It is not uncommon for any guy in his teens to have a reasonable if not great passion towards bikes!! I am no exception, except that I started nurturing this thirst to be a ‘know-all’ when it came to bikes a bit later than most of my close friends.
But I can with great humility proclaim that I am now in a very good situation compared to where I started from, thanks to the wonderful double edged sword that is, the internet, and some wonderful websites such as this one, for instance. But I still have a long way to go!!
Now to my experiences with bikes in general and my opinion. Note: that when I mention MY opinion, it is my perspective. It can be poles apart from yours. So do entitle me to mine!! 🙂
Now let me try to answer the question that some people have always wondered. “What is there in a bike that is not there in a car. What more you have better safety with a car. So why do people want to spend so much on a two wheeler?”. The basic reason is that bikes have spectacular power to weight ratio.
Consider an average Indian performance bike. They do 0 to 60kmph in say about 5 seconds (That is a guess. I welcome someone to give a more specific value). Only the best of the cars can even come near. A bike has sufficient power and comparatively Very low weight. That is why a bike packs a punch so hard for any normal car to achieve. The adrenaline rush u get when u feel the bike tearing through space is addictive. I am an addict in this case 🙂
When I was in doing my senior secondary education (11th and 12th), biology was my prime interest. That is where the beauty of our brain came in to the picture in my life! Dunno why, after my 12th boards I got this huge interest to pursue Mechanical Engineering! Thank god I could make it into a premier institution in my city. It would be a lie if I told that I developed an interest in bikes all by myself.
This is the age that we guys consider having a bike as cool, and give importance to cool factor of the bike we own, pushing back all the tangible benefits of owning one. So slowly because of my friends I noticed myself being pulled into the world of biking, an exciting and adrenalin pumping world as it is! I started learning how to ride one, during the 1st year in college! Learnt with a Passion Plus. A very good bike, if you are looking at value for money; reasonable style; fill it, shut it, forget it kind of mileage; an ideal bike for the typical middle class Indian.
Then slowly with more and more practice I began to confidently try out my friends bikes, when ever they indulged to my whims, and started riding a Discover, 125cc, first model. This is the point where I have to thank my friends for allowing me to nurture as driver. But I did not find it difficult to ride in the city.
As I grew up there and ride an Activa (needless to talk about this legend, as it is now, among scooters) before I learnt to ride a geared bike! Now my friend had done certain modifications. He being one of the best riders amongst us, had the insight not to mess with any of the machinery! He had changed the handle bars to improve the seating posture to a more sporty one. And he had put on a pair of zappers! This was what gave me the taste of how a sporty bike felt.
At this point, you may argue that a Discover after all is not even a proper performance bike!! In my defence, The bike having only four gears had very good pick up, straight line stability, excellent braking (courtesy – the Zappers), and eaily shot up to speeds around 90 kmph even when riding with a pillion rider!.
From then on I was constantly feeling the urge to own a good bike! But my family, typical conservative again, refused to let me own anything that looked dangerous and unfortunately for them all bikes, except our nations heart beat Splendor, fell under that category.
During those days I was yearning to own a Yamaha RX 135. Even now, unfortunately, I am only hoping to own one. It is an undisputed fact that, with in the city, no other bike can match RX’s pick up!! And that divine beat!! You dont even need a horn. The traffic justs parts if you ride a RX.
Still things didn’t work out!! And one fine day, my cousin brother who heard about the news, made me an offer. He wanted me to take his bike. A Bajaj Pulsar, 2005 version. But still there was one small disappointment that it was a old one! Nevertheless I took it. I am very happy to have made that decision. I was getting a Pulsar! WOW! 🙂
Then I got my Pulsar one fine day. Once I got it, I realised that it wasnt that bad after all. It could easily do a 80kmph with a pillion rider. Without one it could do above 100kmph. The vehicle surprisingly had an awesome pick up!! But it has a few problems such as engine heats up quite easily, suspension is a bit inefficient.
All apart, I got to evolve myself into a mature rider. And I got to know a lot about making the most out of your bike, having confidence in your ride etc. One of the important aspect I realised was that we must know the full capacity of our ride to ride it well. It has kindled a larger apetite for better, higher capacity bikes. I am sure ill own a world-class performance
And finally I would like to add that, ‘No bike is a bad bike!’. Every bike caters certain specific needs of the rider. You have to get your expectations from a machine straight and zero in on the right one for you. If u do that, nothing else shares a more special bond with you than your bike! Cheers to all the avid bike fans! 🙂