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Old 24th February 2008, 15:02   #1
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Default YetiBlog® - Yamaha RX100 memories

I cannot get it into neutral, ever! said Revvhead when he called me a few weeks ago. But what are you doing with an RX??? I asked incredulously.

I inherited it.

Well it lies between the 1st and 2nd gear. You have to find it by feel. When I come over I'll show you.

After I disconnected I smiled. Many of you would wonder why Revvhead would call the Yeti for advice on a motorbike. I thought about it too. For short while. Then it was gone from my mind.
It was my 18th birthday. I was studying in Mithibai college at Vile Parle. Super Thepla cool.
I would take a rickshaw from my place to New Talkies at Hill Road and then bus 371 to SV Road/ Vile parle Station junction. A short walk past Rasraj restaurant and I'd be at college.
I had suffered a very bad bus accident a few months earlier. I was hit by a bus. But that is material for another story.

He wants a bike for his birthday.

But it's dangerous to ride a bike in Mumbai!

Well, he had an accident while he was walking. What are you going to do, keep him hidden in your apron your whole life?

I don't like the idea.

Well, I think it's fine. Show him a little faith, he's a good boy.

Fine if you think he'll be OK. But if something happens to him then you see.
Beta, if that's what you want then fine. Have you chosen one? Yamaha?? That's not so popular! See your cousin and his Hero Honda CD100 he's so happy and what average he gets wah wah.
What do you mean you'd rather walk?? What's wrong with a Hero Honda? That is also 100cc.
What about a KB100 like your other cousin. That's a quick bike. Seize? What seize? What uphill climb?
Fine, fine. OK. Fine. How much does it cost?

I went with my Dad to Bombay Cycle and Motorcar company at Chowpatty. There it was. My Yamaha RX100. Japanese wala. On the speedo panel it said YAMAHA. Not ESCORTS. I already knew it was a legend. I pointed at the RX100 and sat down, staring wistfully at the RD350.
My Father wrote the cheque and we were to come back in a week for the bike. I went alone. The salesman tried to show me where the choke was and how to put the fuel cock on.
I just stared at him like he was mad, kick started and left.

Went straight to Alibhai Premji and bought myself a Studds Helmet. One I hardly wore.
The next 7 years of my life, I lived on that RX. I did everything on it. I never walked. I'd go from one gate of the building to the other on my bike. That RX100 was an extension of my body.
Priya from my building loved bikes and bike rides. Her parents forbade it. I was 20 and she was 16. I'd ride 200m away and wait, she'd come running and we'd go off on these long bike rides. We got into trouble too, when her parents found out.
That metallic firing and the vibrations that travelled all the way up to my seat were like my own breathing.

I must have run that odometer over back to zero. Paanch rupye ka petrol daalna I would say to the shocked petrol pump attendant, who would be shaking his head. Fuel was 10 bucks a liter and 5 bucks was enough to roam around bandra for a day. Half a liter would get me around 15 kms or so.

If the rear tyre was punctured, I'd ride all the way upfront. Placing my weight on the fuel tank and front tyre till I reached the puncturewala. Triple seat, upside down, no hands no legs, lying down. Changing places with the pillion without stopping the bike. Yeah every stupid and dangerous thing that 20 year olds do without thinking. That motorbike was an extension of my body, of my arms and legs.

And that bike. Always ran perfectly. Strong reliable, beautiful. Once in a while Mario would fix her up if something went wrong. But nothing ever did.

Then I had that terrible accident on my way to Pune. I was wearing a helmet and I didn't break any bones but I was bruised bad and the bike was totalled. We had to ask the ST bus to back up so we could extract the bike from under the double wheel.
I was older and wiser soon after. A few years later I sold the Yamaha RX100 and never rode one again.

Till last night.

It was meant to be. Priya was back from New York. We had had no time to hang out together. We were supposed to hang out last night when Revvhead called. Dinner and drinks at my place tonight.
So when Priya called I asked her if she wanted to join me at a small get-together at my friends house. He's cool, said I. OK, let's go together. I was going out with her after at least 10 years.

A few hours later we're chilling and chatting. He lives on the ground floor. Outside is the smoking area. We step out to see the new LIGHTFORCE lights on his baleno. Later he grins and says, Dude, wanna see the RX? Wanna show me how to get it into neutral?

He's holding the keys. There it is. It's not my bike but it looks the same. Black, simple with chrome. I snatch the keys and start showing him how to put it into neutral. I can do it with ease.

I cannot take it anymore. I start her up and rev. I look at him. Go if you want to, be careful no helmet.
I'm gone. I'm free. I can feel this bike, I haven't forgotten anything. The way it handles, the way it revs. The annoying 6V headlight that dims everytime you stop revving. The clackety gears that amazing response.

I hear the metallic firing and those engine vibrations that travel up my spine from that hard seat. I'm alive. I'm 20 again. I feel like shouting and laughing and crying all the the same time. I've forgotten about the party. About Revvhead and about priya who was on her phone when I left.

Priya! I would have slapped myself on the forehead if I didn't need my hands on the handle.

I turn around. Back at home she's stading at the door grinning. I don't need to tell her. It may have been 14 years ago but she knows what I'm doing on that RX. She runs up to the bike and jumps on. We ride in silence. I know she's 16 again in her head.

20 minutes later we return. Not much has been said. I hand the keys to Revvhead who can feel the emotion. He has been my friend for many years. How was it?
I look at him. The tears are coming. Thanks.
Dude you lived on that RX.
I know. Thank you for taking away 15 years of my life in one night.

And thank you for reading my story. Bye.

Last edited by GTO : 25th February 2008 at 17:41. Reason: PM sent
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Old 24th February 2008, 15:10   #2
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Damn boy !

You brought tears to my eyes.
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Old 24th February 2008, 15:22   #3
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That was a beautifully written account, Sam.

Wonderful how you put your emotions on paper, very touching and a thorough pleasure to read.

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Old 24th February 2008, 15:26   #4
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Sam i wish when i am your age i can recollect and remember the times i am having right now with a smile on my face
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Old 24th February 2008, 15:33   #5
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I am speechless. Amazing recollection Sam Bhai.
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Old 24th February 2008, 16:19   #6
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awesome recollection and write up ! brought back my own memories of my RX 135 maroon 4 speed, the best bike to go around bangalore traffic and gullies and to race with the 4 strokers..

I miss that bike and got it ride around 2 years back, a software engineer friend bought it brand new then, could not resist ripping it in every gear

I sold it with the catcon and still have the chrome exhaust
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Old 24th February 2008, 16:23   #7
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It's manly to cry right....... does bring back a lot om memories...
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Old 24th February 2008, 17:21   #8
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g.u.l.ppp.. how do you do it man!?!
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Old 24th February 2008, 17:23   #9
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Trust Sam to bring it all to life.
Sam, it felt much more than just reading. Thanks !
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Old 24th February 2008, 17:47   #10
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Originally Posted by Sam Kapasi View Post
I was studying in Mithibai college at Vile Parle. Super Thepla cool.
A short walk past Rasraj restaurant and I'd be at college.
Aahh, Mithibai, Rasraj, the tree at Dhiraj! What memories! I walked past Rasraj almost everyday for 2 years. Mithibai rocks!

Sorry, I cannot relate much to the RX, but great story. It was a good read.
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Old 24th February 2008, 17:58   #11
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Biker sam , its time to get a bike again . Go get one .
Another hidden biker surfaces . : ). Whos next ?
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Old 24th February 2008, 17:59   #12
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my dad had an RX. Pity he sold the beast before i could ever lay my hands on it. Both me + dad have regretted that decision... :(
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Old 24th February 2008, 18:20   #13
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Thumbs up

Excellent Sam! Tooo good!
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Old 24th February 2008, 18:33   #14
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Awesome recollection.
Makes me so very nostalgic.
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Old 24th February 2008, 18:40   #15
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Sam, that was a very heart warming write up. Can we have a pic of Yeti® wearing knickers and riding a RX
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