Riding without a plan

Back in 1999 when I learned to ride, the days we’d look forward were weekends when we’d rent a motorcycle from Commercial Road in Ooty and ride on the Gudalur road that looked like this throughout the year.

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Our minds used to be our navigation units and if our mental GPS signal was lost, we’d stop and ask just anyone around how to get back to a place that we were familiar with.  The most beautiful part was that we never had a destination in mind. We could ride as long as our pocket money allowed us to rent the motorcycle for.

In 2009, we started getting bolder in our quest for exploring new places with the help of Google Maps. We knew that we’d be able to find our way back eventually, even with a very flaky GPS, GPRS, and battery life. However, one of the most memorable road trips I had was from Hyderabad to Goa, when we got lost and drove for hours together not knowing where we were going and having no one to ask. 22 hour later, we did manage to reach Goa.

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Slowly and steadily, Google Maps Navigation became a part of our day to day life and we kept reaching the destinations more consistently and without getting lost.  It also meant that most of traveling became a race against time. It eventually boiled down to how quickly did you reach or did you better your average speed.

I finally see this changing and guess who the agent for change is? The Versys 650, of course. The other day, I came back from office and decided to go out on a ride without a destination in mind.

When your ride is so good that the time you take doesn’t matter. When your ride is so good that the reaching the destination is not a priority. When your ride is so good that you just want to ride regardless of the quality of the road. That’s riding!

That’s riding because it’s just a beautiful experience and you are living in the moment. That’s riding because you’d rather be on the motorcycle than do anything else in the world. That’s riding because you just want to and there’s no plan.

Somehow, not knowing where you are going makes you be aware and live in the moment much more acutely.

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Registering the Versys 650

It’s easy to assume that everything will be smooth when one spends so much money purchasing a motorcycle and only a handful of us actually do it. However, as much I was impressed by the pre-sales of Kawasaki Begumpet, I was thoroughly disappointed by how the actual sales process happened.

A sales manager is expected to close the sale and sort most of the issues out without customers having to trouble him for it. Not to be…

  • On the day of delivery, they didn’t give the motorcycle manual. To pick it up, I had to go all the way to their showroom.
  • A couple of weeks after delivery, they hadn’t shared details of a broker because the sales manager thought I could save 300 INR that I’d pay to a broker to get the motorcycle registered (after just burning 7.5L on it). Wow!
  • They didn’t talk about Form 20 & 21 until it was 3 days to expiry of the temporary registration. These wouldn’t hand it over in person either. They made me go around in circles.
  • When I finally go to the RTA to get the motorcycle registered, the best thing happens. There is a guy who’s only job is to trace the chassis number on Form 20 with a pencil. That’s what he does for a living! This guy tries & gives up on getting it done for my Versys 650 and even ends up tearing the document in the process.
  • Also, remember to take a bill for a helmet purchase, you don’t want that to be the last reason

Better still, he has the audacity to ask me to go to the showroom so they can remove the fairing and just to get the number traced. Yeah, that’s how things roll here. He’s got absolutely nothing to lose.

Eventually, I had to squat below the fairing for half an hour and get the chassis number traced on the Form 20. This on a mid-summer Hyderabad afternoon. So much for a seamless buyer & registration experience of a premium motorcycle.

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PS: The chassis number can be found right behind the headlight on the right front suspension. If you plan to buy a Versys in Hyderabad, walking into the Kachiguda showroom would be a better idea.