[Mar 08, 2006] Yamaha RD 350

One of my dreams has come true! I have got a Yamaha RD350 cc motorbike for myself. Period.

Chain of Events …

March 5 – Attend Khushwant’s wedding at Khanna. Go to KKP along with Jugnu, Indu and Vicky Brar.

March 6 – Pick up the bike from FDK at Jiya’s place. Some engine-oil leakage. “Nothing much”, I’m told. “No problem”, I say. A mere ‘oil-leakage’ is not gonna stop me from taking this away. Starts wonderfully. Some clunking noise from engine … piston rings. No problemo. Jugnu does a small wheelie. He has been riding this for more than four years now. We both go to his showroom to pick up the papers for the bike … which actually is only a FIR stating that the original documents are lost! 500 ml engine-oil is put into the RD350 to compensate for the loss. We have tea-and-tips session on the road-side. I’m enlightened with a few quick tips. Last night’s drizzle has made it pleasant outside. Jugnu’s borrowed goggles and wind-cheater will be useful. I start at 11:10 AM … with my next stop to be the Reliance petrol pump.

The bike just eats up those 15 kms. I’m exhilarated! I VRROOOM into the petrol station. With around 2 litres already in the tank, I ask for 8 litres more. With around 10.5 ltrs in the tank, I kick the starter … RD350 does not starts. It takes me 20 minutes … with a few calls to Jugnu … to finally have it vrooming again. I move again … planning not to stop throughout. But fate had plans of its own. Barely 5 kms later, RD350 starts spluttering. As I slowed down, I could feel the heat emanating from the engine. Engine seizure was my worst nightmare! I had to stop as the bike was not responding to the throttle. I don’t blame the mzachine, I guess i had somehow managed to get the choke-knob stuck somehow, in my desperation to start the bike at the petrol station. I try to roll the bike to get it into neutral. As I do this, I realize that the clutch seems to be too soft. The clutch wire was broken! $%^&*

Here I’m standing, in the middle of no where, barely 20 kms from my starting point, with a over-heated RD350 without a clutch wire. I decide to move on without a clutch. I have managed to get other two-wheelers moving in the same situation, this should be no different, i reckon. But the biggest problem is starting the bike again. Same situation as that at the petrol station. Me kicking … checking the ignition switch, the petrol knob, the choke lever, and kicking again. I repeat this God-knows-how-many-times. People whom I had overtaken like a flash earlier are crossing by me. I’m sweating like anything and decide that the weather is not all that pleasant. My goggles are in the wind-cheater’s inner pocket and the wind-cheater on my left shoulder. I decide to give it a break.

What to do? that is the question. I contemplate about the idea of calling up Jugnu to arrange for a pick-up. Of course it is a better idea to go back 20 kms than risk moving ahead 110 kms. As I’m thinking about all this, my phone vibrates silently. A SMS has arrived. With nothing else to do I open the Inbox. The SMS is from a dear friend. It was one of those ‘From Shirdi Sai Baba-Pass On To 5 People For Good Luck’ kind of message. Is this some kind of a sign? An Omen? I am in deep trouble and I get this kind of message! Paulo Coelho says – Belive in signs. I do something contrary to my beliefs – I pass on the message to six people with a silent prayer to Shirdi Sai Baba that I should reach home somehow. Before calling up for the ’emergency-rescue-team-to pick-me-up’, I decide to go for it one last time. After a few attempts, some sputtering is there. A few more attempts later, RD350’s engine roars back to life. I’m grinning like anything. I love my friend, I love SMSes and I love Shirdi Sai Baba.

It takes me two attempts to roll the RD350 some distance and engage the first gear. Then second gear, then third, all the way till sixth … and we are going to Ibiza. I have to be careful at railway crossings and small towns. I drag the RD350 across the traffic lights in a major city. Rest of the journey was wonderful. I forgot all my misery every time I overtook a car. Although the speedometer was not working but i guess i travelled at speeds greater than 110 kph with the engine sounding effortless! This despite the fact that one of the pistons was defective and making so much jingling noise.