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Bike-o(h)mania

By Surreal Gaze On June - 21 - 2009 ADD COMMENTS
bikemania

“150 cc displacement; 10.6 KW power @ 8500 rpm; 0-60 kmph in 5 seconds; 5 Speed Constant Mesh Gear Box; Tubular Diamond Type Chassis”. Meet Bharat Kumar, a CBIT student and an avid biker at heart. One mention about his bike and you cannot help but marvel at the speed with which he rushes through its specifications. “My bike, Hero Honda Hunk is the best in the 150 cc segment as of today,” he adds with a glint in his eye, “…because muscles matter!”. Bharat is part of the increasing number of gen-next brigade, who value their bikes more than anything else. For them, ‘motorcycle’ – the 2 wheeled wonder is definitely more than mere means of transport.

“What ‘drives’ them?” is the big question. Abhishek, a bike enthusiast clarifies, “Motorbikes have come a long way and today, they’re in vogue not just for making a style statement. The thrill of driving a motorcycle is an inexplicable feeling. One should drive a bike to experience it”. He adds saying, “I drive at least an hour everyday to satiate my senses”. For the record, Abhishek owns a Hayabusa – a 1000 cc mean machine. Incidentally, it happens to be the same bike, which Hritik Roshan drove in the epic Bollywood blockbusters – the ‘Dhoom’ series. Did this have any influence? Abhishek smiles, “Yes! Only after I watched the movie, I got one for myself”. He hastily adds, “But even before that, I owned a Yamaha R-15”.

Thunder'in'bird... Credit: Surreal Gaze

Thunder'in'bird... Credit: Surreal Gaze

Biking is a passion for many; Anirudh, a city lad is one of them. “Bikes are preferred for they are easy to manoeuvre in dense traffic and when it comes to maintenance, bikes offer a very good mileage compared to cars”, he says. “Also, chicks prefer riding on bikes to cars”. When asked if peer pressure had anything to do with youngsters’ flair for bikes, Anirudh remarks, “I wouldn’t say yes. Right from childhood, I wanted to own a bike because everyone had one. But, when I finally rode one, I knew I was destined for it. I guess it’s the same in everybody’s case”.

Of late, we’ve come across many bikes carrying labels on their body. What’s the reason behind this spurt in labeling? Bharat quips, “My bike gets noticed in the crowd only when it’s spruced up. Just like people tattoo their body, labels and other graffiti adorn their bikes; labels which scream their attitude and make them look different”. Anirudh, who drives a Honda CBF Stunner recollects, “I know of a friend who, admires Hitler (the German dictator)’s ideologies. Consequently, the front dome of his Discover carries a Nazi label”. Over the years, bikes have been notorious for their weight. The erstwhile Yezdi weighed a whopping 180 kg and the present day 150 cc bikes weigh an average 150 kg. Why are bikes heavy? Pavan, an engineering student asserts, “Heavy bikes provide good stability at higher speeds. The handle bar does not shake. The heavier the bike, the better gets its handling”.

Although boys might brag about their ability to show-off or the decisive edge that bikes provide in enabling them to woo girls, the fairer sex, as always, remain indifferent. Shalini, a 12th grader clarifies, “Irrespective of whether a guy is a terrific biker or not, my attitude towards him does not change. It all boils down to him as a person”. However, Deepika, a student of Loyola College begs to differ. “Bikes make boys look macho. It indicates their ability to get tough when the situation demands it. It also reflects their attitude, thereby enhancing the X-factor”.

Stunners all... Credit: Surreal Gaze

Stunners all... Credit: Surreal Gaze

All said and done, why is it that most of the parents are reluctant when it comes to letting their wards drive? “Did you ever notice the speeds at which these crazy guys drive? It sends a chill down my spine. I just can’t bear the thought that I could lose my son if he fell off a bike which I buy for him,” says Ravinder, an anxious father. He goes on to add, “Youngsters hardly know what they really want. They blindly believe in living the moment. It is our responsibility to keep a check on them”. However, his son, Anudeep retorts, “It’s better to die that to keep living in fear. Damn it! Dad never understands me. If every human were to think like my dad, there wouldn’t be a soul on the streets”.

Though Anudeep’s views may strike a chord with the young and the restless in the city, Ravinder does have a point in what he says. In such a misconstruct that is proving to be a tragedy, the city planners of Hyderabad apparently forgot their brains in the refrigerator while planning the city. The roads widen, then shrink and again widen. Roads all over the city are shaped haphazardly and are filled with clogs of mud and drainage pools. Adding to this pandemonium is the fleet of hawkers and vendors who, sprawl out onto the roads.

In a city that is brimming with motorists and is always full of life, sadly, at least 1000 don’t return home in a year!

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