The Yamaha RD350: Dream Interrupted

Another RD350 being resurrected

Another RD350 being resurrected

Spotted a RD350 yesterday, being lovingly bought back to life. Was in a workshop the size of a security guard’s cabin in Mumbai, but that didn’t matter. There it was sitting majestically in the classic Red livery. It managed to stop me right in my tracks. The brain drained out all other thoughts. The heart began beating faster. A full five minutes of staring, drooling and sighing later, the moment began to pass. The blood-rush began to subside, and some sense of normalcy returned. A silent prayer for the owner and the mechanic was said, a customary snap was clicked as keepsake and off I went.

Over the years, I’ve spent time with the boys from the Bombay RD350 Club and even ridden along with them on my RX on a few occasions. I’ve been fortunate enough to meet up with the likes of the TheFatBastard & TheGhostRider31 whose exploits on the RD350 are part of folklore as I pass them on to the coming generations. I’ve even managed to sit pillion on one and they’ve been the best 30 kilometres of my life. For a 2Stroke on pipe, and an RD350 at that, is a visceral treat that’s best experienced, for no amount of explaining shall be enough!

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Look maa, i spotted this RD350, right off the corner

A sighting, the faint strains of the growl coming to the ears and I turn into an over-excited puppy. Every time I spot one on the road, I end up grinning in envy at the owner. Those classic twin pipes are perfect, the ride-height among the most accessible out there, and just the right amount of power to keep me on a near-permanent high.

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First love and will always be… – the RX135

The RD350 is an addiction never to be put into rehab! True, I’ll always have my RX135’s, the Shaolin and my Royal Enfields. I’ll find my head turning at Yezdi-Jawa’s and run after the prospect of the many Adventure Tourers to be launched in the coming years.

As motorcyclists, we all have our ‘Dream Garage’. Exotic motors we always lust after, with dreams of swinging our leg over them some day and riding off into the distance. To most, they are the hyper-quick, superbikes – litre class machines, the full-faired look, exotic stuff.  To me, the RD350 will always be the one I’ll lust after, that’ll freeze time for me. Which is why, there’s no giving up on the dream – even when the economics of owning and riding an RD350 today, means that only the true moneybags can enjoy it.

 

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My #DeMonetization experience & some thoughts stemming from it

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8th November, 2016 began on a fabulous note for me. Yummy home cooked food, my favourite folks around me and the preparations of an exciting two-week long motorcycling trip that was to begin the next day. I’d gone to the ATM and withdrawn 10 Thousand rupees, to help me with liquidity for the expenses in the coming days.

Post-dinner, I was just catching up with the boys down the street, when this pal comes up & says, hey dude, do you know, 500 & 1000 rupee notes are banned from midnight. Abuses flowed as I mocked his gullibility at believing everything that’s forwarded on WhatsApp and I asked him to grow up & stop trying to spread such baseless + dangerous rumours. Just as he was trying to convince me that his words were true, the phone rang – it was Dad. Come home immediately, he said. The tone meant that compliance was immediate. Turned out, my friend hadn’t been joking. The Prime Minister, no less, was on TV, telling us all that 500 & 1000 rupee notes were banned from midnight.

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Shrugging off the disbelief & shock of the decision, we immediately rounded up whatever 100 rupee notes were in the house & ended up with 2000 rupees each between the better half & me. The balance 1000 rupees in smaller currency were left behind with Amma & Dad. All plans of sleep meanwhile had gone for a toss. The shocking implications of this move were starting to sink in. Our travel timelines were in shambles, we missed our alarm the next morning & decided to not let the conditions dampen our spirits. The first stop was at the fuel-bunk and we were in for a rude shock. Card machines not working they said. No change to spare either, the attendant gruffly mentioned. If you want to fill fuel, either pay exact change, or we’re accepting 500/1000 rupee notes but only in full settlement. Luckily, between our 2 bikes, we had enough tank capacity to fulfil their restrictive demands. Our friend who was to join us in Navi Mumbai got even more delayed as the ATM’s were shut, and fuel pumps there had a long line of people waiting to tank up. By the time he caught up with us, we’d spent nearly 4 hours just getting out of the city.

We stopped on 4 different occasions that day – the 9th of November for fuel. Each time, the petrol pump guys were insisting on them having no change, and that they’d accept 500/1000 notes only if settled in full. Only 1 of those fuel pumps had a functional card system in place and we ended up spending 15 minutes there just getting that approval slip on the payment having gone through. The food plaza where we stopped for lunch was deserted, with the sole employee at the food stall, mentioning that they’d not gotten half their supplies for want of sufficient cash at hand. Massive snarls were observed at the many toll-plaza’s present along NH4, with toll-collectors demanding exact change, and travellers not having enough small denomination notes.

By the time the sun was fading into darkness, we were starting to get mentally exhausted as very few food-places/shops had working card-payment systems in place. That night, when we stopped by at a food-cart for dinner, we found ourselves being extremely reluctant in parting away with the small cash notes in our wallets.

Having arrived in Goa the next day, we were partially relived. For if there was any place that can be called the utopia of the South, it is this. The next 3 days, we were accommodated by the people around us at the event in the best way possible. They informed us when the solitary ATM in the vicinity was dispensing cash; they ran a tab for us, settling the amount due at the end of the event by card or old notes on a case-t0-case basis. As we bid adieu and shifted base to the central part of Goa for the next 4 days, we were once again plunged in a state of despair. Business was visibly down, with people going about their lives in hushed tones. Street markets were empty, as were small trader shops that would typically be buzzing with customers at this time of the year.

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As days progressed, the ATM’s were all either temporarily shut or had long lines outside of them for the few hours that they were operational during the day. Geniuses that our banking system boffins are, we were directed to return to our home branches when we went down to withdraw money from the nearest bank. There simply wasn’t enough liquidity left in the market any more. ATM’s were out of 100 rupee notes and were dishing out only the ridiculous 2000 rupee notes. But shopkeepers and other outlets didn’t have enough change for them. So you either settled in full or simply skipped the product/service altogether.

By the time we entered the last phase of our trip, the market had began to adjust. It also helped that we were in the most tourist dense part of Goa – the North. Here, 90% of the customers came from within the area. Everyone knew everyone and even when they did, people recognized the need to show some faith & trust. We could keep a tab at nearly every place that didn’t accept card payments. Few even accepted bank-transfers making life easier for us. As we bid adieu to Goa however, and began the return trip to Bombay, the feeling of being slow-choked was back.

Returning home two weeks after the whole #DeMonetization decision, here are the thoughts that continue swirling in my head.

  • If the intention of #DeMonetization was to prevent black money from proliferating, then why introduce a 2000 rupee note as a replacement to the scrapped 1000 & 500 rupee notes. Don’t 2000 rupee notes make it easier to stash away money in more easier manner?
  • When you knew that there are not enough small denomination notes to be passed around as change, why did the authorities print 2000 rupee notes and not the new 500 rupee ones?
  • If you are going to scrap currency denominations that make up 80% of the economy and make the push to ‘cash-less’ transactions, wouldn’t you first spend time & effort, in ensuring that the framework necessary for implementing this is in place?
  • We as a nation, have thrived for generations on our culture of convenience. It was this convenience that was driving us towards digital transactions (via card, via m-payments, and so on). This was more so in the metros & large cities, with the promise of the movement slowly spreading to smaller towns. We don’t have the infrastructure in place for an all-digital payments system. And neither do the ‘Western Countries’ that are being touted as examples. If this were so, then the latter would have banned cash altogether.

What #DeMonetization has done is that it has destroyed the very credibility of trust that had been the bedrock of our economic system since centuries. At a time when the western world was staring at a financial meltdown in the near future, it was us, our robust Indian economy that was to be the sponge that would soak up the resulting shock-waves. Instead, we found ourselves under a financial crisis that’s unprecedented in modern history.

As things stand, it’ll be a week since I returned to Bombay from my trip. During this time, I ended up spending the 100 rupee notes were there in the wallet on the essentials. While radio-cabs and restaurants accepted card payments, i couldn’t afford their higher rates on a regular basis. Thus, none of the cheaper & popular transportation alternatives (train/bus/autorickshaw/kaali-peeli cabs) accepted cards/e-wallet payments. The small-time snack outlets that i visited too demanded cash payments.

Banks  pay us, their customers, interest, because they’re mere custodians of our money. They’re supposed to furnish the amount on demand, in the denominations requested. Yet, when I went and stood in line at the home branch of SBI to withdraw money from my account, they refused, citing lack of adequate funds. 2 hours were wasted because my SBI branch did not have 100 rupee notes to give out, nor did they have the new 500 rupee notes in stock.

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I visited the ATM networks of each major bank, Government as well as Private ones – SBI, Standard Chartered, HDFC and Kotak Mahindra. Each of them either had their shutters down or had a note placed saying they were unable to dispense cash on account of being out of currency. I did this across my usual area of movement in Suburban Mumbai.

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Down to my last 100 rupee note & a few tenners in the wallet, I finally got lucky with a J&K bank ATM in Bandra late last night. However, instead of dispensing the denominations i needed – aka 100 rupee notes or the new 500 rupee ones, it displayed a message declaring it could only give me the 2000 rupee one. Getting change for this one, is going to be another challenging task.

I voted for the Congress and they repaid me by scamming the nation for decades. I voted for the Shiv-Sena and all they gave me was a BMC which is a citadel of corruption in itself along with meaningless anti-westernization/valentine’s day protests. I finally put aside my misgivings about the Gujarat riots & decided to vote for the BJP in the last elections. What I’ve gotten is a media war, an exponential increase in official propaganda, policies that appear further and further disconnected from the reality on the ground. I understand the lofty ideals but the way things are going, they’re looking more like half-baked concepts whose implementation is light-years away from established best-practices.

Inconvenience is one thing, but when you keep me away from my hard-earned money and prevent me from going on with my life, all for the benefit of a few commercial establishments, you’ve got blood on your hands.

Only time shall tell which way the wind blows on this #DeMonetization decision. For now, it is a full-blown crisis to which the authorities are responding with propaganda messages & an atmosphere of severe distrust!

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दिवाळी खडाजंगी जंकशन ची

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कंदिल लावला,
पणत्या लावल्या,
अम्मा ने छानशी-छोटुशी रांगोळी काढली,
एकत्र फराळ केला,
आणि झाली दिवाळी साजरी आमची🙂

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My Tata Hexa Experience – Part 1: Arrival, Product Presentation + Meet & Greet

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A chance to catch up with the stonking new Tata Hexa

It was another hectic day at the workplace. The keyboard was being put to good use, when the net connection snapped without warning. A few frantic calls later, order had been restored. With the inbox overflowing with messages, there was one that grabbed the attention. The wonderful folks at IndiBlogger had mailed in to say that the ‘HexaExperience’ was on for the weekend.

Tata Motors, in conjunction with IndiBlogger was inviting 60 bloggers from around the country, to have a go at their latest flagship offering – the Hexa! Ever the unabashed wheels-man, I began to drool at the prospect of taking Tata’s finest effort so far & putting it through its paces before the car hit the showrooms! Not wanting to let this opportunity get away, I took a shot in the dark, filled in the details at the end of the link & hit the submit button. Boom! Dark deed done, it was time to get back to the pending work. Forgot all about the ‘Hexa Experience’ application & flamed out late into the night.

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New day dawned, same old routine. Fired up the pending emails & spotted something that had me do a little dance at that early hour in the day. The good folks at IndiBlogger had responded, saying that I was in. Yes, that’s right, I had made the cut-off. Yippee. Continue reading

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My Tata Hexa Experience – Part 2: The Car, Driving Impression & Concerns

So here we are at Part 2 of my ‘HexaExperience’, where I give you the low-down on Tata’s stonking new flagship – the Hexa.

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Flag-off time with the Tata Hexa

Watching the fleet of Hexa’s smartly parked in formation waiting for the flag-off was enough to wake up the mind. My co-passengers: Priya & Burhanuddin too had arrived & Usmaan from Tata Motors squared off the team. We’d snared ourselves the Automatic version of the Hexa and were raring to go.

The day had begun with a buzzing alarm & a sun that was yet to come up. The mind was exhausted & the body refused to cooperate. But the Driving part of the ‘HexaExperience’ beckoned and with that, the comfortable room at Novotel Hyderabad was vacated. The scrumptious breakfast buffet was given the miss, as I could only manage a cup of chai before the call came to ‘start your engines’.

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Tata Hexa: Bold, muscular stance, in an all-new, power-packed avatar

The Hexa – you see, it is nothing like you’ve ever seen on a flagship Tata product before. From the Exterior Styling to the Interior Cabin treatment, the packed-to-the-gills feature list & some highly commendable USP’s that set it apart. But this isn’t just another glowing, praise-only take on the car. As you read along right to the end, you’ll spot some areas of improvement that I noticed in my brief time with the car. First up though is:

Styling:

The Design & Engineering teams at Tata Motors all deserve a thumping pat on their back. Having sampled their magic ways with the Tiago, the Hexa has had me smiling from first glance. There’s great attention to detail in every single aspect of the car.

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Tata Hexa: Smoked Projector Headlamps, Smart looking DRL’s and Snazzy Foglamps

Up-front, the Hexa is imposing to look at. Smoked projector headlamps, the signature grille with hexagonal detailing, smart looking DRL’s and the squared off look, means that I’m calling it ‘Brutus’. In dog terms, I’d describe the Hexa as a pure bred Rottweiler in a tuxedo. I love the sculpted bonnet and the humongous 19-inch wheels.

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Tata Hexa: Showing off those humongous 19-inch wheels to great effect

The Tata Design team have done well to mask the Aria underpinnings, which are visible only to those who’ve known the predecessor. For example, 90% of the bloggers present, didn’t know this, and those that I mentioned it too, weren’t bothered by it.

 

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Tata Hexa: Rear Design may seem inspired, but those Tail-lamps are gorgeous in the dark

Out at the back, one does get the feeling that the design is inspired, but it worked just as well for me as the rest of the car. The tail-lamps in particular, look gorgeous in the dark. On the whole, it’s been a fabulous effort in terms of the exteriors.

Interiors:

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Tata Hexa: Fabulous Captain Seats & Plush Headliner; Image Credit: Giridhar

The cabin in the Hexa shows off Tata Motors at the top of their game. The view from the seat is commanding, with good visibility all-around. The all-black theme is a welcome move too, for it just ups the luxury feel of the cabin. The seats in all rows (captain-seat variant) come with great side bolstering and tend to hug you tight in the seat when strapped in. Even on the variant with the second row bench seating, the support will have you traveling in adequate comfort. Every surface in sight is clad in premium looking materials that are great to touch as well. Even the headliner has that plush, premium engineered feel to it. Tapping into the best of global vendors, Tata Motors have tried to ensure that only the best efforts have gone into the Hexa.

Features:

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Tata Hexa: Meaty, Full-featured Steering Wheel

In terms of features too, the Hexa comes loaded. From a driver’s perspective, there’s a comprehensive steering wheel. It gets height adjust. Everything pretty much falls to hand and the control stalks have a meaty click to them. The meter console looks very upmarket, though I suspect there’s going to be a few owners wanting them to be a few sizes larger. The auto-HVAC controls too fell right to hand and the air-conditioning performance was more than sufficient in the heat later in the day. There is however, that wee bit of an issue over the missing ‘reach’ function with the steering, but more on that later.

Infotainment:

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Tata Hexa: JBL Branded Acoustically tuned 10 Speaker Infotainment System; Image Credit – Giridhar

The ConnectionNext Infotainment System in the Hexa deserves a special mention here. The JBL branding is neatly done on the centre channel speaker, while the remaining 4 speakers & tweeters in the doors blend away unobtrusively. There’s also a sub-woofer in the boot, with an amplifier supplying the juice. The Hexa’s sound system is easily one of the best I’ve heard so-far in this class of vehicles. It not only hits the competition out of the park, but it is also better than most sedans in this price-segment. The Sound Quality & the Max Volume that it can reach without distorting is going to be a big talking point among musically inclined owners. In-fact, so good is the performance that this is one OEM system I’d leave untouched, barring the ‘damping’ of the doors & door pads. Connectivity too is taken care of, with every permutation-combination commonly used being present. The 5-inch touch-screen display may seem a tad small, but it is perfectly serviceable & is ably supported by the surrounding buttons.

Powertrain:

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The 2.2 Litre VARICOR 400 diesel motor is shared with the Safari Storme and churns out about 156 PS of power & 400 NM of Torque. There’s two variants on offer, both with 6-Speed gearboxes. The auto-transmission variant is paired with 2Wheel drive only. It does however come with a hidden ‘Race Mode’ that gets activated when you’re depress accelerator pedal aggressively & hold it down for a certain time. Response sharpens up greatly in this mode, while you get out of it, by releasing the throttle pedal to a more relaxed position. Apart from this, there’s also a TipTronic mode on offer here.

The manual gearbox is paired with the all-wheel drive (AWD) option and unique to this are the ‘Driving Modes’ that can be changed ‘on-the-fly’ via a rotary knob. The comfort mode really dulls the response & is only good for the more sedate of drives. For the most part of the drive, I’d left the Manual, AWD variant in Dynamic drive mode. In both these modes, the Hexa runs in 2 Wheel Drive configuration, with power being sent to the rear wheels. The other two modes are Auto & Rough Road. The former senses the changing road conditions & chooses when to switch between 2WD & AWD mode on demand. The Rough Mode on the other hand, puts the Hexa into AWD mode that, in conjunction with the ESP system, allows for a lot more adventurous driving when the road disappears than you’d have thought of.

Battle of the ‘Boxes – Auto versus Manual:

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Tata Hexa – Auto’ Box Convenience or Drive Modes & marginally better throttle response?

Between the two gearbox options, it is the Auto’ box that comes out on top. It is refined & really surprises you with its accomplished performance. The gear ratios are well matched, with lag being better managed than on the competition. The manual gearbox does allow for better control, and is a lot more flexible given how that it is paired with the capable AWD system. The clutch too is light for a car of this size. However, there’s a few rough edges here, with the gear-lever judder being very much present on the Hexa. The characteristic hum may be the lowest among Tata vehicles, but it is still noticeable & unwarranted on a vehicle in this class. The clutch, though light, could have done with greater feel to make the whole shifting experience a more positive one.

All-in-all, while a few rough edges remain, I love how Tata Motors have taken a few giant leaps with the Hexa.

First Drive Impression:

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Flagging-off, I gingerly eased the Hexa through the hotel gates & set out on the prescribed route. The GPS read out from the 5-inch touch-screen display showing me exactly where I was supposed to go. Going past the airport area, we soon hit the Outer Ring Road, ORR which allowed me to stretch the Hexa’s legs. I had the Auto-transmission, 2WD version in this first stint & the car was a revelation. She’s no tyre burner, but she does gather up speed in no time. The gear ratios are matched quite well to the 2.2 litre VARICOR engine & she was singing away at the speed-limit rather nicely. Out on the open highway, the steering felt taut & had a positive feel to it. It wasn’t over-servoed at all, and the Hexa responded well to inputs.

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As we got off the ORR, the driving conditions changed to two-lane carriageways with a fair mix of smooth tarmac & broken roads. The Hexa, surprisingly proved to be in her element out here as well. I mean, for a 2.3 ton, ladder-frame chassis behemoth, she behaved more like a light-weight monocoque. So composed were her road manners that I was soon punting her around like a hatchback. The ride quality was soft, but impeccable when it came to riding roughshod over broken roads. It soon got highly addictive to simply go over rumblers and small ditches without dropping speed, while competitor vehicles out on the road would slow down to a crawl. The high perch & the resultant commanding view from the driver’s seat meant that I could see over the top of other UV’s, far into the corner. The suspension on the Hexa along with the chassis setup and those huge 19-inch wheels were turning this drive over broken roads into a ‘magic-carpet’ ride.

We soon came upon a hillock that seemed perfect for a photo-op and the Hexa tackled it with aplomb! This inspite of it being the Auto-transmission, 2WD variant. What’s more, her steering was nimble enough to manoeuvre the beast even within the tiny space available. Resuming our drive, we found ourselves turning onto a scenic, single-lane back road that wound its way, dipping & turning with the land. The Hexa continued to put a grin on the face as she attacked it with all the appetite of a hungry Rottweiler.

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The Hexa – right at home, even on single-lane back-roads

The GPS did put some doubts in our minds as it played hide & seek with our directions, but a couple of turnarounds later, we hit the dirt patch for our half-way meet & car swap point. Bidding adieu to this Brute of an AWD-UV, I was convinced that Tata were really on to something special.

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The Safari Storme passes on the ‘Flagship’ Baton to the Tata Hexa

A quick round of refreshments later, it was time to change cars, to the Manual geared, AWD version for the trip back. Having gotten used to the convenience of the Automatic gearbox, the manual shifter seemed like a chore. The engine response however, was noticeably sharper and I quickly began to get into the act. There were whispers of mystic proving-grounds nearby, but in a case of mistaken number-plates, I ended up following the wrong ‘lead’ car & that opportunity was lost.

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Blurring the scenery in the Tata Hexa

Making the most of the drive back, it was time to revel in the capabilities of the much talked about ‘Drive Modes’ on the Hexa. To be honest, the ‘Comfort’ mode was too dull for my driving style. I’d only consider using this one if I wanted to stretch the fuel miles. Most of my driving came along in the fantastic ‘Dynamic’ mode, which ensured that the car coped up well over mixed road conditions. As was the case with the Auto’ Transmission, the Manual Gearbox too proved to be well-suited to the engine. In-fact, while it did trade a bit of refinement & tons of convenience for all-wheel drive controls, it did gain from better throttle response and performance.

A special mention must be made to the work done by Tata’s engineering team in reducing the noise that seeps into the cabin. The Hexa has got to be one of the quietest cars in its class. It can easily give more than a few of D-Segment cars a run for their money in this department too. Even the suspension setup and chassis balance has proved to be superlative in this brief first-drive.

Sales Success Concerns:

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Time to reflect on things

In terms of the product, Tata Motors has delivered a highly capable vehicle that can take the fight to the competition. Whether it wins or not will depend on a few things:

  • Pricing holds the key to whether Tata Motors’ best effort so far stands a fighting chance at success or go down as yet another miss. The inside track is that Tata Motors is likely to spring a surprise when pricing is announced as delivery times come close. Indications so far have pointed towards the bench-marking against Mahindra’s XUV500. Media reports though are stating that it could be in the league of the Toyota Innova. Time shall tell which one of these is true.
  • Along with pricing, Tata’s second headache is going to be After-Sales Service. Unlike Maruti, which carved out a separate sales & service network brand for its premium product, Tata is putting their belief in a selection of their best service partners to cater to the Hexa. From dedicated display stations within existing sales networks to allocating dedicated service bays & personnel, Tata Motors is backing their best partners.
  • It is however the third bugbear, of long term reliability, where Tata Motors is going to have to work hard at convincing potential customers. The Innova already comes with a proven track record in this area, and it will be interesting to see how the Hexa fares here.If it is any indicator, the Hexa cars used in the ‘Off-Road Demonstration’ (See HexaExperience Part 3) had completed over 500 kilometres of the off-road loop without a single breakdown since new. (Hat-tip to Giridhar for this nugget of information)

Also, in terms of the product, there’s been a few glaring omissions and errors –

  1. The lack of a push-button start system for example, when budget hatchbacks have it.
  2. Absence of a sun-roof, even as an option, is another baffling choice.
  3. The centre arm-rest while well built, underwhelms in terms of support for the driver – ostensibly to make way for hand-brake articulation.
  4. The hum & vibration through the gear-lever in the manual-transmission variant too detracts from the overall refined experience.

In the end though, I found myself praying that Tata Motors do go on and price the car on the lower side of guesstimates. For the Hexa truly is worthy of being called a flagship for India’s leading home-grown auto major.

As for me buying the Hexa – well, if I had the money, I’d wait. You see, I’d want to know if the MotoGods do listen to my prayers & guide Tata Motors into mixing the best of both worlds.

An AWD Hexa with an Auto-Transmission option – Sounds perfect, right?

Note: While you’ve managed to run through Part 2 of my ‘HexaExperience’ above, do check out the remaining two parts as well: Part 1 & Part 3.

Thanks for stopping by.

Cheers🙂

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My Tata Hexa Experience – Part 3: Off-road Demonstration

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Tata Hexa shows off it’s AWD chops. Image Credit: Giridhar

We returned to Novotel Hyderabad sometime around noon, after a scintillating 180 kilometre drive over a mixed driving loop that helped us understand the Hexa’s abilities in typical road conditions. Tata Motors though had yet another ace up their sleeve. Most AWD owners rarely get to understand the true capabilities of their cars. The Hexa though is in a different league of beasts. It not only comes with a full complement of electronic stability & road control systems but also with some serious rough-road tackling capabilities. To further drive home this point, Tata had arranged for a special ‘Off-Road Demonstration’ with trained drivers behind the wheel.


  1. First up was a series of alternating ditches that most people would have balked at and avoided completely. The Hexa however, was right at home. Tackling the ditches, the smart AWD system kept breaking & supplying power to individual wheels in a way that maximized traction. It also gave us a great view of those huge 19-inch wheels being put to good use.

  1. Next was a sideways run along a specially created embankment that triggered some long forgotten memories. You see, some 20-25 years ago, the highway network was still in its early stages & even a single vehicular breakdown led to tail-backs that stretched on for kilometres. Enterprising SUV/UV drivers would often be found expertly manoeuvring their vehicles along the side of their highway in a bid to make up for lost time. But it was always a risky affair, for traction used to be at a premium & the slightest miscalculation would mean a roll-over, often to fatal effect.

Watching the Hexa expertly tackle this steep incline without any risk to the occupants drove home the point of just how effective a safety net, these modern day traction control & AWD systems can be.

  1. In another quick demo, the driver also took the Hexa over melting slabs of ice. It simply gripped like a mountain goat and drove on, where other cars without traction control & all-wheel drive capabilities would have come sliding down.
  1. Lastly, the Demo took us around a specially carved out path that gave us a good idea on the abilities of the Hexa’s ‘Rough-Road’ driving mode. Along with it we also got a quick demonstration of the Hill Descent Control & Hill Hold Control systems that had the Hexa going up & down the incline without any pedal inputs from the driver.


Note:

  • A special Thank You to the Tata Motors Team & IndiBlogger for having me down for such a wonderful ‘HexaExperience’.
  • The views expressed in all parts of my ‘HexaExperience’ are solely my own. They have been left untouched by all commercial interests whatsoever.
  • Tata Motors & IndiBlogger arranged for the Flight & Hospitality arrangements, and to this, I thank them all, once again.
  • A big shout-out to all the wonderful bloggers I managed to meet during the course of this event and, a sincere apology to all those I missed or forgot about.
  • While you’ve managed to run through Part 3 of my ‘HexaExperience’ above, do check out the remaining two parts as well: Part 1 & Part 2.

    Thanks for stopping by.

    Cheers🙂

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A scoop full of bullshit

The write side of life

This is in reference to a write-up I once read on the scoops and vomit, yes you heard right. He does have a distinct style and rather offbeat style that makes slang sophisticated. The author’s thoughts became a benchmark for me and helped understand where to NOT over do it. For example there was this “wanting to be journo” who to add some spice to his write-up put in a dash of profanity. While the journo who made an attempt to write like the author in question, his thoughts on this certain event allowed me to assume that he did he passed out from a vernacular medium school where English is taught as the 3rd language. There are some auto journalists who write quite well and to the point. This is not about who writes best but it is about those idiots who would have barely made it to…

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Keep Moving, Keep Exploring

2009 Royal Enfield Bullet Electra 5 Speed on a suburban road in Mumbai, rocking the 'One Life to Travel' keychain by ViaTerra

Broken road, cobbled road – smooth road or no road; the surface underneath doesn’t matter as long as you’re riding. 

There’s only one life to travel & we’ve got to keep moving, keep exploring…

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10 Best Breakfast Places in Bangalore to Eat Like a Bangalorean

Have food will ride… Another list of must try places for us #HauryaBikers🙂

Moto Trance

  1. Brahmins Coffee Bar: You should definitely have the idly, wada, kara bath, kesari bath and tea/coffee as these are the only options available. Waiting in the lengthy queue will makes your taste buds crave more. You would not believe such less pricing exists in Bangalore. No sambhar and only serves the above 5 dishes. Serving since 1965, started by late Sri K V. Nageshwar Adiga, whose son N Vasudev Adiga now owns the  chain of Adiga’s.

brahmins-cafe

  1. Vidyardhi Bhavan: Serving 1943, located in Basavangudi, South Bangalore and popular for the Masala Dosa. This is one of the Landmarks of Old Bangalore. The testimonials for this place go from the current Chief Minister Mr. Siddaramaiah, former CM to former PM and former chief Justice of India.

           http://www.vidyarthibhavan.in/

vidhyardhi-bhavan

  1. Airlines Hotel: Located Lavelle Road, this is a popular Bikers joint with open sitting area and people visiting from Cubbon park…

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Godspeed MooCow

A cow shaped soft toy that could be warmed in the microwave, in order to comfort kids during cold nights

Still vividly remember the day you came home. I was a few thousand miles away from familiar land, wondering what to get for everyone at Diwali. I didn’t know much but hit the web & started ordering as per individual preferences. The distribution began even before I’d gotten over the jet-lag. One after another they came and took away their spoils, returning as happy souls I’d imagine. As I unwrapped your packaging, I saw this panda-esque cuddly thing staring back. It was then that I knew to whom you belonged. Continue reading

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