TRIP 27 KM Mumbai is exceedingly pleasant and opening up the Suzie on the Worli Sea Face provides an excellent way to start the day. It would’ve been perfect even, had it not been for the millions of people who cut across my lane to warn me of the most terrible road hazard Indians know of – headlamps running during the day. Of course, riding without a helmet and/or riding on the opposite lane while talking on the cellphone isn’t nearly as dangerous, is it?
TRIP 64 KM After running around like a headless chicken in the office all day, hitting the open road is on the cards. Aditya, coming up with not one but multiple excuses to head home early, hops on as the guest test dummy for the day. Constant reporting confirms that the M800 is exceedingly comfortable, though mild panic ensues when a dog jumps onto the road and I drop anchor. The brakes aren’t a match for the momentum the two on-board have created. With a single disc up-front and a big drum at the back (yes, a drum on a ` 9 lakh motorcycle!), the brakes were completely outclassed by the sheer weight and speed. The rear drum is spongy and the front disc works decently, though the combination needs work, especially given that the motorcycle is capable of good pace and it weighs all of 269 kg, without anyone on it.
TRIP 100 KM The old Mumbai-Pune NH4’s fast-flowing pace is only outclassed by the waning glow of the evening light flickering through the trees, the chilly highway air clearing out the lungs and in turn, the mind as well. This, right here, is the essence of cruising. Eating up the white highway lines at 120 kph is easy-peesy and a bit too relaxing; 130 kph is possible too if you find the road to do it in India, and as the pace goes up, the more your abs have to work to stay upright. If you’re serious about touring, a windscreen is a must. I have to say, though, that they’ve got the vibes just right – not too intrusive, nor is it an over-refined sewing machine.
TRIP 180 Cruising along, humming Clapton tunes when suddenly, a monster traffic jam appears out of nowhere. Notice dirt road running alongside, think for a bit and take the plunge. Surprisingly, the M800 is still manageable and doesn’t grind its belly even once, as truckers stare on in disbelief.
MORE ON PAGE 3>>