bike kept accelerating. Impressive! While the increased power output courtesy the new ECU, exhaust and cam helps you carry higher speeds on long, sweeping corners, that big, wavy front disc helps you brake much later when compared to the

stock discs. The R15 always had the capacity to tackle anything you wanted to throw at it at the racetrack. Now Yamaha has raised the level of playing filed considerably with the performance parts package. Here’s a small description of how each of these performance upgrades contribute in making the R15 a faster bike round the racetrack. Race ECU: The stock R15 is very rev-happy but on the racetrack, once you take it in the power band beyond 7500 RPM, the red line comes up rather quickly at 9,500 RPM and you’re most likely than not, in the middle of a corner with nowhere else to go but a slot higher in the gearbox. The replacement ECU helps out

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August 2009

greatly in this regard as the rev-limiter has been kicked up a few notches to kick in at a healthy 12,500+ RPM. This gives us a good 3000 revs to play around with and on track, makes a hell of a big difference. Again, the ECU has been designed keeping in mind the other parts of the package as well so I’m not really sure how well it may do on its own or whether that is even an option. The ECU comes pre-defined with the maps and is not customizable as per requirements. Guess Yamaha still does want us to keep yearning for more. Replacement Camshaft: all that extra fuel-air mixture and no-where to put it makes no sense. Yamaha have come up with yet another gem of a part in the High lift Camshaft for the R15. It allows the remapped ECU take better advantage of the race maps and also better deal with the increased stress that the bumped up rev limits may have on the valves.

Again, I’m surprised that a set of stronger valve springs are not part of the package to help with reducing the stresses but it may also be because the original parts themselves were engineered keeping the mods in mind. Full System Exhaust: The R15 is a beauty, but this part makes it a beast as well. A straight bolt on exhaust system is something that dreams are made of, and Yamaha, just realized that dream for us. Again, a part of the race package, it’s loud and how. Definitely not street legal as it goes well beyond the allowed range of 75 80 db. It is a true gem in the way it bumps up the useable power in the midrange which isn’t quite there in the stock bike. I would have loved to get my hands on one of these for my daily ride as it just makes so much grunt low down that the bike can well be enjoyed in the streets in the daily red light to red light drags as well. You don’t like your neighbours, well you don’t

have to. Just figure out a way to get one of these exhausts out on the streets and it will make sure nobody likes you either. Large Wave Rotors: All that ‘go faster’ power is no good if you can’t stop in time right? Well, great minds think alike! The Yamaha guys have gone to the extent of providing 298 mm Wave braking rotors for the R15 in combination with steel braided brake lines and a beautifully crafted master cylinder like its bigger bretheren (R6/R1). The brake feel on the R15 was really good to begin with and according to me it’s a bit of a gamble that Yamaha has played with this part of the upgrade. The brakes need a little time to come up to peak performance as I experienced firsthand out on track. After spending a couple of hours out on the stock bike, I tried the same braking markers while on the modded one, and was in for a big surprise. Not only did the brakes lack bite, but I ended

up running off the track. Taking things slow again for one lap; I was able to get the feel and precision back into the brakes after they were a little hot at the latter end of the first lap. Once you get them brakes in the oven, Oh Mamma!!! What a way to stop. I was able to push the bike harder into corners and brake later as well. It also improved the feel of the brakes while trailing into corner entry. Quick Throttle: It pretty much does what the name suggests. The throttle actuation has been reduced to a great extent and you really don’t need to wring the life out of it to get going all the way. The travel has reduced from about 90 degrees to 60 degrees. This part however did not feel right to me, maybe because the throttle is just so darned hard to twist. In a way that is good so that you don’t just get on full throttle without a limiting in this factor, but it does make you work hard for it.

Race ECU
Probably one of the most desirable components of the upgrade, the new ECU will shift the R15’s rev-limit from 10,500 RPM all the way up to 12,500 RPM! You have to pay more than just the sticker price to install one though, as your R15’s warranty is null and void as soon as you have one of these babies on your machine

Wave Rotors
This unit is designed to endow the much needed extra stopping power to the R15. At 298mm in diameter, these wave rotors continue using the same set of callipers albiet with an extended mounting mechanism. The wave pattern, apart from looking cosmetically different will also aid faster cooling. You have to give them some time to perform optimally though

Sprockets
The new sprockets will be available in various sizes. You can hence pick the one you need as per the track setup or the one that suits your riding style the best. These are also made using a different kind of material to shed some weight

Full Exhaust System
Apart from providing that much awaited amplified exhaust grunt, this calculated free flow full exhaust system will bump up the low end and midrange power - something that stock R15 riders crave for when riding around tighter tracks. This system ain’t street legal either and will need you to chuck the warranty

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AND THE FZ GETS ITS SHARE TOO...

August 2009

Along with the R15, Yamaha have introduced an upgrade for the FZ too, and it works better than we expected
amaha, while giving enough power-up to the R15, have also come up with a bunch of goodies for the younger of the two siblings, the FZ16. Though not as hardcore as the R15 performance parts, trust me when I say that it does just enough to make the FZ a sweet ride.The performance upgrades for the FZ come in the form of brake and exhaust systems. In its stock form, the FZ is a middle of the road performer at best. But slap on the new exhaust and you have a hooligan at hand. The muscular lines of the bike are justified by the loud; no scratch that, insane, exhaust which it shares with the R15. The power delivery is just so linear and smooth that you hardly think it’s the FZ16 you are riding. Without the exhaust, the bike is pretty lethargic to get to the red line. The exhaust changes the entire character of the bike to such an extent that on every corner exit, I expected the front wheel in the air. The package also includes a newly designed air-box for the bike which would improve the overall flow from the intake right up to the exhaust, not to miss on the fact, that the Yamaha mechanics had done a glorious job of fine tuning the carbs. on the bikes to match the performance gains. Just goes to show that a bit of tinkering here and another bit there can do wonders to a bike’s performance. The package also includes the front 300mm wave rotor, steel braided brake lines and all new master cylinder. These are not as necessary on the FZ as the stock brakes themselves seemed to do the trick. But since the entire package had been offered as a track (race) package, I don’t see any harm in slapping those on this bike as well. Overall, the brakes had a reasonably good feel. However, I had to get some heat into them to get them to really grip and help shed speed faster. Mid-corner line corrections were a breeze with the new brakes and definitely confidence inspiring. At the end of the day, this great package with a price tag to match will do the trick for Yamaha to up the ante of performance biking in India. Though the numbers won’t be high, we are sure there will be some takers for the new upgrades.

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he grand daddy of all the Himalayan rides in the country, the Himalayan Odyssey, in its 6th iteration, beckoned 55 riders from across the nation to embark upon a journey which would present a whole new perspective to motorcycling. Flagged off from Delhi on the 14th of June, the journey took the bikers through some of the most beautiful locales, uncharted terrains and a plethora of weather changes! Like every year, Royal Enfield organized this year’s trip too, however the timing chosen was a tad earlier than what it has been all these years. The weather wasn’t exactly too relenting even with the shifted dates. While crossing water streams in some sections is a given. a strong snow storm came as a taxing surprise to the 55 riders. But that did not dent the confidence of all these Bulletiers one bit. The riders’ hard work paid off, as the following day brought forth one of the most picturesque visuals the Himalayas had to offer. Though the ride and the route was same for all the riders, the experience in itself was completely unique for each one of them. In his words, our contributor Yeshwant More quotes, ‘The ride is very challenging and at the same time very exhilarating. It sets your pulse racing. Every rider on his way back has graduated a few steps further in his riding skills and is more confident in maneuvering his bike.’ Since words are not enough to bring forth such an experience, we’d let the pictures do all the talking…

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2009: A Himalayan Odyssey

August 2009

So what if you haven’t watched the movie we have named the title after, the visuals from RE’s unique annual ride are no less thrilling. Go on, feast your eyes! Photos by Bhagirath, Santosh, Avinash, Akshay, Tanmay & Yesshwant from Roadshakers, Pune.

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August 2009

All the riders get together at the India gate to commence a journey that they would remember for their entire lifetime

Sachin Chavan, the trip commander-in-chief briefs the entrie group before heading towards Sarchu

Enthusiastic foreign tourists like these were a common sight throughout our journey We were so happy to finally see tar roads again... ...that we kept riding to and fro to our hearts’ contentment

Thicksey Monastry - could they not have this Monastry on the planes, its far and high for a mortal to reach with ease

I am the Strongest, don’t mess with me!

The five riders who contributed these photos, pose against the Sanchi Stupa

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August 2009

Our adventurer trio at the Tso Kar Lake. Notice the Bullet Classic, which is exported to Europe by Royal Enfield? The Shey Palace - an architecture that looks much better in flesh than in a picture Yash and Tanmay’s bike making for a fabulous picture near Khardung La

The Thunderbird poses against the Taglang La Pass

The Himalayan Odyssey logo with SheyPalace in the background

The route from Kaza to Kalpa is a simple looking rocky terrain but is still one of the most demanding routes throughout the journey

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August 2009

When Aryans went thumping... B
An individual group of 15 bikers from Hohenhaslach, Germany, embarked upon Royal Enfield Classics to ride across the Himalayas, in a bid to discover the ‘Incredible India’ Hans-Georg Hummel
Story

ack in 2001, few of my friends and I embarked upon a bike tour to Leh-Ladakh and Spiti valley, and explored some of the most enchanted territories. The memories and experience of that year compelled me to once again aboard a bike tour and conquer some of the highest passes for automobiles. Its just took a moment to find a group of ten bikers from the biker club, in my home town Hohenhaslach (close to Stuttgart-Germany) who were keen to participate. From there on, we started planning this great adventure trip. Once back in India, I approached Peter dos Santos from Classic Bike Organisation who helped in chalking out the itinerary besides providing us with 15 Royal Enfield Bullets. He was also the official tour guide along with Tiziana, a charming Dutch lady. We were also accompanied by Pappu and Ramesh, the back up team, who took great care of our bikes and fixed minor faults in minutes.The trip kick started on the 26th of June, 2009 at the Delhi airport where Peter welcomed the group of 15 bikers. We were briefed about the tour, the road conditions and traffic rules in India enroute our journey by a bus from Delhi to Nagar, close to Manali. To get acquainted with the machines, we rode down the Kullu valley along the Beas River. After a quick visit to the famous 17th century Nagar castle where we were welcomed with a splendid view, we retired for the day. Next day we started our tour with a short ride to Manali. Here, we got a chance to pick up all the necessities we would require on the trip until we reached Leh. The next day, had us all excited and eager to cross our first pass, the Rohtang, at an altitude of 4000m. Having climbed, half way we came to a stop due to poor road condition and road repair work which reduced the traffic to only one lane. We had to overtake a string of vehicles. It seemed terrible initially, with broken roads and steep slopes on the valley side but it got easier once we got the hang of the machines. Soon we reached the top, and stopped for a cuppa chai. The traffic, hereafter eased out, as we descended Rohtang and the first sight of the mighty Himalayas greeted us. Amidst, concentrating on riding our bikes on broken roads and being welcomed by amazing landscapes at every corner, we finally reached our pit stop in Keylong. Next morning, we started our day at 9 am, and rode along the Bhaga River, Suraj Tal and scaled Baralach La, at 4,892 mm altitude. This was the first time on the trip we experienced freezing climatic conditions and were relieved upon reaching the camp close to Sarchu. After a long session of story telling and sharing biking experiences with the warm sun setting upon us, it was time for dinner. The temperatures during the night time dropped even further making it impossible for anyone
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of us to sleep peacefully. Even mineral water we had with us in the tent was partly frozen until the next morning. The next day, we conquered the Lachung La, at 5,065 m and the Tanglang La, at 5.360 m. The road was nothing else, but gravel and loose soil. The NH1 was a mere combination of rocks, holes, sand,and water crossings. Upon reaching the camp site, Rumtse, most of us were complaining of body pain and exhaustion. Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) got the better of two riders and they had to continue the rest of the journey in the back-up vehicle. Next day, we reached our awaited destination- Leh. It was time for a much needed warm shower, a few drinks and plenty of rest to beat the exhaustion of riding over a week. Leh, the capital of Ladakh (La stands for pass and dak for many) is situated between the two highest mountain ranges in the world, the

Himalayan range in the south and the Karakoram Range in the north. One of the remote places in the world, but never isolated, this trans-Himalayan land is a repository of Buddhist culture and is enriched with beautiful monasteries and holds immemorial treasures like frescoes, images and rare manuscripts. The first trip form Leh led us to the Thiksey monastery, situated on the banks of the Indus River. With ten temples and a nunney within it, this picturesque Gompa is a twelve storeyed building, built in the 15th century. The Lamayuru and the Hemis are other two popular monasteries around this region. The following day we were all charged to acclaim the highest memorable road in the world, the Khardung La. The route is demanding, especially the last few kilometers to the top. A marvelous view from the pass surveys an entire length of the Indus Valley in the south and a magnificent

panorama of snow clad peaks. From there on, we started descending into the Nubra valley. Passing the night partly in a deluxe tent camp we made our way back to Khardung-La the next day. Once back to Leh we left to enter the Zanskar valley, known as a land of religion where amazing old gompas were set in huge caves high up on a mountainside, approachable only by foot. After visiting many more such monasteries, we headed to explore the famous Ladakh markets and enjoyed some of the authentic local food preparations. We eventually left Leh by flight on 10th of July to Delhi, taking back with us some thrilling experiences, new stories to share with loved ones and a new found perspective towards life and the sport of motorcycling. I would like to take a moment here and thank all the members of the crew for being there with us in our endeavor of discovering the ‘Incredible India.’

August 2009

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01. 02. 03.

Riders, taking a moment to capture the scenic landscapes, which changes at every corner Acclaiming the highest motorable road in the world at an alttitude of 5359 meters, is always going to be something to remember

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One of the two ladies from the team posing astride a Royal Enfield Classic

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August 2009

Photography Words

Aditya Bedre Rohit Paradkar

J K Tyre NRC: Round 4

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August 2009

ith round four of the J. K. Tyre NRC having moved to the Kari Speed Way, it meant that the riders had to fiddle with the bike’s settings to suit the tight corners of the Coimbatore track as opposed to the fast flowing Chennai circuit. For the experienced riders however, it wasn’t going to be very difficult – thanks to the innumerable number of track days these guys organize at Kari. Qualifying was as tricky as the weather around Coimbatore during this time of the year. A constant drizzle gave the riders wet tarmac to qualify on. Alok Shashidhar took the pole for the 1000cc category by setting an overall benchmark of 1.12.232 for others to follow. K. V. Balaji who took P2 overall, was the fastest 600cc class rider for the qualifying session.

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01. 02.

Rain tyres slowed down Poncho on the bone dry track. He still managed a podium finish. Great show! Sanjay Kumar had a brilliant weekend at Kari. His FIAT Yamaha replica R1 finished on the podium both the times

03.

Sumit Lucas (white 600RR) is a racer based out of Ranchi, who not only came down all the way to Kari, but also finished on the podium!

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02

01

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August 2009

04

03

Since Race One was to happen as per schedule on Saturday evening itself, some riders decided to take a gamble by sticking to rain-spec tyres for added advantage on the wet track. However as the race began, the tricky weather conditions came into play again – leaving the riders with a completely dry track to ride on. As the five lights went off, the bikes roared their way down the start-finish straight. Within a corner or two, Vivek Pillai used the might of his 600RR in the tight corners and took the lead ahead of Alok’s R1. As the race progressed, he opened the lead further. Meanwhile Poncho who was also contending in the 600cc Expert category was having a hard time with his 2CT (rain spec) tyres, which were reducing his pace on the dry track. Emmanuel Jebraj, who had started from the back of the grid due to qualifying problems, made his way through the rest of the pack and in no time was on Pillai’s tail. Though Jeba was carrying more pace, he hung onto this position for three laps to build pressure on Vivek. With the final two laps to go, he made his move by out-braking Vivek in a corner and taking the lead all the way to the chequered flag. In the 600cc Novice category, Balaji converted his P2 into a race win – ahead of P3 rider Sumit Lucas who lost a couple of positions, but regained them in the end. Racing Lass Alisha, who too was suffering from a bad tyre choice hung in throughout the race to take the final spot on the podium. Alok who won the 1000cc category, was in a race of his own, as no other rider from hi category was even close to him. He was joined on the podium by Sanjay Kumar and Ramji Govindrajan. Race 2 was in complete contrast to the first race. The only drama that happened was an unfortunate incident where ace rider Poncho crashed aboard his 600RR and ended up with a fracture in his hand. For the rest of the racers, it was business as usual. Unlike race one, Jebba overtook Vivek within the first couple of laps itself and raced away to a comfortable finish. The classification for both the races is as follows -

600cc Novice: Race1 K. V. Balaji, Sumit Lucas, Alisha Abdullah Race2 Sumit Lucas, K. V. Balaji, Alisha Abdullah 600cc Expert: Race1 Emmanuel Jebraj, Vivek Pillai, S. Gopinathan Race2 Emmanuel Jebraj, Vivek Pillai, Praveen Keerthi 1000cc Open: Race1 Alok Shashidhar, Sanjay Kumar, Ramji Govindrajan Race2 Alok Shashidhar, Sanjay Kumar, Prakash Murali

01.

02

1000cc Open Class, Race 2(L-R)

03. 04.

Sanjay Kumar, Alok Shashidhar, Prakash Murali

600cc Expert Class, Race 2 (L-R)

Vivek Pillai, Emmanuel Jebaraj, Praveen Keerthi

02.

600cc Novice Class, Race 2(L-R)

K. V. Balaji, Sumit Lucas, Alisha Abdullah

600cc Expert Class, Race 1 (L-R)
Vivek Pillai, Emmanuel Jebaraj, Poncho

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as the race began, the tricky weather conditions came into play again – leaving the riders with a completely dry track to play on

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August 2009

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August 2009

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August 2009

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August 2009

Like Father, Like Son

Pradeb Biswas meets up with a one of its kind father-son scooter rally racer duo
events as a spectator and sought information on how to participate. He then honed his skills on open grounds and finally took a plunge into bike racing and rallying. He first participated in an autocross event and became a regular at all Juhu Aerodome races, dirt track events and hill climb events. Till date he has participated in over 30 bike rallies and around 70 races. During his racing heydays he had won the hill climb events held at Mumbai as well as Pune. While daddy would pursue his motorsport dreams within the budget of his pocket-money, beta has been born with a golden spoon in his mouth! Daddy not only supports junior financially but also utilizes his expertise to help him in his rally exploits. As a kid Nikunj Gala would accompany his dad to various rally events. He is quick to admit that watching daddy participate in various motorsport events fuelled his dreams of emulating his dad. Gala junior was only sixteen years of age when he took part in his first scooter rally which was a local event. His professional racing career began two years ago and he has taken part in eight rally events till date. Since 2007, junior has been taking part in scooter rallies held in Mumbai along with autocross events. In the 2008 Gulf Monsoon scooter rally he was adjudged the Best Mumbai rider. By his own admission he intends to complete his education before jumping into the world of
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f you are among the countless number of financially broke bike racing enthusiasts who wonder how life would have been different had daddy sponsored your motorsport dreams, then ensure that your dad gets to read this feature. reading about the scooter rallying father-son duo of Shailesh and Nikunj Gala may just do the trick for you. The rally-racer dad, in his rallying heydays had decided that as a father he would encourage his kid to participate in motorcycle rallies. The rallying success of his son is testimony to his faith in his ward’s talent. It would be mighty difficult for a motorsport discouraging dad to not think twice before denying his son an opportunity after reading about this benevolent counterpart of his. Shailesh Gala’s, the father, spent his childhood taking part in cycle races to quench his thirst for speed. As he grew up he graduated to motorcycle races to satisfy his increased speed cravings. “Shailu” as he is affectionately known in rally circles, got introduced to motorsports in an unconventional way. One day while riding home on his motorcycle, he caught the attention of a couple who used to take part in bike races. The couple complimented his riding style and informed him to take part in bike races. At 20 years of age and unaware about the bike racing scene, he first went to a few

While daddy Would pursue his motorsport dreams Within the budget of his pocket-money, beta has been born With a golden spoon in his mouth!

August 2009

motorsports full time. Nikunj hopes that his long cherished dream of sharing podium place with his dad at the Monsoon scooter rally comes true one day. The 20 year old is modest enough to acknowledge that his rally dreams are being realized thanks to a supporting and encouraging father. He proudly recalls the moments when his scooter got stuck on a slush filled stage and dad who had started the rally behind him, came along and guided him out. Gala junior believes in riding skillfully than outright aggressive riding. The chances of having a fall and picking up injuries will be less and he will be able to ride and take part in rallies for a longer duration. At 47 years of age the rallying bug in Gala senior is still alive and kicking . With no proper bike rallies or races taking place in Mumbai, his rallying is currently limited only to the monsoon scooter rally which is held annually in Navi Mumbai. Gala senior clearly states that that if hill climb races and circuit events return to Mumbai, he will be back to being a regular participant! His passion for rallying is clearly evident when he vows that he will be a participant as long as the scooter rally is held around Mumbai. It is no longer possible for him to take part in out-station rallies as with a family to take care of financially. This father-son duo belongs to the down-to-earth rally/racers club. For Gala senior, his rally motive has always been to register a finish and enjoy the event irrespective of a win or loss. As a father he always advises junior to concentrate on finishing the rally and not get distracted in the event of any foulplay. Gala senior has advised Nikunj to stick to rallying scooters for the time being and improve his rallying skills before graduating to bike rallying. For Junior, the motive has evolved to not only enjoying participating in a rally event but also finish on podium. In today’s day and age every biking aficionado dreams of attaining motorsport glory. Hats off to Shailesh Gala, for religiously treading on the motorsport way while ensuring that junior Gala doesn’t fall short of chasing his rally dreams. It remains to be seen how an average dad (read non-motorsport encouraging father) would react to the prospect of sponsoring their child’s rally/racing dreams after reading this feature!

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August 2009

Report

Mihir Gadre

The spectacle of MotoGP has never been so good, thanks to awesome dogfights between the Fiat Yamaha team-mates Valentino Rossi and Jorge Lorenzo. Rossi’s 4 victories put him in the championship lead with 176 points followed by Lorenzo with 2 victories and 162 points. World champion Casey Stoner has maintained his blinding pace astride the Ducati and with victories at Losail and Mugello. He stands third in the title fight with 148 points and still has a fighting chance to claim the title. While Casey has been able to channel the Ducati’s fury in the right direction Nicky Hayden has struggled at getting with grips with the scarlet bike. The former world champion’s performance on the Ducati has raised serious

doubt about his competence. The Repsol Honda duo of Pedrosa and Dovisioso haven’t been able to mount a consistent challenge for the title so far. Marco Melandri has been the surprise of the season with some unbelievable performances on the sole Hayate racing Kawasaki. Colin Edwards has turned out to be the best-of-the-rest with consistent points-scoring finishes in all the races. Sete Gibernau meanwhile has had a dismal comeback to MotoGP, with his sponsors announcing their withdrawal from MotoGP leaving him in a fix. Next Race 26 July 2009, Donnington Park.

The 2009 WSBK season is turning out to be a real scorcher with 2-way fight for the title between Ben Spies and Noriyuki Haga. Haga now in his 10th season of full time racing in WSBK has twice been runner-up and has finished 3rd in the championship four times. Haga switched to Ducati Xerox this year filling up the seat vacated by Troy Bayliss and is hungrier than ever to win the title this year. Haga has won 6 races and has been atop the podium 13 times so far this season. He currently leads the championship by 14 points, with a tally of 308 points. But the sensation of the 2009 season has to be Ben Spies. The Yankee from Tennessee has won the AMA Superbike Championship, 3 years in a row, from

2006 to 2008. He filled up the seat vacated by Haga at Yamaha Italia and is making a strong bid for the title in his rookie season. He took pole position at his very first race meeting and a perfect weekend at the second round in Losail, Qatar by taking pole, the fastest lap, both the races, and breaking the outright circuit lap record. He broke the long-standing record of 6 consecutive poles set in 1991 by Doug Polen by securing 7 consecutive pole positions. Spies has won 10 out of the18 races so far this season, collecting 294 points. Will the lethal combination of the crossplane R1 and Spies be able to snatch the title from Ducati? Let’s wait n watch. Next race: 26 July 2009, Brno

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August 2009

What’s the Isle of Man all about?
Report

Mihir Gadre
History The first race was held in 1907 and was called the International Auto-Cycle Tourist Trophy. The ‘mountain course’ was raced for the first time in 1911. The event was a part of the MotoGP from 1949 to 1976 but was transferred to the United Kingdom in 1977 due to safety concerns. It was run by the FIM as the British Grand Prix for the 1977 season. The Isle of Man TT Races became part of the TT Formula 1 Championship during the period 1977-1990 to preserve the events racing status. From 1989 the racing has been developed by the Isle of Man Department of Tourism as the Isle of Man TT Festival. The TT Races are a part of the TT Festival covering two weeks from the end of May to the beginning of June every year. The first week consists of practice racing with the second week being the main racing event.

What is the ‘Isle of Man’ all about? Racing at the Isle of Man is perhaps the purest form of motorcycle racing. The race is run as a time-trial but on public roads closed for the public during the races. There are no gravel traps or run off areas. The road surface is far from racetrack-smooth, while an almost 38 mile course means that it takes decades to ‘learn’ the track even partially. The bikes are pushed to their limits on semi-slick tyres and the suspension has to be pliant enough to accommodate the ruts and bumps. The racing at the Isle is more real than MotoGP. No wonder then that in the 100 years of racing at the isle it has seen a lot of deaths over the years. You got to have real balls to race at the ‘isle’.

Tourist trophy
Joey Dunlop:
Joey Dunlop is widely acknowledged to be the most talented road racer to have ever lived. This media-shy man from North Ireland was known as the ‘King of the Road’. He contested in 25 TTs and won a record 26 races in total making him the most successful rider at the isle. His achievements include a triple hattrick at Isle in 1985, 1988 and 2000. He died in Estonia, in 2000 while leading a 125cc race (he had already won the 750cc and 600cc events) when he lost control of his bike in the wet and suffered heavy impact with a tree.

John McGuinness:
Known as ‘Morecambe Missile’ or ‘McG’, John McGuinness currently holds the outright lap-record for the ‘mountain course’ at 17:12.30 at an average speed of 131.578 mph. He races for the HM Plant Honda team and has a total of 15 race wins at the TT to his credit.

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Mike Hailwood
Widely regarded as one of the greatest racers of all time, Mike Hailwood a.k.a ‘Mike the Bike’ started racing in 1957 at the age of 17. By 1961, Hailwood was racing a four-stroke, four-cylinder 250 cc for a Japanese upstart factory named Honda on which he won the 1961 250cc MotoGP world championship. In 1962, Hailwood joined MV Agusta and went on to become the first rider to win four consecutive 500cc World Championships. In 1966, Hailwood went back to Honda and won four more world titles in 1966 and 1967 in

the 250 cc and 350 cc categories Hailwood was also an equally accomplished racer at the Isle of Man. He won a total of 14 TTs including three straight wins during the 1961 event. He won what many consider to be the most dramatic Isle of Man race of all time, the 1967 Senior TT against his greatest rival, Giacomo Agostini. In that race he set a lap record of 108.77 mph on the notorious Honda 500-4, which stood for the next 8 years. After that he turned his attention towards Formula 1. He participated in 50 Formula One Grands Prix, achieving two podium finishes. In 1978, after an 11 year hiatus from motorcycling, Hailwood performed a legendary comeback at the Isle of Man TT. The 38-year-old managed a hugely popular win riding a Ducati 900SS. The following year he raced at the TT for the last time. In that final IoM appearance, Hailwood rode a 2-stroke 500cc Suzuki in the SeniorTT and he won the race. He then opted to use that same 500cc bike in the Unlimited Classic and battled for the lead with Alex George (1100cc Honda) for all 6 laps in yet another TT epic losing by just 2 seconds. He retired with 76 Grand Prix victories, 14 Isle of Man TT wins and 9 World Championships at the age of 39.

Classes:

August 2009

Steve Plater

Senior TT
Senior TT: This category allows any machine eligible from TT Superbike, TT Superstock or Supersport Junior TT categories and consists of a 6 lap race around the mountain circuit. Steve Plater won the 2009 race when his HM Plant Honda teammate, John McGuinness retired due to a broken chain.

Ian Hutchinson

TT Superstock:
These races allow bikes with displacement of 600-1000cc 4 cylinders, 750-1000cc 3 cylinders or 850-1200cc 2 cylinders and complying with FIM Superstock specifications. Ian Hutchinson won the race taking his total win of the season to 2, one better McGuinness.

Supersport Junior TT
These races allow bikes with displacement of 400-600cc 4 cylinders or 600-750cc 2 cylinders and complying with FIM Supersport specifications. Padgetts Racing’s Ian Hutchinson won the first race on the Honda 600 RR Fireblade, while Michael Dunlop won the second race riding a Yamaha R6.

Michael Dunlop

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Classes:
TT Superbike:
These races allow bikes with displacement of 750-1000cc 4 cylinders, 750-1000cc 3 cylinders or 800-1000cc 2 cylinders and complying with World Superbike specifications. Veteran John McGuinness won the race surpassing Mike Hailwood’s tally of 14 race wins.

XGP
TTXGP
The TTXGP was a new event for the 2009 for bikes powered without the use of carbon based fuels and zero toxic/noxious emissions. The race consisted of 1 lap around the mountain circuit. The TTXGP was divided into two categories professional and open. The motorcycles had to weigh 100-300 kg in race ready mode. The official qualification time was 50 minutes an average speed of 45.16 mph for 1 lap of the Mountain Course without stopping.

August 2009

‘McG’

Team Agni

Professional Class:
The professional class will be conducted in four different categories for electric bikes, fuel cell bikes, hydrogen powered internal combustion engines and hybrids in the future. This year there was only one category, the e-bikes. Rob Barber took the chequered flag aboard the Team Agni bike. After dominating both practice laps, Barber cruised uncontested to the finish with more than a three-minute advantage over the XXL squad with a time of 87.434 mph Barber beat the standing 50cc record at the Isle. The German XXL team came second recording the highest speed of 106.5 mph while team Brammo from USA finished third.

Team Electtric Motorsport

TT Sidecar:
The TT (Tourist Trophy) Sidecar Motorcycle Races cover 113.19 miles/182.1 km over 3 laps on the Mountain Circuit. The races allow sidecars built according to ACU Formula 2 Sidecars specifications. Dave Molyneux and Daniel Sayle won the Sidecar A event astride A & J Racings 600cc DMR Suzuki.

Open Class:
California based electric motorsport crossed the line at the top of the time sheets while barefoot motors from Oregon came second. Team Tork from Pune, India took the final podium step. It was a great achievement for team the engineering students from Pune University who proved their worth on the international stage at the veryfs first TTXGP.

Team Tork
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This month Motoroids caught up with the ‘Rubber Rippers’ on the biking trail. Here’s all the important information about this biking club.

August 2009

Q) When and where was the club formed? A) Team Rubber Ripperz was formed in December 2007,with 6 members. We are functional in Pune and Mumbai as of now. Q) How often do members meet up? A) The active members meet up every weekend. Q) Which aspect of riding is the group more into? A) Touring / long distance trips. Q) What distinguishes this biking group from others? A) It is the only motorcycle club which is exclusive for Pulsar 200s and Pulsar 220s. Q) How many riders are associated with the group currently? A) There are 28 members so far in the club. Q) Do the members have any common hangout zones? A) There is no specific place where we hang out. But the most likely places are Chandani Chowk, Koregaon Park and Kondhwa areas in Pune. Q) Where is one most likely to see the group in action? A) Chandani Chowk and Mutha Ghats near Pune. Q) Is there any biking hierarchy within the group? A) No we donot have any such system. All the members are treated equally. Q) Are there any requisites to joining the group? A) Yes,you need to be the owner of a Pulsar 200/220. Along with the bike you need to have a proper riding helmet. If you are interested in joining this group, drop in a mail to murtaza_poonawalla2005@hotmail.com If you want your biking group to be featured on this page drop in a mail to clubs@motoroids.com with your group’s pictures and answers to all the questions above
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25 july 2009August 2009

IceKUBE Acoustic Speaker
The IceKUBE acoustic speaker from IceTech (USA) is the first compact device of its kind. It produces fantastic sound from almost any solid surface using the latest acoustic vibration technology. Sound waves emanated from the IceKUBE become vibrating pressure waves, transferring sound to the surface it’s sitting on, turning it into an acoustic speaker and create a surround sound ‘feeling’, making your room come alive with high quality sound.

Nokia N97
The latest from Nokia features a big touch screen, a full QWERTY keyboard, and 32GB of internal flash memory, 3G support, Wi-Fi, GPS and a 5-megapixel camera. But neither the touch user interface nor the resistive touch-screen even comes close to that of the iPhone. Adding to its woes is its sky-high price tag, and an outdated operating system but nevertheless all you people are still going to ‘desire’ it and so we had no choice but to feature it on this page.

Price: Rs. 4,500

Price: Rs. 34,000

Aiptek pocket projector
Portable Video Players are history! What’s the kicks in watching your favorite videos on a 2 inch screen? Get the Pocket Projector on your palm and project your videos in a huge 50 inch size, wherever you like. The Digital Video Projector from Aiptek uses LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon) projection technology and can project videos from your iPod, DigiCam, Camcorders, Cell Phones, and also your Game Consoles.

Price: Rs 17,000
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August 2009

If the first installment of the ‘Transformers’ movie blew your minds off, then the sequel is all set to sweep you off your feet! The ‘Revenge of the Fallen’ introduces motorcycles into the robotic mayhem. Contrary to the reports of a Buell based Arcie robot that floated on the net, the movie in reality employs the services of a MV Agusta F4, a Ducati 1098 and a Suzuki B-King as a part of the ‘Autobot’ gang. Apart from the bikes and Megan Fox serving as eye candy, the movie has a few heartrending scenes too, like the Audi R8 being sawed down for example. Enough of spoilers then, we think its time for you to watch Transformers now. Motoroids Tip: Don’t waste bandwidth downloading the low-res DVD rip. Instead watch it on the big screen at a theatre near you. It’s worth every penny.

Masala movies woven around the ‘biking’ subject, like Bikers Boyz or Torque are good eye candy. However, it’s the motorcycle documentaries like The Long Way Round or Faster that really appeal to a true biker. One such Indian documentary that earned a lot of applause from bikers around the globe was ‘Riding Solo To The Top Of The World’. And if you are one of the many like us who were smitten by that Dirt Track Production, then this is just the film for you. Christened ‘One Crazy Ride’, this new documentary chronicles the adventures of five bikers charting their own route through the eastern extremes of India. To know more, or to order your own DVD, log on to www.dirttrackproductions.com

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ACID TEST
New gear, more often than not will work perfectly. We tell you what state it’ll be in after it undergoes some hammering
ROHIT’S ALPINESTARS SMX-4
Collecting riding gear is fast becoming a passion for me. As far as race boots go though, it’s only a set of Alpinestars SMX-4 that I have been cherishing for over an year now. I have had the liberty of trying on some other brands/models as well, but the SMX-4 has suited me the most, yet. Being less hardcore than the top of the line race boots, the SMX-4 are softer around the ankle, making it easy to walk around when you are off your bike. On the bike, the sole is perfectly contoured and works well even on the footpegs of bikes like the Pulsar or the Karizma, which are niether too commuter oriented, nor too hardcore. These boots can pose a problem while shifting on the footpegs of out-and-out commuterish, rubber laden footpegs of some bikes. The toe end of the boot is quite broad and swollen, making the process of squeezing your leg between the peg and the gear shifter a little difficult. I have had a couple of crashes while having shod these boots and they have served their purpose just right. There is an extra bit of protection for the heel and the shin, while the ankle is designed to bend in the forward direction only, and not sideways. The stock plastic toe sliders are sufficiently thick but if you tend to scrape your toes on a regular basis, I would strongly recommend shifting to the magnesium type – they are thicker and have a longer life.

August 2009

DSG NERO
The DSG NERO proved to be a very good investment for me being my very first article of riding gear. Firstly, it’s easy on the pocket compared to most of the riding gear available in the market. Secondly it caters perfectly to your need for a basic riding jacket. The jacket comes with a water proof liner and protective elements in the shoulder, back and elbow regions. The jacket works well in various weather conditions. For rains or winters, the waterproof-cum-thermal liner is a boon and fits in very comfortably with minimum water seepage. In the summer, get rid of the liner, and the six air vents provide enough ventilation. There is some space inside the liner to store your cellphone and a few other small articles and protect them from getting drenched during wet weather. The textile quality is good and the zips never get stuck. Earlier DSG jackets had this problem, but my jacket comes from a later lot whereon the company has adressed the issue. With practically no drawbacks (except the velcro around the neck that tends to leave a rash sometimes) the jacket is a steal for its Rs. 5250 price tag.
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ACID TEST

August 2009

fter about nine long years, dozens of crashes, relentless abuse and clocking close to one lakh kilometers, the good old Fiero is still as ready for responsibility and game for challenge as it ever was. It has withstood the toughest test that ever could be – the test of time. It still functions with clockwork precision, consistently returns a fuel efficiency of 45kmpl and gives its peers a good run for their money. The rock solid and incredibly reliable bike has proved its mettle yet again by winning the cover story contest featured elsewhere in this issue by a huge margin. The time has taken its toll on its heart though, the engine somehow doesn’t feel as punchy as it did during its prime, and sometimes I do feel the need for a bit more poke when on the highways. The lack of a fifth gear too makes itself obvious after having ridden the modern 150s. It’s been some time since I replaced the clutch plates and it’s quite evident that I’ll have to go in for a new set very soon. While ascending the ghats,

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I realize that the gap between the ratios of the second and third gear is quite large. Third cog feels a tad too tall to thrust ahead with assurance, while second is a little too short and revvy. The front tyre, even after having done close to a hundred thousand kays, still has some groove left on it. It’s all thanks to the feather-light front of the bike that makes its steering probably the lightest ever on any reasonably powered bike in the country – making it one of the best off-roading machines the country has produced. Of course, I cannot compare its corner carving capabilities to the incomparably better balance of today’s bikes, but knowing that this bike was one of the first 4-srtroke 150s of the country, I don’t have anything to complain about. Utterly robust and reliable, the Fiero holds true to the Indestructible epithet bestowed very fondly by the journalist fraternity on it. I know it doesn’t anymore take a Fiero to catch a Fiero, but its sure takes a Fiero to make my heart skip a beat.

TVS FIERO

YZF-R15
This puny little 150cc monster needs no introduction. Every other automobile journalist, including me, has been praising this Yamaha, times without number, for its handling abilities and how it’s made fodder of the cubic capacity game by delivering a performance that could shame bikes closer to the quarter litre capacity. Since none of the other magazines have given the readers a long term report yet, let me be the first to do it. Even amidst all the praise, there have been people ridiculing the R15 too – essentially the breed who advocate the fact that there isn’t any replacement for displacement. But putting all such critics aside, I did buy this motorcycle. A downgrade as some would call it, I sold of my 220cc motorcycle for this baby supersport. So have I made a mistake? No, I don’t think so. I have owned this bike for almost a year now. In all these months the R15 has clocked a little over 10,000 kms since it was parked away as a weekend bike. But times are changing and this bike is now assisting me in my daily commutes as well. And this is precisely where she has started impressing me even more. Its light weight build and precise handling gives it flick ability like none other. I agree to the fact that there is hardly any juice under the 5,000 mark. But once you get used to the bike, keeping her in a meaty range isn’t all that difficult. She has been returning me a decent fuel economy between 35 to 40 kmpl within the city. No parts have been replaced yet, but by this month end I would be going in for a new set of clutch plates, oil and air filter change and would be shifting from the Yamalube mineral oil to Motul semi synthetic. Read this space next month for my R15 experience after I change the aforementioned components.

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tech-speak
Report

August 2009

Mihir Gadre

What’s the deal with this new engine ?
After an intense evaluation of all engine concepts the Saint-Hilaire team designed a unique engine called the Quasiturbine combustion engine in 1996. The Quasiturbine engine has none of the intricate parts of a typical piston engine like a crankshaft, valves, pistons, push rods, rockers or cams. It operates more like a rotary (Wankel) engine. The housing (stator) forms the cavity in which the rotor rotates. It contains an intake port, an exhaust port and a port for the spark-plug. The rotor is made of four blades, which replace the pistons of a typical internal combustion engine. As the rotor blades turn, the volume of the volume of the chambers varies. First the volume increases, which allows the fuel-air mixture to expand. Then the volume decreases, which compresses the mixture into a smaller space. As the mixture is compressed, a spark ignites the mixture which pushes the rotor giving motion. However unlike a 4-stroke engine, as soon as one combustion stroke is ending the next is ready to fire. In one revolution of the rotor, four power strokes are created. That’s eight times more than a typical piston engine! The result is continuous combustion, just like in the airplane gas turbine.

What are the Advantages?
The Quasiturbine engine is able to burn fuel more efficiently than any other type of engine. It also has some other significant advantages like almost no vibration because the engine is perfectly balanced, faster acceleration without a flywheel, higher torque at lower rpm, nearly oil-free operation and lesser wear and tear because of less moving parts. The one and only Wankel engine still in production, the Mazda RX8’s engine already puts out an incredible 2xx bhp from a 1.3 litre engine. But unlike the Wankel engine, the Quasiturbine is also more fuel efficient than a conventional IC engine. Ongoing research at the Sweden University is claiming it to be upto 60% more fuel efficient than a conventional engine. So if and when the Quasiturbine becomes a reality we might be able to extract upwards of 300 bhp as well as 30 kpl from say a 1.3 litre engine.

Why aren’t we already using it?
Considering the modern internal combustion engine has enjoyed almost 120 years of design refinements, the Quasiturbine engine is still in its infancy. The engine is not used in any real-world applications that would test its suitability as a replacement for the conventional IC engine. It is still in its prototype phase. The best look anyone has gotten so far is when it was demonstrated on a go-kart in 2004 (check out the video on YouTube). So why aren’t the Hondas and Audis of this world even acknowledging this technology, well because they have already invested zillions of dollars in developing the conventional engine, and it will take up atleast a decade of R&D to get the Quasiturbine ready for use. For more information on the Quasiturbine engine, other engine types and related topics, check out the links on our website.
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History

August 2009

The Wanker!
ou might have heard about the Wankel rotary engine from Mazda’s RX8 sports car, but did you know that the rotary engine found its way into some motorcycles as well? The most notable of the rotary engined bikes produced was the Suzuki RE5. Many manufacturers experimented with the Wankel engine in the early 70’s but Suzuki was the only motorcycle manufacturer that used the rotary engine on a mass produced bike. Suzuki showcased its first and only, rotary engined motorcycle at the Tokyo motor show in late 1973. The RE5 was Suzuki’s technical flagship at the time. The engine was based on NSU’s licensed Wankel rotary technology. It was an extremely refined mill, thanks to its design with no reciprocating parts like the conventional IC engine. The rotary engine produced impressive power figures from a low displacement engine and seemed perfect for motorcycle applications.

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Report

Mihir Gadre

The ‘75 Suzuki RE5 with Star-trek inspired dials and tail-lamp.

The Mazda RX-8, currently the only production automobile with a rotary engine.

The Wankel engine in its complete form and glory.

The ‘76 REs ditched the star-trek inspired dials for normal dials and a conventional tail-lamp
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Specifications Engine type

Suzuki RE5 Single Rotor Wankel engine Displacement 497 cc Power 62 bhp at 6,500 rpm Torque 75 Nm at 3,500 rpm Fuel consump- 11-12 kpl tion Weight 229 kg Acceleration: 13.9 sec at 148 Quarter Mile kph Top speed 176 km/h

Suzuki GT550 2-stroke Aircooled inline-3 543 cc 50 bhp at 6,500 rpm 54 Nm at 6,000 rpm 13-15 kpl 200 kg 14.6 sec at 141 kph 158 kph

August 2009

How the RE5 compared to a contemporary 550 cc two-stroke motorcycle from the Suzuki stable

The rotary engine has a much simpler design as there is no need for camshafts, crankshafts, pistons, connecting rods, intake and exhaust valves and thus has a very few moving parts, making it refined and rev-happy. The RE5 was quite advanced in its steering and overall handling with critics around the world remarking on this. It also had exceptional ground clearance and you had to be a brave man indeed to scrape the pegs of an RE5 on its original Japanese tyres. The RE5’s rotary engine produced a lot of heat, requiring a large and cumbersome radiator for liquid cooling as well as a separate oil cooling radiator. The very high exhaust temperatures necessitated the use of an air cooling duct between inner and outer shells along with external heat guards making the exhaust pipes heavy and complicated. Ignition was CDI but used two sets of ignition points, one for normal acceleration and the other under deceleration. This also required additional sensors and speed relays. There were three separate oil tanks (sump, gearbox and total loss tank) and two oil pumps (one for normal engine lubrication and one to supply oil for tip seal lubrication via the carb). The throttle controlled not only the primary carburetor butterfly but a second valve in the inlet manifold of the secondary throat (the “port” valve) as well as the oil pump which provided lubrication

for the tip seals by mixing oil with fuel. The carburetor was adapted from a rotary power unit in a car and was exceedingly complicated by motorcycle standards (of the day) and only operated well when in a carefully tuned state, something often outside the abilities of the average owner. Motorcycle buyers in the mid-1970s did not take to the RE5, and very few of them were actually sold. Final numbers were around 7,000 units worldwide with most of those going to the U.S.A. The RE5’s complex looking mechanicals combined with some teething problems made the buyer’s look for safer alternatives. The reality though was that the bike was much simpler than it looked and gave good service to the few who persisted with it. Many RE5 owners have lovingly restored their bikes. On the road, the bike was heavy compared to the GS500 but was much more powerful and more importantly produced substantially more real world torque. Ridden sensibly the bike would return around 37 miles per imperial gallon. Treated well, the RE5 proved to be a reliable bike provided you were prepared for its Achilles heel, the single spark plug. Carry a spare one and the bike was as good as any Japanese machine of its time. It has to be one of the most novel vintage machines on the road today.

Hercules Wankel 2000

Norton Commander

Van-Veen OCR-1000

From 1974 to 1977 Hercules produced a limited number of motorcycles powered by Wankel engines. It used a 297cc single rotor Wankel engine which produced 27 bhp at 6500 rpm and propelled the 176 kg bike to a top speed of 140 km/h. It also returned a respectable kpl of 15.5.

The motor tooling and blank apex seals from the Hercules were later used by Norton to produce the Norton Commander model in the early 1980s. Two types of Commander were built. The first, code-named P52 was a single-seat model equipped for police use, while the second version of the Commander, code-named P53, was a dual-seat model sold as a civilian tourer.

Dutch manufacturer Van Veen produced the OCR-1000 between 1978 and 1980.The first prototype was completed in 1974 using a 1000 cc Comotor 624 twin-rotor engine. Smallseries production of the OCR 1000 began in 1978. 38 examples were built before production ceased in 1981.
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August 2009

The word ‘hybrid’ takes a new meaning! This bike features a Bajaj Discover body, a Hero Honda Karizma fairing with the Honda emblem and Wings splattered all across it. What do we call it? Honda Discoverizma?! And you conceited souls thought it was great, eh?
he d d for t pare Be pre you sinner! , justice ivine

Read that? Don’t you dare involve yourself in an accident on this road. If only all the roads in the world had such a sign. Sigh!

Let’s get rockin’ baybeh! Yo, dude, get us a Vada Paav, two Missals and a two Pesal Chai. Oh and play ‘Laavni’ in the meantime

‘Do only urine here’. Wait a sec, isn’t that spot on the door a little too high to ‘do’ anything else? Even the former feat is a little too difficult to achieve we’d reckon

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August 2009

Think you can get crazier than this? Send us your crazy pictures at Crazyworld@motoroids.com and we’ll feature them here along with your name.
Disclaimer : The pictures in this feature have been procured from the Internet and are not owned by Motoroids

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01. Wine and dine Indian ishtyle. Have a roasted child bear with child beer - an unbrewed, raw form of beer which tastes best when served chilled. 02. Wait a minute, what is that supposed to mean? Are we supposed to be, or not be Rash (Rohit Paradkar) to not end in a crash? Very confusing. 03. Who needs a schoolbus? The kid sitting at the rear ‘seat’ is made to wear a helmet to comply with the safety regulations.

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04. So, which variety of humans would you prefer to have?

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