Nov 29, 2007

Riding into the sunset - Avenger 200

Here is an image of our test rider alongside the Bajaj Avenger 200 oil cooled cruiser. Shot on the NH2 from Kolkata to Delhi, the image portrays the essence of riding long and into the sunset!

Photo data: Camera body - Nikon D80, Lens - AF 24mm F 2.8. Mode - Aperture priority. Aperture set at 16. Metering mode - Centre weighted. Focus mode - AF Single Servo. I held the centre area to get the metering off the setting sun after focusing on it. Then, I used the Auto Exposure Lock and the Auto Focus Lock together, reframed the shot and released the shutter for this effect!

Nov 25, 2007

The Hero Honda Hunk does not let down!

Sit astride the Hunk and you will immediately start feeling great. That massive tank ahead of you feels substantial. The retro styled instrument console with analogue readouts and the new improved rear add to the style statement.

The gear shifts have become slicker, however, missed gears are still in the ballpark if handled carelessly. Handling is a tad better now and the bike rides a bit stiffer with more feedback.

The front brakes on the bike we got were spongy but that front wheel just comes up like your daily bread. Amen! Full road test report here>>

Cruise Control - The whole weekend, spent riding the Avenger 200!

The whole weekend was skooshed riding the Avenger 200 oil cooled number. We went on the highway, along the back roads and just about anywhere where good smooth tarmac was to be found!

The road test report for the same will be up on the site in a day or two. Till then, you can enjoy this desktop image of our man scraping the Avenger pegs to kingdom come!


Nov 23, 2007

No milkman's bike please! - Which 150?

I would like to buy a 150cc class bike. I have Apache RTR 160 and HH Hunk on my mind. I will not go for Pulsar because every Milkman owns it. ( tired of watching too many of them ) I do not like the looks of Unicorn and CBZ-X. Apache looks great, but TVS quality sucks. On the other hand Hunk is reliable as it is an HH product, but does not come with loaded features as an RTR. I am damn confused in choosing between Apache RTR and Hunk. Please, tell me what you would have done if you were in my place.
Thanks and Regards.
- Harshal Dharankar

Hello Harshal,
Thats a toughy out there. The choice between the RTR and the Hunk is a purely personal one as they are both able machines. What the hunk does not provide in terms of bells and whistles, it makes up for in the feel department. We are currently testing the Hunk out and can tell you that there is something about the bike that is really awesome. It feels great, nimble and is put together well.
If we were in your place, looking at a true blue 150, the Hunk would be our choice, eyes closed!
- Ride safe buddy!

Remembering the Lambretta!

It has been a long time since we did this story on the Lambretta. A whole day that we had spent just canoodling around town on this graceful blue machine from the yesteryears!

Makes for a good read once again and here is a great new wallpaper for you to see and use as your desktop image for a while!

Fits widescreens at 1280 x 960 pixels.

- Enjoy


The best time to listen to music is when you are travelling in your car. When I was in my previous job, such times came often everyday and I got myself a great collection of music I love!

One number that blew me away completely is called 'Flinch' and it figures in Alanis Morissette's album, Under Rug Swept. The lyrics, the entire rhythm and that amazing kick it produces from the sub is reason enough to pick up this album. There are other great songs too... A Must have for you, if cerebral music is what you desire!
- Rahul

Nov 18, 2007

125cc. Prioritized Purchase!

I need to buy a bike in 125 segment in the month of December
My preferences are are listed prioritiwise as
1) Mileage
2) Less and affordable maintenance
3) Power
4) Economical in long run
5) Looks
Please help me to choose One of the best.

- Sanjay Yadav

Hello Sanjay,
Thanks for writing in. Going by your requirements, we would recommend the Bajaj XCD 125 to you. It has the looks, the new era styling, ample performance for a 125cc econocommuter and will give you a steady mileage of 72 kays to a litre in real world conditions.

You can also read our road test on the XCD 125 here>>

Let us know what you finally end up buying. And keep aside some money for a good full face helmet when you buy that bike. Like the good ol' joke that goes 'Especially in December, gift wrap your member!'
- The Monoshock Team

Truckies now have a bad habit!

Quite often, when I go down the highways these days, I have made a strange observation. It has something to do with the truckies. See, principally, I am totally against overtaking trucks from the left hand side.

However, when I am approaching a truck from behind, I feel many times that the guy on the wheel up front does not know which side I am going to pass him from. Small cars and zippy bikes on the highway just go through the convoy of trucks like an obstacle course. If there is space on the left, they will get their nose in and gun the engine. If there is space on the right, they will take a moment to decide which side will it be more fun to do their stuff this time! So, truckies are now a confused lot. They are not sure which way a small vehicle behind them will go. So I pull close to a truck when I want to overtake it, flash a couple of times and stay right there till he moves and then I pass him with confidence and safety and a small nod as I go past his cabin!

In India, we overtake from the right hand side of a vehicle. So let us keep the highways disciplined. Just try it. You will be amazed at how well mannered truckies really are. They have never let me down. How about you? Tell us.
- Rahul

Nov 16, 2007

Somebody gonna get a hurt real bad!

In true Russel Peter style we say. Our man Niel worked his ass off (or was it something else eh?) and finally picked up this awesome 954RR a day back!

Now thats what we call a man who lives for his two wheels.

Expect a full story on the RR soon. Eh Niel, can you hear us?

Our cup of tea!

A lot can happen over tea. You wonder how we mooched that famous one liner and replaced the last word with tea eh? :-D

A lot of bonding, relaxation and work happens over endless cups of tea at Monoshock. Our Ed in Chief, Ben needs loads of it to go through a day. Some great relationships a few of our resident road testers have had, had a lot to do with earthen cups full of the brew. Here is an image that could be called, Days gone by! We love it.

- The Monoshock Team

A day by the river. CBZ Xtreme and all!

I spent the day by the river today. This was no deserted, scenic riverside. Men and women of all ages were jostling for space like auto rickshaws in office time Bangalore traffic! The few pockets of space that remained were filled up by stray dogs, that were amazed at the sudden turnout of humans, eating away into their private spaces.

Today was Chhat, a festival celebrated in Northern - Central India, with much gusto and colour. However, amidst all the chaos, there was an amazing riot of colours. Our red CBZ Xtreme added to the heady mix of hues. Very beautiful women in traditional Indian dresses had hit the streets. The sun occassionally glinting on the precious stones that hung by their slender necks. Everyone was headed for the river. Cheap music systems by the roadside played folk songs from the heart of India in a very sweet language. The air was charged with a strange kind of romance! I am not a very social creature and festivals are not my cup of tea. But, as a stranger to all of this, I could not help but think about the beauty of life and human relationships.

And more so, in Ruskin Bond's India, Jim Corbett's India, My India!
- Rahul

Nov 15, 2007

Mod God - Souping up the Pulsar 200!

Its always great fun reading your road tests online. I loved yourreport on the Pulsar 200 and it helped me making a decision on buying one. So finally I have a Pulsar 200 which is just a week old. I want to fit a K & N air filter after reading the benifits it has to offeras well as the sweet sound it makes ;-) I won't be jetting the carb, and I wanted to know whether this would still affect the fuel consumption (positively/negatively) and the warranty of the bike. A few people have advised me to fit the filter after the warranty period is over, but I don't really agree with them, as the filter does not really have to do much with the same. But, I've read somewhere that its not advisable to fit the filter without jetting the carb as the carb won't work efficiently if it does not get the necessary fuel supply as compared to the extra air which would be pumped. This i think would affect the engine performance adversely too. If I go ahead and do the jetting, by how much kms will the fuel consumption ideally rise? Please tell me what should be done, will take your advice. Secondly I would like to know about the Iridium spark plugs by NGK, and how will they affect the performance of the bike, both with respect to the fuel consumption and performance. I have tried my best here in Pune to get information about them for my Pulsar 200, but my efforts have been useless so far. The last question, is it possible for fitting the rear disc brake arrangement of the Pulsar 220 to the200? Kindly advice. Thank you very much :-)
- Bhushan Patil

Hello Bhushan,
1) The current air filter on the P200 is perfect. A K&N air filter is no doubt a great unit but we would not want you to tamper with the breathing settings of the engine. You may have an issue with the warranty also as this qualifies as a modification done to the engine parts! Also, there will not be any significant changes with the filter alone.

2) Why would you want to rejet the carb? Never tamper with a carb till it is absolutely necessary or if there is an issue. Modifications to a well researched engineering product can have adverse effects on it's life, emissions and other crucial factors with a very small amount of rise in performance. Best avoided!

3) The disc brake unit can be fitted on the P200 rear. But it will need quite a lot of work on the swingarm, the wheels and hub, the rear brake fluid reservoir location and hoses. Again, we are not sure how it is worth the expenditure!

Bhushan, the P200 is a great bike the way it is. Please ride it well, look after it and after some time, you can upgrade to a larger capacity bike which has all the performance you need. People even modify their Busas and R1s for more performance. But that, beats the whole point!
- The Monoshock Team

Which 150cc?

This is Bilal, n i am planning to buy a bike but i am very confused as there is a lot of action available in the market, i would like to buy a 150cc+ bike. i have Apache RTR, Honda Unicorn, Hero Honda Achiever, Pulsar 200 and Hero Honda Hunk as my options as this will be my first bike. i want to be confident about it. i need a bike which is easy to handle, good in luks and also shd hav decent performance and of course mileage of 40 kmpl or more. Plz help me with this.

Hello Bilal, thanks for writing in. If i was you and was buying my first bike, I would not go beyond the 150cc segment. Later on, upgrades to a higher cc could be looked at. Reading your email, I would recommend the Hunk and the Unicorn. They are both great bikes and qualify all your need criteria. The Hunk promises to be a good bike and is brand new in terms of looks, so that could be your best bet! Do let us know if you have any further queries.
- Rahul

Looking for an RD 350 HT- Nothing else!

Hi, I am shahrukh azim from mhow. Actually i have nothing to say but i am looking for an rd 350 HT model so if u can help in getting a good stock rd 350 it would be gr8.

Hello Shahrukh,
Thanks for writing in. The RD 350 was a legendary bike of it's era. However, it is important for you to figure out for yourself that it was a polluting 2 stroke engine that does not make any sense anymore! Everytime you ride your RD, all you will do is dump toxins into the already dirty atmosphere. We say get yourself a 4 stroke motorcycle. The P220 comes to mind for some awesome performance and reliability!
- The Monoshock Team

Nov 11, 2007

When less is more - CBZ Xtreme

Get this: 7 out of 10 men think that they are, er, not big enough! I hope you understand what we are saying. The reality is that size seldom matters to the other side. So, stop drooling at big cubes. That is the typical manly thing to do. Concentrate on performance instead!

So while most of you were preparing for the Dewali night, we were having fun with this red explosive too!

Full story and stunning wallpapers here>>
- Ride Safe

Nov 10, 2007

A letter to Rossi - We got this on mail.

i have tried all these but no one is responding. i am compelled to go to college outside my state due to my family pressure. my parents, they want me achieve in college. they do not understand i want to achieve in other thing where i am best bcoz JESUS has given me this.


i’m sonu and i’m your very biggest fan in the world and you will never find anyone in the world like me. i am a mad lover of your’s. i mean you are my life and my ideal and i respect you too much. i’m asian Indian and I LIKE YOU THIS MUCH. i want to participate with you. i’m a very poor boy i mean i’m not in a position to participate but i’m a very good bike rider, and like you if i got the chance i can progress ahead. i want become your student because you are my master. my age is 20 and nobody is here to help me expect JESUS. i don’t even have any family support and i hope you will help me.
jacob ratnam,
near gopal general stores
rajatalab RAIPUR 492001

Chhattisgarh, INDIA.

We got this mail today from Jacob and are reproducing it just the way it came in.

Hello Jacob,
It is so warm to see that you have such intense passion for motorcycle racing and Rossi. We are also sure that given the right support, you can become an able biker. However, education is very important for you. It will help you stand up as a man, make money and then empower you to buy the bikes you want and practice on a track. India also has many big races and you can start even 10 years later, when you are ready!

Remember Jacob, Jesus helps those who help themselves and you must keep the fire burning inside you and use it as a force to fuel your passion. But right now, it is time for you to make a career. Our economy, unfortunately does not allow for sponsorships for such causes, dost. Yes, its a cruel world. But you must not give up. And whenever you do make it, we will always be around to cheer you up on the track or on the road.

And we hope Rossi comes by to our blog to take a look at his greatest fan.

But till then, take a bow from all of us dost, for your courage and love for motorcycling.

- The Monoshock Team

Nov 8, 2007

Watching the world go by - On Dewali's Eve!

" There are heroes in the seaweed,
There are children in the morning
They are leaning out for love,
And they will lean that way forever."
- Leonard Cohen

Riding back home from a small photo ops on my favourite, the Xtreme was a sad experience today. You know why? Small children, like this one, were nowhere to be seen. I mean, not this side of them atleast. Little hands held little weapons! Pocket bombs were being hurled at each other's feet, cracker pistols were being brandished. We really catch them young don't we? Violence and the power of arms is ingrained into our systems that early.

As the sun faded away, huge crackers leapt up into the sky! Their amazing colours somehow justifying their insane levels of pollution and astronomic levels of cost. A poor woman sleeps by the roadside, abandoned by the stock exchange and it's believers. Nobody has anything to give her, while a school going child steps out and buys a few thousand bucks worth of paper and chemicals, which will burn off in a matter of few hours and leave the world a more toxic place.

We all live for the moment. Individuals and corporations. We plan only as far as we can see. As long as this lifetime goes by in peace and prosperity. Like Ostriches, we are blinding ourselves instead of tackling the problems that can end our very existence. Love? I am still trying to figure out what it means. Love is probably what you feel when you see the picture of a large drop of dew on a lotus leaf, or a V- Max cornering gracefully. All the rest has a reason, which can be argued as being selfish in one way or another.

It was a disturbing ride. I got home and slept off for a while. Will be meeting a friend at night who is coming back to town after a year. I guess it will feel good, great even. And ill use a little time when I am with her, to convince her not to spend any money on firecrackers this time!

- Rahul

Nov 7, 2007

This Dewali, think of this post!

This Dewali, while you give the local firecracker seller a visit, think of this image! We do not need any more of this gunk being dumped into the air. Our bikes are already doing our share of polluting which is adding to our carbon footprints, so refrain from adding any more.

Buy yourself something nice, or your partner something. Save up the money and buy a helmet that you have been looking at for some time or just watch a movie.

Every cracker that explodes takes our earth a step closer to destruction. The polar ice caps are melting, the glaciers and moving faster than ever. The climate is changing globally! Can't we see it all coming? If you can, then make a difference.

Even if the whole world does not stop this Dewali, you can make your share of difference by being a non polluting Indian!

We, at Monoshock are celebrating a non fire Dewali. We are going to make our little share of difference.
- Hope the earth makes it!

Nov 6, 2007

So long my friend!

You know how amazing that new bike feeling is? You go to the showroom, one look at her and you know she is your's. You are already weaving a basket full of dreams around her. You close your eyes as they ready the papers and images of you and her on a long twisting highway start flooding your inner eye. Then you run her in. You enjoy every moment absorbing the thrust, braking and handling abilities.

Now what if after all this, you have to return the bike back to base as if it was never your's? Hard eh? We do it all the time. Every bike we run in, road test and fall in love with just goes back. Trust us when we tell you, we have returned bikes, sat in road side tea stalls and talked about how much we miss her. It is difficult. But life is like that. Reminds us of this amazing track by Yanni called "So long my friend". Though its instrumental, you can feel the loss in the melody.

From the album - Dare to Dream, its a must have for every music lover. You can take our word for it.
So long my friend!

All the Ducati you need till 2009! Only on Monoshock!

The smashing new 2008 range of motorcycles from Ducati will be unwrapped at the EICMA show in Milan!

No hard feelings if you cannot make it to the show mate, we have all the action for you right here. In a one of it's kind mind blowing PDF on the net, we put together all the Ducati that is going to be present!

So buy yourself some wafers, a beer and spend the evening reading this up. You can right click this link and use the 'Save Target As' option to save the whole document on your er, hard drive!

Nov 5, 2007

Monoshock Exclusive: The Ducati Monster 696 - Rise of the machines!

The new Ducati Monster 696 is the next generation naked and the final word in urban excitement. Ride the Monster 696 around your favourite downtown routes in relaxed style or, when the spirit moves you, unleash its dark side to deliver more naked performance than ever before.

Design: Refined style and design are the clear motivations behind the new Monster and the continued perfection of the Desmo engine ensures that its ‘saint and sinner’ image will impress any rider. A comfortable and confidence-inspiring chassis combine with the famously smooth and powerful Ducati L-Twin engine to provide the most enjoyable riding experience. The balance of new technologies expressed in stylishly finished materials is shaped around the original cool Monster heritage.

Maintaining its traditional Monster silhouette, the 696 now looks more muscular than ever. Its wide tank tapers to the thin waistline of a comfortable narrow seat ensuring sure-footed confidence when at the traffic lights. The large diameter Hybrid Trellis frame blends stylishly into an aluminium sub-frame and swingarm while minimalist instrumentation and simple controls at the front of the Monster contrast with twin, bold, Ducati-style mufflers at the rear to enhance its urban-ready image.
With a fuel tank form created with ingenious removable outer skins that enable quick and easy colour swaps, changing the personality of your Monster has never been easier. The quickly removable rear seat cover makes it even easier to completely colour coordinate and, when removed, reveals a place for your favourite passenger.
Chassis: The 696 ergonomics have been improved with subtle but effective changes to the riding position. A shorter reach to the bars and a slightly lower, more forward footpeg position, together with the lowest seat height of any Ducati and a reduction in weight, empowers any rider to become the master of this Monster.

The chassis of the new Monster is made up of a new Hybrid Trellis frame with larger diameter tubes directly inspired by the 2007 World MotoGP title-winning Desmosedici GP7 machine. To this is attached a rear aluminium sub-frame.

The front brake system is the envy of its class and becomes the new benchmark for the category with two 320 mm discs and four-piston radial calipers. At the rear, the dual-sided aluminium swingarm draws inspiration from Ducati Corse’s finest racing products in this area. The instrumentation is now totally digital and continues the tradition of all Ducati’s latest-generation hypersport models, guaranteeing lightness, ease of use and a wealth of information.

The new exhaust system stands out for its re-routed downpipes that now give the underside of the Monster a cleaner appearance and terminate with twin, bold Ducati-style mufflers.
The headlamp unit is characterized by a new triple arc main beam, while the rear light uses modern LED technology. The unmistakable tank boasts ingenious removable outer skins which makes it easy to change the personality of the Monster 696. In line with the latest-generation Ducatis, the new Monster 696 has undergone a weight reduction of 5kg from the previous model and now becomes the lightest bike in its category (359 lbs – 163 Kg).
Engine: The engine of the new 696 is an evolution of the previous 695 version. Measuring 696cc it boasts a series of updates and refinements.
Power output gets a 9% boost to 80 hp (59 kW) and an 11% increase in torque to 50.6 lb-ft.
This new engine continues to have the best horsepower per litre ratio of all Ducati’s air-cooled units, and it ensures a smooth and powerful delivery for a relaxed but thrilling ride in all conditions.

This increase in power has been achieved by the introduction of new cylinder heads, which are now similar to the ones on the 1100 2V engine fitted to the Multistrada and Hypermotard. Bore and stroke remain identical to the previous 695 model at 88 x 57.2 mm, but the pistons and combustion chamber have been revised to optimize the fluid dynamics of the new ports.

The camshafts now rotate on bearing surfaces directly in the cylinder head and are supported by means of oil pressure. The elimination of the bearings has enabled the weight of this unit to be reduced considerably and the layout simplified.
Furthermore the cooling fins of the cylinders and the cylinder heads have a new shape, and an improved casting process allows them to be produced closer to one another so as to increase their number and improve thermal exchange.
Like its predecessor, the new Monster 696 has an advanced APTC clutch, which makes down-shifting safe and helps keep the clutch lever action light and easy, especially in urban riding where frequent stops require high use.

Like every bike in the new range, the Monster 696 also has a new scheduled maintenance programme that reduces costs for the customer.
Have something to say? Use the comments link below and be heard!

Nov 4, 2007

Bigdog bike of the month - November!

Hey guys, its that time of the month again. The Bigdog bike of the month is out.

The lesser the said the better! It promises to light up your month. Max, mate, hope it brings you out of your November Rain blues! ;)

- The Monoshock Team

Pulsar 200 or Karizma?

I was planning to buy a Bajaj Pulsar 200 DTSi. Can you please tell me a list of things to look out for while buying it? Also, considering the fact that I could buy a karizma for almost the same amount, would my buying a pulsar 200 be a wise decision?

Apart from the bike, are there any other accessories I can add to it while purchasing it? How would adding a more powerful horn/ headlight impact the battery?
Thanks in Advance,

Hello Anirudh,
Thanks for writing in. The Pulsar 200 is a great machine. For those who came in late, the Monoshock road test is here>> We think there is a great price difference between the P200 and the Karizma, hence its a no brainer which bike to pick up! Just go in for the P200. Its a more contemporary machine with a lot of technology going into it. Hmmm, what do you look out for when buying this machine? The color choices and the babes swooning on the streets comes to mind. I mean what could you look out for while buying a standard new bike? The horn is pretty good and so is the headlamp. So leave them untouched.

However, for the price of a Karizma, you also have the Pulsar 220, which is the big daddy of all bikes in India now! So we put in a picture above here to see if you get interested. Best headlights, electricals, handling, brakes and power delivery in it's class. Let us know when you make up your mind!
Ride Safe!.

Nov 3, 2007

WYSIWYG- Where you see is where you go!

I have been trying out this neat little technique while riding these days. Its simple. Just train your eyes to make you a more effective rider. Life is such that we keep having problems. Its either our partner, the boss, the city, the job or finances. Most of our time is spent on the problem. Brooding and sulking seldom helps here, if I may add.

Similarly, while riding out there, I am sure you have faced a situation where, you see a rut on the road coming ahead of you and you cannot do a damn thing about it! You hit it smack on and your family jewels probably cry louder than your suspension. Happened to me too! Now I simply look away from the rut when its coming.

You see, in biking, you will go where you see. So train your eyes to focus on the solution rather than the problem. A blind bicyclist, a goat or a rut is the problem. The clear road in the vicinity from where you can pass by is the solution. Keep looking at that goat that suddenly came in your path and you will turn it into some kind of curry soon. Not to mention that you might get flung off your ride due to the impact!

Look away. At the best exit point, the clear patch and you will be safe 9 out of 10 times. It works! Understood that it takes a bit of unlearning but I am doing my share of it. Join me!
- Rahul

Time testing the P220

For something as contemporary as the P220, we thought we could do with a time test. What with quality issues plaguing the other Pulsars and things like that!

So we took our test bike round and round the roads till we clocked a thousand kays! Yes, our road test reports will be out soon.

Till then, here is a desktop wallpaper of our man, Mc. Veggie Sumit putting in his share of kays on that odo! Also fits widescreens at 1280 x 960 pixels!
- Enjoy!

Nov 2, 2007

Colours of the Indian Highway #2

We love this image. The evening was in and fog decided to make an appearance. So we pulled over, got the P220 into a service lane and got this image.

Photo data: Exactly the same as Colours of the Indian Highway #1. Notice the white streak on the left of the frame formed by headlights of traffic hurtling by!

Wallpaper size: 1280 x 960 pixels!
- Enjoy

Colours of the Indian Highway #1

Those are a lot of colours out there. The road has promises and great images on the Indian Highway system are just a finger press away. Here is the P220 posing on NH2 as a whole bunch of vehicles of all kinds zip by!

Photo Data: A Nikon D80 with an AF Nikkor 24mm F 2.8 was used for this. Aperture set to 8, focus done on the tail lamp of the P220, Auto focus locked, camera placed on the road and fired. Shutter speed was about 6 seconds! Hence no hand holding allowed! No post editing done.
Wallpaper size: 1280 x 960 pixels.
- Enjoy!

Nov 1, 2007

Winter is here!

The P220 has been a constant entertainer at Monoshock lately. The last couple of days were rainy and dark, and hence, low contrast pictures came out really well.

I was out on the road again today evening. However, this time, I was enjoying myself on the pillion perch as Nitin was incessantly doing 7k rpm on the neat deserted highway. The aim was to get somewhere, while getting a stamina and fatigue test done on the P220. After a 100 kays, we decided to turn around. The sun had well been consumed by the horizon. Here and there, young boys were scurrying home, their pet stray dogs close on their heels. A million flying bugs ended their lives, leaving their entrails all over that brilliant headlamp, fairing and our visors! The truckies were all pulled over and sweet milky tea was being brewed at every shanty that passed by.

As we cleared a long trailer, a gust of cold wind hit our bodies which were plummeting down the black top, well over a 100 kays an hour. I closed my eyes inside the lid and saw visions of myself coming back from school to a warm glass of milk and some cookies my mother bought for me from a nearby shop owned by an old man. He was as old as the mango trees in the garden nearby, some said. We had no television or power in my growing up days. Mom says, we could not afford it. I feel I never needed it. As long as the sky was clear, the dew was forming and there was a nip in the air.

I filled my eyes with reruns of my life till they had to make space by letting out some water. Tears that originated and died inside the shell of my Index lid, untouched by the world. I opened my eyes and shouted, "Dude, the winter is here!" A gentle nod confirmed that the feeling was the same upfront. The chill in the wind continued. So did the closed eye recaps of my life. Someday, dost, I will tell you all about it! Ride Safe.
- Rahul

Image in post: Winter Road By Thorolf Holmboe

Oct 31, 2007

The Monoshock P220 Tadka Blast!

We, at Monoshock can do anything for food. So while the city was struck by a political bandh, our ed mooched our road test black P220 and headed out for some tadka, a hundred kays from home.

Read the rough weather report, the tale of a unique gastronomic adventure and download some cool wallpapers here>>
- Enjoy

Oct 30, 2007

Being a Wing Rider! We could not agree more!

Hi everyone... Having recently bought a new Honda Unicorn (Red), I thought I will share my experience with you all.

I must tell you, it was really tough for me to choose from 150 cc bikes available in the market today. Firstly, there is a legendary P150 then, there is a successor to the highly acclaimed CBZ and now there is Apache RTR which is priced very aggressively.

I have a daily to & fro travel to office of around 30 km. Hence, what I wanted was a powerful bike with a good seating position, good mileage and decent looks.

With these requirements in mind I zeroed in on two bikes viz.., P150n & Unicorn. I was really confused between these two bikes. But then, with inputs from Monoshock [we just showed you the door mate, thanks] and after test driving both the bikes I found Unicorn more suitable for me and touch wood, after 450 km on odometer, I feel that I made the right decision.

Of course, it lacks that sound or thump of P150, but then roaring clouds hardly ever rain. Unicorn is like an eagle which glides through the traffic without much fuss. One thing which I liked most is that it shows incredible stability at high speeds, even at corners. The overall fit and finish (build quality) is also ways ahead of any other bike in the segment.

However, cold starting is a big problem and low speed torque is missing.

Summing it up, I must say I am a proud owner of new Unicorn.

Kartik H. Shah
Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd.,
Automotive Sector,
R&D Centre

Have a story? Tell us. And ride safe!

Oct 29, 2007

Passport to Adventure?

I am planning to buy the Pulsar 200.Besides city driving I will use the bike on the occasional weekend trip. Next year or the year after I want to go driving from Manali to Leh. Most people use Enfields on such a trip where the terrian, weather and climatic conditions are very harsh. Would you recommend this trip be done on the Pulsar 200?

I don't want to buy an Enfield because it doesn't suit my image and its not very practical for city driving. Regards,


Hey Mate,
Thanks for writing in. The P200 is a great machine and we have been saying that for quite some time. It is the best offering from Bajaj today overall. So pick one up and send us some pictures. As far as your question about taking it to the hills goes, this picture with the post should clarify your doubts. Taken by our partner club head Faiyaz Sultan, it shows a P200 taking some high altitiude Ladakh beating gracefully! So don't think about such non issues and go ahead.
Buy a good full faced lid and a riding jacket while you are at it though.
- Ride Safe

We road test the Bajaj XCD 125!

The new kid on the block from Bajaj certainly has a lot of swirl going into it.

The design, the motor and that awesome paint and sticker job has us floored. Probably the best commuter today with 70 kays to a litre on offer in the harshest of city riding conditions.

The full road test is here>>


Oct 23, 2007

The Green Initiative Rubs In!

I really like your green initiative and I am all for it. In fact some days I even take the bus to work rather than my beloved bike. This was clicked on a recent trip to Wayanad while passing through the Bandipur National Park. I hope you like it.
Sidharth Ramachandran

Hey Sid,
Great to hear from you. Its sobering to be zapped by bikers like yourself and your commitment to the green stuff. It makes us think whether we are really doing our bit. We assure you that we will try harder, to ensure that we can make our coming generations happier. After all, we just have one earth! You could help us with more pics, articles and by telling your friends about Green Monoshock!
- The Monoshock Team

Images that speak a thousand green words!

We put up a new gallery with images that carry small messages in them. They are aimed to make you think about doing your bit to save the environment.

Considerable damage has been done but more can be averted. Even by turning off the tap as you shave and saving almost 6 litres of precious water everyday.

You can view and send in your images here.

- The Monoshock Team

Oct 22, 2007

We Go Green!

Hello All,
We are glad to introduce all of you to our eco weenie, tree hugging alter egos. Say hello to Green Monoshock.

We will from now on, take a lot of effort to bring to you tips, tricks and techniques to convert you into an environment friendly human being. Years and years of usurping our limited resources are starting to tell slowly on the climate, the natural environment and life cycles on this planet. It is time for us to do our bit for. It is time for us to stand up.

We, at Monoshock will try to make the simple chores fun and easy to do. And as always, this free section can make a world of difference!
- Lets Go Green!

Oct 21, 2007

Everything must go!

Originally released on June 10, 2003, the album was well-received but was considered an inferior followup to Steely Dan's 2000 critically acclaimed release Two Against Nature by some.

This album features a more unified feel than Two Against Nature, and has been described as sounding more like a band playing together in the same room. Walter Becker plays bass on all the tracks.

The entire album has this amazing ability to play by on the stereo without you wanting to skip a track. Very well engineered and composed you could say. And yes, try the song The Things I Miss the Most! Its timeless.

Wishing to buy a Pulsar 200!

Hi Rahul,

I would be very pleased if you help me out on this. I am living in Pune and going to office involves a 30Km drive one way, partly in city and highway driving condition. I was interested in buying a P-200. I will be using it for almost 4 days a week, rest I will use a car. Traveling on a bike in Pune gets u there much faster. I was interested in knowing the fuel consumption figures for this bike. For Rs 73,220 will it be worth give good riding pleasure. Please advice. Thanks & Regards

Parag Dhande

Hello Parag,

Thanks for writing in. The P200 is an able machine. The best part about it is the ease with which it can handle traffic crawls and highway blasts alike. Still one of the best offerings from Bajaj! The bike we tested gave us between 40 and 45 kays to a litre of petrol. In your case, with a mixed riding condition, you can expect an average of about 43 kays to a litre if you are gentle on the gas. And yes, it is worth every buck that you spend on it. Only trouble is, that the lovely 200 lettering on the rear panels will probably fall off in a while. Take extra care of them. Ride safe.
- Rahul

Going Green!

Reading the newspapers daily fills your mind up with stuff on crime, the games sensexes play, the lingerie celebrities (don't) wear and some more. Sometimes, there is also an off beat article on how we are mutilating the natural resources of our planet. How the weather is changing and that some of this has also reached a critical irreversible phase!

Open any great bike magazine and see the shots. Nine out of ten pictures will have a great green background that is all natural and lush. The great twisty roads that have gone down as legends of motorcycling tarmac are covered on either side with green, which no human being can create in a lab or a production line. Twenty years from now, the weather will get worse, there will be long periods of rains and dry spells that will annihilate crops. Cities and towns will drown out under unprecedented rainfall levels and flash floods. Its all there, written in black and white. There are always ample warnings, there are always subtle signs. Yet, we seem to ignore these. The human emotions of lust, greed, libido and power far over rule ones like charity, sensitivity and love for the environment! We, as a race will probably not last very long. And certainly not if we are going to carry on this way. There is not much one can do at a personal level but here are a few things I thought up!

1) Turn off your bike's engine at red lights. It can save the world more pollution than you can imagine
2) Keep your engine services at specified intervals so that you are not spewing more hydrocarbons in the air than you should
3) Buy your college going kid that new electric scooter
4) Recycle batteries and other parts responsibly
5) While in office, use the forward mail button more that the print button, and
6) When going out to buy that loaf of bread, just take a walk!

In the course of time, we will come up with more such tips and thoughts. Hey! Its time to go green!

Oct 20, 2007

The Nikon F5- A forgotten legend

Double button activations for everything, a self diagonastic shutter, matrix metering that can beat the crap out of any light meter and dozens of customizable options!

Yes, we are talking about the legendary Nikon F5, which is the last of the Fs from Nikon truly, for the F6 never really had any fan following here. Our Ed in Chief Ben has one. He will hand it over to his daughter, who in turn will give it to next of kin and the legend will continue!

Digital SLRs are in big time and are used by anyone. But attach a Nikon 80-200 F2.8 to an F5, point and autofocus. The precision, speed and feel with which it will hunt down your subject can leave you numb! Extremely hard to find these anymore, but if you do get your hands on one, remember, its the best film camera your money can buy!

Unicorn Lover!

Hi Rahul ,

This is Nitin once again. I find Monoshock really very close to me. The bike enthusiasm is mind blowing. I am very fond of bikes either Indian or Imported. I never miss a chance of getting into minors whether its a Suzuki GSX 1300 or a 1960 Honda Cub 50. I love them all......

Let me tell you something about myself. I am a working professional and I am constantly in search of different bikes, new bikes, motogp,etc on the internet. On 17th OCt we had yet another sibling from Hero Honda 150cc segment coming into market 'Hunk'. I keep on doing such research. One really interesting news I would like to share is the new Ducati Desmo RR real good stuff.

I own a new Honda Unicorn Sports Silver colour. I have previously used RX-100, Shogun, Shogun Cat,and now settled with a green bike. Uni is the best bike available in India right now. Rahul I would appreciate if you include me in your team in an active way or inactively like keeping me in touch with the latest updates about bikes. I promptly download your e mag. I am enclosing a photo of my bike along with this mail.

Thanks for reading.

Nitin Mallikarjun

Thank you for writing in Nitin. Your words are our true rewards. Keep it coming. You are always a part of Monoshock. Ride Safe!

Oct 19, 2007

The Two of You!

Hot, humid and grimy
Bright, soothing and pristine
Accelerate, lean and brake incessantly
Men can have multiple orgasms too
A dirty ragged boy beside the tarmac
An old lost soul from behind young naughty eyes
One unkempt, analog, filthy petrol pump
One stop less for another 400 kilometres
Some lonesome trees in an arid landscape
A little water in a lake of fire
There stands an ageing prostitute
Someone's loving mother

A puncture repairer in the middle of nowhere
God's son himself
Two roads start up right ahead
But you knew all your life, which one to take
There are always the two of you
The one that rides is somehow more true!

We keep bikers going - NHAI Toll Audits

Next time you blokes are going down the NHAI, challenging the wind when it comes to speed, think of Rajesh.

Why? You ask. Let me explain. The Toll Plazas on the National Highways collect the money for your passing and that money goes into the returns on investment of these massive arteries of the countries as well as their maintenance.

Rajesh audits these plazas to ensure that the cash registers are ringing and the highways are well maintained. So once you stop for the day and hit the roadside dhaba in the evening. Raise your glass of rum to him! Cheers mate!

Image: Rajesh here seen inspecting the Naini Toll Plaza in Allahabad and can be reached on his email if you need any info on toll plazas!

Riding Along

Why do we ride out? I ask myself this question often. Is it for the pictures? Or the distance? New faces and people? Asking Nitin this results in a similar loss of words. "Listen nincompoop", he will say while pulling gently on his cigarette, "we ride for ourselves and to stay alive in a world so full of crap!"

Ok buddy, I take your word for it. I always start a ride not knowing where it will lead and how it will end. There is always the excitement of riding long, far and hard. Other times, I ease the pace, absorb the scenery and the lazy Monday afternoon suburbs. Schoolgirls noisily returning from school. A lonesome eagle floats above, frozen in a time-space vortex, and it will be that way forever. And yeah, then there are times when I stop more than I ride. Nicotine is a reason but then its mostly to see and photograph an amazing little visual arrangement of items in the scenery. Weeks have gone by, based on the highs provided by these little amazing outings. Months and years will too. Common sense also tells me that this lifetime consists of weeks and months and hence, these rides can happily fuel it and some more!

The highway beckons. While I sleep, laugh and make love. Images of the tarmac keep flashing on my mind's screen. Ill be there soon, again. Riding Along!

Cornering - The relationship between confidence and traction!

We have people at Monoshock who are always looking at leaning in corners. They will be crawling along at sluggish speeds and just when the bend is 100 metres away, watch them ham fist the gas and go!

Corners are a delicate relationship between confidence and traction. And when this relationship falters or breaks, we see an event close to the one Rueben Xaus exhibits here in the picture. The first rule to riding and having fun is never to try anything stupid while you are at it. There is nothing that you need to prove to anybody! So take your time. Nobody will deny you food if your last corner did not take away a few mm of metal from the footpegs. Ease out, enjoy the ride. But when you see one coming, hold it down like there is no tomorrow. And be geared. It keeps the bruises and scratches in control!
- Ride Safe

Oct 18, 2007

The 2008 Triumph Speed Triple - Now showing!

Heck thats a beauty. The Speed Triple’s 1050cc, three cylinder engine, with its unmistakable character and sound, pumps out a great surge of bottom-end torque, massive mid-range punch and an impressive level of overall power. Peak power is 131bhp at 9250rpm while peak torque of 77ft.lbf arrives at 7550rpm. Triumph’s Keihin ECU offers sophisticated mapping for quicker starting, cleaner running and fuel economic engine.

On stores March 2008 onwards. And just look at the mid section. The one time when men will drool over a babe with a huge mid section and a scanty rear! - Life it seems is not without a sense of irony.

Will the Hunk flunk?

So the Hero Honda new kid is called the Hunk. Hmmm, whatever I have seen and heard of the bike is quite virtual. I am waiting to swing a leg over and punch the starter motor button.

However, let me tell you that I am not expecting any surprises here. The 14.4 PS motor, with exact figures for power and torque as the Xtreme and 3 kilos of extra weight is not really retina splitting material.

However, what keeps me thinking, is that why was this bike launched. I think India has some empty spaces in the bikes segments. The first one is the one for a cheap, fast and deadly 150cc which every dude can afford. The second is the 175cc - 220cc segment where innovations and technology can do wonders to your sales numbers. The Hunk does neither. The rear of the bike looks really out of place. The mudgaurd/ number plate assembly looks like a cheap after market fitment. They odo/ speedo was left analog and the gas charged shocks will probably not do miracles to the already great CBZ Xtreme handling.

Which leaves me to wonder what HH are thinking with the Hunk? Or is that they have stopped thinking at all?
- Rahul

Oct 16, 2007

Walking the ramp, er, runway - Ducati Style!

A more appropriate location for the presentation of the new 2008 Ducati Apparel Collection couldn’t be found. The stage for this event will be the “Guglielmo Marconi” International Airport in Bologna where, on Thursday, October 18th at 7:30 p.m., the fashion show for the newest clothing items from the motorcycle company of Borgo Panigale will take place.

In the A3 area on the ground floor, a real fashion show will be organized that will begin the “take off” of the newly proposed Ducati clothing line that is already present at Ducati Stores (one of which can be found on the first floor of the airport), perfect for the many fans that are already excited about the recent MotoGP world title won by Casey Stoner in the seat of a Desmosedici.

The items in the Ducati Apparel 2008 collection can be admired (and eventually purchased) next month (November) at the Ducati website!