Friday, 26 December 2014

How to plan a motorcycle trip

Someone justly said, "Traveling in a car is like watching a film... Riding a motorbike is like starring in it." Long motorcycling road trips is all about seclusion, finding inner peace and especially enjoying the long wide road. But to make the trip a success you need to plan properly and take into account every important aspect while riding.

So below mentioned are some of the important parameters that you need to ponder upon before you embark on the magnificent voyage with you backpack & you motorcycle.


  1. Target your interest - You yourself should be aware of the places that you want to visit during the trip. If mountains and forests fascinate you, you must chalk out that places which are worth watching which are in the vicinity of your travel route. If you plan properly you wont miss any destination and would be able to avoid unwanted round trips thus saving precious time.
  2.  Set ground rule for the distance to be covered - Its all about the journey, not the destination. So while riding you should set a practical limit of the ground to cover in a day. It majorly depends on the bike you ride, the type of road you are on and the weather condition. A distance of 250 km in a day is a decent stretch to cover & is achievable. If you plan to cover long patches, it might be tiring, and affect you upcoming days of riding. As you would be in a hurry to cover the distance, you won't be able to cherish the ride and deviate from the sole reason of riding.
  3. Consider road and riding conditions - Some roads are not safe to travel during certain months of the year. Traveling the mountain passes during the winter or monsoon is not a good choice, as these paths are susceptible to land slides or heavy snow fall. Hence take into account the geographical location that you are about to venture into.
  4. Time management - If time is not managed properly, you will be able to visit your planned destinations by the skin of your teeth. This will decrease the thrill of riding and increase strain. Whatever might be you plan, never forget to make a few pit stops in between. Else you would be suffering from sore saddle which would completely ruin your future road trips.
  5. How do you prefer to travel: As a lone ranger or as a wolfpack - Riding is all about venturing into the unknown, discovering new places, discovering yourself and others surrounding you. If you prefer seclusion and want to ride according to your own rule then riding solo is the best solution. But if you want to share a few smiles and talk about the journey so far then you should travel along with your buddies. Either way, riding will open new frontiers and would definitely change your perspective towards life.
  6. Spend Benjamin judiciously - While you are burning your rubber over the tarmac, you never know what you might encounter the very next moment. So you need to properly channel your expenses and evenly distribute your fund for the basic necessities like food, shelter & gas. You should also keep a decent amount for timely parts repairs or in case you bike breaks down.

  7. Gear up - Proper gearing up is a must. When you are cruising over the highway at over 100km/hr, a single mistake would throw you off your saddle. And if, God forbid, any such mishap happens it would be your gear that would decide whether you would walk away for the accident or confine yourself to a hospital bed. Also, before starting your trip you need to get your bike thoroughly checked, especially, tyres, controls, lights, oils & fluids, chassis, stand, to name a few.

And the most important part of planning a long motorcycle trip is simply to have fun. So go ahead, plan well and let the trip leave an everlasting impression, which you would relish for the rest of your lives.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

DIY: How to kick start a Royal Enfield

And as the warm fuzzy summer days has gone with the winds, its time to embrace the cool foggy and in some cases, snowy winter. You can't complain about the cold winter motorcycle rides nor the picturesque locations you are bound to encounter, but kick starting a bike can be a pain in the butt. And for Royal Enfield owners, it might be a real concern. But actually it is just a myth. If you follow the steps properly, starting a Royal Enfield would be as easy as climbing the stairs.

Source -

So the step-wise process to kick start a Royal Enfield is as follows:

  1. Keep the "Kill" switch in "On" position. It might seem obvious, but sometimes a minute mistake creates a great problem.
  2. Keep the fuel tap in "On" position.
  3. If engine is cold ( which would surely be the case in winter), push the gold colored choke lever located near your right knee. For Electra, you need to pull out the choke.
  4.  The compressor release should be engaged.
  5.  While the compressor release is engaged, try to kick start around 3 times. This helps to prime the engine and helps the starting mechanism, especially when the engine is stone cold.
  6. Turn the ignition on.
  7. Now the bike is turned on, choke is on, compressor release is engaged and the throttle is closed. At this point, gently move the kick start lever. If you look at the ammeter gauge, yo can see the needle deflect to the left and then return back to the center. As you slowly move the lever, you will notice the deflection of the ammeter needle. Move the lever a little further until the needle comes just in the middle. The center position of the ammeter's needle indicates that the piston is placed exactly where it should be for starting.
  8. The serious part is over. Now, release the compressor release and kick the bike.
    NOTE - While kick starting, strength in your hind limbs is not that important. So doing heavy squats doesn't necessarily mean that you are capable enough for kick starting a Royal Enfield. The secret is a long kick with a decent continuation ( go with the kick and don't mind stretching you legs).
If the steps are followed properly you would be able to breath life into the beast within 3-4 kicks. And believe me when I say this, once you master this technique, you would forget to ever place your thumb print over the electric starter. After all, kick starting a RE has a charisma of it's own.

In case you require any assistance, this video might come in handy.


Merry Christmas!


Royal Enfield Continental GT :)

Thursday, 18 December 2014

Another transport mishap to increase waiting period of Royal Enfield

A few weeks ago it was reported that a container truck caught fire near Ahmedabad, which was carrying 65 Royal Enfields. You can read about the incident and view the pics here.
But recently another container truck containing a number of RE caught fire on the Pune-Mumbai Expressway. The incident occurred on 16th December inside the Madap tunnel.

The container truck being investigated by the Police
If eye witness and reports are to be believed, the container truck containing an unknown number of Royal Enfield variants was travelling over the Pune-Mumbai expressway. When it was inside the Madap tunnel, a speeding Mercedes Benz rammed into the container. Such was the extent of the collision that, both the car and the container went ablaze almost instantly. Drivers & passengers from both the automobiles fled their vehicles. No one was injured in the incident.

From the pictures we can make out that the inferno was a huge one, just like it's predecessor. After the flames were brought under control, a number of burned and charred Thunderbirds were revealed.

You can see the charred Thunderbirds & the intensity of the flame
On the earlier incident, the container truck was carrying Bullets to Haryana, and now this truck was carrying Thunderbirds, (possibly) to Pune. This mishap is most likely to increase the waiting period of Royal Enfield.
But on a personal note, I can almost smell a controversy lingering with this dual mishap. Earlier a standstill truck carrying 65 Bullets catches fire and now a number of Thunderbirds is set on a pyre after being hit by a vehicle which is best known for its handling? Food for thoughts

Saturday, 13 December 2014

All Chrome Cafe Racer by Royal Enfield

Its been a year since the inception or rather the reincarnation of Royal Enfield Continental GT. The bike manufacturer hasn't yet revealed what would be their next version of the Continental. Would they make it more old school while adding the latest technological edge or will they come up with some cool new paint-job and play with the overall styling of the bike. But recently I came to know about the all chrome Cafe Racer.
Royal Enfield Chrome Continental GT

The Chrome Continental GT has a magnificent chrome tank, solo seat with chrome caps, drop-down handle bars and a Goldstar exhaust. The Goldstar exhaust helps to further intensify the thump and provides an addition 5HP & packs further 10km/hr at top speed. It has a kerb weight of 183 kg and a fuel tank capacity of 14.5 liters.

We don't know whether Royal Enfield will make the Chrome cafe racer available to the Indian public or restrict it to the U.S or Canadian riders, but one thing's for sure, the all chrome Continental GT will definitely make you drool.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Waiting period for Royal Enfield Bullet might increase

You don't need to be a Royal Enfield owner to know about the patience that is required until you can finally lay your hands over your personal Royal Enfield. Such is the craze and demand of the Bullet, or any other bike from the stables of the same that, to meet with everyone's demand, a customer has to wait an average of 6 months before he is handed over the key to his Royal Enfield.

Burnt Royal Enfield Bullets

But a recent accident with a container truck containing over 65 Royal Enfield Bullets might further stretch the waiting period for Royal Enfield Bullet. A Haryana registered container truck was carrying a consignment of 65 RE Bullets which unfortunately caught fire with all the cargo still inside it. The mishap took place at Aslali, near Ahmedabad in Gujarat. The truck was taking the bikes to Haryana and was parked in the transport bay. According to reports and eye witnesses, the container caught fire in the wee hours of the morning. To check the ablazed truck, and check the inferno, 2 firefighting trucks rushed to the scene and were able to put off the fire eventually. But inspite of their best efforts, they couldn't save the brand new Royal Enfield Bullets.

Thankfully, no-one was injured in the incident. Police have started investigating into this matter, but up till now haven't been able to come up with any concrete proof or source of the fire. The fire was intense and it burned through all 65 bikes. Such was the intensity that it completely melted the bikes' tyres and peeled off all traces of paints leaving behind only carbon residue, ash and the mere exoskeleton of the Bullets.

65 charred Royal Enfield Bullets

In India, in comparison to other bikes, the waiting period for Royal Enfield Bullet is considered to be the maximum. But after this mishap revolving around 65 Bullets, the waiting period would be stretched even further for some unlucky customers. After this incident, Royal Enfield incurred a loss of over 70 lakhs.

The investigation hopefully would be able to throw some light over the mishap.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Royal Enfield Taurus: The only mass produced diesel motorcycle

So you might have thought that if a car can have a petrol and diesel variant why can't the same be applicable for a bike. Well my friend, Royal Enfield had answered the question by producing a diesel powered 325cc air-cooled, engine. And they call it, Taurus.

Taurus: a diesel motorcycle

Initially street mechanics would mount an industrial diesel engine, around the frames of the RE Bullet, 350cc. They would place the engine in used Bullets and give a retro look to it. With the 350cc retrofit engine, the bike was capable of generating roughly 6.50 HP @ 3600 RPM. If sources and to be believed, it gave a decent mileage of 72 kmpl. Noticing the success of these bikes, Royal Enfield started producing Bullets with diesel engine and named it, Taurus. The Taurus came with a 325cc, 4-stroke air-cooled diesel engine and produced a maximum torque of 15.00 Nm @ 2500 RPM. It was available with an electric start and had a 4-speed gear transmission.

The Royal Enfield Taurus was an incredible feat in the Indian motorcycling history. The Taurus was the first motorcycle with a diesel engine in India.

But the introduction of the diesel engine brought forth its share of flaws and technicalities. When it comes to motorcycles, Diesel engine are infamous for their poor power to weight ratio. The characteristics of a good motorcycle is low weight, compact dimensions, high RPM & a decent acceleration. But the advent of diesel engine led to dip in the performance and created higher weight penalties. Also the sound generated by the diesel powered Taurus was unrefined and caused excessive vibrations. Moreover these diesel engines generated excessive pollution. Due to these reasons, the production of the Taurus was stopped.

But whatever might be the outcome of the Royal Enfield Taurus, did prove their point and still persists to be a leading motorcycle producer in India.