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Sanjeev Nanda tips on Motorcycle Burnouts

12 Jul
Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Burnout the easiest stunt to pull off

While riding a motorcycle is great fun, doing tricks with it is more fun. There are many various actions to learn and do, and this one is easy to learn if you follow the steps as written below.

WHEEL BURNOUTS

A burnout (also known as a peel out or power brake) is the practice of keeping a vehicle stationary (or close to) and spinning its wheels, causing the tires to heat up and smoke resulting from friction.

Step-by-step guide to Motorcyle Burnout

  • Turn on the motorcycle and keep it in second gear.
  • Pull in the front brake and the clutch all the way.
  • Use your right thumb and turn the throttle while remaining four fingers holding on the front brake and other hand hold clutch, start revving.
  • Make sure to stand solidly on your feet (if you are still learning do the standing one first) all of your feet touching the ground, to from an A shape with your legs so that your thighs or knees hold the bike from going too much to the right or too much to the left.
  • Slowly start to release the clutch while keeping the front brake pulled tightly. You will feel your back tire start to spin, but you won’t go anywhere as long as you keep on the front brake.
  • Keep accelerating, you will be making a lot of smoke and turning a lot of heads. When you are done, pull in the clutch all the way or release the throttle your thumb.
Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Smoke Ahoy! Burnout's wear tires faster

Sanjeev Nanda Tips

  • Do not let out your front brake until you have the clutch pulled in again.
  • Lean forward just a tad, but not too much.
  • If you do a burnout on a paint stripe, it does less damage to your tire and makes more smoke.
  • If you’re just starting to learn how to do a burnout, you can try to do a burn out after you wash your bike if your tires are wet, when they are wet they will easily spin out and break traction this will be a great way to learn and gain confidence.

WARNINGS !

If you feel the bike going too much to either side, and you feel that you are losing control quickly engage the clutch and release the throttle in one quick smooth motion.You might want to try again later when you feel more confident.

This will ruin your back tire. Doing them on a paint stripe only helps keep your tire intact but it will ruin it regardless. Be careful to not blow your tire.

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Professional BMW Rider Ruben Xaus

VIDEO GUIDE

Sanjeev Nanda tips on How To Modify Your Car

9 Jul

What does a motorhead naturally want out of his stock machine?

MORE POWER!

Sanjeev Nanda, tells you all you need to know about modifying your street car.

Sanjeev Nanda Car Performance Modification

Mitsubushi Lancer Evolution Modified

BEFORE you modify your car

Remember to practice SAFE DRIVING on public roads! With additional power comes the need for additional responsibility. Keep the racing restricted to track days and in other forms of competition (within a controlled environment).

Enroll with a professional rally / racing / driving school. This will not only make you a faster driver but also a safer one. To quote a popular Pirelli tagline : Power is nothing without control.

Ensure that you are with the right tuner. The quality of install and product is most important. Get your work done only by a tuner who has the relevant knowledge, infrastructure and dedication to carry out a high quality installation. The product quality is equally important and it is generally recommended to stick to reputed brands (wherever available). A bad modification can actually make your car slower than in stock tune. Poor reliability may also result from a bad installation, causing a great amount of heart-burn to you.

Remember that the engine is a very complex system and each component has to work in harmony with everything else. Only then will you benefit from the performance modifications.

Tune your car via a step-by-step method. This will allow you to gauge improvements in an incremental manner and fine-tune one modification before moving on to the next.

Choose a “mod-friendly” car to start with. Most Japanese brands like the Hondas and Suzuki’s have tremendous after-market support in terms of parts availability and tuner capability. Simply put, there are some cars which inherently respond better to performance tuning. On the other hand, it is a pointless exercise trying to make heavy cars like the Contessa or a Mahindra Jeep go any faster! Pick your car based on what you want to achieve.

Beware of cheap “go-fast” gimmicks like the Surbo and electric superchargers, which are nothing but an absolute waste of money. Common sense plays a vital role out here; why would you need a DTM corner slammer on a front wheel drive car that spends most of its time below 120 kph.

Remember that Vitamin M (or Money!!) runs the show. Tuning your car can be an expensive proposition, so outline a detailed budget before moving on from stage to stage. Not only will the modifications cost you big $$$, but lowered fuel efficiency (almost certain) will cause another dent on your wallet. Some highly-modified cars or engines running an increased compression ratio may also require high-octane fuel to run efficiently.

Invest in a popular timing device like the G-Tech series. This range of timing equipment will help you to gauge the benefits of your modification, and whether that actually translated into making your car faster.

• Remember that your warranty will almost certainly be nullified, if your car is within the coverage period.

• Think before you try to alleviate the visual appeal of your car via body kits and spoilers. Be warned that a badly-designed body kit will ruin the aerodynamics of your car and may cause it to become unstable at high speeds. Also, spoilers are merely for looks and, in any case, work only above 175kph.

STAGE ONE MODIFICATIONS

1. Upgrade tyres and alloy wheels:

• Before adding more power to your car, it must have the adequate grip levels for current & future power delivery. Alloy wheels are not always necessary for a tyre upsize. Approximate cost = Rs.12,500 – 50,000.

2. Air-Filter:

Sanjeev Nanda BMW Car Modification

World Best Air filters

A stock replacement performance filter requires no modifications and is very simple to install since it fits exactly in place of your factory filter. The performance gains are marginal. Approximate cost = Rs.2,000 – 7,500.

A Cold air intake (CAI) is the more serious of performance air-filters. With a CAI, proper installation is very important and it should not suck in hot air. The colder the air available to it, the better will be the gains in performance. A true CAI sucks in outside air, while short rams and most CAI applications take air from under the hood. Even if it’s 35 degrees outside, that is still significantly cooler than the air under your hood. You can also opt for a good conical / universal filter without CAI. The plumbing needs to have minimum restrictions with most experts recommending mandrel bent aluminium pipes. The diameter of the pipe through its entire length should be uniform and greater than that of the throttle body. Do note that the sound levels with significantly increase with a CAI, and some precautions must be taken when driving in the monsoons. K&N recommends a shroud for use in dusty conditions. Approximate cost = Rs.5,000 – 17,500.

3. Free-Flow Exhaust:

Sanjeev Nanda car modification

High-Performance Free Flow Exhaust - Don't Compromise on quality

A well-designed free flow exhaust system improves the breathing abilities of your engine and can lead to good performance / fuel-efficiency gains. It is important to get a complete free-flow kit (including headers) and not a muffler / end-can kit only. A good header design is very important and you may specify to your installer a preference of low, mid or high-rpm gains. Very little time is actually spent at high-rpms so you might be better off asking for a low to mid-range power gain. The appropriate back pressure must be maintained else you will lose out on torque. An exhaust system is like a chain and only as strong as its weakest link. The most restrictive part is usually the cat-con or the mid-muffler. Some tuners will remove the cat-con, which will result in difficulty toward meeting the emission norms. Also, try and insulate the exposed part of the exhaust system within the hood with asbestos wire (cheap) or ceramic coating (expensive). Approximate cost = Rs.7,500 – 25,000.

4. Spark Plugs:

Performance plugs are pointless on a stock / marginally modified car. Iridium plugs have hardly any benefits and you will never notice them anyway. In case you do install the same, ensure that you pick up plugs with the correct heat range for your engine. Approximate cost = Rs.800 – 3,500.

5. Plug wires:

Same as above. After-market wires don’t add any performance to a stock or marginally modified engine. Only if your eventual modifications require an upgrade to a custom engine management system (or a high-performance ignition system) will your plug wires have some benefit. But at this stage, don’t opt for plug wires as you will only waste your money. Approximate cost = Rs.1,500 – 6,000.

6. Temperature signal modifiers:

These devices are fairly simple to install and result in marginal (if any) performance gains. They modify some signals that are delivered to the ECU, which results in altered fuel / ignition maps. Approximate cost = Rs.900 – 9,000.

7. Synthetic Oil:

Synthetic lubes are highly recommended by Sanjeev Nanda for the superior protection and enhanced lubrication on offer. Approximate cost = Rs.500 – 1300 per liter.

8. Strut braces:

Strut braces / tower bars reduce flex, and help in increasing the grip levels / stability of the car through corners. However, it’s only under hard cornering that the difference is noticeable. Approximate cost = Rs.1,500 – 5,500.

9. Short-shifters:

Short-shifters shorten the throw of your gear-lever, and result in quicker gear shifts. Be advised that there is an optimum length of the shifter depending on the throw, ergonomics and your preferences, and it will take some getting used to. Most drivers are better off with a stock-shifter! Approximate cost = Rs.4,500 – 7,500.

STAGE TWO MODIFICATIONS

1. Performance suspension kits:

With the additional power that your engine is churning out by now, increased grip levels are a must. There are plentiful branded options available for performance struts, coils, coil-over springs, dampers (shock-absorbers) and camber kits (Polyurethane bush kits). Approximate cost = Rs.10,000 – 1,00,000.

2. Head Porting & polishing:

Cylinder head porting and polishing refers to enlarging and smoothening of the ports on the intake and exhaust. This results in better quality and quantity of gas flow-rates. Power gains are very noticeable from a high-quality porting and polishing job. Remember that the intake ports need to be finished rough while the exhaust ports should have a mirror finish. Approximate cost = Rs.9,000 – 15,000.

3. Nitrous oxide systems:

Sanjeev Nanda Car Modification

NOS Kits and Fittings

NOS, as they are popularly called, are cheap power shots and a favorite with drag racers. Due to the inherent nature of the gas, it is a very risky installation. Don’t go overboard with the dose else your engine will end up blown. Also make sure that you back the timing off by a few degrees. Approximate cost = Rs.22,000 – 75,000.

4. Performance camshafts:

Performance cams are a superb modification and can add upto 10% – 20% more power, with options available for low, mid and high-rpm gains. An increase in compression ratio is highly recommended. Also insist on a cam adjuster (variable cam pulley for adjusting cam timing) to realise the full gains of the cam. It is important to avoid over-cam’ing while the more extreme profiles will surely require head work. High lift cams cost a packet and are not recommended for daily-driven cars since the low-end response is compromised, fuel-efficiency takes a beating and you will need to fiddle with idle settings to get it right. Approximate cost = Rs.12,000 – 35,000.

5. Map sensor signal modifiers:

These can improve part throttle performance, but will result only in marginal performance gains. Approximate cost = Rs.12,000 – 25,000.

6. Valve angling:

A multi-angle valve job can lead to noticeable street performance gains by improving the head flow. Note that this is a highly precision-oriented task. Approximate cost = Rs.3,500 upward.

7. Over-boring / Stroker kits:

Over-boring is increasing the CC (cubic capacity) by changing the piston size and stroke of the engine. Pistons, connecting rods and the crankshaft will need to be replaced. Simply put, bigger engine size = more power. For e.g. a 1.3 liter can be overbored to 1.5 liters in capacity. Approximate cost = Rs.12000 upward.

8. Engine remaps:

An ECU flash will give you higher power gains than a piggyback, by changing the entire characteristics and settings of the factory software. There are ready performance remaps available for a wide range of Indian cars and the installation procedure is fairly simple. If you plan on going further to stage three modifications, do the remap at the very end. Any reputable company is going to account for your full mod list in order to give you the best remap. Do the remap last, unless you want to do it twice. Approximate cost = Rs.23,000 – 60,000.

STAGE THREE MODIFICATIONS

1. Performance braking systems:

Sanjeev Nanda Car Modification

Brembo High Performance Brakes

By the time you reach stage three, chances are that your current braking power is ineffective toward handling the additional engine punch. Upgraded boosters, performance discs and street / performance brake pads are available to improve your cars stopping power. Approximate cost = Rs.3,000 – 40,000.

2. Turbo-chargers:

Turbo’s offer high power gains but don’t exceed 6-8 psi on a stock motor. If you want to go higher than that, get ready for a seriously expensive investment in forged internals, sleeves etc.  Approximate cost = Rs.1,25,000 upward.

3. Super-chargers:

Super-chargers or “blowers” (as they are called in the tuner circle) are another method of forced induction. More expensive to install, they are driven off the engines crankshaft, unlike a turbo which is driven by exhaust gas energy. Super-charger kits are readily available for some engines, though Indian tuners prefer turbo-charging. Approximate cost = Rs.1,25,000 upward.

4. Engine swaps:

Sanjeev Nanda Car Modification Guide

Mitsubushi Lancer Evolution Engine

When you have maxed out the power of your current engine, or simply want a bigger powerplant, engine swaps are a good option. Many tuner-friendly cars have a ready list of options available. D16 and B16 engines into Honda City’s, twin-cam Suzuki Swift GTi swaps into Maruti Zen’s and even Honda mills into Suzuki bodies are popular. Mitsubishi Lancers have various Mivec and EVO options. Swapping the engine is changing the “heart” of your car so consult only with tuners who have the necessary experience, knowledge and infrastructure; this is a very important consideration. Some swaps may not offer a bolt-on transition and will require heavy modifications to accommodate. Approximate cost = Rs.30,000 upward.

5. Upgrade clutch:

In stage three, a performance clutch may become a necessity to transfer the additional power effectively and quickly. Consider what the usage of your car will be before installing a performance clutch as varied options are available between street, drag and race applications. Some are a pain to use in bumper-to-bumper traffic. Approximate cost = Rs.10,000 – 50,000.

6. Lighter flywheel:

A lighter flywheel will improve throttle response at all rpms, since the inertia is lower. It works well with balancing the crankshaft. However, don’t add one to a stock engine else you will lose torque at low-rpms. Lightened flywheels are a good option for racing and make for a superb modification with a short (close-ratio) gearbox. Approximate cost = Rs.15,000 – 25,000.

7. Gearing:

The gearbox is one of the most important tools in extracting power from your engine, exactly where you want it (low, mid and high-rpms). You may choose to alter the final drive or go in for an entirely new custom gearbox. Your transmission may also require stronger drive-shafts to cope with the additional power. Approximate cost = Rs. 6,500 upward.

8. ECU replacement:

The ECU (engine control unit) is the brain of your car and controls various engine parameters and functions. Custom ECU’s can be tuned for specific engines where power gains vary from 5%(stock engine) to more than 30% (heavily modified engines). A stand-alone engine management system (Link, AEM, TEC-II etc.) allow great flexibility. With that flexibility comes complexity, custom fitting, and cost. As you progress within stage three, a replacement ECU will become necessary. A great feature of some stand-alones (with a toggle switch) is that they can be switched between performance and stock modes. Approximate cost = Rs.25,000 upward.

Sanjeev Nanda on How to Paint Car Rims

6 Jul
Sanjeev Nanda how to paint your rims

Color Your Rims, Define your style

Paint your own Rims?  Who would have thought something previously done by professionals could be done in your own home. While, the concept of painting your own rims has been around a few years now, many questions pop up of how to do it and I(Sanjeev Nanda) thought I would share my own experiences with painting. I have read up many examples of how to do this, but my first time trying was last year.

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Colored Rims on Volkswagon (not my car)

All you need is Duplicolor. hey offer paint colors to match your style coming in white, gunmetal, classic silver and bronze as well. I chose to do mine in gunmetal leaving my lip the stock polished style look.  I call my car NandaCar.

Sand down your rims

Why? This gives the surface a rough texture so the paint has something to adhere to.  I simply sanded down the surface with 300 grit sandpaper ensuring to make everything sanded equally. This gives the rough surface required for the paint to adhere, and as long as your rims had no damage it should be good enough. Your rims are sanded; you have your paint and now are ready.

Make sure you clean all sanding dust off the rims

Ensure a totally clean surface so the paint will stick and not flake off after your first drive out with your newly painted rims !!!

Completely dry off the rims before painting

Water can dilute the paint making it look inconsistent.

Mask the rims with newspaper and masking tape

Of course you want to do this so you don’t turn your tires into the color you are painting. You dont want gunmetal painted tires. Carefully apply the masking tape on the lip to protect it from being painted as well. Also, you know the little thing you pump your air into, mask that off as well unless you want that to have a color change as well 🙂

Put some newspaper on the ground and place the rim on top of the newspaper.

You don’t want to paint the concrete underneath the rim so keep it clean with the newspaper.

Now apply your first coat of paint.

Let the paint dry well and next day admire your hardwork and results.

Sanjeev Nanda tips on Saving Fuel

2 Jul
sanjeev nanda how to guides

Save Fuel Save Future

Fuel prices have sky-rocketed in India. Government decision to dergularize fuel prices will only add to the chaos. It’s time we take measures, to not only save fuel but save the environment. If you can save the environment by saving money, there’s no better motivation than that.

Each step by itself will account for a small increase, but if practiced in combination can increase your FE by as much as 20%!

DRIVING STYLE

Drive smoothly: Aggressive acceleration and braking significantly increase the fuel consumption of your car. Develop a smoother driving style whereby you accelerate and decelerate in a linear and smooth manner. How you drive is very important to FE.

Avoid clutch riding:

sanjeev nanda how to guides

Avoid Clutch Riding at all costs

Driving with your foot on the clutch results in “wastage” of engine power, which in turn increases your fuel consumption and wears out your clutch rapidly. Do not keep your foot on the clutch, except for when changing gears.

Minimise Idling: If your car is going to be stationary for an extended period of time, switch the engine off.

Choosing the right gear: Being in a higher gear at too low a speed, or in a lower gear at a very high speed increase your fuel consumption. It is important to shift up as “early” as possible without straining the engine. For most cars, the ideal shift point would be anywhere between 1500 – 2000 rpm.

Maintain a constant speed: Varying speeds do not make the car as efficient as a constant speed will. Especially when out on the open road, try to maintain a consistent rate of travel.

The Optimum speed: Aerodynamic resistance increases exponentially with speed. For e.g. at speeds over a 100 km/h, your car will consume a lot more fuel than at 80 – 90 km/h. Keep within this limit to maximize the FE of your car.

A safe distance: Maintaining a healthy distance between your car and the one ahead is not only safer, but also leads to higher FE. This gives you a higher reaction time, better visibility and a smoother drive. Aggressive braking has a detrimental effect on your cars fuel efficiency.

Around the corner: Short trips invariably make your car consume a lot more fuel. The primary reason is that every engine has an optimum running temperature, and very short distances will almost certainly result in your car running at a cold temperature for a majority of the distance.

Windows drag: At high speeds, open windows can affect the cars aerodynamic efficiency. It is better to keep the windows rolled up and the air-conditioner on at speeds over a 100 km/h.

CAR – RELATED MEASURES

sanjeev nanda how to guides

Fuel is blood for your car

The honest petrol pump: Considering the high amount of fuel adulteration and other fuel-industry malpractices, we highly recommend you to choose the right petrol pump. Tampered meters that result in under-filling, misappropriating bills and selling adulterated fuel are some of the most common malpractices. Company-owned filling stations are the best option, though there are some honest privately-owned petrol pumps also. Look around and opt for an honest reputable petrol pump. This alone can account for upto a 10% difference in your fuel efficiency.

Appropriate tyre pressures: It is very important to maintain manufacturer-recommended tyre pressures to optimize the level of rolling resistance. Tire pressures can also be increased by1 – 2 psi if you live in a city with smooth roads. Please do not exceed this limit since it can cause uneven wear.

Keep the car well maintained: Your car will gulp fuel voraciously if it is not in the right state of tune. Make it a point to keep your air-filters clean, engine oil changed and your engine healthy by sticking to the manufacturer recommended maintenance intervals.

Upsized tyres: Wider tyres increase rolling resistance and rotating mass, thus hindering FE. Do not oversize your tyres.

Light weight: Weight has to be carried around, and will result in additional work for the engine. Unload any unnecessary cargo / baggage etc. to keep your car as light as possible.

The right fuel for premium cars: High-compression engines do not operate properly on the regular octane fuel available in India. To improve efficiency, it is important to use manufacturer-recommended grades of petrol.

Recommended fuel additives: Some makes of cars (e.g. Volkwagon Jetta) are not able to run optimally on the Indian fuel quality, and their manufacturers recommend fuel additives to keep the fuel system clean. If your car came with this instruction, make use of the recommended fuel additives.

ALTERNATE WAYS

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Use Carpool make the world beautiful

Car Pool: Travel along with your neighbours / friends / relatives if the office timings and destinations are alike.

Keep a FE car: Why use the guzzling SUV when your hatchback serves the purpose for daily running?

Plan your trips to avoid traffic: You can beat rush-hour traffic by traveling either before or after peak hours.

Club tasks together: Perform more tasks per trip, saving the need for repeated trips to the same destination.

Walk it up: If the distance is very short, consider walking. It is healthy and saves fuel.

Sanjeev Nanda tips on Long Distance Riding

30 Jun

To most motorbike riders, 700 kilometers in a day seems like too much. For some riders, even 200 sound like too much. It shouldn’t. If you are in reasonable shape, covering 500 to 600 kilometers in a day of riding on the open road or 300 odd kilometers in the hills should not be too strenuous. Riding long distance entails a re-calibration of your fatigue threshold. Like the ‘second wind’ experienced by a marathon runner, long hours in the saddle reveal similar reserves that exist within us. Usually, after 5 hours on the road, nearly every rider feels tired. Yet, pushing oneself even an hour beyond this apparent tiredness shows quite clearly that it will not get any worse. The body may feel a need to rest but the mind can push it on for twice that time without damage. The trick is in keeping your eyes on the target and paying attention to details.

"Sanjeev Nanda" how to guides

Motorbiking is pure passion, enjoy every moment you spend on your bike

1. Keep your bike in top mechanical condition

A failure 2 days into the tour and in the middle of nowhere is a thoroughly avoidable event. The engine tuning, control cables, brake pads and fluid, tyres, electricals, drive chain and even the frame need periodic checks.

2. Carry all the relevant documents in original, with a photocopy placed elsewhere. The R/C Book, Pollution certificate and Insurance policy (even the cover note will suffice).

3. Being in a reasonably fit physical shape helps the rider stay alert even at the end of a 10-hour ride. Fitness stretches one’s fatigue threshold.

4. Plan your route, along with any alternatives, and calculate equipment and financial requirements according to the longest probable route. Good road maps are a must. Especially the ones that show distances (with heights in case of hills) accurately and mark petrol pumps that actually exist. Being stranded without fuel is depressing at the best and life threatening at worst if you get caught at high altitude late in the day and without equipment to spend the night in the open.

5. On highways within India, doing about 200 kms stretches between breaks is usually the limit.

6. Carry only as much luggage as is totally essential, but never skimp on tools and repair equipment. Carry all that you would need, short of towing another similar bike behind you. Tie the luggage securely on the bike. If riding one-up, tie it on the seat behind as it gives your back some added support and stops the wind from getting in from behind you.

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Travel Light for added pleasure

7. Tie the bag so tight that it cannot be moved sideways or up and down at all. A loosely tied bag will keep sliding this way or that and apart from distracting you, could act as a pendulous mass in case of a rear wheel slide during panic stops. Being well behind the centre of gravity of the bike, even a 15kg bag could exert enough leverage to make the otherwise controllable slide totally wild.

8. Prefer a bag with side pockets that are not covered by the tie-down straps. Keep the frequently needed stuff like the water bottle, small tool kit, the first aid kit, spare goggles etc in them. Pack the bag such that the heavier things are at the bottom and the lighter ones on top. Keep extra clothes and rain gear outside the bag. Secure it on top with bungee cords or elastic net. Don’t forget to wrap these things in a polythene bag first or the dust and grime enroute would not leave them worth wearing.

9. Keep a separate helmet at home for exclusive use during the long tours. Make sure its visor is clean, scratch-free and seals out the dust effectively. Following a truck or bus on a narrow and dusty mountain road at slow speed will prove you its real worth.

10. Wear a cotton or silk balaclava before putting on the helmet, whatever the weather. It protects the inside of your helmet from oily perspiration and stops insects from getting into your ears and nose if you need to ride with the visor open. Two thin cotton balaclavas inside a well fitting helmet can see you through the coldest ride.

11. Wear a cotton inner in summer (a cotton track suit is ideal), and preferably a wool one in winter. Au outer windproof jacket with a closed collar is useful, whatever the season. Even 20degC summer mornings can be uncomfortably cold when doing a 100-kmph for hours together. (Remember the wind-chill factor). Also, when riding in those hot summers, contrary to instinct, cover yourself well, leaving as little skin exposed as possible. The dry hot wind blows away perspiration before it can cool you and since every bit of liquid near the skin gets dried up almost immediately, you get dehydrated pretty soon. Clothes help retain this water. And keep drinking water or cold drinks frequently.

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Biker Jacket for all weather

12. For cold weather riding, dress in layers comprising of wool, cotton and wind-proofs. A layer of cotton inners followed by a wool tracksuit, then a thin windproof jacket, which in turn is covered, by a heavier quilted windproof jacket can take you through sub-zero riding conditions. Gloves are a must but of the kind that don’t compromise on feel and grip, whether wet or dry. To avoid wind-chilled hands in winters, wear latex rubber surgical gloves over woolen ones. Leather though, is ideal. Improvise a nape cover for the gloves using a non-slip type polythene bag.

13. Dress your lower extremities the same way as the top. Two layers, one cotton and the other wool followed by good windproof pants that close around the ankles are sufficient. Boots should have thick non-slip rubber soles, a metal reinforced toe cap and should reach above the ankles.

14. A set of dark glasses for bright sunlight and clear one’s for night riding, are important. Needless to say, they should be scratch-free and a good fit.

15. The rain suit should be made of rubberised cloth and its seams must be double sealed, pasted together and not stitched. The stitch-holes will leak, no matter what the manufacturer claims.

16. However far or near the destination, try to leave early in the morning, pre dawn preferably. The sight of a new day breaking, while you ride, is somehow very rejuvenating. And the added benefit is of very little traffic so early in the day.

17. Take frequent breaks, at least every 2 hours, when on a long ride. After 10 hrs on the saddle, you might need to stop even more frequently, to fight fatigue. When riding in the cold, take frequent breaks for warm food and drinks. Do not keep riding until you get numb. You could be closer to hypothermia than you realise and could crash from delayed reactions.

18. Drink lots of water on the way. The wind rushing past carries away more water from the rider’s body than he would loose if walking or travelling in a covered vehicle. In cold weather, tea and coffee are good substitutes but for the frequent toilet breaks, since both of these are diuretics.

19. Keep a fuel log. It helps you monitor the mileage your bike is giving apart from keeping the fuel expenses in the picture. In areas where fuel stations are far and apart, you can easily assess whether you can make the distance or not.

20. Maintain a steady fast pace for long stretches. Rushing along for sometime and then stopping every hour will actually reduce the ultimate distance you cover in a given time span. Remember the Hare and the Tortoise!

21. Wrap sandwiches or paranthas in aluminum foil and clamp it somewhere on the engine casing. You get hot food whenever you stop for a tea break! A real treat in those chilling winter rides.

22. Ride the long road with the attitude of someone on a holiday. Leave that poisonous urban rush behind. Set a target for the day but don’t keep chasing it all day. Relax! You are out for fun.

Sanjeev Nanda how to guides

Enjoy the ride, be cautious and responsible

23. When in the hills, keep to your side and watch out for gravel, oil, water or pine needles on the inside of blind curves. In winter, during frosting conditions, watch out for the treacherous ‘black ice’. Water or even moisture on the road gets frozen into clear ice and it is very-very slippery. This happens even on a bright sunny afternoon on the shady side of the mountain.

24. With snow or a crust of crunchy ice on the road, a bike ridden two up is more stable than with a single rider. Due to the added weight, the wheels an cut through the ice to grip the road.

25. If there’s a stream flowing across the road, watch for slippery moss covered rocks underneath. Keep the bike upright and avoid sudden direction changes.

26. Night riding in the hills is, in a sense, safer than during daytime. You can see the approaching vehicle’s lights beyond a curve. Also, you are more focussed since all you can see is what gets lit up by the headlight. There are no distracting views to see around. Prefer a headlamp that gives a wide beam spread as it enables you to see which way the road goes beyond a curve. A narrow focus beam lets you see straight ahead but not where the road is heading beyond the turn.

27. Night riding in the plains is a different ball-game. Follow a fast 4 wheeler at a safe distance and use its lights to see ahead. A bike is not the king of the road at night.

28. Practice doing minor repairs, in darkness, or with your eyes closed. Things like changing the control cables, the headlight bulb or the spark plug. You could get stuck with any of these failures in total darkness.

29. Always carry a spare tube even if you have puncture patches. And, before hitting the road, check the expiry of those puncture patches and adhesive. In case of sudden deflation of a tyre while riding at speed, never brake the punctured wheel. The tyre will jump the rim and you get thrown off the bike.

30. A couple of meters length of insulated wire and insulation tape are indispensable for on the spot electrical repairs.

31. Carry a 12ft X 16ft plastic sheet. It works as an emergency rain shelter. Put it across the seats of two bikes parked parallel with a 5ft gap in between for you to sit. You get an instant roof and the luggage gets added protection from rain. Keep a stout rope, about 15ft long, for emergency towing.

32. As a ritual, check engine oil, brakes, control cables, chain tension and lights each day before starting. Keeps you in touch with the bike and you are not easily caught by a surprising failure.

33. Intersections are popular places for spills. Keep that head on the swivel and preferably let another vehicle run interference between you and the cross traffic. Let him take the hit if some moron jumps the light. Any larger vehicle is far better equipped to take on impacts than an exposed motorcyclist.

34. Passing a bus that has pulled over at a stop, look at the road ahead of its front tyre from under its bumper for brave pedestrians who believe in crossing in front of a parked bus!

35. With disc brakes common, the increased braking power could get translated into a rear end collision if you brake hard and surprise a tailgating motorist. So watch those mirrors before dropping anchor.

36. Alcohol is a great deluder. It makes you feel strong when you are weak, capable when your abilities are diminished. Maybe that’s the attraction behind it. Don’t, please don’t mix alcohol with 2-wheeler riding. Since the ‘robot skills’ of starting, stopping and steering are not much affected, the drinker is deluded into believing that all his reflexes and riding faculties are intact. Not so. Even ½ a bottle of beer (that’s just 5% blood alcohol level, half of the legal limit) just takes away the rider’s ability to cope with the unexpected. And mishaps are unexpected.

37. Stitch a piece of chamois leather to the back of your left glove’s fore finger. A quick wipe across the visor in rain improves vision substantially.

38. At night, deflect the angle of your rear view mirrors a little to avoid the glare from vehicles following you. Adjust the angle so that you have to lean forwards a little to look into them

39. When riding in a strong crosswind, crouch to make yourself as small a target for the wind as possible. Tuck in your arms, narrow your shoulders, bend your back, slide back on the seat to get your head close to the tank and grab the tank with your knees. In short, shrink. And turn into putty. Relax your body and retain a firm yet resilient relationship with the bike. Let your body move a bit with every gust and absorb its energy on its own without shaking up the bike. And watch for sudden changes in the wind force due to static (trees, houses) and moving (cars, trucks, buses) windbreaks. They stop the wind as you pass them and it comes back in force suddenly when you are past them.

40. Fatigue is one major factor that can result in lax reflexes and diminished ability of the eyes to focus. Rest, if possible. If not, then concentrate on focussing on distant objects to avoid falling into the trap of focussing on ‘nothing’ in front of you, the ‘seeing yet not seeing’ syndrome. And keep those eyes moving. Take a short break or a nap when sleepy. Driving drunk or drowsy is the same.

41. Develop peripheral vision, that ability to be aware of what’s going on in the far edges of your sight while looking straight ahead. While riding, fix your eyes on the road and traffic ahead and without moving your head, try to monitor the traffic on either side of you. We usually sacrifice side vision when we concentrate on what’s ahead.

42. Braking performance is degraded when carrying a passenger, mainly because the added weight lengthens the stopping distance. Same with cornering. The extra weight takes up suspension travel and makes the bike less responsive to steering inputs. So take it easy when tow-up and extend those safety margins.

43. The passenger should hold on to the riders waist or lower chest. Grab rails leave the passengers wobbly, making the bike unsteady. Tell the passenger to look over your inside shoulder, stay in line with the bike, hold on to you and relax.

44. To cover long distances in a day, the first rule is to keep moving. Don’t dawdle over lunch and tea breaks. Minimize your stops by combining tasks. Take a leak, drink water, change your jacket and tighten the luggage in one go. The second rule is to keep the stops short. Maintain a steady fast pace balancing the time gained against the risk factors. At the end of 100 kms, doing 95 instead of 85 makes you gain some 15 odd minutes. Which is about an hour less on a 400km ride. See if it is worth pushing yourself and your bike so close to the limits to gain just an hour in 8 hours of riding.

45. When riding through deep water that submerges the exhaust pipe, keep the bike in first gear and those RPM’s up. If the engine stops, water will enter the tailpipe and maybe enter the engine. Do not attempt to re-start the engine as the water inside can severely damage it.

46. When riding through sand, drop tyre pressures by upto 40% (The idea here is to improve tyre floatation i.e. its ability to ride on top of the sand through increasing the contact patch), keep the bike in low gears and steer straight. In sand, always remember that the wheels have a tendency to dig in, so when coming to a halt, do so gently or the sand piles up ahead of the front wheel making the subsequent pick-up difficult.

47. Keep a 2-mtr long piece of fuel pipe for emergency fuel transfers from one vehicle to another. Also, have a flat board of wood, about 12″X8″ handy, to put under the main stand if you need to park your bike on soft ground. Otherwise, use only the side-stand, with a small flat rock placed under it, for parking on soft ground.

Note: What appears to be hard ground now could become soft after even a short rain shower. Even hard tarmac becomes unusually soft on a very hot afternoon.

Travel the high road on a motorcycle for the fun of travelling. The highways are not proving grounds for speed and tricks. They are means of getting to far off places. Respect and be considerate for other road users, especially the villagers who were there before the highways came into being. Leave ‘Mr. Hurry’ and ‘Miss Speeding’ behind when you tie those bags. Wear your helmet, eye protection and proper safety gear. Just savour the freedom your mechanical steed provides you with and ride so that you can ride again and again.

Sanjeev Nanda on How to do Wheelies

23 Jun

The wheelie–the granddaddy of all street freestyle stunts–can be both the simplest and the most complex trick for a biker. While a standard sit-down wheelie is almost elementary in execution, the more incredible variations–skyscraping High Chairs, 12s, creeping No-Handers–leave us mortals tugging our chins and wondering, “How’d they do that?”

I’m no stunt rider, but ive performed quite a lot of wheelies (on my 500cc Royal Enfield Machismo and Bajaj Pulsar 200cc), be it to impress girls or just showing off to friends, ive done it all. Here I share some of the most trickiest wheelies and how to pull them off.

Basic Sit-Down

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Sit Down Wheelie

“Sit-downs are the easiest wheelies to do, but the hardest to explain. There are so many different ways to wheelie a sportbike, and some methods work better than others depending on the rider and machine. I’ll explain what I do–but keep in mind, other riders might be lifting it up differently.

“There are two kinds of wheelies: power wheelies and clutched wheelies. A power wheelie uses the bike’s motor to get the front wheel up. You get the revs up near the bike’s torque peak and goose the throttle to snap the front end up. A smaller bike such as a 500 needs a little help. On these, I’ll roll the rpm up higher, then chop the gas and snap it on again. Chopping the throttle will cause the front end to dive for an instant, and the rebounding of the fork will help the front end come up when you snap the throttle back on. On a 500, you almost have to open the throttle all the way to the stop to get the front end up under power. A very powerful bike needs much less throttle–snap a CBR954RR to the stop and you’ll be on your ass instantly. That’s why I don’t like power wheelies–you’re dealing with a lot of power, and the possibility of looping the bike is greater.

“I prefer clutched wheelies; the front comes up quicker and you’re lower in the rev range when you bring the front end up, so you’re not going as fast and you’ve got more time to find the balance point before you hit the rev limiter. For a clutched wheelie, I’ll pull the clutch in, just enough to cause the rpm to rise up to the torque peak, and then let it out quickly. I’m pulling the clutch in just slightly, just into the friction zone. The revs rise for a split second, and then I drop the clutch–don’t ease it out–and back off the throttle incrementally as the front end comes up. The higher the front wheel goes the less throttle is needed to keep it up. Backing off keeps the bike from going over.

“Either way, on power or with the clutch, I keep my arms stiff, squeeze the tank with my legs and always cover the rear brake. If things get ugly, you just tap the rear brake and both wheels are back on the ground. If you’re looking straight ahead, when you can’t see over the bike you know you’re getting close to the balance point.”

Standup Wheelie

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Valentino Rossi Performing Stand Up wheelie

“Same as a sit-down, you can do this one either on power or on the clutch. I’ll also bounce the bike a bit to help it up. Bouncing down on the handlebars preloads the front suspension. The energy of the fork releasing, combined with the throttle input, pops the wheel up. I’ll stand up first, then lean forward and bounce it by pushing down on my arms, causing the fork to compress. When the fork comes back up I’m on the gas (not as much as a sit down–standups take less power to lift up!) and pulling on the handlebars to bring the bike up.

“As the front wheel comes up, I’ll drop my butt back a little bit to help it along. I bend my knees when I’m pulling the bike up, and once it gets up to about 10 o’clock I’ll straighten my legs and lean back. With a standup you can hold the throttle in one spot and use your body language to control the wheelie.

“Because body language makes it so easy to balance a standup, it’s easy to ride one through the gears. To shift during a wheelie, I’ll blip the throttle just a touch right before the shift. When you fan the clutch to shift, it kills power to the wheelie, and if you don’t blip the throttle a touch this can cause you to drop the front wheel. So I’ll blip it, causing the front wheel to float a bit higher for a split second, then shift as quickly as possible. Preloading the shifter and just nudging the clutch lever will help you shift faster. I generally shift as early as possible. If you shift when you’re hard on the gas or your revs are up, you’re more likely to miss the shift. The sooner you shift, the less likely you are to miss the gear. But not too soon, so you don’t bog the revs! Incidentally, these shifting rules are the same for a sit-down wheelie.”

Can Can

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Can Can Wheelie - Very Tricky

“To do a Can Can, I start just like I would [with] a regular standup wheelie, and as soon as I get the wheelie to where I’m comfortable, I take my right leg off and stick it between the tank and my left leg. You have to be careful getting your foot through there. There’s not much room between your leg and the tank, so you have to know where you’re going without looking and get it through there quickly.

“During a Can Can most of your body weight is to the left side of the bike, so you need to counterweight yourself by rocking your shoulders over to the right side of the bike. It’s all about keeping your balance centered. Whenever I’m moving around, I make sure to do it slowly, so I can feel which way it’s going to go. Moving around really fast will cause the bike to get out of control.

“If I ever do get out of control, or to where I feel like I’m making a mistake, I just let off the gas or tap the rear brake and put the front down–it doesn’t really matter where I’m standing on the bike, once both wheels are on the ground I’m safe.”

High Chair

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High-Chair Wheelie

“For this one I start by sitting on the gas tank with both legs out to the side. The easiest and safest way is to kick out one leg at a time; that way you still have at least one hand on the bars.

“Starting out with High Chairs, it’s a good thing to dig your ankles to grip onto the headlight so you don’t go flying off the back. Denting in the tank here really helps too because it gives you a flat surface to sit on. High Chairs (or anything where you are sitting on the tank) take more throttle because you have more weight over the front of the bike. But because your weight is so far forward, and because you’re using more throttle, you have to watch and be smooth on the clutch so you don’t get wheelspin. Leaning back helps, too, and so does blipping the gas to bounce the bike a little bit.

Frog

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Frog Wheelies - Most difficult

“Frog wheelies are a lot like High Chairs–I get up on the tank first, then clutch it up. Just like the High Chair, you have to be smooth pulling it up because you’ve still got all your weight over the front. Plus, you don’t really have anything to hold onto, so when you drop the clutch your body weight wants to go backward. That’s going to make you wanna hold onto the bars even more tightly, which can cause you to twist the throttle more than you should. So to avoid unwanted throttle inputs, you have to grip tighter with your left arm than your right.

“The hardest part with a Frog wheelie is putting it down. When you set the wheel down it throws all your weight forward, and when you’re standing up on the tank and just holding on to the handlebars, there’s not much to keep you from just flipping over the front. Not for amateurs, this trick.”

No-Hander

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No Hander Wheelies are fun to do

“For a Standup No-Hander, you’re standing with your foot on the 12 bar and you’ve got your idle turned up, so you’re basically using your foot to balance the bike and riding the wheelie with no hands, controlling the height of the front tire with your body and also with the rear brake.

“Sit-down No-Handers are a bit harder because you don’t have the leverage of your foot out on the bar to balance the bike. Again, I’m doing this with the idle turned up. I get the bike up to about 11 o’clock, then let go of the bars and just lean back and control the front tire height with a combination of body lean and rear brake. To keep myself on the bike, I’ll squeeze the tank with my knees and sit back against the passenger seat. If I work my body position just right, I don’t even have to use the rear brake.”

12 O’Clock

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Vertical or 12'o'clock Wheelies - SUPER DANGEROUS

“A 12 O’clock is all about brake control. You bring it up in first gear, and you have to get on the gas really hard to get the wheel up as high as you can, and then use your rear brake to stop the bike at 12 o’clock. Once you get it up, instead of using the throttle to control the height of [the] front wheel, you’re actually using the rear brake. You’re on the gas more than normal, and using the brake to keep from going over.

“Twelves require a lot of body language, using your shoulders to rock the bike from side to side to keep it from tipping over sideways. I use my knees and legs like outriggers to balance the bike, and mostly hold myself on with my arms.

“On the scrape, a lot of people think you just fall back and ride the bar, but the bike still wants to sway from side to side. If you want to ‘park’ a 12 O’clock, you use the rear brake to slow down–but not too much. If you use too much, it’s just going to cause the bike to fall down.”

BIKE STUNTS ARE DANGEROUS, KIDS DO NOT IMITATE, THESE IMAGES ARE OF PROFESSIONAL BIKERS/STUNT BIKERS. PEOPLE WILLING TAKE RISK SHOULD DO SO WITH PROPER SAFETY GEAR. BE SAFE !!

Sanjeev Nanda tips on How to save on your Insurance Premiums

20 May

Do you know you can save as much as 65% on your new car’s insurance? Your insurance agent will never tell you that you can transfer a No Claim Bonus (NCB) from your old car, but my friend Shruti paid only Rs.10,700 for Rs.27,000 worth of comprehensive insurance for her new car. SHe just transferred the NCB from her old Maruti Zen to reduce the cost of insurance for her Honda City Vtec. Why didn’t his friendly agent volunteer information about this remarkable deal? Because the more a buyer pays the insurance company, the more commission its agent makes.

Most Indian car buyers negotiate on financing, dealer discounts and freebies but forget about the insurance component.

Sanjeev Nanda shows you how to use the NCB to save on your insurance premium:

1. When you sell your old car:
The biggest mistake people make is transferring the insurance lock stock and barrel when selling a car. Ensure that ownership is transferred and make a photocopy of the new entry in the RC book for insurance purposes.

2: Obtain the NCB certificate: Forward a copy of the delivery note to your insurance company and ask for the NCB certificate or holding letter. This letter is valid for three years; you may find it easiest to go to your insurer’s local office to pick it up in person.

3: Use the NCB:
Forward the NCB letter to your new car’s dealer. Voila! You have just transferred the NCB to your new car insurance and saved a bundle.

Remember to shop around; manufacturers’ insurance schemes are much cheaper than regular insurers’. In one case, insurance for an old Maruti 800 was quoted at Rs.4,800 when the official Maruti insurance was available for just Rs.2,800.

Another process, if you are happy with your existing insurance company, is to go to the insurer with your new car invoice and chassis number. The agent should use your NCB to offer a reduced premium and give you a cover note on the spot. The dealership will need this cover note to register your car with traffic authorities.