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Monthly Archives: May 2012

Our Awesomely Sensational Bike

The Awesome Visor

Today’s post is about the crazy-ass modifications done on our bike! As some of you who have read our previous posts are aware, we own a Bajaj Avenger – purely because its the only bike in the country which is affordable that gives you a cruiser look & feel. Also, we have talked about it in multiple posts before but we wanted to consolidate the same & thus we are here. So over a period of 2 months of owning a bike, we have added a lot to the same and tried to make it as cool as possible (at least in our heads).

The Eagle on the Fender

Please note, we have also spent a minimal of money post discovering the chop shop lane in Bombay & getting a specialized mechanic to work on our bike. So let me start from the fact that the first addition wegot done on our bike was the customized visor / wind shield. Mihir, from day 1, was very clear that we needed to get this addition on the bike. It gave a good retro feel to the bike and also, for all practical purposes, was a good purchase. This buy was done directly through the dealer from whom we bought the bike. Post this, and realizing we wanted to customize our bike with further modifications, we accidently stumbled upon thechop shop lane and found out that getting the bike customized isn’t going to cost much…

The Awesome Grips

So then we found a store which catered to our needs and was cost effective. From here, our first buy was the handle grips which were chrome platedand very retro looking. By now you would have figured we are kind off retro junkies J.Next thing bought were foot rests; this piece of equipment is an amazing buy as the standard foot rest you get with the Avenger are foot pegs and are not comfortable for long rides. The foot rests are comfortable and also don’thinder in the gear changing process. Also bought was a stand for the bike shaped in the leg of an eagle, which is one of the coolest features on our bike. This was also chrome plated andsuper!

The Stand and Foot Pedal

Indicator Caps

So this was more or less the first phase changes added to the bike. Phase 2 was bags. Somehow, always wanted a cool set, so went and got 2saddle bags & 1 mini bag for the bike as you can see in the pictures. Then, the mini light chrome indicator caps were bought which add a whole different feel to the bike. Finally, the seat of the bike was sorted wherein we got chrome tags across the length to match the saddle bags & before I forget, the final piece of the puzzle added to the bike was on the chrome plated eagle head with illuminated redeyes!!! Currently, this is all the work done on the bike. Do take a moment tocheck some kick ass pictures of the bike, courtesy Mihir. Also if you areinterested in our previous posts “Chop Shop Heaven” & “The Chop Shop” (Featured in the Bikes & Builders section) we have covered more details of not only our bike, but also the place where we got the same modified.

Mini Saddle Bag

Now, the Overall Cost –

1) Chrome Handle Grips – Rs. 600/-

2) Foot Paddles – Rs. 100/-

3) Eagle Side Stand – Rs. 2000/-

4) Front Visor – Rs. 3000/-

5) Saddle Bags – Rs. 650/-

Amazing Saddle Bags

6) Indicator lamp Caps – Rs. 100/-

7) Seat Chrome Tags – Rs. 300/-

8) Eagle Head Chrome Emblem – Rs. 2000/-

Grand Total = Rs. 8750 to get the bike looking insanely awesome!!!

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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Weekend with a Agenda

Saturday Morning Bike Ride View

Ritzzzzzzzzzzz!!!

The weekend was a roller coaster ride with a clear agenda this time – bike ride, movies & serials to be watched, good food to be eaten, beers & alco, Basketball & other sports, family time & general chilling… Friday began with a bang as the Miami Heat beat the Indiana Pacers in game 6 of their series. Lebron & Dwayne Wade played some inspired ball in this series. Post that, in the evening, kept it easy – watched Supernatural and called it a day. Saturday morning began with a bike ride past Marine Drive to Nariman Point twice over as the weather was spectacular and add to that there was zero traffic. Post which got home, made plans to go buy DVD’s; also by now had figured plans with Ritika to chill through the day at home, buy her phone and do some baking. Please note, the baking was being done by Rachita & Ritika who are both gifted cooks 🙂 .

Heat vs Pacers

Post going & buying oodles of DVDs with Mihir & Astro, came home & decided to go nowhere as the heat was killing. Decided after much debate to order Pizzas & Pastas from Karma, which were spectacular and were devoured in a matter of minutes. Post that had Sheesha & passed out while Ritika & Rachita baked the most amazing Lemon Tarts! After waking up, got Ritika’s phone delivered home, (yup this happens only in India type moment) where in you call a mobile seller tell him you want a XYZ mobile handset and want to sell your old handset; post pricing is agreed upon the guy delivers the phone home… Having said that, Ritika bought the Samsung Nexus which is an awesome phone. The evening was spent drinking beers with Vishal & cooking burgers; Bikes, Beers & Burgers is truly an amazing combination. The day was closed with another session of Supernatural.

Celtics vs Sixers

Budweiser!!!

Super Steak

Sunday morning was spent cleaning the bike; the same took a good hour also checked all the accessories like bags, foot rests, etc. to make sure everything is on track. Then watched Boston Celtics beat the Philadelphia 76ers in game 7 of the eastern conference playoffs. A note here, my Dad, Mihir & I have  been following the NBA for over 25 years &  totally love it.  Boston vs. Miami in the eastern conference finals is going to be one killer series. Having said that, Oklahoma City Thunder vs. San Antonio Spurs is also going to be a legendary series. Sunday also is Astro’s oil massage and bath day, so finished that & confirmed brunch at Smoke House Deli with Ritika, Mihir, Rachita & Yooti. The same had been planned on Saturday itself. Ate like we had never seen food – bacon, fish, chicken, beef and beers were had I had an awesome steak, post which got home crashed. Woke up, decided to have an alcohol free evening, chilled for a bit, ate some Lemon tarts, helped the Mrs. with packing Pani Puri (Indian Street Food) for the in-laws then watched another episode of Supernatural. The IPL finals were also on where the Chennai Super Kings took on Kolkata Knight Riders. CSK was going for a 3peat while KKR was trying to win its first IPL Championship. Rachita & I are not big cricket fans and so we decided to watch a hindi movie. This was after we totally devoured the super awesome Pani Puris J. Watched the Karisma Kapoor starrer, Dangerous Ishq, which was decently interesting -seemed to be heavely inspired from the book, Many Lives Many Masters.

Bike Looking Cool Post Clean Up

All in all, the weekend which clearly had an agenda of bike ride, movies to be watched, serials to be watched, good food to be eaten, beers & alco, Basketball & other sports, family time & general chilling came to an end with each item being ticked off basis completion. This was like a mini bucket list, which was quite cool! Also to conclude KKR did win the IPL Finals & the San Antonio Spurs beat the Oklahoma City Thunder and lead the 7 game series 1-0. Writing this post made me realize how much I am already missing the weekend & how much I hate Mondays… Nonetheless, tonight there are leftover Burgers for dinner with fries so Monday might just not be all that bad 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 28, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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MIB 3 Men in Bikes!

MIB 3 Monowheel!

One of our favorite movies ever releases its 3rd part this week – MIB, so today’s post is about the series and, more importantly, about part 3 which has some really cool bikes!

Now, to the fun part, MIB 3 which releases this weekend! The same not only has a great plot which takes a bit from Back to the Future & Star Wars, but also has some awesome bikes!  Veteran MIB field agent, Agent J learns that Agent K’s life and the fate of Earth are at stake. He must time-travel to 1969 to stop an alien criminal named Boris from assassinating a young Agent K (Josh Brolin) and changing history, while also facing a 24-hour time limit before he is trapped in the past. You have to check the video in the post to see the bikes in action! The one below shows Boris on his bike during the shoot.

Will Smith rides a concept Monowheel which is unbelievably cool, while Boris Jemaine Clement rides a chopper style bike which is pretty crazy as well! A brief note on the Monowheel, for people who don’t know about it – The same is a one-wheeled single-track vehicle similar to a unicycle. However, instead of sitting above the wheel, the rider sits either within it or next to it. The wheel is a ring, usually driven by smaller wheels pressing against its inner rim. Most are single-passenger vehicles, though multi-passenger models have been built. Today, monowheels are generally built and used for fun and entertainment purposes, though from the 1860s through to the 1930s, they were proposed for use as serious transportation. Also take a moment to check the awesome action sequence with the bikes in the movie below.

This is Awesome!!!

Also for people who haven’t seen the previous 2 movies or have forgotten the same, here’s the recap. The Men in Black series is kick-started in 1997 with the first movie starring Will Smith & Tommy Lee Jones.  All of us remember the base plot of the movie wherein MIB is a secret organisation which maintains peace on earth keeping it the “Neutral Zone” for extra terrestrials a.k.a. aliens. The 1st part saw Will Smith’s initiation into the organization and how he and Tommy Lee Jones save the world.  More important things like the MIB glasses and neuralyzer to wipe the memories of those that encounter either them or the aliens became icons; also the soundtrack was extremely popular with Will Smith singing the classic “Here come the Men in Black” song.

The Boris Bike

Jemaine on the Boris Bike

The 2nd part, released in 2002, was not such a big phenomena as the original one, though was entertaining, where the plot revolved around Five years after the events of Men in Black. Agent J (Will Smith) is now the top operative for the MIB, the self-funded New York City-based agency that secretly monitors and regulates extra terrestrials’ activity on Earth.  Again the agenda here also was to save the world from a particular alien, etc., etc… To conclude, the this series is iconic and shouldn’t be missed. In Part 3 will (smith J) pack a punch with the killer bikes and stuff, so go watch it!!!

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Posted by on May 25, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Avengers Shawarma Spoilers

Lately, everyone has just been talking about the Avengers. The movie has broken all records in recent times and made over a billion dollars in earnings.  People all over the world seem to have their very own Avenger story – favourite character and all; the bandwagon is moving at a crazy pace and gathering unprecedented momentum. As fans of The Avengers, and super heroes in general, I thought we should also share our Avengers’ story. Also a lot of folks have been asking us about spoilers on the movie, so below is one article which talks about both:

Spoilers first: There are 2 scenes – the first is during the credits; note, this one a lot of people just did not get. After The Avengers have defeated the Chitauri army by sending a nuke into their mother ship, we see their leader talking to a mysterious figure. The Chitauri leader says that the humans are not to be underestimated and to face them would be “to court Death itself.” And then the mysterious figure turns his head and we see Thanos, The Mad Titan, smiling. Now, for people who don’t know who Thanos, the mad Titan, is – originally a member of the race of Eternals “Growing in power and infamy as he travelled the universe, Thanos once met Death itself, as it appeared to him embodied in a female form. Thanos was infatuated with the being, and endeavoured to make himself worthy in order to earn her love in return. With an army under his command, he nearly destroyed his former home of Titan, declaring himself its ruler. He then sought out the powerful Cosmic Cube [known as the “Tesseract” in the movies], and a number of Earth’s heroes assembled to confront him.” We know from Tom Hiddleston’s interviews in promoting The Avengers, that Loki and Thor return to Asgard in the Thor sequel and there’s a greater villain at play which just may force the (not by blood) brothers to work together. It’s likely that Thanos will be coming to get the Infinity Gauntlet (synonymous with him) found in Odin’s Vault (Image below). This was shown in the first Thor Film. Also recently, information was leaked that little known actor Damion Poitier will be playing Thanos in upcoming Marvel Movies.

By now non comic book geeks are trying to figure what is the Gauntlet -The Infinity Gems. There are six of these gems – each has a distinct color and power. The green soul gem grants the power over the soul, orange is time, purple is space, blue is mind, yellow is reality and red is power. Each gem, in and of themselves, has a vast amount of power and grants the user with the power to control and manipulate each one of these things. When collected and mounted in a gauntlet, the combined gems become a weapon of unimaginable power, and grant the user control over every aspect of the gems. The wearer can warp reality to their fitting, manipulate time and so on. Not even the combined powers of the cosmic gods are enough to defeat such a weapon.

Moving on. Now, if you still stayed on after all the credits got over, you will see a scene where all the Avengers are sitting down at a wrecked shawarma restaurant – probably at Tony Stark’s insistence – if you remember, he mentions the same once the Hulk saves him from his near death fall. The after-credits scene is them eating shawarma in silence with Mark Ruffalo trying to keep a straight face. I am sure most of you are now cursing yourself, friends and family because they hurried you out of the theatre. Check the image in case you missed it.

Our Story starts where the movie ends. On the mention of the word shawarma, we all (Ashay, Milind, Yooti and Rachita) had a sudden craving for the same. On finishing the movie, we were all debating about where to eat. The debate lasted exactly 1 minute. The winner? Shawarma place at phoenix. We got on to our bike, the ladies decided to drive and we got to phoenix in about 20 minutes. To our disappointment, Maroosh – the local shawarma place was closed. The manager mentioned they would take about half an hour to open – so we decided to hang around, do some window shopping and come back. The window shopping happened at Hamley’s toy store where we went on an Avengers action figure spree, but not much was available. You think when a big movie releases merchandise should be easily available…..anyways. After what seemed to be forever, we went back to Maroosh and ordered shawarmas; note we ordered the non veg variety: Chicken, Green Garlic Chicken, Chicken Hummus Salad and Lamb. After multiple rounds, finally the craving was laid to rest. If you have an interesting story that you would like to share basis the Avengers do add it to the comments below – if you like Shawarmas but really don’t know how where to get them below is a quick recipe for this Middle Eastern delicacy. Enjoy!

Our Shawarma Recipe

2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon ground coriander
5 tablespoons plain low-fat Greek-style yogurt, divided
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
3 garlic cloves, minced and divided
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon tahini
4 (6-inch) pitas, halved
1/2 cup chopped cucumber
1/2 cup chopped plum tomato
1/4 cup prechopped red onion

1. Combine first 6 ingredients in a large bowl; stir in 1 tablespoon yogurt, 1 tablespoon juice, and 2 garlic cloves. Add chicken; toss to coat. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken mixture to pan; sauté 6 minutes or until browned and done, stirring frequently.

2. While chicken cooks, combine remaining 1/4 cup yogurt, remaining 1 tablespoon lemon juice, remaining 1 garlic clove, and tahini, stirring well. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons tahini mixture inside each pita half; divide chicken evenly among pita halves. Fill each pita half with 1 tablespoon cucumber, 1 tablespoon tomato, and 1 1/2 teaspoons onion. That it, keep expirementing with different fillings, I am sure you will crack your very own shawarma recipe.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Weekend Pilgrimage

It’s been 36 years now that I have been staying in Bombay (Still can’t get around to calling it Mumbai). In all these years I have visited all the popular landmarks in the city, but never got around to visiting the Haji Ali Dargah – the main reason for this – it was damn scary to go there, it’s in the middle of the sea! Last weekend, I had decided to go on a photography walk to Mahalakshmi Mandir; the same eventually moved on to a Dargah walk below are some details of how that happened.

Like with all Sundays mornings, I woke up and lazed in bed for a while; eventually realized that I have to catch early glimpses of Mahalakshmi Mandir and jumped out of bed, called Milind (twin brother) who was on his bike ride to come and fetch me. We then went on a wild goose chase to find a location to shoot pictures – Marine Drive, VT, Walkeshwar, Grant Road Vegetable Market, but no real luck! Some places were overly crowded with cops, others were shut. Finally, I asked Milind to drop me to Mahalakshmi; note, I always knew I wanted to go there but I wanted a bike ride also. On reaching the Mandir, I realized that it had pretty much remained the same; I had come there about 10 years back to fix lights on the Mandir (I used to do that a few years back) – the same florists, Pandits sitting to get aarti done, etc. What has changed was the stairway which led to the Mandir – it’s like a secure cocoon, metal detectors, overhead cover, etc. This kind of put me off, I took a few pictures but then walked out.

While leaving, I thought I don’t have a picture of the Haji Ali Dargah so decided to brave the early morning sun and walk towards the Dargah to capture a few shots. On reaching close to Haji Ali Juice Center, I realised there is a small lane that I have never actually seen, I walked forward into the lane and saw a whole bunch of cops; a little worried by now about whether they will allow my camera in or not? To my surprise, it was smooth sailing. I walked down a path and realised this is the road that cuts through the sea towards the legendary Hajil Ali Dargah, major excitement happened in my world – this was an unexplored path for me. As I moved forward, I realized there was a low tide and hence safe to walk ahead (Note I have always had this fear) my immediate reaction – the road was like a flea market, owners were just opening their shops, but they were selling everything: bags, rubber bands, holy floral sheets, books and so on. By now I had gone trigger happy shooting everything and anything. I reached the middle of the road and realized I am on the opposite side of the city; this is something everyone must experience once in their life – the view is spectacular – cityscape on one side and the ocean on the other. Amazing! After a longish walk, I reached the Dargah, did not take any pictures there, and went in put a Chaddra on Sayed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari’s Dargah, bowed my head in respect and sat there for a few minutes. Trust me, the world slows down and you feel peace like you have never felt.

Some history on this awesome Heritage monument: The Haji Ali Dargah was constructed in 1431 in memory of a rich Muslim merchant, Sayyed Peer Haji Ali Shah Bukhari (R.A.), who gave up all his worldly possessions before making a pilgrimage to Mecca. Hailing from Bukhara, in the ancient Persian Empire and now in Uzbekistan, Bukhari travelled around the world in the early to mid 15th century, and then settled in Mumbai. Haji Ali left this world during his journey to Mecca and miraculously, the casket carrying his body, floated back to these shores, getting stuck in the string of rocky islets just off the shore of Worli. Thus, the Dargah was constructed there. Good people, if you have not visited this monument, I suggest you drop everything and go there. It’s an experience you will not forget.

The Photo Gallery

 
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Posted by on May 22, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Incidence & Coincidence

Friday evening, decided to go to the local drinking hole, Mini Club House with Mihir & Vishal; on reaching there, was told the place was shut and would open by 7pm. Oh! here i forgot to mention we went there by 4pm. Decided to dunk the idea of drinking out, saved some money and decided to drink at home. Bought Haywards 5000, went home, got shit-faced and closed the day.

St7 Totally Superb!

The Saturday morning bike ride as always, was past worli seaface, shivaji park, upto bandra reclamation and then back to nariman point; though on the way back, an interesting incident happened wherein, past shivaji park I noticed a Hyosung St7 – dude! that’s one killer bike! Like an excited kid, I started chasing the bike. This is where it got interesting – wherein the St7 rider and I started riding together without uttering a word. This was so super awesome! We also had enough people staring at us past prabhadevi and century bazaar. Finally, before he went his way at passport office and I went towards city bakery, we gave each other a thumbs up & cruised away… Total feeling of brotherhood had happened!

Pretty Average Pizzeria

That’s Vibha

Got home, decided to go to Pizzeria, a local pizza joint at marine-drive. They serve the most awesome Bombay masala pizza (regular cheese pizza with Indian herbs). Reaching pizzeria, we realized the place has been totally re-done and looked quite cool; the same, though, could not be said about their service and food as it was horrifying – firstly the service and then the food. They have changed the recipe for the Bombay Masala Pizza… Immediately called up a Shlok (friend) with whom we have eaten 5 Bombay Masala’s and have been regulars to this restaurant. Spammed social media about the disappointment and the general stuff.Also note Shlok has a Royal Enfield Twin Spark 350cc.  Coincidentally, also met  my old boss and friend, Vibha, who was visiting the place as well. She also had a feeling where she thought she would meet me (premonition moment)! Cribbed to her also about the service and food, then took a photo of hers to feature on this write up check the same 🙂 Post that, came home & crashed.

This is Sensational!

Evening was spent eating amazing frankie made by the Mrs. Also ate icecream bon bons and watched Gone starring Amanda Sefried to end the day. Sunday morning’s bike ride was past lower parel, dadar and back. Also took Mihir for some photography to marine-drive, grant road vegetable market and mahalakshmi. He also went to haji Ali Durga which was fun and scary & he is going to have a post on the same with some awesome photo’s soon. Most of the day was spent watching movies & lazing in bed having Caronas. Saw Runnning Man starring Arnold, a bit of Supernatural & then watched Limitless starring Bradly Cooper which was brilliant to end the day. Started off Monday by hating them i.e. Monday’s. Post that brilliant bike ride happened as the weather was awesome & to make the day interesting, have dinner planned at the in-laws. Hopefully, I won’t hate Mondays that much this week 🙂

Sunday Morning Photography

 
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Posted by on May 21, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Amazing Side Car

I have been fascinated with Sidecars on Motorcycles forever. One of my uncles (Jentu T) had a Scooter with a sidecar and he use to take us on rides to Chowpatty (beach in South Mumbai).

As you know, we recently bought a Motorbike; we were very keen on getting one with a sidecar but on doing some R&D found that sidecars are illegal. Absolutely no idea when and why this happened! I still see a lot of scooters and motorbikes with these amazing, retro-looking sidecars. I asked around and some folks mentioned that you need special permission from the Mumbai RTO to get sidecars; others say the bikes you see on the road are old or illegal; new bikes are just not given permission to attach a sidecar to their bikes. Pity! Would have loved to own one.

Even if we can’t own one, we can definitely share some interesting facts and images of amazing looking sidecars 🙂 . A sidecar motorcycle is a three-wheeled vehicle with the side wheel not directly aligned with the rear motorcycle wheel, and is usually powered by the rear wheel only. This is different from a motor tricycle (trike), where both rear wheels are powered and share a common axle. P.V. Mokharov of the Soviet Union or H.P. Baughn of Great Britain seems to have to been the first to employ a driven sidecar wheel in 1929. In India, the sidecars got really popular in the early 70’s; the primary reason for this was it was a cheap way for a small family to travel. As we moved decades, cars started getting cheaper and sidecars moved out.

Over the years, sidecars were quite popular; they have also been used by armed forces, police and the Army. During WWII, German troops used many BMW and Zundapp sidecar motorcycles. They are hugely popular in sports where multiple disciplines of Motorcycle racing have used them and still use them.; Motocross, Enduro, Grasstrack, Trial, road racing and Speedway with sidecar classes. The sport has followers in Europe, United States, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. The races are categorized as Formula One sidecars.

If you enjoy a good sidecar check our gallery below. Also Motorcycle shows and rallies are a great way to catch glimpses of sidecars; the Legendary Sturgis rally sees insane sidecars on display. Personally, I do hope sidecars come back in style – for one I can’t wait to get one on my Motorcycle and take the lovely Mrs for a long ride……….

The Amazing SIde Car Show

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Posted by on May 18, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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