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Monday, July 7, 2008

A day with the Titans

On June 6th, 2008, I got an opportunity to visit a Bike Drag Race for the first time ever (a million thanks to Doug for hanging there for me!!). It was the Drag Race Event held at the
Great Lakes Drag Away, Wisconsin, USA. The event featured Bikes as well as Cars, but as usual I was more interested in the Bikes and from the time I entered the arena and left the arena, I saw those bikes in gas and grease which till date I've seen only over the Internet or in movies. Needless to say, it was like a dream come true that I was able to touch and feel the Kawasaki ZX14 and the Suzuki Hyabusa.

But guess my most treasured moments were those, which I spent with Bill Homuth (Doug's father and Sir for me) who won the big Dragster category. The bike flaunts a 1985 Suzuki GS 1150 cc engine which has been worked upon to become a 1200 cc beast. The rest of the chassis is all custom done, which also incorporates a sliding clutch and no manual clutch so that the gear can shift as per the increasing revs of the bike. Quite an incredible work one has to say!!!!

Sir bringing down his dragster to get it ready for the race

Wow!!! That's big

One after other, he kept on winning the races and finally emerged as the final winner in his category of Pro ET (Elapsed Time), with the final ticket showing magical figures.

Final Tally!!

The other major category for Bikes that attracted the most crowd was the Pro Mod Street Category, the final of which was ran between a Kawasaki Ninja ZX14 and Suzuki Hyabusa and guess the ZX14 lost solely out of high Response Time figures.

Pro Mod Street Category Winner

Majority of the bikes that participated in the race had extended swing arm to keep the bike from taking a flight at such high revs.

I too got a chance too swing my legs over the dragster and take it to the racing alley!!

Taking a ride back to office ? ;)

And my first impression about the bike when I moved it towards the alley was..... you would be thrilled to ride this bike when the revs are up...........but if it's not the case, then it's a bit sluggish because of the sliding type clutch it has.

Well the excitement apart for me there were a couple of disappointments too. First there were no 2008 Yamaha R1 and second non of the 2005-2007 Yamaha R1 could make it through, even the first round of eliminations. But nevertheless it was an eye feast for any bike lover!!!

One of the most colossal bike which featured over there was the Kawasaki Ninja ZX14, with quite a few custom job done, and which was actually for sale for $20,000 after clocking 500 miles!!!

For Sale!!

So, my obvious question to the current owner of the bike was - "at $20,000 who wouldn't love to own it, but who would like to own it"............and the answer was a burst of laughter.

So, it was a long day at the drag strip, and finally when I got back to the hotel, I was all knocked out, first because of the sheer awe of what I saw, heard, touched and felt at the drag strip, and second, it was hot out here this Sunday and it took a toll on me :)

My pictorial coverage can be found over here

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  1. Ah........wish I was there.
    And Payeng,you still remember that Wind 125's slogan????Know the meaning????I don't.

  2. So, now finally this time you are enjoying your stay in US. Keep on capitalising besides hard work in professional life.

    Good Luck.

  3. Oh sorry,it's the caliber 115 and not the Wind.

  4. Srinidhi dude and Payeng dude!!!

    How on earth did I miss this slogan..... It should have been the title of this post!! Really... Hoodibaba!!!

    Anonymous dude!!

    Yeah I'm enjoyed this race a lot and ya I almost enjoyed my last stay too. Thanks for your good wishes. Seems like you know me!! Would love to know your name :)

  5. @Srinidhi,

    "Hoodibaba" in Bengali means something like "O Boy..!!"

    @ Sajal,

    our Pulsars might feel pretty pedestrain to you now I guess..

  6. Payeng Dude!!

    Pulsars and pedestrian!!!! No way.
    If a Pulsar 200 can make up 18 bhp with just one cylinder, and can go 0-60 kmph in sub 5 secs, then it's no way pedestrian even by US standards. Pulsars rock!!!

    It's only we don't have the right resources (equipment and cash) and time to work upon our bikes like guys over here do........ else, our Pulsar can make even the imported CBUs think for their spin!!

  7. Hey sajal,wanted to ask you this.I'm thinking of going for the P200 in 2-3 months time from now.I know it's one helluva bike,but have also heard that it has many reliability problems.As an owner of it,what would you say about the bike??

  8. Srinidhi dude!!

    First of all thanks a lot for asking for suggetion!!! :D

    You are right, when you say it's one helluva bike!!!

    As far as news about it's reliablity goes ya I heard them too when I went for my bike and asked Payeng for suggestion........and I tell you it was Payeng's response that made me take the P200.

    I don't know about others, but for me P200 is awesome. It didn't give me any starting problem for the entire overextended winter. I met a crash with the bike but I got up and bang it was alive (I was hit by a scorpio). I had a couple of hard breaking situation and the front shock absorber was a bliss. The gear shift is again a bliss on this one (you might feel it a bit hard before the first service).

    All I would say, don't keep on wacking it because it's 200cc (as I've seen many dudes arround here doing with their 200) and the bike would server you well. An average speed of 80kmph on the highway and 70kmph in the city would keep you and bike safe and well maintained.

    But if you are waiting for 2-3 months, then I would say first have a look on the new four valve pulsars that are comming..... they should be more powerfull and comparitively fuel efficient too.

    Rest, this bike is an absolute bliss to ride, and smacks all of them down who say it has reliability problem!!!! Reliablity is a question that hovers over the likes of R1, Hyabusa and the ZX14 too.....but we all know what they are ;)

  9. Thanks for the suggestion.If the 4 valve pulsars are coming in 5-6 months time,I'd go for the existing P200(can't wait to ride it)[:D],and i want your orkut username pls....

  10. Can't tell for sure if Bajaj has any 4 Valve Pulsars on the Pipeline.. there hasn't been any official hint towards it.. its just speculations fuelled by the sight of the 125 cc, 4 Valve XCD DTSi at the Auto Expo 2008.

    According to me, it wouldn't hurt if one goes for the present P200 DTSi right now.

  11. Payeng Dude!!
    Ya really if the big Pulsars gonna take time and budjet not a constraint, then one surely can go for the P220(after all ti's the current champ!!).

    As for the four valve, I had a chat with the Sales Manager of Krishna Bajaj at Gurgaon, and she said that there's a real big chance that the big Pulsar 300cc+ would be having the four valve platform and also, it might be in collaboration with KTM!!

    So really there are no confirmed news about that and everyone is speculating, but ya that's what I came to know from the showroom.

    Srinidhi dude!!
    I think Payeng has a valid point, and is a great suggestion. As for the orkut user name, try searching with Sajal - Back @ Lincolnshire US in orkut..... I really don't remember the exact username myself ;)

  12. Thanks,you both.Your comments really matter to me.


Item Reviewed: A day with the Titans Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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