Sunday, 22 December 2019

Things People Say, that resonate with reality.

Humans have become soft. We moan and complain about minor inconveniences, luxuries and comforts that didn’t exist a decade ago. We get upset about poor wifi signals, low internet speeds, poor mobile reception and we take our bullshit frustrations out on those around us. We are socialising less than ever yet we have never been more connected. We happily surrender our freedom for convenience, comfort and security. We are connected to the grid at all times and have become slaves to the very system we created. Most of us either do not know or refuse to accept that we have purchased this security and comfort with the only true currency we really have, our freedom.
In a few short years we will see massive changes in the way we live and work. Risk, danger, uncertainty and adventure are already socially unacceptable and are being engineered out of life, allocated to the online world where no physical harm or financial loss can be suffered. Play, pleasure, work, creativity, sex, risk have been relegated to the online. The work and desires that once gave our lives meaning will be automated and the activities that once made life living will be outlawed as too high risk.
The motorcycle has become an anomaly in a world full of victims. A world that constantly craves more stuff, more safety, lower risk and demands perfection. The motorcycle, refuses to modernise, to cooperate, and become the transport it was initially designed to be.Most of us move around what remains of this planet wrapped up in steel cages with the latest anti braking systems, 10,000 point safety checks engineered in all wheel drive special utility vehicles with 20 air bags, the latest GPS technology and never truly disconnect from our all providing master, the system. The establishment, the government, the mainstream, the media will all tell you to stay well away from anything that cannot provide you with these basic human needs, comfort, security and safety. The system knows the riding a motorcycle facilitates independent thought. So have a good think about those “needs” as they exist only in your mind. They will tell you to give away your crazy immature, childish dreams of motorcycles and adventures. They will tell you to stay far away from these crazed reckless tribes who ride motorcycles. They will tell you this because they fear truth, they fear those who ride are not entirely enslaved. The system does not fully control bikers yet and with each ride they become less enslaved.
Riding a motorcycle brings us closer to what we are meant to be, wild and free, not merely algorithms and data fuel for a self-perpetuating system. On a motorcycle we are 100% disconnected and in the present moment. Our lives are in our own hands, we are creative and generate original and independent thoughts when we are unplugged and focussed as you can only be on a motorcycle. We know every time we ride we could die. We accept this and this makes us feel, feel life at its fullest. The brain fires differently when you ride and we connect with our tribe in very unique and authentic ways. Most of us cannot describe the bond between each member of our tribe but we all recognise it. It is the brief eye contact when you pass another rider going in the other direction, pegs scraping on a hairpin corner. Or warming frozen hands over a fire at the end of a long winter days riding, there is a bond.
The motorcycle is the last “fuck you” to a system fast enslaving the planet. Many of us have never known the feeling of joy of battling extreme elements and this is a real shame. To have ridden in far away lands exhausted, lonely and afraid. Through rain and sleet and snow for hour upon hour. Or to ride through the desert, lost in extreme heat, nearly out of fuel and bike limping into some small nomadic gypsy village. No steel cage to protect us, no phone to call for help, nothing but our wits and the good nature of fellow humans. This is freedom, this is adventure and this is life. To feel the sun, the wind and the rain on our skin. To fall off and get back up and fall off again. Discomfort, pain, discovery, freedom.
No one can control you on your bike, you cannot be monitored, regulated, legislated, mitigated or mediated. Riding a motorcycle you are unplugged and untethered just as we were born to be.
Bikers are free-range and unpredictable men and women which is rare among the 7 billion that populate the planet at this point in time. Give me blood, sweat and tears, bricks and mortar. Screw your online world and social media popularity and get on a motorcycle now and open your eyes.
Matt Natonewski

Matt ends his article with a Photo - guy on a Royal Enfield in Jaiselmer. Plenty of things are not romantic in today's world of ever-changing technology and things like Instagram in turn portraying great photographs. This article title means exactly what it means. Just like the title, I read somewhere that taking photos is a bit tilting towards narcissistic, and I agree. 
I think just like emotions, are photographs are beautiful. even if they look shitty to you and who even reads blogs in 2020 anyway? Here are three absolutely shit photos according to Instagram.
people groom themselves even in the middle of nowhere, i wonder why

compassion or not, they want the milk

good views are great, but doing laundry is greater

Monday, 28 October 2019

Morgan & The Great Indian Trail

Maharastra is surely my new favorite!  Just a Morgan & friends Photo album, nothing more, nothing less... A bunch of friends who joined to ride for a couple of weeks around routes plotted by one of us.

If these photos make you want to go riding, feel free to ! the routes are available as gpx, kml files for free here -

A big shout out to Abhi & Santosh for making the wonderful site!

Please read the "principles" section of the website and we expect you to follow it to the T. No excuses whatsoever.

PS: A note of caution - MH Grit after the monsoons have varied grades of tracks. The types include, paved sections, broken sections, broken tarmac, no tarmac, graded hard-packed gravel, graded hard-packed rocks, ungraded loose gravel, ungraded loose rocks, uphill ruts, downhill ruts, washout sections, hard-packed clay with ruts, just good ol clay, rock gardens, bald rock gardens, sharp rock gardens..The camera and photos hardly do justice. Next time I go with better tires. LoL.

Friday, 23 August 2019

"physics is just the language of reality"


After reading most of the 513 pages in advrider, and with lots of discussions on social media about this specific issue, i just thought ill share some facts as i belong to a "unique bucket" 

First and foremost, I live in India. In fact, i live in the same city where Royal Enfield has the factory where the Himalayan is made, Chennai, & Since i brought this up, i'd like the readers to know that all bikes are manufactured the same way, and exports are not special or anything as some of the reports claim. 

Now, lets talk about the issue and this "unique bucket" situation. Unlike regular people who own a Himalayan in india, my case is a little oblique, because my garage already consisted of a 2002 XR650L , 1997 PD10 Honda Transalp and a Hero Impulse which is basically a Honda NX150 Bros (sold in this name in brazil and under the XR moniker in other markets) and I actually dont own a himalayan myself. I work in the (part-time now) automobile industry here in india and thought ill share facts about this from a chassis mechanics perspective with all these other bikes in my garage as a comparison which most Indian folks have only heard of and never ridden. so lets start..

Force = mass x acceleration , 

I hope everyone can agree that motorbikes are not granted a special and unique benefit to escape the laws of the physics

So, when we hit something, the first thing to flex is the tire/wheel, then the flex of the fork, next the forks move to absorb the bump, last, the frame flexes. Each of these elements helps reduce the harshness of the initial impact with the bump, change anyone and the rider will feel more or less harshness. This is a simple explanation and directly linked to The Himalayan steering race's for the stem prematurely failing on many bikes too, and from owners report. empirical evidence also shows that frames don't crack overnight. its like how one thing leads to another and its a sequence of such serial events.

Addressing the weld related issues, ITS NOT A WELD RELATED ISSUE. The Himalayan has a half-duplex split cradle frame designed by harris performance. All motorcycle frames use "Chromoly" or chrome-alloy steel. This has medium carbon content and .8% - 1.1% molybdenum for strength. It is a steel that is stronger than carbon steel (more commonly used in manufacturing), so we can use thin wall tubing, giving you a lightweight frame that will last through years of riding. Claims of "Welding issues" are rubbish as it will be valid if its industrial streel which it is not. I cannot recall any manufacture using any other steel.

Harris performance: We live in 2019, and with iterations of current software (like Catia V5 R20,Ansys,enovia etc) people in the auto industry won't need anymore to test 10 different solutions to find out what is working or not. basically today, these things can show in 3D movement in an instant "how a motorcycle works" .. for eg. under load, under acceleration, under braking, gross axle weight load loading and distribution, break path forces, swing arm chain pull, suspension squat/anti-squat geometry etc blah blah..

1. If you open the manual, you will notice that the himalayan has a loading capacity of 180 kgs. (gross axel weight rating - gawr - weight across the axels)
2. loading about 80% of gawr is exceeding the threshold.
3. what is threshold?
As we get closer to loading that weight, either via luggage or spirited riding (going faster = force = mass x acceleration ) A very large amount of leverage that can be exerted on the steering head itself. This results in even large forces that have to be resisted by a strong and hence heavy frame. In addition, telescopic forks are well known for their propensity to nosedive under the influence of braking forces. this is how motorcycle geometry and load transfer works, and there is absolutely no way to around physics. because physics is just the language of reality.

Here is some comparison of the limitations explained with reference photos.

Lots of talk about Square Tubes are NOT STRONG. well, this a reference of a Transalp/Africa twin chassis using Square tubes at the neck stock area.

XR650L chassis - Dry sump, Oil in frame design uses much thinner chrome alloy tubing

Vs Himalayan: I have tried to attach a catalog photo so its unambiguous

The areas marked in red clearly shows the surface area of contact from the frame to the neck stock which essentially the stress concentration point. Here's another classic example case where the weld is holding, however, the tubing has gone through phases of fatigue and at some point lost temper. So, again, reiterating, its not the welding.

To conclude, I want to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with the Himalayan as a motorcycle, it just has limitations like any other motorcycle, and better dampening can, of course, help dissipate the forces that cause stress concentration to the neck stock.

Over & Out !