My first motorcycle race sponsor.

This is a story of my first motorcycle race sponsor.

The X round of the National Championship was underway and this time around, there was a Royal Enfield (RE) class included. I had got the ThunderDuck done up but not had the time to test it. A whole host of motorcycles from Rolling Thunder MC were landing up at the Chennai track, so mine went with the lot of them.

Many things happened in the morning and it was time for the RE class to head out onto the track for first practice. As all the motorcycles spilled out onto the track from pit lane, Prashanth and I kept to the rear end of the super enthusiastic group of riders. As we picked up the pace after turn 3, and leaned into turn 4, Prashi’s 500 cafe racer’s engine locked up and he was on the ground, just a few meters ahead of me. I did brake, else he would have been a human speed bump, but the front let go and I was on the ground besides him. Picked up the motorcycles and bruised egos and made it back to the pits, without a single lap completed.

Back in the pits, Mr. Bose had his mechanic give the motorcycle a once over. It needed a little muscle to get the handlebar back to its normal shape and the clutch lever. The mechanic did a thorough job and this is where I begin believing – what ever happens, happens for the good in the grand scheme of things.  My mechanic back in Bangalore had forgotten to fill engine oil! The sump was dry. I had ridden it only about 500 meters before I crashed and limped back to the pits, so the engine survived.

I thanked my stars and started up the motorcycle when Mr. Bose said that I would see a good increase if I were to move up in carburetor size to a BS-29. I had no access to one and had been running a stock BS-26 till then. He brought me a calibrated BS-29 the next day and it made an immediate improvement in the way the the motorcycle was responding.

I finished the event on the podium and while packing up for the weekend, I went to return the carb and fit my older carb in place. But, he refused and gifted the carb to me. That came as a complete surprise and with that he became my first sponsor! I still use that carb on my Thunderbird even while touring and commuting with it to this day.

The fabrication of a café racer – ThunderDUCK!

It all started off one day when I decided that I wanted to build a café racer kit on the Thunderbird. I had planned on the direction I would be taking with this project and finalized (at least in my mind) as to how the bike would finally look. This project took a step towards reality when over a session of beer and mindless doodling on Scottish Pub’s tissue paper; Prashanth told me that he had a café racer tank with him. Continue reading “The fabrication of a café racer – ThunderDUCK!”