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 🙂


MARUTI  SUZUKI SWIFT DZIRE LXI (2009) – Ownership Review

When Maruti Suzuki first introduced the Maruti Swift in May 2005 it brought along a new refreshing look to the Indian hatchback market. As the Swift saw more and more success, Maruti Suzuki decided to take things one step further. This brought about the introduction of the Swift Dzire. The Swift Dzire is a sedan version of the popular Swift hatchback and was brought about to replace the ageing Maruti Esteem, a car which had an amazing track record to its name. The question lingering at the time of launch was, how far better would the new car be? Whatever questions that where present about the car where eventually answered with the cars launch on the March of 2008. The introduction of the car brought something new to the Indian market.

A car which had decent levels of comfort along with good fuel efficient engines was a recipe bound to succeed and yes it did. So now let’s take a look at how the car serves the owner . With 47000 km travelled and about 5 years of ownership, the car is still a very capable machine and still very much has a lot of life in it (most cars would be in the same shape provided routine maintenance and service is carried out on it).

Exterior Design and looks:

The cars design is very much based on its smaller sibling the Swift hatchback. It has the same shaped headlights and tail-lights which flow with the body’s lines and seem like they seamlessly fit into the body curves. The added boot at the back does seem flow with the rest of the body but with the added boot the car’s stance does seem to have changed a bit when compared to the swift. From the back this car isn’t the best to look at ( although from the front the looks are much better ). The wheels are tiny 14-inch rims with 165/80 section tires. Both the rim and tire size where aptly selected to go well with the exterior of the car as well provide good comfort inside.

Swift Dezire LXI ownership review

Now when it comes to quality of the exterior of the MARUTI SWIFT Dzire, this is where it has a few shortcomings. Overall the bodywork doesn’t feel all that solidly put together. The metalwork feels like it can be dented very easily which it has done a couple of times (a small nudge from an auto caused the door outer panel to get dented inwards). Replacing the door panel wasn’t all that hard or expensive (hats off to Maruti Suzuki for providing such good service quality) but I think that goes to show what quality materials are used in the car. Otherwise the exterior of the car has held up very well over the years and the paint hasn’t faded much over time and still shines very well in the sunlight (For your Info the car is washed and cleaned at least twice a week & this helps in keeping the paint in good condition).


Interior Design and Quality:

The interior of the MARUTI SWIFT Dzire LXI is very basic. All you get in terms of features is air conditioning and power steering along with a very basic instrument cluster as well. There is NO Tachometer/RPM gauge, so information provided by the car to the driver is very limited. There is also no power windows and music system so be prepared to use your arm for the windows and have some very quite drives if you are alone (you can obviously get these installed separately on request by Maruti Suzuki or elsewhere!).

The interior itself is a simple grey plastic interior which is a little dull to look at. In all fairness this is a very cheap car to buy (around Rs 5 lakh on road), so not a lot can be expected from it to begin with. The plastic itself is very is not very nice to touch on the dash and on the doors. However the plastic used on the dash feels much more solid than the one used on the doors (give a little push and the door panel will bend inwards which gives a very unnerving feeling again about the quality of materials used). Even the plastic used for the air conditioning vents feels very flimsy. The stalks for the wind-shield wiper and headlights feel a little flimsy but are simple to use and don’t give any trouble.

Interior  of Swift Dezire LXI

The seats of the MARUTI SWIFT Dzire are made with fabric. Both the front and rear seats provide good levels of comfort. The overall driving position is a bit high, giving a good outside view for the driver ( for tall people it is a bit too high ). The MARUTI SWIFT desire can accommodate 5 people although the person sitting in the middle at the back row may feel a bit cramped. Legroom is decent at the back but that also depends on how tall the people sitting at the front are. A relatively tall person sitting in front would defiantly reduce the space behind.

Technical Specs & Driving Dynamics:

Maruti Suzuki Dzire LXi comes with a 1.2 liter, 4 cylinder naturally aspirated petrol engine. This engine is a part of Maruti Suzuki K series engines. The engine puts out 85 ps (about 83 bhp) of power at 6000RPM and 113Nm of torque at 4500RPM. The engine is mated to a five speed manual gearbox. Through the years the engine has been quite reliable as are most Maruti Suzuki engines. The engines state of tune is best suited for city use. The throttle response is good and there is a decent amount of low end torque which allows easy overtaking in city traffic conditions. The gearbox itself is fun to use. It has a nice mechanical feel which gives the driver an idea of what’s going on and is very smooth & easy to slot into any gear. The engine itself is very silent and there isn’t much vibration which gets through to the cabin.

The ride of the Dzire is defiantly made to make sure its passengers feel comfortable. The suspension at both the front and rear is quite soft which contributes to quite a bit of body roll in the cornering. This along with the skinny tires doesn’t reassure the driver a lot especially at high speeds. For this reason I up sized to 185/70 section R14 tires for better stability although fuel efficiency did take a bit of a hit (with the 165/80 tires city mileage was about 12-13kmpl). The steering to is made for city use. Its lightly weighted which makes life easy when taking u turns and the turning radius is small too.

Running Costs:

Fuel efficiency is something Maruti Suzuki takes into account very seriously and this car performs quite well in the city. I get about 11-12kmpl with smooth driving and on the highways about 15 km/pl.

Service and after sales:

Service of the Dzire by Maruti Suzuki is of a good standard. Most of the spare parts are readily available at the service center and come at cheap rates compared to other companies. The car service doesn’t take too long and I’ve always informed of any repairs that have to be done or being carried out.

Shortcomings of the Swift Dzire LXI

–          The quality of the body work and the interior plastics is a bit low compared to others cars available at the price. Also the interior look is dull and doesn’t look very elegant.

–          The car is made for Indian cities so if your daily life takes you along highways and covers long distances look at another car.

–          The driving controls such as the steering and the brakes lack feel and don’t give much feedback.

–          The engine although brilliant in the city, lacks punch in the top end and combined with tall gearing makes life difficult on highways.

 Bottom Line:

Maruti Swift Dzire without doubt is a car made for Indian cities. Everything about it makes sure it’s occupants feel comfortable when battling the heavy traffic of modern Indian cities and there aren’t many other cars which give you the same value for money as this one!


In India one of the most popular types of cars are the Hatchback’s. A small sized car which can fit 5 people, fuel efficient and relatively economical to buy. Anywhere you look in an Indian city & you will for sure find a Hatchback. For years now Maruti Suzuki has ruled the Hatchback segment with a variety of cars for sale in this segment but in recent years they have come to face a lot of competition from other manufacturers. One of them is the mighty Volkswagen !

When Volkswagen introduced the Volkswagen Polo back in 2010 to the Indian market, the car came as a refreshing modern addition to the hatchback segment which seemed to be ageing a bit back then. The car was aggressively styled, spacious, had lots of modern technology fitted in, and was a lot sportier in terms of rid and handling than most of its competitors ( thanks to its stiff suspension ). But there was one part of the hatchback segment which seemed to be an unexplored territory in India.

The Hot Hatch

A hot Hatch is a sort of a hooligan version of the civilized hatchbacks many people use in their everyday lives. They look almost the same (few cosmetic changes are made at times to better performance) or exactly the same to the cars they are based on but aren’t the same under the hood. Around the world, the Hot Hatch range of horsepower is quite wide. They go from 120hp up to 250bhp. But in India this isn’t the case. Back in 2010 if someone wanted a hot hatch in India there wasn’t much choice to go for. There is the Punto sport ( 90HP) but many people (including this cars owner) looked away from fiat due to its poor after sales quality, interior quality, and service problems such as lack of spares.  One more reason for the lack of interest in this segment is that in India people do tend to lean toward to fuel efficiency and cutting down running costs rather than having a car that can make you smile wide as u depress your right foot. Volkswagen decided to give this category a shot with the Polo 1.6. Although VW has stopped production of this car in India (due to it not being able to become the hit they thought it would be, their current entry in this segment is the Polo TSI) it still remains a very appealing car to those petrol heads around town.

This specific Polo 1.6 belongs to a good friend of mine and he was very kind enough to allow me to drive it and do this review on it. He bought the car in April 2011 and has done about 14000kms on it and every time I see him drive it there never seems to be nothing but a smile on his face (there was one on my face too, when I drove it!) What makes this car appealing u might ask? Well let’s take a look at it in a bit more detail.

Exterior Design and looks:

The Volkswagen polo is a car which was designed keeping in mind the modern world. Most car manufacturers are designing their hatchback keeping the youth in mind (considering that nowadays hatchbacks are the cars which most people in their youths go for because of their pricing and value for money). The Volkswagen polo is one car which oozes modern design philosophy. Its aggressive styling and sharp lines are very striking and attractive to look and the same principle is followed all along the car.

Volkswagen polo ownwership review
The aggressive styling of the front make it very appealing to the modern generation.

The car’s front end is what is the most striking and distinctive to look at! The whole flow of aggressive and bold lines along the car starts from here. The uniquely styled headlights and bumper give the car a menacing look (at night there is no question on which car is behind you when you see those set of headlights). Although this car is styled in this manner, there is still a certain amount of fluidity in the whole overall shape of the car.

Due to the lack of a proper boot, the nice looking sharp lines come to a somewhat of an abrupt end. However Volkswagen has done its best to make the rear of this car as good as the front (tried & in my opinion the front looks very much better than the rear). The 15” alloy wheels look good too and suite the cars design very well.

Volkswagen polo ownership review
The bold lines flow right along the car.

When it comes the build quality of the car there is no doubt of the supremacy the German manufacturer holds in this area. The exterior feels very solid and very well put together. The quality of the body work Is very good and the finish as well. This is one area I feel Volkswagen has the edge over other cars in its segment although there are a few which run close with it – one being the Fiat Punto and the Honda Brio.

Interiors Design & Quality:

Take a look inside and the polo follows the same standards it does on the outside. The interior of the car feels very solid and the materials used are of quite a good quality. The Instrument cluster makes use of modern technology with a digital display which gives the driver information about fuel quantity and data from the trip computer such as fuel consumption average, real time consumption, range, and speed. The display itself is very clear and easy to read. There have been complaints that at night, especially on the highway the screen is a bit too bright and hampers visibility a bit but the owner of this car said he didn’t find the display disturbing at night and I too didn’t find it very disturbing while on the highway.So I guess we will leave this up to personal opinion.

Volkswagen polo interiors - ownership review
The solid and good looking interiors of the polo 1.6

The Center console is simple and functional in its design. It isn’t cluttered with buttons and the controls are simple and easy to use. The touch and feel of the controls too is solid as with whole of the car. However when it comes to comforts, the Polo 1.6 isn’t as well equipped as one would want. There is no climate control all thought the air conditioning is powerful and cools the car well. The music system doesn’t have AUX or Bluetooth capabilities but the speakers are powerful and clear lending to a more pleasurable drive.

The seats on the Polo 1.6 are comfortable and supportive to be in. The driver seat is height adjustable and the steering can be adjusted in rake and reach but the reach is limited to only 3-4 inches. The interior also comes in a nice dual tone beige and black color scheme. But all in all there is nothing to complain about with this interior, its solidly built and will last long into the cars life.

Engine & Driving Dynamics:

Now we come to the part which really sets this car apart from the others in its segment. The Engine!  The car is powered by a naturally aspirated 1.6L four cylinder engine which churns out 103bhp @ 5250 RPM and 153NM of torque @3750 RPM. In India these number are usually reserved for the mid-size sedan segment (By looking at these numbers itself anyone would come to think that this car is no slouch). It doesn’t let your expectations down. Initially it does take a bit to get going, but as the RPM needle crosses 1500 – 2000 RPM it comes alive and you suddenly find your body a little further away from the steering wheel if you weren’t leaning back into your seat already. Lean in to the throttle further and the engine just pulls all the way through up to the red line. This sensation of being pressed in your seat is also accompanied by a deep roar from the engine bay. However while idling I found that there is a minute lag in throttle response.

This hunk of an engine is mated to a Five-speed manual gearbox. The gearbox itself is slick and slots into gear very easily making changing gears a peach. But it lacks that mechanical feel and on a side note to engage reverse you have to push the gear leaver down and then push it into the direction of first gear. The gear ratios are more suited to city driving. On the highway due to the lack of low end torque you do need to downshift a gear to overtake but else this can take you up to some serious speeds which could get you into some serious trouble!

One place the Volkswagen polo seems to be different from the rest is its suspension tune. Whether you like It or not is up to personal opinion. Some people like having stiff suspension as it contributes to better handling characteristics and less body role during cornering and then there are the people who like to have a softer state of tune so that all the bumps and potholes are soaked up. Well, from day one the Volkswagen polo has been criticized a bit for having too harsh and stiff a ride, but I don’t mind it. For me it’s not that harsh it does a decent job of dealing with our constantly dug up and pothole ridden road (there are cars which deal with the roads much better e.g. Hyundai i20, but then again it can’t match up to the way this car takes the bends). The car feels planted at highway speeds and give the diver more confidence in driving the car. The steering is light which is perfect in the city but for highway driving a bit more weight would have been a lot better. The steering is a bit dull in feedback which is nice if u don’t want the steering constantly moving around to every bump and pothole forcing the tires to move, but if u prefer a steering with feedback then you might not fancy this one ( This is due to it being an electronic power steering rather than hydraulic).

All in all this is a nice car to drive. With its powerful engine and its good handling and road holding you find yourself wanting to spend more and more time with it and drive it on a nice highway till its tanks are empty (suggest you don’t though).

 Service & After Sales:

When it comes to VW’s service the owner said that delivery and availability of parts weren’t an issue with Volkswagen polo. However he did mention that if he had any specific technical complaint the ability of the VW’s mechanics to troubleshoot and isolate the problem wasn’t good enough. He once found himself complaining about the same problem twice. Each time the representatives said they found the issue and fixed it but the problem lingered. Only on the third attempt was the problem actually resolved.

Where The Volkswagen polo 1.6 isn’t up to mark:

–         The initial throttle response is a bit slow.

–         There isn’t as much low-end torque as expected for a petrol engine, so for overtaking (especially in a fully loaded car) on highways you do have to down shift a gear to get the engine to its peak torque output.

–         For people who like riding in comfort this is not a car for you in terms of ride quality. You do feel the bumps and potholes in the car due to its stiff suspension.

–         The car isn’t packed with as many features as it competitors like the Hyundai i20, Fiat Punto, and the Honda Brio.

Bottom Line:

This car was definitely a hot hatch for the Indian market (I say it because VW has stopped production of this car in India). It was most definitely an appealing car to look at and drive and would get your adrenaline pumping when you want it too. But if any company including Volkswagen wants to bring out a true hot hatch and contend seriously, then I think they should take things a step further (Maybe more powerful engines and better handling).