Thursday, November 16, 2017

Flashback: Rider Mania 2005 hosted by the Inddiethumpers in Panvel

Let me take you back in time. To a simpler time. To a time where the internet was just moving on from dial up, to a time where social media didn't exist(or maybe Orkut did), to a time where the Y2K bug was all we cared about, to a time when you had to decompress your Enfield before you actually kicked it to start, to a time where you had to scoured Yahoo groups to find out what was happening in the motorcycle world in India, to a time where the Royal Enfield 500cc was the be all and end all of big motorcycle available on the market.

I had been a part of the Inddiethumper and the Royal Beasts Yahoo Group for a while. I had never met anyone from these groups they were all just names on an email digest but every day religiously I would check into the groups see what they were talking about. One day I noticed some chatter on the groups about a gathering, a party, a place for many of us to come out to meet and have a great time and finally hang out in person. They called it Rider Mania.

The Inddiethumpers were hosting the party and just outside Mumbai. That was perfect because I travelled to Mumbai a lot as Amrita had already moved out there a few years before. So I got back on the group and booked my self a spot for this "Rider Mania" but since I had just sold my motorcycle and didn't have the time to ride down from Chandigarh (I had a proper day job) I decided I would get to Mumbai rent a bike and ride down with the Thumpers. Eventually the Thumpers sorted a bike out for me and I rode with a group of them to the venue.

What a sight it was riding in. That parking lot full of Enfields, and not stock ones there were loads of customs builds and chops. But to top it all of the people running the show were just brilliant. I am not going to carry on about the show because all of a sudden I can remember almost every tiny detail from those two days.

Today Rider Mania is huge a far stretch from 2005 when we were only about 300 of us. Royal Enfield runs one in Goa which is on this weekend and I am missing it. While the clubs host a separate one that travels the country and is hosted by a different club in their own city. 27-28th January 2018 Inddiethumpers are hosting it again outside Mumbai check the website for details.

I am now just going to shut up and let you check out the pictures. Remember this was before digital cameras and I had only two reels of 24 shots each for this weekend.

Monday, November 13, 2017

How to draw Continental GT By Motoholic Works

The peeps at Motoholic Works are always up to some cool stuff. But over the last few days they have done a few one minute tutorials on their Instagram account explaining how to draw a Royal Enfield Continental GT (nope not the twin).  Of course it looks easy as pie but we are sure its far from it.

We would love to see if anyone tried to draw a bike after this brilliant tutorial.

You can email us here if you did.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Helmet Stories Instagram Contest

After many moons went through our kit closet to make some semblance of it. Way in the back we found a carton of stuff that we had forgotten about. Out of they carton appeared two new still packed in their plastic Royal Enfield Safari Touring Jackets (XL). 

So we figured as it’s the season for motorcycle festivals in the country, it would be cool to host a Time To Ride Instagram Contest and give out the jacket as prizes. 

So here goes people the contest is open from today till 30th November 2017

To Enter The Contest
1. Follow the accounts of @helmetstories @harshmanrai and @virnakai
2. Upload a picture from a ride you have done in November onto your own Instagram account. (It can be a weekend ride, a ride to Rider Mania/India Bike Week, it can be a ride to the market to buy fish we don’t care. All it has to be is an awesome picture.) 
3. Hashtag the picture #HelmetStories #HSGiveaway
4. Sit back and wait for the first week of December. 

1. Each person can post maximum of 4 pictures. We don’t want to flood the internet now. 
2. Harsh Man Rai will choose the winners and he is the last word. 
3. Buying us many rounds of beers will not sway the verdict but you never know until you try.
4. You gotta live in India to participate only because its a pain to ship the jackets out of the country.

Per Instagram rules, we must mention this is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s term of use.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Track Day with the 2018 Sherco TVS Dakar Team

I knew it the moment I gave the 450 RTR the extra bit of gas. It was going to get interesting fast. I was correct I came in hot and the bike flew. It must have jumped not even two feet off the ground but that was enough. First the front wheel touched and then came the rear but at a weird angle. I instinctively gassed it as the rear thumped down and the bike took off to veering sharply to the left. At the same time I lost my balance and grip on the accelerator. But like a rodeo clown with one hand in the air fumbling to find its correct spot I somehow managed to wrangle the bike back on the track before I rode the bike into the bushes. 

I slowed down, looked up and started to laugh. In front of me I could see Aravind KP flying through the air with his throttle pinned. Landing perfectly and power sliding around a turn to tackle the next obstacle making it look so easy. God dammit its far from it. 

TVS Motorcycles had invited a handful of us down to Bangalore to come down and meet their three man Sherco TVS Factory Rally Team (Aravind KP, Adrien Metge and Joan Pedrero) that was getting ready to ship out to Dakar. But they didn't want us to just come and meet the team and crew. They asked us to carry our riding kit and in their words "We have a track day planned with you and the team. They will ride around the track with you helping you improve your skill on the dirt. And yes you will be riding our 200 and 450 rally RTR'".  

So there we stood at the crack of dawn a motley crew of Journalists at the TVS facility outside Bangalore city. Of course the rain decided to shower down upon us just to make it more interesting. Luckily it was sporadic and it stopped by the time we go to the track. 

We geared up and the professionals gave us a briefing. What do you need to ride this kind of surface someone asked Joan Pedrero. "Big big balls" was his only answer as he jumped on the bike and shepherded the first group out for a few laps. 

"Group three you are up. Vir you are on the 450 have fun but be careful its a mad one" The 450 indeed is a fun bike but I must tell you the 200 was even crazier. Small but not lacking any power it gets you around the track much faster than you can deal with. The best bit of the 200s  they are a great bike to ride to hone some of those skills that you need in the dirt. After my first go around the track Aravind gave me some gyan on how to get faster around the turns. "As you come into a corner dab the front brake put your leg out high with your toes pointed up to the sky. Hold the tank with your legs and use the front and use your weight on the peg to take the turn. As you exist gas it."

Six laps later I was getting into the flow of it and just as I started getting cocky around one sweeping turn a bit too much throttle and smack I was eating dirt. Pedrero was right "You gotta have big bloody balls to be fast here".

I had a blast that morning, learnt hell of a alot, got to ride some great motorcycles and with some brilliant people. The only real problem that I have is it has left a hankering for more. A few hours was just not enough. Also since I didn't want to ride the Dakar bike before the race I find myself making devious plan and schemes of how to get back to Bangalore and onto that TVS track.

So if anyone from TVS is listening all I want is a 200. Dont get me wrong a 450 would be nice but lets not get greedy and oh yes some more time on that track. 

Just a weekend every month!!!

Virs Kit
Jacket - Icon DKR Raiden
Helmet - AGV AX-8 EVO