5 Supercool Electric Bikes

Lately Electric Motorcycles have been coming in my mind. So many advance and state-of-the-art bikes are coming up almost in every quarter, there is no respite when it comes to the cost of fuel nowadays. Its overall on an upscale  progress and its only going to go further up in the coming time.

So one day I just went crazy over the web and researched which are the players performing in the ebikes segment. I believe the era of concept ebikes are gone and real stuff must be available in the market. So here are 5 ebikes that I feel hold the key to the future of electric motorcycles. I just hope India stays in the race and make their own representation too.

These bikes are fully electric, have zero carbon emissions, eco friendly and super saving products. What we have here are FIVE electric bikes that are ideal to replace your two wheeler with.

Energica

Energica is a beautifully built street-legal electric bike

Energica is a beautifully built street-legal electric bike that offers an excellent level of power and performance. With its 100kW motor and 160Nm of torque, the Energica can hit a top speed of 220km/h and has a range of up to 150km. The bike has styling elements of a sport bike and the sound resembles a formula one car. For those who think electric bikes lack that smart look and design, you will be rethinking after riding the Energica.

The bike comes at a whopping cost of USD24000. Buyers in Europe have already booked this e-bike and deliveries will start in 2014. (Photo: Damiano Fiorentini)

Enertia from Brammo

Enertia, from Brammo is probably the best looking electric bike ever made. It has been voted electric motorcycle of the year 2010. Brammo is an OEM supplier of its innovative Brammo Digital Drivetrain® systems including the Brammo Power® battery pack and Brammo Power® vehicle management system. Brammo has vehicle distribution and marketing operations in North America, Europe and Asia. The appearance of the bike is very lean and comes full equipped with instrumentation necessary to know the current capacity of the battery. The motorcycle is very swift in handling and easy to ride in traffic and congested road.

Other models available from Brammo are Enertia Plus, Enertia LE and Empulse. Their pricing starts from USD8000.

Enertia

Enertia

Enertia Plus Video –

Electrocat

Eva Hakansson believes that petrol is very ‘last century,’ and has converted a 1990 Cagiva Freccia C12R to run on battery power. The bike’s two-stroke 125cc petrol engine has been replaced with an electric motor, a controller and batteries. Built by Eva and her Dad, Sven, the ElectroCat is fitted with a Mars ETEK-RT permanent magnet DC motor, which is capable of 72V and 300-350A. This motor, which is fed by lithium-iron-phosphate batteries, pumps out around 7.5kW. The batteries take about seven hours to get fully charged, after which they’re good for 80km, provided you don’t go faster than 70km/h.

Electrocat

Electrocat by Eva

The ElectroCat, which weighs 165 kilos, is currently geared for a top speed of 100km/h, though that can be increased at the expense of acceleration.


ZERO DS – Dual Sport

The Zero DS is world’s most versatile electric motorcycle. Powered by the most advanced powertrain in the industry, the fully electric motorcycle can handle any surface you throw at it.

2013 Zero DS

2013 Zero DS

The bike has 120+ Mi Range / 280,000+ Mi Lifetime which is the result of Game Changing Z-Force™ Power Pack incorporated in making the motorcycle. Zero DS leverages a completely new battery cell chemistry and configuration. Not only does the ZF11.4 power pack enable you to go beyond 120 miles, it is also designed to last the life of the motorcycle. The Z-Force motor is compact, efficient and powerful. It provides you with exhilarating acceleration to a top speed of 95 mph. For the chassis, aircraft grade aluminium is exclusively used in the construction of the Zero DS twin spar frame. No compromise in braking, both wheels have powerful Nissin brakes that gives you maximum stopping power. And a unique feature, there is also a Zero Motorcycles App which gives detailed information about the motorcycle such as the time until charged, average watts per mile, total charge cycles and much more. All yours for USD10500.


KTM Freeride E

Like howKTM says it’s time for a new offroad motorcycle segment, it’s time for more motorcycle freedom! KTM Freeride E is a completely new development “made in Austria”, because an electric bike is also subject to the same requirements in terms of performance, robustness and quality as all other motorcycles that leave the factory buildings in Mattighofen.

KTM Freeride E

KTM Freeride E

The electrically driven, emission-free offroad bike with a battery that’s quickly replaced now opens up completely new fields of use in urban and suburban areas and generates greater acceptance of offroad sport. No gear box, just simple twist and have fun. The low seat height of 910 mm and weight of 95 kg turn the KTM Freeride E into a miracle of handling. Sturdy electric motor generates 42 Nm of torque from the first twist of the grip and ensures even power delivery. There is also a compact and easily replaceable battery that provides 2.1 kWh of energy for more than 30 minutes’ riding pleasure while a second battery is being charged!

The bike is soon to be launched by KTM. Price: TBA.

This post is also published in MBMW portal.

10 Questions to Answer Before Buying the Ninja 300

The New Ninja 300 is the talk of the town. Bajaj made a quite press launch in Pune last week, where they mentioned the Ninja 300 is superb upgrade to the Kawasaki Ninja 250R.

With all the hot topics trending around the bike, the prime one is the price that has made headlines. This baby is all your for Rs3.85 lacs on road in Mumbai.

The motorcycle looks top notch but, is the bike really for you?

Here I have put 10 question that one should ask self if he or she is considering to buy the new Ninja 300.

Kawasaki Ninja 300

The New Ninja 300

1. Do I believe I can afford this motorcycle?

In Mumbai, the bike is priced at Rs 3.85 lacs. It may even rise close to Rs 4 lakh too. The bike is expensive, spare parts are not cheap either, and service – maintenance will chew away a good amount of bucks too. However, evidently, Ninja is a name one can blindly rely on. The quality and durability of the parts are superb. Hence, it just might be worth every penny put in.

2. Do I think that the price of this bike is justified?

As already mentioned, the quality of the parts and components of the Ninja 300 are state-of-the-art. It’s rare to face an issue of a break down or a fault in power and performance aspects of the motorcycle.

The point is that a tempting refined feel of the motorcycle can be felt in the first ride itself. But somehow the price has also gone a little over the top. However, if you can fit in the bill, why not? Surely, this bike means serious business.

3. If I put little over a lakh rupees in the price of Ninja 300, I can buy a Ninja 650 instead!

That’s too subjective answer. The Ninja 300 is a racing beauty while the Ninja 650 is the sports tourer. They both differ in many aspects. It’s totally up to the individual! Just to get things in perspective, even the 250R has been taken across the country for road trips through Ladakh and Kashmir!  And, 250R is a pure track machine! Nuff said!

4. Is the Ninja 300 really worth it?

Take the pricing off the mind, just for a second. Every feature in the Ninja 300 has an analysis behind. Kawasaki have not just gotten up from a deep slumber to launch the 300. They have most definitely done their homework and brought out something they can proudly say, its the next gen of the Ninja 250R. It’s a worthy motorcycle and commands respect.

5. Does this bike satisfy my main requirement! Touring, Sport, etc?

Riders must consider asking themselves the most important question — what do I see myself doing with this bike? In India, we have riders who tour on a cruiser as well as on sportsbike. Bikers have ridden to Khardung La on a Royal Enfield as well as on a Ninja. Knowing the very purpose of buying this bike needs a serious thought.

Kawasaki Ninja 300

2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300

6. Should I go for the KTM Duke 390 instead?

Duke 390 is the much awaited bike of the year. The price of the motorcycle is speculated to be half of what Ninja 300 is set at. If price is the only the deciding factor, KTM Duke 390 may appear to be a sensible buy!

7. What if I spend on an alternate bike and invest in motorcycle protective and safety gears!

Ninja is a bike that represents power, performance and dynamism. Your protective and safety gears should not be ignored at all. And when riding a sportsbike, you cannot go in for just any cheap — local gear or accessory. You really need to invest on proper sturdy safety products and gear. The best ones start from Rs.10000/-upwards. So, it makes sense if you consider upgrading your safety gear instead of your bike.

8. Can I afford the maintenance of this motorcycle?

Kawasaki riders already know very well how expensive the service and maintenance of the Ninja can get. The service cost itself, minus the consumables is close to Rs1000. So, we can easily expect a premium bill for maintenance on the 300 too. One good thing about the Ninja, however, is all parts and components used in the making are known for their longevity.

9. If I already own a Ninja 250R, should I upgrade to this bike? Should I pin my hopes on the Pulsar 375 instead or wait for any other bike to be launched?

Ninja 250R is already owned by many riders in India. Despite double the price of CBR 250R, the bike has a strong fan following. If a current Ninja 250R owner opts for the Ninja 300, s/he will not be jumping a big leap in terms of upgrade. Yes, everything in the new Ninja 300 just went a level higher, but taking into consideration the condition of the roads we have here, in India, Ninja 250R lives up to the highest expectation.

Pulsar 375 will be out by 2013 year end. One never knows what cards Bajaj intends to play. It may be well worth it to wait and watch before making the final decision.

10. Should I take a test ride first! Or wait for some user reviews to come out!

There are some motorcycles which you just have to take a look and end up feeling yes, this bike is made for me. It’s rather difficult to explain but, for instance, there are many who have felt this when they saw the KTM Duke 200 first. Do you feel the same about the Ninja 300? This one has to be answered by the individual. Whether to test ride it? Whether to read up rider reviews?

Kawasaki Ninja 300

Kawasaki Ninja 300

These are but just simple guidelines before taking the big plunge. It’s best to analyse it on an individual basis. Pretty soon I’ll put the first ride review of the new Ninja 300. Visit Wanderlust Biker later again.

Would you like to know what happened at the Kawasaki Ninja 300 press launch?

Kawasaki Ninja 300 Launched: What is my first impression on seeing the motorcycle!

The first photo of Kawasaki Ninja 300 was already on the web in the last quarter of 2012. Since then media was just speculating that the launch is just around the corner.

Finally on April 10th, 2013 Kawasaki Ninja 300 was launched in Pune, India.

Ninja 300

I reached the press conference 10 mins late, but just before the bike was unveiled by the Bajaj bosses I entered and found a seat.

With a nail biting visuals in my head I was just counting the seconds in which the curtain was ready to go up. And what a grand machine took stance in front of me and the other journalists. Seeing something in person always gives the best feeling.

The Ninja 300 is really the true upgrade of the Ninaj 250R. The bike has some pretty good new features and all the outdated stuff like the analogue console have been replace with the modern parts that match with today’s style and dynamism.

A detailed log of the press launch of Ninja 300 my colleague has posted in MyBikeMyWorld.com (Do visit there)

If you ask me, divide the motorcycle in two. Cut it from the centre and then compare with the Ninja 250R.

Majority of the upgrades are all in the front side while the rear pretty much looks the same. Although minor carving are present at the rear side but not vivid enough to mention.

The front headlight face looks very similar to the Ninja 650. In fact this one looks like a leaner younger brother of the mid-weight bike from Kawasaki (Ninja 650).

The beauty of the Ninja lies in its reliability. It is a very good looking bike and makes a star out of you.

Now the only thing that bugs me is the whooping price tag on it. As Indian I would really like to think this way, that if I can mange a little over a lac rupees then why should I not go for the Ninja 650 itself. I know they should not be compared but at the end of the day, price is something we all are going to evidently make our decision on.

Despite having sporty elements and a beautiful super sport style appearance, down the line all roads are the same for these high end machine and price will always be a deciding factor when more than one product is present in that segment.

Ninja ruled till now and still will with the Ninja 300; but now expect tough competition from other brands who have stepped on the throttle to reach the number one spot.

I give a thumbs up to the bike. If I ignore the price tag then Ninja 300 has everything that what expects in a quarter litre segment.

Soon will put up the Kawasaki Ninja 300 review on Wanderlustbiker.com

Kawasaki Ninja 300

Technical Specifications

Engine Type:
Liquid cooled, 4- stroke Parallel Twin

Displacement – 296 cm3

Bore and Stroke – 62.0 X 49.0 mm

Compression ratio:
10.6:1

Valve system – DOHC, 8 Valves

Fuel System: Fuel Injection Φ32mm x 2 (keihin) with dual throttle valves.

Ignition:
Digital

Starting: Electric

Lubrication: Electic

Lubrication:
Forced Lubrication, Wet sump

Transmission: 6 Speed return

Maximum Power – 29.0 KW {39PS}/11,000 rpm

Maximum Torque: 27 N.m {2.8 kgf.m} / 10.000rpm

Frame Tyres and Brakes


Type:
Tube diamond, steel

Wheel travel:
Front: 120mm

Rear:
132mm

Tyre:
Front 110/70 – 17M/C 54S

Rear:
140 /70 -17 M/C 66S

Brake Front: 
Type: Single 290mm petal Disc

Caliper Single Balanced actuation dual
–piston

Brake Rear:
Type: single 220 mm Petal disc

Caliper:
Dual –piston

Dimensions


Overall length:
2,015 mm

Overall width:
715 mm

Overall height:
1,11omm

Wheelbase:
1,405 mm

Ground clearance: 140 mm

Seat height:
785mm

Curb Mass:
172 kg

Fuel Capacity:
17 litres

5 Things You Would like to Carry in Your Motorcycle Jacket

Dark Knight rides fully loaded with all his gizmos and gadgets. Right from the upper armour to the utility belt.

Now I’m not saying become the Dark Knight but I like the idea of having things which are most useful during a ride, to have it in the jacket. Most of them will come handy in one way or the other. Some gadgets, gizmos and utility items are good to have in your ride; kept in jacket pockets for quick. Read on, to know the 5 stuff I keep in my motorcycle jacket pockets.

Assuming you have an authentic motorcycle jacket, leather or textile, you surely will have more than just a couple of pockets. Here are 5 things that almost always come handy if you have them in your motorcycle jacket pocket.

5 Must haves in your riding jacket

5 ‘Must Haves’ in your Riding Jacket

1.    A Swiss knife – We all know how expensive this accessory is and we avoid buying it right out, but trust me, you’ll be surprised to know how very useful this tiny thing can be at the most vital moment. So when you spend big bucks on it, be assured that every penny is worth it, and of course, remember to buy the original. Fits just fine in any of the front pockets.

2.    All Season compact camera – Make memories each time you ride. A compact camera and an adventure trip go hand in hand. Taking shots, showing them off on Facebook and sharing memories — One gadget does it all. It should be in quick access for you, so put one in the front left pocket of the jacket.

P.S. Don’t let the rains discourage you. Go for an all weather compact camera for your trip photography.

3.    Bike papers – Mostly, it’s preferred that they are kept in the tool box or the space provided under the seat, but what happens in time is that, they tear, get soggy, become dirty and the ink on it fades away. Only when you are stopped for a routine check by officials do you realise that they are truly in a pathetic condition.

Also, during long distance travel, cops stop you and ask for papers while crossing state borders. Dash out the copies right out of your jacket pockets, instead of rummaging about elsewhere or worse still, instead of unpacking your stuff.

A Handy Tip: Photocopy the Insurance, Registration and License papers out on a single long sheet of paper. Fold and keep in a protective plastic cover before tucking into your jacket pocket.

4.    Spare key – You’ll kiss your spare key the moment you lose your primary key on a bike trip! When far from home, a spare key on a ride is a MUST. Best place? In the small pocket usually provided inside the jacket in the centre.

5.    Emergency Cash – It’s recommended that you always carry some spare cash apart from the wallet. Let’s assume your wallet is in your riding pants or jeans. Then, your spare cash has to be in your jacket pocket. Inside pocket preferably. In case you lose your wallet, your saviour is right there in your jacket pocket!

How to Shoot Perfect Panning Shots of Motorcycles

 

Panning is a fun way of shooting fast moving objects. I myself took it a while to grasp the technique. It took me a while because I had been taught wrong. And no one told me the trade secrets behind it. Now finally I know how to execute it perfectly. Here I have put down a piece that should help you in upgrading your skill. Also original post I have published in MyBikeMyWorld.com

 Perfect panning shot

A perfect panning shot

Understanding the panning technique –

The mechanism is relatively simple than it looks. Mostly, those who know it perfectly have a tendency to tell it in a complex manner, making it sound difficult but once you understand what exactly happens inside the camera, you will be simply amazed to know that it’s a piece of cake!

There are four major aspects which control a panning shot — Shutter, Aperture, Focus Mode and ISO. Under good lighting conditions, any shutter speed above 1/60 freezes the shot while anything lower will capture a shake in the image. What you do while panning is, change the focus mode in the camera to ‘Continuous’ so that the focus point now follows the subject as it moves; through the lens, just follow the subject without letting it get out of  your camera’s view finder. This scenario allows you to sharply capture the primary subject with a pleasing motion blur in the background.

Clear around focus point but minute shake at the bottom

The image is clear around focus point but a minute shake at the bottom

In your first few shots you may not see the result but with practice anyone can master this technique. Composing it right is very important. In the beginning, you’ll find it difficult but once you start shooting, you’ll quickly learn and understand what’s really happening.

What equipment you’ll need?

A panning photograph can be taken from any camera which gives you control over the shutter speed function. You can either use a DSLR or a simple bridge camera. Looking at the quality of various camera products available in today’s time, a bridge camera can also be capable of generating an output which is very close to that of a DSLR.

The photos used in this article have been taken from –

  • Nikon D7000
  • Nikon P500

 


Professionals also use a tripod to get it done perfectly but this technique can also be executed handheld quite easily. Just a pair of steady hands is what you need.

Setting up your Camera –

You need to set up the control settings on your camera. A lot of depends on the lighting conditions present. Assuming it’s a sunny day with mild overcasts in the sky then the most successful setting is a shutter speed of 1/30, ISO 100 and since you’re are supposed to take the shot in shutter priority mode, (TV in Canon) your aperture value will be set automatically.

Now, here is something that most people forget. After completing the above settings, do not miss changing your focus mode to ‘Continuous’, present in Nikon or to ‘AI Servo’ in Canon.

What about the lens? The kit lens or any other having focal length of 18mm onwards will do just fine. A higher quality lens will increase the image and colour quality only yet, the panning technique can be executed by a simple standard kit or prime lens also. Having enough space in the memory card is a given fact. You will be shooting at least 20-25 photos to get that one perfect shot!

The technique once mastered, will allow anyone to take a panning photograph right in the first shot.

 Taken from a Bridge camera

Taken from a Bridge camera

How to Execute the Technique?

Many people ask expert photographers on how exactly the technique is executed and the replies they get are so technical to hear and understand that most of the times the photo enthusiasts land up with a bunch full of shaky images.

The technique is quite simpler than it looks. Just follow the below steps and you’ll surely get the shot you are imagining.

  1. When looking into the eyepiece/viewfinder hold the camera steady. Hold your breath for few seconds if it works for you.
  2. Assuming your focus point is in the centre, get your moving object in focus by looking through the view finder while pressing the shutter half down. Since you are in ‘Continuous’ focus mode, your camera focus point is locked on the moving subject so now you don’t have to refocus but just follow the subject.
  3. The moment the object comes close and you know this is where you want the image to be composed, just hit the shutter button BUT keep the camera following your object.
  4. Check the result, if not happy then shoot again.

 Result when camera not held on firmly

Result when camera not held on firmly

Quick Tips –

  • Holding the camera in a steady position is very important. While panning a shot if the camera moves cross or vertically then you’ll get a slight shake in your image.
  • Since you’ll be using a slower shutter speed, it’s best to keep your focal length under 40mm on the kit lens. (Different issue on prime or telephoto lens.)
  • Morning as well as the evening time is best to get quick results and pleasant colours.
  • Try to get a pattern background. If there are bushes or trees lined behind the subject, then the motion blur looks very significant. If just sky or few objects like buildings or random objects are in the background then the motion blur loses its charm at some places.

So, go on, try it out and if you still cannot get the one you have picturised, drop me a mail. I’ll be happy to help.

How To Prepare Your Motorcycle For the Leh Ladakh Ride

To make a successful motorcycle trip to Leh Ladakh one needs to have his bike in the best condition. If properly work done on the bike and cross checked thoroughly then a break is impossible. All you’ll need to focus on is your riding style and holding patience.

I have put down a quick piece on a checklist of things that should be in thorough inspection on your motorcycle.

Prepare Your Motorcycle for Ladakh Ride

Ladakh Ride is a dream of every biker

Ladakh, the home to the highest motorable road in the world – Khardung La, a well known area in the Himalayan region, a place that is visited by thousands of travel enthusiasts from all over the world, a paradise for bikers, needs no introduction.  But if you have made up your mind to go up there, don’t let anything stop you, especially not lack of preparation. There are two important aspects where you would need to prepare. One, the bike itself, and the other, your own strength – physical and mental!
Okay, so let’s take this step by step.

Preparing your Motorcycle

Despite however technologically advanced your motorcycle is, there are certain elements that have to go into making it — clutch, brakes, suspension, fluids, oil, tuning and various other particulars is what makes the bike. You have to make sure all these elements are in good condition to take on the path that leads to the highest motorable road in the world.

Prepare Your Motorcycle for Ladakh Ride

Rohtang Pass, located near Manali

Complex Mechanical Checks 

  1. Certain things in a motorcycle can only be ascertained by the mechanic. It’s best you have a word with the service-in charge at the service station, about your ride plan and get the Clutch Plates, Piston Rings and Timing Chain checked thoroughly. The engine performance should be up-to-date for a high altitude ride.
  2. Check the swing arm of the bike and the suspension — Replace the swing arm bush if necessary and ensure that the suspension is free and smooth.
  3. Con set, Chain – Sprockets, Air filter, Sparkplug, Electricals and Carburettor tuning or FI inspection comes next. It’s best to get a new air filter and spark plugs, a well tuned carb/ properly functioning FI system and battery with adequate life.

Easy Checks

  1. Check and replace if necessary: Clutch and Accelerator cable (Carrying the replaced one as spare is also a good idea).
  2. If any nuts, bolts, screws or connections are loose, ensure that they are all tightened and secured correctly.
  3. Brake pads, if worn out, or nearing there, require replacement. Carrying a new spare set would be advisable.
  4. Tyres are important aspects that need to be inspected. Have a look at the thread life and decide whether or not a new set might be needed. A puncture repair kit is a must-carry in your list.

Prepare Your Motorcycle for Ladakh Ride

Prepare Your Motorcycle for Ladakh Ride

On the Go Checks

  1. Ensure that the fluids and lubrication are up-to-the-mark. Carrying spare Lube Can is necessary as you’ll be covering 500+kms and chain will run dry rather quickly in the Himalayan region.
  2. Ensure that the lights, horn and indicators, are all in good working conditions. Hazard light, if a feature on your bike, may be a great help.
  3. Ensure that you check tyre pressure every 800-1000kms depending on the tyre type.
  4. Most importantly, ensure that you carry the tool set used for your bike. There will be moments when, though you might find a mechanic for your bike, in times of need, out there in the hills, they may not have any spares and tool set!
  5. Ensure that you carry a photo copy of your bike documents in the utility box or in space provided for small items under the seat.

Prepare Your Motorcycle for Ladakh Ride

You’ll cross many such streams on the highway to Leh

As Bullet Bose, a racer with near-legend status in the Indian biking community, says, “To know the true potential of your motorcycle you must know your motorcycle in and out.”

Not just for long trips but generally it’s a good thing if you know to fix minor issues in your bike. At least the basics like, checking the oil level in the engine, replacing clutch or accelerator cable, how to judge chain is loose, fix puncture, replacing bulbs, etc… Much depends on how much you can grasp and execute efficiently.

Prepare Your Motorcycle for Ladakh Ride

View of Leh from the Fort side

Must-Carry Essentials

  1. The four important documents: Original Driving license and PUC along with bike papers, valid insurance and registration.
  2. Your OEM toolkit, along with small scotch tape, small pen size torch for emergency, foot pump and puncture repair kit.
  3. A spare bike key, spare bungee cords, spare fuse, extra chain lock, spare clutch and accelerator cable, chain lube, if tube tyre then one spare tube, engine oil to top up and a spare headlight bulb.

Some Important Tips

  1. Never underestimate mountain roads.
  2. Expect the unexpected.
  3. Be prepared for sudden weather change.
  4. Respect the mountains; respect the road.
  5. Don’t be in haste; ride relaxed.
  6. Share experiences of any discomfort with fellow rider/s.
  7. Take care of self; take care of bike.
  8. Do not push yourself or the bike over the limit.
  9. Conserve water; it’s precious.

Prepare Your Motorcycle for Ladakh Ride

You’ll encounter many icy roads in the Ladakh Ride

Ride Safe and Take Care…

Also published in MBMW Emagazine March 2013.

Original post in MyBikeMyWorld.com

How to Prepare Physically for Leh Ladakh and Kashmir Bike Ride

The Ladakh season goes hot when the May month comes close. Everyone is ready to set out on an adventure trip of a lifetime. But before you wait for this day to come and start your preparation for ladakh trip, you need to be physically fit and strong to make everything happen.

Here are some insights on how to prepare physically for Leh Ladakh motorcycle trip.

Leh seen from the Old Fort
Leh seen from the Old Fort

 

It’s most important to evaluate your own physical condition before you decide to set out on a long ride, especially to a difficult terrain like Ladakh. You can prepare your bike or get your luggage packed in just matter of 2-3 days but physical strength and capacity for the ride requires larger efforts and focused attention consistently, over a period of time, and not overnight!

The most common problems faced by riders in Ladakh region – loss of appetite, difficulty digesting food, nausea, acute mountain sickness (AMS), fatique, dizziness, insomnia, shortness of breath upon exertion, nosebleed and drowsiness. It can get extremely difficult to move ahead even if a single problem attacks the rider.

These problems associated with riding in the mountains can be attacked only and only by increasing your strength, stamina and lung capacity.

Dr. Amit Girey, Mumbai based physiotherapist and fellowship in sports and science stresses on the importance of increasing one’s stamina for a Ladakh trip.

“Breathing technique plays an important role for optimising you’re riding and increasing your performance on the trail,” he explains. “Higher altitudes are always a matter of concern for a rider who starts panting and receives less oxygen,” he highlights.

These are a few things that one can practice to increase stamina.

Blowing balloons: Whether the trip is well planned or you are leaving in a hurry, you can always do this exercise of blowing balloons anywhere. It increases your lung capacity with enough oxygen to meet body needs.

Aerobic Exercises: Cycling, swimming and playing soccer is highly recommended to increase your breathing stamina.

Rhythmic breathing: Get your breathing in sync with pedalling, in the ration of 1:1. If that proves to be tough, you can try 1:2 and see what suits you best. Practice different combos, as it will help a great deal.

Mouth and Nasal breathing: People suffering from any nasal problems such as sinusitis or nasal congestion, should practice breathing through the mouth at higher altitude as they will then be able to move air rapidly and obtain a higher level of oxygenation.

Exercises: Try to increase anaerobic capacity through exercises like holding the breath for a while. You can practice this off your bike. Let your body get used to being under oxygen deprivation for a period of time. After a while, it will help you.

Physical preparation for the Ladakh
Physical preparation for the Ladakh ride should not be given a low priority

 

Despite physical preps, there is every chance that you feel sick while riding high altitudes for a long duration. There are medications, like Diamox, available that bikers often use to cure altitude sickness.

Says Dr. Waman Kale, Mumbai based physician from Sanjeevani Hospital, “Diamox may cause drowsiness and other side effects that can have multiple effects on you. It may affect your ability to ride, and you may even develop some skin rashes, itching or some unexplained reaction. You should always consume it under a doctor’s guidance only, and have it only if it is prescribed for you. Don’t be a doctor as you may not know the harm it can cause to your body. Those who consume it regularly under a doctor’s guidance should have a regular blood test to monitor the level of electrolytes.”

However, the only sure shot way to tide over difficult terrains, is to be fit and gear up with enough strength and stamina in the natural way.

This piece was also published in the MBMW Emagazine March 2013 issue.

Originally posted in MyBikeMyWorld.com

2013 Hyosung GT650R Review: The Roar of a Lion

The Lion is the king not by his appearance but by his glorious ROAR…

A few days back I had got my hands on the Hyosung GT650R, 2013 edition. And this was the first time I ever rode a Hyosung mid-weight segment motorcycle. The feeling was unexplainable. The 2013 model is simply a perfect sportsbike to own in our country. The look, aesthetics, styling, performance and power delivery are top notch. Here is the 2013 Hyosung GT650R review.

The Mighty Hyosung GT650R

Engine:

The 647cc, liquid-cooled, V-twin motor produces 72.68 BHP of power at 9000 RPM and 60.9 Nm of torque at 7500 RPM. What that means — at a twist of the throttle you have the power to shoot beyond the imaginable speed, without even changing a single gear. The 2013 model has been tweaked and tuned to understand the Indian riding condition. Above 4000rpm the throttle is very instant. The bike reaches a 3 figure speed within 6 seconds. Although in city riding scenario you’ll feel the engine heat exiting under your thighs — an expected fact in such big machines. The top speed of the 2013 Hyosung GT 650R is just above 200km/hr.

2013 Hyosung GT650R

Styling and Suspension:

The GT 650R, 2013 is a head turner. The frontal area of the motorcycle has now been given a peak look. The headlight area is now in a V-shape over the earlier model. The whole bodywork is now leaner and clean styling finish. The new graphic work in the side panels and belly side is strikingly noticeable. Gives it a refine look. The new colour scheme is also a tip of the ice berg.

The Inverted telescopic forks in the front and linked monoshock at rear plays a vital part in the comfort riding dynamism of the motorcycle. The whole unit along with a decent ground clearance give you a bump free ride. Though on Indian speed breakers you need to be alert of the bang. Although chances are less if compared to the Kawasaki bikes.

2013 Hyosung GT650R

Braking and Instrumentation:

Would anyone complain about the braking of this beauty? Just a feather touch pull of the two fingers on the brake lever — will get this bike down towards zero. Braking is in par with this supreme mid-segment sportsbike. The life of the pads also seem to be better than the previous model. No idea about the feel in monsoon, but that is a hand in hand job with the tyres I’ll say.

Instrument console I felt could have been little more fancier. It shows all the readings that a rider needs to know, but just the look of the hardware I didn’t found impressive. I’ll give it a rating of 6 out of 10.

2013 Hyosung GT650R

Handling and Dynamics:

The 2013 Hyosung GT 650R offers pure sport handling. In the riding position you are crouched down towards the tank, which results in a aerodynamic positi0on. You won’t feel the wind drift at high speeds. Although this position is not comfortable for city riding, which means this is a highway machine. Despite being a heavy motorcycle (200+ kgs) the sheer power is supplementary in maneuvering the bike around corners. You can get in and get out swiftly.

The steel frame and upside down forks are well suited for the Indian tarmac. You get a strong feel the moment you see the bike from either sides, that this is a muscle man.The bike can take on mild bumps and speed breakers without slowing down to single figure.

2013 Hyosung GT650R

Final Take:

“Third time lucky.” — In Hyosung’s third time entry in the Indian two wheeler market, they have nailed it. From bringing in big machines and promoting the brand, they are doing it all. In this limelight the Hyosung 2013 GT650R is a worthy sportsbike to get one for yourself. If you are ready to jump in the 600+ segment then yes this machine should be in your consideration list.

The motorcycle in Mumbai comes for an on-road price of Rs.530000/- After Harley-Davidson in India, Hyosung is also the first to start a ‘Hy Ryders’ Biking Club to encourage the youth in safe and fun filled motorbiking.

2013 Hyosung GT650R with its younger sibling

Pre-requisites before buying the 2013 Hyosung Gt650R –

  1. Should be an experienced rider: One cannot just get up one morning and decide I have the money so I’m buying the GT650R. Mean machines require a grace in pulling them off with confidence.
  2. Should be ready to compromise on comfort riding in the city: Surely I don’t expect you to buy this bike for city riding but if you are thinking that you can manage in both city and the highway then keep all your expectations for the latter. Otherwise in city you’ll land up with a sore back and a very hot bike.
  3. Should be ready mentally to bear a 100cc fellow trying to race you from a signal: Yes you’ll be teased by some roadside romeo on his 100cc ‘pungi’. Answering him is not going to be worth it at all. Just to satisfy your pride you may zoom past only to find an old lady crossing the road ahead and you braking in full fish tail style 😀
  4. Should not be short in height: I’m sorry guys but anyone shorter than 5’5 feet will find this motorcycle difficult to manage. An experience rider may pull it off but why compromise so much on comfort.

2013 Hyosung GT 650R

Who should buy this motorcycle –

  1. If you have been riding a 250cc motorcycle for a while then yes this is a good upgrade for you.
  2. If your style of riding is aggressive then yes this will symbolize your personality.
  3. If you are looking to buy a rocket to travel from one metro to another then this booster belongs to you.

2013 Hyosung GT 650R

Technical Specifications of 2013 Hyosung GT 650R:

Tech specs of Hyosung GT 650R