Everyone I know has a dream. Big or small – it is relative. When xBhp was founded as a single web page back in 2001, downloading a 4MB file for learning ASP to create the website over the internet over a dial up in India was a dream. But one fine day it did happen.
That day the seeds of the xBhp forums were sown. Within a year or so, by 2003, xBhp.com grew to have 10,000 registered members. Real people. In those days with dialup and GPRS mobile internet.
Those were the days. As they say. But better were on the way!
What is xBhp ? It means Extra Brake Horsepower or ‘x’ amount of brake horse power. It is India’s largest and most popular lifestyle motorcycling platform and community (since 2002) with a print magazine (since 2010). We just completed 14 years, have a look at how we celebrated it nationwide.
Then there was another dream. To shoot and upload better photos, inspire a generation to ride and document. The best available on any motorcycle or car forum or website in India. That too became an eventual reality. The first camera that xBhp chose to shoot with was a Sony 1.3 MP with 3X optical zoom and a swivel screen. That was 2002. The first DSLR that we got our hands was not until 2005. Things took time. Dreams took time to materialise. It was never easy.
In 2003 there was another dream. The founder of xBhp, Sunny or MotoGrapher wanted to have the best availaible in India back then – a Hero Honda Karizma – powered by a fiery 17 Bhp 223 CC engine. That bike was the first one in India to have a proper bikini fairing. There was no fully faired motorcycle availaible in India back then. The Karizma (a 75,000 INR or 1200 AUD machine) was a dream made into reality by paying the money over 18 months.
Yes, dreams take time to materialise. But they keep changing. Human desire and ambition is insatiable.
Then there was a dream to do an all India roadtrip on a 1000CC superbike. An unheard task back in 2005. But that too did happen. The Great Indian Roadtrip saw a ’05 Honda Fireblade 1000RR accompanied by moto-scooters go around India for a good 13,000 Kms. Superbikes were still not availaible in India officially until much later.
The dream again shifted a notch above. Another check mark later it morphed into a dream of doing xBhp and MotoGrapher’s first out of India ride. It happened to be Australia.
That was a lesson in many things, including our first real brush with the western world of motorcycling.
We thought that was it. We had achieved whatever there was to achieve. No Indian motorcycling community, magazine or journalist had achieved that so far together.
That was 2007. The Great Australian Roadtrip saw two of us ride 22,000 Kms on South Korean Machines.
We were on top of the world. Let me correct that, bottom, actually, down under of the world.
That was the year when Casey Stoner also realised his dream of becoming a MotoGP champion. We just remember because lot of people in Australia thought we were on red Ducatis from afar on the road.
That was cute.
Then we went around this great country again on a Ducati Multistrada in 2013. More about this ride can be found at thegrandaustralianroadtrip.com
Anyways. Dreams fueling other dreams.
54 countries and thousands of photos later we were sitting in a coffee shop in Delhi. The seeds of this very roadtriSTSp were sown there. Might as well have been coffee bean seeds for all you know.
It is strange where you can get inspiration from. We just wanted to do what hadn’t been done anywhere before. In a way it had never been done before, and with bikes that it’s not meant to be done.
The first bike of choice was a Ninja H2. There is nothing like this on the planet. With it’s ECU flash upgrade 260 Bhp sounded too tempting along with that sweet Akrapovic and the flutter of the supercharger. I had been told it accelerates like nothing else on the planet on two wheels while being ultra reliable. It was time to try it out, but the way we wanted to.
The first time we saw it was in EICMA 2014. This was the first image of it :
It was the most hyped motorcycle in decades and rightly so. We were blown off when we saw it. And
read the specs on paper. It was so fine, so unattainable.
In fact it took us almost one year to get our hands on one, and that too we only rode for around 10 kms in India. That was super exclusive for us. We were like happy little kids.
Dreams are the sweetest when they materialise slowly. Especially if they involve fast bikes.
Here we are. So many dreams later. We will embark on a ride of a lifetime on bikes that are pinnacles of human engineering and his unrelenting lust for beauty and power.
However, to make it even more special we decided, with Ducati announcing a Final Edition of the 1299, that we wanted to mark the occasion and celebrate the twin-cylinder Superbike by doing a power trip right around Australia. So the second bike was the Ducati flagship and one of the most beautiful bikes in the world – the Ducati Panigale 1299. I, as the MotoGrapher, have been privy to the Ducati camaraderie and ethos unlike very few people. Having ridden the Multistrada across 20 plus countries and meeting countless Ducatista I can vouch for that.
We can almost see the ground trembling with 450 Bhps rolling into the horizon in the Australian outback and a few Kangroos hopping here and there (hopefully missing the bikes).
This is going to be one hell of a trip. The perfect amalgamation of technology, nature and the wanderlust that ails us. We will do our best to let you live through us vicariously.
Of MacDonalds and MacHines. And Mac Misters.
Talking about machines. Our better halves. On the road we are one. And here they are.
The 2016 Kawasaki Ninja H2
1000 CC .
210 BHP Stock.
Reflashed to 280 Bhp with Akrapovic slip-on. Pannier solution from BikeBiz Au. Paint protection from TrackPro Au. Puig Racing Screen from Online Racing Spares Au. AirHawk Seat.
Ridden by Sundeep Gajjar (aka Sunny aka MotoGrapher ). Founder, xBhp and globe trotting photographer. Facebook . Instagram. You can mail him at sunny [at] xBhp [dot] com
The 2016 Ducati Panigale 1299
King of the Track.
1299 CC .
200 BHP Stock.
Puig Racing Screen from Online Racing Spares Au. AirHawk Seat.
Ridden by Sunil Gupta. Content Manager and partner in crime with the xBhp core team since 2010.
The ones who made it all possible -with their support & resources
Castrol POWER1: The world leader in the field of motorcycle lubrication products, this big guy keeps things cool, especially the supercharged 240 Bhp Ninja H2 & the Ducati 1299 Panigale, one of the most powered V-Twins in the world!
trip360.com: Powered by Cox & Kings, these guys are poised to be the biggest collective adventure junkies in the world. And make you one too! Their motto is, “life begins just outside your comfort zone.”