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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2010 - The year that was

Life is a collage of moments that make our lives so special. Each year is a collage of 365 and one fourth day, each day is a collage of 24 hours, each hour is a collage of 60 minutes and each minutes is a collage of 60 seconds. Each of those seconds is different from the previous one, each of those seconds is an entire life lived. Time, the only thing in this dimension that doesn't die. It lives as Present and continues to live as Past, when we have swam through it and welcomes us as Future at the shore. Time, Moments or what ever you call it, is the only entity that's your companion as you walk through the lush garden of your existence. Time would tell you your story in the most thrilling, amazing and enigmatic way you can imagine.

2010, a time span of such numerous moments passed by, and here I am resting on my chair, trying to feel some heat and fool the chill and thinking about those moments. Interested in a walk down the memory lane anybody??

One of the most memorable event of the year 2010 for me was the inception of the ThrottleQuest.com. It's not only about motorcycling, it's more about the feeling, passion and the religion of motorcycling. But, above all, ThrottleQuest.com is what I am as a person, a curious kid in the festival of motorcycling.

Let's knock the door of time, when it's address was January and let's go through December.

Well, the January of 2010 didn't begin on an exciting note for me. For the kind of person I am (finicky about my vehicles), 1st, January, 2010, was a pretty bad day. My car got rubbed against a mini truck and the complete right hand side rear went into a pretty shape. Not the kind of starts I would have liked.

Moving forward, on of the biggest festivals of 2010 came in January - The 2010 Auto Expo and this time it proved to be a big time blooper. Gross mismanagement presented a very ugly picture of the capital, with total mayhem ensuing multiple times. But the biggest shame came in front of a person who is regarded as GOD in biking. The national capital was at knees in shame, when a scuffle broke out at the Yamaha press conference which saw Valentino Rossi coming to the country for the first time. Amazing impression he took back of the country.

That was very much it for January. Thank goodness that January was finally over.

The biggest event in the month of February came not from the biking circuit. It was a sentimental month of national proportions. Mumbai based Sanjeev Mehta bought the East India Company. The company which ruled the nation for more than 200 years was now being ruled by an Indian. Nothing else could have brought more peace to the departed souls who laid their lives fighting for the freedom of the country.

Internationally, MV Agusta gave us the MV Agusta F4 2010. People say it's hard to perfect perfection, but MV Agusta F4 is one machine which has always proved saying wrong. A blisteringly fast bike, which is drop dead gorgeous.

Apart from these two events, February was almost quite.

March came as a big month for me. It was march, when I finally went to a weekend G2G of XBhp and finally got the opportunity to meet people like Sunny, Old Fox, Kend Da, Aryan and Sunil. It was an opportunity to bask under immense biking wisdom. I made many new friends that day and that day, my whole outlook towards biking changed. On my way back, I was an entirely different person riding the pair of wheels.

On the national level, one of the biggest news in the month of March was Chris Pfeiffer's India visit from 29th April, 2010 to 5th March, 2010. Having had to miss out the opportunity when Rossi visited India, this was one event I couldn't have missed. I was eagerly waiting and planning for 29th April now.

Internationally the biggest new in the motorcycling circuit was the dawn of the new king in street bikes. BMW attempted a liter class for the first time and they pulverized the rule book in their first attempt only - the 2010 BMW S1000RR. A liter class motorcycle, which feels and handles like a 600 and produces 20Bhp more power than it's Japanese competitors and gives a run for life to the Hayabusas and the ZX-14s and all that at a price that has given sleepless nights to the competitions. The BMW S1000RR was the bike to beat for the year, and boy did the new monster on the block handled the competition. Not even the Ducati and the MV Agusta could catch it. All this was possible on the stock bike, wonder what the bike is capable of doing when worked on. BMW showed the world what can be done when a technical head goes for a toss.

That was pretty much it for march and my rest of the time for the month, went in knowing more about Chris's methods and the BMW S1000RR (because in a way both are related as there was a Chris Pfeiffer special edition BMW S1000RR from BMW Motorrard!!)

The biggest event of the month of April was the coverage of Chris Pfeiffer's Delhi show. What a day it was and what an opportunity. Seeing and shaking hands with Chris Pfeiffer himself. After seeing his numerous videos over YouTube, I couldn't have imagined that one day I'll meet the man in person. There's no doubt that Chris is a magician with motorcycles, but above all, he's such a humble person. It really takes to be a man to handle such fame and yet be so humble.

Other than the Chris Pfeiffer event, the other big news nationally was the inception of Indian Kawasaki Motors. With the Kawasaki Ninja 250R, setting sales figures ablaze, then this was next logical step from the Japanese giant to bring it's flag ships in.

For me, the rest of the month went in the hangover from the Chris Pfeiffer's show :)

The month of May was quite eventful. The month was special because of the World Motorcycle Day on 14th May. What a day for all motorcycle lovers. With all sorts of day's celebrated the world over, motorcycles also deserved their share of day and why not!!

In order to commemorate the day XBhp organized a World Motorcycle Day ride. Really that was one initiative which really showed how deep rooted the feeling of motorcycling is within XBhp. What made this occasion even more special was that Meenakshi decided to accompany in the ride, and boy was she amazed and awestruck at the sight of the so many beasts together. The entire gathering was spell bounding to say the least.

The next big thing in the month of May was the MTV Pulsar Stunt Mania Season 2 Delhi Auditions, which was held on 15th May, 2010. I was there volunteering for XBhp and got the opportunity to meet some of the big names in show biz - like VJ Rannvijay, VJ Baani, MTV Stunt Mania Season 1 starts Adil and Handa. But above all, that day I got the chance to test ride the Kawasaki Ninja 250R. Thanks to a very good friend from XBhp who easily allowed to ride his bike. Needless to say, I was pretty much impressed from the first hand experience of the Ninjett.

That was pretty much it for the month of May and it's now time to proceed towards one of the most darkest month of the year 2010 for me.

Even though June is my birth month, it was a month that was red. On 3rd June, 2010 on my way back home I suffered the nastiest crash yet. The right elbow and knee were in pretty bad shape and so was bike, which was having a full tank of gas at the time of the crash and the right crash guard showered sparks as it almost melted due to friction. Even till date, the right knee hasn't heeled to comfort and I can still feel the bite every now and then.

As if it was not enough, two days later I crashed, internationally, Valentino Rossi made headlines and this time it was not one of his earth shattering podium finish. Rossi crashed during a practice session at the Mugello circuit and broke his right leg. The entire motorcycling fraternity was taken aback by this incident.

A few days later I heard that a very good friend of mine and the author of one of India's premier motorcycling website, Satadal Payeng also met with a crash, but thank God the crash was not a major one and he suffered minor injuries. It was going way too much to appreciate now.

But at the same time there was something to relief from this unending pain in the month of June. Suzuki launched the GSX-R 1000 and the Suzuki Bandit S 1250. Needless to say, like all Suzuki machines, both the bike made quite a stir and specially the Suzuki Bandit S 1250, because of it's usability.

Finally the month of June was over and I was still recovering from the crash. The bike was in a real bad shape so, by the time the month bid bye, thankfully I was able to get bike firing.

The month of July was pretty much quite except that Bajaj Auto released the face lifted Bajaj Pulsar 135LS with two-piece rear fender, which was previously released in Indonesia. The only thing in the bike which looked sore, was now rectified.

The month of August saw quite some buzz (apart from two wonderful movies - Expendables and Inception)

Honda brought in the super exotic VFR 1200F. The bike not only looks gorgeous but also is full of tech that needs some getting used to.

Trying to get hold of the commuter janta in India, Yamaha launched the Yamaha SZ-153, based on the engine platform of the Yamaha's Messiah the FZ-16, even though the engine of the SZ-153 was quite toned down. The bike looked nice and handled quite well for a commuter.

But two of the biggest news that became the center of attraction that month were not the releases of that but, but one was a Spy Shot and other was just a scoop. The first one is the list was the Spy Shot of the Ducati's ambitious and worst kept secret, the Ducati Diavel, which followed the genome of the Ducati Monster.

The second scoop was the KTM Duke 125, which bowled us over with it's looks and first videos. The online world was sent to a frenzy of speculation (as Payeng calls it LSD). But one thing was common with both these news, they eventually made it to reality.

Nothing much was happening in the month of September and my full time work took toll on my passion. But something happened which blew the blanket off.

Four friends planned for a motorcycle trip and the destination of Sariska. 400 km in one day, back and forth and a life worth of fun.

I would never forget that companionship and above all my wife's respect for my passion which she showed that day.

October was the month, when the inception of ThrottleQuest.com took place and it went online. Along with that, a lot was happening both nationally and internationally too.

Nationally the Hyosung GT 650R and the ST 7 were announced to be launched by Garware Motors. Garware Motors might not be having any previous motorcycling history, but bringing the Hyosung back to the country shows their risk taking apatite. Just as I was learning more and more about this ambitious joint venture, the news of the 2011 Honda CBR 250R set the web space ablaze. No sooner the first spy pics became online, the inevitable comparison with the king of 250 class began.

In one of the soft launches, Bajaj Auto released the Metallic Orange version of the Pulsar range.

Internationally, Kawasaki presented it's big bang. The 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R was presented and the details and spec made it clear that this would be bike to beat for the year 2011. What got me even more interested was the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja 1000, a fully faired version of the Kawasaki Z1000. To me the Kawasaki Ninja 1000 appeared as a complete bike and should be one of the most sorted after tourer world over, for the year 2011.

The biggest news in the month of November was Rossi leaving Yamaha and joining Ducati. The two great Italians finally meet in one of the most anticipated MotoGP partnership. It was really a very emotional moment when Rossi bid farewell to the mighty YZR M1. A very dear friend of mine, Gagan once said that Rossi's venture to Ducati might not be that easy as everyone has been anticipating. Well, he was right. His first outing with Ducati proved to be a blooper as the God of biking struggled a lot with the handling and geometry of the GP11.

Internationally, Aprillia unveiled the Factory RSV4 APRC LE and Aprillia Tuono APRC, with space age electronic gizmos like the Aprillia Launch Control, Aprillia Traction Control, Aprillia Anti-Wheelie Control etc. Apart from that the other big news in the international circuit was official launch of the much awaited Ducati Diavel.

Back home, some of the biggest news included, BMW announcing it's entry into the Indian market with it's flagships and Harley setting up a CKD plant at Manesar, Gurgaon. But from my point of view the biggest news in the month of November was our Indian Racing Team Ten10 making it to the MotoGP 125cc grid in conglomeration with the WTR team.

That was pretty much the buzz in the month of November.

December proved to be a very exciting month for ThrottleQuest.com as I got the opportunity to individually review a full blown 2007 Yamaha R1. Thanks to Ken Da for taking out the time and coming so early in the morning.

One of the biggest and the most important news in the month of December was the split between long term partners Honda and Hero Motors. The news was in the air for quite sometime now and in the month of December, the news became reality. The brand that established motorcycling in the country as now gone.

At the same time the biggest scoop that came in the month of December was that KTM and Bajaj would be bring the KTM baby Duke in engine capacities in excess of 125cc, may be in the range of 200cc. At the same time all through the month different variants of the yet to be launched Honda CBR 250R kept making their presence felt over the cyber space.

Harley Davidson revealed it's 2011 lineup for India - the Sportster Super Low 883 and the Sportster Iron 883.

Internationally, the news which shook the Super Bike arena was the hold off of the 2011 Kawasaki Ninja ZX 10R due to some issues with the engine. Thankfully for the motorcycle fraternity worldwide, the hold off gets lifted just at the dawn of 2011.

The biggest celebration for motorcycle enthusiasts came as a New Years gift from Honda. The bookings for Honda CBR 250R were announced to commence from 1st Jan, 2011.

All in all I would say that 2010 was quite eventful minus a couple of months. The stage is all set for 2011 and I'm really hoping for a rocking year ahead.

Best of luck from ThrottleQuest.com to all the riders around the world and next year, I'm hoping to create an even more wonderful collage :)
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Item Reviewed: 2010 - The year that was Description: Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Sajal
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