Dec 3, 2009

Harry Hurt. 1927-2009

Hugh H Hurt the author of the world's moat famous motorcycle accident
study and the man credited with creating the awareness of the
importance of helmets for motorcycle has passed away.,0,1034954.story

Dec 2, 2009

Video: Old Indians Never Ever Die: Trailer

Nov 30, 2009


We've forgotten what you have to pay for and what's free. I was reminded of it recently and I thought I do a good deed and remind you in turn. You pay for a motorcycle. The enjoyment of riding it is free. You pay for a meal. The tingle of your taste buds is free. Are you getting my drift?

There was a time when I used to complain about how some websites I liked weren't updated often enough. I mean, they were such good reads that could the author not update it every twenty minutes or so? And then I stopped. As much as I like books, I realised that some of these sites, updated annually as they were, were still free. Whereas I was obliged to pay about a thousand bucks for each book I bought. And I bought a heck of a lot of books. I still do.

There was also a time when I used to tell people to be safer on their bikes by doing this, that and theo other. I stopped doing that as well. I realised that advice was as free as your right to use your life in any way you please.

There was, further, a time when I used to wonder how old I'd get before a manufacturer would launch a motorcycle that I could dream about, and then in rapid order, afford. And then own. And then settle down with. I stopped doing that as well. I guess wobbling around madly in love when I'm sixty will still be good enough. And the bitterness of the wait simply isn't worth the gall.

There was a time, when I used to blog heavily. Don't know why I stopped doing that. And then I realised that I used to be free. Heh heh.

May 24, 2009

New poll: Crashing constantly?

How many times do you fall off your bike every year

So, how many times a year do you tend to fall off? We'll go into how you crash after this... that one should be fun, eh?

May 22, 2009

Poll results: When do you wear your helmet?

I've basically nothing left to say on this subject. I am hoping against hope that the 4 per cent who don't use their helmet when touring basically never go touring and that the 35 per cent who prefer not to ride with a helmet in town essentially use public transport or their cages. As for the 14 per cent who never use a lid, my fingers are crossed that they aren't riders at all, just web traffic, passing through.

May 20, 2009

Learning to Ride

"How many days will it take me to learn how to ride a motorcycle?"

Wow, there's a question that stumped me. I didn't know the answer, honest. I told the young man that if he meant only the operation of the controls - clutch, brake, throttle - that would take 20 minutes. But learning to ride a motorcycle is a complex thing, no? I told him it depended on him. If he just needed to be proficient enough to get from home to work, that would sort itself in six months. But to evolve beyond that could take years!

I got to thinking about that and it's true. Unlike driving, riding motorcycles is a lot more nuanced. You need to learn a lot more to be good at it. I'm not saying these nuances don't exist for cagers, but the fact of the matter is a nuance that escapes you on a bike could kill you whereas in a car, it might mean little more than awkward looking metal, a tough session with the parents and a few rounds of insurance.

The other thing is that unlike learning to drive, learning to ride invariably depends on someone you know who is willing to teach you. Teach you all the basic points and whatever of those nuances he's figured out. And all the bad habits this person has picked up. There simply isn't a place or person you can go to learn riding from scratch in a structured fashion that aims to build you up into a serious, committed motorcyclist.

I learnt from a cousin brother of sorts, well, neighbour actually and at some level, I owe him my life and livelihood. But I don't even remember his face or name. I only recall his blue KB100, that springy feeling of a stretching throttle cable, the rising note of an urgent, if civil, two-stroke, a warm night flying by in reverse and a young heart throbbing in fascination at the experience. And yeah, I don't remember him telling me where the brakes were. Then I remember flying down a road in the Delhi IIT Campus on a brother-in-law's white Kinetic Honda. The scooter was stunned at the turn of speed - he rode it very gently - and then at the speedbreaker... both brakes pulled in hard-hard-hard and the throttle still on. And my first big air. And the strong apprehension that he will discover something broken later. Shit.

I remember riding my classmate Sachin's Yamaha RX100 down the road and being given all sorts of advice involving the battery running down if the ignition was left on for too long. I know now, that that's hogwash, but I was meticulous in the extreme with that bike's ignition. And I remember wafting about slowly on that bike too.

Then I got my Kinetic Honda and I simply cannot remember a time when the poor thing was ridden gently at all. That's the bike I realised I wanted to ride seriously. That's when the kit fixation started and that's when riding it for the sake of riding it became an obsession.

Point is that I cannot remember receiving riding advice from a serious motorcyclist until much, much later.

My riding 'style' has changed since I began riding. Rustom Patel - the motocrosser - changed my paws on levers riding style to two fingers on each lever. I remember these contributions because they're the only ones I got.

Think it's time to return the favour.
How do I do this? Ideas to rearsetblog [at] gmail. [dot] please.

Apr 9, 2009

Not again!

I received this anonymous comment yesteday

i have read the exact same review somewhere else.. either you copied from them or they copied from you... and i doubt you.. you could have at least noted that it was taken off from an another site.. its really pathetic
For this post.

I found that the whole first ride was posted verbatim at
I have to agree with the comment, this is really pathetic. But I am in no doubt at all that I did actually write that post.

Mar 9, 2009

Healthier Motorcyclists!

JC sent me this link today. I read it and liked what I read. So I thought I'd post a link here. Here's a quick excerpt.

"The group that rode motorbikes posted higher marks in cognitive function tests," Kawashima said.

Feb 17, 2009

The last one isn't the slow one

Sometimes, in traffic, you will naturally start classifying people as
slow or fast. I'm not entirely sure what goes into classifying them,
but you know as well as I do, that you do this. Without going into the
degrees of good-fast versus reckless or good-slow versus
idi-effing-ot, I was thinking about it and I realised that I consider
myself pretty quick through traffic. And for a fair amount of time,
I'm last or nearly last in traffic. Does that describe you too?

I figure that it's because my take-off from the traffic lights and
progress through traffic tends to be on the rapid side, and most of
the time, I catch up with the traffic that's ahead of me. In
traffic/transport planner terms, a group of traffic that leaves
together from a traffic light is called a platoon. Each cycle of
greens causes a platoon. Er, the point is, that I'm usually at the end
of the platoon. Doing what? Passing them, of course. And I'm sure
there's more riders like this out there.

Point? Don't automatically dismiss those at the end of the platoon,
they're probably just taking some time to get ahead. I think this
point has wider meanings that purely in traffic, but that's purely