She, Me and Her.

8 Oct
On top of a pass after crossing Thimpu towards Punakha, ( the old capital of Bhutan)

On top of a pass after crossing Thimpu towards Punakha, ( the old capital of Bhutan)

Motorcycles and men have a very strange relationship.  like lovers lost in time, but now reunited.

Women never seem to get it, nor  do they ever want to get it, because they are always a  tad jealous since they get a little less attention than our beloved “Darlin’s of Steel”

It’s really hard to explain to her those certain moments,  like worrying about your motorcycle getting wet, when it’s raining outside, or when you see a scratch on the tank that didn’t exist till yesterday night. Maybe it’s the work of the gremlins, but then how do I explain, why we are so emotionally attached?

“It’s just a bike” she hisses under her breath pushing my hands away as I try and cuddle myself up to her hoping she drops the topic.

“Meditation,” I say,

“timepass with no purpose”, she corrects.

waiting for my mates in the middle of no where, ( ladakh)

waiting for my mates in the middle of nowhere, ( Ladakh)

This Spring, I decided that if I were to take her on a trip with me, maybe she would start understanding why a man is so passionate about his ride, but by the time we reached the outskirts, she wanted to go back since her bottom was in agony and she could sit no more.

I had to call the easy cab to ferry her back home,

90 % of me wanted to carry on, but the 10 % consisted of the heart, and so i turned back to where we had begun.

And guess what? It’s raining tonight as well.

magnetic hill on our way to Kargil from Leh

magnetic hill on our way to Kargil from Leh

A Typical day with my British Single.

6 Oct

Hope Floats,

Like leaves in the river of time.

Hope is what we live for.

Hoping for a better future than the one behind.

With lesser Regrets hopefully.

The Ironies of life.

That is HOPE.

Enroute to Kanyakumari, the southern most tip of india, where the Arabian sea meets the Indian ocean and the Bay of Bengal

Enroute to Kanyakumari, the southern most tip of India, where the Arabian Sea meets the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal

My typical day with Hope usually starts at Dawn, just when the rising sun begins to illuminate the distant eastern horizons.
1. Brush your teeth,
2. Put on your gear
3. Head to the parking lot with my bare essentials divided in two small bags, and a  heavier third one consisting of ‘new replaceable’s’  for the old single to keep her chugging along. Sometimes I end up camping, so the packing of the tents and sleeping bag gets a little long and tedious.

1. Check the engine oil and top it up, using an old empty cigarette pack lying around the ground somewhere as a funnel.

2. Check the tyres.

3. Load the luggage.

Finally, its time to wake up my Darlin ‘Hope’, from her slumbers. She is Proud, Loyal, Immaculately Gorgeous. An absolute charmer. My pretty ‘Darlin of Steel’.

The chassis is burdened by an ancient yet beautifully crafted 500 cc, 4 stroke AVL single cylinder engine which is sufficient in the long journeys, and equally capable in the day-to-day commute as well. Being a proper British, she genetically inherits the famous “Stiff upper lip” when it comes to starting the engine. Doesn’t matter if it’s the first start of the day, or you’re in the middle of the traffic.

somewhere in Gujarat.sometimes is better to bow down to mother nature and appreciate her many avatars

somewhere in Gujarat.
sometimes is better to bow down to mother nature and appreciate her many avatars

The Daily steps…

1.Pull  the choke nestled behind the carburetor  from the left side beneath the tank,

2. Twist open the Petrol tap.

3. Press the De-Compress and kick the starter lever a couple of times to cork the engine. Once the engine corks ( you know it by experience.) Breathe in a lung full of air and give it a good kick.

Usually, she starts within a couple of tries. During particular days, when the angle of the moon and the sun is in some god-forsaken alignment, Hope tires the shit out of me with an occasional sore right calf, as she stubbornly refuses to fire. Finally having her share of fun, she suddenly decides to start coyly, AAh! women I tell you. But by this time I’m only too tired, and make a mental note to discuss this issue with her later in the day.

Once she settles into a heartwarming rhythm of thumps, I finally take ‘er off the center stand, swing my legs over, stomp in the first gear and start another brilliant brand new day that lies ahead of me.

enroute to Kashmir from Leh...

en route to Kashmir from Leh…

The single cylinder takes her time getting a little warmed up but once she is good to go we usually settle at a decent 70kms, chugging away with great enthusiasm

Once I settle into my mojo, the beautiful AVL engine now in her elements entices me to push a little more and we gracefully touch the 100 km mark, without breaking a sweat. There isn’t much to do then, really! All you’ve really gotta remember is to always ride in a rhythm if you’re touring on a British Single. They are like horses and need to be ridden like one.

After a good hour and a half ride later, I start troubling myself with mental calculations on the weather and the number of kilometers left before I need to fill’er up. But above all the biggest concern is where do we get good breakfast.

Breakfast at German Bakery, Pune.

Breakfast at German Bakery, Pune.

Those moments of utter stupidity on the Enfield 500

23 Jul

Revelation occurs in the most random of places i have just discovered

I  was riding along the western ghats on my way to Bombay,  minding my own little business when i chanced upon a delicious looking left-hander, that shook my balls and my brain awake from their instant slumber. it was a gradual turn like the final turn in Catalunya Spain, now made famous by the Rossi’s magic over Lorenzo. only this was the opposite direction now.  Due to the massive impact of watching the video so much, my single cylinder was miraculously now a massive inline 4 producing a ball smacking 200+ bhp.

Instinctively i crouched under my now windscreen, and i sped like my ass was on fire down the incline searching for my perfect line for the ravishing corner just waiting to be spanked. just then in that moment of happiness,my stupidity as always right on the cue decided to torment me again.

Here I was mentally matching Rossi pace for pace and style for style, and I was suddenly woken up by the harsh reality of my ancient front brakes of the enfield which were as lifeless as a fish on a frying pan waiting to be served.

The enevitable truth flashed before my eyes that i was too HOT for the turn.

The ol” speedo stick was now shaking like Elvis’s hips in their bad day along the 100 km mark, and i was less than 20 meters before my entry into the 70 km left hander. i instictively slammed in the fourth gear and let the clutch go, and dived into the left hander with my right hand curled over the front brake, gradually applying pressure, in sync with the rear brake, which at this time was as effective as the front.

Initially it was fine, till i realised that the mid corner speed was increasing due to the slope and the exit was pretty tight, and i was already in my maximum braking potential my front could give me. Lifting the bike up and slowing down a little was a good second option,  but the influence of a huge tanker behind me  with almost matching velocity kind of made it a little unsafe.

murmuring words from all religious texts, i decided to do the unthinkable, slant the motorycycle so low that the footpegs start grinding and hopefully we’ll make it, praying that the front would stay…

And it was at this very moment that a revelation occurred to me. Its not how fast you travel, or what speed you decide to cruise by. What matters most is whether you have the heart to take the plunge and relink with mans oldest  barbaric instinct of exploring beyond the horizions. but of course, to do that, you’d have to survive the turn first….

Don’t be no Mardy Bum come Monsoons

4 Feb
the Western Ghats

Every monsoon,

She gets into one of those moods that’s hard to describe.

The dark thunder clouds of Bombay look like Sponge bobs in front of her wrath…

She refuses to sing to me,

And fails me when i need her the most.

Yet i love her unconditionally.

The other time, she wouldn’t speak to me for a whole week.

I had to call in the emergency to even make her squeak,

But too much moping under the rains has given her the cold…

She Sputters and Coughs when we sing duets now.

Yet i love her unconditionally.

She wants to go out to the country side again,

Like the time we did last year,

She wants to dance along the Western Ghats

Like the summer a year before.

But all i make her do is wait.

As i shamelessly Procrastinate.

Though my patience now is running low,

And the maintenance bills are piling on

Yet i’d give her roses on a bow,

For i’ll always love her unconditionally.

Waiting for the rain gods to calm down. Somewhere in South India
Waiting for the rain gods to calm down. Somewhere in South India Waiting for the rain gods to calm down. Somewhere in South India

That familiar feel of the British Single

3 Feb

After many days of coaxing myself out of my slumber I finally managed to make a short trip towards Daman. It had been almost 2 months I’d been absent from the saddle, and I had been craving for some time

thimpu bhutan
thimpu bhutan HOPE. somewhere in Bhutan

getting introduced to the pleasure all over again.
Being a sunday right after republic day, I was delighted to find almost no traffic, and as I slowly twist the throttle, the massive 500cc cylinder happily chugged me along 70km, with not a sign of stress. With the needle almost touching north, I eased myself on the saddle admiring one of the best roads for motorcycles in india. The NH- 4(check) is an orgasmic route of 1600 kms from Mumbai to Delhi. Its a 4 lane highway smoother than the polished chrome on my machismo. And you can blindly trust the quality of the track, as you prepare to shift your bodyweight to negotiate a mouthwatering 90km right hander.
The avl engine now taking bait, infuses ruthless train like torque as I am pulled Forward, as I hopelessly tuck myself creating a bubble as I exit the corner. I quickly glance at the ol’ speedo needle, and I’m surprised to see it hovering around the 120s, with still a wee bit of juice left in the engine, I let the accelerator pull it self back to zero and I can feel the weight nose dive forward drastically as she decides to sing with loud firings that sound like gun shots .oh! That wonderful background score,
Wiping tears from my eyes, thanks to my open faced helmets,  I give the single cylinder some rest by cruising along the 70’s and instantly I can feel the bond again, as visions of all the wonderful trips together flood my memories, of distant hidden lands in some long lost time.
After a 30minute breakfast break. The return journey was more like a time trial, except your hands were steadying the horns of of over excited young bull  bull instead of a gamepad. the enfield was just bang in her element, as the speed of 90kms to 110kms fell in her sweet spot for your right wrists orgasmic pleasure. Thanking the gods for the massive torque  and the beautiful 5th gear, you come out of the slipstream to over take another victim of your reunion, the machine sings with you continously all along the way. The thump now a roar is equally satisfying, and I make a mental. Note to come back with my goldstar fitted and the carbs retuned by the magician of enfields Anthony.
The engine is better than ever and I can be calm for a while now, and not worry about the engine, as I am negotiating sand dunes or  a muddy pass route in some distant land in the coming future.
She is in her elements, Hope.

My fantastic Steel Toes.

3 Feb


After 7 gruelling years on all terrains, after travelling all over India and Bhutan, not to mention the Heightest Motorable road in the world. Looks like it’s not gonna give up on me yet.

Well, when you have been on the road for the last 7 years, facing our  good ol’ mother nature in her extreme, as you cruise all over the Vast Indian Subcontinent, not much is expected to be left out of you. Yet these wonderful Steel toes of mine, just keep going on and on and on.

Purchased in the beginning of 2006, it was my instant riding boots, due to the tough built and the steel toe. After many seasons of riding all around, these wonderful boots have never broken down on me. Although she has been through a lot of abuses, yet she manages to hold her shape, and always deliver when i need her the most, whether its the deserts of Rajasthan, or the cold river crossings of Ladakh or the sea shores of The South.

And the best part is that they look superb on the Enfield.