Sep 25, 2014

A little review basis my test ride of Suzuki Gixxer

The sales guy (the one you see in the pic with a rotund tummy) sees my red FZ, greets me and tells me, "FZ bhool jaoge Sir aap!"

I take the Gixxer for a spin. I have one word for the Gixxer. Smooth.

Pick-up was good, stance felt very good, gear-changing super-smooth. Sound was alright. Gixxer felt just the right size and very nimble.

When I ride my FZ, people give it a look, even after so many years, and after so many FZ's on the road. Not one guy looked at the Gixxer. Having said that, the Gixxer is a good looker. Nicely designed tank with recesses and a very pleasantly different looking exhaust muffler. The design has the right proportions. I don't like the cowl on which 'Gixxer' is written.

White won't be fun though. Red is the color. Second-best, the grey that I saw on display.

Post the test ride, I picked my FZ again. FZ felt great. The FZ 2.0 should be pitched against this one and checked.

Jul 20, 2014

First experience of the Yamaha FZ-FI

Just been to the Yamaha showroom near ISRO, Ahmedabad. Here's the little story.

I enter the showroom and meet this lady who greets me, "Yes Sir?" And I tell her that I want a test-ride of the newest FZ model.

She says, "Sir, test-ride is not available for the new model."

That doesn't cheer me and I look around at the displayed motorcycles to find the particular model.

Pointing to the one parked nearest to me, she adds, "Sir, this is the latest model."

I retort, "No! This is not the latest model. This is the older one. I want to see the one that has just been released."

Not giving up, lady responds, "Sir, everything is new in this model..." I stop listening to her. Watch where she was pointing out and tell her in plain simple words, "Madam, this is not the one. I own an FZ and I know this is certainly not the new one."

At this point, a man sitting on the chair nearby interjects and tells her, "Show him the FI model."

I ask again, "Is it not available for test-ride?"

Lady replies, "No Sir, if someone's new motorcycle is ready for delivery, we can give you a test-ride." I say to myself, "Wow!"

Another guys approaches me and tells me to accompany him downstairs to their stock-yard.

That's when I spot the one shown in the pic.

My conversation with him is inconsequential barring the fact that he mentioned this model FZ-FI will give a mileage of 45kms per litre easily. That sounds pleasant, no?

He mentions that the muffler also emits a different sound now. And I latch upon the opportunity to poke him to switch the engine on. He does and I was happy to hear the sound. Punchier and more pleasing than the sound that my 3-year old FZ emits.

The tank's shape has been changed a bit but it retains the beefiness and size. In the pics I saw online, the exhaust-muffler looked a bit over-done but it looked good in actual.

All else looked just in right measure. The split-seat and the tyre-hugger.

I felt and expressed this earlier, and I want to tell you again, the FZ is the best-designed and the best-looking, the best-built, and for me, also the best-performing motorcycle yet, given the Indian conditions and Indian motorcyclists' pockets.

People can debate, for that's what it's all about, but FZ is far far better than the Pulsar or the Apache, and in over-all impact, any day better than the Honda Trigger/Dazzler.

What do I mean by best-performing? Let me just add a few words here. I am a 50-80km/hr rider. In that range, the FZ feels very solid, smooth and sure-handler. Given its apparent bulk, it turns and twists without any unease.

Having said that I also feel that if FZ comes out with a variant with an engine-capacity between 200cc and 250cc, it would be the only motorcycle to desire in this country. I've ridden the KTM 200, and loved it.

May 25, 2014

Pulsar 200NS Not A Great Ride After All

The first time I rode the 200NS was right after its launch in Ahmedabad. Wasn't really a long one and I didn't get off the bike very convinced. The bump in power was palpable but over-all feeling not great. Felt unusually bulky and the fit and finish not to my liking.

I rode the 200NS again just a couple of days back. This one, a neighbor's bike. This gentleman upgraded from a Pulsar 150 to Pulsar 200. He just mentioned in one of the little conversations we strike often that he was really getting tired when he rode his 200NS in areas with dense traffic. He said, there was some problem with the handle-bar. Awkward to manoeuvre, felt heavy.

I asked him to let me go take a ride. He offered me to keep the bike for a couple of days and see how I felt.

Next day early morning post the conversation, I took the bike for a spin. This was longer than the earlier one. The instant I took a couple of turns I felt what he felt. And I recollected the earlier test-ride also. Straight-line acceleration is good but the bike feels unusually bulky, the handle feels heavy. Doesn't inspire confidence at turns, specially even at low speeds.

I wouldn't buy this bike. Has serious issues with normal everyday biking. 

Feb 9, 2014

Pulsar CS400, my next bike

So this motorcycle makes me resume my motorcycle-blogging again. And it also kind of pokes me to save some money again so that I am able to buy a new bike again.

They call such bikes Street Fighter and such names. Hell, who's fighting?!?! For me this will be the cruiser. Something that I can drive around the town and to other towns at a leisurely speed.

Indeed, since the machine-specs are likely to match the Duke390's, I am convinced this bike is going to give me a high and take Pulsar to greater heights too. Also a perfect upgrade from my current beauty, a red FZ150.