Tuesday, December 25, 2012

New Year Celebration 2012 @ Varkala [Kerala]

uploading pics Soon ......

well this is the first blog which i have updated very late.. infact very very late .. almost a year later.

by the time you finish reading the above line you might come to guess, how lame this Varkala trip log, and yes to an extent your right. this was the new year celebration which went lil wrong with the place selection.
instead of all these we had good fun. and this time i will put less words and more pics.

we started for varkala [kerala] along with our usual PDIT friend circle and we never thought that the place we selected gonna be boring. the reason is simple last year we went to GOA and had lot of lot of fun. expectations were high this time. but due to its very long distance and journey time we spent one whole day traveling. and after reaching there we encountered a cyclone which prevented us from having fun at beach side and playing water. but more than that we had to watch Bharata-natyam dance and other folk dance on 31st DEC night, instead of having fun :P.

well its not all that bad either , we have had good vollyball match on the beach with some unknow westren friends and the best of all the first sun rise of the newyear we were able to watch in kanyakumari :D
and ofcourse not to forget the fun in bus with housy-housy game.

with almost 20 friends together it was really a good time
Me, Ashok,Mohan,Gowtam,Pavan,Rajesh,Gowda,Srikanth,Bettu,Shivu,Vishwa,Hegde,Andy,Shiva,Vikky

Picasa Link :

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Hyosung GT250R Full User Review

So after whole 3 months since i owned the GT250R here is detailed review, and sorry that it took  some time to publish this review due to my busy schedule. so Here it goes :

Before starting detailed review , let me inform you few things about this write up, first i may time to time compare the GT250R to some bikes in order to give clearer picture of how it behaves, so don;t go in deep about the comparison. and second, few of the pics posted in this blog are from our fellow bikers and credit to those pics goes to them.

Since from the beginning i was more oriented towards sports bike and the fact which allowed me to pic this GT250R instead of CBR or Ninja is very clear , i needed twin engine sports bike and bike which looks like super bike, period.

Now which one is good overall look/performance/handling --> Ninja>GT250R>CBR  will discuss some aspects of GTR in below review , so no discussion will be entertained on comparison who is better than who. so plz bare with me.

The Start

Finally my GT250R arrived after a long wait for years and this is how it arrived :)


Lets starts with its highest earning points of GTR and no prices for guessing correctly , yes its look.
The design wise i must say its very appealing and eye candy, although some may say its design is dated but look closely as of now nothing comes close to its looks in Indian market, and it combined look of Ducati/Suzuki , there is no doubt that its a star on road and headturner.

The build of bike is good but still need some more effort and parts and fit and finish is good, if not the best, you won;t complain about it trust me and more than that you will get really surprised of its look and build once you physically check it [those bad talks on quality/build on internet don;t justify].

In depth if you check the aesthetic of the bike these are the think you will see:

Starting with Paint quality , its really good and much better than my R15V1 there is no downers here and not to forget one of the most expensive thing in GT250R is its paint [DSK planning to source it locally in next 24 months]. its metallic finish.

The Tank is biggest heighlight of the bike and its provides lot of advantages, the capacity is of 17ltr and 3ltr will be in reserve, tank is sculpted in such a way that the shape of it nicely blends with riders legs and its very comfortable to grab the tank with your legs. and don;t worry it won;t crush ur family jewels in case of sudden or panic braking.
The frame of the bike is twin spar/delta/pressed [what ever you call it] and it provides excellent feedback and stability although the frame is bigger than the normal 250cc bike but this size also provides some advantages [which we will see later].


Start with engine , its one hell of a power and its very friendly , the power delivery is very linear and in no rpm range one finds any kind of difficulty. there is one downer here , the first 2.5k rpm is very lousy, mean to say they take at least 2-3sec to get dashing power , so don;t expect Duke like pullaway from stand still.
Engine is Air+Oil cooled  and there is very little Heating of ENgine when compared to 650, so unless your in heavy snail like moving traffic , there is nothing to worry about engine heat.

As said above the frame is solid and very responsive and provides good stability, due to its size and weight it offers some advantages in Highway riding and specially in heavy cross winds which won;t bother the rider in any way and that's a good point. and due to its size there is less strain on body in un-even roads and small humps and path-holes won;t bother you.

The front of the bike has nice cowl/mask which holds twin projector head lamps and 2 dummy air scoops alone with side mirrors and visor. the shape is very much airodynamic and it cuts through winds smoothly. the mirrors provides the best view of the rear and good thing is it won;t be masked by rider arm much [unlike R15 where half mirror is covered by riders arms blocking the view]. the Visor is excellent when compared to any Indian Bike , due to GTR extreem racy riding position all the wind blast will fly over your head and thus allowing the rider body to cover behind the visor which helps one to avoid body fatigue.
Now the projector lamps are the best in class the power and view of the light is almost near to Bajaj P220 projector light. so night driving is a bliss.

The side faring and rest of the body panels have good quality and there is nothing to write about it, except in some places the distance b/w body and faring is more [but not uneven], i think being a Air+oil cooled engine this gaps helping to allow air to cool the engine.

The foot pegs have 3 way adjustment and tires are excellent grip in both dry and wet conditions , earlier i was skeptical about the tiers performance, but after riding 4000km i am convinced that they are good.
Breaks are adequate [just adequate] and little bit of improvement would have made a wonders, that doesn't mean that they are lousy , they have good bite and if compared its almost 5 times better than my R15 breaks [if you ride Ninja you might feel GTR breaks lacking a bit].

Notice the V-grill which is absent in both Ninja and CBR, it helps to avoid much to sprayed over engine and exhaust pipes

Riding position is pure racy and one with the taste of R15 riding position will love it and remember once you ride the GTR then riding R15 seems like splendor position, its far more race oriented position. and now due to this riding position it has some advantages also [later u know]. the Seats have good space for both rider and pillion, but the foam on the seat is soo hard that you feel like your sitting on the rock and very soon your butt starts to pain.
till one used to this riding position your might find the riding position really pain in wrists and ass.

There are lot of hooks for bungee chord , so its perfect for the touring luggage

The gears and clutch of the bike was very hard and after 2 services it was like butter smooth and engine is even more smoother than even my R15.
one thing noticed is the gear ration is such a way that , there is no need for additional gears and in all the gears one can easily ride all most all the speeds , due to v-twin linear power delivery one will notice same feel in all the gears, the bike pulls in almost all the gears at what ever speed you give, and this i found really special.


The bike handles excellent and the handling is much better than any bikes here , and yes it handles much better than Ninja also, the main reason is the riding position , once you ride it and then you understand that why all racetrack bikes handles so much better than others ... the riding position is the main reason along with others things, it allows one to concentrate more on road and due to its position of riding the rider will be able to flik the bike quick and in case of fall in no way bike will topple on to the rider, as due to above the bike riding position will separate bikers and bike.
In city the bike riders very well and as i said better handler than others, but there is one area where it will be beaten badly even by TVS XL is the turning radius , its like turning a tipper lorry, you need whole road to take a U-turn.
the actual fun really begins on highways the bike is very solid and no shakes at all , the cross winds won;t bother and small pathholes won;t worry you much.
the Fun will increase many times once you hit the curves, well now i can say its better in curves than the legendary R15, in GTR there is no need to stress much to take corners in rossy style, its in its nature and due to again its riding position the corner carving is way better in GTR than Ninja,CBR and even than R15.
So can we call GTR as corner King ??  my ans is NO , the title still goes to R15 , yes that's correct , eventhough GTR handles better than R15 in single corner that doesn't mean that it will behave same in back-to-back corners or quick multiple corners, this is where the track machine titled R15 will shine. due to GTR heavy weight quick turning b/w the immediate corners is difficult and the riders has to work lil more hard to switch the leaning position of the heavy GTR. but the R15 is so light that its bliss to switch b/w corners.

 positive points

Due to its weight the cross wind won;t affect and bike is highly stable on road or on corners or on speed runs, due to its weight also the fish tailing due to sudden apply of back wheel break is rare, and that's  a big plus.
Riding position will give lot of advantages such as quick handling and better control of bike.
Broader tiers offers lot of traction and it rarely slips or slides in slopes.
headlights are really good.
Sound of the bike is best in India and once crossed 7000 rpm the note will changes to semi inline sound.
There is absolutely no vibration or what so ever in entire range of power band, and once will love it [except 4700-to-5000 rpm (300rpm) where power kicks in the foot pegs vibrates].
Fuel efficiency i am getting in city is around 27 to 30 kmpl constantly , and in highway getting around 33-35kmpl.
Tank capacity to carry fuel, 17ltr and less fuel stops.
very easy to ride irrespective of its size and weight, infact two of my friends felt very comfortable riding this in first try only and they really appreciated its handling.
The bike comes withe default insurance  of 0% dept which means all parts are covered 100% under warranty means even plastic and labour charges bourn by the insurance comp.
Two years unconditional warranty means all spares parts replaced free of cost till 2 years or 24k kms.

Now with all these positive points don;t be in illusion that it doesn;t have issues .... and here it goes.

First weight [yes its both +ve and -ve] due to it the performance is little less with Ninja
Riding position [again +ve and -ve] due to super sports position one might find very uncomfortable till he adjust to it and if you had bad back simple this bike is not for you. in fact the first 1 week i didn't even enjoy my bike due to wrist pain and back pain and most of time i was concentrated on setting up my riding position. [once used to this position , you will never buy any other bike than super-sports bike].
Some of the parts of the bike, like rectifier/horn are of sub-standard, other than that no issues.

due to its front mudguard is short than other bikes, ride in rain/mud the whole bike will be covered in mud due to splashing of water/mud from front wheel, although the radiator is kept very high still due to front short mudguard, it will get dirty.

Horn is more than enough [compared to R15], and GTR simply hates normal petrol, put the normal petrol and sure you will face some problems , its needs at least 91-93 octates [premium petrol], once i put normal petrol and caused Engine excess heating , as i found normal petrol increases the heat of the bike [Engine].  put the premium petrol or octane boosters for normal petrol the bike not only runs smoother but also very less Engine heat.

Now what happens if excess heat develops ?? well once i tried that also , there was snail like moving traffic for 20min and due to slow moving i couldn't able to switch off/on again and again and i kept the engine running whole time, as bike surrounded by traffic and there is little air to circulate and bike heated soo much , the fuel in fuel lines became vapor and engine didn;t get liquid fuel, so bike shutoff and after opening the petrol lid and let it cool off for 10min the bike started again and there is no problem. so 2 thing GTR hates is Normal petrol and heavy slow moving traffic, so my advice is to avoid both.

Servicing and show room support

well in Bangalore the service and show room present and if i want to rate it out of 10 points then , for the sales team i will give 2/10 , yes they are worst of all , they lack professionalism and very lazy. they won;t call you but u need to bug them every time if you want your work to be done.
Service i will give 6/10 , why 6 only ?? well they are good and responsive but the fact is there is very less man power they have. so its only 6 , for example for each servicing i have to leave my bike for a week as there are only so less service Engn that they are always overloaded.

so i have covered 4000km in less than 2months and completed 2 services and due to unknown reasons one of sensors gone so still the bike in service center[waiting for spares] [in whole 40 odd GT250R sold only my bike have this prob,and its first time any GT250R come for any parts change, anyway they will sort it out] although its not big one , just my bike giving jerks in 3000-4000rpm range and other range its working properly , so the guess is TPS sensor might gone [its very sensitive device and prone to fail if subjected to heat/vibration/water]. so with all these bike was in showroom for about 3 weeks in 3 months . although this is not a big thing but due to less man power the availability is less for me.

Final words : its very powerful and fun bike , highly recommended if one wants sports bike.

any question let me know , will ans

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Karbonn A9+ User Review

Recently i have brought a new mobile phone and this was my first Android phone, so naturally before buying i started lot of search for affordable dual sim phone. in this quest i was able to get lot of details relating to current models and few upcoming models at that time.

finally i have decided my requirements and budget, so basically i was looking for 4 inch mobile with decent power and should cost less than 10k, and at that time the choice was limited to few handset with the mentioned requirements. i have waited few weeks once i got to know that many local hand set manufacturers are planning to roll out dual-core handsets. and finally i selected and brought the Karbonn A9+.

specifications :

Android ICS [4.0.3]
Dual-sim , 1.2 GHz Qualcomm Scorpion, Dual Core
4 inch WVGA, 800 x 480 Pixels IPS screen
5MP auto focus camera with flash
400MB RAM /2.5GB ROM
1420mah Battery
Rest similar to any midbudget features.

look and feel

The handset which i brought is perl white back color and front is dark black with screen glossy finish, the overall look reminds of the premium look and fit and finish is up to mark, the screen which is of 4inch gives the overall phone size to big feel.
front there are 4 touch buttons. and on the top there is 3.5mm jack and power/lock/unlock button. on the left hand side volume rockers , while the back of the phone employs a 5MP autofocus camera with LED flash and a slot for speaker and apart from these there is nothing else on the physical body of the mobile phon.

The box comes with Mobile, charger, usb cable, warranty card,manual, head phone,scratch guard

Image Courtesy : techtree.com


 The android OS which ships with this phone is ICS and with updated to 4.0.4 [minor update] and there is very little customization has been done to the ICS by Karbonn so ideally you will be using native Android version.
the Screen is big and bright and the resolution is excellent and this is the best part of this phone, the viewing angles on the screen are extremely good due to IPS screen, put the screen brightness to max and there is no problem in reading the screen in direct sun light.
the touch is smooth and responsive and slight touch is enough, the keyboard supplied [native] is very responsive and easy to type and best thing is the word perdition is exact and precise. so typing messages is very easy.
the down point of this phone is its 4 didcated keys which are present at the bottom of the phone, they need more pressure touch to operate , not all of them but the back and home keys need more pressure touch than the rest.
the back cover fits properly but makes some quirky sound, there is no other negative aspects.


Another best part of this mobile , the 5MP camera is really good, i can surely rate it as mid performer and the pictures comes crisp and sharp without any color loss and the brightness and focus is good.
using 3rd party camera apps will greatly increase its performance, i have used camera 360 and LG camera pro , in both of this the camera perform much better in all aspects and there will be lot of option to tweak the camera.
the Video recording also has very good results , one can record 720P videos with easy and video comes out very well, by default the saved video will be in 3GP format, but using LG camera pro i was able to save it in mp4 format and now i made mp4 format as default.
flash is provided by LED and it has limited range and just enough for taking close up shots, the macro photo shoot is also easy with this.

Sound/Call quality

The call sound quality i must say is way way ahead and its very clear and loud one will really like this. the sound quality is decent if not awesome. speaker sound level is enough and there is no distortion. the provided headphone is medium quality there is nothing say about them.
there is no call drops any time in 3 month usage and no issues w.r.t sound or call quality.


The handset comes with qualcomm dual core processor with ARMv7 architecture which is clocked at 1.2GHz and total RAM is around 400mb.
most of the major apps and games will run very smooth and there is no worries, although RAM is little less but it won't bother.
due to its multitouch is limited to only 2 touch points ..many multitouch games might not work.

playing semiHD movies is no issue at all , it plays very well [720P] and to an extent it will play the 1280x520 videos just fine, but it will not play full HD videos.

some of the scores from test apps

nenamark2 – 33.8 fps
quadrant – 2788
antutu – 5617
cpu – 1152mhz
multitouch - 2

The Mobile builtin Wi-Fi works without any hassle and there is no need to go for complex configurations, just connect to wi-fi by turning ON the wi-fi in mobile.

The GPS works really well it will catch signal within 5 sec without any wi-fi or data , just by pure GPS satellites.
the SAR value is around 0.6

video of Unboxing Karbonn A9+

Video of benchMarks Karbonn A9+

Sample Pics From Camera 

From Native Camera

 From LgCamera app

 From Vignetti app

The Native Camera app won;t give the best picture and the Best i got from LGCamera Pro app, and also Using LG Camera app one can save recorded Videos in mp4 format.

 basically its a good dual core mobile phone for the money. [now retailing under 8.4K in some stores]

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Ride to chikkamagalore - BB aniversary ride

With every year there always been couple of rides which are solely dedicated to special reasons, and one among them is the BB anniversary ride, as synonym with Xbhp anniversary rides, BB rides also have lot of common things, may it be joy of riding or strict code of conduct of biking safety. and things will always turn out to be fun and enjoyments in these rides. and Hence the Third BB anniversary ride was planned in and around Chikkamangalore [Karnataka] and as the ride was post monsoon it was sheer pleasure to ride in and around western Ghats region due to its lush green mountains and thick tea plantation.

The voting has begun to select the destination a month back itself and it was decided based on the votes that Chikkamangalore will be the riding destination, and there's good number of bikers turnout expected and good number of riders joined too, all the pre-arrangements related to stay,food and itinerary was taken care by the mods and due to everyone collective effort the planning was smooth and effortless.

For me there is special moment as my New Bike arrived just less than a month ago and my new GT250R was still in run-in period and although the run-in was not my problem but i wanted to know that how the beast will behave on the highways and how its power/handling and other aspects will behave. and more than that i wanted to feel the cornering abilities of the bike.

So our Journey will start from here, we gathered near Yashwanthpur Shell petrol station early in the morning and after a quick briefing and checks we split the group in to 2 and started in Tumkur road. as we knew that the road conditions are much better till all the way to our destination, we had little things to worry. and i was relieved to know that Bharat 200NS also in run-in period and we both can tag along to maintain the speed.

Another notable thing is along with my Hyosung there were another two , one with Santha and another comet with Vijith. due to our run-in me and Bharat were left behind and we were more careful to match the speed of other and at the same time to maintain our break-in speed of bike. the day's temperature was well below the expected mark and due to my mesh handgloves my hands getting numb and my initial ride with GT250R went without any issues till an hour or so. after some time my riding position was not so comfortable and i was more concentrated towards adjusting my riding position and the bike presence on highway was awesome, very good stability and torque and its really fun to ride, but sadly i couldn't open too much throttle due to its run-in period. on the way santha's GTN got punchered and he has to stop to fix it along with other folks.while Santha asked rest of us to leave and he will catch up with us. we continued our journey.

Meanwhile another group of superbikers also were heading towards Chikkamangalore and due to mine and Vijits GT250R and Comets looks almost same size and look of superbikes there few of the guys from that groups confused with our bikes and thought we also belongs with them and asked for rest of the guys, but soon realizing that we are with some other group they zoomed past us.

We took break at Belur cross for the breakfast and along with us other group of superbikers also halted there, so obviously all the surrounding ppl started to staring those bikes which ranged from R1 to BMW and Hyabusa to Ducati. so we finished our break in good time with lot of idli's and dosa's, meantime rest of the guys also joined us who stopped behind to help Santha's bike.

we started from breakfast point towards our destination Chikkamangalore and after spirited riding by evening we were able to reach  our stay which was arranged in one home stay near attigundi [small junction which goes towards baba budangiri] and its a basic home stay with couple of rooms and in one big room most of us settled and the weather all the way was very sunny and once we entered the ghats section it was pleasant and cool. and as the evening falls the temp out side turned out to be very cold and shivery. we got refreshed soon and i was very happy that my new bike handled excellently and all the way i was having fun.

That night we had great fun around campfire and while John was sleeping due to his cold and Headache  the rest of us were having great enjoyment while teasing Alok[Billa] , parallely  there was fight for pakoda's when ever it arrives  each time. well our enjoyment went on till late night and around 2am everyone started to head towards there beds and not to forget the temp also dropped drastically during the night and the fact is we were in the middle of hills with surrounded by trees and plantation.
although most of us slept whole night in warm room, but few who crashed to bed in other out room had very unpleasant sleep due to the rooms were built with bamboo's and there was bone chilling cold outside.

Morning we woke and after having breakfast , decided to head towards siteseeing and our first destination was Bababudangiri  the roads are in not good shape and  riding Sports Bike was unpleasant and although its manageable still not much fun compared to tarmac. after spending detailed time there and some photoshoot , we all decided to head towards sun-set point towards kemmanGundi.

The initial path towards sunset point was good with tarmac below my GT250R and with its enough power and sweet grunt it was all joy riding, but this joy was cut short by last 2 km of ride, there is no road at all and with big rocks to fine gravel filled with feet deep holes , it has became nightmare for me to drive in that along with me Bharat and Raghu[Bharat]  were also struggling with there CBR and P200NS. so some how we reached the sunset point and rest of the ppl decided to head further to other side of the hills for better view. but we 3 stayed back due to bad roads.
after spending almost 2 hours there  with sunset and lot of photo shoots between we 3 and our 3 bikes we head back to our homestay , there it  was already dark and it was good time to test the Headlight of the bike and to my happiness i was satisfied with the amount of light the GT250R spreads with its projector lights. although bad roads were not enough there were thousands of small bugs hindering our views in those forests. we reached our home stay in good time and got freshenup and started to wait for the rest of the bikers to arrive.

The next day we woke up early and after finishing our breakfast, we decided to head towards bangalore and quickly Santha found that his GTN read shocks were broken seal and damping effect was terrible, still we pushed forwards and after giving lot of breaks , we reached Bangalore in the evening. soon we departed to our homes after wishing good bye to everyone and another memorable trip ended with lot of sweet memories.

Picasa link :  https://picasaweb.google.com/102729674108102165962/BB_AniversaryMeetChikkamagalore