Sep 29, 2007

Dekomount Plasma LCD Wall Mounts

One of the widest range of plasma lcd wall mount brackets can be found at DekoMount. As you can imagine, mounting a heavy, but sleek and fashionable plasma or LCD television is not an easy task. However, dekomount makes your job easy. Just visit the website, select what brand and what size your new pride and joy is and the site will throw up a list of mounts that are compatible with your television. Just select one, and receive on in the mail. Dekomount says their mounts are of the highest quality, and benefit from careful engineering, right down the special shipping crates. The dedication to quality is certified, and dekomount has earned a TUV Rheinland Safety Certification for their plasma screen wall mount brackets too. dekomount also backs its products with an 18-month guarantee. Visit the site today.

Sep 27, 2007

Suzuki Access 125: More Info

Like I promised, here is the official word on the Suzuki Access.

The Access 125, the latest offering from Suzuki has set new benchmarks in technology, benchmarks, and styling to address the growing demand to fill the existing gap between the 100 and 150 cc scooters in India. The mid-sized scooter Access 125 is sporty and designed exclusively for every member of the Indian family. Powered by a 125cc aircooled, 4-stroke engine, Access 125 comes with automatic transmission and better mileage per liter of fuel. Its attractive and aerodynamic styling also assures of a rust free body thus reducing maintenance expenses.

In addition to its sporty, stunning and stylish design, Suzuki Access 125 is equipped with many other attractive features such as Xtra Torque Performance (XTP) for enhanced performance and excellend riding quality. Central locking system with unique shutter mechanism for a single control point for the entire mechanism will help avoid theft. For safety and convenience, this scooter is equipped with unique multi-reflector headlamp with focused and brighter vision. The Access 125 will be available in an appealing range of 5 colours such as red, blue, black, grey and silver.
According the brochure, the highlights are
  • Smart built-in turn signal
  • Tail lights that are trendy and attractive
  • Stylish, chrome-plated silencer cover
  • Xtra Torque Performance (XTP) for more power and faster pick-up
  • Wider seat for comfort riding
  • Telescopic front fork suspension for comfortable riding
  • Large size underseat compartment
  • Centralised ignition key switch, with shutter
  • Multi-reflector lights for better visibility
  • Easy to read instrument panel

The brochure also says
Smart and modern looks
Wish for a stylish and trendy scooter? Suzuki Access comes with multi-reflector head lamp with halogen bulb for brighter vision and front-rear multi-reflector tail lamp that makes it a style icon

Makes riding fun
For the fun lovers, it has powerful 125cc all aluminium ejngine with Xtra Torque Performance (XTP) and comfortable handle bar position for a fatigue free ride. All this makes it a perfect partner for long journeys

Be tension free
Now get freedom from all your worries. Suzuki Access 125's lightweight composite body material gives better mileage. Its feather touch self-start makes it super convenient. Waterproof battery for hassle-free start. The central locking mechanism with unique shutter mechanism makes your Suzuki Access 125 completely secure.
Tech specs

Type4-stroke, single cylinder, air-cooled OHC
Max power8.58 bhp@7,000 rpm
Max torque1.0 kgm@5,500 rpm
StartingElectric and kick
Cycle parts
Suspension (Front)Telescopic fork
Suspension(Rear)Single shock, engine as stressed member, swingarm
Brakes120mm drums
Ground clearance160mm
Seat hieght780mm
Dry weight109 kg
Fuel tank6.4 litres
Underseat storage20 litres

Also see Suzuki Access 125

Mailbag #16: Leg guards guard what?

Caughtilya-Rearset Stamp 1Hi Rearset,

I remember sometime back you posted abt why you think crashguards are no good. ( or was it the opposite ?)

Anyway , you never published the reasons why you thought crashguards are unnecessary or even detrimental.

My experience with crashes is that bikes always fall in the handlebar (widest part of a bike), footpegs and rear indicators , the silencer/rear foorpegs. So most of the impact is borne by the handlebar and muffler usually, indicators bend/break away ....the crashguard then comes in second, in preventing damage to bike as handlebars have already done most of it.

And when you crash you generally fall off and away from the bike so the crashguard doesn't help the rider ( so called protect the riders leg from getting crushed ). Anyway if you hold on the bike, chances are your knee might get saved/get less damaged by the crashguard but your hips will get hurt ,since the bike will fall on you( and the hip will take the impact).I'd say its better to leave the bike (mostly ) when you crash - and learn how to fall ! Racers leave the bike , maybe they do it deliberately too.

And I have heard that the crashguard may cause the frame to get damaged as the guard is mounted in the downtubes and the impact may transfer forces to the frame and damage it.

So what do you say - are these the reasons you think crashguards are unnecessary?

Rahul Patil

Hero Honda Glamour FII haven't touched upon crash bars so far because they invariably generate heated debates, which then turn personal... and so forth. But yes, in theory, I don't think they add any value, unless the engine sticks out where it can get hurt. Everything I have read over the years (the links I can find right now are this (see #39), this, this and this) says the the crash bars were designed to protect the engine and not the rider. BMWs and Goldwings make very obvious cases, because you can see that the factory guards wrap around the engine closely, ignoring the rider completely. I have also seen a 140+ kph on a crash bar equipped Yamaha Royal Star that left the engine completely undamaged.

I've been riding now for more than 12 years (I think) and none of my bikes, owned, mooched, borrowed or otherwise, have had 'leg guards.' Having crashed a fair number of these, I can confidently state that having leg guards, or not, makes little difference to your injuries. At least in terms of preventing or mitigating them.

If you're low siding – most common crash in our situation – you simple slide away from the motorcycle. If you are smart enough to be dressed right, you can usually pick yourself up and resume normal operation. I have seen a few proper crashes (I haven't had any... touch wood), where the crash guard produced two clear results. Cheap crash guards made from light metals, usually fold horribly, in two cases, the giant wraparound style Bullet/Shogun guard folded in around the poor riders legs. Both didn't break their legs in the process, but were bound to the motorcycles, and needed some serious help before they could limp away. The other ones, are more expensive because they are made of harder, thicker metal. These are even worse. They won't bend, but if by chance, they are stronger than the motorcycles' chasses, they will bend your motorcycle instead, which, no matter how you look at it, is not a positive outcome.

What you're saying is right. Take a bike with an empty-ish fuel tank, wheel into some grass or onto a carpet and lay it down. You will notice that the points of contact are the handlebar ends, clutch/brake levers, rear indicator, rider footpegs and the silencer (on that side of the bike). Adding or removing crash guards does very little to change this unless you have a really wide one. If you can contort yourself into the riding position on the fallen bike, you will also note that your foot is not getting crushed, has space to move around. And once more, had you dressed for the occasion, you will see that the padded areas of your jacket and riding pants are ready to absorb most of the impact. The Bullet being the exception to all of this. That motorcycle, I am convinced, actively tries to break your leg in a crash, no matter what you do – I've heard enough stories to be convinced.

The new bikes, like the 220, have much more subtle guards, which I know from experience bend and absorb impacts that might rupture the oil-cooler or damage cooling fins on the engine. They're too small to involve any measure of leg protection.

That said, motorcyclists tend to be a bit superstitious. If you've had a crash, walked away with no injuries on your legs, noticed a badly mangled crash guard, your brain will tell you it works. If it makes you more comfortable, use them. I don't like them, so I don't. Also, I am given to understand that Indian law requires a saree guard, but not a leg guard, but I have not verified that claim.

Related links

Custom blankets from

motocross bed from visionbedding.comYou think customised T-shirts bearing the image/logo of your favourite thing are cool? Try this instead, a photo blanket. And the photo on the blanket can be anything you want. Your favourite motorcycle, your beloved car, or pet or family member.

The website says the company uses the latest technology to dye the photo into your blanket. You can also opt for bedding, pillows and other things. The promise is of a high-quality product, reproduced in full colour and detail. You could also order pre-designed products, like the motocross extreme duvet in the pic.

Mailbag #15: Permission to copy

Caughtilya-Rearset Stamp 1Dear friend
i'm really sorry.... for coying ur contents from ur blog with out permission... can u give me permission to copy ur contents...
please reply
john (the chap at xtrememachine.blogspot who copied the entire P200 riding impression)

Dear John,
Thank you for your sho-shweet letter. I am glad you wrote in. As I have said before, I have no problems with you carrying content I write with credit. However, I do have two conditions.

  1. You may not reproduce entire posts. At most, you may copy+paste one or two paragraphs (feel free to pick the most relevant ones) and give a link back to the original post. That way, you will get your search engine indexing done, get traffic and I will still get my traffic. Obviously, you will be required to give clear credit to me (or whichever blog you're referencing material from).

  2. Similarly, if a blog post has ten pics, you may only use one of two, rather than all, for the same reasons as above.
I hope this helps


Sep 26, 2007

Super helmet campaign

AIPF Helmet Campaign

Superb helmet campaign from Vietnam. I found it here and here

AIPF Helmet Campaign
AIPF Helmet Campaign

Sep 24, 2007

Suzuki Access 125: Pics and Vids

Sorry, am in a hurry, info coming soon... The engine is a 124cc four-stroke making 8.58 bhp at 7000 rpm. Torque is impressive (not ridden, only on spec sheet) at 1 kgm at 5,000 rpm. 120mm drums seems a bit underspec. But there's telescopic forks, 90/100-10 tyres. Price is TBA... two weeks later.

Suzuki Access 125 scooterSuzuki Access 125 scooterSuzuki Access 125 scooterSuzuki Access 125 scooterSuzuki Access 125 scooter

Also see Suzuki Access 125

Sep 19, 2007

Bajaj Avenger 200: Pics out!

Check out this link. The pics are of a black Bajaj Avenger 200 DTSi, which is due to go on sale soon. As you can see, it visually looks similar, but with an oil-cooler for'ard of the chassis downtubes, a fuel guage in the chrome console on the tank. Performance should be interesting given than the Pulsar 200 is such a nice, chilled out bike to ride.

Note to moochers:
This is how it is done. I posted the info I know, with a clear link to the poor sod who actually took those pics.

Note to mystified, innocent readers:
Yes, I'm still quite p****d off.

Related links:

Desmosedici RR: The MCN Video Report

Related links

Sep 13, 2007

Kawasaki Ninja 250: Coming to India?

Whenever I show pics of the Ninja 250 to a motorcycling mate, the reaction is always the same. 'Isn't this the bike Bajaj was planning to launch here?' followed quickly by 'but, ugh, it looks so ugly.' I may have taken the liberty of deleting some expletives from that last sentence. Now, just to refresh your memory, here's the bike again.
Kawasaki Ninja 250RNow, Bajaj has been awful quiet on this bike in the recent past, preferring to deflect attention by saying that it has no CBU plans for the moment. But what if they intended to make this baby here. It wouldn't be too hard – they could, it's only a simple, parallel twin, right? But still, it looks dumpy and old. But, now click on the screenshot below and look as closely as you can at the green bike. That's the 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250R according to MCN. Now what do you think about having the Ninja launched here? Also, MCN say the new 250 lineup will also include a ER6 style machine as well as a Versys-styled on. Also see the same pics in slightly bigger sizes here (site may not be family friendly).

More on this later... gotta run

Bajaj XCD 125 versus TVS Flame: Clarifications

Bajaj XCD 125
I think some clarifications are needed. I've been monitoring this thread at yahoo/bajajpulsar and from whatever I've read, not everyone is clear about the XCD and Bajaj's intent behind the bike. So I thought I'd post some clarifications.
  1. DTSi was supposed to boost power and mileage. Now you have S also, so where is the extra power?

    The S(wirl) is designed to promote the speed and efficiency of combustion (as in speed up and clean up events inside the combustion chamber) at part throttle loads. That means, the DTS-Si motor is burning best at less than full throttle riding, when the engine is not heavily loaded. Why is this crucial, because the average entry-level rider (actually, this probably applies to almost everyone) does not spend any significant time at full throttle. So, the S is designed to boost efficiency and not power, which is why Bajaj says 109 kpl from a 125cc engine is pretty significant. Why 109 kpl? That's 1 kpl more than the Platina's standard-test claim, and I think, that's the exact message going out – more than Platina.

    Extra power? Who said anything about extra power? Bajaj clarified during their press conferences that the S' benefits lay in torque and efficiency, while the F (Fi) was where the tuning for more power would be done. Also, if you look at the specs, the engine's pretty much a square configuration (bore and stroke are nearly identical). Given that almost all of Bajaj's other engines are oversquare by varying degrees, that's another sign that Bajaj never inteded for the XCD DTS-Si to be a really high-power machine. As you may have noticed from the DTS-Si launch curves (they're XCD curves), the bike has a massive, massive torque advantage over the Platina, and a still considerable, but not quite so towering advantage over almost all the 125s at lower revs. I'm not just talking the peak torque here, I'm talking the of the torque at 1500-2500 rpm kind of the low-down torque. In fact, the only motorcycles I can think of which sport similar torque curves are the Suzuki Heat and Zeus, which have torque peaks at an unlikely 4,000-odd rpm.

  2. BAL is claiming performance comparable with other 125s...
    To some extent, that is imaginable. The Super Splendor class of 125s make 9.5 bhp, which is exactly what the XCD makes. So, will it outperform the Disco or the Gladiator?

    No, and that isn't the point. Bajaj's point simply, is that despite the high efficiency, the XCD still has the guts to clean out clocks in the 125cc segment – not the intention, really but a definite possiblity. On the other hand, the XCD's real enemies are the Splendor-class machines (which are priced almost exactly the same) and lower bikes (Platina, CD-Whatever etc). Among this lot, its faster, quicker, more frugal, and more feature loaded by a fair margin. Those who scoff at the claims that the Exceed sorry, XCD, has 150cc class features, it isn't an empty claim. The XCD does have the goodies, right? Like the digital speedo, LED lights etc. Also, I think a standard electric start is a first in the entry-level segment, in the sense that there is no kick start only variant.

  3. TVS Flame 125 image from tvsflame.comComparisons with the Flame
    The TVS Flame 125 is a sticky topic that keeps running around and around. Before I bring the XCD into this, lets get a few things very clear. The TVS Flame 125 is without a price at the moment, and has not been launched. TVs is likely to miss the festive season burst and will probably launch it after Diwali. The TVS Flame claims 10.5 bhp, peaking at 8,250 rpm and 0.98 kgm at 6,250 rpm. The TVS Flame weighs 121 kg (kerb).

    All right. First, TVS clearly announced that the Flame will compete in the 125cc segment. And Bajaj clearly announced that the XCD would compete with the entry-level bikes, and any cannibalisation from the 125cc segment (or conversion of rivals, for that matter) would be welcome. That means, the Flame will directly compete with the Shine, Zeus, Gladiator, Super Splendor, Glamour, Discover pantheon. But not with the XCD. On the other hand, the XCD may draw some sales from this lot also. However, the markets never work that clearly, right? So yes, I expect that there will some spill over in both directions.

    So, how will the performance compare? The XCD makes 1 bhp less, and the power peaks one thousand rpm earlier. On the other hand, the Bajaj makes 0.2 kgm more, 1250 rpm earlier. In riding terms, this should mean that the Bajaj will have the advantage in acceleration for a short while before the Flame kicks in properly and takes off. On the other hand, the XCD also happens to be 9 kg lighter, which isn't a difference you can laugh off. That kind of a weight difference should mean that the XCD will keep up longer with the Flame than the curves would suggest. Of course, this is all pure speculation, since I've only actually ridden the XCD. In practice, on the open road, the XCD will feel out of breath at higher speed cruising, while the Flame will feel fine. In the depths of traffic, this could be reversed. Again, the gearing will play its part, and this is purely speculative guesswork.

    Be that as it may, in this light, the price difference between the XCD and the Flame might actually work to the Bajaj's advantage. The XCD is priced at Rs 41,000 ex-showroom and the Flame should come at about Rs 45,000 ex-showroom, if it is to remain in the segment ballpark. On the other hand, while the XCD merely looks fresh, sharp-ish and all right, but the Flame does look very, very neat... Yes, this is going to be a close-run thing.
Related links:

Copycat at X-TremeMachine Blog

A chap who calls himself

  1. Please visit our sneaky pal and check that he hasn't been mooching off your blog

  2. Please click on the Flag Blog link right at the top (blue bar) to let the chaps at blogger know that they a moocher on their hands.
Also, do you guys (especially the web savvy ones) know how I can prevent this kind of theft?

Sep 11, 2007

Yamaha YZF125: Wanted

WARNING: LONG, LONG POST – 15 images loading...The question is why we cannot have bikes like this launched in India? This is the Yamaha YZF125, a leaner legal sportsbike that Yamaha has only just unveiled. It gets a 15 PS, 125cc liquid-cooled motor, all the hi-fi bits from the R1 (appropriately scaled down on the material and size front), peak power at 9,000 rpm, peak torque (1.25 kgm) at 8,000 rpm, banana swingarm, R6 looks including stubby can... and it looks gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Oh, by the way, the Deltabox chassis is steel. Imagine it. A light, light, light motorcycle with the agility of a house fly, the ability to rev and rev to make its power...

All images courtesy: Yamaha Motor Europe

Related links:

2008 Yamaha R1 and R6: Some pics & details

Yamaha 2008 YZF-R6
Yamaha 2008 YZF-R6Yamaha 2008 YZF-R6Yamaha 2008 YZF-R1

Yamaha has given the YZF-R6 even more teeth, so to speak. The bike looks more or less the same, sports new stickering and that's not whole story at all. There's a new frame and swingarm, the 599cc inline four engine has been given the once over, a slipper clutch is not standard, the brakes are supposedly better and the fairing is more aerodynamic. With a firm eye on racing success (or the lack of it in the 2007 season), Yamaha has added titanium valves, bumped the compression up to 13.1:1, added new valve cutouts and domed pistons to create a smaller combustion chamber. The R6 gave the R1 the ride-by-wire business. Now, the R1 returns the favour by giving it the variable intake system. There are more changes in the engine also, aimed at better throttle response and less engine braking. The sharp eyed will also note the new exhaust can. The sharp-eyed, however, will not spot the new airbox – not their fault, it is hidden under the faux tank. Yamaha now employs a magnesium alloy subframe to improve mass centralisation and saved almost half a kilo in the process. The brakes? Well, the front ones are thicker by 0.5 mm, which helps them run cool.

Yamaha 2008 YZF-R1
Yamaha 2008 YZF-R1Yamaha 2008 YZF-R1

On the other hand, the YZF-R1 has more or less been given a paint job, including the lovely yellow (gold?) wheels from the SP, which are not available on the blue bike.

All images courtesy: Yamaha Motor Europe

Related links:

Sep 10, 2007

Bajaj XCD 125: Ridden!

Bajaj XCD 125

I got to ride one for a short distance. I was not really impressed to start with. It felt more or less like a Super Splendor/Glamour/Gladiator/Shine would or should. It didn't feel as fast as a Discover at high revs... no, this bike wasn't for me. Then I parked for a minute and got chatting with this chap. I was parked next to his Splendor, and when I told him that the bike was Rs 41,000 ex-showroom, he remarked that that was roughly what he paid for his bike.

Then it struck me. I was riding a proper 125cc bike that cost as much as his 100cc bike. And mine had a digital dash (fuel, battery, speed, no tacho), LED tail lamps, a neat front number plate that folds flat over bumps (a lever connects to the top of the number plate to the bottom triple clamp. The plate is spring loaded at the bottom. When the suspension compresses, it pushes the plate forward and flat. Benefit? Fairing can be mounted lower. I'm told a patent has been applied for and will bet that the all/most of the next bunch of motorcycles from Bajaj will sport this), standard electric start (yes, standard) and a box/saree guard that isn't lockable but a neat cubby hole nonetheless. To look at, it isn't jaw-dropping, but it is not anonymous and certainly striking. The XCD looks quite eye-catching, especially as an upgrade from the rather ploddy 100-110cc bikes we're used to.

Riding about, I liked the early torque and cruising the stupidly low speeds in ludicrously high gears is possible – should this fuel economy fixation thing be happening to you. The torque curve is flat and high, but I thought the top-end was a bit weak. I'm not completely sure about it yet, but it might just be that the early torque is so much, that it makes the respectable 9.5 bhp top-end look all wilted and all. Could also be that the peak power comes in at an early 7,000 rpm, so when the revs do get up high, you're past the power peak and suffering. But as I said, more on this when I get to properly ride the bike, as opposed to mooch it for ten minutes.

Ride and build quality is good, handling is light and maneuverable. In fact, the bike is remarkably light. At 112 kgs, it should be one of the lightest in the market right now. Which helps both the performance and the mileage aspects. And don't ask me why, but if you're buying one, get a bike that's wearing Eurogrips as OEMs and the Dunlops. There's not much in it, but the Euros, my source tells me, are slightly better.

Overall, I'm very impressed with the XCD as long as I can remember that it's supposed to compete with the Splendor/Platina. Problem is that the XCD is no effortless at being a regular 125 (Super Splendor-Glamour, even Gladiator, I think) that it makes that fact very hard to remember.

Related links:

Bajaj XCD 125: Launch release

As usual, here is the official launch text of the XCD 125 launch

Bajaj XCD 125 with Rajeev BajajBajaj Auto unveils “XCD 125” with the revolutionary DTS-Si engine
  • Launch to drive upgradation of 100cc customers to superior 125cc XCD DTS-Si
  • Bajaj XCD 125 DTS-Si to offer 150cc features, 125cc performance and 100cc mileage
Goa, 9th September 2007: Christened “XCD 125 DTS-Si ”, (Pronounced Exceed 125 DTS-Si) Bajaj Auto has launched its much-awaited motorbike with the all new ‘Digital Twin Spark - Swirl induction’ (DTS-Si) engine. Designed and developed completely by Bajaj Auto R&D, Bajaj aims to upgrade 100cc customers with this revolutionary product.

XCD 125 DTS-Si offers an unprecedented combination of 150cc features, 125cc performance and 100 cc mileage.

150 cc features :

Features hitherto available only in select top end 150 cc motorcycles but present in XCD 125 includes:
  • Digital Speedometer – a first in the mass segment
  • LED tail lamp – another first
  • Headlamp with twin prismatic pilot lamps
  • Zero maintenance non-contact wheel speed sensor.
Other features unique to XCD 125 are :
  • Folding number plate allowing lower front fairing for better aesthetics.
  • A special drive chain cover with a built in noise-damping feature.
  • Full DC electrical system for easy start and constant illumination
  • Unique utility box attached to saree guard
125 cc performance :
With high torque at low engine revs (10.85 Nm @ 5000 rpm) the bike has very high pick-up and eliminates frequent shifting of gears even at low speeds. This makes it ideally suited for riding in stop-and-start traffic conditions.

100 cc mileage :
At 109 kmpl, the XCD 125 DTS-Si is the most fuel efficient motorcycle in the country. This has been achieved through the Digital Twin Spark Swirl Induction technology developed by Bajaj Auto R&D.

Bajaj expects customers to move up from the traditional 100cc products to this superior product.

S. Sridhar, CEO-2 Wheelers Bajaj Auto, said,” We are very excited with the launch of XCD 125 DTS-Si as it offers a huge opportunity to upgrade the 100 cc customers with a bike which offers the best of all worlds – 150 cc features, 125 cc performance and 100 cc mileage. We are going to change the rules of the game with the launch of this new platform by offering customers a much superior value proposition than the currently overpriced and under performing 100cc products ”
The XCD 125 DTS-Si will be produced at the company’s Waluj (Aurangabad) plant initially. Subsequently, the company plans to roll out part of the production from the new Pantnagar plant. The targeted sales is 20,000 units in September, and 50,000 units by November.

Amit Nandi, General Manager (Marketing) said, “Bajaj is the market leader in the top one third and the bottom one third of the market with more than 50% market share in both segments. With the XCD 125 DTS-Si we are targeting leadership in the middle one-third of the motorcycle market”

The Bajaj XCD comes in four colors and has an attractive ex-showroom price of Rs.41000(Pune).

Tech specs
Type: Four-stroke, natural air-cooled
No of cylinders: One
Bore: 54 mm
Stroke: 54.4 mm
Displacement: 124.58 cc
Compression: 9.5:1
Idling speed: 1400 rpm
Maximum power: 9.53 bhp @ 7000 rpm (Bajaj converts PS to bhp at 1:1)
Maximum torque: 1.1 kgm@5000 rpm
Ignition system: Microprocessor controlled, digital CDI with TRICS in Carburettor
Ignition timing: Variable timing with multiple maps
Fuel: Petrol, 87 RON minimum
Spark plug: #2 Champion RG4HC
Lubrication: Wet sump, forced
Clutch: Wet, multi-disc type
Transmission: 4-speed (all-down) constant mesh
Primary reduction (3.47:1 | 66/19)

Type: Single down tube with engine as stressed member. Square section tubes

Front: Telescopic (125mm travel)
Rear: Swing arm with 5-step adjustable shock with dual SNS spring (105 mm travel)
Brakes: 130 mm drum type
Tyres: 2.75-17 (front), 3.00-17 (rear)

Length: 1980 mm
Width: 760 mm
Height: 1200 mm
Wheelbase: 1275 mm
Ground clearance: 170 mm
Turning circle: 1990 mm

Kerb: 112 kg
GVW: 242 kg

Max speed: 90 kph

Sep 7, 2007

Lovely motorcycle poem

There's a lovely motorcycle poem here. I usually give excerpts, but this one's too short. It's called I need a bike trip. Please to be visiting...

Sep 5, 2007

Just a ride home

The end of the day began as a perfectly normal beginning of the end of the day. The Blaze, my ride for the day, trinned to an uneven sort of start without problems. The ride home was uneventful to the extreme (just like yours Sriku), the Blaze surprising me with the amount of grip it had on the wet, slick roads. And with the ride quality, which only gets scooter-bouncy over the worst stuff.

I turn right, about two km from home on a road that's been under construction for the past three years at least. Its fairly steep uphill for about two hundred metres, and then snakes gently for the rest of the two kilometres home. With trucks and tempos perpetually parked, it's always narrow, but not always slow.

I turn onto this road, rear wheel spinning up slightly and go around three or four cars from the left, using the autorickshaw sized hole between the construction marking corrugated sheets and the cars. No worries. Then I spot a beat-up old autorickshaw struggling uphill. There's a gap, and I use it to get around it and ahead, passing the auto on the right. Ahead, there's a bus slowly inching through the worst of the road, at the crest. Behind him is a white Zen and then me.

Then I feel something tilting the scooter to the left. I whip around to see an Esteem slowly inching uphill, unaware that it's already made contact. My piercing bellow gets the fool's attention - he's been yakking away with the fat lady in the passenger seat. No harm done. Yet. He raises in hand in a casual, 'Oops!' and inches another couple of well, inches ahead. Now he is touching my riding pants with the bumper.


This time, he stops altogether. I pull ahead, and check the damage - none. Great.

The bus is still snail-pacing through the bad stuff. I spot a gap on the right and head in to see if I can get around the bus with space to spare. Halfway through, I realise it's futile. I stop, put the foot down and wait for him to finish.

When he does, I do a lifesaver check. The Zen is still wobbling through and I've got more than ten car lengths of space. So I pull in behind the bus.

A few seconds later... rising hair on the back of my neck.

I frantically check my mirrors... nothing. I turn my head. The effing Zen driver is three inches off to my right, taking up the same position as I - one car length from the Bus. WTF?

I pull slightly left to give him space. He takes it, gratefully I assume, and slowly keeps pulling left until he's about three inches off again. Double WTF?

I hold position waiting for him to back off. He doesn't oblige. I have some time to turn and look at him. He's ignoring me. This is not funny, he's got an axe to grind. Against what?

He makes a mistake. He changes gear out of sync with the bus, and suddenly I'm in the middle of the lane. The left side is dug up, with debris lying about. I've left less than half a car's width on the right. He can't run parallel anymore. I'm safe.

Not. He pulls into the debris-filled space and I hear him gun the engine and take up the same position on the my left. The car's shuddering from the debris, but he isn't backing off. And this time, I sense him turning the wheel and inch ever closer to the scooter. What is this guys problem?

My chest is burning with acid, adrenaline is coursing like water from broken dam. My mouth has gone dry, and tastes sour. The brain's volume has been rising. And it's now at the 'Are you Nuts?' setting. Ironically, that's also what it's thinking, mostly.

I rapidly consider my options. I don't know what the problem is, so stopping is out. I'm not up for a fist-fight. I could simply let him past. No, that's out. Its wet and the Blaze, though it has a disc, won't be a match if he decides to brake test me. Or he could just stop, leaving me no choice but the fist fight I don't want. No, I've to stay ahead of this arsehole. Besides if he is just jousting for the prized place behind the bus, I cannot let him off thinking that scaring bikers out of space is the way to get it. No, I've got to stay ahead of this arsehole. I take another look into the car, his wife is seated, looking fairly worried in the front seat. Two kids, oblivious, are gambolling in the back seat. Is this guy nuts? A family nut, even?

He tries to pull across at a minor intersection, I deny him by ducking into the space just before the intermittent median begins again. The bus parks up at a stop, I pull over quietly behind the bus. He does too. Still two inches off to my left, and still staring pointedly ahead. I take the time to review what I could've done to piss him off. I come up with zip. Overtaking the bus is no option either. What the fuck do I do?

Some sort of straw breaks the camel's back in the next two hundred metres. Home is only four hundred metres away. The bus speeds up and suddenly, we're playing chicken at over 50 kph. This is insane. Fortunately, I'm on the right. I spot a break in the median, pull smoothly into the empty oncoming traffic lane. I sense him prepare to make the same move. So I don't acclerate past just yet. I hang just outside enough to keep an eye on the oncoming side of the road. I'm waiting... for something...

Then I see a scooter coming the other way. I flash my lights at him. He pulls over a bit. Like a typical Indian rider, he chooses to give me only as much space as he thinks I can squeeze through. Perfect. I've never been more thankful for the Blaze's motor. The scooter surges smoothly ahead, the bus a welcome red blur on my left. I see a headlight wink out from behind the bus. And then hear a faint screeching sound as he spots the indifferent scooter rider.

It's done. A deep sort of relief is marked on the edges by the urgency of needing to get off this road. Not slowing for anything the road throws up, I work through traffic like a hot knife through butter. Moments later I smoothly pull into my society compound, and heft the Blaze onto the center stand and realise that my hands are shaking.

If he'd as much as touched the Blaze, I'd have been in serious trouble.

But I survived. I kept my wits about me for as long as needed. Now is not that time. My hands are shaking. My chest is heaving with intense, piercing, almost painful relief. And the effing brain won't shut up, 'Let's go find that dick and ask him why?'

Yamaha YZF-R1: Take one for a test ride

Now don't get any ideas. But soon, this could be a reality here too...

Honda's two-wheeled future

This is an excerpt from this Honda press release from July, 2005. Makes for interesting reading, I think, especially in the current scenario, no?

Average fuel-efficiency for Honda motorcycles in 2004 represented an increase of 34.2% over 1995 figures thanks to the implementation of 4-stroke engines and fuel injection for smaller engine models.

Honda is now developing the world’s top level low friction engine for the 100cc to 125cc class – the largest volume segment in the world. This achieves improved combustion efficiency by introducing two spark plugs while significantly reducing engine friction. With this new innovation, Honda aims to improve fuel economy for 100cc to 125cc engines by 13% compared to the level of 2005. In addition, Honda will adapt the Variable Cylinder Management (VCM) system technology already in use in passenger car engines for use in motorcycle engines. VCM delivers both higher fuel efficiency and superior performance. By deploying VCM technology on larger models to provide 4-stage control (2-cylinder/2-valve; 3-cylinder/2-valve; 4-cylinder/2-valve; and 4-cylinder/4-valve) over the number of combustion cylinders, Honda aims to increase fuel-efficiency by 30% compared to the level of 2005.
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Sep 4, 2007

TVS Flame: Fire starter

TVS Flame 125 image from tvsflame.comThis is the motorcycle that has Bajaj and TVS all stirred up. Sadly, it isn't because the damn thing's so good looking. Hmph. The nub of the matter is that the TVS has two spark plugs and a third valve – an inlet that opens later, sort of like VTEC. No all that's wrong. What happens is that TVS' carburettor opens into two vertically stacked manifolds that lead to the two intake valves, one each. As the carburettor slide rises on throttle application, the fuel-air mix first begins to travel down the lower one, the 'swirl port' as TVS calls it. This port is designed to operate with maximum swirl, generating maximum possible turbulence to allow the engine to offer great economy and torque. As the revs (and the slide) continue to rise, the carburettor begins to feed the motor through the other manifold, the 'power port'. This port is straigher compared to the curvy swirl port, and it's job in life is to flow more mixture. At high revs, this allows the engine to breathe deeper and make more power.

I haven't had any saddle time, but am told that the torque levels are admirable. In many respects, this might be the best looking 125 on the market soon. Launch is expected by November. The rest of the text is from TVS. And the photos are all from here.

The all new 125 cc FLAME

TVS Flame 125 image from tvsflame.comThe all-new 4 Stroke, 4 geared 125cc FLAME is the most innovatively designed offering from TVS designed to win over discerning customers with its futuristic styling and technology. The 3-Valve Engine comes with Controlled Combustion Variable Timing Intelligent (CC-VTi) technology.

The styling of Flame is inspired by the Delta Wing design found in the latest fighter jets. Called “DeltaEdge”, it gives the bike a unique style while giving it superior aerodynamics. The FLAME boasts of several style statements including, DeltaEdge Headlamps, Sporty DeltaEdge Exhaust, Embedded DeltaEdge Trafficators, LCD Digital Speedometer and a Dual Lens Tail Lamp.

TVS Flame 125 image from tvsflame.comDeveloped by world class R&D at TVS MOTOR, in collaboration with AVL, Austria, the CC-VTi technology features 2 different intake ports called Swirl port & Power port.

Swirl port creates swirl motion of air-fuel mixture in the combustion chamber. This Swirl motion helps in efficient combustion of lean air-fuel mixture thus giving highest fuel economy in its class. Power Port gives high flow rate, which helps in delivering high power. The engine packs in 10.5 bhp @ 8250rpm

TVS Flame 125 image from tvsflame.comThe 125cc FLAME promises to be the best looker in its segment. Keen attention to detail, marks this new offering. DeltaEdge styling coupled with snazzy dual tone graphics translates into an amazing road presence. With the revolutionary new CC-VTi technology, the 125 cc FLAME successfully provides the advantage of power, mileage and stunning looks.

Product specification: Flame 125 CC Motorcycle

Displacement 124.8 cc
Engine technology CC-VTi, 4 Stroke
Max. Power (Kw@rpm) 7.7kw @ 8250 ( 10.5bhp @ 8250 )
Max. Torque (Nm@rpm) 10 Nm @ 6250
Gear Box 4 Gear constant mesh
Clutch Multi-Plate Wet Type
Bore x stroke (mm) 54.5 x 53.5
Compression Ratio 10:1
Carburettor Type VM Type - UCAL
Clutch Wet, Multi Plate

Wheels Mag Alloy
Tyres - Front 90 x 90 x 17, Rear 90 x 90 x 18
Brakes - Front Drum 130 dia / Disc 240 dia, Brake - Rear Drum 130 dia
Front Telescopic Hydraulic fork, Rear Twin tube 5 step adjustable Gas filled.

TVS Flame 125 image from tvsflame.comElectricals
Head lamp 12V 35/35 W - Halogen
Tail lamp 12V 21W / 5W
Turnsignal lamp 12V 16W
Battery type & capacity 12 V - 5 Ah
Ignition system High Energy IDI System

TVS Flame 125 image from tvsflame.comDimensions
Height 1070 mm
Length 2030 mm
Width 760 mm
Wheelbase 1320 mm
Ground Clearance 165 mm
Kerb weight 121 kgs
Fuel Tank Capacity 8.0 Litre
Fuel reserve 2.0 Litre


Max. speed 95 kmph
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