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The Crazy Car and Tech Expo

I am not that into cars, don’t get excited seeing many of them (Jaguar is an exception) or drool when people talk about speed, etc. This year however, I went to the Autocar Expo which showcases some of the most awesome cars and bikes across India. Of course, I had a hidden agenda here, the Stuff Gadget show was also in the same premise, the very lovely Mrs works for the magazine and hence would not miss it for the world.

We started off early to avoid the mad crowds, got to the venue by about 10:30. As soon as I walked in, the first thing that caught my eye were custom bikes – a company called Verdanci – I had seen their work before online, but was very impressed with the quality of bikes they were making. As a promotion activity, they had decided to build a bike at the expo and launch it on the last day. I spoke to one of the promoters there and he told me the bikes cost anywhere between 5-10 lakhs basis customer requirement – a bit expensive if you ask me, but then again, the bikes look kick ass! Further on, there were more bikes – BMWs to start with – they look like cheetahs ready to pounce, I quickly took a few shots and then moved towards the cars…. the first few Porsches, Audis, Mercedes – while I was shooting the Porsche, a gentleman approached me and asked me for my email, he apparently forgot his batteries on his Nikon and wanted pictures of the event; this was a first for me also so I happily obliged (just sent him all the pics last week). Moving on, I stopped at the Jaguar booth for about 10 minutes and just stared at the car, that is one car that I would love to own in my life :-). Post the foreign cars, there were the standard India brands on display; what impressed me was how they had setup their booths and were rallying people around with contests, pictures, etc., something international brands definitely need to learn.

Moving further, reached the Ducati booth, 4 monsters parked there, that’s about it no flash lights, no booth babes, nothing – just 4 bikes and it was spectacular – these are monsters, not ordinary bikes. Post these, I did catch a glimpse of a Harley, but the crew there was rather unfriendly, they had issues if people came close to their bikes, so I said thanks but no thanks and moved on. By now, I was getting impatient as I had not yet reached the Stuff enclosure, I quickly asked someone and he directed me towards it. On my way there, caught a glimpse of some awesome car systems – they looked like they are straight out of The Fast & Furious… beautiful. Just before the Stuff enclosure, I ran into the Bat Mobile, well not really the Bat mobile but the Lamborghini Aventadore – hands down the greatest car that I will ever see in my life time – pity the Lamborghini booth was very small and restricted movement for Photography.

Finally made it to the Stuff enclosure – the walkway towards the expo was lit up and paintings of movies with gadgets lined the walls, my favourite the Godfather and the Guitar on display; from there the first store I caught was the LG TV booth. People! the booth babes in there looked like aunties, but the products on display pretty much killed it. The Stuff gallery had Bruce Lee guarding it and had some really fancy Lomo cameras, speakers, television and video game rigs on display; talking about rigs, the car simulator was suspended 4 feet off the ground and moved basis the steering wheel, please note even the screen moved giving the user a visual like none other. There were people riding Segues, trikes around the area and the sound system on display were to die for, they cost a crore+ so yes to die for. The mandotory smartphone displays drew in crazy crowds. I did hear a rumour that the Iphone 5 was going to be made available for display, but did not end up confirming the same. Another interesting toy/gadget was qaudrocopter or A.R Drone. It was in this huge enclosure and was being flown around by some very talented kids, it moved in all directions and could hover seamlessly in one place. After all the gadget porn, I went to meet the Mrs and all her collegues at the show. As usual, they were all working tirelessly for days but greeted me with a smile and offered to take me for a whole lot of demos, etc. I politely refused, have one policy in life if I can’t buy it, I don’t try it. After exchanging pleasantries, I decided it was time to leave, I had had a late night due to a kickass office party.

Going out, I noticed car companies had created drag, dirt and mountain tracks for people to try. There were also ATVs available to ride, honestly I was very impressed with the setup. All in all, it was a great experience. I definitely look forward to the Stuff show next year, Autocar may be but only for Photography. DO check our slide show for all the pictures from both the expos and don’t forget to favourite the blog 🙂

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Posted by on November 24, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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Rocking The Blues

Our fascination with the guitar started about 8 years back, a friend of mine used to play and loaned me an acoustic guitar to learn. We took it up rather seriously considering we did not have much to do at that time, bought a few expensive guitars picked up tab books and started listening to Joe Satriani, Steve Vai, Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen and other guitar virtuosos. I would like to believe that we were very good at playing the guitar, but in reality we sucked big time, could barely play a few phrases and even those were played in some whack timing…..anyways, post a few years of playing, life took over and we pretty much forgot about playing the guitar.

So why am I telling you this? Well, post our very eventful birthday in October, we have rediscovered playing the guitar. We also got a brand new acoustic guitar and started learning the instrument the correct way. This time around, we decided not to go the rock way, instead basis our love affair with the blues, we decided to learn the style. I do believe I have learnt more in the last month alone than I had learnt playing for 3 years; The reason is simple – better learning tools, the Internet and the fact that I am older and things are slowing down. Learning an instrument can’t be hurried, the slower you go the better it gets.
If like us you are into the blues he are some awesome tips to pick up this awesome style –
  1. Listen to the blues, learn to appreciate the music….if you don’t like the style you can’t play it.
  2. Start off with popular music: Eric Clapton, B.B King, Muddy Watters and so on. Don’t jump the gun…. Buddy Guy, Hubert Summlin, Howlin Wolf will come later…you need to develop a liking for the blues first.
  3. Start with the absolute basics, a 12 bar progression and then the minor pentatonic scale.
  4. Find a great teacher online or offline. There are few self taught guitarist in this world. Always learn from someone who knows better – we recommend Guitarjamz.com.
  5. Always use a metronome or a drum machine. If you have a smartphone or a tablet, there are dozens of free apps available for the same.
  6. Convert whatever you want to learn into an exercise. Play it ridiculously slow and don’t speed it up until you can play it in your sleep.
  7. Watch Cadillac Records and Nothing but the Blues.
  8. If you are playing the guitar for the first time, we would recommend you go in for an acoustic cut away. This will help you build strength in your hand and also ensure you can play beyond the 12th fret.
Take it from us playing the blues or any other style will take time and will require you to invest a fair bit of it. To start off, try 15 minutes in a day, but if you want to get any good let it go up to at least an hour. Don’t give up if things don’t come naturally, eventually you will pick it up. Playing the blues is probably the most relaxing part of the day and will definitely put a smile on your face. Hopefully, our post will inspire you to pick up the guitar or fall in love with it all over again. Check out some awesome videos to get you started and inspired below :-). If you have some crazy bluesy riff, share it with us in the comments below.

 
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Posted by on November 8, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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The Zoo Visit

For the longest time I have wanted to visit the Zoo in Mumbai. Over the last year I regularly passed by it while coming back from work, but never visited it. Finally, over the weekend, I decided a little photography needs to happen and hence the visit to the Zoo was planned. For people who want to visit the Zoo, it is open Tues-Sun 9:00am to 6:00pm.

I picked Friday to go there, I thought it was a weekday and there would be less people, unfortunately that was not the case; due to it being Friday, there were schools and menacing kids waiting outside, yelling and creating general hooliganism. I manoeuvred through the crowds and managed to reach the front gate; it took about 5 odd minutes before they opened. I quickly ran to the ticket counter, out running about 50 kids and waving my hands as if I have won the 100 meters world championship. It cost about 5 rupees to enter the zoo and another 20 if you have a camera, I had 2 cameras so cost me double. As soon as you enter the zoo, the first thing you notice is all the greenery and vast space. I was surprised to see a dedicated work force of people running to keep the place clean and also take care of the animals in the there. I moved clockwise. The first thing I came across was a green house, the same can only be seen from the outside, visitors can’t actually walk through it, next on the cards the monkey cages; please note our zoo is prehistoric we don’t have open areas for animals we still have cages, which is very sad. It was early so there was limited activity in the cages just a guy cleaning the place. From there I moved on to the deers, these guys had it set, large open grounds where they can move around; unfortunately, taking pictures was a challenge, purely based on my distance but managed to sneak a few in courtesy the zoom lens. Next on the cards the elephant enclosure and the crocodile enclosure. The elephants were kept very far away and were having their breakfast so could only spot one of them, the crocodiles were lying in a dirty swamp motionless, onlookers watching them kept saying they’re dead……I wanted to throw one of them in the pond to test the theory 🙂

From there, I moved to the Hippopotamus shelter. There were two large hippos resting in the water all I could see was their backs, I was disappointed I was really looking forward to seeing a hippo in all its glory. As I moved away from the enclosure, I heard a loud noise that startled me a little, moving towards the sound I saw there was another enclosure where a Hippo was eating. I quickly grabbed a picture of the enclosure with a smile on my face. From there I moved to the lion cages, unfortunately there were 2 domestic cats sitting in the cage, the cleaner informed me the lion had passed away. Next was the birds, the smaller birds are kept in small cages which is sad, the silver lining here is the cages are clean and the birds are fed well. The bear enclosure was massive, but unfortunately I could not spot the bear, he probably was trying to avoid the morning sun. While I was near the bear enclosure, some kids yelled out “UNCLE, UNCLE”. I walked there, they called me to show me a Porcupine cage, where they had spotted an albino Porcupine, I quickly took a few shots and moved towards the last exhibit in the Zoo.

Final destination in the Zoo the very large Bird cages. While on my way there, I noticed a few large statues, placed in the middle of floral arrangements – these immediately reminded me of Gears Of Wars, do have a look at the picture to your left. After a fairly long walk and empty enclosures I reached the massive bird cages, these were birds that lived around water, Flamingos, Swans and so on, I was fairly impressed with the way these birds were kept, of course I could only stand a few minutes near the enclosure, annoying kids came and started going “Uncle one photo, one photo”. After not taking their pictures finally decided to exit the Zoo, all in all I was disappointed with the experience, not only the photography, the Zoo has become a barren place with hardly any animals; I would not recommend a visit here unless you want to be very depressed. Do check out some of the pictures around the blog and comment or send us feedback in the section below. All images shot using Nikon D5100.

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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The Expendables 2 Review

The Expendables is one of our most favourite movies. It stars all the great actors from the 80’s and has some serious action in it. We have been following The Expendables 2 ever since it  was announced 2 years back – to see all these great stars back in action supported by cameo’s from veterans from the 80’s is a high few other movies can match. Last Saturday, we watched the Expendables 2. Suffice to say I had a smile on my face throughout the movie and bothered the hell out of my neighbouring seats by clapping and passing cheesy comments throughout. Please to note, while the movie is fresh in my mind, my brother and I have decided to quit are jobs and create a crack team of marines in the near future.

Enough about the experience.. on to the review – The Expendables 2 unites some of the biggest and baddest actors of Hollywood, who come together to form a crack team, whose job is to shoot people and while they are not doing that, they generally chill, drink and pass their time. In a pre-credit sequence, Stallone, Statham, Lundgren, Schwarzenegger and their fellow mercenaries rescue a kidnapped Chinese billionaire; while doing this I do believe they cut Nepal’s population by half. Let me quickly summarize the plot, hopefully without spoilers. In the rest of the movie, they’re blackmailed by top government agent Bruce Willis to drop into a dangerous area of the Balkans and take on a ruthless branch of the Russian mafia creating havoc in the area. The plot thickens when the Russians are about to sell off a recently discovered stash of Soviet plutonium to the highest bidder. Surprisingly, they are led by the Blood Sport legend, Jean-Claude Van Damme. What follows is a plod through familiar action-movie locations (an abandoned mine, an abandoned village, an abandoned army base).

The film moves at a rather fast pace, it almost looks forced. I don’t blame the director, a cinema screen is the one place that can hold all of these oversized personalities and physical specimens. But he should have given a little more time for the plot to develop. That being said, the action sequences more than compensate for the plot. What I really enjoyed is the comedy in the movie – it is unintentional and makes for some exceptionally funny moments; of course, the current gen will probably not get half of the jokes in the movie, but who cares. Bruce Willis driving a smart car, Stallone’s Barry Bonds sized forearms and head, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s hair, Van Damme kicking a knife into someone’s chest, Stallone running and how (I haven’t seen him run that hard since he raced Apollo Creed), I don’t think kids today will be able to connect all these dots. The cameos are where the movie shines – Van Dame, Chuck Norris…about Djokovic (the tennis star) watch the movie and find out. The scene where Arnie, Willis and Sly share the frame is crazy, left me clapping for a good few minutes.

So overall experience while watching the movie? This is a tough one, some will absolutely love this movie, others will hate it. If you play FPS video games, even 3rd person shooters, you will very easily be able to relate to the movie – it is non-stop 102 minutes of absolute mayhem! I thought it was very similar to Gears Of War on the 360 minus all the futuristic stuff and action. In my opinion and Stallone put it best, “We’re the ancient Avengers,” he says of his co-stars in The Expendables 2.

Captain America, Thor and Iron Man rule now. But in the 1980s, Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Chuck Norris, Dolph Lundgren, Bruce Willis and Jean-Claude Van Damme were box-office superheroes. This movie just reiterates the same – they still rule. Watch this one for some crazy, over-the-top action and you will not be disappointed.

Here are some awesome clips from the movie

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2012 in Trips & Rides

 

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From The Expendables to The Expendables 2

My all time favourite drunk movies to watch are Expendables & 300 – the crazy action, brilliant star cast & performances, add to that the mad adrenaline, it just does not get better! With Expendables 2 releasing this weekend, this post is a tribute to the greatness that was Expendables. The movie released in 2010, announced itself with a bang considering the star cast which included Sylvester Stallone, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bruce Willis, Terry Crew, Randy Couture, Mickey Rourke, Jason Statham, Jet Li & Dolph Lundgren. Never before in recent memory had a star cast like this been assembled. Add to that the greatness of the movie, scenes which remain in your memory forever!!!

The scene where Sly, Bruce & Arnie come together in the church, Mickey Rourke tattooing Sylvester Stallone, the opening sequence wherein the hostages are rescued in style by the team. Eric Roberts, Steve Austin & the Noguira brothers playing the bad guys to the tee. The scene where Stallone & Statham fly the plane over the dock & burn it to crisp are etched in memory. Also the cars & bikes used in the movie are pretty damn spectacular – Jason Statham rides a Ducati Desmosedici, Stallone drives a 1955 Ford F-100 & Mickey Rourke rides a custom chopper courtesy Bourget Bikes. Also for the movie promotion, Stallone was quoted at Bike Week in New Orleans saying “I personally chose all of the bikes “; Stallone spent time talking with Brigitte Bourget and her builders at G.Smith Motorsports-Bourget Bike Works. The lot showcasing dozens of custom bikes priced upward to $90,000 was a featured attraction during the first Bike Week New Orleans, May 6 to 10. Stallone left with a deal to use several Bourget bikes in the movie.

Memory refresher time! The plot of the first Expendables movie revolves around an “expendable” team, hired to do jobs that no one else can or will, who are sent to infiltrate a South American country to overthrow the ruthless dictator and liberate the country…the dictator being Eric Roberts. Also the plot has some interesting character interactions and storylines stitched in like Jet Li & Dolph Lundgrens issues, Jason Stathom & his story with his love interest, etc. making this movie a full on entertainer.

For the sequel, more or less the whole team returns with additions – some greatness i.e. Chuck Norrris & Jean Claude Van Damme. Rumor has it that Steven Segal was also going to be a part of this flick though his issues with Van Damme were the reason for his non participation. Also the cast includes Liam Hemsworth, Chris Hemsworth aka Thor’s younger brother. Arnie & Bruce also have a substantial piece to play in the movie and are not just there for cameos like part 1. A quick preview to the plot for the sequel is as below. The Expendables are reunited when Mr. Church enlists them to take on a seemingly simple job. When things go wrong, the Expendables are compelled to seek revenge in hostile territory where the odds are stacked against them. Catch our review of the movie early next week and also take a minute to view the video of some kick ass action from the movie Expendables 2.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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Secrets of The Dark Knight Rises (Spoilers)

Awesomeness!!!

The Dark Knight Rises is a damn good film, but what it also showcases is Christopher Nolan’s ability to balance the movie so both the hardcore and the casual fan can appreciate it. The movie has been out for about 2 weeks now; I think it’s high time we put some spoilers up, some of these spoilers have a connection to Nolan’s vision some are just Easter Eggs. Before you jump to the next paragraph be warned it could spoil the movie for you if you have not already watched it.

The Cast

I am not going to beat around the bush anymore, here are the spoilers –

Bruce Wane walks with a cane; this due to injuries sustained in his last encounter with the Joker, of course as the movie progresses Mr. Wayne ignores the doctor’s advice and is back on the street fighting crime as the Batman.

Michael Cane who plays Alfred (Bruce Wayne’s Butler) is there in the movie only for a few minutes, he decides to leave his Master when Bruce Wayne decides to go up against Bane.

Bruce Wayne goes bankrupt, this due to losing his fingerprint and Bane taking over the Gotham Stock Exchange, the bankruptcy leads Wayne to seek a wealthy ally to rescue the company, and he turns to Miranda Tate, a philanthropist and Green Energy activist who he and Lucius Fox bring in order to fund the suppression of the renewable energy programme that they shelved in case it fell into the wrong hands. Fairly key plot point right there…

As twitter Says#TDKR

Joseph Gordon Lewit plays John Blake, who is Robin the boy wonder in the making, for the geeks out there it is explained in the movie that his name is changed from Dick Grayson so he can escape his past – if you closely watch his interaction with Batman you realize it is fairly similar to the ones Batman has with Robin

Commissioner Gordon is a total waste in the movie, for the first half he just in a Hospital bed. I feel bad for Gary Oldman an actor of his calibre deserves more screen time.

Liam Neeson makes an appearance as the very awesome Ra’s Al Gul in Mr. Wayne’s dream sequence; Nolan brilliantly ties the story in and around the character even though he is not present in the entire movie, read on to find out how.

The Scare Crow is back, he plays the judge in the people’s court which is created by Bane

Bane!!!

Bane’s army takes over Wayne enterprise science division, in turn giving them access to the many versions of the Bat mobile

Bane has some crazy confrontations with the Batman, in the first such confrontation he breaks Batman’s back and takes him to the dreaded pit prison, where he leaves him to watch his conquest of Gotham and die.

Anne Hathaway is great eye candy in the film, she plays Catwoman who partners with Batman to fight Bane, and of course before that she is an integral part of bankrupting him and also getting him bitch slapped by Bane. Note towards the end there are indications that she is Mrs Wayne.

Catwoman!!!

Bane’s origin are credited to the dreaded pit prison, where he was born and was the only prisoner ever to escape, however the same is untrue – Marion Cottilard who plays Miranda Tate is actually the prisoner who escapes the dreaded prison, she in fact is Ra’s Al Gul’s daughter Talia Al Gul, Bane is her protector and is in love with her, he helps Talia escape and faces the wrath of the inmates who disfigure his face (hence he needs the breathing apparatus). Talia on the other hand is on her way to fulfil Ra’s’s legacy and wants Gotham to rise from the ashes

Batman does not die in the movie, he hands over his cave to Robin and then is last seen having what seems as lunch with Catwoman, while Alfred looks on.

I think that’s pretty much it, if you have any questions regarding the movie don’t hesitate to type them in the comment section also if you have a great spoiler please add to the same 🙂

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Eye Candy…

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2012 in Bikes & Builders

 

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The Dark Knight Rises Facts Photos & More

Click on the image to know the history off “The Batman”

So continuing our post on the crazy Nolan Batman series, we have picked up a few interesting facts / trivia on the movies and also added an interesting section on Goofs during the shooting of The Dark Knight Rises. The content piece for this article has been taken from across the net and from IMDB as well. Have fun reading and going through some awesome images. Also check the pictorial history of the caped crusader in the pic above.

Batman Begins

Batman Begins

  • In Batman Begins Christian Balelost his voice three times during filming after altering his voice while playing Batman.
  • Before Cillian Murphy played the fear inducing Scarecrow the role was offered to Marilyn Manson.
  • Much of Batman’s gear and apparel, including his cape and suit, is based on actual military technology.
  • Christian Bale auditioned to play Robin the Boy Wonder in Batman Forever.
  • During filming of Batman Begins the trailer door for Christian Bale read Bruce Wayne.
  • In Batman Begins the license plate on Bruce Wayne’s sports car is 375 265.
  • The wide-shot of the house of the League of Shadows was entirely computer-generated.
  • During filming of the scene where Batman is being towed by a train through the streets of Gotham, so much steam was used that it would “rain” on the cast and crew for several minutes after each take.

The Dark Knight

The Dark Knight

  • The Dark Knight is the first Batman feature film that doesn’t incorporate the word “Batman” in its title.
  • Even though Christopher Nolan offered her the part, Katie Holmes decided not to reprise her role as Rachel Dawes. Instead, she opted to co-star with Diane Keaton andQueen Latifah in Mad Money that same year. Sarah Michelle Gellar, Isla Fisher, Emily Blunt and Rachel McAdams were all considered for the role before Maggie Gyllenhaal stepped in.
  • The Dark Knight was the first Batman film with no live-action or CGI bats.
  • Neither of the first two films has opening credits or titles
  • Heath Ledger improvised when he started clapping inside his jail cell in a mocking and sardonic capacity as Gordon is promoted. The clapping was not scripted but Christopher Nolan immediately encouraged the crew to continue filming and the sequence was included in the film.

The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Knight Rises

  • Christian Bale has stated that he would not play Batman if Robin appeared anywhere in the trilogy. Christopher Nolan agreed not to include Robin as it would undermine the dark tone of his series.
  • One of the reasons why Christopher Nolan cast Tom Hardy as Bane wasbecause of his performance in the film RocknRolla. Hardy stated that he thought he was cast because of his role in Bronson. He arrived on set only to learn that Nolan has never even seen Bronson.
  • Joseph Gordon-Levitt , Leonardo DiCaprio , James Holzier, Ryan Gosling, and Mark Ruffalo were considered to play John Blake.Gordon-Levitt was ultimately cast.
  • After The Dark Knight was released, Aaron Eckhart expressed interest in returning as Harvey “Two-Face” Dent, as the film had left his role relatively open-ended.Christopher Nolan stated that Dent was definitely dead, and that his death would leave lasting repercussions across Gotham.
  • At 165 minutes long, this is the longest Batman film released to date as well as the longest film that Christopher Nolan has ever directed.
  • Out of respect for Heath Ledger, the Joker is never once mentioned for the whole film.

The Dark Knight Goofs

  • The timer on the bomb reaches 4:59 twice during the countdown.
  • When Bruce Wayne was checking his computer in the bat cave for the first time, one of the articles about Selina Kyle spelled the word “Heist” wrong. It said “Hiest” instead.
  • The fusion reactor suddenly becomes a fission reactor. It has a control rod removed and then threatens to go critical. Control rods are there to control a fission reaction and not a feature of fusion reaction. Even if this was the case, the decay would happen at an exponential rate and certainly not take 3 months to happen.
  • 3,000 police officers are trapped underground for 3 months, kept alive by food parcels. However, when they are released, not one of them shows any sign of beard growth.
  • Throughout the trilogy, Batman noticeably wears thick black make up around his eyes when he has his mask on. However, when he returns The Bat to the cave for the first time, he talks with Alfred without his mask on, yet there is no sign of any make-up.

Hope you enjoyed reading the same. Also like we said, these are just a few handpicked interesting reads there are loads more available on the net. Also if you guys have some interesting trivia or facts do send them to us 🙂

Do check out our gallery of some awesome Trilogy pictures.

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Posted by on July 25, 2012 in Helmets & More

 

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