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|22nd October 2007, 18:43||#1|
A story of a biker
Ever since that eventful day in 1989 when I - all of 15 years of age - first rode a bullet and saw the speedo go beyond a 100 , I was hooked to two wheels and speed..
Went through college dreaming of fast bikes too broke to own one.
In 1995 I got my first job in Bangy , getting paid a princely sum of 1500 Rs a month and decided I had to get myself a bike - Choice was between a Shogun and 92 bull std.. I wanted the shogun, but dad voted for the Bull so the Bull it was.
Within a month I figured out I had to get a better job to pay for the bull and its thirst, so joined a sales job only so I could ride my bike all day..
In 1996 I joined Infy and enjoyed the unobstructed Hosur road for an year.. Blowing out my engine twice going too fast... The bike traveled with me wherever I went in India.. When I was abroad I dreamt about it..
On a trip to Melbourne in 2002 was a my first encounter with a big bike. A 2001 yamaha roadstar 1300.. I rented that baby for a weekend rode her for 1600 miles in 3 days... Decided then that the next time I stayed abroad for a long enough period, I was buying a big bike..
This happened in March 2005 when we moved to Atlanta for a 2 year stint.. This was 2 months after I had completely overhauled my bull. I was not prepared to let her sit and rot for 2 years, so with a heavy heart I sold it to a colleague on the one condition that if he ever sold the bull , it would only be back to me.
Within a month of our landing there and before any of the women in the family could convince my wife against I bought a beat up 1992 Honda CB750 nighthawk for 1450$ ON eBay - got shafted sort of coz one of the tires was bald and the top Triple tree was shot.. Had to shell out 300$ to ge both fixed , but ever since she ran trouble free for 2 years
I rode her all over Atlanta, but was too scared to ride long distance as she felt too small.. Yes you heard that right .. a 170 kg 750 cc bike will feel small on american highways where 3 ton SUVs are doing 90 miles an hour..
I was on the hunt for a 2001-02 liter class bike, and was yo-yoing between a sport bike and a naked bike. One ride of an R6 convinced me that it was either a naked bike or I had get into shape.. It was easier to get a naked bike
The options narrowed to the 4 japanese naked bikes,
R1 engined Yamaha FZ1, the gixer engined Suzuki Bandit 1200R ,the ZX engined Eddie Lawson replica Kawasaki ZXR1200R and the Fireblade engined Honda CB919 aka Hornet. Rode all 4 and the decision got tougher.. Finally the Fuel injection in the Honda made the cut as the other 3 had carbs.
Bought it from a couple who also had an FZ1 and an Aprilia RSV 1000 R FACTORY. The man knew his bikes and had a fully equipped workshop, including a tire changer.. He was running Mtlezers on all 3 bike..
The Honda has a two brother's carbon fiber exhaust, brand new metlezer tires, a fender eliminator in the rear and smaller front sprocket.
I was sold.. It was love at first sight..Dont you agree?
Type: Liquid-cooled, transverse, inline, 4-stroke four
Valve arrangement: DOHC, 4 valves/cyl., shim-under-bucket adjustment
Bore x stroke: 71.0 x 58mm
Compression ratio: 10.8:1
Carburetion: PGM-FI, 36mm throttle bodies
CHASSIS Front suspension: 43mm cartridge fork, 4.7 in. travel; no adjustment
Rear suspension: Single shock absorber, 5.0 in. travel; adjustment for spring preload
Front brake: 2, four-piston calipers, 296mm discs
Rear brake: single-piston caliper, 240mm disc
Front wheel: 3.50 x 17 in.; cast-alloy
Rear wheel: 5.5 x 17 in.; cast alloy
Front tire: 120/70-ZR17 Michelin Hi Sport
Rear tire: 180/55-ZR17 Michelin Hi Sport
Rake/trail: 25.0 deg./3.9 in. (98mm)
Wheelbase: 57.5 in. (1461mm)
Seat height: 31.5 in. (800mm)
Fuel capacity: 5.0 gal. (19L)
Weight: 485 lb. (220kg) wet; 455 lb. (206kg) dry
Instruments: Speedometer, tachometer, LCD odometer/tripmeter, temperature gauge, lights for neutral, high beam, turn signals, low oil pressure, fuel injection warning
Fuel consumption: 32 to 42 mpg, 37 mpg avg.
Quarter-mile: 11.09 sec. @ 121.77 mph (corrected)
Roll-ons: 60-80mph/3.68 sec., 80-100mph/4.02 sec.
Didnt think twice .. My wife was amazed that I made a decision on a bike so fast... Wrote the man a cheque and rode the black beauty home
Rode this baby all over the place.. For once I was not afraid of the freeways. My bike held his own in the windstream from the passing tractor trailers..
I was making plans to move back in October this year
Around July t I discovered team bhp and Robin's thread on sbks in India. I did pester him a lot for advice..
On the 25th of July my life was turned upside down. My dad was diagnosed with advanced easophagal cancer and I had to get back to Bangalore ASAP.
Found a shipper, packed everything including the bike in a container and left... in 2 weeks flat..
Got here and dad 's therapy was in full steam. By gods grace my old man is giving the cancer a run for its money..
In the meanwhile my ship gets here in record time and lo and behold my shipper screws up and does not complete the formalities to truck the container from Chennai to Bangy.. I am now stuck with finding an agent in Chennai and clearing customs there. After a 10 day search I found an agent and flew to Chennai to sign all the paper work.
I find out that the bike will take a few days longer than the rest of the stuff
A week later I was called for the Customs inspection and my faith in humanity was restored when I was charged only 4k - yes that is rupees- without giving a single rupee in bribes.. I was also allowed to park the bike , repalleted and covered in a safe area of the warehouse myself .
The agent says he needs 2 more weeks for the bike.. On day 12 I get a frantic call from him saying that the assessment officer has assessed the duty to be 2.75 lacks and whether I wanted to still go ahead. I ask for a meeting with the officer and show up.. What had happened was the agent was not sure of the exact model of the bike and told the officer that it was a 950cc.. No wonder that he assessed a CBR954.. I returned after working out a 1.7 lakh deal - full duty no bribing.
I have posted the full calc in this :
It was another 3 days before I get the magic phone call saying that the duty has been paid and the bike was getting cleared on thursday. I was all set to go to Chennai and ride her down, but no said the family.. On second thoughts I agreed with them that it was not very smart of me trying to ride a bike uninsured, unregistered across state boundaries. So reluctantly I allowed him to be loaded on to a truck and sent to Bangy.
Believe me - I did not sleep all night wondering what was happening.. To compound things I dont get a call from the truck driver till 9 in the morning and I started freaking out.. Called the agent, the transport guy and everybody else to figure out where the hell my bike was ..Finally at about 11:30 the driver of the truck calls saying that the truck is broken down at Hosur and he was transferring the bike on to another truck and will be here within 45 minutes.. An hour and half later another call to say that the transport company has told him not to come to my home in the city , but to drop the load off 25kms outside the city .. I lost it there.. A lot of yelling and 3 phone calls later he agrees to come to my place..
Finally at 2:30 calls again to say he is 6 kms away and cant figure out where to come. I ask him to stay where he is and rush to where the truck was ..
I cannot explain the relief that I felt after I saw the bike in one piece on the back of that truck.
15 mins later , got them to the apt complex I live in and unloaded the bike - pallet and all. Reconnected the battery and found it was too weak to crank. But had enough juice to fun the computer and the fuel pump so he started rolling down an incline.. Man it felt so good hearing him roar again.......
I had contacted an insurance agent who sent a surveyor that same evening.His report came out today and the bike should get insured tomorrow. That is when I slap a for regiisteration sign on and let him loose on Bangy roads..
I plan to get him registered later this week.. Will post that experience live as it happens..
My sister has taken my camera along for a trip - hence pics will take couple of days..
|22nd October 2007, 19:18||#3|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Mar 2005
Thanked: 1,210 Times
Thank you very much for letting us know you better. That was a great write-up and must have taken some time and effort. Your write-up is going to help me sometime. Sometime soon, me thinks.
Welcome to Team BHP, Welcome Home!
|22nd October 2007, 19:43||#4|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Namma Bengaluru
Thanked: 2,594 Times
Fabulous writeup. Your passion for bikes is so evident in your post. Take good care of her (umm.. him actually) buddy and hope to see you with the bike during our meets.
Ride safe dude.
btw, wishing your dad a speedy recovery.
|22nd October 2007, 20:01||#5|
Join Date: Oct 2004
Thanked: 1,644 Times
Prabhu, you must be a satisfied, relaxed man after having been able to clear the customs without any bribing and prolonged delays, congratulations.
A naked bike over many more fancy (some comfortable too) easily available bikes abroad makes your two wheeled brain quite visible.
Also, last couple of months i've noticed an exponential growth in the motorbikes section
|22nd October 2007, 20:06||#6|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Central NJ
Thanked: 2,304 Times
Execellant Write up. Your Biker feelings can be felt in every word you typed. Good to know that you got your steed in good condition.
All the best & ride safe as things are very different in india when SBK riding is concerned(The word SBK is used loosely here for the imports)
|22nd October 2007, 21:26||#7|
Distinguished - BHPian
Join Date: Jul 2006
Thanked: 2,343 Times
Brilliant write-up !! What patience it must have taken from you .
And yes, your passion for the bike is very evident. I just hope one day, I'll be able to buy and own a SBK
|22nd October 2007, 21:54||#8|
Join Date: Apr 2004
Thanked: 176 Times
Very touching story Prabhu. I can feel what you went through on more than one level. It's great that your Dad is doing well, and it's great that you came back along with your baby! I felt terrible to give up my GSX600F in the US when I came back. I could sense the relief and enjoyment when you finally got to ride her in India. It must have felt really weird right?
Also, your experience with the customs can only reaffirm people's faith and maybe set an example for others in similar dilemmas to go ahead and bring their bikes/cars down with them.
Lets hope we can meet up sometime on a ride.
|22nd October 2007, 21:59||#9|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ridin earth now
Thanked: 264 Times
Good write up prabhu . was expecting a log ,but not a such a big one .
Ride safe and take good care of it .
The bike is absolutely gorgeous .Ho those clean tyres , footpegs ,the winscreen , the pipe .Its just awesome.
Meet up sometime ,will ride together if possible .
Very few ppl say it "him" , me too .
Last edited by black12rr : 22nd October 2007 at 22:06.
|22nd October 2007, 22:07||#10|
|23rd October 2007, 00:08||#11|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Houston, Texas
Thanked: 9 Times
Wonderful write-up ,Prabhu!
I can sense every bit of pride you have when you look at the bike. Especially if you are able to take it along where ever you go,thats a totally different feel. Good to know that the customs officials worked things out in a proper manner.
Here's wishing you loads of fun riding the machine in India. I do hope your dad recovers fully,and everything works out just fine.
|23rd October 2007, 11:48||#12|
|23rd October 2007, 11:56||#13|
A naked bike is an element of practicality to the insanity of riding an sbk around in India... Plus in the US it does not piss the cops off too much to get targeted. True sport bikes attract waaaaaaaay too much trouble..
|23rd October 2007, 11:58||#14|
|23rd October 2007, 11:59||#15|
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