Apr 28, 2006

Glad to meet you

Yamaha Gladiator from the Auto ExpoYamaha is all set to launch a new 125cc motorcycle called the Gladiator. A friend in the business called yesterday to say this, 'I rode it. It has a five-speed gearbox and I managed to easily see 100 kph in fifth. It feels good to ride.' I also hear that journalists are getting a preview in the first week of May. Is this the bike that marks the return of Yamaha? The Gladiator is rumoured to have a normal fairing on the Fazer's lines, which is nice. Obviously some stickering will happen (the Fazer was naked, so stickers will distinguish the Glad). I hear that the engine is derived from the Fazer's but is muscled up to return a more performance-oriented feel. If it does get the Fazer's ergos, it will be the most comfortable 125cc motorcycle on sale in India. Can't wait. Oh, and nothing of the Two Gladiator concepts from the Auto Expo made it to the bike as far as I can make out. Fortunately, I happen to think that's a good thing.

On a related note, Economic Times carried a story saying that 24 motorcycles are to be launched this year in India. Bring it on, I say.

Other posts about
All the 125s: Table
Yamaha Gladiator: Images Launch Expo photos Expo text Compared to the Shine
Suzuki Heat: Expo text Expo photos Zeus Ride Report
Honda Shine: Mumbai launch TVC criticism Launch Compared to the Gladiator
TVS Victor Edge/GLX: Launch

Corporate Con: Honda Shine TVC

Saw the new Honda Shine advertisement on television yesterday. Was blown away by the superb direction, awesome lighting, outstanding acting, great big horse and the nail-biting, completely fresh storyline. Made me feel humble. Who am I to judge ads?

Meanwhile, a few dozen miles away, Originality was finally laid to rest.

For those who haven't seen it, let me describe it. Non-sado-masochists, skip out here. Ad cuts to chap riding a dull purple Shiny new Honda down the road. Note orange/brown skies. In the distance, the romantic (dis)interest is trying to tame that all-surpassing king of phallic symbols, the black stallion. Obviously, the stallion escapes her wily and ineffectual tugs at the reins, and the chase is on.

Shinyman's filling fuel when he spots the escaping phallic er... horse. And he's off. The horse bolts, but the Shine chap is a speed nut. With the speedo needle in the green zone (40-50 kph), he overtakes the horse. Cut to skidding bike coming to a halt, and then cut (before logic kicks in) to horse being returned to grateful lady. Moments later, gratitude melts into love and the duo ride off, waving a cheery goodbye to the petrol pump attendant who looks quite pissed, since he didn't get paid. Blast.

Non-Sado-Maso-whatevers return here. Now replace the Shine with any (actually, make that every) Indian motorcycle ad, it still works. That's fantastic. A stand out advert, even.

Other posts about
All the 125s: Table
Hero Honda Glamour FI: Release
Yamaha Gladiator: Images Launch Expo photos Expo text Compared to the Shine
Suzuki Heat: Expo text Expo photos Zeus Ride Report
Honda Shine: Mumbai launch TVC criticism Launch Compared to the Gladiator
TVS Victor Edge/GLX: Launch

TVS' new Victor GLX launched quietly

New TVS Victor GLX
Yes, I'm not kidding. This is the re-painted, all-jazzed up new Victor GLX. The idea is that the bike will form the top of the line TVS 125cc offering, topping the older skinned, but recently re-stickered Victor Edge. Price listed at TVS's website is Rs 42,780 ex-showroom Mumbai. The motor is the same, as is the chassis, save for the new alloys. Am I excited? Yeah, whatever.
Photo: TVS Motor

Other posts about
All the 125s: Table
Yamaha Gladiator: Images Launch Expo photos Expo text Compared to the Shine
Suzuki Heat: Expo text Expo photos Zeus Ride Report
Honda Shine: Mumbai launch TVC criticism Launch Compared to the Gladiator
TVS Victor Edge/GLX: Launch

Apr 27, 2006

Riding Mantra #102.00

'Don't drink and ride. Your party is only starting...'
-Ian Ziering in an MSF PSA

Airbags for motorcyclists?

Honda Goldwing 2006 with Airbag inflatedYou already know that the 2006/7 Honda Goldwing offers a factory-installed airbag that protects the rider from crashing through the fairing and imparing their intercoms, CD players, navigation systems, airconditioning, hairdos etc.

One of the Hit-Air riding jacketsToday, I read about Hit-Air today, whose chief dreamer Kenji Takeuchi makes the fairly famous air bag equipped riding jackets. Want a testimonial? de Azevedo, who stood eighth (I think, definitely top ten) at the 2006 Dakar wore a custom made Hit-Air jacket this year. The jacket looks fairly normal, but has an inbuilt airbag, which inflates in about half a second when the rider and the bike separate (a two ended cord pulls out a key in the inflation system when this happens). Which means extreme caution when you hop off the motorcycle to fill gas or buy a cigarette.

You already know that Dainese makes the D-Air, which claims a 30 millisecond inflation time, which means you go from 'oh shit' to upset blowfish in a flash. The D-Air now has CE certification, so that means someone tested it (and not like that chap on Guinness Book of Records who taps everything with a pencil and says, 'A-OK,' either) and it works. The D-Air is activated by a wireless sensor, so you're not likely to autoinflate when you hit the air curtain at the corner store.

So is that our future? Leather clad rebels who're just waiting to puff up like a blowfish? Motorcycle tips and tech sites will have tips about how to bounce out of the way of traffic when you fall, or how to land on your feet after the first bounce... At the very least, this sort of thing will be fun to write, eh?


This is the 100th Blog post
at the blog!
The wife thinks I need to
see a shrink.

Apr 26, 2006

Breaking in your bike

No, I'm not referring to the act of taking a sledgehammer and smashing the poor motorcycle into its constituents. But you've heard this old, faded, tatty old joke before, right?

Most manufacturers recommend that you keep the revs low, but not constant, for an aeon or till first service, whichever is more inconvenient to run-in the motorcycle properly for best performance etc.

However, I remember a couple of Isle of Man TTs ago, one Suzuki GSX-R1000 scheduled to race seized and was rebuilt with a day to go by the engineers. An ex-racer who was found loitering about the paddock was hired to literally race the bike around the lap for most of the day. The engineer was quoted as saying, 'it's the best thing to do. The engine gets used to its parts in the actual race load situation, and ends up making the most power possible.' Or something like that.

Now, I've come across a similar thought process... read it here

Online motorcycle instruction

As a fairly safety conscious motorcyclist (Ah! frivolous modesty), I've been around the internet block of safety sites a few times. The sheer number of references to the American Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) is simply astounding. I'd go so far as to say that, for a non-profit organisation, they, and their rafts and rafts of sponsors have done rather well. And since I've never heard of any criticism (outside of the usual 'rear tyre locking exercise is a waste'), they must be good.

Since I live a fair distance away, and on the wrong side of the Atlantic, US Immigration Service and the Prime Meridian, getting to a MSF RiderCourse has been a long standing desire. So yesterday, imagine my surprise when trawling my usual set of hangouts, a link brought me the MSF online library. Suffice to say, I blazed through the material available and guess what, there is a whole bunch of information in there. Obviously, I've read parts of it here and there, but that does not count. It's like reading a psalm from The Bible here and there and then saying, you've read The Bible itself.

Here then, is link to Moses' mountain (Am I mixing the locations and times, then?).

While you're there, scroll down the read only BRC handbook. That is the complete handbook that accompanies the Basic RiderCourse. You can't print it out (dash it), but it is the full text, complete with intsructions and notes.

The MSF also runs an off-road school of sorts, and dirtbikeschool.com also has a neat PDF on off-road exercises designed to improve your skills and aptitute for off-road motorcycling. Although I just can't seem to find the link now. So sorry. I promise to update this post with the link as soon as I find it again.

Meantime, Cheesebeast has posted a humourous account of his time at the Basic RiderCourse at the Motorcycle Online forums. It makes a good read, and for that you should click here.

Apr 25, 2006

Reverse rotating rotors?

These are the claims posted by the chaps who're making quite a buzz with their (now track-tested) reverse-rotating disc brakes for motorcycles:

  • Reduced Steering Effort
    A motorcycle equipped with reverse rotating rotors can change lean angle as easily at 180 m.p.h. as it can at 20 m.p.h. Effort can be adjusted to rider preference. Steering geometry can be set more aggressively. Rapid lean angle changes do not induce wobble or cause precession that must be resisted, therefore the static resistance of trail can also be reduced.
  • No Tank Slappers
    It is impossible for a motorcycle that is equipped with reverse rotating rotors to experience wheel wobble or tank slap. This is because the energy that causes it is a result of the gyroscopicprecession of the front wheel in sequence with rapid lean angle changes caused by the bike the front wheel or both being misaligned with the path of travel. If that force is canceled out then a tank slapper is impossible.
  • Better Brake Performance
    Braking feel is improved and braking effort reduced due to a dynamic increase in the swept area of the braking surface. This is because the rotors are spun faster in reverse in order to cancel the gyroscopic force of the wheel and tire.
  • This text is verbatim from reverserotatingrotors.com
Quad front rotors
The website has a comprehensive Why It Works page, but before I dive into the precession, slip angle, gyroscopic forces discussion (the two page print out is in front of me now), I think it makes sense. I remember reading a brit bike mag which featured an R1 with a quad front disc setup (two close-set rotors on each side with a composite calliper set). The idea was that the quad discs would offer the same braking force as the normal 320 mm twin discs, but with a far smaller rotor diameter. This would reduce the gyroscopic force generated by the rotor (and therefore, the entire front wheel) and make the R1 steer with less effort, and quicker. The journalist (mag name and his name escape me right now) found that the idea seemed to work.

In the case of reverse rotating rotors, instead of reducing the gyroscopic inertia (short for inertia due to gyroscopic forces) by cutting down on rotor diameter, the reverse rotation would, in effect, generate negative (s
ubstitute for in the opposite direction) gyroscopic force, effectively cancelling out/reducing the total gyroscopic force being generated. That should lighten steering effort. Obviously, since 80 per cent (usually) gyro stability for a mobike comes off the rear wheel, this would not impact the motorcycle's overall stability. And for that very reason, you would not want to use the idea on the rear brake. That's me, with my class six physics trying to reason this out. Sheesh, I had to add a disclaimer to this post as well.

Credits: Claims text from reverserotatingrotors.com,
Quad R1 pic from sportsbikerider.com

Water, water everywhere...

Crossing water
When I was writing the Leh Manual, I was remembering the time when I was preparing to ride the motorcycle into Ladakh. And I think the thing that scared me the most was having to cross streams. It gave me sleepless nights, cold sweats and at least on two occasions, I wondered why I was putting my name in for a motorcycle trip that was so scary in the first place. Yes, I'm quite the scaredy cat.

So I did some research, and it was no surprise that the subject is not often tackled on the internet. Chris Scott does have a book out (here), but again, you have to pay for it, right? So I thought I'd dig my heels in, root for open source, and see what I could come up with, without plagiarising any published work. No, I haven't read Scott's book.

How deep is it?
First of all, the depth of water is not a constant. If the stream is fed by snow/ice, the depth rises with temperature. That means deeper in summer, deeper as the day wears on and so forth. That means a trickle in the morning can be a gush by lunch. So judge the same stream separately when you cross it on your way out, and on your way back.

Walk the talk
Ideally you should be walking across the stream first. This does two things for you. It wets your boots and kit. So when you fall, the wetness and the consequent cold is not a psychological setback. Second, it allows you to read a bit of information on the stream. You're concentrating on the force of the flow, the depth and the surface you're going to traverse. You need to avoid big rocks and big dips to keep your momentum. And to keep the rubber side down. The depth read should also tell you clearly what all you're about to submerge. The exhaust is okay (enough revs will keep water out), an air intake that becomes a marine trinket is not. Also, you're feeling the surface underneath. Sand will cause a possibly splashy loss of traction. Algae (usually only in stagnant or slow flowing water) will cause slides... you get the picture.

Current topic
If the current is strong, enter upstream and plan to exit a bit downstream. You just plan, the water will do the rest for you. Water also happens to push against flat surfaces. And most of your motor, panels, sidewalls all present the very same sort of surface. This means the bike will want to 'slew' sideways as soon as you're past a certain depth. Being prepared for the motion helps.

Mechanical manouvering
No, I still haven't figured out the spelling of manourveriing. No matter. They all say the same thing about the technique. First gear, good speed, high revs and luck. Fast water will rob you of speed. Sand will rob you of speed. Fear will rob you of speed. And don't stop. Standing on the pegs apparently helps. I wouldn't know, I was too scared. And too focussed on the other side to notice. You want to accelerate all the way through. This keeps the weight on the rear wheel, so the front wheel will deflect off any rocks/bumps less than if you were going steady or slowing.

Group therapy
Whatever happens, don't be brave and say, 'I'll go first.' It's not worth making a splash for. Second, ideally, don't cross when you're alone. Wait for someone to come along. A downed bike is a bitch, no two ways about it. A downed bike in a current is almost impossible to pick up. And if the current is fast enough, and deep, it can drag the motorcycle downstream before you can pick a choice obscenity from your sprawling vocabulary. Again if you and your buddies ride different bikes, remember that if his intake is higher than yours, then he can wade deeper than you, so you can't follow his line all the time.

Grease is the word
After the crossing, at leisure, of course, checking the bearing lubes doesn't hurt the bike.

S*it happens
If you do down the bike, ask for help. Don't be shy. You will need to drain water out of everything before the bike will start. This means blowing water out of the engine via the spark plug hole, the exhaust... wherever. Be prepared for prolonged sputtering when it starts. And to kick the freaking life out of the bike before it does start. It helps to shut the engine off if you're sure you're about to fall. It stops the motor from sucking water in thanks to combustion vacuum. So its easier to start once you're through.

Doc Wong (my original post about him is here) has an interesting aside to the right way to drown your bike. See it here. My favourite part of his tip? 'Go in as early as possible (in the morning, that is). Who knows how long you'll be there?'

It's too deep
If the water really is too deep, or too strong. Consider your options. You and a buddy could walk the thing across and start it the other side. Or you could wait for a truck to come along and the carry the bike across. You could also wuss out and head home.

Tell me more
I'm sure there're those of you who have gills on your bikes from the number of times you've crossed water. So this is a call to all of you. Why don't you tell me more about how you cross water? That way, I could post it here, and more people would avoid keeling over midstream. More importantly, I'd wet a whole lot less kit less times, at least appear outwardly to be calm and rugged and maybe even make it across without a proper soaking. Help me, you guys...

Riding Mantra #621.09

'Assumption is the mother of all f**k ups'
-Villain in Under Siege 2

Apr 24, 2006

The Leh manual 1

Ladakhi Man circa 2005Sunrise, sunrise... at Bharatpur City

I wrote this letter for a friend, and then thought the information might help anyone heading to Ladakh, so I posted it here. I will add tips and comments as needed, so click the comments link to add to the information in the post.

The information below is gleaned from my research and subsequent trip to Leh in summer last year on a motorcycle. The Bullet 500 I was riding performed well, and I'm raring to go back this summer, should I have the opportunity...

Sorry for the huge delay in replying to your email about the Leh trip. I can think of at least three dozen excuses, but the fact remains, I'm remiss on this count. Apologies.

The first view of the mountains after you get through Rohtang
The 'Trip to Leh' [the trip prospect document I was given to comment on] was quite a nice read, actually, purely from a language perspective. It certainly sounds like a lot of fun, although I think there is a fair bit of hyperbole in there, but it's more or less accurate.

Clarifications on the trip note:

The Chandigarh-Manali road: heavenlyHard driving Actually, driving to Leh is remarkable easy if you keep your wits about you and use healthy doses of common sense. Perhaps the hardest driving you will do, in the real (speed-oriented) sense of the word is between Delhi and Manali. The road gets so good about 50 km after Chandigarh, that it would be a waste to not enjoy it fresh and early. In my opinion, this is one of the best mountain roads in the country, if not the continent, today. And the chaps keep it in astonishingly good shape.

Yes, this is a road. And there's lots like it up there[The authors of 'Trip to Leh'] are right. The road quality heads waay south moments after you cross the top of Rohtang. But in a big 4x4, it's more a case of driving carefully, than really sweating it out. Perhaps the only thing I'd say, is take it easy. I'd plan for shorter daily distances, instead of the hard driving. Nothing can prepare you for the grandeur of those mountains, so you should ideally, prepare a bunch of lazy days, so you can stop, gawk, click and sigh at will.

Also, prepare to be stuck behind slow, smoky trucks. It isn't their fault, they're polite to a fault, but finding a pass-worthy space on those roads can be a task. Solution? Er… good music in the car?

Tents, type 1, just before ManaliAccommodation I concur mostly with [The authors of 'Trip to Leh'] about the acco. But the tents are quite comfortable really. Even the el cheapo roadside ones. And no matter what anyone says, there is enough acco/tea shops along the road. Why? Because the passes close with the regularity of a heart beat thanks to bad weather, landslides and what have you. People (tourists, trucks etc) who want to get across always end up using these tents for acco. Food's pretty good too: you'll always get hot chapattis and aloo subzi or hot Maggi. The Horizons Unlimited tents should be even better. ([From my experience, check and recheck that they will give you proper alpine grade sleeping bags or cupboard sized razais. This is crucial. The camps are cold without exception and being cold in bed after a day of driving sucks big time. If you do have mild mountain sickness (more on that later), being cold will make it worse.

Sarchu tourist camp
Pang tents, accomodation available

Off the beaten track Given the utter and complete desolation and lack of communication, I'd say take a long look at the risk of any excursion off-track. The army is known to be extremely helpful about rescuing tourists from their own devices. However, even they will not operate beyond certain times of the day and being stuck in Ladakh without any way to reach for help does cause a few life-threatening situations every year. Again, neither of you two are short on common sense, so always employ it. And don't cave in to peer pressure if you don't think the risk is worth it.

Tandi, the last fuel station before LehFuel It is not as easy as getting it in the city, but you can get it, no question. Tandi is a well-stocked fuel station. It is quite literally the life line of the life line of trucks that go into Ladakh, so it is rarely non-functional. Fuel in Leh is also not known to be an issue. The army does help stuck tourists with fuel, you need to be persuasive. Or helpless. And need diesel.

Continued here

The Leh Manual 2

Continued from here

General Notes

Acute Mountain Sickness is a potentially fatal disease, so don't take it lightly. To give you a quick physiological background. The depleted oxygen levels cause the body extreme discomfort. But you knew that. Symptoms:

  • Piercing, throbbing, persistent headaches. A number of riders on our trip had these. They seemed not to respond too well to aspirin/paracetamol. The only way to fight them seemed to be to grit your teeth and get on with it. There are cases (I referred to a British medical website) where AMS headaches have caused fatal errors of judgement. You've been warned.
  • Nausea This usually follows the headaches and makes the whole situation very nasty, indeed. Again, medicines don't help too much.
  • Unconsciousness This is a serious situation. You need to get the patient on oxygen, to a lower altitude or to the nearest army medical camp (Pang is the usual one) for instant and immediate medical attention.
Avoiding AMS is quite easy, but not a sure shot. Drink loads of fluids. I'm talking litres and litres of the stuff. I was drinking five litres of water by lunch. Take small sips. It also means that you should always have that much water around. I drank regular water filled in at Dhabas. They say it's close enough to mineral water.

Avoid too much, prolonged physical effort. I'm saying take long breaks, walk slowly and whenever your breath becomes even slightly laboured just stop, sit down and recover. I once needed to take a break while carrying two 1 litre bottles full of water to my tent from the mess tent. The distance was about 45 feet between the two. This was at Sarchu, on the Leh side of the Baralachla. And always, always breath deeply. Sort of like a Baba Ramdev Pranayam.

And eat lots of food. You will be consuming energy at a phenomenal rate, so eat. Ideally, don't drink [alcohol] on the road to Leh. It does not help. This is especially crucial if you already have headaches. There are two medicines which normally help:
  • Diamox This takes some time to start working, so hill-experts advice starting to take it three-four days before you hit the altitudes. Please check with your doctor
  • Lasix This is the quicker acting one. Warning: Lasix will change your bladder setting to hyperactive. You will want to pee every ten minutes or so. That means, you have to keep drinking to replenish the losses. Also, there isn't much time between feeling like 'I want to go' and wet trousers, so hurry out of the car. The ladies do have a tough time with bodily functions and privacy out in the open, but there really isn't much you can do. The girl with us would basically go around the next corner (and we would not) or climb over to the other side of the nearest hillock.
  • More information on AMS: Use the following links
    Travel Doctor's guide to Acute Mountain Sickness
    ISMM's Non-physician guide to AMS
    [The usual disclaimers apply. Please check with your physician/doctor etc before you take any medication whatsoever. No lawsuits, or abuse will be entertained on this count.]
Oxygen It might seem excessive, but carrying a medical oxygen cylinder is a good idea. You can rent one, I think, and return it should not have needed it (thank god). But you have to reserve its use for emergencies. A splitting headache is not an emergency. Oh and remember to get the mask.

Don't linger on top The top of a mountain pass can be an enthralling place to be. Especially if the weather is good. But don't linger too long. The oxygen levels are really low and it will cause/worsen AMS very fast. While you're there, breathe deeply and fill your lungs. Move slowly, don't yell or shout and get down quickly.

Crossing passes Your worst enemies on the mountains are weather and water. Mountain pass weather is as fickle as a woman's mind. Respect it. Especially Baralachla. That mountain pass is the second out of Manali and the most dangerous in the entire region. It kills the unwary with unfailing regularity every year.

Passes are crossed in the morning for best results. The ideal window is between ten and twelve in the forenoon. After that the weather (whatever is going on) gets worse. At four, the Army will physically close the passes and suspend all rescue activity. You don't want to be stuck on top.

The other reason from crossing between ten and twelve is the water. As the day gets on, the meltwater flows gather strength. A trickle in the morning gurgling across the road in the morning can easily turn into a gushing torrent by the afternoon. Baralachla, once again, has some of the deepest water crossings - at midday they'll wash your axles down. Here are some sites with water crossing tips
The driving across is never fast, but always steady. Don't rush through the pass, keep a steady rhythm. And keep an eye out for snow/ice/rock that could be ready to fall from above on to your vehicle. At Chandra Tal, I saw the engine noise of a truck cause a minor rock fall.

Crossing waterCrossing water There's a whole bunch of 4x4 enthusiast websites where you can get tips on crossing water. Read them. Always cross at a steady pace, not too fast or slow. And never, ever have two vehicles in the water at the same time. And be ready to have to enter the water to help any stranded vehicles, people. That's anyone. Which means some towels, extra clothes, socks and shoes kept handy.

The road snakes through a valley towards the Baralachla, still below the tree lineMountain etiquette Stop to help anyone who seems to be in trouble. Help in any reasonable way you can. And always let bikers pass. Heh heh. Also, sometimes the poor labourers of the BRO will ask for water, or a lift down the road. If you're comfortable, give it to them. They're just homesick Bihari labourers, living in a very hostile place. Wave to them as often as you can.

Night driving is fine up to Chandigarh, after that, I don't really recommend it. Chandigarh-Manali is just too beautiful to waste. And Manali-Leh is just too much of a hazard.

Weather When it gets worse, it gets really, really bad. Carry full rain gear (rain coat etc) ideally not to tight, so you can wear warm stuff underneath. On the mountain tops, rain will usually drag fog and snow into the mix. Drive slow and hope you don't hit black ice.

Food Carry a couple of days food in the car. Maggi type stuff is fine, personally, I prefer Top Ramen or Wai Wai; the wife prefers Maggi. The reason is that when bad weather closes passes or causes landslides, it blocks everything. Your luxury camp can (ours did) run short of supplies, then things can get tense. Closed roads also means hundreds of stuck people, all vying for the same resources. Having your own is an inestimable advantage. Same goes from drinking water.

KhardunglaPangong Tso and KhardungLa are both open to Indians, but you need to get a permit. That means a goverment office with days and hours of operation...

Continued here

The Leh Manual 3

Continued from here

How we did it:

  • Day 1:
  • Delhi – Chandigarh
    Normal highway driving. Stay the night at C'garh.

  • Day 2:
  • Chandigarh – Manali
    Brilliant ride into the mountains. Superb road. Outstanding scenery.

    Just after Rohtang and Khoksar
  • Day 3: Manali – Rohtang – Keylong/Tandi
    Filled fuel for the last time at Tandi, just outside the night halt, Keylong. Crossed Rohtang. Rohtang is usually clogged with tourists. There is nothing you can do about that. You will spend at least three hours or more on top stuck. On the other side, road gets bad almost instantly. Khoksar, at the bottom of the descent has a good dhaba with really good grub. This is opposite the tourist registration office, on your right as you drive in.

    The ascent to Baralachla with fresh snow for a chaser
  • Day 4: Keylong – Darcha - Baralachla – Bharatpur City – Sarchu
    Tough day. The road is really bad in parts, and the climb to Bara-La is almost unending. Darcha is the camp at the bottom on the Manali side, very good looking place.

    Bharatpur CityBharatpur City (misnomer. A collection of tents is what you're looking for) is a relief, for it means you've completed the Bara-La descent. The road to Sarchu is paved and gorgeous. But don't speed. The tarmac hides fairly big undulations (I was thrown up from the seat repeatedly until I learned).

    Colourful mountains at SarchuSarchu starts with a meadow that has a bunch of tourist tent camps on your right. Your tent should be here. More tents, more downmarket are further down the road, about 5 km, where there is another tourist registration office, dhabas, tents and some Army presence.

    Tso Kar lake
  • Day 5: Sarchu – Lachulungla – Pang – Moray plains – Debring
    The drive up to Pang is great. Road is as good as can be expected I guess. Pang has a good set of dhabas and the army camp. Drive slow in Moray. I'm told an Esteem once flipped head over heels because bumps on the tarmac chucked it into a forward somersault!

    Moray PlainsThe plains are beautiful and up high. Stop to click, sigh etc, but remember to keep drinking water.

    About three-fourths of the way down, there's a small brown board that says Camp something or the other. This is a sand trail that leads to the Tso Kar lake. It's a fun drive in a 4x4, an utter nightmare on a bike. Try it if you like. The camp we stayed in should be halfway down the road on your left.

    Shanti Stupa at Leh
  • Day 6: Debring – TaglangLa – Leh
    The climb to Taglang La is boring, extended and taxing. As is the descent. But soon after you come down the other side, you will hit the freshly tarmac-ed road to Leh. It's a tremendous drive. Watch for rocks on the road when the mountains turn pink.

    Tents at Sarchu, the luxury ones
    On the return leg, we combined the Sarchu – Keylong, Keylong – Manali into a single day. The bikes hit Manali after dark.
    The climb to Rohtang begins here

    Finally, the last day's drive (Manali-Delhi, or Chandigarh-Delhi) can seem utterly boring after the rest of the trip. So be careful and don't sleep off. It's happened to loads of people.
That's the trip.

Police Checkpost at SarchuOnce you pass the treeline, this is all you get to see
Continued here

The Leh Manual 4

Continued from here

Other stuff

  • Pack loads of camera memory and batteries, the cold makes them run short. Keep the camera close to your body, inside the clothes. The warmth will help it loads.
  • Pack lots of layers of clothes, rather a few really thick ones. The sun is pretty hot so you'll be able to peel off what you don't need. More cold weather ideas are here and here
  • Pack the strongest sunscreen you can find. Stay covered all the time. The dry wind will rob you of moisture, and you don't want that (it'll make you drink even more water, heh heh).
  • Packing a normal film point-and-shoot camera with batteries and film is a good backup idea. But be prepared to have it freeze on you in the morning…usually by afternoon or mid morning the mechanism fixes itself.
  • Pack a comprehensive first-aid and medical kit. And hope you don't need it.
  • Only BSNL phones work in Leh. No cellphones between Manali and Leh
  • Pack loads of high-energy foods: chocolates and the like…and lots of candy….that can be sucked on whenever possible.
  • Pack toilet paper. Cold water is freezing. Hot water freezes very quickly.
  • If you need to pee…stop wherever possible and as soon as possible.
  • Don't carry oil based/gel based sunscreen/toothpaste or other toiletries… they freeze up there.
  • Plan for temperatures of about 10-20ºC in the day when sunny. Nights can be as cold as -3º to -7ºC on clear nights. Rain will cut these down by as much as 15ºC, so be prepared
  • Snow is more or less like mud to drive on.
  • Have a great time.
The road to Sarchuends

Apr 21, 2006

Schwantz more?

Image courtesy kevinschwantz.comFor those of use who still consider Kevin Schwantz one of the gods of MotoGP racing, this is the motorcycle. The Pepsi Suzuki RGV500, right? Well, here's a treat, click on it and the link will take you straight to his biography. That's right. The sweet Suzuki man rider had his biography published in 1984, written by Peter Clifford. And now, the man's website has the full book online! Outstanding, just like the man.

Apr 20, 2006

Riding Mantra #400.9978

'What's worth doing, is worth doing well.'
-Mom, I think


BibliochaiseWhat a neat, neat idea! I love it. So cool.
So simple. So innovative. Etc.
More information here

Apr 19, 2006

Kolkata Snapshots

Typical Kolkata Street SceneYes, it still is the land of yellow Ambassador cabs,
heavy traffic and a full-blown cacophony of noise.

The photo looks bad, I know. But it was shot though a
rain and mud streaked windshield of a Tata Sumo. The
white truck is heading the wrong way in the middle
of a four-lane divided highway. And he does not have
headlights on. He's bang in the middle of the road.
And is carrying metal girders (dark shadow sticking
out both sides) that project out as much as three feet
in front of and behind that truck. Why? Because the
trucker decided driving two extra kilometres to take
a U-turn is too tough, and the cops just don't
give a damn...

Yes, we've all seen pics like this before. But the
tilted truck is full of Bajaj motorcycles, on their
way to customers.

Low cost flying

Logo courtesy Air DeccanWe wanted to go to a wedding near Kolkata, and being miserly and nearly bankrupt, the wife and I decided to take the plunge and purchase Air Deccan tickets. For the record, when we bought them (at roughly Rs 12500 return for two from Mumbai), they were about four and half grand cheaper than Kingfisher, with Jet being another grand dearer. Had we made the right decision?

This can turn into a story of epic proportion, so I'll just bullet point the experience, okay?

  • The first Air Deccan counter we saw said, 'SYSTEMS DOWN.' Uh oh!
  • The Air Deccan check-in luggage scan chaps were slow to the point of being useless. And I don't blame them one bit. With that many first time flyers, most of them too nervous to understand what the hell's going on, to be expected. Still, while Air Sahara and Jet scanners sported three person queues, with about six flights between them flashing security check signs, Air Deccan, with three flights was a mess
  • Two locks on the bag will completely throw Air Deccan's baggage handlers. They'll not spot the dirty 'security checked' tag on the main lock and point out that the bag needs to be scanned to be checked-in. That many first-timers, eh?
  • We asked: 'Why not give people seat numbers?'
    Answer: 'Systems are down.'
  • We went through sec check and found that Air Deccan had the only queues at the gates. Why? Everybody wanted the best seats. Why? Because they seem to be the only airline who believe in chaos. Why give seat numbers when you can have them queue up?
  • The queues, in fact, stopped Air Deccan ground staff from locating their own passengers. So while the Kolkata flight queues grew like a mutant centipede, they just could not find their Goa or Delhi passengers.
  • Cost cutting measures include a strict three announcements per flight only.
    At least I think so. I counted.
  • Sometimes, the Air Deccan announcer will want to finish his quota and actually break into an ongoing Jet/Sahara announcement. These, for the record, are not pre-recorded announcements.
  • After the dodge, push and shove that befits a state transport bus, we finally boarded the flight and noted the utter lack of crew. Just four?
  • We have to pay for water? Outraged yes, but not entirely sure one way or another.
  • On the return flight, things went better. Until we found ourselves standing in the aircraft at Mumbai. We waited almost fifteen minutes for a bus to take us to the terminal. In the meantime, new crew arrived, old crew departed, pilots were exchanged.
  • Finally, we were bunged into a bus half-full of Bangalore passengers heading back to the terminal.
Wife summed it, 'We're never flying this again. It takes all the charm and fun out of flying. The bus is cheaper and takes twenty times as long. But it'll feel EXACTLY the same.' I say, 'Good for all the first timers who can finally fly. Me? I think I've evolved past this rudimentary stage of aviation, thank you very much.' My vote for the Indian airline goes to: Jet Airways. And a word of advice for Jet. Kingfisher's damn good. Watch out, you lot.

To protect the identity of the completely innocent crew, yes totally, they had no idea what they were up to, I am not revealing the date or flight number. Kindly adjust. And all usual disclaimers apply, of course.

Apr 15, 2006

Busy be me 3: Holiday Season!

Awright folks, happy easter to one and all. And I'm off on a family vacation till wed- nesday. So there will be no new posts for the next three days. Of course, that means you're free to browse the archives, heh heh.

Riding jackets for India

Fieldsheer Mag 1 jacketLike the Yooknighted Ishtates of Umreeka, India is a large country. Which means a large, geographical area spread inconve- niently over such a large latitude spread that one set of motorcycle riding gear cannot cut it. However unlike that country, ours is at least largely tropical. And almost always too hot. Which makes our job of selecting the right sort of kit an easier task. But before we come to the past about weather-friendly kit, let me just run through how you select jackets on the safety, comfort and looks fronts.

This is the primary reason to purchase one, so this should get top priority. Yes, over the weather and all. You want the jacket to offer as much protection as possible. Used to be that leather was the altar on which all textiles were sacrificed. But no longer. Our weather makes it hard to maintain leather jackets. Frankly, I haven't the patience to hunt down leather polishes and creams, or the time to sit every sunday and labour over the coloured parts and keep them looking new and shiny. Also, leather gear is usually very heavy. Which makes it very inconvenient to lug around when you're off the bike. I wear my kit EVERYWHERE, so its portability is an important, though not overriding priority.

However, leather has its uses. Jackets that offer leather (usually 1.1 to 2 mm thick) over the forearms and shoulders seem logically more abrasion resistant than others. However, studies show that some of the current jacket materials offer as much or more abrasion resistance and penetration protection as leather.

Icon TiMax JacketAt this point, look at one of the Icon TiMax jackets. When you read the armour specs, you will notice that the spec says 'integrated armour.' This will be in the back, over the shoulders and on the forearms. What you want, though, is removable armour. This allows you to 'deflate' the jacket for washing in the machine, for packing and to upgrade the armour spec later, if you should want to. Upgraded armour options can be seen here.

Now look at the Joe Rocket Phoenix. It says integrated armour and removable armour. This is the best kind. You get a soft layer of external armour (usually dense/hard foam in macho, Mad Max shapes) and internal pockets with standard shape dual density foam, memory foam or the best kind, foam-backed plastic armour. The back protection is almost always foam, and you have to spend extra for plastic backed protectors, mind.

Once a jacket gets past the armour eval, you want to look for double or multi-stitched seams (stops the jacket from unravelling while your'e sliding down the road and exposing you). And an extra long back (to stop it from riding up and exposing skin). Precurved cuts are more comfortable on the bike, so that is an added bonus.

Further, you'll want snap/hook-loop adjusters on the forearm to hold the armour in place (it's no use if it rides up to your bicep once you hit the road), a sturdy zipper (YKK is a good brand to look for), a full or 8-inch zipper at the back (to zip to riding pants), waist tensioners (for a snug fit) and a waterproof/cold weather liner.

Finally, you'll want reflective patches. The more the merrier. Also consider their placement. A huge manufacturer logo in reflective script at the base of your spine may be fine on a street bike whose seat is flat, but on a high-tail sportsbike, it will hide behind the tail lamp.

If you are buying off the net, look for reviews of the jacket. Most motorcycle news sites have gear reviews, or pick up an old copy of Ride magazine, or visit motorcyclegearreview.com. They should give you enough information about the specific make and model. Yes, having skin-friendly materials like neoprene or microfibre on the collars and cuffs helps. As does the now ubiquitous mesh lining. You also want to consider the number of pockets, and whether they are enough for you. I like carrying most of my stuff in the tank bag, so one pocket is enough for me. It could be different for you. A lot of people who pay tolls on their commute pick jackets with easy access coin pockets and stuff.

Oh, and no matter what they say, no jacket is ever completely waterproof. Or forever waterproof. A little water coming in is not the most pleasant thing, but it happens more often that you would like. Also, a British riding buddy recently told me that his waterproof overpants usually lasted one year only. Then, he had to buy new ones. So, prepare to have over-the-riding-kit rain stuff for the wet months. The good bit is that PVC/unbreathable plastic jackets over mesh are not as bad/steamy as you think. Personally, I prefer a thin, plasticky rain suit for about Rs 300, that last about a year before shredding itself. It allows me to buy a new one for each season as well.

This is your own bag of tricks really. Black jackets are to be avoided though. They look dirty very quickly and need loads of reflective piping or material for high visibility. If maximum visibility is your thing, you'll want a Aerostich hi-viz yellow sort of colour. Although by god it's loud. On the looks front, consider how the jacket will get cleaned. Machine wash compatible jackets look a hell of a lot better on Mondays than hand-wash only ones. Most textile jackets clean very easily nowadays though, and I swear, both my past two jackets have needed only a fifteen-minute soak to come sparkling clean, no rubbing needed at all.

Most of India is hot. So you're looking for jackets with either gratuitous amounts of venting, or mesh. I've used both. My vented jacket had two vents in the collar bone region and two vertical exit vents in the middle of back. It worked very well. I crashed about seven times in that one, and the open vents never caused a problem. Wind flow on the move was very welcome and the jacket was near-perfect almost all the year round. In the winter (Mumbai doesn't get too cold, FYI), closing the vents would be enough to ride year around. At least while the waterproofing lasted. And remember, breathable means heat can escape, not that wind can get in. Most people I know who bought breathable unvented jackets found that they're bloody hot under 80 kph. And after that, they're bearable.

Mesh, breathes even more. The first time I wore my Joe Rocket Phoenix 2.0, I almost forgot I was wearing a substantial sized motorcycle jacket at all. I've now crashed in it once, and I'll say the protection seems reasonable. The mesh tends to melt and stick together, rather than fray and split, so it should hold when in a slide down the road. In hot weather, mesh is a blessing. However, I've learnt to keep the waterproof liner handy. When it turns cold, you feel it a lot sooner than in a vented jacket. Also, wearing mesh in the rain means an instant soaking so you have to stop early and zip the liner in should it look ominous above.

Now for the rest of India. If the weather in your town alternates between extremes, you want a vented jacket made of breathable material. With a substantial liner. I simply have a third, huge winter jacket. This has a high, snug collar, a waterproof sandwich layer, impermeable outer fabric, huge cuff adjustment, storm flap over the zipper, umpteen pull-tight adjustments and thousands of inner and outer pockets. It comes out on the occasional ride up north and it works from about 20 degrees C to about -5 degrees C at speed. For winter jackets, I also like to buy a loose fit (as opposed to the next larger size). It allows room for layering inside. Also, since winter jackets are heavy by nature, they won't flap like a loose summer jacket.

Like everything else, you can bust a small plot of land buying a big brand name jacket, or you can spend as little as Rs 5000 on one. I, obviously, prefer the latter. So, you don't want to look at brands like Alpinestars, Spidi and all. They are good and cool, but they have price tags that'll make your eyes water and your wallet beg for mercy. Stick to smaller players. Examples: Joe Rocket, Fieldsheer, Hein Gericke (they do have a cheap line)... Look for stuff on eBay. You want a chap who bought his jacket a while ago, then parked it because it didn't fit him or some such and is now selling a brand new jacket. That'll be cheap. Or tune in to newenough.com and sit with a beady eye browsing the closeout section. Their prices and services are hard to beat. Believe me, I've checked. And never, ever, buy from the manufacturer's website. It's always atleast $20 more expensive.

I use a Joe Rocket Phoenix (under $100, or Rs 4500) for daily use and it works brilliantly in hot places. And humid places. A friend uses a Fieldsheer Mach 1 (about $100, or Rs 4500). Still another uses a BMW Airflow jacket (excellent kit they make, at outstanding prices. Eye watering territory.). Other good mesh jackets include the Hein Gericke Venom.

And you thought buying a motorcycle jacket was easy, eh?

Apr 14, 2006

Rider error

"Vehicle [motorcycle] failure accounted for less than 3% of motorcycle accidents, and most of those were single vehicle accidents [as in didn't crash into another vehicle] where control was lost due to a puncture flat."

-Motorcycle Accident Cause Factors and Identification of Countermeasures, Volume 1: Technical Report, Hurt, H.H., Ouellet, J.V. and Thom, D.R., Traffic Safety Center, University of Southern California, Los Angeles,

If you fell off your bike, it was probably something you did. Or didn't do.

The next Rider Error post is here

The Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey

Image courtesy BSMotoring
Yes, it returns. I was all excited about the Royal Enfield Himalayan Odyssey last year when a close friend went on the motorcycle trip and came back raving. Now I've heard that people at REML are planning this year's edition already, tentatively scheduled for end-June 2006. For those outside the in-the-know, the ride leaves Delhi and winds to Leh and then returns. The Bullet riders range from experienced to inadequate, but the trip really does work. The scenery, terrain and difficulty are spell-binding but it's a great story when you return. And, I'm told it isn't even that expensive. Shucks!

Anyway here are the links (trip logs from last year):

Himalayan Odyssey@bsmotoring.com
Himalayan Odyssey@autocar.com
Himalayan Odyssey@royalenfield.com

For more information and to sign up, badger away at

Those who're planning to join the ride, I'll be putting up a comprehensive packing list up here soon, until then, cheers lads.

Other relevant posts

Riding related

Himalayan Odyssey related

Apr 13, 2006

The wet one

It didn't begin that well, really. I'd invited the girl to dinner, yes, but not because I was romantically inclined, or interested in her at all. I just wanted to see if this quiet, shy and always slightly disheveled and disconnected one changed outside the work place. Obviously, the curiosity overtook me in the middle of the Mumbai monsoon, and the girl wanted to get to our chosen dinner place on the back of my motorcycle. Come to think of it, the girl's name, literally meant rain.

Let me introduce the central character in the story, Feroz (Spanish, adj. Ferocious; pronounced feyrroz), my late '80s RD350 (she's no longer with me though, we sort of broke up. I was working too hard and not spending enough time with her, she said. I was guilty as charged). I came to meet her mostly by chance and soon came to love her. I was warned, 'That one? She's jinxed. Every rider who's ever been on her has fallen.' Two years later, I still hadn't. She'd start after a fashion every morning and run blissfully the rest of day. Tuned for mid-range, Feroz was a sublime pleasure. Always willing, usually able and never shy of pushing the envelope just a little bit when we were both in the mood. She also had a great singing voice.

Anyway, on the appointed evening, I went down fifteen minutes early and wiped the seat down. It was a tattered old bag of foam with cracks in the rexine that would let the rain sneak and hide in the sponge. And when you sat on the perfectly dry surface, Feroz would paint your butt with two large bull-eyes. The moment I got back in the elevator, it rained hard for precisely two minutes. So when the lady finally arrived, the seat was soaking wet again. She was sweet enough to cut right through my embarrassment and say, 'It's okay, I'll survive a wet seat.'

Then, Feroz threw one of her famous tantrums, she refused to start. As if to say, 'You're joking, right? You are not ferrying another chick with my help.' Wearing my helmet, jacket and all, lady wearing another lid, rain coming down in sheets, I kicked and kicked and until finally, out of pity I think, she finally burst to life.

Moments later we were off. Feroz appeared to be behaving herself and the gathering night was sweeping by at a pretty rapid rate as the three of us plunged deep into south Mumbai. And then Feroz sputtered. And again. Out of instinct I reached under the carb and realised she was flooding away like there was no tomorrow. Bitch.

I pulled into a fuel pump and got her brimmed. The rest of the evening would involve a fair amount of petcock (that pornographic word is probably the most interesting of all in motorcycle jargon) juggling to keep the flood to a minimum and the ride smooth. Feroz was not going win the battle this way.

The lady, on the other hand, was more of less oblivious to my raging argument with Feroz. She was a tiny, light little thing who all but disappeared on the back of the bike. Hell, if it wasn't for Feroz's nagging, I'd almost have forgotten she was on the bike. On one corner, I leaned in pretty hard, and Lady Rain proved perfect. Not a missed beat, no clutching, just a smooth line. I was wishing the dinner joint was further away.

We turned up at the seaside Italian restaurant, sputtering and Feroz aside, happy. The night slowed and the dinner went swimmingly. Lady Rain wasn't that different, but she had a hell of a lot more to say outside the workplace. Upshot, it was nice.

Post dinner, Feroz's mood seemed to have improved. She started meekly and while I was still fiddling with the fuel control, she ran quietly. Almost as if she'd finally figured out that my interest in Lady Rain was platonic, on the level and in no way competing with her. Ten minutes and a fleeting hug (I refused to get off the bike for some reason, was I reassuring Feroz?) later, Feroz and I were alone again. The carburettor dried up almost immediately. Her singing voice cleared right up and I finally left the fuel cock on the mains.

We rolled off high above the water, as the narrow road wound down. The night and the rain were peaking and so was Feroz. The meek thrum had gained an edgy bark that I hadn't heard before and she seemed happy suddenly.

For perhaps the only time in my riding career so far, I felt at one with the night, the rain and Feroz. Today, I could not crash. Today, I was invincible. Feroz and I turned into an impossibly alive streak in the night. Home was forty kilometres away. And we'd play all the way. Once the road opened, we screamed into its deserted expanse, rear tyre sending a ten foot tall, seething wet hello arcing into the past. The speedo climbed quickly to settle at about 130 kph. This is the speed beyond which Feroz would usually complain, but not tonight.

We shot out of the city streets on to the highway. Tonight, the trucks moved out of our way of their own. Sheets of water stood up off their zillion wheels to watch us scream past, leaving a frothy wake and a lively song that hung in the air as our 'we were here' postcards. The headlight gave off a steady contrail of fresh steam and lit up miles of wet, gleaming tarmac, seeming smiling in welcome.

We reached home having averaged a serene 120 kph. As Feroz ticked over silently in the garage, the only other sounds were the sizzle of steam coming off the exhaust and the rounded plops of water dripping off me. And a contented hum from the rain outside. Would we ever be this good together again?

Bajaj Platina launched

Hi, all. This is the full text of the Bajaj Platina's release press release. The motorcycle is destined to fill the gap between the entry-level motorcycle CT100 and the 125cc commuter, Discover. Here goes:

Bajaj Platina, white backgroundAll New Motorcycle redefines benchmarks
in the 100cc segment

Mumbai, 8th April 2006: Bajaj Auto Ltd, India's premier two-&-three-wheeler automobile company today introduced the "Platina" which is all set to redefine current benchmarks in the highly competitive 100cc motorcycle market.

At first glance, the most striking thing about the new Platina is its unique styling. The new Platina in gleaming Platinum silver colour comes with sleek chrome graphics, chrome streaked blade design side panels, matt finish black silencer with chrome heat shields to turn heads around. The Alloy wheels, the annular chrome rings housed in a sporty console with the graphite-tint engine and transmission complete the stylish package. The MFR lens and clear lens blinkers further makes the world glow. This is certainly an exclusive package that overshadows other options.

The Platina further has the best of technologies to ensure superior comfort and performance. The motorcycle comes with the unique SNS suspension and ExhausTEC engine, to deliver class leading 8.2 bhp power and extraordinary mileage of 108 kmpl (under standard test conditions).

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. S Sridhar, VP Marketing (Two Wheelers), Bajaj Auto Ltd said, "The launch of Platina will redefine current standards & will further strengthen Bajaj Auto's presence in the large 100-110cc segment. Our R&D team has ensured that Platina will delight our customers with superb style, excellent performance and exceptional mileage. This bike has the potential to redefine the consumer expectations and segment volumes for the company. This new launch will certainly help us to continue to outpace industry growth in 2006-07 "

The base version of the Platina is priced at Rs 34,000/- while the hi-end version with alloy wheels is available for Rs.36,000/- (both ex-showroom Delhi). This package of style, performance and value offers a unique combination to the 100 cc motorcycle customers.

Bajaj Auto is by far the market leader in 150cc+ 'Performance' segment of motorcycles with 61% Q4 market share contributed by the Pulsar DTS-i twins and Avenger DTS-i. The Discover DTS-i also leads the 125 cc segment with 45% market share in Q4 2005-06. The Platina joins the highly successful Discover and CT 100 in the 100-110cc class to aim for a dominant share in this segment as well. end

The press release did not have the full specs, so here they are:

Bajaj Platina

Type : 4 stroke, Air cooled, SOHC, Single cylinder, four-stroke
Displacement: 99.27 cc
Maximum Power: 8.2 bhp*/Ps (6.03 kW) @7500
Maximum Torque: 8.05 Nm (0.82 Kg-m) @4500
Bore x Stroke: 53 x 45
Compression Ratio: 9.5 : 1
Valve train: SOHC 2 Valves
Valves per cylinder: 2 Valves
Power to weight ratio: 73.21 bhp/tonne
Starting: Kick Start

Type: Single down tube with cradle

Front: Telescopic Forks 125mm Stroke
Rear: 'SNS', 5-way adjustable, Hydraulic Shock
Absorbers, travel 100mm
Castor angle: 27 degrees

Front: 110mm/130mm Drum (Alloy wheel version)
Rear: 110mm/130mm Drum (Alloy wheel version)

Tyre size (Front): 2.75 X 17"
Tyre size (Rear): 3.00 X 17"

Length: 1994 mm
Width: 751mm
Height: 1086mm
Wheelbase: 1277mm
Saddle height: 805 mm
Kerb weight: 112kg

2 year/30,000 km with optional extendable warranty of 1 or 2 years

Ex-showroom Pune: Rs 34 & 36,000 (spoke/drum and alloy/disc variants)