CEAT Zoom Rad X1and X1F – Long term Review

By Savio Tavadia / January 24, 2018

Chapter 1 – Introduction and Installation

CEAT Zoom Rad X1 tyres are especially designed to cater specific needs of sports bike enthusiasts from across India. High performance-led ‘Zoom Rad X1’ tyres offer superior control and comfort at high speeds to enable a rider to embark on an exciting road journey. Other major features of the tyres include its soft and high grip compound for better leaning and cornering abilities. Such premium tyres are best suited for the riders of KTM Duke, Bajaj Dominar, Yamaha R15. These tyres will be available in 130/70R17, 110/70R17 and 150/60R17 size.

After our outing with the Ceat Zoom Rad that left us completed stoked and in awe we are beginning our next innings with Ceat Tyres, this time around we have the X1 and X1F fitted to our test Subject, the Bajaj Dominar 400.

 

Chapter 2 – The Break In

A motorcycle that is just down with its second free service and barely clocked 12,000 kilometres meant that the Bajaj Dominar 400 is just a toddler who has scratched the surface of its baby boots. This meant giving it a soft break in and allowing the tyres to adapt to the extreme heat of Pune’s sweltering weather. Keeping it easy for the first 500 kilometres I gradually hit the gas on them to let them “crack in” to the tarmac. No, i did not attempt any burnouts  but let the open straights take us into triple digit territory. As it edged towards its first ton, I toyed with the prospect of cornering. While the stock MRF REVZ C1 passed all possible proving grounds to make room for the Ceats, the tyres was a winner on all terrains from offroading to rain soaked roads that had droplets the size of m16 bullets piercing through the raincoat and armoured RR Gear riding jacket.

After setting the benchmarks to high away from the point of disappointment, the MRFs were handed down to the agile workhorse the Bajaj Pulsar 200 NS. Keeping up to this level of expectations ideally would be a task of sorts for a new tyre off the depot. However in the tradition of the Zoom Rad (read the review of the zoom rad tyres here ) series this too was a failure. It simply failed to disappoint! Cornering friendly treads that let the motorcycle dive in to the corner. While the comfort zone usually is a right hander, one fine sunday enroute to the Bajaj Dominar owners HYPERMEET in April 2018, I attempted to lean in on the the easy left-hander to and the Dominar effortlessly keeled over without any whims. so also while testing it for highest possible speeds, the Zoom Rad felt comfortable at 150 kmph and yet come to a grinding halt without much ado. The summer was well spent on almost every type of surface and there hasn’t been a spot where the ceat zoom rads took a dip in confidence levels. Now with the onset of monsoons it is yet to be seen what this dynamic duo can do! No, we won’t go off roading to places like Rajmachi unless there’s a tow truck and a new set in place, these are street tyres. After all would you wear bathroom slippers to a Tuxedo dinner? For any other relevant queries it would be appreciated if you could post them in the comments below.

keep watching this space for more…

Chapter 3 – Bring in the Rain Coming Soon…

For more details and to check availability of the tyre for your motorcycle click on the link below:

https://www.ceat.com/tyres/motorcycle/product/zoom-rad-x1

 

Breaking Stereotypes – All Bikers go to Ladakh

 

It is commonplace nowadays that a when in conversation it comes across that you are a motorcyclist the other person asks, “Have you been to Ladakh?” Then I begin to wonder if this person skipped Geography as a subject or is blind by the common notion that travelling to Leh-Ladakh or getting Leh’d is the ultimate goal of every biker. Taking this in to account, pat comes the cross question, “Do consume alcohol and /or you like partying?” If the answer is a positive one I ask them if they’ve been to Goa. You may wonder what relevance does it bear?

As mundane as it may seem, there is a deep rooted link a notion that these places bring to one’s mind. In case of a non-motorcyclist for us there is more to the highest motorable roads that have been the “coming of age” for those who have been there. Likewise in case of those who are adept to partying, there are places beyond just Goa and yes my friend if you are a party animal am sure you just listed out at least five scenic places that you can escape to and let go of the stress that usually offers you.

 

As a journal, Motolethe was the culmination of a motorcycle and its rider, the other characteristics being as diverse as the gorges of a mountain pass is to a hair pin bend. Not all motorcyclist engage in the same type of motorcycle related activity and indeed there are those who are all rounders. Amongst those all-rounders there are those who are typically leaned towards a specific type of pursuit that which makes up the genealogy of that person’s riding style. So also not every party animal’s definition of a party would necessarily be an Electronic Music Festival, it can be a Live Rock Concert or even attending The Opera.

 

 

Taking a cue from this I would encourage the non-motorcyclist reader to explore the adventures of the erstwhile motorcyclist and who knows you may discover a piece of paradise you never knew existed within the periphery of your “Long Weekend Getaway”. Yes, do feel free to thank that bloke whose adventure came to life when the nuerons fired up your imagination like fire flies on a dark lonely night. There is more to the journey that ever is and there is more to India that just the highest mountain pass!

 

Genesis – Freakazoids turns six years this year!

By Savio Tavadia / January 15, 2018

Freakazoids – Inaugural Ride

 

Formed on the  January 11th 2012 and based out of Ponda, Goa this group of 30 odd riders Around six years from today, three school friends who purchased their dream motorcycles somewhere between 2011 and 2012. Interestingly as it turned out, it was the same make and model, the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSi and not stopping at this, they envisioned bringing together the entire biking fraternity of Goa under one umbrella. While the ideology worked for first couple of years, destiny seemed to have lost the corner at the apex when of the three moderators, one of them gave into his attitude and other priority while the other stepped out of the brotherhood as he was unable to harmonise a personal-passion balance.

 

 

In this dark hour the group saw one person who rose to the occasion and began to bring order among the chaos and bring the ship back on course.  While he was able to manage the team effectively, he also took that bunch of gasoline guzzling piston stallion and their saddled riders to the next level where the team is not only popular with the locals but has its roots connected to the motorcycle clubs across geographies of the country. Freakazoids can be regarded as one of the  most active riding groups of Goa. While stabilizing team operations did not come easy, it can be said that the sense of bonding as a family is what strengthened the bond over the past five years.

 

To connect with The freakazoids you can reached them here:

Facebook – Freakazoids

Instagram – Freakazoids Official

Lead Moderator – Shivam Sawant

Call/Whatsapp – 9049813098

2017 the year that was – Freakazoids 5th Anniversary Year celebrations

 

MAXIMUSPRO – Offline Navigation on the go

By Savio Tavadia / January 3, 2018

 

 

Launched at the India Bike Week in Goa last November, the MaximusPro is a product and service designed for bikers and by bikers as not only a navigation assistant but also a travel planner. Offering an Offline Navigation experience, the MaximusPro gives the user turn-by-turn directions even if there is no connectivity! In case you deviate from your planned route then you will receive approximate directions to return to your planned route, sounds interesting?

 

Continue reading

Braking Techniques for beginners

Bikers have a 6th sense, it is called logical sense. Be it navigation, mechanics, riding skills or handling emergency situations, I believe if and when used effectively this gift from God can prove to be a Ram-Baan. About 10 years ago while riding to work on my CBZ  back then, I started to slow down even after turning the fuel knob to reserve and then the bike came to a grinding halt almost hurtling me to the ground in rush hour traffic.

To find the cause I tried to pull the bike to the side but it refused to budge. It had its front [disc] brakes jammed with the disc smouldering hot. With some help from others present I parked the bike in a compound nearby and poured some water to cool it. Later on  I took it to the hero Honda service station and escalated the issue wherein it seemed like the brakes were “over serviced” [the brake overhaul was something recommended by the advisor] and after a detailed conversation, the manager got the fault rectified to my satisfaction. Thus I figured that:

  1. “Jo hazeer woh Vazir” – be present when the part/parts in question are being taken off the bike and take pictures if necessary should the case of mitigation arise. Presence always gives you the edge whether you are an ace rider or technician when it comes to ignorance or knowledge about your vehicle. On the other side desperation creates perspiration and haste makes obviously not BIRYANI. In an extreme case ride at a pace that may be very slow but keep to the side of the roads if the vehicle is somewhat ride-able. The front discs have enough stopping power to lead you to the nearest safe house as a fuel bunk or police station if need be.

 

  1. A to Z – it’s a colloquially used term by locals in any area (well in a way) from Ace engineers to localised mechanics there are those who do a thorough check, before you give your vehicle to the service station a check list made by you would help. In this case check for unusual brake pad wear, erosion of the discs, brake fluid leakage/air pockets and any other faults.

 

  1. Second your notion – when on a forum be it online or in friends circle check to see what they have to say, show them your findings[as noted in 1. &2.] They may find the “photo bomber”/fault. I had changed the 1st set of brake pads at about 7000 odd kms [too lazy to check my records] and I was like “Damn you Pulsar…” but let’s face it, it could just be incidental, in my case instead of worn out brake pads a set of iron plates came off. But nothing like getting a 2nd say from someone who has more experience in the matter.
    1. Escalation – for those of us who have had a sound education, am sure you would not be googling this term. Escalation with the authorities would have a proper channel; it’s ok to lose your cool. If the cooker never blew the prescribed number of whistles how would the cooks know whether our favourite dish is ready to serve? But then when it comes to serving they would follow a method, won’t they? Check with the resources available to you [website, phone numbers, references etc.]For the path between the customer care and consumer court there will be a land of opportunities waiting to be explored. Do not just mudsling and a legal notice “Serve if you must” but well decorated with complete documentation. However whatever you do, leave the loud words and actions to the uncouth, you are a civilized lot – approach the situation in a tactful manner.

     

    1. POST – is not only an acronym for power on self test, post the situation a brief study on how the part in question is supposed to work can help in some way or the other should there repeat occurrence. Also it would help if you “posted” your resolution as learning for your circle of individuals. Having said that you may share you experience with other so that it saves them the trouble of saying, “ I dug up a mountain only to find a rat.”

     

Night Time Riding Tips – The Shadow rider

The current state of roads is inversely proportionate to the taxes paid by the average breadwinner. While at some places it may be at par with international standards elsewhere apathy is only a compliment. While some of you reading this would be able to meander through the planet mars and reflection of the moon’s surface while jumping of a set of speed breakers that would catapult the average Joe higher than an X games jumper, the rest would be glad to have reached the parking lot!

Taking a cue from this thought about the road conditions I began to observe patterns that formed. I did this while giving complete disregard to all the jargon on the internet so and simplify it for anyone. I made few observations that would prove helpful for those having difficulty, particularly at night – a time when the chances of missing a road hazard are at its peak. Even at times speed breaker is visible on a poorly lit or dark road because of nighttime reflectors or white stripes on it. What do you do in case the speed breaker is not visible?

It is easy to follow the pattern shadow formed by the obstacle. The longer the shadow, the bigger the speed breaker and the shorter it is, the nastier it is for the rims of your bike. It is no daunting task to make this observation; its best practised on a daily route during the night so as to be able to acclimatise oneself to riding the wave of darkness thus created. While this will require a few nights of travel on the same route it is advisable to memorize the location of the speed breakers so as to slow down or break well before time and go over the obstacle.

 

While still continuing with the series, shadow riding aims to throw light on those times when we ride sans natural illumination or in simple terms – sunlight. While today’s topic is synonymous with the term clarity of thought, there is no denying that even the slightest misunderstanding can turn the sweetest of relationships sour.

Today we will talk about the headlamps of our vehicles. Irrespective of the wattage even the slightest speck of dust can render the rider blind in poor light or heavy fog conditions. Not all of us park indoors nor live in surroundings that are dust free.  Once while riding back home on a clear yet dark night I realised that in areas of low lighting the high beam was not travelling as far as it should. Taking advantage of the riding glove’s fabric I lean forward and wiped the headlight. Lo behold, to my surprise the similar patches got significantly brighter. Nowadays, We certainly have more food on our plate than we can ask for in order to feed the ever-increasing appetite or our ambitions and careers so as to climb the rungs in our career and in doing so would then to ignore cleaning the head light of our two wheelers.

Also, please do ensure that while you may keep the visor up while you ride at times, it is clean before a ride out during or after sunset. With the visor down the dust that had settled inside will direct any light source on your eyes and take your attention off the road. I recommend that you clean not only the headlight but also the visor (preferably with a soft cloth) on both, the inner and out sides so as to avoid any light source to distract your attention when you are on the road.

Ritu Kaur – Vadodra’s Bullet Queen

 

Ritu Kaur

Born  to a Punjabi family and raised in Vadodra Gujarat, Ritu Kaur is a swimming coach in an international school in Vadodra. Her tryst with motorcycling began when she was in the sixth standard during summer holidays. While she spent the vacations at her relative’s house in Punjab, due to lack of proper public transportation in that small town travel used to be very inconvenient. Not willing to compromise, one fine day she requested her elder cousin brother teach her how to ride a motorcycle. He agreed and taught her how to ride on his Yamaha RX 100 and that is how her motorcycling journey began.

When she returned to Vadodra and school started she used to ride to school on her father’s Vespa. During her college she used a TVS Apache to commute. Recently she also participated in the MRF Mogrip National Championship (Ladies 160 -220c) and represented Team 10 Racing. She gives the complete credit to her coach Mr. Sunil Nigam of team Baroda Automotive Racing ( BAR) for arming her with the skill sets o give reigning champions a run for their money while allowing her to hone her skills with limited facilities to train and practice. Riding on behalf of Team Kings Autoriders at the recently held Royal Enfield Rider Mania, Ritu Kaur cruised her way to the podium with two trophies much to the joy of her team, well-wishers and fans.

 

Here is a brief summary of her journey in the field of competitive and non-competitive events

  • Founder and Moderator : Bullet Queens – Vadodara
  • Runners up of dirt track bullet race riders mania Goa 2016 (Only female participant from  Gujarat)
  • Winner – motocross dirt track at Kochi carnival 2016
  • Winner-motocross championship at Trissur, Kerala 2016
  • 2nd runner up – Round 3- Pune, MRF Two Wheeler National Championship Rally 2017
  • Winner Round 5- Coimbatore, MRF Two Wheeler National Championship Rally 2017
  • Winner of Jaipur Dangle Dirt race ladies class 2017
  • Winner of CEAT 2wheeler scooter motocross race in Bhopal 2017
  • Winner of Tumkur, Karnataka Dirt race 2017
  • Winner of Royal Enfield Riders Mania Dirt Race on Bullet 500cc & 2nd Runners up in350 cc
  • Winner of Trials Royal Enfield 2017

Royal Enfield Rider Mania Trials 2017

Gurumail in the News:

Bullet queen of Vadodara proves herself in the male zone

http://www.divyabhaskar.co.in/news/MGUJ-VAD-c-35-643056-NOR.html?ref=srh

 

Ritu Kaur with her team and their haul of trophies

 

 

Cafe Racer Riding Denims – Two years and counting..

This month two years ago, Cafe Racer debuted at the India Superbike Festival, taking the festival by storm it had most of the PYTs walking away with a Cafe Racer package that was now synonymous with our lenses. Adding to the fray were the children who lopped up their merchandise (read caps) allowing a very short shelf life.

In the times of other brand who offered full-fledged “Touring pants”, there was only one of them who went DARK ;). Nevertheless we had some invasion from the east who vied to be on the saddle of every motorcycle. Taking a stride into the past and  looking back at how this brand has developed it array of riding denims is nothing short of a quantum leap! Celebrating two years of affiliation and also as very satisfied customers we have one of the moderators of  The Lycans – Pune , Suhas Kumbhar share the lense space with the Yamaha FZ 25.

 

 

 

For more details and to get your pair of Cafe Racer riding Denims click here

 

Photography: Rishi Lokhande

 

Dirtsack Gypsy – For the Hyper Tourer in you!

We recently took the Dirtsack Gypsy out on a short trip across the country cover a little over 11,000kilometres over a travel period of around a month or so… Sounds trivial doesn’t it? given the average distance a motorcyclist covers on a solo ride in this time frame, these eleven thousand Kilometers are indeed a lot less. There is no denying that at times in a day covering even 200 kilometers felt like a thousand and covering 500+ felt like a walk in the park. Such is the diversity of terrain that our country is bestowed with.

Overlooking the lush green Nilgiris at Munnar

Unlike the typical paragraph reviews we are taking a different approach here:

  1. We took the Gypsy without its standard locking straps and used Bungee cords instead in order to test its buoyancy in the absence of standardised bolt-ons. Throughout the journey with the exception of obstacles like potholes and bumps, the bag stayed on it pillion seat without a fuss.
  2. Also we kept it devoid of the shape retainers to check if over a period the is and kind of wear and tear to the outer fabric. Apart from the dust accumulated over the entire journey there were no other marks.
  3. There is no denial that when out on a ride one must pack not just for the ride but also ensure that you do not over pack. The idea was to carry just the essentials and keep a little bit of space for any items that might be purchased as mementos of the ride.
  4. Since the journey began in the last week of September, we got our fair share of downpour across most of the states travelled. Not just during urban thunderstorms but also through rain soaked jungles the raincover ensure that the bag was bereft of water. Whatever bit did seep in, it was through the gaps created during installation of the cover in the event of a sudden downpour.
  5. The lower outer pockets allow the rider to carry about two liters of engine oil while the upper pockets can be used to carry some tools and minor spares as well.
  6. Apart from the bolt on straps there are three other types of straps:
  • A sling strap to carry the bag like a regular travel bag
  • A Handle strap that comes with a velcro lock. This strap allows the user to carry the bag confidently at its maximum load.
  • There are two auxiliary straps that can be taken from under the seat and fastened to keep the bag in place while to use the bolt ons or the bungees to anchor the bag in place.

 

 

Features (As per manufacturer)

  • Universal compatibility ? No change in luggage from bike to bike, Designed to fit Sports, Standards, Cruisers, Adventure Bikes, and almost anything in between.. Harleys / Triumphs / Bullets / Indians / KTMs / Hondas / Yamahas ..youname it!
  • Massive storage capacity ? Class highest 60 Litres capacity.
  • Reinforced fibre inserts inside ?legs? ensure full look even when partially full. 2 Quick Fit Duffel Straps, included, allow an additional duffel to be strapped outside of the bag — try our waterproof Frogman Tailpack ? sold separately.
  • Completely secure fit ? roads, boulders, gravel, river crossings what have you..4 versatile anchor straps provided, offer Zero Displacement fit on any bike!Optional mounting points to suit all bike types. Bar tacked versatile Molle straps and D rings allow for anything from a tent to a tripod to be harnessed outside the bag.
  • All Weather Protection ? constructed out of Completely Water Retardant fabrics, and then paired with an extremely sturdy external weather cover, with go-around secure straps, make this a bag for all seasons.Dirtsack Gear dry Dry bags sold separately, ease packing and offer 100% waterproof protection to contents.
  • Ease of exterior pockets?4 large external YKK zippered pockets, for those tabs, pads, pencils, phones, batteries, keys, cameras, books, maps, ropes, tools, gum, cigarettes, zippos? the works!
  • Water Bottle Holders ? 2 ergonomically designed secure bottle pockets can each carry a 1.5Lt Bottle with ease. ??Use a Hydrapack? don?t need a bottle pocket?? Just press the empty pockets onto the bag anda hook and loop arrangement will lock it in place ? no flutter! Smart design!
  • A Super Tough Bag ? 1000 Den non rubberized PU coated ballistic polyester main shell, YKK coil zippers and runners ? protected with storm flaps for water deflection and easy grasp pullers ? no more peeling off gloves to access a zippered pocket, Bar tacked at all stress points, fibre reinforced ?legs? for added form and protection?.No bull.. Dirtsack quality!
  • Safety ? full length 500 cd lux.. bright as a neon -3M Scotchlite reflective elements on all 4 sides for amazing visibility in bad weather, low light and night riding conditions. The shape and dimensions of the ?legs? prevent any proximity to wheels or moving parts.
  • 3 Layered Bottom ? for maximum strength and stability- triple-layered with water resistant liner, 1000 den polyester and anti-slip high tensile rubber foam.
  • Dimensions – Overall Length ? 22 inches / 56 cm, Width ? 12 inches / 30.5 cm, Height (from the seat top) 8 inches / 20.5 cm, ?Leg? overhang (from the seat top)7 inches / 18 cm
  • Color ? Black with grey accents
  • Price ? Rs 5900/- inclusive of taxes

Link to  the Website: Dirtsack Gypsy

 

The Motolethe – Kalyanaraman Venkatesan

It has been two years that www.motolethe.com began its journey and as a Second Anniversary Special Edition we are bringing to you a story about one man who had made a difference, read on…

 

 

There is no dearth of motorcyclists in the country who is or isn’t a rebel without a cause. There are some who seek support from the society to promote their cause and there are some who do it on their own. As a country India is one of those has seen more automobiles on its roads than tarmac available. This surge of vehicles has brought it own events to the table. One of them being road hazards. Stepping up to the occasion we have one individual who have been patient and perseverant to sensitize fellow motorists on Road safety. In the time that followed, starting with his hometown one can see others taking up the cause as well!

Kalyanaraman, Tell us something about yourself

I am a BIKER by passion and an IT Professional by the desk, my technical inclination drove me towards the IT sector whereas the urge to contribute to the welfare of the society pushed me towards my mission.

 

 

How did MISSION SAFER ROADS take shape?

The passion for Riding and Driving led me on a path which is now a mission to have SAFER INDIAN ROADS. I spent the last 6 years on researching, understanding and then educating the society on how self-discipline and awareness is vital for one’s safety on Indian roads.  Thus – MISSION SAFER ROADS!

 

 

Also we are given to understand that you have an initiative around Ambulances..

As a motorist and a responsible citizen of the country, many issues related to road safety intrigue me. One cause which is close to my heart is the sensibility to GIVE WAY TO AMBULANCE. You are saving lives by providing immediate help during an emergency without being directly involved for even a delay by few minutes can cause an uncalled fatality. I believe we need to be sensitive to respond and take action when they see an Ambulance with a glaring siren.

 

What is the strategy or approach to spreading awareness?

Today’s youth are not just commuters but also, they are the ones who are driving the country. Thus this quest to spread the awareness has driven me to the right place to begin my campaign – The youth.  Schools, Colleges and Corporate houses have given me the platform where I have addressed the basic need for self-discipline and following traffic rules. Typically, I initiate the discussion with importance of HELMETS and choosing the right one for protection and then converge upon the topic of empathizing with the other motorists, especially – the Ambulance!

 

 

How many workshops have you conducted so far?

Until date I have conducted over a 100 sessions for colleges, schools and MNCs and shared my vision with over 25000 eager audiences. Also, amongst them some have shown their solidarity in my belief by offering their valuable work-force time while I engaged with over 8000 eager listeners. I have also conducted sessions for driving license applicants at the RTO, Pune.

 

 

Apart from conducting a workshop, is there any other way you spread this message?

The quickest dialogue about “GIVING WAY TO AMBULANCE”  is through the plate on back of my motorcycle which reads “ALWAYS GIVE WAY TO AMBULANCE, EMPATHIZE. SOMEDAY, IT COULD BE YOU. The visual impact it has created so far has been immense and has raised my hopes that people would recall it the moment they see an ambulance stuck in traffic and raise to the occasion!!

 

 

How much do you charge for a workshop?

My sessions are voluntary and I do not believe in monetary benefits.

You can also connect with them on Facebok https://www.facebook.com/missionsaferroads/

To know more about  Mission Safer Roads https://missionsaferroads.in/our-mission

 

 

 

 

Photo Credits: Mission Safer Roads

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