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Sunday, February 14, 2010

Iridium Power

IRIDIUM SPARK PLUGS
Facts, why is it preferred over normal plugs?

Hi, friends
There is no need of Introducing iridium spark plug to you people. It became very popular with the foray of performance bikes into the Indian Market. By the turn of the decade, we are going to witness more and more of these Adrenalin Injectors. We already saw a quarter liter sports bike in the form of Kawasaki Ninja 250r and also our home grown products like Yamaha R 15, Karizma ZMR, Pulsar 220 dtsi, Apache 180 RTR etc. Sadly green baby, ninja was priced on the stratosphere for most of us bikers in India. But don’t worry, we have our home grown products which are not far behind and also don’t cost us a bomb. So tinkering on the current offerings can yield us better power or at least feel. TADA….here comes a performance part in the form of spark plug. So what can a spark plug do to improve the performance?

I am going to describe the basics of a spark plug and its working so as to clearly understand its advantages and disadvantages over the normal plug.

The main function of a spark plug is to ignite the Air-fuel mixture inside a combustion chamber. The current is supplied to the plug by using an electrical ignition system. The ignition coil will supply the high current needed to the spark plug. When the current reaches the tip of the central electrode, it arcs and joins the base (ground) electrode to form a spark which ignites the mixture.

Spark plugs are under constant chemical, thermal, physical, and electrical attack by corrosive gases at 2,000 degrees Celsius, crushing pressures of 2,000 pounds per square inch (PSI) due to the working of the piston, and electrical discharges of up to 20,000 volts. The spark occurs dozens of times per second and over a million times in a day's worth of riding.
So why Iridium? (Advantages)
The main metal used in ordinary spark plug is nickel-iron or chromium based substance. I am not going to describe about the chemical properties and all because it will turn out to be a chemistry class. Simply put, Iridium is one of the hardest, strongest, and precious and one of the rarest metals found on earth’s crust.
Iridium is the best, but too hard to handle
Iridium was 6 x harder, 8 x stronger and withstand temperatures exceeding 2454° C). Unfortunately, the incredible properties that make it the perfect metal for building spark plugs also made it impossible to work with until now.
Circumference Laser Welding
There was not a welding tool hot enough to melt an iridium electrode tip to a nickel base. That is until DENSO pioneered their patented Laser Welding Process.
Iridium (Ir) Platinum (Pt) Nickel (Ni) Gold (Au) Silver (Ag)
Melting Point 2454 1769 1453 1063 960
Strength 112 14 68 13 13
Electrical resistance 5.3 10.6 6.8 2.3 1.6
Hardness 240 40 160 25 26
Improved Firing Performance
To improve firing performance, the contact area between the electrode and the flame nucleus needs to be reduced in size. This is why the electrode was made as fine as possible to a diameter of 0.4mm. Compared to normal Spark Plugs, with a spark gap of 0.8mm, the ignitability limits are better by 2.5. Less metal on the tip allows the spark to expand in a greater area, maximizing firing performance and minimizing voltage requirements.
The required voltage in the Iridium plugs is between 3000 volts & 5000 volts less than normal plugs. This is due to the ultra-fine 0.4mm diameter ground electrode. Because required voltage is kept low, Iridium plugs can be used in high performance engines and for high response driving.


Smoother Idling
When an engine is idling, firing can become particularly bad. Because Iridium Power plugs have a low required voltage and high ignitability, sparking continues to work properly during idling. Whereas normal plugs have highly variable rpm counts, Iridium Power plugs maintain very smooth idling. Also, because combustion is good, the explosive energy raises the rpm count.
Improved Engine Performance
Iridium Power spark plugs enhance the performance of an engine. Acceleration is improved when compared against normal spark plugs.
Decreased Fuel Consumption
When Iridium Power spark plugs are used, accidental fire and misfiring rarely occurs under various driving conditions. Therefore, combustion is extremely good. In turn, a healthy engine can be maintained and fuel consumption improved.
So why not use an Iridium plug? (Disadvantages)
We can’t properly say a disadvantage for using an iridium plug. But commonly Iridium plugs are used where high efficiency or high tuning is needed. In most of the other cases, normal spark plug is enough. It is mainly used in highly stressed engines like our Yamaha R 15. I said this because one of my friends came and asked me whether he can fit an Iridium spark plug to his Hero Honda splendor. I said yes, it can be fitted to any vehicle provided the manufacturer has the specified model. But fitting it to a low tuned vehicle like that does not satisfy the amount we are paying for getting an Iridium plug and furthermore, not going to gain any noticeable improvements.
Performance Improvements on our vehicle
Now we come back to the fitment of Iridium plugs to our so called home grown performance bikes. It’s a common thing now a day to fit a K&N filter or of any type of performance filters to our bike. People are mistaken by the fact that they are really gaining performance advantage by simply retro fitting it in place of normal air filter. The only true improvement gaining from this modification is better throttle feel due to leaner mixture provided by the performance filters and of course the trademark intake roar that can be heard in every corner of our country. One way is to re-jet the carburetor. But if it’s a fuel injected vehicle, that possibility is also over. Either they have to replace the ECU or remap it in some way. Both the modification will turn out to be very expensive and delicate. So they have to burn the leaner mixture more efficiently without doing these. The simplest way is to use an Iridium plug which will provide a much better spark. After all it’s easier to burn fuel than air. The more air, less fuel mixture can be effectively burned by using Iridium plug. Thus we can attain a marginal increase in output so is the efficiency.
More Modifications
Do u people want to pull out more juice out of your already etched ride? Here comes the high performance ignition wire. These are the low resistance super conductor cables (50 ohms resistance). The original spark plug cable should be removed and this cable is to be connected to spark plug from the ignition unit. When coupled it with the Iridium plugs, the current produced by the ignition unit is carried to the spark plug without any loss. So Voilaaaa…..again advantage.
These high performance ignition wires are manufactured by some well known firms like MSD and Splitfire.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Yamaha FZ 250cc




Hey people, don't rush to your nearest Yamaha showroom.Its only a photoshop work of how the next Fazer 250 should look like. The technical specification of the vehicle should be like this,

Price: Rs 1,49,000/-

Engine = 4 stroke DOHC
Transmission = 5 speed
Engine Capacity = 249.0 cc

Max Power: 25bhp @ 8500 rpm
Max Torque: 22.5926 NM / 2.30 kgm @ 6500 rpm
Compression: 10:1
Bore x Stroke: 74.0 x 58.0

Dry Weight: 150 kg

Tank Capacity: 14 liters
Fuel Injection

Battery: 12V 6AH
Electric Start

Front tyre: 100/80/17
Rear tyre: 140/70/17

Suspension
Front: Telescopic
Rear: monolink/monoshock

Brakes
282mm Disk up front
220mm Disc at rear

Fuel efficiency
City: 25
Highway: 30

Performance
0-60kmph: 3 sec
0-100kmph: 10 sec
Top speed: 150 kmph

We all know that the current Fz 16 bike can be plonked with a bigger engine. The current Fz 16 chassis is underexploited to a large extent by putting a puny 150cc engine. It can cope the forces of a single cylinder 250cc engine with ease.
With the existing fazer 250cc engine, i don't think its a good idea for Yamaha to launch the vehicle because of the similar figures of pulsar 220 (a little more for yammie though). Then Yamaha have to change the rear brake to disc for better stopping power. They have to change the existing Chinese toy look alike console of Fz 16 to a better one. They can otherwise take the console from R 15. As it is touted as a semi tourer than outright street bike, they have to increase the wheel base. Now the Yamaha Fz 25 can hit the road.

Ride safe, wear helmet.

K & N filter and rejetting

This post is for all my fellow bike riders who wish to extract the last possible juice out of your ride. This post is regarding to the fitting of free flow air filters, its effects and how to rectify it using the method of re-jetting.
You need to consider re-jetting your bike whenever there's been a major change to the air intakes (like installing K&N filters which allow more air to pass to the carburetor), or adding drag pipes. Both modifications will lean out the air-fuel mix. The stock jet can only allow a certain amount of fuel to pass through and is designed according to the specification of the vehicle. Installing larger jets increases fuel to the carburetor to restore the 14 parts air to 1 part fuel optimum mix. This mixture is called stoichiometric ratio. Whenever the amount of air intake is increased, the fuel part is also to be increased. In all other cases, the stock jets will take you through 95% of your riding requirements.



Since the main jet effects all speed ranges after idle, you need to get the main jets right first, and then tune the mid-range and low end. All tuning should be done on a fully warmed up engine because that's the way you usually ride; the spark plugs should have been previously checked and cleaned; the gas tank should be at least half full; a new or recently installed fuel filter if present; the air intake filters checked for holes, and cleaned; and all air intake and manifold connections tight and secure; the battery fully charged; and the carburetors synchronized, if it’s a multiple cylinder engine (more than one cylinder, eg: kinetic comet ) for optimum results.



We are now going to tune the carburetor without the help of a tachometer (engine speed). High speed or top end main jet sizes are determined by full open throttle performance. Low and mid-range tuning is determined mainly by how the bike feels to you as you roll the throttle. Mikuni CV carburetor is different from the Keihin CV. So is the difference with other carburetors. So tuning will be different in different vehicles.
Note: If you do sense a loss of power, or rough running on a stock vehicle, it may due to some other reason. In this case re-jetting is not the solution to the current problem. Please take the bike to an authorized mechanic and rectify the problem.

HIGH SPEED JETTING

High speed performance (80 KPH and up) is controlled by the main jets. To make sure you have the right main jets, take your bike out to an open highway where you can safely (and legally) open the throttle all the way in top gear. Ride the bike full open and let the bike get to top speed. Again, do this only if you are experienced and comfortable running at top speed and you are not in danger of injuring yourself or someone else.
A. If at top speed or before, the bike runs rough, heavy throttle feel or begins to hesitant and buck, your main jet is TOO BIG. The mix is too rich (more fuel than the optimum 1 part fuel to 14 parts air) and you are getting an uneven burn and poor performance. Install smaller main jets and take the bike for another test run. Another way to determine rich mixture is, when u cold start the vehicle and if the bike starts in the very first crank the mixture is rich (no need to use the choke in this instance). Low fuel efficiency and more smoke in the exhaust than usual are some of the characteristics of a rich mixture.
B. If before top speed the engine is running smooth, but has no power, seems to be running hot or knocking from the engine and you can't push the bike to top speed, then your main jets are too SMALL. You are running too LEAN a mix (less fuel than the optimum 1 part fuel to 14 parts air) for maximum engine performance. Put in LARGER main jets and take the bike out for another test run. Another way to determine lean mixture is the difficulty u feel when cold starting. Even after repeated cranking, if the engine does not start, the mixture is lean. When u closes the throttle in a downhill, if u hears popping or cracking sound from the exhaust, it is again due to the lean mixture.

MID-RANGE OR MID-SPEED TUNING

The carburetor needle controls mid-range performance. The needle tapers down to a point that fits into the main jet. The needle is lifted upward (along with the slide) by the carburetor diaphragm as the air flow increases through the carburetor. As the needle moves upward it is withdrawn from the main jet, allowing more fuel to mix with the increased air volume. All that is needed to modify mid-range performance is to place (or remove) one or more small, thin washers between the diaphragm and the head of the carburetor needle where it's held in the diaphragm. Adding washers effectively raises the tapered needle further out of the main jet at all engine rpm’s and allows more fuel to mix with air to create a richer mix. Removing a washer effectively leans out the air-fuel mix.
There's usually no need to replace the stock needles since they have proven over time to provide good performance and good gas mileage. If you do use a third party needle for increased performance, then anticipate lower fuel efficiency.
Mid-range tuning is accomplished mainly by how the bike performance feels to you. If there's a smooth increase in power as you roll the throttle, then you're there. If there's a slow response or there's no power, then the mix may be too LEAN and you may need to add one or more washers to richen the mix. If the bike accelerate with power, but feels rough, you may be too RICH and need to remove one or more washers to lean out the mix. Now take the bike out for a test spin.

LOW OR SLOW SPEED JETTING

Now you can tune for low end performance. If you are getting a poor pickup or hesitation off the line, or a lot of backfiring on deceleration, then you need more fuel through the pilot jet. You increase fuel flow through the pilot jet by turning the pilot jet screw OUT a half turn. It's best to start at 2 1/2 turns OUT on the pilot screws and then increase the turns OUT 1/2 turn at a time, and go for a test run. Do these until you get the performance you want and/or there are no back fires on deceleration. If you go more than 5 or 6 FULL turns out, you will probably have to install a LARGER pilot jets. Larger pilot jets are usually needed if you have removed the stock air intakes, air box and installed K & N filters which dramatically INCREASE air intake volume.
I am not posting how to successfully repair the carburetor because of its complexity for a normal person. And friends, please make sure that a professional mechanic is always nearby if anything goes wrong.

GENERAL PROBLEM SOLVING TIPS:


If you get inconsistent running, fluctuations in power, you are probably running rich. Lean running is more likely to cut power completely. If you have poor power at small throttle openings and a surge at wider throttle then you may be running lean. Quick ways to see if you are running rich or lean.
• APPLY CHOKE AFTER WARM - UP TO ARTIFICIALLY RICHEN THE MIXTURE.
If you bike runs better with the choke on even after a few minutes of warm - up, your original mixture might be lean in the lower rev range. This test does strange things to the upper rev range, so don't use it at highway speeds.
• REMOVE THE AIR FILTER COVER AND ARTIFICIALLY LEAN OUT THE MIXTURE
Temporarily remove the air liter cover (to INCREASE air to the mixture), and go for a test ride. A well tuned bike (where the air and fuel mix is right on) will run pretty badly (i.e. mixture too lean) when you do this. But if the mixture was originally too rich, the bike will run better. Then u can fix the air filter cover and lean the mixture.
If your bike's performance has a hitch or hesitation at certain speeds or you can't tell if it's rich or lean, experiment by leaning out the mixture which is the easiest way to find out - if the mixture was originally too rich, the bike will run better immediately. If the mixture was originally too lean, your bike will run worse immediately
(Use the tuning techniques listed above to adjust the low, mid- and high speed ranges).

Now u might also understood why manufacturers stick to a particular setting and not going for extreme tuning. Extreme tuning will call the need for extreme keeping up of it. Friends, it’s all about experimenting with different settings. Also if found a good setting, don’t forget to check the fuel economy too.

And always ride safe!

Cross Plane Crankshaft

The crossplane design was first proposed in 1915, and developed by Cadillac and Peerless, both of whom produced flatplane V8s before introducing the crossplane design. Cadillac introduced the first crossplane in 1923, with Peerless following in 1924.
In 4 cylinder engines, the technology is developed by YAMAHA Motor Corporation. They introduced this successful design in their MOTO GP bikes and the latest superbike.
This technology interprets the positioning of the pistons or arrangement in the crankshaft in an inline engine and also the alteration of the firing order. The rapid torque pulse from the engine is diluted in this way to get more traction from the bike when it is exiting a corner.
A crankshaft is a mechanical part in an engine which connects the big end of the connecting rod. Several big ends will be connected to the crank shaft. The crankshaft is also the output part of an engine.
Here, in the case of a four cylinder engine, the pistons 2 & 3 are moved opposite by 90 degrees instead of 180 degrees in a conventional inline four cylinder engine. The cylinders are then given an uneven firing order to create a different wave of power from the engine. This drastically cut short the high torque impulse which will reduce the traction of the tyre.
By doing these minor changes in the common working principal of an engine will alter the power pulse produced, thus allowing the vehicle to exit the corner with more speed without loosing traction and thus improve the overall performance of the vehicle

1.1 CRANKSHAFT


The crankshaft, sometimes casually abbreviated to crank, is the part of an engine which translates reciprocating linear piston motion into rotation. To convert the reciprocating motion into rotation, the crankshaft has "crank throws" or "crankpins", additional bearing surfaces whose axis is offset from that of the crank, to which the "big ends" of the connecting rods from each cylinder attach.
A Dutch "farmer" Cornelis Corneliszoon van Uitgeest also described a crankshaft in 1592. His wind-powered sawmill used a crankshaft to convert a windmill's circular motion into a back-and-forward motion powering the saw. Corneliszoon was granted a patent for the crankshaft in 1597.



1.2 FUNCTION

The crankshaft should transfer the force from the piston and piston rod, as torque to the flywheel and/or the clutch. Together with its main bearing and connecting rod bearing it is part of the crank mechanism. Other parts belonging to the crank mechanism are:
- The piston and the piston pin,
- The connecting rod with the bearing bush at the small, and the bearing shell at the large connecting rod.

1.3 HOW IT WORKS


The piston rod encloses the connecting rod bearing of the crankshaft. The connecting rod bearings (here 4) are staggered by half a stroke in relation to the main bearings. Thus the crankshaft contributes its capacity, which results from cylinder bore and stroke. Opposite the connecting rod bearings frequently there are counterweights arranged, which adjust their out-of-balances at higher numbers of revolutions. If the crankshaft still exhibits imbalance after the manufacturing process, material is bored-away here. To the right the drive wheel for the camshaft drive via cam belts can be recognized. The lubricating of the connecting rod bearings takes place via (in fig. 4 above red marked) cross holes within the crankshaft from the side of the main bearings. The oil withdrawing at the connecting rod bearings is hurled by the rotating motion of the crankshaft against the cylinder walls and lubricates the piston and possibly also the gudgeon pin.

1.4 SPECIAL DESIGNS

Older v-engines might have two piston rods on a crankpin. These are not only broader, but they also have two drillings for oil lubrication of the connecting rod bearings (2nd picture above). Four-stroke engines usually have two-piece three-layer sliding bearings. The materials of the layers from inside (more soft) to outside (more hard): lead bronze, nickel and white metal. One of the bearings serves as thrust bearing. The crankshaft with a play of max. 0. 2 - 0.3 mm is axially stored. Mixture-lubricated two-stroke engines have antifriction bearings.

1.5 MATERIAL

Crankshafts are made from nodular graphite iron, quenched and tempered or nitriding steel. Heavily used crankshafts can be forged.

2.1 BALANCING OF INERTIAL FORCES IN THE MULTI-CYLINDER ENGINE

In multi-cylinder engines the mutual counteractions of the various components in the crankshaft assembly are one of the essential factors determining the selection of the crankshaft's configuration, and with it the design of the engine itself. The inertial forces are balanced if the common center of gravity for all moving crankshaft-assembly components lies at the crankshaft's midpoint, i.e. if the crankshaft is symmetrical (as viewed from the front).
The crankshaft's symmetry level can be defined using geometrical representations of 1st- and 2nd-order forces (star diagrams). The 2nd order star diagram for the four-cylinder in-line engine is asymmetrical, meaning that this order is characterized by substantial free inertial forces. These forces can be balanced using two countershafts rotating in opposite directions at double the rate of the crankshaft (Lanchester system).

2.2 BALANCING OF INERTIAL AND GAS FORCES

The tangential gas forces produce yet another periodic torque; this can be detected as reaction torque in the engine block. The composite forces generated in a four-cylinder in-line engine include free mass forces of the 2nd order as well as variable torque forces from the 2nd order mass and gas forces. Compensation for 2nd order mass forces, along with a reduction in the intensity of the 2nd order force transitions, is available from two offset balance shafts.



Balancing 2nd order inertial and transitional forces in a four-cylinder, in-line engine with two offset countershafts

1 Inertial torque only;
2 Gas torque only or complete balancing of inertial torque, zI – zII = – 2 B2/A2.r;
3 Gas and inertial torque without force compensation;
4 Gas and inertial torque with half of the inertial torque balanced, zI – zII ≈ 0.5.I.

3.1 V-TWIN

90 degree v-twins are famous for their drive out of the corners, and sure enough, they have zero inertial torque. As one piston is accelerating so the other is slowing down, and when one is stopped the other is at full speed. This is the reason why twin cylinders V-engines are able to accelerate faster from a corner than a conventional 4 cyl engine.

4.1 CROSSPLANE CRANKSHAFT


The crossplane crankshaft has four crankpins, each offset at 90° from the adjacent crankpins. The crankpins are therefore in two planes crossed at 90°, hence the name crossplane. A crossplane crank may have up to five main bearings, and normally does, as well as large balancing weights.
Their second-order balance means no additional balance shaft is necessary to achieve great smoothness.



4.2 WORKING PRINCIPLE


A conventional four-cylinder engine has its crankpins all in the same plane – a flat-plane crank – with the two inner ones 180 degrees from the two outer ones. The inner two pistons move up and down together, and so do the two outer ones, and it’s this particular configuration which generates something called inertial torque. This is independent of the main torque output generated by the combustion and cylinder pressure and happens entirely because of the crank layout.



It is 'inertia torque', that is the torque due to the motion of the heavy moving parts in the engine—crankshaft, con rods and pistons. This is totally separate from the torque generated by the combustion process. At low revs, the level of interference from the rotating mass is insignificant, but around 12,000rpm it starts to become greater than combustion torque and by around 16,000 is double. This is counter-intuitive because you would assume, with a conventional 180-degree crank that everything would balance out. Not so, as you discover when you look more deeply at the direction in which torque is exerted at different points of a crank's rotation.

To understand it, first imagine a crankshaft on its own, no pistons or conrods, spinning in friction-free bearings. There’s nothing to slow it down or speed it up so it just keeps spinning at a smooth, constant speed. Now attach the conrods and pistons, and for the sake of this mind experiment, we’ll make them friction-free too, so you can spin the crank again and the pistons bob up and down, and the whole system keeps on rotating and reciprocating.

At this stage there’s no combustion or valve gear or anything to confuse the issue, and crucially, there is no energy being put into our system and none being extracted or lost. This matter because it is a fundamental law of the universe that energy cannot be created or destroyed, only converted into another form – physicists know this as the first law of thermodynamics.

Within this system, the pistons are travelling at high speed when they’re half way along their cylinders, and at this point they have a lot of kinetic energy. Yet 90 degrees of crankshaft rotation later, all four pistons are stationary, two at the top, two at the bottom. Their kinetic energy hasn’t simply vanished because it can’t: instead it’s been transferred to the crankshaft, which was responsible for slowing the pistons down. As a result, the crank itself has increased its speed. Another 90 degrees on and the pistons are back up to maximum speed, accelerated by the crank which has returned some energy to them and in turn, it’s slowed down again.

In a full rotation the crank will have sped up and slowed down twice, generating rapid negative and positive torque pulses completely independent of the torque produced by the combustion. This constant pulsing torque is like a background noise to the main torque output, blurring its edges and taking away a small element of rider control and precision as he tries to hold the back tyre on the very edge of its grip.
Basically what they do is they take the standard 1-2-4-3 firing order, flat plane crankshaft and move both cylinders 2 and 3 by 90 degrees and 4 by 180. This yields a firing interval of 270-180-90-180. It's essentially one bank of a V8. Their claim is that by moving cylinders 2 and 3 out of the plane, the inertial torque is split evenly throughout the cycle, yielding a smoother variation in crankshaft.
Engineers ran their firing order and phasing through the crankshaft program and got the same mean torque throughout the cycle. This makes sense (same amount of fuel and air combusted over the same period of time). Okay, so same mean power is produced over the same cycle. What is different are the peaks and valleys. cross plane crank are smaller (blue line) as opposed to the normal flat plane (pink line).



On Yamaha’s cross-plane crankshaft, these fluctuations are all but reduced. In this layout the crankpins are distributed at 90 degrees to each other around the crankshaft (in two planes which form a cross). So as one piston is slowing down and losing energy to the crank, another is speeding up and taking the same amount back. At no point do all the pistons stop together, as they do on a flat-plane crank. Instead the energy flow is evened out and the rotation of the crank is almost completely smooth and steady. This improves the ability of a cross-plane-crank, in-line-four bike to accelerate out of corners.

5.1 MATH GOING BEHIND

To see why, imagine a bike at the apex of a turn, where it’s fully leaned over and the rider is about to apply the throttle to accelerate. The rear tyre is already close to its limit from the cornering forces so it can’t take much torque without sliding. Let’s suppose it’ll just take 20lb.ft of engine torque before losing grip. On a cross-plane four with no inertial torque the rider can carefully turn the throttle until he feels the tyre just sliding – at that point he’s getting the engine to deliver 20lb.ft and he gets the maximum acceleration possible, with no interference.
With a flat-plane four the inertial torque effect means there’s a background torque pulsing of, say, 2lb.ft: 1lb.ft is added to the total output as the pistons are slowing down and the crank is accelerating, while 1lb.ft is taken away when the pistons are speeding up and slowing the crank again. If the tyre is going to slide at 20lb.ft, then the rider can only turn the throttle enough to deliver 19lb.ft, because twice every crank revolution the inertial torque is going to add another 1lb.ft and take it up to that 20lb.ft limit. Twice more per engine rev, the torque will drop to 18lb.ft, so the average delivered is still 19lb.ft.
But that’s 1lb.ft less than the cross-plane-crank engine before the tyre begins to slide, and if that doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s five per cent, which is a big difference in racing, equivalent to a peak power disadvantage of 12bhp on a MotoGP bike. So the engine with no inertial torque can accelerate harder out of corners, and it also gives the rider finer control as there’s no fuzziness to the output.

6.1 MORE FACTS

Even though Yamaha makes no claims of improved traction because of the uneven firing intervals of the 2009 R1 – the so-called Big Bang effect – there are still many who cite this as the motive behind the cross-plane crankshaft design. It’s to eliminate the high frequency torque fluctuations, so the uneven firing intervals are only a side-effect, not the objective.
So what becomes of the Big Bang theory of improving traction by introducing uneven firing intervals? The principle behind this depends on the difference between static and dynamic friction: a big, heavy wooden box might take two people pushing to start it moving, but once it’s sliding it’s much easier to keep moving, and only one person could do it. This is because at a microscopic level the rough surfaces of the box and the ground interlock when it’s stationary, but when it’s sliding they ride over each other.

Apply that to a bike’s rear tyre being fed pulses of torque by an engine. If there are fewer pulses the tyre has time in between each to recover any lost grip, so its surface can interlock with the road’s again, but when there are more pulses (as with a four compared with a twin), once the tyre is sliding the next pulse of torque comes along more quickly, before the grip can be regained, and the tyre keeps sliding. This means more torque overall can be applied by an engine with fewer, larger power pulses, an idea that came from seeing V-twins (usually Ducati’s) driving out of corners faster than the four-cylinder competition.
The problem with the theory is that its main principles are for static friction, and a rear tyre is clearly not static. The behavior of a rolling tyre is very different to a stationary box, and it is not clear if this static-dynamic situation would be the same. It’s likely to have similarities: we know from heavy braking tests that a skidding tyre results in longer stopping distances than if the wheels don’t lock up, similar to the sliding box situation. But a tyre creeping across a road, as it does under power out of a turn, is in a grey zone between sliding and grip, and we can’t be certain those principles are valid.
No proof has been offered either that the frequency of torque pulses from an engine is anything like that which might be needed to allow a tyre time to recover. Maybe they are, maybe not, but it’s vague enough to make Big Bang no more than a guess, rather than a true theory.

7.1 ADVANTAGES & DISADVANTAGES

ADVANTAGES

Better acceleration due to more even power delivery.
Better corner speeds compared to flat plane crank vehicle.
Better throttle response to the driver.
Better control over the vehicle.
Improved tyre life.
No need of a balancer shaft as its second order rotation is smoothened.
Superior mechanical balance of the crossplane design, do not require the large crankshaft balancing weights.

DISADVANTAGES

Only vehicles with very high engine speed will get advantage.
Uneven sound from the engine.
Uneven nature of the intake and exhaust systems due to the uneven firing order.
Manufacturing cost will be a little higher


This was part of my seminar done for the final year, Engineering.

Team-BHP Harassment

Team-BHP: Harassment for New Joinees!

Team-BHP has come up with a new policy that all new registrations will have to be "approved" by them, and only after that will their membership be confirmed. And till then, the new joinees pretty much cannot do anything on the site, be it posting queries or responding to posts.

To help Team-BHP in deciding if you are "worthy" of being a member, all new registrants are required to answer a question "Why do you wish to join Team-BHP?" as part of the registration process. You are expected to provide detailed reasoning as to why you wish to join the site, what is your level of interest in automobiles, etc. And there is a warning not take this lightly, since based on the reasons you provide, they will decide whether you are really member material or not!

I am actually rejected 3 times. They asked the same question to me 3 times. I answered the same which is genuine. I said, "i learned everything from this prestigious website and i now became an automobile engineer.now i think i can help my fellow team BHPians with much more details". I don't want to praise them for getting registered coz they are nuts in front of me now.they didn't even let me know that i am rejected or confirmed.

Now, let's put aside for a moment the fact that in a competitive environment, one cannot afford to be this arrogant. Even so, we would still expect that they be prompt in confirming or rejecting registrations, and that they let us know about it. It's only basic courtesy! However, it's been a few months now since I registered on the site and till date I have no notification as to whether my membership is confirmed or rejected!

I'm sure ultimately Team-BHP will realise the folly of its policy. Because if they want to continue to have quality members who have valuable information to contribute, they will have to give up their snootiness and arrogance and relook at this sarkari type of policy of keeping new members on hold and harassing them in this way.

Besides, I somehow don't agree with the argument that this move is necessary to ensure quality of posts. Well, for one, that's exactly what moderators are for. They can delete, move or merge posts which they feel are contravening guidelines. That apart, I'd like Team-BHP to remember the shining example before us, that is Wikipedia. The main differentiating factor between Wikipedia and other such sites (and indeed, the reason for its unprecedented success) was that it is truly a democratic website. Anyone can add or edit any page there, provided the changes are backed by legitimate references. And the senior contributors ensure the upkeep of quality. Surely, if Wikipedia can do it, Team-BHP being much smaller in comparison can certainly emulate it.

As for me, well, I'm not interested anymore! It is a competitive online world, as I said. There are numerous sites and forums where I can participate and get and share knowledge on automobiles, Mouthshut being one of them.

Hope Team-BHP gets its act in order soon, for its own good!

Oh, and one more thing! I request Team-BHP to at least delete the accounts of those people whom it doesn't approve for membership, or at least allow them to re-apply from the same user ID. I think it's grossly unethical to retain people's user IDs even after rejecting them. I think someone could actually take them to court over this!


topic helped by a fellow blogger, Vijay padiyar.

Living with a superbike in India



LIVING WITH A SUPERBIKE IN INDIA






Riding a bike is more about passion, a cult, and a relaxation for some. But full stop here. It’s not true in the case of our country. While we can buy supercars like Lamborghini Gallardo, Ferrari F430, Porsche 911 Turbo and even a 400 lakh rupee Rolls Royce Phantom from showrooms in India or a BMW, Audi or a Merc in lesser cases. The same simplicity does not apply to a superbike purchase.
For some unknown reasons, the bike industry has not kept up with its automotive counterparts and the Yamahas, Suzuki and Hondas of the world seem content with selling 100cc economy motorcycles and now a day with little better 150cc ones. And for showing off, we have 200cc + offerings here from home grown companies like Hero Honda and Bajaj. Kinetic have taken a brave step forward and launched 2 quarter liter bikes with the alliance of Hyosung, Korea. The two offerings from them, a sports bike, the Comet GT 250 and its cruiser counterpart, the Aquila 250. Even though both the bikes are good, the service provided by the Indian counterpart is below average and the long waiting time for the spare parts kept people from exploring it in large masses. Finally Bajaj has painstakingly launched a true quarter liter or 250cc sports bike with the co-operation of Kawasaki in the form of Ninja 250r and priced it on stratosphere. For the enthusiast, however, this is hardly a deterrent as several grey market options are available. The options also come with their own disadvantages as the grey market is full of uncertainty and disorganization. While superbikes attract an import duty (customs) of 142% (used) or 88% (new), the market is very unpredictable. A correct and well-informed approach will go a long way in ensuring peace-of-mind with your superbike purchase.
The inputs show you the formalities in buying / living with a superbike, and the measures you must implement to ensuring a hassle-free ownership experience.

The most important part first: Paperwork!

1. A lot depends on how reliable the seller is, what condition the bike is in and how clean the paperwork is. Search within the biking communities in India for information on reputed superbike merchants and ask around in biker circles for recommendations. The reputation of a seller is very important.
2. An overwhelming 99% of import bikes in India are brought down via the “transfer of residence” route, wherein an Indian, living abroad for a certain period of time, is allowed to bring back the vehicle that he was using there (for a reduced percentage of duty). Under the “Transfer or residence” route, the vehicle cannot be sold for 2 years from the time of registering it in India.
3. Therefore, the first step is to verify the age of the bike and ensure that it is more than 2 years since it has been brought into the country. Remember, it doesn't matter how old the bike is; it is the date of registration in India that is to be considered. This important step ensures that the superbike can be registered in your name.
4. The second unspoken rule is to look out for where the bike has been registered. It is widely accepted that bikes imported and registered in Mumbai (MH-01/02) are considered as the cleanest imports. Bikes with “MP”, “TN” and “KA” registration plates are to be looked at very cautiously.
5. Different states and cities have different ways of registering vehicles. For example, Mumbai issues a proper RC book (Registration Certificate) which includes all details about the vehicle as well as the import document numbers, bill of entry details, bill of lading number, passport details of the original importer etc. The RC book also keeps a record of the number of buyers. The RC book will also make a note of the declared value of the bike, the duty paid and all tax charges that have been cleared.
6. Very often dealers/brokers/owners will tell you that the original bill of entry was submitted to the RTO at the time of registration. This is absolute rubbish. The concerned authority generates three copies of the bill of entry; one stays with them, one goes to the RTO for registration and the last copy stays with the bike owner.
7. Many superbike owners do not register the bikes to their name. They simply hold on to the transfer papers and ride the bike for a few months before selling it to someone else. Make it a point to try and buy a bike from a person who has transferred it to their name as this shows that the owner is not a use & throw kind of rider, and the bike would have been maintained in a better way.
8. In the case of an out-of-state purchase, insist on an NOC (No Objection Certificate) from the RTO where the bike was registered. Without this, you will not be able to transfer the bike to your name or sell it on to anyone else.
9. What you have to watch out for are the bikes that are imported as parts, and then assembled here. In some cases, you will find that the RC book data would not correspond to the bike's data (engine/chassis numbers, make of the bike etc.). Many “baggage bikes”, as these are popularly called, do have the correct details (colour, engine cc, imported vehicle information, etc) of the assembled bike on the RC. Therefore, the key points to look out for are the Passport details of the importer and corresponding bill of entry number being mentioned on the RC book.
10. Buying older bikes is inherently safer as these bikes are now too old for the officials to really bother about. Also, chances are that the bikes have already been through the system a few times between owners and any problems would have come to light earlier.

Inspecting a potential purchase

Ensure that the chassis and engine numbers tally with the RC book.
Google is your friend. Study the bike you plan on seeing. Note down the differences with each model year, the factory paint jobs (these vary from country to country) and small differences in bodywork. These will tell you the correct year of manufacture. Be advised that different bikes have different characteristics; Honda engines are butter smooth while Kawasaki engines sound as if there are a dozen loose parts inside. An educated buyer is a good buyer and one that the seller will take more seriously.
Check the date printed on items like the fairings (inners) and brake lines (if OE). The date of manufacturing will be mentioned and should correspond to the date stated by the seller. If the seller says that the bike is a 1997 model and the brake lines read 1994, something is obviously not right.
Check the front fork for pitting. This can lead to torn fork seals and costs quite a bit to fix.
Check the rear shock. Chances are the OE rear shock would be worn out. That’s normal as most OE shocks don’t last very long. New ones are expensive to buy though, and many OE shocks cannot be rebuilt.
Check the chain & sprockets. If they are knackered or worn out, that will drop the price you pay as a new high quality chain and sprockets can easily cost you a nearly ten thousand rupees plus the shipping charges.
Brake pads should have enough material left. The brake pads will cost you nearly three thousand rupees plus the shipping charges.
Brake discs or rotors should be within the minimum required limits. Check for disc warpage, when riding the bike, hold the brake lever slightly and if there is any pulsating feel coming back to the lever, the disc rotor is damaged, due to any reason and the braking will suffer with this. Fiddling with the rotor is a very costly affair, and can cost u around ten thousand rupees for a single disc rotor plus the shipping charges.
Tyres, if worn to the minimum, will cost a bomb and should be budgeted for. The rear tyre will be the first to get worn followed by the front tyre
Check the condition of the battery, if weak, we can’t replace with our Indian brands. The battery can cost anywhere from 5000 rupees for the normal ones to 7500 rupees for the maintenance free types plus the shipping charges. Check the horns, headlight, starter motor, indicators and the instrument panel for any malfunction. Take precaution if the original accessories and the wiring is tampered for aftermarket stuff’s like HID or security system etc. it won’t cost much for small fuses and wirings, but it will be hard to find smaller spare parts for an SBK.
Check the idling of the vehicle in cold condition. In pre Y2K bikes, the fuelling is done by carburetors and the last bunch came with auto choke function. check if its working properly. If the bike is coming with a fuel injection, check for rough idling, which can be caused by fuel pump or unclean injectors.
Now a days, its hard to believe the odometer reading of a vehicle, coz it can be turned back very easily or can be chipped to a pre defined reading. So only a skilled mechanic can say if it’s the genuine reading or not.
Start the bike and let it warm up. A properly heated up engine will tell you its inner-most secrets.
Insist on a proper test-ride. Ideally try and make it when the roads are crowded, as the stop/go traffic puts the bike to the ultimate test (parts get heated up). Any electrical problem will show up at this stage. Then go for a high speed run and check for any chocking or misfiring from the engine. The carburetor engine bikes are a little more painful because in a four cyl bike, the four carburetors should be in synchronization.
Check the body panels and shoddy paintjobs. check for any excess vibration from the body parts. Four cyl bikes won’t vibrate much due to the balanced nature of engine and found so, it might be anything from an improper engine mounting or internal damage.

How much to pay?

There is no real organised market for these bikes in India. You just have to use a bit of common sense here. There are bikes that sell for a pittance and others of the same make that sell for a lot more. A lot depends on the paperwork. Honda, and to a lesser extent, Yamaha usually commands a premium over the others due to the brand following they have in India. Dealers will usually quote you absurd figures, but will come back down to earth once they realize you are a serious buyer. Also, beware of the urban legend of the 2 year old 1000cc bike in mint condition that just sold for 2 lakhs. Everyone has heard this story, but the buyer in question is always the grandson of a friends, cousins, neighbors son who has now migrated to Zimbabwe and hence not reachable now to verify this.
Once you decide on the superbike, its best to make the full payment by cheque or demand draft. This is only for your own security. If possible, avoid handing over the full payment until the superbike has been transferred to your name.




Superbike Upkeep


Like any machine, superbikes too need their share of preventive maintenance. If you are buying new, you simply need to follow the guidelines given in the owners’ manual. Prices would be similar to that of an equally expensive car. Most modern bikes require only the most basic of care to ensure they will run well for years to come (Japanese reliability!).
The basic service would include:
• Oil change
• Oil Filter change
• Air filter cleaning/replacement
• Check brake pad thickness
• Check, adjust and lubricate the chain (this should be done on a weekly basis)
• Check accelerator cables (remember there are 2 cables, unlike the single one on Indian bikes).
Consumables for popular models are available at reasonable prices and off the shelf in cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai. Oil filters sell for approximately Rs.400-500 while brake pads begin from Rs.1,500 onwards. As you see, it doesn’t break the bank to run one of these awesome machines.

Tires:
The largest repeat expense that you will have are the tyres. High performance tyres are not made to last as long as the MRF Zappers! Sport rubber on the rear tyres for 600 + cc bikes have been known to last as little as 6000 km’s, or about a year riding on average. There are wide range of high quality brands available. The cost of a new Bridgestone Battlax 180/55/17 tyre is approximately Rs.8,500/-. Now you know why burnouts are only for the seriously wealthy. Front tyres last a bit longer (about 10,000 – 12,000km) and cost about Rs.5500.
If your riding is mainly on city/highway roads and not race tracks, go for Sport Touring rubber. These will give you all the grip you need and will last longer than proper sport rubber. Dual compound tires by Bridgestone and Michelin give you the best of both world’s i.e. harder compound on the centre and softer compound on the sides.
Again study well the surface to be ridden coz some tires will prematurely crack or worn out due to our climatic and road condition.

Fuel:
Almost all superbikes have a compression ratio exceeding 11:1; hence the need to use premium fuel is a necessity toward getting the best out of the motor. The latest breed of replica-racers runs best on a diet of 97 octane + boosters. On long rides where you will not find 97 octane, remember to carry a bottle or two of an octane booster. Many of the older bikes (pre-Y2K) run just fine on 91 octane as well. However, each bike has its own preference, so this is something you will have to figure out after living with your bike for some time.

Insurance:
Contrary to popular belief, you can comprehensively insure your superbike. You need to get your bike evaluated by the insurance company, and that figure is used to calculate the premium. However, most bikes will run with the basic third party insurance, as making any sort of claim from the insurance company (in the event of an accident) can prove to be a nightmare. This is due to the lack of an organized market for parts and most insurance agents do not have the required knowledge about these machines.

Riding a superbike on a daily basis

Not many ride these bikes on a daily basis for commuting. For those who plan to, here are some real world tips and insights into commuting on a superbike.
• Plan each trip well. You need to know where you will be parking your bike at the destination. You cannot squeeze your superbike in the middle of a couple 100cc bikes by the roadside.
• Be ready to answer questions. Some sensible, other expected (what is the mileage?) or (you should have brought a car for this money) and yet some more that are downright hilarious (is this a diesel vehicle?). Answer politely. Given the opportunity, that person too would have loved to ride a big bike.
• People will fiddle with your bike when it’s parked in the open. Ask them in a firm but polite tone to back off as the bike may tip over and something might break and its very costly to fix.
• Traffic and summer are your worst enemies. The bikes heat up very quickly if they don’t have a flow of air over the radiator. In most cases, the small fans cannot cope with the prevalent conditions of an Indian summer. It can even cause minor burns to the leg which is kept very close to the engine. It helps to plan your commute just before or after peak hours. Plus, it will be a more enjoyable ride as well.
• Pedestrians! You have to keep both eyes open for jaywalkers. They have no idea of the approach speed of your bike, and will suddenly panic when they see you heading towards them in no time.
• Keep an eye on the rear view mirrors. Modern superbikes have awesome triple discs, with radial monoblock calipers on the front. Unfortunately the taxi behind you has 30 year old drum brakes which are probably not even adjusted! When you stop at a signal, always keep the bike in gear and a look out behind you for a wayward motorist (this applies to all bikers).

What bike? Cruiser Vs sports Vs touring

What type of rider are you? That’s the first question you need to ask yourself before you go out bike shopping. Do you want to cruise sedately on a large comfortable bike? Do you love carving the mountain roads on Sunday mornings? Do you want to tour India on the path less traveled? Or do you want a bit of sportiness along with the ability to cover long distances in comfort? Or what about beating everything on road with hyperbikes? There is a motorcycle out there to meet every mood of the rider.



For the first category, you have cruisers like the Yamaha V-star, Honda Shadow and a multitude of Harley’s. For cruising with a bit more oomph, you have the Harley V-Rod, Honda Valkyrie and the Triumph Rocket. The Honda Goldwing along with some BMWs are a different breed of tourers which give you all the bells and whistles found on cars (6 CD changer, GPS, reverse gear!). I heard goldwing is having a reverse gear, auto leveling rear suspension, Dolby noise reduction system, cruise control and intercom to say a few innovations.



For those who like a bit of adventure in their biking, the best choice would be a trailee like the BMW F650 (most expensive bike ever officially sold in India) or the massive BMW GS1200 (a favorite for those circumnavigating the globe). If you prefer Japanese, you have the Suzuki V-Storm or the Honda Africa Twin.
The learners can start with the miniature version of the SBK’s in the form of 250cc and 400cc bikes. These bikes can be very peppy in the hands of a learner and pose little threat to the rider. still it can clock near 200 kmph and can accelerate in sub 5 sec.



The most popular class of bikes imported in India are the sport-bikes. These range from engine sizes of 600cc to 1200cc and put out anywhere from a 100bhp to 180bhp with performance figures that shame supercars costing a 100 times more! However, the downside of owning these hyper performance bikes is that some of them have a riding position which makes a city commute feel like Chinese torture. They also heat up real fast in traffic. However, for that outright adrenalin rush, nothing comes close.



The all-rounder and a personal favorite is the Sports-Tourer category. A bike like the Honda VFR750/800 is the perfect example. These bikes take you and your luggage to the track and are almost as fast as the hardcore superbikes on the track. But the difference is that the sport-tourers are comfortable to ride every day all day, but with enough performance and ground clearance to enjoy the hills as well.
Naked or Standard bikes also make excellent real world bikes with the added advantage of better heat dissipation, having no plastic to break/scratch in our tight city roads and the raw appeal it offers. They are also easy to repair. But the main problem with the naked variety is the wind blast after a certain speed. The blast will become unbearable after the two ton mark. But even though they will be a great companion for city riding and occasional outing. The Yamaha FZ 1 and the Honda CB 1000r are good examples.
For the maniacs and who don’t consider other things can go for a hyperbike. The fastest and the meanest things on two wheels. it might not handle well like a superbike, but it can beat anything on a drag strip and in top speed department. One of the other virtues will be its touring capabilities together with mind blowing speeds it can achieve. The best example for a hyper bike is Suzuki Hayabusa which put out insane 197 B.H.P and kawazaki ninja 1400 zzr. Or in rare case a Y2K turbine bike, if ur nutty brain allows you. Err it uses a helicopter engine with diesel as fuel.



These are just the basic categories. As mentioned, there is a bike out there to suit anyone. If you are buying new, your choice is huge. If you are buying used from India, you have a limited choice which is mainly within the classes mentioned above.

Buying a 250 Vs 400 Vs 600 Vs 1 liter plus

In the nineties, a lot of 250 - 400cc bikes were brought into the country. These are mainly from Japan which has a huge demand for 400cc bikes due to licencing regulations. The most common of these are the Honda CBR250rr, 400rr and some ninja zzr 400. These bikes are tiny and great to learn on. They are extremely peaky though and rev to above 16,000rpm! The CBR 250rr revs to a stratospheric 19000 rpm. And some offered good fuel efficiency of around 20 to 25 kmpl for the conscious people. We even have our 2 strokes that are extremely light and, if in a good state of tune, can compete with the 600cc bikes. Some examples of Honda NSR are imported in the nineties. But be warned, a 2 stroke will be high on maintenance.
The 600cc class is again a popular class and there are loads of great used middleweights out there to choose from. These bikes give you almost the same acceleration as the 1000+ cc bikes, but are down on torque and lack the mid-range of their larger hearted brothers. If you like using a bike to its limits, this is the largest capacity sport bike you could buy to enjoy hitting the limiter in the higher gears.
Once you get on the 900cc + bikes, top gear becomes almost non-existent on our roads. Yes they are wildly impractical. Yes they can be (and have been) a quick way to cause serious bodily harm in the untrained hands. Yes we do not have the roads here to exploit that sort of power. But heck, a ride on one of them throws all the practicalities out of the window! You want to be practical, buy a Hero Honda Splendor. You want to experience the wildest acceleration and thrill of your life, just go ahead and get a modern day liter sport bike. It’s that simple!

Official superbikes

By this time, we are having official superbikes on sale here in our country. They people might be joking us quoting the official price of the superbikes. We now have some good brands here namely the Yamaha R1, MT 01, the Honda CBR 1000rr, CB 1000r, the Suzuki Intruder, Hayabusa, and the Ducati 1098r, 1098s. funniest part is their pricing. All the Japanese bikes costs from 10 lakh to 13 lakh and the Italian exotic ducati cost an eye watering 24 lakh. But the best part is the service, spare availability and the peace of mind from owning an official bike.Start saving up, the good times are almost here!


Riding gear

India being the crowded and tropical country that it is, most of us tend to do away with riding gear such as jackets, gloves and good riding boots. However, as far as possible, do try and get into the habit of wearing some basic protective gear. Cars have seatbelts, side impact beams and crumple zones to help you. On a bike, the only thing protecting you is the gear you choose to wear.

Helmets

The most important bit of gear is a good quality helmet. If you are buying a bike worth a few lakhs, you can surely afford to purchase a good quality helmet that meets Snell/DOT/BS standards. You don’t have to break into your savings to buy a good helmet. There are many inexpensive brands that will sell you a helmet that meets the same standards as the expensive Arai’s and Shoei’s out there. Also, be smart, there are amazing deals to be found on the internet, so keep a lookout for closeout deals and end of season sales. Within India, the best helmets you can buy are AGV or Beiffe helmets which retail for Rs.1500 onwards.
Stay away from the South East Asian helmets that are invading the market. These carry no recognized safety certifications, and although they do look good, they may not be helpful when you really need it to be. Needless to say, but do not even consider buying anything from a guy selling helmets at the side of the highway!
Make sure you buy a full face helmet. If you ride in the city a lot, a flip up or modular helmet would be worth taking a look at. Leave the open face helmets and skull caps for the scooters.
Make sure the helmet is a good fit. Riding with a helmet that is two sizes too large for you is as good as not wearing one and could even be a danger in itself. It must fit snuggly over your head, and should not move when you try and turn it sideways. It will feel a bit tight in the beginning, but once it’s broken it, it will be perfect. Also try and get a helmet that had a double D ring strap and not the clip on type (though this is easier said than done.) the D rings allow for a more precise fit, and are also safer and less likely to come loose in the event of an accident.
Another pointer: If you are buying a helmet from abroad, be sure to pick up an extra visor, as you never know when you need one and you will not be able to find one in any shop here.

Riding boots

On all suberbikes, and most of the newer Indian “power” bikes as well, you shift gears with your toe only, and not the heel/toe combination found on the economisers. Hence, do not underestimate the benefit of a good riding boot. You get a wide range of boots - hardcore racing boots that allow very limited movement but compliment this with supreme protection and touring boots that allow you to use them on and off the bike, and also don’t make you look like a starship trooper from Star Wars.
If you can’t get purpose made riding boots, I would suggest a good pair of ankle length, steel toed shoes like Dr.Martins or Cats. Somebody recently switched over from sneakers to these boots and found that he could change gears more positively and the false neutrals simply vanished.

Gloves

A good set of gloves helps you grip the bars far better than bare palms and will literally save your skin in the event of a fall or getting very dirty by road debris. You may need 3 pairs of gloves if you plan to ride in all weathers. Summer, winter and waterproof. The best for summer are gloves that have mesh on the upper surface and leather on the palm. Hard protection for the knuckles is beneficial and looks cool as well! If you ride in places that get cold, you will need a pair of good winter gloves. Usually leather outside with a lining inside. Look for the Goretex sign on gloves. These add weatherproof capabilities to your gloves and can be used in the rains as well.
Tip: If you ride in the monsoons, get yourself disposable surgeons gloves that you can wear under your summer gloves. This way your hands stay dry while you ride.

Jackets & suits

You will only really need a full racing suit if you plan on hitting the tracks often, or are a serious Sunday morning canyon carver. Full leather suits are expensive. They range from around Rs.20,000 onwards. If you can afford it, the kind to go for are the Kangaroo leather suits. These provide the same protection as cow leather, but are much lighter. The safety provided by these suits is unmatched, but be warned, these will be unbearable in the summer months in most parts of the country.
If you do not want to invest in a full suit, the minimum you should get is a good, high quality jacket, with built in CE approved armour for the elbows, shoulders and spine. A mesh jacket with a liner makes for a great all season kit, as it can be used in summer comfortably, and once you zip in the liner, you have a winter jacket as well.
A good jacket keeps the wind and sun from direct contact with your skin, and this makes a big difference on a long ride. You reach your destination far more relaxed as you are not buffeted around and pelted with small stones from trucks in front of you. Once you wear one, you will not want to ride without it.

Article redone with more and renewed facts helped by a prestigious Indian Automotive forum, Team-bhp and thanks to the author R-tech


NOW HIT THE ROAD WITH YOUR MEAN MACHINE.