Vivek Thilakan, a Sales Engineer tells us about his passion for big bikes.
Can you tell us a bit about your background and why you became passionate about big bikes?
I am an Indian Expat and grew up my whole life in Bahrain.
While Bikes are as much a passion as cricket among Indians, oddly I was a very late bloomer in motorcycling from my family. Ironically, now I drive the heaviest bike in the hood.
I always had a penchant for cruisers but I waited till I was financially independent to jump headlong into this world. And when I did, I came with a bang (Literally yes, one week after I got my license – I suffered a heavy crash)
Tell us about this bike of yours. What is your dream bike?
Mine is a Honda Shadow 400CC with a Green Goblin Sheen. The moment I saw it’s picture as an ad, I swore to myself that I had to have it. In fact, I bought it even while I was still in the process of getting my motorcycle license. We share the same temperament – laid-back, relaxed, a bit of grit and a hearty rumble.
My dream bike would be a Honda Fury / Honda VT1300CX. Aside from the powerpunch engine, there’s something lupine about that one which gets my gear going.
What’s the difference between riding a bike and riding a car?
A Car is a shiny metallic box which transports you from one place to another. It gives you stability, comfort and safety. To summarize in one word – Mundane.
A Bike is a metallic beast with a bit of danger, a dash of pleasure, a little sweat, grime, grunt and thump. It gives you freedom, fun and fire. To summarize in one word – Maverick.
Four wheels move your body. Two wheels move your soul.
The quintessential image of boys on motorbikes is of James Dean on his motorcycle. How do you feel on a motorbike?
Honestly, I feel the pure pleasure of driving. The air above, the metallic roar below, the howl of the winds to the side and you are free like a wild song. Angling your body with the bike, something as simple as taking a turn becomes a hoot.
If you respect the motorcycle, it respects you. When you care, learn and know about it – it yields to you.
You become the brain, it becomes the brawn. You are the soul, it’s the spirit. You are the thrust, it’s the punch.
On the concrete, together you become a magnificent creature – part man part metal.
What advice can you give to beginning bikers/ bike enthusiasts?
My first advice is to always be conscious of your safety. That includes your helmet, safety gear and being extra aware of the road. Your relative freedom on the road also means you are much more vulnerable – you got to balance that by being highly responsible to yourself and your bike.
My second advice is to never ever start learning on a brand new bike. There are only two types of riders – those who crashed and those who are yet to crash. In spite of all our precautions, sometimes things go out of hand and you crash. If your bike happens to be new, the feeling is akin to having your heart raked over nails.
It’s good to learn on a second hand bike and then advance slowly upwards.
Ride safe, ride responsibly. The feeling is truly out of the world.