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Old 4th July 2005, 23:26   #1
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Default Car or Motorcycle - for long, cross country drives ?

In his best seller "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", author Robert Pirsig writes:

"..You see things vacationing on a motorcycle in a way that is completely different from any other. In a car you're always in a compartment, and because you're used to it you don't realize that through that car window everything you see is just more TV. You're a passive observer and it is all moving by you boringly in a frame.

On a cycle the frame is gone. You're completely in contact with it all. You're in the scene, not just watching it anymore, and the sense of presence is overwhelming. That concrete whizzing by five inches below your foot is the real thing, the same stuff you walk on, it's right there, so blurred you can't focus on it, yet you can put your foot down and touch it anytime, and the whole thing, the whole experience, is never removed from immediate consciousness..."

having done many trips (not very long ones, but 9 to 15hr trips) on both motorcycles and cars, I tend to agree.., the feeling that "you are part of the scene" is somewhat lost when you are in the car

what do you say ?
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Old 5th July 2005, 01:08   #2
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This is one of those never ending discussions. I ain't falling for something as subjective as this.

I like driving my car and it doesn't make a diff what others feel about it. To each his own.

Shan2nu
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Old 5th July 2005, 10:08   #3
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Hey, riding a bike here in India isn't all that exciting, considering it is the way most of the population goes around. These Americans are so much car-oriented that any experience on a bike seems like nirvana to them.

Actually, having graduated from a bike to a small car to a big car, I'd say that on the whole the driving experience in a car is anyday better than on a bike. Riding a bike as your only mode of transport takes away any fun. If the roads are good and in moderate traffic, there is nothing to beat a bike. But for everyday travel, I prefer a car. Any day.
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Old 5th July 2005, 10:41   #4
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I agree with Shantanu this is quite a debatable topic & will lead to nowhere. & as he said To each his own :-)
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Old 5th July 2005, 11:40   #5
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IMHo, if this was even the US, it would have to be a car. Even though I like biking and the wind through my hair. You feel at one with the machine when you are on a motorcycle, but at the end of the day, I am spoiled for creature comforts - something that is tough to get on a bike.

I have read the book, and though the account seems romantic and stimulating, I cannot do it ... a Car it is for me.
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Old 5th July 2005, 12:10   #6
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In India, its hard to choose really, as both, driving and riding on our highways is not always a pleasure, what with diesel fumes, dust and grime, blinding headlights and the grim reaper sitting on your shoulder during overtaking. Unfortunatly I have not gone for any really long rides in India yet, so will comment after a long trip I plan on doing after the monsoons.

However, if this were abroad, it would have to be a bike. I've done 15 hour trips without a hitch and was always sad the trip was over. Its a pleasure riding a fast motorcycle on great roads in great weather. Nothing comes close to that feeling. No, probably not even a drive down those same roads in a 911 turbo (although i'd be willing to try if anyone gave me a chance ).
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Old 5th July 2005, 12:22   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GS300
having done many trips (not very long ones, but 9 to 15hr trips) on both motorcycles and cars, I tend to agree.., the feeling that "you are part of the scene" is somewhat lost when you are in the car

what do you say ?
Having done many such trips in my younger days (Cochin-B'lore a few times through all possible routes, Cochin-Kodai through the Munnar goat track, Cochin-CBE-Ooty, Cochin-Mangalore and Cochin-Trivandrum a few times, amongst others) I now have a very bad back, having had to undergo surgery for 3 slipped vertebrae.

The doctor pointed a finger very firmly at my riding past. Lets face it - our roads - and more importantly our bikes - are not meant for such adventures. None of them are comfortable cruisers and I remember having to combat stiffness in the lower back at every chai-stop.

Its no fun to have your back cut open for a surgeon to play around with your spine. Ride short, ride safe!
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Old 5th July 2005, 12:26   #8
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Steer, u r riding experiences are scary.
Felt bullet would have been fine to see India on motorcycle.
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Old 5th July 2005, 13:29   #9
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for me it always will be a motorcycle....i have travelled the entire length of the country (kargil to chennai) on a motorcycle & nothing beats the experience ... i still travel long distances on a motorcycle if i am alone.
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Old 6th July 2005, 11:48   #10
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Age plays an important role in deciding between bike and a car.

It's a great feeling when we assemble at a place with 5-6 bikes to start a long journey. I do not get that feel nowadays when we go in a car.

Now based on our experience, we organize everything perfect before we kick off, by this way itself half of the fun is lost.

Unorgainzed trips at the younger age with lot of twist and turns during the journey is really great.
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Old 6th July 2005, 12:59   #11
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The longest trip I have done on a bike is from Ahmedabad to Pune - with a few hours halt at Baroda and an overnighter at Aurangabad. Total time of the journey (on the road) was 20 hours, most of it in the night.

Trust me it was not pleasant, but our enthusiasm kept us going. We had just passed out of IIM A and wanted to surprise our family by arriving on our bikes. My guess is that bike journeys are cool if you have nothing else to do. I particularly enjoyed scraping the footrest on the twisties on the ghat near Aurangabad fort. My friend on a CBZ had his engine die on him and was pretty pissed off though. The previous few hours, in the night were a nightmare however, because for a long time we were the only ones on the road. I also remember the ghat which we crossed behind a convoy of trucks only to be stopped by the police at the end. Only then we came to know that there had been a few incidents with bandits on that stretch.

All my short, leisurely jaunts on a motorcycle have been extremely pleasurable. So yeah, I kind of agree with Surprise.
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Old 8th July 2005, 14:07   #12
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imagine going to ladakh and NOT feeling cold.
imagine travelling through Rajasthan and not getting sand in the wrinkles of ur clothes and skin,
imagine rain as something just to turn wipers on for, not have to stop under a shanty + a chai for.
imagine a puncture in the middle of nowhere so u have to hitch a ride to get the tube fixed.
imagine a book of travel stories without a bruise or two.
imagine missing out on a 130degree view with missed spottings of birds and clouds and mountaintops.

I love driving (zen, now City) but biking *is* something else. U don't even want to get anywhere, or go fast. u just go on and on and on.

can u do half of karnataka in 5 days for 2500/- (all costs incl fuel) in a car ?

in a car u're by default the 'rich dude' and fewer ppl will interact freely. on a bike u make more pals.

Subjective ? yeah. but its riding for me. Esp alone.

- sameer
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Old 9th July 2005, 20:00   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zenx
imagine going to ladakh and NOT feeling cold.
imagine travelling through Rajasthan and not getting sand in the wrinkles of ur clothes and skin,
imagine rain as something just to turn wipers on for, not have to stop under a shanty + a chai for.
imagine a puncture in the middle of nowhere so u have to hitch a ride to get the tube fixed.
imagine a book of travel stories without a bruise or two.
imagine missing out on a 130degree view with missed spottings of birds and clouds and mountaintops.

I love driving (zen, now City) but biking *is* something else. U don't even want to get anywhere, or go fast. u just go on and on and on.

can u do half of karnataka in 5 days for 2500/- (all costs incl fuel) in a car ?

in a car u're by default the 'rich dude' and fewer ppl will interact freely. on a bike u make more pals.

Subjective ? yeah. but its riding for me. Esp alone.

- sameer

Just too Puuuurrrfecct !!!
The feeling of riding a bike can never be matched in a cage !!
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Old 11th July 2005, 02:54   #14
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The length of a long drive is subjective. The long drives in India are certainly shorter than in other countries with a freeway system. If it is the autobahns and the autostade I would want to drive in winter and ride in summer. The winter temperatures, and intermittent rain take the pleasure out of riding.

In India the longest I have ridden a motorcycle is Blore-Mysore on a Rx100(early 90s). I had no ear plugs, no gloves, no jacket, I was wornout after riding for 150 kms. I hear the roads are much better now. I am not built to ride a bike cross country in India, I would rather drive an SUV like scorpio.

In the US The roads by the Pacific ocean are great, you always have bright sunlight, cool pacific breeze, and mountains on the other side. I have done the Pacific coast Highway on my honda cbr, and my Mustang convertible, both are nice in their own way. You can hop in, hop out, sip a coffee, eat, and talk while enjoying the drive. Riding is different altogether, the adrenaline rush at the twisties cannot be compared to anything else. But you cannot hop in and out of the bike, getting into the riding gear, helmets, earbuds, & gloves tend to discourage you from making frequent stops at great view points.

-Prasadee
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Old 18th May 2006, 21:10   #15
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Post Now I know this is a debatable topic,,

And of course every one will have his own views on this topic. But here is my Humble Opinion,,,,,,Bikes!!!! Especially if you are going alone.

I am a very new Member here and more active on a Bikerz forum elsewhere......

Those who are motorbike fanatics here will love this link... There is lot of car bashing there (Its a motorbike community afterall)

To understand some people prefer motorcycles more than cars,, see this

And for the motorbike freaks,,, Guys this is the Best site on Motorcycle travel. Check it out,,...
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