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Old 9th August 2010, 20:14   #31
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On the subject of listening to music while riding I think you will find plenty of debate on various forums. It works for some people and it doesn't work for others. As far as I am concerned it helps keep my mind from drifting away because riding a motorcycle is like meditation. Unlike meditation where the body and mind are at peace...it usually ends up in an accident if you lose touch with reality while riding.

It is inevitable to get lost in your thoughts because it is so tranquil and on our long highways there are times when nothing happens for several Kms at a time and you start thinking of the future, dreaming of the girlfriend or wife, pondering the inexplicable entity that is the Universe or just draw a blank. Any of the above can prove fatal because all of a sudden, the act of riding has moved from a conscious priority level of #1 to a #2 or #3 in the list of things your mind is doing.

In my experience, when I listen to music at a low volume and if it is primarily instrumental music or Hip-Hop (basically music that doesn't make you think) or techno (music that keeps you up and alert), it really aids concentration because the music takes up the #2 and #3 spots and pushes all other thoughts out of the mind. The right music can even alter the way you ride the bike. Gentler music soothes the mind and reduces the chances of you getting frustrated and resorting to rash riding instead of backing down. More aggressive music makes you go faster so watch out...no AC-DC here!

I think I mentioned that I do take phone calls on the move and if it looks like the call is going to be an extended one, I pull over and complete the call first before moving on. There was one time when I was passing through Davangere that I pulled over for a 1 hour long conference call!! It ruined my pace during the ride but it did ensure that I had a paycheck I could rely on at the end of the month! I don't recommend talking on the phone unless you have a quality headset and the volume is set to allow you to hear extraneous sounds. Sticking the mobile phone into your helmet is not going to make me a fan of your antics.

Now - sounds...

I am a firm believer that you CANNOT trust sound...trust only what the eye can see Frodo! If you cannot see it...it ain't there! If you cannot hear it...it may still be there!

Don't depend on the guy behind you to give you an alert for you to know that he is there. When you are riding you have to be mindful of whats in front of you and what is in the mirrors. Over and above that you have to keep looking around to spot the moron in the cage who might take a fancy for introducing you to his wife sitting behind...screaming at him for making a baby...all at 80 Km/h. Keep scanning at all times and horns become secondary. This is a mindset issue and a cultural issue in India where noisemaking is a favorite pastime. All our festivals are noisy and even death is noisy. We aren't a somber race of people...never will be. But I want every rider to be alert. I can tell a rider from a commuter not by how fast they ride or what bike they ride but the way they react to their surroundings. I can spot a vehicle coming up behind me even when it is behind several other cars and I have the ability to put myself in his shoes and that allows me to predict what he will do next. As a result of this I have already compensated for this and moved out of the spot that he might occupy 5 -10 seconds in the future. The same level of awareness allows me to dart in and out of traffic without getting killed or causing a scene, unlike some of the chappal sporting youths on 100cc rat bikes in Kurla who end up as tail-gate ornaments on trucks.

Please don't take this as bragging...all you have to do is ride as a pillion with me to see how I cover the brakes and clutch, operate the throttle, keep scanning to compute my environment and react accordingly. Everyone who has sat behind me has instantly felt comfortable and the same techniques will work for you as well. If riding was all about looking straight ahead and letting other vehicles around you decide if you should stay in this world or graduate to the next, how much fun is that?

So...sounds are irrelevant. I can assure you that you can hear honking and other noises quite adequately even with ear-plugs on. With mild music they are still audible.

Regarding the Suzuki Bandit - I am not a huge fan of the looks but I admire it's practicality and usability. The main selling point to me is the compression ratio of 10.5:1 which will allow you to use 91 octane comfortably and even 87 octane in a pinch. With a 19 liter gas tank it should also manage a range of 300 - 320 Km from Brim to Dry which is 100 more than the MT-01. This bike should be fantastic around India...sadly it wasn't an option back when I bought my MT-01 or I do think I would have picked one of these up instead. It will show it's unattractive rear end to the MT-01 every time thanks to it's superior performance and range.
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Old 9th August 2010, 20:51   #32
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Your detailed explanations are very useful.

I agree with you regarding Suzuki Bandit. I think the simple and unattractive looks will be a boon in disguise for touring as it will not get much attention compared to other superbikes with their attractive styling. You can get a better sleep without worrying much about the expensive bike which is lying outside. I find it practical and value for money compared to indian prices of other superbikes.

I understand that you have the phone numbers of Yamaha service centers across the country when you go of trips. Do you carry some basic spares/ tool kit with you when you travel?

The Nivea tip is very helpful as I keep shifting my position in the saddle once the sore becomes unbearable. It would be helpful if you share your list of "Must Carry" items for a trip. I know there are checklists available in various forums.

I think there is a lot to learn from a meticulous and adventurous guy like you. Thanks for sharing everthing in detail.
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Old 9th August 2010, 21:17   #33
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Well it does look a bit "Karizma" doesn't it...clear case of Chicken and Egg. In this case since the Zma was here before the Bandit I'd say the Bandit is the Chicken...what a conundrum!

There is no doubting the VFM factor because the price is simply amazing given what you get for your money. Yobs after their silly Blades and Rvonnes need not apply, this is the thinking man's bike. Does your money buy you character though? Character doesn't necessarily mean the way something looks or sounds or goes...or even smells. I think the Motul 8002T makes my RD350 smell wonderful but the Castrol 747 makes my TZR250 smell even better!

Character can simply come from the way it goes about doing what it does. I think Suppandi has bucketloads of character because he isn't just stupid, he is intelligent in the way he is stupid. THAT is character. The MT-01 isn't just loud and brash but it is completely and utterly disrespectful in the way it is loud and brash! Completely unapologetic. In much the same way the Bandit may look bland and sound like a bee's nest but there could be character hidden in there somewhere.

I can't see it but I am sure someone can! There are people who think the MT-01 is slow and ugly. When the world first saw the Busa I am sure a lot of people fainted in horror (1998 was it? when the first press-shot came out in a T3 magazine). Thats what makes motorcycles so amazing. How can you generate so much love, hate, lust, sorrow and joy between 2 wheels!!

Whenever I am out locally I carry the following:
1. Mobile phone
2. Wallet with at least Rs.500 cash
3. Digital tire pressure gauge
4. All vehicle documents including PUC
5. Wiping cloth


On long trips I carry the above plus:
1. Small air compressor (runs off the bike's battery. Rs.1200)
2. Tubeless tire repair kit (RS.350 in most tire shops)
3. WD40
4. Small multi-tool kit (all types of tips for screws and bolts of various sizes)
5. Appropriate allen keys
6. Spare ignition key
7. Spare visor (I usually carry 1 tinted and 1 clear)
8. Bungee cords
9. Spare clutch and brake lever (I use Pazzo levers so I carry the OEM levers)
10. Refreshments and Beverages (details in earlier posts)
11. Nivea
12. Spare gloves
13. Waterproof cover for the tank-bag
14. Important phone numbers and addresses written down in case phone runs out of battery / gets damaged.
15. Chain Lube and waste cloth (for chain maintenance)
16. Saddle gel cover (got this recently from USA...for a more comfy ride)
17. Magnetic tank bag of course
18. 2 x Cisco Flip Cameras for documenting my trips in High Definition

It sounds like a lot but it all packs away cleanly into the tank-bag.


To end on a humorous note - I am the LEAST meticulous guy you will find. June 2008, 1 week after buying my Karizma, On a saturday afternoon bored with the way my life was going I decided to ride to Chennai. tee-shirt, shorts, raincoat, woodland shoes, backpack and helmet and I was off from Mumbai to Chennai in the mother of all thunderstorms. In the 20 hours I spent on the road, 14 hours were covered in torrential rain. It was the most un-planned and uncomfortable trips in my entire life. It was also the most exhilarating and the bollocking I got once I reached Chennai was worth recording in HD.

Sadly I didn't have the camera then...see - lots of things to regret in life
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Old 9th August 2010, 22:28   #34
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firstly, a great read da.. monday morning blues evaporated when i started reading this thread! kudos man! never knew you write this good


Quote:
Originally Posted by gsferrari View Post
For those of you who are on the fence...I just say GO FOR IT. If you are a working professional like I am, your paycheck only gets bigger and soon the EMIs will become insignificant. It is the same story wrt buying a house...start soon and what seems like a monumental EMI will soon become a minor expense.

There are plenty of things in life to regret at a later point in time. Don't let your dreams and your home fall into that list...go get sorted NOW!
ahhh.. now you have tickled my brain cells! waiting for the kawaker man.. when they launch, i will need another tickle to get it

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Originally Posted by gsferrari View Post
In my experience, when I listen to music at a low volume and if it is primarily instrumental music or Hip-Hop (basically music that doesn't make you think) or techno (music that keeps you up and alert), it really aids concentration because the music takes up the #2 and #3 spots and pushes all other thoughts out of the mind. The right music can even alter the way you ride the bike. Gentler music soothes the mind and reduces the chances of you getting frustrated and resorting to rash riding instead of backing down. More aggressive music makes you go faster so watch out...no AC-DC here!
very true! i once got bad hallucinations on a long lonely ride and from then on, music has always been there to keep me in senses! with a good dark visor and music, I feel more comfortable on my bike than on the car!

and have to try your nivea secret.. just got a pair of motorcycle compression shorts which is padded for avoiding the butt numbness! have to try that and see how true it is.
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Old 11th August 2010, 16:25   #35
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Very nice-to-read thread.

sorry to be going but you spoke about razer moray earphone - can u tell (maybe in a separate thread) how does this earphone perform while listening to music. Its a gaming earphone so the bass should be good, how is the music low/mid/highs?

"Razer moray plus" is selling for 3650 on ebay - worth it ??
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Old 11th August 2010, 23:44   #36
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Razer Moray Plus for Rs.3650??? I got 2 of them for less than that price! PM me and I'll send you the contact details of the distributor.

They perform very well and I am not aware that they are gaming IEMs. I use them while driving, in the office, at home mainly as a mobile phone headset because I find it easier to operate my laptop with both hands and leave the phone on the table. The mic is also suitably less sensitive so coughs don't go through loudly. A side effect of this decreased mic sensitivity is that wind-noise doesn't get through while using under the helmet which helps quite a bit.

For music they are decent and will get better with burn-in. Right now compared to my 100+ hours used M100 Razers, they are a bit lacking in bass and fullness but I am sure that will change over time.
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Old 12th August 2010, 01:25   #37
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Lovely write up bro. This just helped re ignite the fire for the Kawasaki zzr 250 which started in the year 1994 (the 2nd auto expo when it was displayed). Its called the Ninja 250R now but the passion still remains.
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Old 12th August 2010, 08:17   #38
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Razer Moray Plus for Rs.3650??? I got 2 of them for less than that price! PM me and I'll send you the contact details of the distributor.
Hey dude, could you send me the details as well? Thanks.
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Old 12th August 2010, 09:08   #39
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@GSF - Though I don't agree with you on hearing the sound factor, the below point is really really awesome that I learned the hardway.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSFerrari
When you are riding you have to be mindful of whats in front of you and what is in the mirrors
I infact agree with Adi that one should hear the sounds; if you were calling motorcycling meditation, then I would say never close all your senses. The art of meditation is that you need to keep all your 6 senses wide open but at the same time, never let them work individually. Enough of too much philosophy!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by GSFerrari
All our festivals are noisy and even death is noisy
Very true; I hate especially the big crowd of people mourning death blocking roads, creating traffic jams, causing disturbance to public & spoiling the clean roads.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GSFerrari
As a result of this I have already compensated for this and moved out of the spot that he might occupy 5 -10 seconds in the future.
I can understand this; I need to learn this art from you. Hope you don't mind teaching fellow TBhpian.

Could you explain the relationship between the compression ratio & octane fuels pls? I like to get some gyan

Last edited by aargee : 12th August 2010 at 09:09.
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Old 12th August 2010, 15:24   #40
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A
and many more memorable rides both solo and with friends. I ride mostly solo because few are willing to do the big miles. They all say yes but nobody (till date) has turned up on the day of the ride. I guess that says a lot about my confidence in the bike and in the confidence of my backside.

Thank you Yamaha
GSF,

Fantastic write up. I think you you have done full justice to being the owner of MT 01, which I would categorise as the next best thing they have to RD350



Seriously, I ride quiet a bit with a friend who has an MT 01 (fellow BHPian Steeroid), and just ridding with it I can feel your feelings.

Anyway probably from late next year I will give you company (I think I am retiring to Pune next year). I still have not decided what other bike I should bring in along with my Triumph Bonneville.

I like the kind of distance riding you do, which is what we lack in UAE (we run out of biking roads soon enough)

All the best and keep your spirit for distances up!

Best Regards & Drive/Ride Safe

Ram
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Old 12th August 2010, 15:31   #41
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Amazing writeups..
loved every bit of it.
Where are you in mumbai?
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Old 12th August 2010, 22:01   #42
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Wow! What a report!! Kudos to your writing style in addition to your riding style

Loved your detailed report and also the detailed replies to all the queries.
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Old 13th August 2010, 11:32   #43
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Amazing writeups..
loved every bit of it.
Where are you in mumbai?
Expect replies from gsferrari only after The Palar Challange 2010, he's an organizer there, and is at the venue right now, in the blazing heat of Palar, surrounded by 4x4's from various parts of India.

Cheers,
Sriku
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Old 14th August 2010, 20:55   #44
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Regarding the Suzuki Bandit - I am not a huge fan of the looks but I admire it's practicality and usability. The main selling point to me is the compression ratio of 10.5:1 which will allow you to use 91 octane comfortably and even 87 octane in a pinch. With a 19 liter gas tank it should also manage a range of 300 - 320 Km from Brim to Dry which is 100 more than the MT-01. This bike should be fantastic around India...sadly it wasn't an option back when I bought my MT-01 or I do think I would have picked one of these up instead. It will show it's unattractive rear end to the MT-01 every time thanks to it's superior performance and range.
After reading this thread, I am sorely tempted by the whole SBK thing....I doubt if I will ever be able to afford a supercar, but to get a state of the art two wheel job and the experience it will provide seems much closer/achievable - to enjoy the same level of experience on two wheels, as a supercar would on four. Not the speed part, but the ride, reliability, reserves of power for the occasional use and for just the stress free long distance riding experience it would provide. On the Bullet, there is always the feeling that at speeds of 100kmph, is something in the bike going to suffer mechanical failure, the thing vibrates so much...and on two wheels that is not such a nice feeling.

The more I read about the Bandit 1250s, the more it impresses. Imagine being able to run smoothly from as low as 45/50 kmph in top gear...not that I would hesitate to drop down a gear or two at those speeds. But even my Bullet 500 is unable to run at lower than 55/60 in fifth.

The Bandit also addresses the range issue to some degree. In touring mode in India, it should return 20 km to the litre - the latest autocarindia test claims 22. So the 19 litre tank should give a range of 350-400 kms. 500 would have been nice, but 350 is decent. And it seems like a bike that can run in the city traffic, and still do relaxed long distance trips.

And it is the cheapest of the CBUs on offer, that makes it a steal - relatively speaking of course. I suspect that of all the CBUs on sale in India, this is the most suitable for Indian conditions.

My current shortlist has it, the MT01 and the Honda CB1000R on it. All the other CBU imports seem either too exotic, pricey and way of out of my league in terms of riding skills they would require.

For sheer looks, pose value( still haven't got all that out of the system!), and uniqueness, it is still the MT01 that ticks all the boxes for me, but I can't help thinking that the Bandit would be the most pragmatic ( to the extent that these decisions can be!) of the lot for a bike that can be lived with for a few years at the least. I also guess that Suzuki India service ought to be as good as the other two.

Any comments/inputs?

PS: is the ordinary unleaded petrol available in the major cities now all 91 octane?
PPS: I shall copy this post in to a new thread.

Last edited by Sawyer : 14th August 2010 at 21:09.
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Old 14th August 2010, 22:32   #45
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Awesome write up GSF.This helped me to make a decision that wen i ll earn enough i ll definitely buy a SBK for touring adventures..Thank You
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