So Alice is finally home..
Let me share my story on how we finally met..
It was the early hours of a fine morning. I came home in my cab. Walked to the lift and while I was waiting for the lift, I casually glanced and saw my Unicorn (UniBabe) over there. Gathering dust, feeling rejected while my dad's two bikes were continuously being ridden by my dad. I felt sorry for her but I couldn't do much and I went home and asked my mom whether I could take her out on fridays to office and got the usual response "No, it's too dangerous and people drive sleepy and drunk at this early hours!!". So finally, I left it there.
My dad came home and I went to pick him up the moment I came back from office. I was surprised!! I was scared to drive!! I was driving extremely slow and my head turning 360 degrees, keeping an eye on the RVMs flashing and shaking the moment someone honks!! Then I told my dad on the way back because I was driving almost after 2 years since I joined my new job and I had a pick and drop of cab, never used to go anywhere during weekends and sleep at home. Then I with my parents decided that this is not going well and that I must take out the bike frequently. So it started and I started to take it out on fridays only and that went for some time.
Mom wanted me to go to gym coz I was gaining weight and night shift is no excuse. Fortunately my office has a gym. However, the cab pick and drop timings were not suitable. Going to gym after I came home was ruled out coz I'll be too tired to go out again and the sight of the bed was welcoming to my eyes and body. So I started to use the gym at the office and then come home.
By now, I completely stopped using cab due to gym and I can start late (cabs come 30 minutes early, so more sleep for me) and come when I want and go when I want to. Some freedom at last.
I drive a pre-owned Unicorn since college to learn on her because if anything is to happen to a new bike, it will be a heart break. After some experience, me and my dad decided that we will go for a new bike when I'm comfortable and am good with riding bikes. Just like my dad had predicted, I crashed two times. Since then, I started to be more careful. But this agreement was passed in our house by the home minister (mom) and now since that it's been a couple of months, I can go and pick a new bike.
But wait!! Which bike?? I wanted something sporty and something that has a great height. Something that nobody else has. Folks at home wanted a "ordinary" bike. Nothing flashy.
RE was a choice but due to it's weight, it was ruled out. I loved the KTM Duke 200. My parents made fun of me and were not agreeing on it.
my dad said a limit of 150cc. Let's buy the same one that I got now. I was heart broken. Then I said asked my dad "Is this current bike little small for me?" and he said yes. So, buying a new Unicorn was struck off the list. Pulsar was automatically off the list due to it being very common on the streets. Saw Yamaha, didn't like it. Saw CBR, read reviews, but too expensive for what it's offering and the current experience of after sales service of Honda made me not choose it.
I was casually going on the internet and spotted a spy shot of the KTM RC 200. My heartbeat raised and the cornea of my eye blew wide like I'm in love!!!
But it was a spy shot and no idea whether it will come. Speculation, people telling that it will be launched 2015, blah blah blah blah..
Finally I convinced dad that 150 is something that I already have, why spend on the same thing when I already got it? Let's go for an upgrade!! and he agreed on it and the limit was raised to 200cc.
So, I finally settled on the Duke and when I was about to go and pick the Duke up, RC390 was on display!! Sat on it, Felt it, loved it.
The 200 is same as 390. Difference? Stickers, weight & Engine. The body height, seating position and everything else same!!
The showroom guy told me that imagine taking a Duke 200 now, and within a few months someone with RC comes and stands beside you. How would you feel? Just some more time and I would have gotten something better!!
The very statement bumped my heart and head and I finally decided that I'll wait.
Went to the showroom one week later and booked the RC 200 (Sept 15th to be specific). The waiting was 3 months.
Countless sleepless nights and days.. Exams closing in on me.. Speculation all around the world!! High tension!!
From October 10th 390 reviews started flowing in!! Read 'em all and just thought "200 just got lower power and everything else is same".
I read a joke somewhere about Digvijay Singh's and other famous old people with young girls relationships, "If you are still single, probably your girlfriend isn't born yet".
Convinced myself that Alice isn't born yet.
Finally the 200 reviews started flowing in!! But nothing fancy or new to read. Nothing interesting. Hardly a paragraph like about 100 words and mostly telling the specs.
A couple of guys I met on FB who booked earlier than me got their bikes. Opinions, issues, everything started, but nothing organised.
Finally the exams came in. Got the call just two days before my first exam. Heart on Alice, Mind torn between bike & Exams.
Went a week later, gave the cheque and all that in the middle of exams!!
Went on thursday, selected the bike, With a check-list spent 3 hours ticking everything off.
ODO : 0 KMs
The showroom guys were confident that everything was checked and there's no fault with anything what-so-ever.
Proved them wrong!!! Headlights were not working. Loose contact. It shocked the "chamcha" who came with me to show the bike. Proof of extremely lax and bad QC by Bajaj.
The "chamcha" who came along with me to show the bike and select from the parking lot was confident that there was petrol and tried starting the bike on empty fuel tank!! FI will go kaput!! I told him and he said that nothing will happen!! I told him to stop and finally petrol of 1 litre was poured in, took the bike to the service station, fixed it and back. The showroom manager was raising and treating her pretty rough. Sudden brakes to show how effective the breaks were. So fine. He said "I cannot waste 3 hours on a single bike. It should not take more than 10-15 minutes to check a bike."
The First Magical Touch:
Then I tried to ride the bike for the first time. She only said "Slow and steady. Don't worry. Just hold on to me and I'll take you places"
I said "okay"
Went for a small round in the parking lot. Our first contact!!
After all the items on the check-list ticked, I showed it to him. He said that everything is checked and that's why my check-list was clean (still no acceptance that they didn't do proper checking)
Purchased the MT Axxis Helmet, Spartan Icarus Jacket & Phaeton Gloves on a friday.
If everything went as planned, I should have met her on Monday (the day my last exam was on)
Unfortunately, there was a delay due to someone lazy at the showroom and the cheque was finally cleared today and I got her today.
The "Chamcha" wanted to put only 1.5 litres of petrol. I said that I remember it as 3 litres as promised by the manager. Then he called the salesman and he said 2 litres. Told him to call the manager and confirm. The manager confirmed to fill in 3 litres. Then the salesman said the "chamcha" to fill in 3 litres. The "chamcha" said that since he already put in 1 litre (one week ago when I came to fill in the check list) and that was to test the bike, there's 500 ml left. The salesman was nice enough to tell him to put in 3 litres.
He finally went and got the petrol in a 5 litre can. I asked him what's the guarantee that is' 3 litres? He said that he did measure it! I said do it in front of me!!
Then he got a measuring can and filled in two and a half litres. He said that 500 ml was already there from the past one week. Again the salesman told him to and fetch a full litre and pour it in!! He did it, but clearly wasn't happy.
Finally, tried checking the basics whether everything's working, again indicators were at fault this time. Took her to the garage, fixed it. The mechanics were nice.
Washing: Well I'll post a list of do's and don't and the guy washing was having a PhD in following the Don't list.
Partial soap left on the tank. Another guy came and pointed it out. The guy washing said "It's okay. Nothing will happen". The guy made him wash it completely and properly.
Then dried, While taking out, the bike skid a little, I felt that she didn't like the way she was being treated by them.
Finally, back at the showroom. Dad did the lemon ritual and limes were squashed (like orange for the 390 at chakkan)
Now, the ride home..
In short : Celeb & VIP
Yes indeed. Fortunately my bike wasn't white such that she will attract everyone on the road!!
First stop : Fuel station.
VIP treatment. They took me to a "special" bay. Filled in the fuel. I told him to keep the nozzle little high and not to apply pressure and dunk the nozzle inside the tank. Very cooperative and nice folks. The vehicles behind me were also extremely patient and didn't honk/nudge me to go forward.
Petrol tank was full at Rs 460/- Target was at 500/- Not bad with 3 litres already in.
Now the ride home. Slow and steady. She loves to be in high revs and the moment I keep my eye on the road and away from the console, she secretly starts to red-line. Had to keep her on check pretty frequently.
My palms were under extreme pressure and were crying for some mercy. The handle bar was rough and the rubber was extremely hard. I was afraid that I might break the handle under my weight!!
Heavy traffic? She wasn't unhappy. But she wasn't happy either. But once I got in a nice open road she jumped in joy and said "Don't worry. I'll be fine. Trust me.."
Then I said "okay" and let her go.. Stable she was. Overtook a truck in the narrow flyover, She didn't even twitch. She was silent and stable and I slid like a heated knife on butter.
My unibabe would have told me "You sure you want to do that??"
Felt for the first time that I won't fall off or skid!!
Then came a stretch of empty road and this time I said "I trust you and let's roll baby!!" but the stretch was short and I could take her to 6th gear for a very short period only.
Bumps were handled pretty nicely by her. My @$$ isn't sad about the hard seat.
Felt vibrations on the footpegs, the gear & break. Guess it'll butter out in regular use. The radiator fan was getting switched on pretty frequently. Almost about once for every kilometer!!
Back home, mom did pooja, and here she is finally!!