Drift HD the compact action camera

How do you capture the picturesque scenery, when you are on a ride, and show it to your loved ones, just as you have seen it? Simple. Use an action camera.

There are several brands available in the market, and one such Drift HD, a compact action camera suitable for many rugged sports.

Some Standard Feature:

  •     Full HD video for creating crystal clear footage.
  •     More compact housing, 4.1 inches and 5.04 oz., 25 percent smaller than its predecessor.
  •     Rotatable, replaceable lens.
  •     Second rear cover to protect the camera when using an external mic or a USB charger.
  •     An integrated LCD screen for shot setup and playback.
  •     Micro HDMI connector for HDTV playback.
  •     A remote control to enable you to film what you want to record, not the boring stuff in between.
  •     New goggle strap in addition to curved and flat adhesive mounts, paired with a universal clip for multiple mounting options.
  •     Standard ¼” 20 thread for use with most tripods.

HD Drift

Additional Features:

  •     A rotating lens so you can mount the camera at any angle and any position to get that shot you are looking for.
  •     9MP still photography; put it in the photo burst mode and you can take pictures every few seconds for as long as your memory card and battery lasts.
  •     You can pair the remote control to your camera or any number of additional cameras.
  •     A digital zoom function so you can get even closer to the action, or your friend in front.
  •     A 2.5 microphone input for external microphones.
  •     Optional waterproof case to take your Drift HD to depths of up to 30m.
  •     Optional external power pack accessory, taking recording time up to 20hrs.

 

Of all the action cameras available in the market, I found HD Drift to be the coolest, easiest and most convenient to use. You can order online or get it from a dealer located in Bangalore – RaceTech.co.in.

Price: Rs. 22,000/-

Alpinestars CR-4 Gore-Tex XCR Boot : Quick Review

Last week, one of our team members was able to get his hands, or rather feet on the 2011 fall collection of Alpinestars motorcycle shoes. The particular product we got was the CR-4 Gore-Tex XCR in Anthracite/Red.

Wearing and riding for couple of days has given us positive feedback. It offers protection with hiking boot style and comfort. Tough materials along with Gore-Tex membrane has been used to build the body. So it is waterproof as well as breathable. Performance and longevity are also its attribute. So, it can be said rightfully, that these boots will stay with the rider for a long span.

Have a quick look at the features:

•    Along with highly breathable GORE-TEX® XCR® membrane, the collar and tongue also feature waterproof and breathable mesh lining.
•    The lace system is strictly like the hiking boots, with metal eyelets and two hooks on each size.
•    Notice the reflective inserts on the rear of the boot.
•    It is layered under the leather internal toe and heel counter.
•    EVA midsole are shock absorbing.
•    PU coated leather shift area.
•    Wrap-around rubber outsole reinforced with metal shank in the heel and a TPU shank in the Plantar Arch for enhanced rigidity.
•    Mesh lined anatomically profiled EVA foam foot bed.
•    Upper constructed from a combination of PU coated leather, suede and textile.
•    Foam backed, double density impact protector on the both sides of the ankle.
All-in-all, these boots are ideal for motorcycle riders. It can be used in any season and any terrain. One can even go hiking with it. Cleaning it requires very minimal efforts.

P.S. Now just in case if any water enters the boot from the top, or you are standing in knee deep water, the best and the fastest way to dry your shoes is to keep them overnight under light, fan or in windy area with the interior of the shoes stuffed with newspaper balls. It’s the oldest trick in the book and it definitely works.
Alpinestars CR-4 Goretex

Also published on MyBikeMyWorld.com

Cool toys for boys: Casio ProTrek digital watch

Here is a quick post about Casio Protrek taken from MyBikeMyWorld.com

Be it a five year old or a 25 year old, it’s an inevitable fact that toys and boys’ go hand in hand. And, for a biker when a gadget has good utility, it simply adds to the assets on his ride.One such gadget is a watch. All boys like to own a cool watch but a biker wants a utility watch. Something that gives him information that can come handy during a ride and not just display time.

Now let’s throw in some of the readings that come handy on a ride. The very first and obvious is accurate time, that too on a digital screen. Why? When you are riding at 100km/hr you want to know the time — you take a look at your watch, you want to know the time and not ‘decipher’ the time.

An altimeter: It’s good to know how ‘high’ you are especially when you are riding up somewhere in the mountains. While crossing mountain passes, the height info is good to look at. Gives a sense of achievement.

A compass: When every direction is marked in your road map app then what good is a compass in today’s age? Well, let me tell you why. An avid biker loves to wander on offbeat tracks where only eagles dare. A compass will always come in handy at such sights. The best I felt its use was inside the little Rann of Kutch.

Temperature: Be it the coldest mountains or the hottest desert, the current temperature reading will let you know how much you are bearing.

Water-resistant: Surely, you won’t take your watch off your wrist each time there is a downpour!  Invest on a 100m water resistant watch. This feature is a MUST have.

Solar powered: Don;t depend on battery alone. Solar power is a great idea!

Alarm, world time, timer and stop watch are add-ons. Useful features for everyone.

There is just one watch maker that meets all these features, plus a sturdy design to take on the rugged — Casio

Its sturdy shockproof design, reliable technology, low cost compared to other brands and maintenance free product is the ideal watch a biker should own.

And looking at the product lineup of Casio, the one that fits well in every category is PRG-110-1V.

The slim fit design incorporated with all the above features mentioned does the job for a biker.

Have a look at in-depth details at Casio India.
Casio Protrek

10 reasons why you should buy Royal Enfield Thunderbird 500

Thunderbird 500 is the most anticipated bike from the Royal Enfield stable. It’s the first bike from Royal Enfield which has undergone significant upgrades and uprates. Many riders have their eyes set on the machine and awaiting anxiously for its launch. But for those who have doubts in their mind about the bike, then here are 10 reasons why you should buy the Thunderbird 500.

Thunderbird 500

1.    The Engine:
The 500cc loaded gun, that’s what I’ll say. Earlier there were rumors that it has the same classic 500 engine but lately news (unconfirmed) is that it might have a more perfected version of the Classic 500 engine. Whatever it may be, one thing is for sure that this engine will allow the rider to take the speedometer needle up the 100 mark with just flick of the wrist. The rider now can maneuver through twisty hills and steep slopes easily. The engine has what it takes to lift the heavy beast and cater the rider’s wish promptly. The bike also has a 41mm thicker front fork and an oval shape swing arm to handle the substantial power.

Engine of tb 500

2.    Fuel Tank:
The whooping 20 litres fuel tank is a dream come true for Himalayan riders, where availability of fuel is scarce. Taking into account a worst average figure, will also deliver 500+ kms on a full tank. And carrying additional fuel in jerry cans mounted on the carrier is a boon. The rider can now actually cover 1000kms with the full tank and additional cans of 10 litres each.

Fuel tank

3.    Instrument cluster:
The twin pods located in the front suits the styling of the bike. Having the standard speedometer, tachometer and fuel indicator, the console also has two trip meters (digital) and hazard lamps (a first from RE). The fuel cap is also located on the top right side of the tank. Very similar to German bikes during World war.

Console

4.    The Seating Arrangement:
The seat design is very similar to Harley Davidson. The rear seat now can be removed to accommodate luggage or mount a carrier. Anchors for bungee cords have been provided and the grab rail is also very useful feature for touring enthusiasts.

Seat

5.    Brakes:
What good is a powerful engine delivering high torque and taking you up to 3 figure speeds if the braking system is not top notch? The bike comes with not just front but even rear disk brake of 2-Piston caliper. It will effectively get you down under controllable speed, immediately. The rider can now experience confidence at higher speeds and during emergency braking.

Disc Brakes

6.    Tail and Headlights:
The tail lights come with LED lamp with the all new position light guides. And the headlight is the real seller. Not just having a 55W bulb but now it has a projector for the lower beam and halogen for the upper. Both working in combination to give ample spread and penetration on the road. So now night riding is fun and exciting.

Headlights

7.    The New and Improved Styling:
The black finish engine, raised handle bar, redesigned foot pegs, low seat height, new mirrors are various small features which add up not just to the styling of the bike but a fatigue free riding experience.

8.    Ergonomics :
The new handlebars, foot pegs and seat have been redesigned, altered and changed for better reach and ergonomics. The bike has been designed to replicate a true touring machine.

9.    Luggage compatibility:
With the feature of removable pillion seat, now there is more compatibility to mount a carrier on the bike. Enormous space for luggage and other items is now created. Plus the bungee hooks are very useful to secure stuff using cords.

10.    Cost factor:
All this you get at a cost just 10k more than the Chrome from Royal Enfield. And the spares are also priced at fair figures.

One may raise the question that this bike is not in par with the KTM, Bajaj or Honda but a true rider will understand that Royal Enfield  cannot be compared with any other bike. It’s always the need and requirement that has to be filled much above the satisfactory level. Thunderbird 500 does just that. You can take this bike to far corners of the country at ease and comfort.

Kudos for Royal Enfield.

Nitrogen in tyres – Advantages and Disadvantages

Many have asked me whether Nitrogen in tyres make any significant difference!

Here I have posted the advantages and disadvantages of the substitute of air in tyres, which you can also find in MyBikeMyWorld.com

A few years ago, the use of nitrogen in tyres had been introduced. The idea was to replace the free air provided at petrol pumps with Nitrogen gas for a nominal charge. The concept did not gain much mileage and nitrogen gas providers shut down at some places.

But today, there are many 250cc bikes available in the market. The price of high speed bikes is well within the reach of the middle class consumer. At continuous high speeds, the tyres in these bikes can inflate quickly. Here, tyres filled with nitrogen gas prove their superiority over tyres filled with air. Let’s have a look at the benefits and shortcomings of nitrogen in tyres.

Advantage of nitrogen in tyres:

–    Nitrogen is lighter than air. So, the bounce you feel sometimes at high speeds is reduced to a very great degree. This translates into a smoother ride for you.

–    Nitrogen gas remains cool, which is a characteristic trait of the element. So the temperature of the tyres while riding at high speeds also remains cooler compared to air.

–    The tyre pressure remains constant at different speeds regardless of heavy / light load on the vehicle. It remains quite stable regardless of the temperature of the tyre.

–    The life of the tyre gets an extension. Since the wear and tear has slowed down, the durability of the tyre increases.

–    There is also a noticeable reduction in rusting of the rims or wheel as nitrogen is chemically inactive.

–    The rate of nitrogen pressure leaking from the tyre is 10 times less than the compressed air. So one can fill the tyres with nitrogen gas and then check the pressure again after 3-4 months or even more.

N2 in tyres

There are not many disadvantages of nitrogen in tyres but those that exist cannot be ignored.

–    The process is expensive. When it was introduced, it cost approximately Rs.100 for a two-wheeler and the cost was double for a four-wheeler.

–    Even today the gas is not available widely. Only a handful of tyre dealers provide it.

–    It’s useful for high speed bikes. Compared to the amount of commuter bikes the ratio is fairly low.

–    If a tyre gets punctured, after repairing the puncture, you have to repeat the process of filling nitrogen in the tyre.

Despite the shortcomings one can still opt to fill their bike tyres with nitrogen and get rid of the risk of tyres running at high temperatures. Perhaps you can even save your tyre from getting burst due to inflation. These advantages surely outweigh any cost disadvantage that nitrogen gas may have.

A Lazy Sunday – Bhandardara Dam

Monsoon had already come in full force and the terrain all around us was turning lush green. The weather had now turned cool and breezy – much relief from the scorching summer heat. I was eager to ride out and start my opening chapter of this year’s monsoon.

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Mutual Interest 

I called a few friends to check if any of them would be interested in riding with me. Within an hour, a friend called back to confirm that he would join me. It was a date!

The Mean Machine

I have a Ninja 250R and an Impulse in my shed, but for this ride I got my hands on the Austrian beauty, KTM Duke 200. With the orange beauty, biking gears and other stuff, I was ready to hit the road.

44

Oops! The alarm didn’t go off! 

I tend to get up on time, however late I hit the sack, the previous night. Even if I do doze off, my dog licks my face till it’s dripping wet that I have to jump off the bed! However, this time around, I slept through the alarm and my dog chose not to disturb me just this morning! I woke up with a start only to realise that at that very moment I was scheduled to meet my friend at a common point, a good 20kms away from home! I phoned my friend and had to reset the meeting time to an hour away, despite the angry sparks that came my way!

46.

65

A King’s breakfast

An hour later exactly, we met! A cordial handshake later, we mounted our bikes and rode off to Igatpuri without wasting any more time! We finally reached Manas Resort for breakfast!  The buffet served was awesome. I devoured the delicious food like never before! The next hour was a feast – neither of us spoke till we finished!

Leisure Run 

The next halt, we decided, would be Bhandardara dam, which was about 40kms from Igatpuri. This time, we rode leisurely, halted at every scenic corner and clicked away!

The road to Bhandardara is purely scenic. Waterfalls, valleys and green fields made for several beautiful photographs! We finally stopped right on a river bed. While cruising, we noticed a road near a bridge, leading down to the river bed. We simply could not resist the idea of riding down on the track and spending a few photographic moments there.

34

The Shocker and a quick decision

Finally, we reached the dam. Much to our dismay, though all the gates were open, there was no water.

We quickly decide to waste time no more and head straight to Malshej Ghat via Otur road. Malshej Ghat was a good 60-70kms away. The road slowly ascended up a hill and narrowed down to a single lane. What we noticed here was the terrain had not turned green yet. Dry grass lands stretched around us for over 30kms.

We decided to go off road for a while—I shot pictures, while my friend explored the hills.

45

Sundown and a sound sleep

By the time we reached Malshej ghat the sun had set. We snacked a little and prepared ourselves for a wet ride down the hill. The torrential rains came lashing down on us and we were wet to the bone! Once we crossed Murbad, traffic began gaining momentum and cutting through turned into a nightmare!

Nevertheless, after a day long ride, there is simply nothing like reaching home to some hot food and a warm bed, with new memories. As I texted my friend, informing him of my safe arrival home, my phone beeped with a similar message from him! I rested my head on my soft pillow and sunk further into my bed, and as I slipped into blissful sleep, I could see the snapshots of the day that had gone by, in my dream!

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Also published in MyBikeMyWorld.

Hero MotoCorp Impulse Full Review

After 2 decades of joint venture between Hero and Honda the time finally came where they ended its collaboration. It was much unexpected as Hero Honda had become the highest selling bike company in India. It was the only brand people preferred for commuting to offices and nearby distances for almost a decade.

After separation Hero is now Hero Moto Corp. But the company is aware that it cannot make its stand alone in the market so the company has got in a partnership with USA’s Erik Buell Racing for technology adaptation.

All Hero Honda bikes had Honda’s technology in it. Although Honda is still supplying parts for the existing makes, Hero Moto Corp is looking to bring in high end bikes in coming decades with help of its strategic partnership.

For now to lead the way Hero Moto Corp has launched Impulse, a dual purpose bike.

More than a decade back Bajaj went the similar way but could not find success. Now with the demand and requirement of such bikes, Impulse can make a mark.

Let’s see what it says on paper.

Engine

 Type Air cooled, 4- stroke single cylinder OHC , Self start
Displacement 149.2cc
 Max. Power 9.7 kW (13.2 Ps) @ 7500 rpm
Max. Torque 13.4 N-m @ 5000 rpm
 Ignition D.C – CDI Ignition System

Looks like a standard configuration of a 150cc bike. But wait, read more. There are things that make this bike apart from the usual 150cc bikes.

Transmission & Chassis

Gear box 5 Speed constant mesh

Perhaps a 6th gear could have made a significant difference.

Suspension

Front Telescopic Hydraulic Shock Absorbers
Rear Swing Arm with Mono Suspension with Nitrox

Mono suspension with Nitrox is nowadays seen in most bikes. The long front suspension is what to look out for.

Brakes

 Front Brake  Dia 240 mm Disc
 Rear Brake Internal expanding shoe type (110 mm)

It’s the era of disc brakes. And not just in front.

Wheels & Tyres

 Tyre Size Front  90 / 90 x 19 – 52 P
Tyre Size Rear  110 / 90 x 17 – 60 P

Typical off-road size.

Electricals

 Battery 12 V – 4 Ah, MF Battery
Head Light 12 V – 35 W / 35 W – Halogen Bulb (Multi -Reflector Type)
Tail Stop Lamp 12V – 0.5 W / 4.1 W LED Lamp
Turn Signal Lamp 12 V – 10 W (Amber Bulb) x 4 nos (Multi-Reflector-Clear Lens)

Very basic electrical. 55W bulb would have given better light for night rides.

Dimensions

 Wheelbase  1360mm
Ground Clearance 245 mm

Here is where it stands apart significantly. Highest ground clearance on an Indian bike.

Fuel Tank

 Capacity  11.1 Litre (Min) – 2.6 Litre (Useable Reserve)

11.1 includes 2.6 useable reserve.

On paper the numbers show a standard 150cc make but since this is a dual purpose bike it had to have features that are required to ride this machine across slush, dirt, knee deep water and various other non-tar terrains.

Hero Impulse

Power, Performance and Delivery:

What Hero says that they have made a high torque ATFT engine. Well that’s just a technical way of putting up your product. What it exactly means is that the engine is the same 4-stroke engine used in CBZ Hunk and Honda’s Unicorn but in Impulse it’s peppier and refined. It has been designed to deliver high torque output. From riding the bike for just 100kms we could feel how it’s marked by lively action than any other 150cc bike.
The gear ratio has been altered to provide the rider low end torque so pick up on off-road terrain can be done at ease.
Though max torque it delivers is 13.4 N-m @ 5000 rpm, I think it still comes short by few units. While riding through slush the given performance specification was satisfactory but on a rally or dirt race I’m not sure whether it will be enough. Anyhow, for regular riding it won’t disappoint you.
5-speed gear box – While continuous shifts I noticed the gearing system to be quite tall. Result, the 4th and 5th gears are ideal for touring with least fuel consumption.

Impulse in water

Handling:

The bike is very light in weight. When riding through traffic, overtaking vehicles and moving ahead is quicker than any other bike I have ridden. The motocross seat lets the rider move his weight front and back. The seating position itself is very comfortable and the soft cushioned material makes long trips free from fatigue. Also the seat has been bolted on to the body. You cannot open it like any other bike. The utility compartment for tool kit, first aid and the bike papers is located on the left side of the bike. Unlocking and locking is very user friendly.
The handle is positioned in such a way with the foot pegs of the rider that you can even stand and ride this bike comfortably.
The only thing you have to worry about is the wide handle where the knuckle guard and mirrors are mounted. When passing between stationary vehicles they tend to touch on either side even when you are sure the whole bike can pass through.

Styling and Lineaments:

This is the first bike in India where the exhaust is not located on the right side rear end below but high above, just near the pillion seat. When riding through water you need not worry about water getting sucked in. In fact you can park this is knee deep with no worries. Also the cover given over it is off good heat repelling quality. Rider and the pillion are safe from getting burnt or feeling the heat.
Sound is not sporty or off-roading bike type. It’s more silent like Honda’s Unicorn.
The bright LED lights can be spotted from far distance and even in the darkest hour.
The front mudguard is plastic fibre and very flexible. You can literally bend them by your hand. It’s very sturdy and strong. I believe you may not need to replace it ever.
Low maintenance sealed endless drive chain. A first from Hero Moto Corp, Impulse drive chain is one piece. There is no chain lock used.
Electricals are operated by dry and maintenance free battery.
The rider’s foot pegs fold up. Spring mechanism has been given to it so when the bike falls while off-roading the foot pegs goes up rather than breaking off.
The grab rails provided are thick, strong and have anchor points on each side at two ends. You can put a bag/luggage on your rear seat and mount the hooks of the bungee net on those points.
Plus the length of the grab rail is long. Almost covering the sides of the entire rear seat.
For looks – sharp, blunt and edgy graphics are used. Orange and Green making the bike look very dynamic. Otherwise it’s also available in Red, Blue and Black.

Impulse under shower

Suspension and Braking:

The first time I took the bike over a medium sized pothole I felt like I’m sitting inside a Toyota Innova. The nitrox gas-filled mono shock rear suspension is very soft. On a rough patch or damaged surface you get a smooth ride.
The long front suspension does wonders going over small boulders and rocky surfaces. It’s the perfect ingredient to climb on an off-road track. Even on speed breakers I hardly had to slow down.
Front wheel has been given disc brakes operated by single piston calibre. But it’s not a similar case with the rear wheel. Internal expanding drum brakes are installed and when braking at regular intervals I felt a spongy feeling on operation. Only when I took it offroad I realised it was purposeful as you don’t want your wheel to lock up during hard braking while tackling obstacles.

Instrument cluster and console:

Hero Impulse has a very simple common looking and not so thrilling console. There is a normal looking tachometer, redlining from 8 X1000 rpm. An average looking digital speedometer. Standard signal and time indicators. Odometer with two trip meters. Upper headlight ON indicator.
The only new thing given is a service due indicator.
From off-roading point of view, meters like fuel range display and altitude indicator would have made it stand out. Oil level low and battery life signals would have also made it significant.
The overall look and feel also is not very impressive. Even PS  3 console is more glossy and glamorous. Now I’m not saying make it fashionable but at least not a toy look thing.
Wheel and Tyres:
The front fender has been raised high up. Front wheel has a large diameter. The front rim size is 19 and rear is 17. Also no mag wheel, this comes with straight pull spokes, just perfect for tough terrains. The CEAT tyres have stud pattern threads and front comes in 90/90 size while rear is 110/90. They have good grip on dry as well as wet roads. Medium compound quality. Should last for a good 25000kms.

Impulse in dry fields

Our Take:

Hero Impulse is a very basic entry level dual purpose bike. It has its strong points which work out so great and flaws which can be corrected or ignored. But if you love to ride country side and go on offbeat tracks then this is currently most ideal bike in Indian two-wheeler market.
Also if you are a regular commuter and want a smooth ride to your destination on not so smooth road then Impulse is the answer for it.

Game changer:

If Hero Moto Corp would have launched Impulse with a Karizma engine then this bike would have gained distinction. It would have outmatched any other bike in 150cc category and would have been a serious threat to even the 250cc segment in India.
I hope Hero Moto Corp reads this.

Under shower impulse

High Five for –

•    India’s first transroader.
•    Best for Indian roads.
•    Decent mileage of 50km/litre.
•    Tall stance.
•    Cheap spare parts.
•    High ground clearance.
•    Low maintenance.
•    Fix mounted seat.

Low Downs –

•    Little overpriced.
•    No protection from water and mud hitting your shin during monsoon.
•    No rear disc brake.
•    No kill switch.
•    Screws and bolts catch rust in 5-6 months. (But again we are located close to the sea.)

Modifications:

–    The rear end of the bike has compatibility for installing a trunk to store luggage. The weight load capacity is 7kgs.
–    On the front wheel you can remove the reflectors and mount a mud flap which is seen on Bajaj Discover. This will stop the water/mud coming on the shin area.
–     Since there is no main stand, in the event of puncture fixing the tyre will be troublesome. Best will be to fill the tube with puncture resistant gel. You can find the products from established brands like Motul and Oko.

hero impulse mod

Source: MyBikeMyWorld