How I plan to be a better Motorcyclist in 2018

2017 has been a fantastic year. I did a quite a few motorcycle trips with different buddies and each trip has added invaluable experience and memories worth cherishing. Taking a note of all that went well and things that didn’t, I have decided to implement below points for 2018. Read on and let me know what do you think about them.

1> Spend less: 2017 was a year of impulsive spending for everything related to the bike. In 2018, I am going to apply “value for money, time and energy” approach by implementing below points

  • Keep a record of expenses: Maintain an excel sheet on Google Drive and track all the expenses related to bike including consumables like Petrol, Oil etc. with the details of mileage. It will be great to go through this sheet in 2019 and understand some spending patterns.
  • DIY v/s Service Centre: Jobs such as oil change, air filter cleaning, spark plug check etc can be done at home. One weekend out of 3 months or 3000 km should be enough. For other major work, make a thorough list and visit the service center.
  • Preparation of long trips: Instead of buying stuff at the last minute for the trip, I am going to buy them one by one right from the first month of the year or during the discount period.
  • Stay away from Biking Events: I have implemented this in 2017, I will do so in 2018 as well. Biking events are nothing but some smart people minting money from a lot of enthusiastic folks. There will be a few exceptions such as meet-ups where experienced riders share their experiences.
  • Let go the magazine subscriptions: In 2017, I had subscribed to XBHP, Bike, and Fast Bikes magazines. After a year of subscription, I realized that these magazines cover mostly information about new launches and test rides and there is a small section for planning trips or for DIY maintenance work. XBHP has a section written by Old Fox especially for touring which is the XBHP’s USP for me. A magzter subscription should be enough. XBHP websites’ “Motorcycle Ownership Experiences” section and TeamBhp’s similar threads have way more useful information, all for free! Moreover we also have JioMags!

2> Be there for my family: Riding the motorcycle for a day or days by taking off from work is a selfish thing. Especially, if you have a family back home. Being selfish is ok, all of us need some “me” time to gather our thoughts and do some self-introspection, and motorcycling is a great way to do so. But knowing when you being over selfish is the key. Below are few points to consider:

  • Buying the expensive accessory for the bike but neglecting other important purchases.
  • Lost in biking world when your family member is discussing the next outing.
  • Basicall,y have an On\Off switch in your brain for the biking world so that you can concentrate on important aspects of life.

3> Realistic Riding Plans:

  • With limited leaves available in the office, the plan has to be a realistic one. Hence plan to ride to Bhutan and Nepal has to wait.
  • The future riding plans are surely going to include sightseeing and not just clocking miles.
  • I am going try and explore more of Maharashtra in 2018. Have lived most my life in Pune city, it time to explore the other towns and cities of Maharashtra.

4> Ride different types of bikes: Since childhood, I was fascinated by sports bikes and cruiser such as Avengers, Harley’s or even Royal Enfields did not interest me much. But after riding a few of these bikes, I now know that sports bikes make sense only on race tracks (as of now, India has just a few of them). Whereas, cruisers are comfortable to cover the breadth and length of the country. Hence, I am going try and ride every possible type bike out there before I make any assumptions about them.

5> Ride to different types of terrain: So far, I have been riding only on major highways, but a lot of interesting places are at remote places in small villages where there are either bad or no roads. I am also inclined to go off-road trails and witness views which are often not accessible via usual roads. And if possible do camping at such places.

6> Practical modifications to bike: No bike is perfect out of the factory, the owner has to carry out modifications to suit his needs. The LED Auxilliray lights and saddle bag stay rack are the best modification I did to my Karizma. There are a few more on my mind which should make my bike more comfortable and capable.

7> Health: Not just riding bike but a sedate (read as 9-6 IT job) lifestyle is taking a heavy toll of my body. 2 years back I had purchased a cycle which sits in the parking and sees daylight only once in a month. The plan is, besides cycling, work on my stamina and overall fitness.

Looks like I have a good plan, now it is time to be focused and disciplined.

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