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NEED FOR SPEED – THE WORLD OF BIKE ENTHUSIASTS

Most people own and ride a motorcycle for convenience, but bike enthusiasts makes it a vital part of their life. In this edition of B360, we spoke to well recognised bike fanatics to learn about their passion and the current motorcycling trends.

[nextpage title=”Ateet Shrestha” ]

Ateet Shrestha
Co-Owner, Genesis Cafe by BikerzAus Nepal

What does riding symbolise?

Freedom. I think it starts from there.

When did you get interested in motorcycles?

I think since I have realised its existence. Just looking at it would give me pleasure. Once I was able to ride, the love just got stronger.

What was the first motorcycle you bought?

Yamaha YZF R6. It was back in 2012 when I was in Australia. I don’t know the exact reason but I just wanted it.

How many motorcycles have you owned till date? Which is your all-time favourite?

There have been a few. The list includes Pulsar DTSI 150, Yamaha YZF R6, Honda CBR 1000RR Fireblade (Casey Stoner Limited Edition), Suzuki DRZ 400 SM, Karizma R, Honda Tornado XR250, Honda CRF 250L, Honda CG125, Yamaha YB125, Suzuki TS 185 ER, Daelim VS 125, KTM Duke 390, Ducati Hyperstrada 821 and Honda XL 50.
I treasure all of them. But the CRF250L has to be my all-time favourite.

What are the key points you look for in a motorcycle?

I just let my heart decide it.

What is the current motorcycle scene?

It was nice in the past and it’s even better now. Bit of ups and downs but of course a positive growth.

What differentiates it from other adventure sports?

I wouldn’t compare. I think other adventure sports are amazing too.

How do you minimise risks while riding?

Keep it simple. Just go with the flow and follow the basics; else walking is dangerous too.

QUICK FIVE

Preferred bike: Dirt.
Dream bike: It would be “MOTORCYCLES”.
Must have riding gear: Helmet
Top speed: Never too worried about that!
Idol: The one who truly rides.

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[nextpage title=”Pasang Sherpa” ]

Pasang Sherpa
Owner, Bikers Nepal

What does riding symbolise?

Freedom from hectic work. When you ride, it’s just the motorcycle, road and you.

What got you interested in motorcycles?

I have been interested in riding a motorcycle since childhood. But after I got my own motorcycle, it just changed my life.

What was the first motorcycle you bought?

Honda XL250R was my first bike. There were not many bikes like that on the streets of Kathmandu and I felt proud riding one.

How many motorcycles have you owned till date? Which is your all-time favourite?

I have owned more than eleven motorcycles. I have owned Honda XL250R, two Honda XR250R, Honda XR350R, CBR400R, Suzuki DR250S, two Suzuki DR350S, Honda XR200R, four Yamaha R1,two MVAgusta, Honda CRF450X and CX250SE.

My favourite is the Honda XR350R because it’s unique and the only one in Nepal.

What are the key points you look for in a motorcycle?

Well I really don’t care about most of the features, I am only interested in the power of the motorcycle. The most important element for me is that the engine start-up should be smooth.

Your most memorable motorcycle moment?

It has to be when we rode to Jomsom in 2006. I’ll never forget the memories I had during that ride.

What is the current motorcycle scene in Nepal?

I am pleased that many motorcycle brands are coming into Nepal. Customers, therefore,  have more options. Now is one of the best time for bikers as they have an array of brands and bikes to choose from.

What differentiates motorcycling from other adventure sports?

All adventure sports have their own benefits but motorcycling is different. It’s like playing football. Once you get addicted, it’s hard to come out of it. Besides the thrill, motorcycling is also about the connection between the man and the machine.

How do minimise risks while driving?

Everything is risky but comparatively riding a motorcycle is riskier which is why proper riding gear should be worn by the rider no matter what the occasion is whether commuting on city roads or while travelling on the highway. I would also urge motorcycle riders to not ride recklessly and be aware of their surroundings.

QUICK FIVE

Preferred bike: Dirt
Dream bike: Triumph Daytona
Must have riding gear: Boots, gloves, helmet and body armour
Top speed: 268km/h on my R1
Idol: My Father

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[nextpage title=”Ameet ‘Maxx’ Rajkarnikar” ]

Ameet ‘Maxx’ Rajkarnikar
Owner, 9mm Motorcycle Clothing

What does riding symbolise?

It is about freedom, escape, therapy and concentration. I consider bikes a crossroad of functionality and art. I am restoring my vintage bike with the help of Raajib Sayami (RS Moto). The feeling of speed and the wind on my face while riding is amazing. That is life! I believe it is the most exciting and the most satisfying thing you can do with your clothes on.

What got you interested in motorcycles?

My father was really into motorcycling back in the days and he used to ride a lot. Even though he had a car, he preferred to ride a motorcycle.  In my teenage days, my brother taught me how to ride. There has been no stopping my love for bikes since.

What was the first motorcycle you owned?

My First Motorcycle was a Honda XLR200R which I bought in 2002.

Once I had taken my uncle’s bike (Honda XL185s) to Birgunj through the old Pharping road. I fell in love with the off-road bike and from that day I knew I wanted to buy an off-road motorcycle especially the Honda XL185s. Me and my friend started searching for a second-hand well-tuned XL185s in good condition but could not find any until one day I found it at a motorcycle second hand shop in Thamel. The owner introduced me to a mint condition 200cc XLR of 2001. I fell in love with it and I was ready to spend all that I had to own it.

How many motorcycles have you owned till date? Which is your all-time favourite?

Currently, I own a total of four motorcycles. Ducati Hypermotard 796 (2011), Honda CBR 250r 2011, Honda CB360 1974 sports and Honda CB500 Four 1976 model (which I am planning to restore by next year).

Your most memorable motorcycle moment

Once while in Pokhara, I suddenly felt the urge to ride at the break of dawn. I got up at around 4:30 in the morning and started packing my bags, wore my protectives and sat on the bank of Fewa watching the fog disappear. Then I checked my tyre air pressure, chain, oil and finally my brakes. (I recommend everyone to do this before you start riding.) With full fuel tank, I started off.

The memory of cool breeze on my face is still fresh in my memory. I felt like I was in heaven. The weather was perfect. I couldn’t resist revving the throttle and ran off listening to my music playlist (I do not recommend this though). The road was just perfect and there was no traffic. I was a little scared at first as in the morning the weather can get cold and the roads wet. But I had my Pirelli super corsa tyres. This tyre is road and track tyre and heats up instantly and gives you good grip on the road.

The feeling of riding on empty roads in perfect weather is inexplicable. After riding for almost 40 minutes, I reached Bandipur where I always stop for a cup of tea. I resumed my ride to Mugling to reach my destination, Kathmandu.

What differentiates motorcycling from other adventure sports?

I have huge respect for all types of adventure sports. But, the feel of having a roaring machine and using techniques to ride fast and ride safe along with balance to make it both work takes a lot of effort, experience and patience.

QUICK FIVE

Preferred bike: Naked styled motorcycle – Ducati hypermotard 796
Dream bike: Ducati 1098
Must have riding gear: Helmet, protective jackets and pants or knee protection, protective boots and gloves.
Top speed: 240 kms per hour
Idol: The Kentucky Kid “Nicky Hayden” 69.

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[nextpage title=”Pramod ‘Goofy’ Shrestha” ]

Pramod ‘Goofy’ Shrestha
Owner, Himalayan Enfielders

What does riding symbolise?

A lot of people take it as a mode of transportation, but there is a separate section of people for whom it is a passion. For me, riding symbolises adventure.

What got you interested in motorcycles?

I like to explore and my motorcycle is a medium through which I have found exploring fun. That is what got me into motorcycles. It was in my early teens that I fell in love with motorcycles. Once one of my cousins who had a Honda XL185 had come over home. I asked him if I could ride it. That was the first time I touched a motorcycle and it ignited a lifelong passion.

What was the first motorcycle you bought?

In my family, we had Honda, Yamaha and Bajaj motorcycles but I wanted to buy something new and fresh which really said ‘that’s a motorcycle’. So, I asked my mom for Rs 25,000 and bought a 1995 Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Standard.

To ride an Enfield in 1995 was a class of its own. There were only 10-15 Royal Enfields in Kathmandu. So owning an Enfield made the rider an outcast but in a positive way which is why I bought that motorcycle.

How many motorcycles have you owned till date? What’s your all-time favourite?

I am more of a Royal Enfield enthusiast so I have been more inclined to Royal Enfield motorcycles. Till now, I have owned 1995 Royal Enfield Bullet 350 Standard and Royal Enfield Classic 500.

If I had to choose one, I’ll choose my ‘Kanchi’, Royal Enfield Classic 500, which has been with me since 1999 and has travelled with me on numerous tours.

What are the key points you look for in a motorcycle?

Firstly, I look for after sales service because if you buy and you don’t get after sales services, you’ll have lots of trouble. The motorcycle should also be robust.

Your most memorable motorcycle moment

It has to be when we went to Tibet in 2003. At that time, there were no roads on Nepal side although road construction was taking place on the Tibet side. It was really an adventurous ride that will be in my heart and soul forever.

The current motorcycle scene…

For every passion whether it is off-roading, touring, racing or just commuting, people now have choices of various types and brands of motorcycle available in Nepal.

What differentiates it from other adventure sports?

Adventure sports such as rafting or paragliding or any other sport pumps up your adrenaline momentarily, whereas motorcycling is about taking yourself far and beyond. Additionally, for motorcycle touring, everything has to be organised meticulously. So yes, it is totally different from other adventure sports.

How do you minimise risks associated with riding?

Riding a motorcycle is risky. However, it is not just with motorcycling; everything that anyone does can be perceived as risky. While riding you can eliminate risk by riding safely, wearing proper riding gear and being conscious about your surroundings. Be a defensive rider rather than an aggressive rider!

QUICK FIVE

Preferred bike: Anything with power
Dream bike: I am a touring person, so any motorcycle capable of touring in all terrains is my dream motorcycle.
Must have riding gear: Not just a particular gear, a rider should be properly dressed in full riding gear with safety protection from head to toe.
Top speed: 180+ km/h in Tibet

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