purushothaman

I have completed my UG in mechanical engineering. I have done a one month internship at a motorcycle racing team in Chennai. And I love to traveling on motorcycles.

Yamaha RX135-Longterm review

Yamaha RX is a widely known motorcycle in India. There are different variants like the Rx100, RXZ, and RX135. The one that I own is the Yamaha RX135, 2002 model. It is the best two stroke motorcycle in India. When the Yamaha RX variants were sold it was a golden period for Yamaha, the company had sold vast number of motorcycles back then.

Yamaha RX135
I have used RX100 Side panels 🙂

The people of the present generation who know nothing about motorcycles might consider it as a dirty oil burning two stroke, but for the biking community it is a priced possession. Even today bikers are ready to spend huge sums of money for the restoration of the motorcycle.

Advantages of owning two stroke motorcycle over the four stroke

I am sure not many people know that a two stroke has a good part to play as well. So let’s make it clear. A two stroke engine is lubricated by the fuel, which means we need to mix oil with petrol. You might say “ hoo its causing pollution what is the good part in it”. Here are the advantages, to start with we will consider the silencer. The silencer of the motorcycle is prevented from rust, as oil deposits in the inner sides of the silencer preventing corrosion. In the four stroke motorcycle you are sure to encounter rust in the silencer. Next, this attribute also prevents rust in the fuel tank and the fuel line. So in a way you are preserving your motorcycle.

Next, the engine, the two stroke has only two moving parts, which is the piston and the crank, so the wear and tear is limited to these components, unlike the four stroke which has may be more than 10 moving parts, which are subjected to wear and tear, and will run you pocket dry in case you rebuild your  engine.

Service and maintenance

You don’t have to worry about the vehicle, it does not require much attention like the four stroke bikes. There are not many moving parts so you don’t have the problem of adjusting the engine timing, valve opening etc. The service will not cost you as much as the four stroke, and it is very simple and can be performed by any individual with a little knowledge. The gear oil does not require frequent changing as it is separate from the engine. I spend Rs:400 per service in the local mechanic shop, and if I want to replace the oil I have to pay 300 more for the oil. The bike gives a decent mileage of 40Kmlp in the city and 30 to 35Kmpl in the highway.The production of the bike is stopped and the availability of original spare parts is limited, this is the only major setback, most of the parts are of very bad quality and destroy the harmony of the motorcycle when installed.Yamaha RX135Ride experienceThe bike is capable of achieving a top speed of 110kmph. It’s got a very good acceleration but does not have good braking, this is because it is light weight. There is solution to this problem, you could install a disk brake in the front, which will improve the capacity of the bike to break better. If you apply the brakes to hard you might end up locking the front tire and the situation may turn out to be dangerous.If you bike comes with a CAT silencer, do not uninstall it, because it helps in braking. “What!! Breaking, how does a CAT silencer help” confused right… so this is how it works, the CAT silencer is a lot heavy than the previous one, so it adds more weight to the bike and helps to stop better. The silencer also helps in achieving good suspension action as the silencer contributes to sprung mass of the bike. So if you bike comes with a CAT silencer do not remove it just because you are not getting enough sound.Most of the people do not use the side oil tank, they prefer to mix oil directly into the petrol tank. This is not a good option, if you want your bike to run better and the engine to last longer make it a point to use the side oil tank.Build qualityThe quality of the bike is very great. When you compare the bike with other bikes of the same category this bike stands apart in every aspect. The materials used for the build are of a very good standard which saves bike from the problem of rust. The bikes of the present generation do not last as long as the old bikes. The sound is another major factor that makes the bike more adorable. The bike has got a very distinctive sound and gives you the racing feel. This motorcycle is built to last a life time.Conclusion Overall the bike feels very refined to ride even though if it is from the past. The bike harmonizes with the rider and gives the rider superior feel when he/she rides it. The Motorcycle is sure to bring a smile on the riders face 🙂

Mahindra Thar-ownership review

Mahindra Thar CRDe is a vehicle for adventures people who would like to explore. And I am sorry to say that it does not meet the needs for the other category of people. It is an affordable four wheel drive vehicle by the Indian middle class. I bought the vehicle in Sep 2013 since then it has completed 14500 km. Back then the vehicle had come with an on road price tag of Rs8,30,000.

Exterior design

The beauty of the car is indescribable. It is an admirable piece of architecture. The suv looks pretty much as its predecessor the mm540 DP, there is nothing much changed in terms of exterior design, apart from broad tyres. The car can be customized as desired by the owner, and you can keep doing it as long as you run out of money, because there are a lot many custom parts available in the market to meet your taste. Buying the vehicle is only a small part, customizing it is the major challenge. When you open the doors of the vehicle you get the same sound like in the old jeeps, and I am happy that Mahindra has made it a point to keep it in the present model.

Mahidra Thar front view

Undesirable Interiors

The Thar CRDE has the same dashboard as the Bolero, which is a bit disappointing as people would like something different for a vehicle that looks so appealing from the outside. The vehicle comes with air conditioning and heater as standard. The Thar looks very outdated from the inside. To feel like you are in the 21th century, you have to customize your interiors as well.

The dashboard is made of poor quality plastic and it has a very bad finish quality. The air blower cannot be adjusted for the flow of air to the driver and the co-driver, it is a major setback in the vehicle. It has no electric windows, no cigarette lighter, and it has no indication when the doors are opened, and it has no indication for the seat belt. The steering cannot be adjusted. To say it in one word its “rubbish” on the inside. It is a very bad impression for Mahindra. Jeep is a vehicle that owns a great reputation all around the world, and it’s not very pleasant to see Mahindra destroying it.

The rubber is out of place in the period of just six months.
The rubber is out of place in the period of just six months.
poor interior quality
poor interior quality

Driving experience

Good

The Thar has a 2400cc engine which has good torque and in no time you are into higher speeds as and when you press the accelerator. This attribute comes at the cost of greater fuel consumption. Overall the engine feels very refined and smooth. The braking characters are very good, the vehicle comes with front discs and rear drum brakes. If you would ask me what I like about the vehicle it would be the front end, because it has individual front double wishbone suspension which keeps the vehicle planted to the ground while off road. The vehicle has good off road ability, it handles any terrain with ease and it is gives you the that adventures feeling while you drive.

Bad

It handles very well at high speeds on the tarmac unless you meet pot holes or obstacles on the road, because it goes uncontrollable when you come across obstacles. When you travel at speeds above 50 kph, you come across hearing the soft top battering, no matter how many speakers you install you just wont be able to hear your music. The rear suspension is a leaf spring suspension. It is not very comfortable for occupants while traveling on uneven surfaces or bumpy roads. When you come across bumps while traveling at descent speeds you feel as though there are many loose components.

As the vehicle has a powerful engine you end up getting very poor mileage. On the highway you might get around 12 to 13 kmpl if drive below 80kmph, in the city will get 8 to 9 kmpl. If you have money constrains this might worry you a lot.

Service

Mahindra does not  have the facility to service the Thar in most of its centers, you have to be prepared to go miles to service your vehicle if you would like to own one. I am not very satisfied with the quality of service that Mahindra offers. The only thing that is done is the replacement and toping up of fluids, the vehicle is not washed, in fact the service station where I service my car does not even have a hydraulic facility to wash the vehicle. As it has been free service so far I am not sure what might turn out to be the Maintenance cost.

Overall vehicle build quality

The material and the paint job is done brilliantly, but there are many small details that is not very pleasant to view. The door beading’s are not of good quality, and during rain, water seeps through the door beading’s. The window seals are not of good quality either. The car’s hood beading is also not good and it is not fitted properly.

My car had coolant leaking in the first 1000kms itself. The clutch pedal rubber had come off the pedal. The quality of material used is very poor, they tend to fail very often. Mahindra has not taken good care in building the vehicle, and not taken any efforts in testing it before it reaches the customer. This vehicle is not built as rugged as the mm540, and I can tell you that because we had owned one.

Mahindra Thar CRDE

Conclusion

This vehicle is not worth the price tag, since it has no competition I believe Mahindra is taking this car leniently. Producing cars of such low standards is a bad reputation for the company. I had already sent an email stating the problems but the company has not given any response so far. I would be happy if Mahindra considers customer feedback and rectifies the problems. For people who would like to buy the Thar I would suggest you take a detailed inspection, and if it meets your needs, you can go ahead in buying the vehicle.