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 babu_ca2002@yahoo.co.in 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!

Happy Birthday Mate...And heres your Ducati HyperM

Monday, October 15th, in Melbourne, Casey Stoner officially inaugurated “Ducati City”, the new Ducati Store in Melbourne, in the presence of 150 passionate Australian Ducatisti. The young World Champion played a part in the splendid double win that granted Ducati, two races in advance, the Constructor and Team titles, at Phillip Island on Sunday, along with Loris Capirossi. On top of that, he turns 22 today, October 16th and received a flaming Hypermotard as a surprise gift - something both appreciated by Casey and something that he has wanted for some time.

“Thanks so much to Ducati; I really appreciate this surprise gift even if you all make me become redder than the bike”, he said, shy but clearly

happy after the traditional “Happy Birthday, Casey” that welcomed the entrance of the cake. “Sunday was an incredible day for me with everyone under the podium singing the Australian national anthem”, he said. “But in retrospect, this season was perfect. After Qatar, I thought, ‘wow, we won a race’, in the middle of the season, I thought, ‘wow, we can win the title’ and yesterday, ‘wow, we won my home GP!’

At the question if, for next year, he would keep number 27 or if he would move to 1, the public is divided over who prefers the first proposal and who prefers the second. “I am very attached to 27,” responded Casey, “because that is the number that I got when I was racing with the team of Alberto Puig, a person that I highly regard and that helped me in the beginning of my career in Europe. However, I also think of all of the people that have worked so hard, just like my team, Ducati and I have done to obtain this result, deserving number 1. I haven’t made a definite decision yet, but I am leaning more towards number 1”.

Casey will spend his birthday on a plane flying to Malaysia where, next Sunday, the 17th race of the season will take place before returning to Europe for the closing of the wonderful 2007 season in Valencia, Spain on November 4th.

Oct 14, 2007

Gravel - When its between the road and rubber!

There are so many riders whose years of experience can help you train yourself to deal with tricky situations. With effort, discipline and practice, there is a lot you can do to save the day for yourself dost!

But we strictly believe that there are two kinds of situations when it comes to stability. The first one is when the conditions are normal and it is the lack of riding skill that gets one scenery + one rider + one machine mated in a gruesome threesome! The second situation is when there is an external element involved. Today is the day to warn you against gravel on the road. Whether you twist the throttle, corner well or brake hard, you must understand that your staying up has a lot to do with the chemistry between the tyres and the surface of the road. Gravel cuts out that chemistry in a jiffy and you suddenly have no traction and hence no control

Unless you are on a dirt bike in a controlled environment or frame of mind, gravel can be very dangerous. Rule 1) Avoid patches of gravel and if you can't, slow down to a snail's speed. Rule 2) Be alert, too much of throttle, steering or brake input will make you feel ripped off by your tyre manufacturer, but that is not the case. Even race designed Pirellis will not be able to help you there.

And falling on gravel hurts like mad! - Ride Safe

Six degrees of Inner Turbulence

"It challenges the essence of my soul,
Leaves me in a state of disconnection
As I navigate the maze of self control...."

This is one album by Dreamtheater that is a must have in your collection if you are serious about your Music.

The tracks are long (7 to 9 minutes on an average) and the tempo changes from fast to slow. The drumming is out of this universe and the guitar leads are nothing short of astounding!

Comes in a 2 cd pack and a variety of sounds that can become addictive once you start liking it!

Oct 13, 2007

All the Suzuki you ever need!

Hello People, here is a machine our ed is in love with. The Suzuki GSX1400.

We found some great pictures and loads of info on Suzuki Cycles on this page by Jarmo Haapamäki!

A site, put together with a lot of passion. Get there and leave a word of encouragement for our man Jarmo - Way to go!

Helmet Audio - Everything you need to hear!

MI34 - This motorcycle intercom is for use by two riders on the same bike who want to chat while riding.

It comes with 2 standard headsets as shown in the photo above and can be used with the optional HS36 helmet headset!

It can be attached to a cell phone, a two-way radio, and an MP3 player (or any other audio device) at the same time. You can even use our helmet speakers with this intercom.

We are certainly going to get some of these. This site is a complete solution for helmet audio! So just get to HelmetAudio and see what you want. And the prices are quite reasonable too!

Eating out tonight? Try Japanese!

The most powerful naked bike ever...... smokes racer boys.... pumps adrenaline.... and so on!

You need campaigns like these to shake the legends of the rice rockets from the land of the rising sun!

No comments from us here though, by the way, any insights on how Japanese food is? That would be worth the try!

Its now or er, later!

I came across this ad on the net. It says take your riding test now, get legal and enjoy your freedom before it gets tougher to do so in a year's time!

Hmmm, does that mean the guy in the 6th standard now can jump to the 10th because he knows its going to get tougher? Ah! Marketing is reaching amazing levels of clarity I feel. Gone are the days when a cleavage would pull viewers to that oh so amazing website! Its between the eyes now, hook, line and sinker and minus the sugar coating. Ad campaigns hinted a year back - "Its now or never!" What the heck? The EMIs on those bikes are not even halfway done and you have another one with petal discs and a lot more punch. So, did anyone eat their words? No, the consumer did I guess. Everything has to sell. Every darn model has to perform in Q1, Q2 and so on!

Welcome to real world experiments, where every human emotion, desire and hate is being used as a marketing tool. Instant gratification being the key word. Powerpoint presentations in smoky boardrooms decide where your and my savings are going the next month. Every product is launched like its a Pagani Zonda! Press launches happen by the dozens every week. Its now or never, till the enhanced product comes up. Making that college goer feel cheated. Reducing resale values to junkyard levels. Whats next? Answer us you ad gurus out there! Well I'll be damned. . .
- Rahul

Stay Upright!

"THE REAR END SHUNT: Riding down a suburban road late on a Saturday night, you stop for the red light. You then hear the dreaded sound of the screech of tyres behind you. The impact from the rear knocks you onto the intersection. You have been hit by a well known brand of car that didn't see you waiting for the light. Maybe under the influence of some drug (the driver of the car that is)."

We found this site(Stay Upright) that is full of techniques and tips to keep the shiny side up and rubber side down while you are riding around town(s)!
Hope you guys enjoy it. And stay upright!

Bike of the month, October!

Ahem! Its time for the Bigdog bike of the month again. This October, the theme is flames. And we are going up in some too!

That mid section is really awesome we say. The lines are timeless and the rear befitting the entire package. Also note the one on one shotgun exhausts and the spikes on the front wheel hub.

She will be quite a ride we reckon.

Oct 12, 2007

Could this be your next Suzuki?

"Ya know, Sometimes, the Synner feels that he's the Friggin' Oracle or somethin'...

A while back, he made a post on small capacity sportbikes makin' a comeback (albeit, 400CC) and bada bing! Yamaha launches the R125 soon after... He'd be extremely surprised if at least one more bike isn't unveiled between the R125 and the R6."

The entire post from Monoshock columnist Synn is here. . .

RR Anyone?

Following the recent victory of the MotoGP world title and with requests continuing to pour in from the dealer network in addition to the 1250 orders already received, Ducati has decided to limit the total number of Desmosedici RRs produced in the Borgo Panigale factory to 1500.
Once again, Ducati wishes to reward the trust and loyalty of all those customers who made an early reservation and who can now see the value of their purchase increase even before collecting it from their dealer.

At this point, with very few bikes still available, anyone who is still undecided is advised to hurry, as Ducati expects to bring an end to reservations soon.
Production will begin in the second fortnight of the month of October 2007 and, as promised, Ducati will give delivery priority to the approximately 500 owners of the 999R who have ordered the Desmosedici RR. Ducati guarantees the delivery of the entire production run by the end of 2008.

Don't say we did not warn you!!

Exceed my expectations please. . .

Hi, I am from Chennai.

I would like to know which bike would be better in terms of economy, performance and maintenance cost. I would like to choose between Honda Shine, Bajaj XCDand the Hero Honda Passion Plus.I hope I would receive a reply from you.

Patrick Regis

Hello Patrick,
Thanks for writing in. We have not yet tested the XCD extensively but the bike is good. Its a personal choice here I would say. In terms of economy, the Bajaj would probably beat them all out but the choice according to us would be the Honda Shine! Somehow, that bike has a lot going for it. Do let us know if you need any further assistance and what you decide to pick up. - Ride Safe!

Tyred of this!

Hi Rahul,

Can u suggest some good rear tyre (100/90) for my Unicorn (2007). Mine is a good tyre but I don’t feel confident with this set of tyres especially with little rain on the asphalt.
I mean the tread pattern on the MRF Zapper is not so good for traction (I suppose).

Please put some light on this topic.
Thanks & Regards,

Kartik Shah.

Hi Kartik,

Glad to hear that some riding has been happening on that Unicorn! The 100/90 the bike comes wearing is a good tyre in the first place like you said. However, the compound that these tyres are made of make them durable. Remember how in school, the soft white erasers rubbed so well but lasted so little? And the hard blue ones that outlasted a school term?

Same story here. These tyres are a balance between grip and durability. You can look for softer compound rubber from other companies which are generally imports, but they will not last you that much. Also, stick to the 100/90 profile. Upsizing that to a 120 or something may roger your handling and ride! - Ride Safe

Tub Thumping! The Royal Bengal Cruisers!

Monoshock presents to you the Royal Bengal Cruisers! These guys from Kolkata are Bullet riders who believe in eating miles for breakfast and lunch!

We are starting a section on them and hence Enfields in a week's time. Prosenjit, the head of the thumpers' pack is a cool mate who is working on the same with us.

Here is a sample of their photography, namely the loops of Ladakh! 1024x768, for you to download!