Not much of a writer here so pardon my long post. I’m just putting my some of my thoughts in to words. Please read if you have the time.
I've been a silent member for a while now. With the Shout-box era gone and recent server crash many of the old members, friends and regulars being silent spectators or having moved onto other things I myself had moved into the same silent-state here on XBHP. Posting once in a while on something I felt worthwhile while skimming through the regular posts as always.
The thought of buying a new bike was etched on my mind for a very long time. After my rides on my 2nd hand, Yamaha RX-135 4 Speed which I bought on 17th February 2006 with my hard earned/saved money 3 years ago. The bike was my dream coming true. I was a minor turning major and I owned my motorcycle and it felt just great. There were many sleepless nights before the day I got the bike home and when it finally arrived and the sense of happiness and accomplishment was far greater than ever sensed before.
The bike was amazing. Low on maintenance and the engine was just superb. Some of the old members might remember that I used to stunt quite a bit back in those days and the bike put up with everything and I didn’t have to change a single component of the engine, even the clutch plates took all the abuse and then some more. The entire bike would then withstand innumerable crashes from the practice sessions and the stunt meets and took everything in its stride as I barely had to spend any money to fix it up. It was such a fun bike! I haven’t had more fun trashing any other bike such as my old RX. The reliability and performance on offer was quite unmatched and as I learnt how to take care of it, Mr. Vivek from Tectrac Racing, Chennai helped me quite a bit in those days as my regular interaction with him helped me a lot as I learnt from his experience.
Then came a phase in my life full of major set-backs and in that period I had to forcefully let go of the bike. Things slowed down incredibly in my life and for the next 2 years it was a roller-coaster ride of sorts. The RX was my jump from my Dad's trusty old caliber which was my step to biking.
For the past 2 years I've been riding a Bajaj Discover 125 07 model. It’s been a good bike for the past 2 years. I've had a great time with the bike, especially in the last 2 weeks (before the R15 was bought) this bike has given me the maximum it could and suffice to say I am very happy Disco owner. But, things had to change. I needed a better ride. I have taken the bike to its limits and reached physical limitations of my own while riding it on a recent trip.
I needed something that is faster, more comfortable, though I'm not much of an off-roader I needed something with a little more real world application than just commuting and fuel efficiency. A stress free engine which could run all day long and take all the abuse I could throw at it and perform without any complaints whatsoever. My stunting days are officially over but I needed something very reliable and efficient at its job. Not something that would vibrate every joint in my body and worry me of falling apart every time I take it to its peak. I badly needed a complete package where I could commute, tour and even take it to the track someday. I needed a bike which covered all these 'performance oriented' fronts and probably exceeded in few. It had become a necessity and I personally was reaching a saturation point where I just had to upgrade.
I considered quite a few bikes in the market. Having toured a bit on my friends Hero Honda Karizma it was one of my main options. A tried and tested bike which is extremely reliable with a solid engine, but it wasn't enough. For a short period I considered it to be my primary choice. But soon I moved past the idea of owning the ZMA.
TVS Apache RTR Fi was also on my mind for a very long time and with my friends having both the Carb version and the Fi, I had a good idea about the bike capabilities having ridden them both quite extensively but they quite didn’t make the best tourers and the vibes quite reminded me of my Disco and I wasn’t ready for it again. I wanted more than engine performance and handling, I wanted that little bit more comfort for touring as compared to my Disco.
Bajaj Pulsar220 and Pulsar200 were never an option. Though having ridden both bikes quite a bit they weren’t on my list! I wasn’t exactly looking at the straight line speed, touring or plain commuting I was looking at a complete package. Cubic Capacity was not my basis of consideration and given the fact I've owned Bajaj bikes for a decade I wasn’t looking at getting back to the unrefined products or the headaches they come with, all over again. So pulsars of all generations and cubic capacities were out of the equation.
None of these bikes quite struck a chord with me and I just had to pass these on. The new 180 from TVS was on my list but I wasn't prepared to wait. I had the facts and figures with me for quite some time but wasn’t interested in it. RTRs and the ZMA are great bikes but I passed them on for something better.
I found all that i needed/wanted and dreamt about, in the Yamaha YZF-R15.
I had the opportunity to test ride the R15 on 16th November 2008 when I had been to Bangalore to write my CAT exam. I rode Joel's R15 quite a bit. It showed me a totally new dimension of Indian Motorcycling. I've a few friends who own sportsbikes and speed was something I was well acquainted with. But Joel's bike showed me what the performance segment in India had actually transited to. Back in Mangalore I rode my friend's bone stock R15 quite extensively and found that even in bone stock form the bike was leaps ahead of its competition. And ever since my rides I had MUCH respect for the R15.
But I have to add that Joel’s R15 has a very linear power delivery. It’s so much easier to ride and a lot of FUN! A twist of the wrist and It builds up power right from the word go!! Just off 2K rpm all the way to 10.5K it’s an amazing ride! He’s mentioned about the work he’s done on it in the ownership thread. It was fun red lining the bike and before I even knew it I was doing 120s easily in 5th with a gear to go.
It took me a long time to get to where I am to buy my own R15, it took months of planning. A lot of people are responsible for helping me in making the best decision and they have my sincere thanks. A few are below mentioned.
Being a student and a freelancer it took me a lot of hard work and overtime to get things done with the company I work with to make some money quickly even though it was barely enough. It took quite a bit of facts and figures to convince my folks at home to help me further financially and approve my idea of owning one of the most expensive motorcycles available in the market.
A billion thanks to both my parents, especially to my mother, who as always supported me and for breaking her head listening to my bike talk over the years. If it wasn’t for them I couldn’t have ever done this on my own. I probably would have had to undergo more back breaking journeys on the disco. Take more days off to get over that stiff body after my rides. But my folks agreed and made life much easier for me!
Support from some good friends like our Joel, first for trusting me with his R15 in Bangalore and letting me ride it around. He’s an Extremely Talented person with an encyclopedic amount of knowledge about Motorcycles. When I read through the entire R15 ownership thread in span of few days I had a LOT of doubts. I’m thankful to Joel most importantly for spending as much time as he could to listen to all my queries in the past few weeks regarding the bike. Answering every single question I put across. I was sometimes being paranoid. He elaborated all the technicalities at odd hours of the day and night. Given his extremely busy schedule at work and after hours, he took out an incredible amount of time to clarify so many of my doubts and biker talk in general! Hats off to him! He is one of the main reasons why I chose to make such an expensive but worthwhile investment! I had many apprehensions before buying it, as I've now run completely broke with the purchase making a big hole in my pocket and the last thing I wanted was a motorcycle which is difficult or expensive to maintain. But Joel truly made it really easy for me by always giving his factual inputs. I knew what to expect from it in the short and long run so I went ahead with the purchase. Thanks for taking out your precious time being there for me!!! I appreciate it a LOT!!!!! And at this point I’d also like to Apologize to you for chewing your brains so much with my silly questions at times. I hope I didn’t get on your nerve man! I’m sorry if I did Joel!
Also a big thanks to Niranjan (niranjanvaidya) for helping me with my queries regarding cleaning products for the bike. Wasn’t much of a care taker of my disco after I sold my RX.
And Gautham (gd76) from Bangalore xbhp. Thanks a lot man for all your help when I was in the city recently. Thanks for taking so much time out of your schedule man for showing me around especially helping me with my purchasing! I appreciate it a lot!!!
And I would also like to thank Sameer (Killer), Satyen, Akhil Rossiter, Digislayer, Sagar_46 amongst others for your precious time and patience in answering my queries.
Also i would like to thank my close friends and fellow XBHPians Shawn, Nitish, Siddharth, Vivek, Abhishek, Akshay amongst many others for all your support in recent times and for being so happy for me! I thoroughly enjoyed the look on your faces when i showed you my new ride. hehe Cheers to you guys! You guys make my life so much better.
Special thanks to Abhay for trusting me with his R15 and letting me test ride it and trash it around SO MUCH in the last couple of months!!! While i was making the final preparations for my purchase.
I'm in good terms with the Proprietor of the Yamaha showroom here in Mangalore. Being a biker, Rallyist and Racer himself back in the days, he knew what it felt to own and ride a Yamaha and bikes in general! The bike was directly delivered to the workshop and no one was allowed to ride the bike. I picked it up soon after the PDI and the next day got it registered with the desired number!
Thanks to Sunil Rao and Vinod Rao from Prabhat Automobiles!
My bike will be a year old on March 24th next year with us turning a year older! Couldn’t have been a better birthday gift ever! And the bike came as a welcome surprise to everyone as none of my friends had the slightest idea of me buying an R15.
With 2011Kms on the Odo today and first service completed two weeks ago, I am one happy and proud owner of Yamaha YZF-R15!!! It changed my life for the better! I’ve also received top notch service from the day one. It’s exactly one month old now!
Thanks to everyone who made this happen! God Bless You ALL!
Some pics below:
I had a tough time selecting names for her. I finally landed up with "Storm". I call her that because the day i bought the bike there was a huge storm and down pour in Mangalore and we both got wet enroute to temple for Pooja.
I hope you guys liked the pics.
Thanks a lot guys for reading through all this!!!