Every bike is part of the great motorcycling journey that I’ve embarked on in the short while since I got hooked. The Yamaha RX135 has been my primary steed and there’s this deep bond I share with her (lovingly called, Rustique). It’d been three years since I had her rebuilt from scratch. A grounds-up restoration where everything down to the tiniest of nuts & bolts & washers were replaced with brand new ones.
Together we’ve made countless trips within the city & beyond. I’ve taken her on dirt trails, put her through fields, crossed riverbeds and everything in between. This time though, things were different. It was #IBW2016 time, & that meant it was a time to ride. So we trundled down the twisty NH17 which saw Rustique & me in our element. She wasn’t fast by any stretch, but she did hit her sweet spot in the 60-70 km/h zone & that was sufficient. Still, I’d once again begun to be reminded of the need for speed.
India Bike Week is a time where fast bikes come to town. Their body styles may vary but most of them are powered by engines four to six times larger than mine. Of the many such bikes, there was the Tiger – @IndiaTriumph ‘s legendary go-anywhere motorcycle which has gone on to spawn multiple variants. Along with their Bonneville range, it has been the Tiger that has pulled at my heartstrings like a locomotive. So when the opportunity came to ride alongside the magnificent one, both, Rustique & I were grinning from ear-to-ear. Now, the Tiger produces power & torque by the buckets & though we tried, it was simply impossible to keep up with it.
Riding alongside it, following in its slipstream on a few occasions & then, watching it disappear into the next apex while I was at max torque with Rustique sure did give me an insight into the future. Here was a motorcycle that seemed tailor-made to me. Not only did it have the power I needed, but it also had the road presence & could go everywhere I could possibly think of, and beyond. The pal astride the Tiger rarely went beyond third gear during the entire set of twisties that is the splendid Amboli Ghat. That’s how much torque the Tiger produces. Broken patches, potholes and other stretches of non-existent tarmac were dismissed like they didn’t exist. The Tiger XRx swallowed them whole & shot out into the horizon, without even a burp! All I could do, was drool over Rustique’s handlebar (sorry lass, you’re gorgeous & will forever be my first love, but I know you don’t mind sharing me with another of your kind).
As Rustique & I bid adieu to the Tiger XRx upon hitting the endless concrete ribbon that is the NH4, I couldn’t help but go back to the moment in Amboli ghat, where I’d caught both motorcycles in the same frame. One was an inseparable part of my life, and the other, the stuff of expensive dreams. Someday then….