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Old 1st June 2019, 03:35   #1
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Default Just a story about my first motorcycle

I have faint memories of asking my parents, “Will you please buy me a motorcycle?” She said, “Yes, here is a blank cheque, go son, buy your dream bike.”

Yea, right. If only life was so sweet.

In reality, she never, ever, said yes. I used to try and reason with her, and tell her that, “It doesn’t have to be an expensive one, even the most basic one will do.”

Still, “NO.”

Then I would tried to negotiate with her. I would say, “Buy me a cheap, slow bike right now, or I will buy a fast bike on my own later on.”

Still, “NO.”

I used to think to myself, why would she keep saying no?

I guess she had her fears, and for good reasons. Because even though I wasn’t a very naughty or a wild kid (relative to the standards of my days, and of Delhi kids), I was still quite adventurous in my own ways, especially with a few wheels under me. My cycling days were marked with regular injuries, because of whatever stunts or speeds I could manage. And once, in my teenage years, I came back home with a lot of blood to answer for, having crashed on my skateboard out on the open road, while coming back from tuition. I wasn’t really allowed to take it outside in the first place, for reasons that you can now imagine, but I had managed to sneak it out.

So she had her reasons, I used to tell myself. More than that, however, the fact was that we didn’t have that kind of money. We were like just another middle class family, strapped in our own financial stresses. I was happy just to have a decent cycle of my own, among other things. Or was I really? Maybe not, because I remember going looking for the money to buy a bike on my own. I remember discussing with my friends, about getting part time jobs in McDonald’s or a call centre. But I guess I never had the guts for that.

The other, easier way that I figured out, was to get into a cheap college. I was already doing my bachelors at that time, but I was also preparing for my masters. Of the two colleges that I had shortlisted, one of them costed only a few thousands to attend, while the other costed lakhs. The difference was significant, and I schemed it in my heart to get through to the cheaper one, and then tell my parents to buy me a motorcycle with the money that I just saved. Because money saved, is money earned. I really thought that that was a fair deal to make, wasn’t it?

-----------------------------

At this time, I should tell you that I wasn’t always so much in love with motorcycles, at least not so much as to want to own one so desperately. In fact, I was always more of a car nut. To give you an idea, I want you to go back to your school days, and remember your parent teacher meetings. Were you a good kid, or a bad kid? A sincere kid, or a naughty kid? What complaints did your teacher usually have against you?

I remember the one my teachers always had all through my school life. “Mrs. B, your son draws cars more often than he takes class notes or does his homework,” would be the usual ramble of my teachers, every time. They would keep my notebooks as evidence and them show to my mother. I have no memory of what she used to say or feel, but that was the kid that I was. I was born a car nut.

And even though I used to draw both cars and bikes, I was just always into cars a lot more. I loved driving, and I loved the roads. I had emotionally blackmailed my dad into teaching me how to drive. By the next year, I had driven from Delhi to Shimla in thick fog, in pitch dark of the night, back and forth, multiple times, without so much as scaring my dad who was riding shotgun. At a time while all my friends were busy getting their first girlfriends, I was busy dreaming about more and more cars. They knew how to charm girls, but I knew how to charm cars. I was busy drawing them on my examination sheets after I was done with all the questions. I was busy sketching them on MS Paint even before colour screen computers arrived. And I was busy defeating pro-video gamers in NFS Most Wanted with just a keyboard against their Xbox gamepads.

Out on the open road, behind the wheel of the car, is where I’ve always felt most at home. I remember driving back from Mumbai to Pune a few years back, with my then flatmate. We had just bought a used Swift for him. I was riding shotgun at first, and there was a lot of happy energy, music and conversations in the car. However, the moment I got into the driver seat, everything went quite. Suddenly there was no music, no conversations. My posture was tight, my eyes squinting, and my face straight. I remember my flatmate asking me, “Dude, are you alright?” At first, I didn’t reply. I had gone into my meditative zone. Then he understood.

That’s how much cars have always been at the core of my heart. But then how come this story is about my first bike, and not a car?

-----------------------------

That turning point came in my life during sometime in my bachelor college years, when one of my closes friends bought a Royal Enfield Thunderbird. By this time, I had already learned how to ride a bike, but I wasn’t quite swayed.

Until that day when I rode his bike, and got thumped away. I still remember that conversation between me and the policeman, who caught me riding that Thunderbird without a helmet infront of my house. Those were the days when Delhi traffic policemen were given new Bajaj Pulsars in replacement of their Bullets. I remember how the conversation between him and me diverted from why I was not wearing a helmet, to how different a Thunderbird feels from a Pulsar. We spoke about the thump, the acceleration, and above all, the feeling. He said it first, that a bullet, “Makes you feel like god.”

I didn’t deny it. I couldn’t deny it. I dared not to deny it. Because I knew what I had felt was just the same. It was a revelation. It was a feeling in my gut that I couldn’t describe till he put it into words. That barely 200m of a ride on the Thunderbird had changed things inside me. Some would say that I had found my purpose.

From that moment on, I had stopped thinking about driving cars, and started wanting a bike a bike of my own. I wanted that wind in my hair, that feeling of acceleration coming from between the legs, that freedom of moving around on the road, and that sound behind under my ears. But like I have been telling, I never quite succeeded in blackmailing my parents to get me one.

-----------------------------

At the same time, I was struggling with the idea of having a career not filled with cars, bikes, and wheels of any sort in general. I had already started doing my bachelors in engineering. It wasn’t unfortunate, but it was certainly not my idea of a good life. I wanted to do something where my passion was involved. But what would that be and how much of a fight will I be able to put up against the winds of practicality?

I had failed once before. It wasn’t like I was just figuring out about all this. I knew it much before that I didn’t want to be the guy who just ran after cars and bikes. I wanted to be the guy who made them. I wanted to be the person who drew them, and fleshed them out. But by the time I figured out about the design colleges, it was too late. I was already in an engineering college, having failed in being able to stand up for my life.

I remember that first year in college, still browsing through hundreds of online prospectuses of design colleges, to see if I still had a chance. Most international colleges preferred an art degree of some sort for master’s in design. Here in India, we had only IIT Mumbai and NID Ahmedabad, which offered a master’s degree in car design. But while they both accepted students with engineering backgrounds, the combined seats on offer were just 25, annually. Yes, just 25 seats. I didn’t think I had much of a shot. I had already failed in getting an IIT engineering seat (not that I was expecting to get one :P), but the odds were equally worse, if not more, of getting into design.

Then towards the end of the first year, I met one of my friend’s father, who used to be in a high post at Yamaha, and knew about design and manufacturing of vehicles. During a conversation about my options, I remember him saying that my chance at being a designer is gone. “Engineers are rarely accepted in design colleges,” he said something of that essence.

I don’t know if I took that as a challenge immediately, but something inside me burned alive that day. Burned to the very core. It was a feeling of loss beyond my imagination. It made me mad, frustrated, at my own self. Why hadn’t I fought harder for it earlier, or even now? How could I let my life just lie down like this, and end up feeling so helpless?

I don’t remember the next few days, but I remember talking to my mother and telling her that I had made a decision. That for the next 3 years of my remaining college time, I was only going to give it just as much time as I needed to pass all my college exams. To her, this was a shock, because I had been one of the good performers in school. She couldn’t wonder why I would make such a decision. But then I told her, that I am going to give my everything to get one of those 25 seats in the top two design colleges in the country, IIT Bombay and NID Ahmedabad, and that for the next 3 years, I will focus as much time and energy as possible on achieving that.

I don’t think she took me seriously. But how would she know? Parent teacher meetings weren’t a practice taken seriously in college. If only she had met my professors once, they would have told her about how many times I was caught drawing cars and bikes ( and distracting others with it ) in the middle of their lectures. I was back to where it had started.

The plan then, was to hit two birds with one arrow. Get into IIT Bombay, where the fees was mere pennies, and then use that as an opportunity to negotiate for a bike. Simple enough, right?

But all my dreams shattered when I missed IIT’s design exam’s cut-off by just 1 mark. I was nowhere even close to getting the call for IIT Bombay. In the stroke of an hour (as I felt it) I had kind of lost it all again. I had worked my ass off for 3 years, preparing, in every way possible. But I had missed something, maybe been a bit overconfident, and had ended up losing it. In one failed shot, neither could I see myself having a bike, nor a design degree. And with the placement season approaching, I didn’t even have good grades to fall back upon.

And while I did manage to get into the car design degree at NID a couple of months later, it didn’t have that sweet little cherry on top. I knew the fees was too much, because of which I had to take an education loan on my name. For all that mattered, the idea of having a bike of my own was dead for now.

-----------------------------

Now you know how they say, “Once an itch, always an itch.” The idea may have been dead, but the itch was still there. So much, that being a guy who rarely borrowed anything from anybody else for the sake of his self-respect, I wouldn’t ever feel guilty of begging for the keys to other’s bikes. Literally, begging. It was a big, bad itch.

And as big an itch as it was for me to ride a bike every now and then, my life had the same itch of making things difficult for me. A lot of things were going haywire, both in my family life and my academic life. There is a saying in NID, which you will find etched on the walls and the windows in the campus, which goes like, “You thought getting in was hard? Try getting out.” Completing a design degree in NID wasn’t ever so straightforward as getting an engineering degree. If you did manage that, then out of the 15 students in my branch, there was a good chance that many won’t get decent jobs. The odds were breathing up upon all of our necks, to be honest.

For a long time, I didn’t know how to deal with all these problems in my life. I am a person who likes to focus on one thing at a time, or max a few at once. But life was throwing one problem after another at me, throwing me off my feet every now and then. I had trouble finding a stable state of mind and being.

Finally, I had an idea. I realised that the very things that were stopping me from having a bike of my own, could also be how I get to have one. If I would just look at these problems as challenges in a game, then it would mean that once all these problems get sorted, I would be able to buy my own bike. It was a simple matter of progression, one problem at a time, and finally, a bike!

Which meant, that the only thing I needed to focus upon, is the image of my own bike. That would become my sole target, and all my life’s problems would become the milestones on my path to it. As I had mentioned earlier, I had found my purpose.

And this idea was so strong and unifying, that it stayed in my head for the time to come. I used to tell anyone who would hear me, my friends, colleagues, my family and both of my bosses in my 2 internships, that the day I get my first paycheck from my first job, will be the day that I buy my first bike. Because that day, I would have solved everything. I was vocalising my target openly, so that people would keep reminding me of it even if I forgot.

From that point on, it took me roughly 3 years to sort things out, wrap up my degree, and get a job. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I deserved one, but I did get one. And I was happy that it payed decent money to buy a bike. But did I finally buy one?

-----------------------------

“NO.”

Why, you might ask?

Well, I had calculated for all the problems in my life, but failed to account for one. The education loan. Not that I didn’t know that I had one, but that I didn’t know then that I wanted to pay it off before I bought my bike. And once I did that, I didn’t want to buy my bike on another loan. I had seen the financial troubles of debt, and I considered that I wouldn’t really have conquered it all if I was in debt when I bought my first bike.

Along with that, I realized one more thing. I didn’t want to buy my bike and ride it without proper riding gear. Not even in the city. One must always respect the road. So I decided that I shall buy my riding gear even before I bought my bike. Which meant more financial patience.

Phew. Those words must be simple to read for you, but they do not express the desperation that I had to control in the process. All my friends heard for months to come after that, was that I am going to buy my bike soon. Soon, well, that word had changed its meaning for me. Months passed after months, and I kept thinking when the golden day would come. All through this time, I saved like a miser. I took the inspiration of controlling my finances from my mother. And took it to the next level, so much that I came to be known as the biggest ‘kanjoos’ in my social circle.

Call it what they may, but in a little more than a year, I had payed off my education loan in full. Then I started saving for the bike, and the gear. My target was clear, but whoever has done financial planning before, knows that nothing works out as planned. Another few months passed just like that. While all the bike and gear related research had been done, I was just sitting on my ass to have enough balance in my account. And by enough, I don’t mean enough to buy a bike, but enough to have respectable savings in my name even after that. Like I said, I learned to keep my finances in control. But money, like they say, takes its own sweet time.

-----------------------------

If at this point in my life, were you to ask my friends, whether I was ever going to buy a bike in my life, you would have heard a big NO in chorus.

Ha!

But then they saw it all coming together, bit by bit. They saw the helmet, which came first. They then saw the other helmet come. They saw me get my riding shoes, and then my jacket. Another day, a pair of knee guards arrived. Another day, they heard me rambling about the unavailability of the gloves that I had chosen.

And then, one day, I told them that I had booked my bike. A week later, I got down in front of the showroom, dressed in full riding gear (except for my gloves, which were still out of stock.) My friends say that they came just to see me being stupid like that, arriving at a bike showroom in full gear, even though I didn’t yet have a bike. But they didn’t quite understand.

They didn’t quite understand that, that day when I woke up, the only thing that was missing from my life, was my bike.

I named her Luna. It reminded me of all the stars and the moon, which shine bright in the dark night, which is also when I love to ride the most. They signify all the little things things that we can do right, when the times are the darkest, and what we can achieve from them. I am writing this today, after 1 year, 2 months, and 18,000 sweet km since I got it, and I am kind of glad to finally share it with you all.

Here are some memories for our time so far...

-----------------------------

That day when it finally arrived.
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Dressed to ride.
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The first chai ride.
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The first breakdown.
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On the way to Kanyakumari, one of my longest, solo rides.
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Somewhere just before Kanyakumari. I love windmills!
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Riding the shorelines between Kanyakumari and Varkala.
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Was this Varkala, or Kovalam? Who cares!
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Cats in Kochi!
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Exploring areas around Bangalore.
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Making new friends...
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Making more friends...
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The genesis of a group!
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Catching breakfast in Mysore.
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From a failed Kannur ride, and a day of brotherhood.
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Riding to Kannur again. This time, we finally did it.
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The crown jewel of Kannur, at the drive-in beach.
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Somewhere near Kolar.
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Basking in the glory.
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Shhhhh. :P
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One of the biggest group rides!
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Some fun off the road...
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Gimme red!
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Probably the most visited place of all.
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I AM GROOT
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Last edited by GTO : 4th June 2019 at 10:10. Reason: No mention of underage driving please, thanks for sharing
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Old 1st June 2019, 15:25   #2
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First half of your post took me down memory lane, there are lots of similarities! Even though I too hail from a middle class family, money wasn't the prime reason that I was denied a motorcycle for, sorry for hijacking your thread but here goes my story:

My first exposure to autombiles was when I was around 9 years old, my dad used to be a primary school teacher and was posted at a remote village where we had to walk 3 KMs to reach the village after getting down from the RTC bus, there used to be two rich families in the village and one of those families used to own a car, a Maruti 800, when they used to take it out there used to be few boys in their nickers running behind it, a Maruti 800 was a big luxury in that village those days(early ninties)! And then there were 2 Hero Honda CD100s in the village, one owned by the other rich family while the other belonged to a Doctor, even though my father had a Chetak at that time, bikes were considered premium, IIRC chetak used to cost 15-20k while the bikes used to cost 25-30k. So, the first impressions for me were, bikes are premium while cars are luxury.

In 2000 when one my aunts was getting married, the groom, on the eve of engagement came down to my grandparents' village riding an RX100! A silver RX100 with loads of chrome and bling, I instantly fell in love with the bike and wanted one ASAP, I was in class 12 that year. By now I had my heart set on two wheelers and every bike launch thereafter made me dream about owning and riding it. Bajaj Caliber? Oh I love it (and the commercial), Hero Honda CBZ? I want it, Bajaj Eliminator? Oh my God! Bajaj pulsar? Just give it to me. Now you know how I used to feel.

But my parents were always over protective, they never let me ride a bike until that point, I had to convince them a lot to get my first bicycle when I was 12/13, a BSA SLR, I wanted a Ranger but my dad said it will be an Atlas, we settled on BSA SLR, just middle class family bargains! After completion of my graduation I had to convince my dad to pursue post graduation in Hyderabad, he wanted me to pursue teaching in his foot steps and more importantly continue studies in my hometown so that I will be with him, this time I was successful in convincing him and moved to Hyderabad. Once my PG was complete and was searching for a job in sales I needed a bike and most of the interviews would end with a question "Do you have a bike?" It was age old 'need a bike? You need to have a job but if you need a job you need to have a bike' situation! Again took some more convincing but my dad wasn't even ready to sponsor my DL let alone a bike, so had to sell off my bicycle to get enough money to pay the RTA agent, that was just to show my father that I was desperate and once I went to few showrooms and got few quotes for bike loans my father gave in, withdrew money from his PF account to get me a bike. Having the bicycle bargain back of my mind, even though I wanted a Yamaha Libero(like I said there isn't a bad bike in my books, oh, there is one, I am talking about you EBR designed/inspired Zma!) I started with a Unicorn, he started with Hero Honda Passion, but this time to my surprise we settled for Uni! But it took lot of effort from me, the salesman AND the showroom owner to convince my dad. I wanted a grey one and they had one in grey but it was first generation, they had second gen Uni in black colour. The Uni wasn't exactly setting the sales chart on fire those days, to give me a second gen Unicorn in grey colour, the showroom owner did something unthinkable and changed all the pannels on the second generation black one to grey, I am ever grateful to that great soul! I rode the Uni for almost 70k KMs and it was an exceptional bike, I still regret selling it and once in a while check the Hyderabad traffic challan portal to get a glimpse of it, as the current owner doesn't believe in helmets or traffic rules in general it seems.

I had a great time on Uni, had few falls, one big one in particular but it took it all, until I sold it, it barely troubled me in the nine years that I had it with me. One thing that I always missed on the Uni was an electric start and wanted my next bike to be a Honda with electric start, so my second bike purchase, this time with my own money was a Honda Trigger, a market dud but this too never gave me any trouble, Honda knows a thing or two about making bikes. But once I got married, the dmart runs became irritating on the bike, so sold it off and got myself a Suzuki Access 125, even to this day I regret selling it off, I should have retained the Trigger.

As you can see, the next two purchases aren't emotional hence I don't even remember what went through my mind during the purchase process, but I remember every detail about my first love Uni. Now that I have booked Jawa 42, I am at it again. I look for a connection with the vehicle I am test driving/riding and fortunately found it with both the Micra Active and the 42, while little Micra has been serving great until now, hope it will be same with the 42 after what it seems to be an eternal wait to get one!

Now looking back at the humble beginning, the matter of fact that I own a two wheeler and a four wheeler both purchased with my money brings a smile to my face, it might be just a Micra and just an Access but they mean a lot to me!

Once again sorry for hijacking your thread, but couldn't resist posting this.
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Old 1st June 2019, 16:06   #3
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Quote:
Bajaj Caliber? Oh I love it (and the commercial), Hero Honda CBZ? I want it, Bajaj Eliminator? Oh my God! Bajaj pulsar? Just give it to me. Now you know how I used to feel.

As you can see, the next two purchases aren't emotional hence I don't even remember what went through my mind during the purchase process, but I remember every detail about my first love Uni. Now that I have booked Jawa 42, I am at it again. I look for a connection with the vehicle I am test driving/riding and fortunately found it with both the Micra Active and the 42, while little Micra has been serving great until now, hope it will be same with the 42 after what it seems to be an eternal wait to get one!

Now looking back at the humble beginning, the matter of fact that I own a two wheeler and a four wheeler both purchased with my money brings a smile to my face, it might be just a Micra and just an Access but they mean a lot to me!

Once again sorry for hijacking your thread, but couldn't resist posting this.
That wasn't a hijack bro, glad you shared! I love it when such stories are shared, it kind of makes one feel a strange sense of peace and happiness.

Even I remember that Bajaj Caliber ad! Hudibaba! What a commercial! And all the others that you spoke about. I remember going through motorcycle spy shots and speculation cycles of so many bikes, hoping to buy them when they were released.

Incidently, the Libero is the bike I learned to ride on. And the trigger is one of the bikes currently in my riding riding. Next bike probably will be a Honda or a Yamaha, because I would like such an emotional product to have the lifespan of a decade. I hear so many stories about CBRs doing close to 2 lakh kms, and never giving any issues, and then I feel sad thinking that my Dominar may never see even half of those milestones.

After reading your post, I am now thinking of my mother's car, so looking at so many other possessions which have so many important associations with life's journey. So thanks for sharing!
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Old 1st June 2019, 16:43   #4
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Kudos Parishrut, that is exactly how a person should show up to pick their motorcycle from the showroom.

The importance of safety can't be stressed enough in a country like ours, where the average John would squeeze out every penny he has and buy the 'Bbesht!!' motorcycle the market has to offer and then ride around lidless in a dhoti and flip-flops.

Cheers,
A.P.
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Old 2nd June 2019, 00:28   #5
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What a wonderful and tear-jerking tale, Parishrut!

More than your love for bikes, the one thing I took away from this thread was your determination to follow your passion. I had NID on my radar too, once upon a time (wanted to study filmmaking), but by the time my dad agreed to it, it was too late for me to apply, and I didn't want to waste a year. Looking back, I should've done it. Would've been much happier than I am currently. I still think back to the times when I used to stay up all night editing short films for competitions the next day. I had a certain zeal within me that I just can't find now when I have to study for my exams.

My bike story is quite the opposite of yours, but similar too. I learnt riding after I turned 18, on my dad's brand new Honda Shine. Dad was a bike and car nut in his younger days, having toured across multiple states. In fact, he kept his first bike, a Hero Honda CD Sleek for 25 years! Despite all this though, my parents don't allow me to ride to places that are more than 10-15kms away, which is sad because I live in the suburbs and there's nothing within that distance! Well, now I barely get time to ride, so it doesn't bother me much. However, your thread made me wonder if it's really worth missing out on the things you love in life for a "respected" profession. Time for some introspection, I guess.

Ride safe,
Regards.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 12:26   #6
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What a lovely writeup buddy, I was literally in tears while reading this as if this is my own story and we have a lot in common. Middle-class families, Loan, Design degree, buying gears before the bike and years of wait to get that bike out of the showroom. I am also based out of Delhi and would love to catch up.

Ride Safe,
Utkarsh
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Old 3rd June 2019, 14:46   #7
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Awesome thread buddy. Tearing up really. Brought back memories of those days, longing and drooling over the RX100 owned by a friend's dad. My dad owned a TVS 50 at the time. Govt. college over private college to save Fee. Too many similarities. thanks for the post man.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 16:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parishrut View Post
I have faint memories of asking my parents, “Will you please buy me a motorcycle?” ..
Parishrut,

Nice narrative and even nicer pictures. Patience is a wonderful thing. It's good that you learned the lesson of never buying anything via debt; especially depreciating assets like vehicles.

Also, great job in figuring out that safety first is the best policy. Lots of us have bought all the gear first before the actual bike came to us. This is typical behavior for thoughtful riders.

Finally, I want to congratulate you on your choice of motorcycle. I have been noticing the trend here on Team BHP that more motorcycle travelogues (than not) in recent time feature the Dominar. Although it is never going to match the RE bikes in sales volume, it is becoming clear that the Dominar has developed a durable cult following. It certainly looks to be the go-to bike for value minded and discerning consumers who want a good looking machine that can munch miles comfortably without costing a bomb in purchase and maintenance.

I bought mine 18 months ago and have not even clocked half your mileage. But, the bike has never let me down. It costs me next to nothing to maintain, and yet it easily keeps up with lots of other expensive machines in my group.

Looks great? Check.

Priced well? Check.

Low maintenance? Check.

Adequate safety? Check.

Road riding for hours at 100+ kmph and no back pain afterward? Check.

Bad road confidence? Check.

Mild to mildly hard off-roading? Check.

I only wish Bajaj hadn't changed the colors in the new version to that hideous green. Also, the tank color scheme has changed where the bottom of the tank is black with the top being in another color. This is too Pulsarish for me. Otherwise, the new version is a total winner with the changes.

Take care. Ride safely and maybe we will meet if I ever ride down to Bangalore.


P.S.

Talking about financial prudence, here is a nugget for you. Besides my current one, I have owned 5 other cars; and I have bought every single one of them with money I had saved. Cut to present day and everyone knows that I have been lusting after an SUV for a long time (for almost 5 years now). But, buy one I will not unless I am completely convinced of two things:

a.) That I will be able to extract full value out of such a purchase. I don't see that happening with my yearly mileage of less than 6k kms; that too mostly driving solo.

b.) That I am in a financial position where an expenditure of 25 lacs will not bother me too much.
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Old 3rd June 2019, 20:07   #9
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Default Re: Just a story about my first motorcycle

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I didn’t want to buy my bike and ride it without proper riding gear. Not even in the city. One must always respect the road. So I decided that I shall buy my riding gear even before I bought my bike. Which meant more financial patience.
A standing ovation to that decision!
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Old 4th June 2019, 00:56   #10
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Default Re: Just a story about my first motorcycle

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Originally Posted by Parishrut View Post
I have faint memories of asking my parents, “Will you please buy me a motorcycle?” ...

In reality, she never, ever, said yes. I used to try and reason with her...

I used to think to myself, why would she keep saying no?

I guess she had her fears, and for good reasons.
Unlike in most of the rest of the world, motorcycles (and motorcyclists) traditionally had a bad reputation in North America. My mom was very clear that so long as I was living under her roof, there was not going to be any road-going bike in the picture (I did manage an old Honda "Trail 90", purchased for the princely sum of $20, for mostly off-road use); Even after I left home, she adjured me to avoid them (which apart from a few joyrides on fast bikes in college, I was able to honor)...

It was justifiable - in her early days of nursing, she had cared for far too many permanently maimed / paralyzed bike accident victims. Out on my own after some years, every time I'd start to seriously entertain the notion of finally buying whichever dream-bike (RD400 and Motoguzzi LeMans near the top of my list), I'd see a nice sportbike wrapped around a telephone pole, or sit down on a porch stoop next to some sad old African-American whose son had died on one a few months earlier... And I could never quite bring myself to it.

So it was in India as a thirty-something (my dear mother's soul having departed this world the previous year) that I finally bought my first road-going bike... And on that first day, marginally older/wiser though I may have been, it took me all of about five minutes of riding to slam my helmet-less self and the little bikini-faired Enfield Explorer with a nice loud "Bang" into the rear-end of a Bangalore city bus... "Mother knows best"...

But now, nearly 17 years later, I own a bike with exactly ten times the engine displacement of that first one and have a lot of km's under my belt on all sorts of bikes and terrain, but somehow, by God's grace alone, I'm still alive and (mostly) unharmed, despite almost countless spills, most of them before I had any proper gear at all.

I have a feeling that as typical road speeds quickly increase disproportionate to driver skill / sanity, and statistics bear out the relative dangers of two-wheelers, more Indian mothers could begin forbidding their purchase.

But your story is a good one, the Dominar seems a solid all-rounder bike (one I've considered myself), you are certainly more conscientious about safety than I was when starting out, and I wish you many years of riding enjoyment.

-Eric

Last edited by ringoism : 4th June 2019 at 01:04.
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Old 4th June 2019, 07:54   #11
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Default Re: Just a story about my first motorcycle

Woah! What a story!
Very well narrated. Glad that you finally EARNED it!
Being a fellow dominar owner, thumbs up: )
Buying adequate safety gears beforehand is highly appreciated!
The first part of your story makes me visualize my own!
Ride safe, Ride hard!
Cheers.

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Old 4th June 2019, 11:36   #12
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Default Re: Just a story about my first motorcycle

Great....i could picture myself in your story for most of the parts. While in college, i also had this dream of getting a bike. Also as you said that while your friends looked around for girlfriends, your painted yourself a picture of car or a bike. Same was the case with me. While my group used to take their girlfriends out on their bikes, i used my cycle to commute to Greater kailash-I from Kalkaji extension DDA flats to teach kids so that i could earn my pocket money, my computer class fees and my own tution fees. All through the 3 years of my graduation continued to be struggle like this. Post my graduation, i joined a job which paid me a very meagre salary. But somehow i was determined to get a bike. I started looking for options of buying myself a second hand bike and could finally spot one Yamaha Rx-100 done just 25000 kms. The condition was also pretty good. But the absence of vitamin-M was a major deterrent as i also had to pay for my other professional courses that i was undergoing at that time. Finance on a second hand bike was not available. After considering all the options, i convinced myself to go for caliber.

As for your situation where you did not want to go for finance, i believe that this is the way modern day economies work. This is the capitalist setup around which the entire system revolves. I believe that if i am paying an emi of 5000 rs today and go for a finance of 2 years, then in these 2 years, my income will go up and value of rupee would fall down. Hence while making any investment/expense of more than 1 lakh, it is always advisable to go for finance and the amount that i have saved for acquiring the asset should be saved for rainy day. God forbid, if i spend all my saving on acquiring any asset, tomorrow when i need some money to meet any exigency, and i want to sell of the acquired asset, i would not get the value, i was expecting.

However, it is an individual choice. I always believe in getting finance and acquire something.
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Old 4th June 2019, 16:22   #13
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Default Re: Just a story about my first motorcycle

Quote:
Originally Posted by Parishrut View Post
I have faint memories of asking my parents, “Will you please buy me a motorcycle?” She said, “Yes, here is a blank cheque, go son, buy your dream bike.”
What an amazing write up man! You poured all your heart out. I love riding
as you do but have forgotten the thrill since I sold my CL 350. Going through your post has rekindled the biker in me once again. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Last edited by Eddy : 4th June 2019 at 16:29. Reason: Quoting a long post hampers readability
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Old 4th June 2019, 18:11   #14
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Default Re: Just a story about my first motorcycle

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What a wonderful and tear-jerking tale, Parishrut!

More than your love for bikes, the one thing I took away from this thread was your determination to follow your passion. I had NID on my radar too, once upon a time (wanted to study filmmaking), but by the time my dad agreed to it, it was too late for me to apply, and I didn't want to waste a year. Looking back, I should've done it. ...

My bike story is quite the opposite of yours, but similar too. I learnt riding after I turned 18, on my dad's brand new Honda Shine. Dad was a bike and car nut in his younger days, having toured across multiple states. In fact, he kept his first bike, a Hero Honda CD Sleek for 25 years! ... Well, now I barely get time to ride, so it doesn't bother me much. However, your thread made me wonder if it's really worth missing out on the things you love in life for a "respected" profession. Time for some introspection, I guess.

Ride safe,
Regards.
Every time I hear a Hero Honda\Honda bike story, I feel a bit sad for having bought a Bajaj. I don't think it will ever last that long!

About the profession/passion subject, well, it's a tricky thing. But the good part that I find nowadays is that there is so much opportunity to learn and be discovered thanks to the internet, that it is literally never too late. I know a lot of people, who I admire and take inspiration from, who manage to find just a little bit of time everyday to learn and create something out of pure passion everyday. To be honest, no matter how hard you follow your passion, it always takes a few years, even decades, to find creative freedom in a professional setting. So no matter whether you followed your passion or not, the battle is still pretty much the same.


Quote:
Originally Posted by utkarshshukla92 View Post
What a lovely writeup buddy, I was literally in tears while reading this as if this is my own story and we have a lot in common. Middle-class families, Loan, Design degree, buying gears before the bike and years of wait to get that bike out of the showroom. I am also based out of Delhi and would love to catch up.

Ride Safe,
Utkarsh

Hey! I am now in Bangalore :P But would love to catch up some day. I will PM you.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mohansrides View Post
Parishrut,


...

Finally, I want to congratulate you on your choice of motorcycle. I have been noticing the trend here on Team BHP that more motorcycle travelogues (than not) in recent time feature the Dominar. Although it is never going to match the RE bikes in sales volume, it is becoming clear that the Dominar has developed a durable cult following. It certainly looks to be the go-to bike for value minded and discerning consumers who want a good looking machine that can munch miles comfortably without costing a bomb in purchase and maintenance.

I bought mine 18 months ago and have not even clocked half your mileage. But, the bike has never let me down. It costs me next to nothing to maintain, and yet it easily keeps up with lots of other expensive machines in my group.

Take care. Ride safely and maybe we will meet if I ever ride down to Bangalore.


P.S.

Talking about financial prudence, here is a nugget for you. Besides my current one, I have owned 5 other cars; and I have bought every single one of them with money I had saved. Cut to present day and everyone knows that I have been lusting after an SUV for a long time (for almost 5 years now). But, buy one I will not unless I am completely convinced of two things:

a.) That I will be able to extract full value out of such a purchase. I don't see that happening with my yearly mileage of less than 6k kms; that too mostly driving solo.

b.) That I am in a financial position where an expenditure of 25 lacs will not bother me too much.

Dominar does seem to have a good fan base. Those who buy it and use it, know how good it is. Only pain point is lack of legendary quality, but that is an unfair expectation from a company that isn't yet a Honda, as well as the price paid.

About your car buying process, that is actually what I am targeting myself. I see that you kind of think of your purchases as investments, considering the ROI and cost of acquisition. It's a difficult thing to do though, I feel it involves being a lot more wary of one's emotional demands and peer pressure. Plus, I prefer to have a vehicle which has low repair costs in case needed. Any fear of a financial heartache in case of a bit of misplaced fun just spoils how much you can enjoy it with a peace of mind.

Do ping me whenever you ride to Bangalore!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ringoism View Post

...

So it was in India as a thirty-something (my dear mother's soul having departed this world the previous year) that I finally bought my first road-going bike... And on that first day, marginally older/wiser though I may have been, it took me all of about five minutes of riding to slam my helmet-less self and the little bikini-faired Enfield Explorer with a nice loud "Bang" into the rear-end of a Bangalore city bus... "Mother knows best"...

But now, nearly 17 years later, I own a bike with exactly ten times the engine displacement of that first one and have a lot of km's under my belt on all sorts of bikes and terrain, but somehow, by God's grace alone, I'm still alive and (mostly) unharmed, despite almost countless spills, most of them before I had any proper gear at all.

I have a feeling that as typical road speeds quickly increase disproportionate to driver skill / sanity, and statistics bear out the relative dangers of two-wheelers, more Indian mothers could begin forbidding their purchase.

But your story is a good one, the Dominar seems a solid all-rounder bike (one I've considered myself), you are certainly more conscientious about safety than I was when starting out, and I wish you many years of riding enjoyment.

-Eric
I thought North America was a haven for riding! I follow Reddit and there are so many nice posts from there. I guess the photos don't tell the entire story?

On the subject of safety, we both learned early I guess :P You from your own "bangs" and me from my friends' (a story for another day). Thankfully I haven't had any big ones yet, and every time I hear a story, I make a note of the situation leading to the accident and keep it in mind on my rides. What bike do you ride nowadays?

About road speeds vs skills, I think you are right. And mothers do know best. When I purchased the bike, I asked her to gift me a key-chain for it, which turned out to be a metallic one. So every time I am riding, especially above a certain speed, it starts making a noise on the handlebar. I keep it as it is, as it is a good reminder for being cautious. Otherwise it is quite easy to get flown away :P

My entire extended family, in general, never liked motorcycling. I get the feeling that they pray a lot more extra more just to keep me safe. But I always feel that statistics are a bit biased. I see a lot of unnecessary riding behavior, like riding close to a big truck in rain, on a road which is unpredictable. Incidents are bound to happen in such cases. Probably if we removed such statistics related to irresponsible riding, then maybe there would be a more reasonable picture of 'personal' road safety. Of course, needless to say, one's own skills cannot guarantee safety on the road. Last time I tried to follow proper road rules, drive safely, and keep my ego aside, I still got rear ended from a stupid driver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by su1978 View Post
Great....i could picture myself in your story for most of the parts. While in college, i also had this dream of getting a bike. Also as you said that while your friends looked around for girlfriends, your painted yourself a picture of car or a bike. Same was the case with me. While my group used to take their girlfriends out on their bikes, i used my cycle to commute to Greater kailash-I from Kalkaji extension DDA flats to teach kids so that i could earn my pocket money, my computer class fees and my own tution fees. All through the 3 years of my graduation continued to be struggle like this. Post my graduation, i joined a job which paid me a very meagre salary. But somehow i was determined to get a bike. I started looking for options of buying myself a second hand bike and could finally spot one Yamaha Rx-100 done just 25000 kms. The condition was also pretty good. But the absence of vitamin-M was a major deterrent as i also had to pay for my other professional courses that i was undergoing at that time. Finance on a second hand bike was not available. After considering all the options, i convinced myself to go for caliber.

As for your situation where you did not want to go for finance, i believe that this is the way modern day economies work. This is the capitalist setup around which the entire system revolves. I believe that if i am paying an emi of 5000 rs today and go for a finance of 2 years, then in these 2 years, my income will go up and value of rupee would fall down. Hence while making any investment/expense of more than 1 lakh, it is always advisable to go for finance and the amount that i have saved for acquiring the asset should be saved for rainy day. God forbid, if i spend all my saving on acquiring any asset, tomorrow when i need some money to meet any exigency, and i want to sell of the acquired asset, i would not get the value, i was expecting.

However, it is an individual choice. I always believe in getting finance and acquire something.
You are the type of person who inspires me the most. I believe I had the luxury of being able to focus on my studies and then move on to a bike of my own without as much struggle as you, so hats off to you! During my academic years, whenever I had low moments, I would remind myself of people like you who are able to accomplish so much with grit and determination.

In many ways I agree with your financial model too. Financing with a loan is not always a bad option, and not every purchase may be possible with lump sum payment. But in my observation, most people don't calculate as much as you do. There are many ways of keeping emi and interest outgo low, while focusing on other financial priorities. And I have even seen the load of an emi working out as a good motivator for increasing income ability (an option I sometimes consider :P). Maybe the day a find a good boss and a good company, I will be more comfortable to try one .
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Old 4th June 2019, 22:11   #15
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Default Re: Just a story about my first motorcycle

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Every time I hear a Hero Honda\Honda bike story, I feel a bit sad for having bought a Bajaj. I don't think it will ever last that long!
When it was time for me to get my first motorcycle due to commuting being an issue I thought it would be ideal to opt for a Bajaj Platina as the motorcycle was the cheapest option in 2011, but my father who stays abroad thought it was an overkill for me since he was the one paying the bill and felt that 'Platina' was a premium motorcycle for a college goer, hence he decided it was best to get me a Kreeshma! as the name sounded more Indian and grounded.

I rode the ZMA for about 60k km's before I had to leave for Bangalore for higher studies and before that I had pulled a 1340+ km's run in a day after the Saddlesore hype got to me, nearing the end I was messed up, motorcycle was perfect though, but after that stint the ZMA has garnered a very bad reputation in the eyes of my parents, to this date I can get a Hayabuza or any such liter class widow-maker and they'll still be fine as long as its not a Karizma!

So fearing this my parents offered to get me a cheaper motorcycle for Bangalore, and since it had to be cheap I decided to get myself the Bajaj Discover 100 as I didn't want to invest much in a motorcycle that I'd most probably scrap after my PG as I'd be reunited with my ZMA.

The rest is history, I'm currently on my 3rd Bajaj motorcycle of which I have the last 2 with me, the first one being the Discover had to be traded for a P220 when I got hooked to interstate commuting between Kollam and Bangalore on the Discover and my parents wanted to get me a Royal Enfield citing my safety due to all the Bull-Crap being spread about its reliability by people who knew anything but better, thankfully being part of the better motorcycling communities in India I knew very well that it would be the end of me and hurriedly got myself the P220 as I couldn't fathom interstate commuting on a push-rod at the time.

After my PG I was kicked out of placements for rejecting two offers, so being jobless I was left to choose between either the ZMA or the P220 and glancing at my signature you'll know which one I chose to let go and which one I chose to keep.

Now I've only mentioned two of my Bajaj's, the last and final one was my Bajaj CT100B, my first motorcycle purchased with my own paycheck. This is my usual interstate poison of choice and last year around this time I had ridden her for about 8k km's within 2 weeks around India on the Golden Quadrilateral circuit, she didn't break a sweat whereas my companion on his 500cc RE was miserable due to a plethora of reasons pertaining to the motorcycle which he recently sold to get himself a Bajaj CT100, true story, pictures in my ownership thread.

Last but not least recently a close friend had gifted me a 2006 ZMA, which I passed on to another friend who didn't own a motorcycle, I'm currently helping him with the restoration.

So after going through my experience with Bajaj and Hero Honda, if you still feel sad for owning a Bajaj over a Hero/Honda then my friend, I cannot be of help.

Edit: My buddies and fellow enthusiasts are tired of hearing my infamous quote 'Once you go Bajaj you'll never go Back' not sharing the idiom I got the inspiration from fearing a ban from TeamBhp.

Last edited by ashwinprakas : 4th June 2019 at 22:24.
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