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Unusual Motorcycles

Every now and then you will see a motorcycle on the road and go “WOW! That’s an awesome looking piece of equipment!” People queue up outside showrooms or expos to see motorcycles that have been created basis themes or brands. We have always been fascinated with unusual bikes; hence one of our favourite pastimes is customizing our bike and also watching the Biker Build Off.

To add to the above, Movies, Games and various other brands are also promoting their products using Motorcycles; a classic example of the same – Batman, Gears of War, Tron Motorcycles, etc.. The Gears of War Bike was actually designed by Paul Junior Designs; the wheels of the game-inspired trike include the Gears of War cog skull symbol and the paint resembles armour used in the game. It features crash bars to fight locusts, dual gattling guns and 14 inch wide tires. Check the video below for the unveiling.

The Batpod, on the other hand, is a totally different ball game (we will be covering this in another post). Designed by Nathan Crowley, who designed the Tumbler for Batman Begins (2005), the bike has 20″ front and rear tires (the Tumbler’s front wheels), and is powered by a high-performance, water-cooled, single-cylinder engine, geared toward the lower end for faster acceleration and with no exhaust pipes. The exhaust is routed through the hollow steel/aluminum/magnesium tubing used for the frame of the bike. The Batpod is steered by the shoulders instead of hands, and the rider’s arms are protected by shields. The two foot pegs are set 3½ feet apart on either side of the tank, which the rider lies on, belly down.

The Tron Bike is by far, my most favourite bike, purely on the way it looks and also the way it is showcased in the movie. Electroluminescent strips built into the tire cowlings, wheel rims and body illuminate the cycle. It is powered by a fuel-injected Suzuki 996cc, 4-stroke engine. Riders lay at a near-horizontal position astride the padded leather seat, with feet on foot pegs that control its 6-speed constant mesh manual transmission and hands on the handlebars for throttle and braking. The hubless wheels are former truck tires built up, then custom-shaped to fit onto one of two counter-rotating rims spinning within each other, providing the broad-tired authenticity of the computer cycles from the movie. A chain-driven friction drum manages acceleration and braking from the handlebars. It uses a 3 1/2-gallon main fuel tank and 1 1/4-gallon reserve tank. Check the awesome video below.

I thought it would be fun to put down some Unusual facts on Motorcycles in this post, some of them you already know some will make you go WTF….

The German inventor, Gottlieb Daimler, is generally credited with building the first practical motorcycle in 1885.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that in 2000, 631 motorcyclists were saved by wearing their helmet.

Motorcycles and scooters are, on average, about twice as fuel efficient as cars.

Up to eight motorbikes can fit in the same parking space occupied by one car.

Kawasaki also makes spaceships.

The first rider to ever go over 300 mph was Don Vesco in 1975, on a 1496cc Yamaha-engined streamliner.

MV Agusta is currently producing the F4 1078 RR 312. 312kph being the recorded top speed at the Salt Flats in Utah in 2007.The RR312 reached a recorded top speed of 195, but since speeds are averaged, it’s recorded top speed is 194mph, or metric, 312kph.

The fastest motorcycle is the Dodge Tomahawk, a prototype with an unusual design, featuring the 500 hp (373 kW) 8.3 L V10 engine from the Dodge Viper.(Picture: theRed Bull Bike)

Harley-Davidson built push-bikes between 1917 and 1923. The first Harley Davidson motorcycle, built in 1903, used a tomato can for a carburettor.

When Valentino Rossi was five, his dad Graziano built him a go-cart to discourage him from getting into bikes.

By now you must have realized why the unusual works. Below is a bunch of interesting, unusual motorcycle facts and some awesome imagery for your eyes only. As with all our posts, if you have an unusual bike and an image to share, do add the link in the comments section.

The Unusual Gallery

 

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Posted by on June 12, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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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 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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Heaven & Hell

Every Sunday you realize there is God!!! I mean this is his way of showing all of us there is a Heaven & Hell; Saturday & Sunday is what the brilliance of Heaven feels like & then there is Monday & the rest of the days….. definitely Hell or the experience similar to the overall concept of the underworld… Running pillar to post managing friends, family and other crap is just ridiculous. Weekends, on the other hand, are such a joy, purely because the manic pace slows down multifold and from time to time you can laze and do absolutely nothing.

What A View!!!

Open Roads Are Super!

So post bawling about the start of the week, let me reminisce about the weekend that was & all the fun stuff! Saturday morning began with a very early morning bike ride from home towards Bandra reclamation; the ride was spectacular as the weather was nice and breezy with a bit of a cloud cover. Rode around reclamation for a while, sat on the bike motionless, parked on the road enjoying the weather. From there decided to ride back to Nariman point; the same was a blissfull ride. Got home and didn’t feel like doing much, so decided to grab a few movies, watched Friends with Benefits & some Horror flick called Intruders. Then there was family lunch & dinner. Watched an episode of The Great Biker Build Off where in Cory Ness (The son of Legendary Bike Builder Arlen Ness)  was the winner. Got very inspired by that and immediately started to plan the route for the  Sunday morning ride. The day ended with watching the season finale episodes of Supernatural season 2 & Spartacus season 3. Oh, forgot to mention, there was also some minor enahncement work done on the bike for which Guddu (our mechanic) came home and did the needful!

Lower Parel Flyover

Sunday morning started off with the bike ride passing through the back road of Haji Ali which is actually the racecource road. There is a brilliant canope of trees which covers this road and at day break it looks absolutely super. Past that, went onto the the Lower Parel flyovers which are an absolute treat to ride past int he morning when there is no

That’s Astro!!!

traffic. From there, turned off at Dadar station and turned back towards South Bombay. Went across Haji Ali which, according to me, is one of the greatest stretches you can ride past in the city. Then Road upto Walkeshwar and Breachcandy and finally got home. Finished my little Astro’s walk, oil massage, bath & breakfast, then decided to laze; watched Sherlock Holmes part 1, starring Robert Downey, Jr., which was fantastic, then watched X-Men First Class. Had a nap, woke up, decided to cook Vindaloo (goan style Spicey Curry) for dinner which turned out awesome & crazy hot! Finally, the day was closed by watching Sherlock Holmes 2: Game of Shadows; in this part Robert Downey is in another league. If you haven’t seen the movie get the DVD… highly recommended.

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Crazy Spicy Vindaloo

.Now, post all the fun part, you wake up to to a mundane Monday where you are running to get to work through crazy traffic, at work figuring deadlines, deliverables, etc. In the evening, by the time you are back home, you barely have the time or the strength to do anything & this cycle continues for 5 full days! Now how does this compare to the 2 days? To my mind, it’s very clear….. Saturday & Sunday = Heaven; Monday through Thursday = Hell. Friday is an exception only because the next day is Saturday and post half of Friday you are in total weekend mode & that’s the real reason why from time to time it is also called Good Friday. Also, if you have Saturday as a working day then read the next line carefully, go kill yourself… (That’s a Joke)  Actually if you have Saturday working, quit! Trust me, that’s the best thing you can do for yourself and people around you 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 14, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Chop Shop Heaven

This is where Magic happens

Bikes being Customized

For most of us, seeing customized bikes on the streets triggers statements like “that’s a cool looking bike” or “that’s a mean machine”, followed by “that must have cost a some major bucks…”. Post getting our bike, we were sure we wanted the same to be customized, though didn’t know where to go and get it done; stores, designers would be expensive & also the same would take a decent amount of time. So one fine day, while visiting the dealer fromwhere we bought our bike, by chance we stumbled upon the Chop Shop Lane. If you live in Bombay, own a bike or are planning to buy one or are just interested in interesting stuff the city has to offer, read on…

My Bike Accessory Supplier

The Seat Customizing Stall

Situated off Lamington Road, towards the road which leads towards Bombay Central Station, there is a Junction to the right of which is a lane where you will see loads of activity and bikes parked along the footpath. As you enter the lane, you will see shops which display bike parts like tyres, fuel tanks,helmets, accessories, etc. Walking into any shop here is an experience as these small, unassuming shops offer the world in terms of bike customization. Mihir& I, on our discovery of this place, walked past & in and out of everyshop to see what they were offering…. it was like kids in a candy store except this candy store was the size of a mall! Also once you start exploring nuances of this place you will find shops which specialize in products and accessories; we found helmet shops, shops which sell handlebars & also a vendor on the roads who customizes the seat from whom we did get our seat modified. We also visited a shop by the name of Jayesh Scooters from where we got our bike accessories like the saddle bag, the eagle leg stand, chrome grips, etc. The owner there was helpful, specially considering we are casual bikers and newbies to this whole process. Since that day, he has been trying to sell us the concept and customize our bike as “The Eagle Bike”for which he has sold us a chrome eagle head which has been mounted on the front fender.

Eagle Bike Time

Guddu working on our Bike

Another brilliant concept which works in this lane…. you buy what you want from theshops and instead of getting it fixed at a garage, you can hire a mechanic who you will spot hanging around the lane or working on another bike and get things done on the spot. These mechanics – most of whom look like kids – are brilliant. Each of them has the ability to disassemble and reassemble any bike. Also the ability to add accessories, do some chopping work, etc. is a walk in the park for them. Also, as additional service, they get your bike washed & polished which is very cool! Guddu is the guy who worked on our bike and now is our personal designated mechanic who not only works on the bike basis enhancements required, but is available on call if there is any repair required for the bike.

Another thing which you see around this place is a swarm of bike enthusiasts & these span across multiple categories right from the hard core speed demons to the likes of those who have just bought a bike andare getting basic additions made to the same. You also see bikes right from Harleys to the likes of Kinetic Hondas and the same is definitely a visualtreat.

Pre-Owned Bikes

Value for Money Stores

The major reason which attracts these hordes to this place& beyond all what has been mentioned is the cost effectiveness of this place, what you would end up paying forat a fancy store or online, you get here for about half the price which is the killer app. Also there is a huge scopefor bargaining considering all shop owners will hike prices; so a good assumption is a 20-30% discount on any item. If you can ride a hard bargainthen who knows even 50% is a possibility. The market also is a display gallery for pre-owned motorcycles and if you are interested in purchasing one of those this is the place where you will probably get all makes & varieties; youjust need to find the right dealer who will be available at every 100 meters. To conclude, we for a minimum sum of money, have gotten our bike customized and personalized (you can see pictures for the same in the photo section); also the icing on the cake being, we have got it done basis what we like and chose in terms of spares & accessories. If you are looking at getting work done on your bike, do visit this place. Also if you are touring the city, and are looking at seeing the inner works of Bombay, this is a great place to understand the madness!!!

 
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Posted by on May 4, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Extended Weekend Part 1

Colaba Defense Station

As the title of this post suggests, we are enjoying an extended weekend 🙂  Conisdering Saturday, Sunday was off, Monday we took leave from work & tomorrow is 1st May Labour Day so Holiday!!! 4 days of total bliss… Too much good stuff has happened in the past 2 days & lots more to happen in the coming 48 hours so this post has 2 parts.

Superb Roads at Colaba Defense Station

Saturday  morning bike ride was absolutely spectacular; I was riding past Marine Drive and decided to go towards Colaba, enroute came across Colaba Defense Station. Most of the morning then was spent exploring the same: beautiful roads, greenery, some crazy tanks & turrets on display and just sheer bliss as the place was quiet and all you heard was the bike engine and felt the wind on your face. If you  are in Bombay and are looking at a place to go ride I strongly suggest Colaba Defense Station…it is an experience.

Got back home post that and then Mihir took the bike out where the saddle bags on the bike ripped off and tore… This meant a trip to the chop shop, went there at about 11:00am found Guddu, my mechanic. Told him the problem then went to Jayseshbhai my fabricater & accesory manager got a new pair of saddle bags which were now fixed with new brackets so they dont fall apart. Also, Jayesh a got chrome Eagle totum put on the front fendor. Guddu also got the bike washed and polished. While the bike was being fixed we went out for lunch to All Stir Fry at Colaba as uncle & aunt were leaving for foreign.  Reaching there we realized the place has shut down. Moved to Bellagio, a quaint eatery opposite central library, ordered some good pizza, pastas, etc. and finished lunch. On the way back, went to the chop shop & got the bike back which was looking super cool!

The Eagle has Landed

Sunday Morning Bike Ride View

Saturday evening was spent bottling home made beer and drinking some of the same…… turned out to be a well rounded stout which was superb. (through the week will be posting a detailed aticle on brewing beer at home). Dinner with Family and emo moments seeing off uncle off was the end to Saturday. Bike Ride on Sunday was past Bandra reclamation which is one of my most favorite places to ride the bike. Post that, there was Astro”s (our little pet cocker spaniel) bath & general chilling. Then Mihir & I were deciding whether we get a dual ehaust and a new silencer fitted on the bike; conclusion we will be getting that done soon will keep you posted. Afternoon was spent in true biker style guzzling home brewd beer having sheesha with the Aashay (cousin from pune) & the passing out .

Home Brewed Beer

Evening we tried watching a horror flick called 7 below which was horrifying 🙂 and was shut in about 40 minutes of being started. More Alcohol was had post which the Mrs & me made Fries & Roti Rolls with hot Sauce for the family. Supernatural was watched to end the day; though, this time the end of day was not a downer considering Monday & Tuesday were also holidays. Also today we are going to watch Avengers; and as a prelude to the same, we revisited and saw Captain America, Thor, Hulk & Iron Man Movies over the weekend which was, if i do say so myself, sensational!!!

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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Your Bike is You

The kind of bike you own dictates your personallity. So how does this work? Let’s take a step back to understand the basics – categories & owners – to put things into perspective.

Bike Types

Bike Types –

1) Racer 2) Cruisers 3) Dirt / Off Road 4) Custom

Racer

Category 1 clearly is for the adrenaline junkie who craves the rush. Speed is what drives this animals… Most often the kind of bikes you see people in this category riding through crowded & open streets are the Kawasaki Ninjas, Repsol Honda’s, KTM Duke, Aprilla, etc. These bikes more often than not, are in the over 300, 500 and above cc category & are clearly marketed with a “need for speed” message considering you will see them in Moto Gp’s, Super bike categories etc

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The Cruiser

Laid back, enjoying life, chilling with friends, not really a thrill seeker but more of the kind who appreciates the sweetness of doing nothing is the defination for the community which falls into category 2. Harley Davidson, some versions of BMW, Triumph, Bajaj Avenger, etc. are bikes which appeal to psyche of these people. Clearly the agenda for these riders is to go on long rides alone or with friends, have comfortable machines, take things slow and steady which is also defined by their ride.

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The Dirt Bike

Living life on the edge, the thrill of speed and the adreniline rush of living life by the second is what drives people who own Scramblers. These guys will be seen navigating through congested traffic at high speeds, doing wheelies, etc. across open roads, trying to pickup their bikes on full throttle as soon as the signal lights turn green. Yamaha, Kawasaki, Suzuki, etc. are companies producing these bikes

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The Custom Bike

Clearly a combination of all of the above and add to that the need to personalize, style and stand out amongst the crowd is what gets people to opt for these bikes. You know the guys wants people to  believe that the bike is an extention of his / her personallity… an ordinary bike has a custom, paint job, multiple accesories, tweaks, etc. Chop Shops & Bike Builders across the world build these customs, some popular ones being Orange County, Jesse James, Choppers Inc, Paul Junior Design, Rajputhana Customs to name a few.

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We personally believe we fall into category 2 and a bit in 4 and the proof for the same is our customized Cruiser  Bajaj Avenger 🙂

What category do you fall into?

Our Bike

 
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Posted by on April 13, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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