Page 1

Rs 80.00

CB TWISTER

Volume 5 Issue 006 January 2010

135LS THE BEST BAJAJ YET?

Honda’s first commuter bike

PULSAR LITE

PREVIEWED

2010 AUTO EXPO

TESTED

TVS JIVE ROYAL ENFIELD CLASSIC 500

FIRST RIDE

DUCATI HYPERMOTARD 796

E!R E FROSTE P

D AN DAR LENIDE A C NS I

FEATURE

CAN ROSSI BE BEATEN?

SHOOTOUT

TVS WEGO vs RODEO vs ACTIVA

PUBLISHING

CMYK

VISITED: HONDA’S JAPAN HQ

MOTOGP EXPERIENCE IN MALAYSIA


76

CONTENTS

ISSUE 054 january 2010

P†ˆ’ˆˆ

CB TWISTER

LIRJBƒ PPRBˆˆ„ >KR>OV€ˆˆ

135LS THE BEST BAJAJ YETŸ

Honda’s first commuter bike

PULSAR LITE

PREVIEWED

2010 AUTO EXPO

TESTED

TVS JIVE ROYAL ENFIELD CLASSIC 500

FIRST RIDE

DUCATI HYPERMOTARD 796

E! FROESTER P

D AN DAR LEN E CA SID IN

IGNITION

REGULARS

26 NEW METAL

08 You! 16 MOTOWARE 18 TECHNO MAIL 20 LETTERS 26 IGNITION 48 COLUMNS 52 READER’S PAGE 54 hero honda ride safe 100 MOTO MAIDEN

cove r feature

Honda CB Twister

TVS Jive & Wego / Confederate’s custom bike

Eko & Lohia’s new e-bikes

Pulsar 135LS / naked P220

FEATURE

CAN ROSSI BE BEATEN?

SHOOTOUT

TVS WEGO vs RODEO vs ACTIVA

PUBLISHING

VISITED: HONDA’S JAPAN HQ

MOTOGP EXPERIENCE IN MALAYSIA

Design: Ramnath Chodankar Photography: Sanjay Raikar #ô-ô9ô+

New R1 comes to India 36 BUZZ

14

VFR1200F coming here / Harley merchandise / BIKE India goes mobile

World’s first Harley backflip

India January 2010

Content_Jan10.indd 14

12/18/2009 9:03:27 PM


84

FEATURES 58 RETURN TO RETRO Royal Enfield reworks the 1950s Bullet Classic. Is old still gold?

64 BAJAJ PULSAR 135LS cover feature

Bajaj gives birth to the smallest Pulsar yet. Light, agile and quick, but is it worth putting the bike on our cover?

70 tvs’ clutchless wonder We put to test India’s first clutchless motorcycle, the new 110cc TVS Jive. 76 UNGEARED SPECIES TVS’ new 110cc scooter, the Wego takes on its rivals - the Rodeo and the Activa.

BACK END 84 DUCATI HYPERMOTARD 796

Our man Roland test rides the latest streetfighter from Italy

92 HONDA JAPAN VISIT We head to the land of the rising sun to experience Honda’s twowheels and much more

102 MADOX 110 MOTOGP ‘10 PRE SEASON TESTING 112 MOTOGP MALAYSIA experience 114 indian sports 116 GBU

104 MOTOGP’S NEW TECHNOLOGICAL MARVELS We tell you if the god of MotoGP, Valentino Rossi can be defeated

Think you know all about Bikes ?? SMS ‘BIKE’ to 55456 & find out! Exclusively for Idea subscribers Charges Rs.3/ SMS

January 2010

Content_Jan10.indd 15

India

15

12/18/2009 9:04:02 PM


Honda’s mass appeal The Japanese auto major launches the stylish 110cc CB Twister in India

26

India January 2010

Ignition_Jan10.indd 26

12/18/2009 9:08:28 PM


Honda’s fun bike for the masses arrives in the form of the new Twister

H

ONDA MOTORCYCLE AND SCOOTER INDIA (HMSI) launched its first commuter bike for India, the 110cc CB Twister. It is primarily targeted at the style conscious youth and the company promises to offer an affordable, fuel efficient, stylish and performance oriented bike. It is said that the design of the CB Twister has been inspired from Honda’s CB1000R bike model. The Twister has an aggregation of many first time features in the 110cc segment, namely tubeless tyres in the front and the rear, a screenless layered front cowl, a short muffler with a sharp tail, a mass forward proportion and a unique grabrail design.

The mileage, as officials from Honda claim, would be around 70kmpl. Apart from the above features, the CB Twister also has a muscular fuel tank, a floating side cowl, a half chain case, a maintenance free battery and adheres to BS III norms making it environment friendly. The CB Twister will be available by the end of February 2010 across the country and will be sold in three variants - Kick Drum Alloy at Rs 42,000 (ex-showroom, Delhi), Self Drum Alloy and Self Disc Alloy (with 240mm front disc brakes). Colour options include Pearl Amber Yellow, Candy Sonic Green, Pearl Nightstar Black, Pearl Siena Red and Pearl Fuji Blue.

January 2010

Ignition_Jan10.indd 27

India

27

12/18/2009 9:09:17 PM


ROAD TEST CLASSIC 500

The Return of the Classic

Adhish Alawani takes the Royal Enfield Classic 500 on a 900km ride to the Nilgiris and comes back with mixed impressions Photography: Adhish Alawani & Sanjay Raikar

58

India January 2010

RE Classic 500_Jan10.indd 58

12/18/2009 7:54:57 PM


I

have never been a Royal Enfield guy and have always struggled to digest the fact that people can actually be hardcore fans of the Bullet. I have often wondered why some people have always preferred Bullets as compared to the more advanced machines of the era. However, the Royal Enfield Classic shown at the Intermot show in Germany last year, had such an impact on me that I longed to ride it ever since. The reason for this was simple - the design

and styling of the Classic. True to its name, this bike has a classic, mid-twentieth century character to it. The designers at the Royal Enfield house worked hard on the Classic to give it post-WWII looks. The round headlamp, the small tail lamp mounted on the flat plate at the rear, the big fenders, the typical retro fuel tank, the company’s characteristic triangular airbox, the traditional instrumentation console with classic English font for the readout, the green colour and the

minimal graphics on it gives this motorcycle the feel of those immortal ‘50s bikes. The company has, in fact, painted the complete frame of the Classic in the body colour. Royal Enfield, in particular, has tried to replicate their own J2 model that had grabbed the fancy of many in its days. The most evident similarity between the J2 and the Classic, noticed at first glance, has to be the single saddle with springs. The company is providing the pillion seat separately with

January 2010

RE Classic 500_Jan10.indd 59

India

59

12/18/2009 7:57:11 PM


LIGHT PULSATIONS It Is light, quick and cheap. But is it a step in the right direction? Words: Bunny Punia Photography: Sanjay Raikar

ROAD TEST PULSAR 135LS

64

India January 2010

Pulsar135_Jan10.indd 64

12/18/2009 7:40:48 PM


I

SELDOM RIDE A MOTORCYCLE ON a test track with the transmission resting in the fifth cog. While riding through numerous tight curves where speeds fall below 50km/h, I was still not using my left hand or the left toe for that matter to downshift. Neither did I shift my body weight while taking turns. Instead, I sat upright like a typical commuter trying to experience the traffic negotiating manoeuvers of Bajaj’s allnew traffic buster machine, the Pulsar 135LS. Even with my weight and a few slightly uphill sections, the bike pulled cleanly from low speeds in the highest gear. I have to admit, I was beginning to enjoy riding the LS in this manner on the track before being flagged down by my colleague Ravi who was waiting patiently for his turn to hit the track. But why was my riding so different in the

first place? Apart from its blistering engine (for the capacity) and eye-catching looks, the LS is also about its ability to weave in and out of traffic effortlessly at low to midrange engine speeds. As our test ride session was scheduled at Bajaj’s racetrack, there was no better way to understand their new product than ride it in the manner explained above. In the recent few months, Bajaj’s dominance in the premium commuter segment has seen a huge positive growth. The Pulsar model lineup comprising of the 150, the 180 and the 220 models has strengthened its presence in the market. But Bajaj wanted to provide something for young enthusiasts that would combine the best of both worlds – a 125cc machine’s efficiency and sticker price with a typical 150cc bike’s performance and looks. Hence, the birth of the Pulsar 135LS.

LS by the way stands for Light Sports

January 2010

Pulsar135_Jan10.indd 65

India

65

12/18/2009 7:41:32 PM


SHOOTOUT WEGO VS RIVALS

CITY COM Adhish Alawani gauges the all-new TVS Wego against the Honda Activa and the Mahindra Rodeo to find out which machine is best suited for urban practicality Photography Sanjay Raikar

76

India January 2010

TVS Wego vs Rivals_Jan10.indd 76

12/18/2009 6:04:54 PM


BATANTS

January 2010

TVS Wego vs Rivals_Jan10.indd 77

India

77

12/18/2009 6:05:25 PM


FIRST RIDE HYPERMOTARD 796

DUKE N

Roland Brown braves torrential rain and thunder to evaluate the

84

India January 2010

Ducati Hypermotard 796_DEC09.ind84 84

12/18/2009 5:44:07 PM


NUKEM smallest and the newest entrant into Ducati’s Hypermotard family

January 2010

Ducati Hypermotard 796_DEC09.ind85 85

India

85

12/18/2009 5:44:37 PM


RIDDEN HONDA VFR1200F

LEGEND VIVIFIED The all-new VFR1200F is coming to India in a few months. Bunny Punia sheds more light on this iconic bike

92

India January 2010

Japan Ride_Jan10.indd 92

12/18/2009 6:14:19 PM


D D January 2010

Japan Ride_Jan10.indd 93

India

93

12/18/2009 6:15:25 PM


MOTOMAIDENS A

DRENALINE JUNKY, biker, long distance runner, tourer and an animal lover – words rarely used to describe a Miss India winner or a sizzling Bollywood actress. I caught up with the gorgeous Gul Panag and tried to solve the mystery of how she became an avid biker. With a hint of nostalgia in her tone she talks about how bikes are in her genes. Her father was in the army and owned a prized classic bike – the Indian, way back in the 1960s. Later, when Gul was at an impressionable age of seven years her cousin sisters were one of the first girls who rode bikes – most women preferred scooters then.

GU(R)L NEXT DOOR Seated on her Bullet Electra, Gul Panag takes a ride down memory lane as Sarmad Kadiri discovers the brilliant personality behind the sultry actor

100

India January 2010

motomaiden_Jan10.indd 100

12/18/2009 7:53:30 PM


She animatedly explained how her cousin sisters zoomed on a Yamaha RD 350 at 90km/h in a busy market street leading a pack of biker boys. She says, “The sound of the RD was like music to my ears” with respect in her eyes that only a biker can have. So does she ride big bikes because men find tomboy, biker chicks hot? She detests being tagged like that and clarifies that she has been riding bikes way too long to do it for the cool biker chick image. She rides because the kind of independence and free spiritedness motorcycles offer is second to none. And we second that! The ‘Dor’ and ‘Manorama Six Feet Under.’ star is a safe rider and does not ride bikes for sheer speed, at least not any more. Now it’s about enjoying the whole ride and that is why she has not had any major falls. Touch wood! Recently the dimpled beauty skid her Bullet Electra due to wet roads but thankfully the leg guards did their job well. Her other minor fall was when the actor had gone riding to Leh Ladakh on a BMW Funduro 650 (!!) with a group of friends. She stopped to see where the other guys were but the bike tilted for about 10 degrees and then she couldn’t do anything about it as everything happened in slow motion. To think of it, this hottie went riding all the way to Leh Ladakh and some people feel that it’s not safe for girls to ride bikes in Indian cities. Well, she begs to differ and puts it in her own witty way. Ms Panag feels that girls on bikes are the safest. Since all the

Astride the CB1000R, during her test ride as a jury member for our Bike of the Year awards

men are eyeing them, no one will knock them off by mistake! The saddest thing that happens to bikers is that car drivers are unaware of bikes on the road. Her advice to riders - always wear a helmet and a jacket. I had to ask her about the obvious – her dream bike. And knowing Gul, I realized her choice would be any thing but the obvious. Her pick is a new bike manufacturer from the US called Victory and the model that excites her is the retro styled Hammer – something like BSA-meets-RD. But, eventually this Punjabi kudi wants to own a Harley-Davidson someday. Gul, the day you get it, you know who to call first!

Enroute to Leh-Ladakh, swapping between the Bullet and the BMW Funduro 650

January 2010

motomaiden_Jan10.indd 101

India

101

12/18/2009 6:48:35 PM


SPORT

104

MotoGP

India January 2010

MotoGP Tech_Jan10.indd 104

12/18/2009 6:53:36 PM


HOW DO YOU BEAT A RACER LIKE ROSSI?

Yamaha’s MotoGP effort has ruled MotoGP the past two years, but Honda have got new electronics boffins and Ducati have got a new engine in their efforts to beat Valentino Rossi in 2010 Story: Mat Oxley Photography: DPPI

S

ince MotoGP kicked off in 2002 Ducati has scored one world title, Honda has taken three and Yamaha four. We take it for granted that Yamaha is now the greatest force in the premier class, thanks largely to Valentino Rossi. But we forget that Yamaha’s first YZR-M1 was a dog. During its first two seasons the M1 won just two races, during the last two seasons it won twenty. It’s been quite a journey – from Honda dominance to Yamaha dominance. Honda have struggled so badly in recent years that Yamaha now consider Ducati to be their main rivals; which is quite a story in itself: a little race shop in Bologna now a greater force than the mighty HRC. But after three seasons in the doldrums HRC are getting serious again, poaching Yamaha’s best electronics boffins for 2010. You could say it’s payback time for Yamaha stealing Rossi and Jeremy Burgess from Honda in 2004. Next on

HRC’s shopping list is some faster riders – most likely Jorge Lorenzo and Casey Stoner. If Honda do lure Stoner away from Ducati for 2011, the Italians need to do something special to save the Desmosedici project. No one else can win on the Desmosedici 800, so if Ducati don’t make the bike manageable for non-superhumans, the Italian challenge will fizzle out the moment Stoner walks out the door. Meanwhile Yamaha are working away, quietly fine-tuning the best bike on the grid. Yamaha’s secret is evolution, not revolution. Their engine and chassis concepts have stayed the same since 2004, while Honda have switched from a V5 to a V4 and Ducati from steel chassis to carbon-fibre chassis and from screamer engine to long-bang engine. That basic machine consistency has allowed Yamaha to concentrate on the biggest issues in MotoGP – electronics and tyres.

January 2010

MotoGP Tech_Jan10.indd 105

India

105

12/18/2009 6:54:44 PM

bike_jan2010_teaser  

bike_jan2010_teaser