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Sunday, April 29, 2012

The RX and the City



It roars across the city raising the dust in its tracks. It clears all the traffic in its way no matter how thick it is.  It feels like a monster and guzzles fuel by the gallon. It is a long standing symbol of power, aggression and arrogance. And no, I am not talking about the Humvee or the Haryana Roadways bus. She is my Yamaha RX-135, set loose in the city of Bangalore. 


Lets start with the numbers first. I own a 2001 model, bought second hand for Rs. 25,000. It had been ridden 20,000 km then (and now after a year it is 30,000 km). For the unfamiliar, It has a single cylinder, two stroke engine, with a displacement of 132.00 ccm which gives a 12 bhp burst at 6500  rpm, and a torque of 12 nm at 5500 rpm. In other words, a 0-60 kmph in 5 sec. It has a 4-speed gear box and a top speed of 120 kmph. It is small in size and weighs less than 100 kg (its power-to-weight ratio is more than that of a mini cooper) which gives it an outstanding maneuverability, making it a perfect city bike: and me and her have been through a lot on the streets of this city.
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When I first came to Bangalore, it was my dream to own a Bullet. But due to the lack of availability, slow disillusionment and the congested roads, I went for an RX. I finally landed a good deal after looking for two weeks. 

I was now an owner of an RX, and I couldn't fully appreciate this then, but I could see of what this bike meant for the previous owner. He was teary eyed when he had to part with her. He took some snaps and nostalgically told me stories like how he used to beat every other bike when he was riding this one. Now, after a year, I understand what this bike meant to him and I am sure I am not ever letting go of her.

Irrespective of what people say, owning a bike like an RX is like owning a pet tigress or having a girlfriend. If you understand her well, treat her with respect, take care of her and trust her, she can go a long way, through thick and thin. Otherwise, she will make your life hell. This is something I got to learn on the very first day. I was having starting problem with the bike and had to drag her for three kilometers, mean while, getting wet in the famous Bangalore rains. It turned out that I had not put enough lubricant in the fuel, was giving the wrong amount of race while starting and the bike needed to be re-tuned. Today, I know her a lot better and I actually look forward to the rains. 

She herself too has gone through a lot of changes: both tires (they were extremely worn off), the battery (it was almost dead), the handle, fork and the wiring (a truck had literally run over her). But her heart (the engine) is still as mighty as ever.  
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Bangalore is famous for its weather, its pubs, its IT industry and most of all, its ridiculous traffic. There are frequent jams on all the major roads and a ten minute commute can take as long as an hour. A fifteen kilometer commute is like an endurance test. Even more ridiculous than the traffic here is the traffic sense, which borders on natural or induced lunacy. The BBMP to seems too have a conspiracy against the commuters. They dig up the roads with the promise of flyovers and metros and no one ever seems to be working on these sites.



The RX is perfect for such a setting. Being small, fast and highly responsive, it can cut through running or stagnant traffic like a hot knife. It can also glide through the dirt tracks and obstacle courses that BBMP has put up everywhere. And yes, it still beats every other vehicle around. With the RX, Bangalore's dubious town planning seems like a playground.


After 10 pm, Bangalore becomes a different city. All the offices and shops close down, the roads become practically empty and the weather becomes much cooler: basically a bikers paradise. And it is at night when the RX, releasing her full potential, actually becomes lightning and thunder.   

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Every biker is in love with his bike, and my case is no exception. And like any other love affair, it is something you can't really explain in words, you have to feel it. The piston's revs in your guts, the sudden torque, the engine's heat, the sound of the exhaust. Then there are special moments: an accidental wheelie, skidding through a dirt track, swerving a collision by a hairline or getting into a fight after one. And finally, there are the good and the bad times that you have been through together, on the road or otherwise. The  bike becomes a part of the biker's identity . . . 


. . .

Written for: www.facebook.com/CastrolBiking

13 comments:

  1. Simply superb. The owner seems to have fallen in love with the bike, and "she" deserves the attention and affection she is getting.

    Coming to the quality of presentation: This post is as good as any short romantic story from an acclaimed writer. Hat's off to the blogger for the way of presentation, and soulfullness of this literary piece.

    ReplyDelete
  2. nice i say!!
    :)
    Love the photus.. whenever i write something like this i end up going too long... this is just right! :)

    on similar lines...something i wrote..
    http://those-wer-the-days.blogspot.in/2009/03/love.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thanku ...:)

      I recommend the above post for all motor-heads!

      Delete
  3. dum fuk.... very nice....
    i shouldnt be writing here as am going against a govt. body here.. haha
    as if i care
    --good one with conspiracy of muncipality--
    n yes...get disks in front wheel


    n get a sword for rear seat (for the fights, u know)


    hehe, vry nice

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. haan... disks and sword very much needed... probably neon headlights also!

      Delete
  4. Awesome man. I didn't know you have started to understand bike 's language. You love birds enjoy your night on lonely roads of Bangaluru. Give my regards to your darling.

    ReplyDelete
  5. thanks,
    yeah ... I can understand, and it was cribbing abt you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. yeah... we all share some memorable times with our bikes both good and bad.. nicely written post....

    ReplyDelete
  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
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