Bullet can skid saala

So this incident happened about a month or so ago. I was rushing to work as I was running late and all of a sudden it started to rain a little bit. The rain was just about right – not too much to wash away the oil and dirt which forms a slippery mix and not too little to have no impact. Just about right. Well I realized that the conditions were not safe to ride and I started to slow down to ensure that I didnt skid off the road. I think I must be riding at approx. 20 kmph when I saw the signal was red and there was some traffic lined up nicely. So I slowed down even more and that when it happened. The front tire completely gave away and I panicked and decided to brake – and the bike skidded. It hit the rear of the car (the bumper had a huge dent). All this happened in a matter of seconds. Immediately people started rushing to help me get up and pick up bike and check if i was ok. The owner of the car also got out to see if there was any damage and when he saw the dent, he wasn’t too happy. He started saying that I should have been driving slowly. That’s when fellow bikers who were behind me told him that he was already going very slowly and it was road and there wasn’t much he could have done. Hearing that the car owner calmed down a little bit and decided to go on his way. By that time I was up on my feet, and I pushed the bike to the side of the road. I checked to see if there was any more damage to the bike. The angle of the bike handle had changed and the mirrors had loosened. There were some scratches on the exhaust. Overall not much damage. The reason for so little damage was the leg guard on the bike. I shudder to think what would have happened if the bike didn’t have the leg guard.

I slowly turn the bike around and head home. One side of my jeans is completely messed up. Thank goodness, this incident didn’t happen when I was riding in my shorts or formal office wear. The injuries could have been severe. I reached home and narrate the incident to my parents. At this point, my dad says – how can a heavy bike like Bullet skid like this on the road? I told him well it does skid and the end results arent too good when that happens. I am now thinking of getting rear leg guard too – to prevent the bike from touching the ground. But come rains – this baby is going to remain in the garage until there have been a few heavy downpours and all the slick has been washed away from the roads.

Day 101/ 365 – New bike, new issues – Part II

Continuing from my previous post, I was extremely disappointed that the bike was behaving in this manner. I had all sort of strange thoughts going on in my head and basically all thoughts ended up with me thinking of selling the bike. The next afternoon, I happened to pass by the Enfield showroom and decided to go and check the status on the bike – in case if it was done. I spoke to the folks over at the Enfield showroom and expressed my disappointment. I even told them that I would like to return this bike and get a different piece. But as per them this was not possible as bike was registered with the RTO and I couldn’t simply exchange the bike (I am not sure – if that is really the case).  Even on that afternoon, the issue with the bike was still not resolved. At this point, I was really frustrated with the entire experience. I told them to call me once the bike gets fixed. They assured me that they would be doing that once they have an update.

Day 2 was also over and there was no update from the bike workshop. At this point, I was just exasperated. There was nothing I could do but just wait. On day 3, I finally decided to call up the bike workshop directly and asked for an update. The mechanic at the workshop told me that the bike was ready since yesterday evening and he didn’t have my number and hence couldn’t call me to explain the problem. The problem was caused because I had attached a leg guard to the bike. I got the leg guard fitted from another mechanic and while attaching the guard to the bike, the mechanic passed the wire through the clip, instead of outside.  This caused the wire to be damaged and caused the entire issue. I as very relieved to know that there was no problem with the bike – i.e. all the electrical wiring etc. was good. I asked the Enfield mechanic, if he had fixed the issue – he replied in affirmative and asked me to pick up the bike any time during the day. Later that afternoon, I went to the workshop and asked him to show me where the problem was (Pics to be shared later). I also checked with him, if the wiring had to be changed. He confirmed that the wiring was fine and it shouldn’t cause me problems any more. I was finally feeling better that the bike was alright and there wasn’t anything for me to worry about.One word on the customer service though – it was horrible. The showroom guys didn’t call me to inform that the bike was ready to be picked up. Couple of days back, they confirmed that bike was ready and when I went to pick up they said it wasn’t. I just wish they had done a better job.

It has been 4 days since I have picked up the bike and have been riding happily ever since.


Day 100/ 365 – New bike, new issues

As mentioned in my previous post, recently I brought a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. Last week, while taking the bike out to drop my wife to the bus stop, the bike suddenly stopped working. It seemed that the bike had just stalled. The electrical system was not working. I tried to kick start the bike, it didn’t work. I tried to everything that I could think of, but the bike just wouldn’t start. At this point, I decided to take the bike to the Enfield showroom as that was near to my house. The only way to take the bike to the showroom was to push the 150kg bike on the road in the hot March sun. I really wanted to get the bike fixed as I had to take it work later in the afternoon. So I pushed the bike in the heat for about 30 mins, before I finally reached the bike showroom.

I explained the guys, what the problem was and they started working on the bike right away. After checking a few things, they determined that the problem was with the fuse and decided to put the spare fuse to use. I asked them how could the fuse blow up so soon. I had recently got the bike (not even 10 days since I took the delivery) and this was simply not acceptable. The guys at the showroom told that since the fuse is an electrical part – there are no guarantees for it. At this point, I just felt like killing them. Here, I have a paid a ton of money to get this bike and they offer such unreasonable answers. After changing the fuse, the bike started working again. I assumed the problem was resolved and just taken a U turn to head home, when the bike stalled once again. I once again took the bike to the showroom and told them what had just happened. The showroom guys asked me to keep the bike there and they would have it sent to the workshop. I told them I needed the issue to be checked properly and then fixed since I travel late in the night through a forested area and bike breaking down in the middle of nowhere is not an idea, I am very comfortable with. They assured me that it is a minor problem and they would have it fixed in no time.

I called them later in the afternoon to check how things were – as I had to take the bike to work. The showroom guys told me that the bike was done and I can come and pick it up. So I went to the showroom and saw that the bike had come from the workshop yet. I asked them to get the bike here and while they were asking for the bike to be delivered, the mechanic at the workshop said that there is some major issue with the wiring of the bike and he needs to check it thoroughly before he can confirm that there are no issues. Apparently, while he was taking the bike out  – the bike stalled once again. At this point, I was fuming mad at the Enfield guys and was cursing my decision to get this bike.

To be continued in next post.


Day 98/ 365 – Thunderbird 350 is here

After 5 months of wait, last weekend I finally got the delivery of Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350. I was really excited to get the bike. When I arrived at the store, I couldn’t see my bike parked outside and was wondering where it was. I asked the RE guys and they said it is standing outside, and they haven’t put the number plates yet. I decided to go outside and check out the bike. Just as I was standing there and admiring the black beauty, another RE mechanic was trying to park his continental GT next to the bike and in the process broke the left side rear view mirror. Needless to say I was extremely pissed. Here, I havent even received the bike yet and the mirror had already broke. In the mean time, my dad who had also come to pick up the bike with me and brother started arguing with the RE guys and was generally disappointed because of what had happened. The RE guys apologized profusely, put on a new mirror and were like this is a good omen and dont worry about it. Soon after another RE guy arrived and started putting up the number plate. I decided to wait outside and watch him do his thing. While watching, all of a sudden a dead rat fell from a tree and I was like Oh Oh!! “Today is not a good day it seems”.

The number plates got fixed and RE guy started explaining all the bike features to me. There were a couple of things which I think RE could have done better in the bike – one of them is place where you can keep bike papers. There is a box which is given on the left side of the bike to keep papers and the medical kit. The lid of the box comes off completely and thus the papers and medical kit needs to be placed properly to ensure that the lid closes properly and papers don’t slip out. The other thing which I feel they could have taken care of is the petrol tank lid. While they have given a 20 liter tank, the lid of the tank comes off completely, instead of being attached to the tank. Getting to the tool kit, which is on the right hand side of the bike is also a pain. After explaining to me all the features and congratulating me on my purchase, I took the bike to the temple where the priest performed the pooja and the blessed the bike. Given all that happened a couple of hours earlier, I was sure me and the bike both needed the blessings. So far I have been commuting to work on the new bike and slowing breaking it in – which is not going over more than the speed of 50kmph, and everything is working like a charm. I am on my way to begin another riding chapter with RE Thunderbird 350.


Day 95/ 365 – Last Ride on R15

I got my first bike Yamaha R15 in Nov 2010. I had booked the bike, even before I knew how to ride it. I actually learned how to ride a bike using my new R15. The bike was cynosure of all the eyes, strange and familiar. While riding the bike in the society complex, the eyes of the small children would light up when they saw the bike. The same could also be said about the strangers checking the bike out while I was riding out on the streets or on the highway. In all these years, this bike had been my constant travel companion – be it commute to work, driving to South Mumbai, doing road trips to Pune, Lonavala etc. and in all these years it has never given me a chance to complain. I loved the way it would take on the road and everytime I was riding it, I felt I was in safe hands. I am sure the bike felt it too. However, that association ended yesterday. I had recently booked a Royal Enfield Thunderbird 350 and I got news a couple of days back that my bike has been allotted and should be available in a couple of weeks. The plan had always been to sell off R15 and use that money to pay the down payment for the new bike. However, as the time to sell the bike kept getting nearer, I was in two minds – whether to keep the bike or sell it. I could have kept the bike and done some modifications etc and kept using it. However, I knew I would not able to use the bike fully as I would mostly be doing more work commute on the new bike. I didn’t want the bike to lay waste in the building garage, hence yesterday on getting a reasonable offer, I decided to sell it off. While taking the bike to the new owner, I realised that this was going to be my last ride on this bike and wasn’t feeling too good about it. As I looked at the bike for the last time, all the memories of our association flashed right by my eyes and brought tears. No one likes parting away with things that they love. The same was true for me. It was my first bike and shall always remain.

Last pictures of my bike in its full glory

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Day 91/ 365 – Riding Bullet Classic 350

I finally had an opportunity to ride the Bullet Classic 350 to work today. My brother recently got himself a Bullet motorcycle and since then I have been itching to ride the beast. The Classic Bullet is famous for its “thump” and with my brother modifying the silencers within 2 weeks of delivery, it certainly lived up to the name. Since the bike was new, I was asked not to ride at more than 60 kmph. I have been riding the Yamaha R15 since the last 3+ years and difference between the 150 cc bike and a 350 cc bike was instantly obvious. The power of the bike while climbing the slopes was clearly awesome and there were no signs of any drag. While there is no drag observed in R15 also, but the entire ride feeling was completely different. I knew there was enough power in the bike without me pushing it to the limits. Also the new Bullet seats are very comfortable as compared with R15. The feeling of riding the cruiser as compared to riding the sports bike was also completely different. Normally I would feel very hesitant riding the R15 at 60 kmph, because that bike deserves to be driven at faster speeds. But here I was very comfortable riding at 60 kmph or less.   The entire ride was extremely pleasurable and unhurried. Also initially, I was a little worried about being able to adjust from a sports bike to cruiser with wider handles, however, it turned out to be much easier and extremely comfortable for the back while riding the bike. I rode for about 22 kms in the afternoon and now will be riding back an equal distance in the middle of the night. It would be just me, the road and the famous Bullet thump!!! Looking forward to it.


Day 10/ 365 – Bike issues – final

So as mentioned in my earlier post, I decided to take my bike to the Kamala Yamaha Service Center in Borivali (E) to get it checked. On checking the bike, the mechanic says that the problem is with.. guess what?? Battery!!! I told him that I have just got this new battery yesterday and I am not sure the issue is with the battery. He told me that I have put a 4AH battery and I should have put a 9AH battery. I told him, the original bike battery was only 3.5AH and this should work fine. I told him to check the wiring and electrical rectifier to make sure there is no problem with them. In case, there is no problem with wiring and the rectifier, only then call me to change the battery.

I got a call from the mechanic that evening that the problem is with the battery and they have checked everything. Reluctantly, I told them to put a new battery and retain the old battery so I can return it back to the vendor. I called them next morning and was asked to collect the bike as it was ready. I was still not convinced that the problem has been fixed. I went to the service center and picked up the bike. Told the mechanic, that if there is any issue I am going to bring the bike right back. He assured me that the problem has been taken care of and I should not worry at all. I took the bike to work that evening. While everything seemed to be working fine, I was just not sure that the issue was really resolved.

After my shift was over, I realized this was now the moment of truth. Either the bike had been fixed or I was in for a long night. The bike started fine and I had just about reached the office main gate that I saw the dreaded “orange” light and the bike stalled. I was now in panic mode as I was 23 kms away from home and didn’t want to park the bike in the garage was would have to come back the next day either ways to take the bike. So I applied the Indian trick of pushing the bike and starting it in the 1st gear. The engine roared to life and I raced against time to reach the service center 23 kms away. All was going well until I reached the Dahisar Check Naka, where the local cops were checking only bikes. The cop asked me to stop and reluctantly I had to stop, knowing too well that the chances of starting the bike now where were very low. After checking my bike documents, I was allowed to go and as feared the bike didn’t start. Here I was 8 kms away from home and around 6 kms away from the Service Center at 4am in the morning, not knowing what else to do but to push the bike until I reach the Service Center.

I must have pushed the bike for approx. 3 kms when a good Samaritan asked me what was the problem. I told him what the issue was and he offered to help push the bike with his bike. With enough speed, I was able to start the bike once again. This time the good Samaritan stayed behind me.. just in case if the bike stalled again. He followed me until I was just a few meters away from my destination (Faith in humanity restored). I finally managed to reach the service center and parked the bike there. Didn’t really want to take a chance in the morning. I boarded a rickshaw and returned home. The entire ordeal had made me very angry and I had decided that I was going to give the service center guys a piece of mind.

I went to the service center in the morning and told them what happened. This time a senior mechanic looked at the bike and immediately said that rectifier is a problem and probably it wasn’t checked properly. He then started to work on the bike right away and after testing with a different rectifier and same battery fixed the issue. Finally after 6-8 days of continuous issue with the bike, the issue was finally resolved.

Day 7/ 365 – New battery, but problems exist

So I had got the battery charged a couple of days back and took the bike to work. While returning from work, I got the same “Orange” light again and decided I am going to replace the battery. I managed to reach home without any issues and parked the bike. Didn’t use the bike on entire day Saturday and tried starting the bike today afternoon. But there was no response. So I went to the battery store and got myself a brand new battery. After installing the battery by myself, a first for me, the bike seemed to be working fine and there were no “orange” light issues. I even drove for sometime and everything seemed to be fine. So in the evening, I decided to take the bike out for a spin as I wanted to check if it worked well with headlights turned on. Initially while riding for the first 20-25 mins, there were no issues and I was feeling confident that the issues was resolved. However, thats when the dreaded “orange” light appeared again and the bike stalled in the middle of the order. After waiting for a few minutes, I turned it on again and it seemed to work. However, whenever, I would turn on the headlight I started facing issues with the background light in the odometer and the horn started sounding funny. All these are indicators of the battery dying, however, the problem is not with the battery. The problem seems to be something else altogether. I am planning to take it to Service Center tomorrow to understand what issue might be and see if it can be fixed. This is the first time, the bike has given me so many issues. Lets hope tomorrow all of them would sorted and done with.

Day 3/365 – Bike troubles continue

You can refer to my earlier post for more details. I picked up the bike next day from the Yamaha Service Center and they told me that it was a battery issue. They have charged the battery, but if it happens again I would have to change the battery and or change the ignition coil. I assumed that the problem was resolved and decided to take the bike to work. The distance from my home to my office is approx. 45 kms (total). There seemed to be no issues while riding to work, and I was happy that the issue was resolved. I felt my faith in the Yamaha Service Center guys was restored. I think I was optimistic too soon. While returning home, I saw the “orange” engine warning light once again and this time I knew the problem was much worse. I immediately lowered my bike speed and turned off the headlights once there were sufficient street lights. I wanted to stop the bike in between and let the “light” turn off on its own, but was afraid that the bike may stall and may not move forward and I was in mood to drag the bike at 4am in the morning to home. So I decided to keep riding and slowing I saw the light in the odometer dimming, and the horn sounding weirder by the minute. At this point, I was atleast 5-6 kms away from home and was now really in panic mode. On one hand I knew what the issue was, but on the other hand there wasn’t anything I could do about it and didn’t really want to stop anywhere. After riding in such state, I finally reached the building where I stay. Since the gates were closed, I parked the bike outside and went to open the gates. On returning, I tried starting the bike.. and guess what.. It didn’t start. I tried starting 4-5 times, it made a strange sound for the first couple of tries and then there was no sound at all. The battery had finally given up. But it ensured I reached home (my heroic battery..hahah).

The next morning I decided to turn on the bike once again hoping in vain that there would be some juice in the battery and the bike would come to life. Alas.. no such miracle happened and I had to drag my bike to the local mechanic’s place. I told him what the issue was and he suggested that I either charge the battery or get a new battery. I told him that the battery was charged just yesterday and today this happened. I told him I wasn’t sure if I trusted the Yamaha guys to do a proper job and asked him to charge the battery again. In case if it fails again, I would have no option but to get a new battery. Tomorrow is going to be D-day for testing the battery. I am hoping I don’t have to change the battery right now, but then only tomorrow will tell.