It so happened that the day was filled with instances of comparisons in different shapes and forms and in the most unexpected of places. In a random fit of thoughtfulness, I was contemplating on what is the best thing to compare a bike to (dont ask why, even I dont know why). Shouldnt have been too difficult a task, one might say. After all its just 2 wheels, an engine in between & seating for 2, right? Not exactly. After a lot of soul searching, head scratching & goatee tugging it eventually dawned on me that women make for the aptest comparison. And so here I am penning my thoughts on the 3 bikes in my life so far & how closely they actually resemble women in their traits.
**DISCLAIMER - Any resemblance in characteristics to any woman I know is purely coincidental.**
To say that my brother's Apache RTR 160 was a bit of a eye opener for me would be a massive understatement. Dressed in the right clothes (in this case yellow) she looks hot & has a really wild streak in her. She may not grab eyeballs any more as she is doing good numbers (akin to a woman wearing what’s in, along with every other woman) but she will always be beautiful in my eyes. She just begs me to rip the throttle & unleashes that trademark roar which accompanies the sudden burst in speed & adrenaline which to be honest is pretty addictive.
But it isn’t all dreamy. With that manic mindset she gets vibey by the time she crosses 60 kmph & emergency braking will have you fishtailing like it was nobody’s business. And the constant revving braking revving routine can get a bit tiring over long rides especially because your fingers & your bottom are going to be tingling with all the vibes. Restrict yourself to shorter rides and side roads to rev the bike a bit and you can be sure of a big grin by the time you reach.
Almost like the woman you know who is one of those hyper types who would dare you to accompany her on some crazy ass kamikaze mission that is bound to get you both in trouble. Of course you the fact that shes a girl & hence not supposed to be tougher than you troubles you no end but the thrill of the risk will give you kicks to last the week. Your legs might tremble, your voice will tend to go a bit soft but you sure as hell will pretend to be brave and agree to jump headfirst into danger. And in the process write a true story to tell your grandchildren. She will push you way beyond your comfort zone & you know the only reason you aren’t doing more is because you've got smaller gonands than her. Living on the edge aint always that great though, so a bit of caution is best mixed with this dangerous diva who makes for a heady rush.
When I think of the Yamaha R15, I think of red wine. To truly appreciate the beauty of it, you need to have drunk (and gotten drunk) on beer, rum, whisky (including scotch), brandy, vodka & local stuff at different stages of your life. After all these if you do move up to wine, you start understanding what makes it so expensive & why its worth it. Critics will say, you can get a better kick out of rum or vodka. But theres no point in convincing them. Its about you knowing.
Its fast, no wait, make that bloody fast. And yet its not about the speed. It is an absolutely brilliant masterpiece of Japanese engineering & on less congested roads, when you start exploring the seemingly endless potential of the bike you know you are always safe. The bike is reassuring, you can almost feel it holding your hand & making sure that you are comfortable. Always. Super smooth does not begin to explain how it feels. Add to that the fact that wherever you go, you are guaranteed a second look and you know whatever you have spent is worth it. Did I mention it is ridiculously quick without the drama?
The R15 is like the gorgeous model who people would love to go upto & impress with their wit but something about her aura tends to tie tongues of even the slickest talkers. You will spend an extra 5 minutes combing your hair before you go to meet her. You will make sure your shoes are shining even if you are meeting her at night & nobody is going to look at your feet. You know that when you walk into a restaurant or a party all eyes will be on the two of you. Their lips might be saying 'Look at her, all showstar looks but Im sure she must be a dodo'. But their eyes will be green with envy.
Lady In Red
I still remember the day years ago when I first read the Overdrive (then India's #1 auto magazine & bible for us enthusiasts) issue which had the test drive of the then just released Bajaj Pulsar. They put together a comparo with the other bikes in its class with some really C grade models for added effect & the Pulsar twins (then the 150 & 180) blew the competition right out the window. Those sculpted lines, the perfomance they offered & the hard to swallow (for the competition) price meant that Bajaj had a sure fire winner on their hands. Bajaj is still laughing its way to the bank as they have succeeded in keeping the Pulsar brand alive with the constant upgrades. Its just that maybe, just maybe, they succeeded too well.
Its almost 7 years since I was gifted the Pulsar by my Dad. While I havent clocked a gazillion kms on it like others wouldve in this duration, every ride has been memorable. My first ever 100 kmph + experience, the first time the rear end stepped out of line on a rain soaked road thus throwing my heart into my mouth & the headrush that followed, the first puncture which fortunately happened outside a tyre shop, the first fall because of the notchy gearbox and the recovery from it both mental & physical ...... fact is, Ive grown up with the bike. Which is why she reminds me of the girl next door.
I guess a lot of people are lucky enough to have had a girl next door in their life. Not necessarily across the wall next door. Shes smart, shes always been kind, shes pestered you as a kid, shes given you inside tips that will help you garner enough confidence to go talk to the new girl in school who you have an itsy bitsy crush on, she provided a lending shoulder when you need someone to talk to when you realise the new girl has an itsy bitsy crush on one of your friends, she helped you with subjects you have difficulty in, she was the one who was as happy as your parents were when the results of your exams came out, she was someone you had to talk to before you decided on which college you joined & you knew that she would always tell you whats best for you (even if it means that the two of you will not meet each other regularly like before) , she introduces you to all her female friends in college and even put in a really swell word for you to her friends who find you charming. Shes been & will always be your rock. And sometimes that solidity is what you really want in life.