Long rides, free rides, no worries in the world about how far or where you need to go.
It started with the Vespa -LML , not these glorified shiny flash in the pants which you see today. That's when you had a puncture every quarter kilometre and thanked God that you had a stepney to back you up. It helped that the whole process of removing and fixing the tire was relatively painless.
The most fun was riding through bangalore without a care in the world, till you see one of those cops hiding around the centre of the road, hungry for hafta, because they see the license plate which youis defintiely from out of town.
Oh, a little break, my darling comes ccalling.
So yes, that's Bangalore for you, cops always hungry, we with our pockets full.
There, that stupid electronic church bell, with it's synthetic sound. Give me the old gong any day, even just a simple rail with a metal rod.
The Vespa was fun, but there was always the issues of punctures, mainly because the wheel was so tiny.
Being geared, you could push it, but there were limits.
Like when you are riding the highway, and suddenly a big truck passes you, and then all your thoughts of stability are literally shaken out of your body and you struggle to gain control once again.
Bring in the Bullet, and two issues were immediately resolved, with one getting created.
The first was that with those big mamoth wheels, the Bullet could literally ride over anything, as long as you kept the treads real.
The second was highway riding, where you could finally ride a highway, without being shaken like a ragdoll, such as the bellary highway, which has now been choked with the new airport. The new airport is a joke by the way, first with that huge Louis Vuitton suitcase, which must be part of the reason that Louis Vuitton is not considered as a luxury brand any more.
That airport had no drinking water for taxi drivers till recently, and all the plug in points for your laptop were hidden away in god forsaken corners.
But the road was beautiful, even though Bengaluru truck drivers ride, like Pune two wheeler riders, with blatant disregard for driver or speedbreaker.
Speaking of which, how do you spot a speedbreaker on Bengaluru highways?
Bzzz. By the glass which is lying all around it, due to multiple accidents by drivers who didn't even know of their existence.
The third reason why the Bullet failed, is the ability to suddenly conk out of fuel, without you even realising it. So much so that I was stuck at a petrol pump, with a bunch of other petrolheads, trying to find out why the bike wasn't starting, till finally, sheepishly, we found out that there was no fuel in the tank, all the time we were at the petrol pump.
The other time, was when I rode into the heart of Koramangala, and then the fuel goes out again, where once again another dude, starts checking the bike (and me though I didn't know it) and proclaims that there was no fuel.
We then go to the nearest pump to get fuel, where this person starts talking about massages and dancing without me having any clue, till we have a cup of tea at which time my corduroy's zipper suddenly gives way, which the person obviously notices and asks me if he could touch it, which then gave me ample reason to disappear.
I have said it before, that I have nothing against dudes who like dudes, but please respect those who don't.
The Bullet was great for power and a certain sense of speed, till the Skoda Octavia's and the Qualis started blocking our highway.
That is where I realise the power of technology and frugality.
Bought myself a Mahindra Centuro, without even asking what the size of the engine was.
It had a great ride, good punch, that was enough for me.
And those gold bars in front, were enough of a design cue.
Of course, all those ads on TV talking about a burglar alarm on a bike with autolock, was enough to get the tongues wagging.
I never cared for electronics on a vehicle, as far as I know, they just mean that the vehicle breaks down more often.
And that is the one thing I can't stand. That's where the Rockstar version was for me, with great analog dials.
Even though the Centuro did actually break down, but that was because I was blocking the air filter which was under the seat.
Now who goes and puts an air filter under a seat. That's the problem of new design, it should build on the strengths of the old design and only change what didn't work in the first place.
So the electric start is great.
The fact that you can unlock the seat is great.
The key fob which looks like a car key, is great too, because it means that it doesn't scratch your phone, when it's in your pocket and that you don't need an additional key chain, which because a big deal when I lost it for a Dio I was riding, I mean I don't like key chains because they usually end up scratching the vehicle, unless it's a leather key chain, which is what my bike and car key chain is.
Imagine deciding to pick up your wife from a bus stop, and then realising you lost your key, that's the shit, because then what happens, is that you wait at the bike, then realise you don't have the key, and then go back to the bus stop to take the bus back and bring a duplicate, that's a big waste, especially when your daughter is waiting to be dropped later to meet her friends.
The power of an engine can never be easily qualified based on the size of the engine. The gold barred lizard easily makes mincemeat of the Bullet and the Pulsars, stopping short where it comes to a Benelli, but where's the comparison when you are talking about a vehicle that costs ten times as much.
And the main punch is the fact that with today's technology, even an 800CC vehicle can easily match up to a 1.6 litre engine in terms of punch and power.
And looks, the gold barred lizard has those LED eye brows which easily light up in the day, for what is the first in any bike in this category.
The lizard doesn't really need a lot of maintenance, but it does require a mechanic from Mahindra, since most of these garage guys haven't even seen most of the technology here, especially the ECU.
Labels: Bajaj, bangalore, benelli, bullet, centuro, louis, mahindra, octavia, pulsar, qualis, royal enfield, skoda, vespa, vuitton