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Old 29th June 2011, 18:41   #226
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Default Tackling crosswinds?

The other day I took BQ out for another sprint on the ORR. I had posted about my last speed run on Phase 2A and I don't want to quote the top speed I hit for I'll definitely get banned. This time however, something different happened at a significantly lower (yet in absolute terms a pretty high) speed on the Phase 1 stretch.

The car felt flighty and loose at the front. I could clearly *not* feel the road under the front wheels through the steering wheel and the car was twitching nervously instead of being planted and tracking ramrod straight. Of course it was due to the heavy crosswinds that are typical at this time of the year. On the open ORR the winds can get incredibly heavy. It's bad enough in my 3rd floor apartment which has a totally clear view of the west and south-west. I can only imagine the ferocity of the wind on the ORR. I was driving with windows up to minimize wind noise and turbulence.

The question is: What can be done to reduce flightiness under crosswinds?

The tyre pressure is OK. I'm running stock tyres. I find no difference in handling on the high-speed stretches on my regular commute (there are a couple of short stretches of the kind) although I'm talking of a totally different league of speed on the ORR. So obviously the suspension hasn't suddenly degenerated. I held the steering wheel as tightly as I could but you can't combat Nature using just your bare hands!

Will upsizing the tyres help? Or can I just reduce the tyre pressure by a couple of psi and be done with it? Can the Koni FSDs or similar help specifically in this sort of a situation as well (they provide obvious advantages elsewhere)? The rear of the car felt fine (surprisingly enough). It was only the front which was both getting and giving the jitters .

An interesting aside: I remember how we tackled this on our bikes during a ride from Belum Caves (near Tadipatri) to Bengaluru in mid-2005 (again, similar time of the year). We rode with the handlebar/bike pointing a little into the wind, leaned into the wind a little and could then generally maintain slightly higher speeds than if we were pointing dead straight.

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Old 3rd July 2011, 23:34   #227
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Default Time for some pictures

If there's one thing I haven't done enough of, it's taking pictures of BQ. Every time I wanted to do that, I would find the car covered in a nice layer of dust. I've always wanted the car to be in perfect condition for a nice photo-shoot. It's been 11 months and I decided enough was enough. BQ has picked up her fair share of battle scars and lost a little bit of sheen, and that's always bad to see on a black-coloured car. Before it got worse, I thought I should have some pictures in my library from BQ's first year on the road.

Saturday was glorious, and it was shaping out to be equally good if not better today. So between 11 am and noon we gave BQ the wash which was due yesterday night, thinking we'll get ready and head out in the afternoon to combine the photo-shoot with a couple of other things we'd planned.

Just as we were about to head out at 3 pm, we were greeted with a couple of thundery spells of rain. That would've killed the 'shoot, so we waited until 4 pm for the storm to clear.

As I walked towards the car in the dark, unlit basement, even from a distance of around 40 ft I could make out a thick layer of dust (the car didn't shine as much as it should from whatever little light was available). The apartment's sweeping staff had done their thing *after* we'd washed the car.

I was morose, but the thought of not having done anything worthwhile over the past 11 months spurred me on. We headed out onto the slushy dirt tracks that lead out of our apartment complex onto the highway. With heart in mouth I negotiated the puddles trying as hard as I possibly could to avoid splashes. Luckily none of the vehicles around us "impacted" us either.

Once out on the highway, we couldn't avoid getting stuck behind buses and trucks, which meant layers of nice muddy spray all over the car from their uncovered, huge tyres. Ah, well... what's got to be done has got to be done.

A pleasant rip through the university on an empty Sunday road later, we were at my favoured photo-shoot destination, the lush, pretty, landscaped campus of my alma mater.

The idea all along was to get BQ to look her shiny best under a cloudy sky in lush environs that got a boost of green courtesy of the monsoons. Once we reached campus, conditions varied between sunny and cloudy literally by the second. So I did the best I could. It's a decent start, but needs a couple of good follow-throughs hopefully after BQ gets her shine back after a round of paint treatment. In the meantime, I hope these do the job.

The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)-dsc_1081.jpg
Hello! I'm BQ.

The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)-dsc_1097.jpg
This is what a lot of my fellow motorists see when BQ gets into her element.

The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)-dsc_1098.jpg

The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)-dsc_1100.jpg

The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)-dsc_1101.jpg

The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)-dsc_1102.jpg
Her Smoked-ness

The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)-dsc_1119.jpg

The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)-dsc_1121.jpg
There were some dark clouds up in the sky some 15 minutes prior to this. At that time my wife was the co-subject. When I got around to repeating with only BQ in the frame, the clouds were gone :(.

The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)-dsc_1133.jpg
Don't. You. Look. At. Me. Like. That!

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Old 4th July 2011, 06:22   #228
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Default Re: The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)

Nice pics spadix! Its good that you have decided to break the fast at last. Believe me, even if the car is not perfectly clean, the pictures really don't show that and the car turns out perfectly in the snaps. The last pic especially is really nice with you and BQ looking at each other in admiration.
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Old 4th July 2011, 09:44   #229
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Default Re: The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)

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Originally Posted by arvi86 View Post
Nice pics spadix! Its good that you have decided to break the fast at last. Believe me, even if the car is not perfectly clean, the pictures really don't show that and the car turns out perfectly in the snaps. The last pic especially is really nice with you and BQ looking at each other in admiration.
Thanks, arvi86! I need to refine that last picture a little bit, then. The intent was to show meanness . As I see it, it's pretty close to what I've visualized, but it still needs a little bit of work, it looks like.

I plan to dedicate some time on each of the remaining weekends this month to photographing BQ in various good-looking locales. The grand finale would be Sunday, 31 July 2011 - BQ's first birthday!

There, now that I've said it, I'm sure Murphy will come up with something.

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Old 4th July 2011, 09:51   #230
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Default Re: Time for some pictures

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Don't. You. Look. At. Me. Like. That!
Lovely shots of BQ. What a b-e-a-utiful car.
And what is Nagarjuna doing infront of BQ?
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Old 4th July 2011, 13:38   #231
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Default Re: Time for some pictures

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Lovely shots of BQ. What a b-e-a-utiful car.
Thanks, dot! More will come. BQ would be in Pune on August 15, on her way to Gurgaon. Let's see if there's enough time for a quick meet.

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And what is Nagarjuna doing infront of BQ?
Haha! I'll let Nag know. He'll be flattered, I'm sure.

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Old 4th July 2011, 14:53   #232
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Default Re: Time for some pictures

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Thanks, dot! More will come. BQ would be in Pune on August 15, on her way to Gurgaon. Let's see if there's enough time for a quick meet.
Aug 15th, oh no. Why why?
Most likely I may not be in Pune that time.
This sucks.
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Old 4th July 2011, 17:11   #233
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Default Re: The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)

Hey great pics there Prashanth. She looks cool. In the 6th pic (close-up of the right headlamp) I see some white spots scattered on the bumper, fender and bonnet. Are these some stains or is it the photo thats doing the trick? And yes. I see how BQ misses the twin exhaust tips very badly. Hope you manage to get her a pair soon.
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Old 4th July 2011, 17:36   #234
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Default Re: The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)

Ah! Prashant. Finally, you did some justice to BQ. Those are some wonderful pictures that were missing along this while.

Looks like a well orchestrated pic session. Is that Aparna Estate in Medchal?

Liked the close up of headlamp and ofcourse, the last picture where BQ is locked in a "staring" competition with Nag...Nag just needs to lose some of that puppy fat on those cheeks and your almost there
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Old 4th July 2011, 18:13   #235
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Default Re: The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)

Wonderful pics of the BQ, spadix! She looks beautiful in that black shade...

I too, need to detail my car soon and click some pics; or wait, need to click some dirty offroading 'type' monsoon pics of my Shark!
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Old 4th July 2011, 20:14   #236
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Default Re: The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)

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Originally Posted by dot View Post
Aug 15th, oh no. Why why?
Most likely I may not be in Pune that time.
This sucks.
:(

Well, August 15th is when we're starting our journey here and the intent is to make the most of the hopefully less-clogged roads on that day and make it to Mumbai well before late evening. In fact I'm in half a mind to continue till Surat *if* traffic is so light that we make it to Ghodbunder in around 12 hours. Else, it's a halt at Mumbai. OTOH, if it rains heavily and we're slowed down badly because of that, it'll likely be an overnight halt at Pune.

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Hey great pics there Prashanth. She looks cool. In the 6th pic (close-up of the right headlamp) I see some white spots scattered on the bumper, fender and bonnet. Are these some stains or is it the photo thats doing the trick? And yes. I see how BQ misses the twin exhaust tips very badly. Hope you manage to get her a pair soon.
Great catch, rr_zen, and thanks for the appreciation! The front of the car is full of those ugly silvery white spots. I don't know where BQ picked them up from, but it could've been some paint spray from some renovation work that was going on in the office parking lot a few months back. Fingernail scratch doesn't do much but when I was getting BQ's front left fender and door polished to get rid of some scratches courtesy of some dry twigs, these spots vanished as well. So it's not paint loss due to impact of stones or anything, thankfully.

And yeah, the loss of those exhaust tips still rankles. I can't justify spending 4.9k on a fresh pair, and I'm unable to find aftermarket parts that look as good (classy, good finish etc.).

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Ah! Prashant. Finally, you did some justice to BQ. Those are some wonderful pictures that were missing along this while.

Looks like a well orchestrated pic session. Is that Aparna Estate in Medchal?
Thanks, Avi bhai! This is the ISB campus.

More pictures will be coming up through the rest of this month. Not next weekend, but I have plans for the ones after that as well as some pictures from inside the MS campus.

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Originally Posted by mobike008 View Post
Liked the close up of headlamp and ofcourse, the last picture where BQ is locked in a "staring" competition with Nag...Nag just needs to lose some of that puppy fat on those cheeks and your almost there


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Originally Posted by Ace F355 View Post
Wonderful pics of the BQ, spadix! She looks beautiful in that black shade...

I too, need to detail my car soon and click some pics; or wait, need to click some dirty offroading 'type' monsoon pics of my Shark!
Thanks, Ace!

By the way, the shade of black in the pictures is darker than in reality because I've bumped up the contrast a bit to bring the black out (and hide the dust).

Regarding off-roading pics, I don't need to try hard at all! I just need to head out 200 metres or so from my apartment complex. Of course, if I take BQ there and start taking pictures, everyone around me will think I've completely lost it.

By the way, I plan to reach G-town by the evening of the 17th of August (or 18th morning). Maybe the Shark and BQ can hang out together for a while.

Regards,
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Old 4th July 2011, 21:10   #237
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Default Re: The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)

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Thanks, Ace!

By the way, the shade of black in the pictures is darker than in reality because I've bumped up the contrast a bit to bring the black out (and hide the dust).
Yep, a little editing always helps making the pics stand out!

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Originally Posted by spadix View Post
Regarding off-roading pics, I don't need to try hard at all! I just need to head out 200 metres or so from my apartment complex. Of course, if I take BQ there and start taking pictures, everyone around me will think I've completely lost it.
Same here!

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By the way, I plan to reach G-town by the evening of the 17th of August (or 18th morning). Maybe the Shark and BQ can hang out together for a while.

Regards,
spadix
I would love to see the BQ in person! Just let me know whenever you are in the vicinity. I will PM you my contact # and we can plan a meet.
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Old 4th July 2011, 21:35   #238
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Default Re: The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)

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:(

Well, August 15th is when we're starting our journey here and the intent is to make the most of the hopefully less-clogged roads on that day and make it to Mumbai well before late evening. In fact I'm in half a mind to continue till Surat *if* traffic is so light that we make it to Ghodbunder in around 12 hours. Else, it's a halt at Mumbai. OTOH, if it rains heavily and we're slowed down badly because of that, it'll likely be an overnight halt at Pune.
I have probably missed this, but may I ask what is your plan?
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Old 4th July 2011, 21:39   #239
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Default Re: The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)

Are those white spots paint chips due to highway driving? I had a lot of them on the Lancer. If you ended up trailing a sand lorry or going behind a car on dusty roads you will pick them up in no time. They don't go with detailing as they are chips i.e. paint chipped off.
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Old 4th July 2011, 21:46   #240
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Default Re: The march of the Black Queen (my new Honda Civic 1.8V in Black)

Nice pictures Spadix.Thanks for the offer to post more. Your car looks great always.And your enthusiasm is really stimulating.
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