Pre Checks for Long Distance Biking

Many folks are going for long distance biking off late, so I decided to pen this one down for the folks who want the necessity pre checks.

I wont say I have a lot of long distance biking experience, but I have had my own share, below are my suggestions based on my experience.

1.Good Riding Gear –

By Good riding gear, I dont mean, a costly branded items. But sufficient gear like

  • A Good Helmet, preferably a full face helmet that fits your head. A proper fit is one that is neither too tight nor too roomy and dont forget to strap it well.
  • A good pair of shoes
  • Wind cheater/Jacket
  • Jeans only if it is comfortable, otherwise a good cargo trousers. Ensure that your clothing is comfortable enough, especially your inners.
  • Gloves & kneecaps, elbow supports.-
  • Back support – must for long distances(>200KM)
  • A backpack & ropes.
  • A First Aid Kit
  • Tool Kit

2. Bike Vitals

  • Petrol – Sufficiently filled, carry a reserve of 1L if possible
  • Engine Oil Refilled/Checked
  • Tyre Pressure

3. Basic Do It Yourself repair works

  • Fixing a Puncture – Remember we cannot carry a spare wheel, its better to learn this in case of emergency. Local Mechanic can help you assemble a small puncture kit and a small Air pump.
  • Brake check & fix.

4. Communication/Media

  • Carry a good phone with a good batt backup & sufficient balance
  • Power bank
  • GPS – Preferably in Phone
  • Load sufficient contacts – Emergency contacts, Local contacts for the geography who can help in case of emergency. Also make a note of these contacts on a small diary

5. Food & essentials

  • Water Bottle
  • Some minimal snacks – biscuits & chocolates and dry fruits.

It is advisable to take a good break of 10 min after every 30-40 Km. Also, when you feel some numbness in your legs, back or groin, please consider taking longer and more frequent breaks. Ensure you feel comfortable with your gear on.

Happy & Safe Riding. Do share your geared up pics on your bikes, I will share the same to this page..

Classic 350 review

Royal Enfield Classic 350 review after 15 months and 14000Km

Thanks for following our blog though we went a hibernate mode for sometime.

I hope you have read my earlier post on the experience of waiting and getting a new Royal Enfield bike. Here is the detailed review and ownership experience of the bike after 15 months and 14000KM of driving.

To note
Service – As prescribed in the manual
Modifications – None, just what was given as stock.
Total Distance driven – 14000 KM
Usage – Every Day commute to office(between 40-60 KM a day) and weekend outings.
Trips – No Long distance. Have gone for trips around 200 KM a day for 5 times.
Fuel – Normal Density petrol
Engine Oil – Till the free Services, as topped up in RE Service centers. Then Changed to Motul.
Previous vehicle – Bajaj Pulsar 150 (so might compare with it)

Engine
I guess, you will be able to find about the engince capacity, power and torque in any website online. It is a stable standard engine, which is proven for longer runs and years. If you provide the necessary service and timely engine oil top up, the engine will go on for decades. Something you should understand is the engine is a big one, and is air cooled too, So if you feel its getting heated up its normal for longer runs. But if you feel the heat is abnormal, check with mechanic.
The engine is adequately powered for city rides and city traffic, you might find it a lot lacking on highway. The Engine is shared with TB & Electra variants and its a huge positive for the bike.

Driving and Stability
In a small sentence, its a drivers vehicle. You will feel in total control when driving and the vehicle with its weight and stock tyres is highly stable. You dont have to worry about slipping on turns or on slippery roads. The vehicle is stable when driven below 80kmph and you will feel safe and in control. At speeds >85 kmph you will feel heavy vibrations and the stability wont be the same when speed was < 80kmph.

Comfort & Ergonomics
Comfort is something you might need to right off. We all know that Enfields vibrate and we have to accept this.
Handle bar – The Classic 350 stock handles are lighter in weight and hence vibrate even more, a heavier Electra Handles or a customized heavier handles with same or short handle length from the joint would be a better replacement to the stock handles.
Seat – The seats provide a great look to the bike but no comfort to the rider and the pillion rider. The seats in electra and thunderbird are very comfortable compared to the classic variants. The front seat, has springs in it which nullifies the comfort offered by the otherwise good suspension. The springs introduces small vibrations, which along with the vibrating light handles make it painful for the driver in the longer run(Shoulder, elbow and wrist pain). The pillion seat is very narrow, every single person who rode as a pillion rider have complained. The pillion seats are not advisable for long distance.
On the Comfort and Ergonomics, it is a huge let down. RE could make better ergonomically designed bikes and should concentrate more on the comfort of the riders. When driving for long time at steady speed, you might notice pain in the right hand that holds on to the acceleration throttle.
Top Speed & Mileage
The top speed I drove so far in my Classic 350 is 105kmph, but the best suggested top speed in 80kmph. Though most people who drive enfield say that 70-80 kmph is sufficient, sometimes on highways you might find it lacking. I felt bikes like pulsars and unicorns are more stable in 80-100kmph speed range compared to the enfields. Royal Enfield should work on this factor. Please note that I am not recommending that RE should make bikes that drive fast or make the fastest vehicles, I am just saying they should make bikes that are stable at higher speeds too.
I worked at two offices . The first office was 20 km away from my place and every day commute was 40 km and this commute was in heavy and light city traffic. I felt Classic 350 best suited for City commuting purpose. The second office is 30 km from my place and my every day commute is 60 km and this commute is mostly in highways. I felt Classic 350 was not best suited for highway conditions.
The mileage is between 35 and 43 kmpl. 35 under stressed traffic conditions(1st gear and 2nd gear traffic), Under highway conditions(5th gear and 70-80kmph) it yields > 42kmpl.
Pros and Cons

Pros
Drool Factor/ Respect – At every parking lot and every signal and almost every neighbor/relative will stand and stare and the respect you receive for driving one RE is priceless.
Stable vehicle – The vehicle is very stable and even at 80kmph you feel in total control.
good engine – The engine is a very stable and a proven one.
Mileage per liter – I felt i got more than what I had asked for. ~40+/- 2 kmpl
Horns & Headlight – Horns sound good and loud for a bull, Headlight was sufficient even at nights in highways.

Cons
Vibrations – Very heavy vibrations especially at high speed make you lose the stability and causes pain to the driver
Useless Rearview Mirrors – Its not wide and with vibration, we cannot see a thing in the rear.
leaky oil casing – I guess its a common fault with every RE engine, check with you mechanic and he will get you a fix.
Bad seats – Seats are not ergonomically designed, i thing the designers never thought about the comfort of the riders but only the vehicle look.

Suggested Usage
The Classic 350 is best suited city driving conditions and for usage < 30 km of drive everyday.

A Silver Bullet it is!!

When I was a kid, 4-5 yrs of age, I remember my father telling me that a bullet is going a few streets away when we heard the trademark sound ‘Dub-Dub-Dub’.  From those years, I had a liking towards machines, bulky sturdy steel ones.

My father had a scooter, LML Vespa 1986 model. It was his loyal companion until a few years back back, when he had to sell it. It didn’t have much issues but it was time. From my KG days, I used to get drives only in scooters. I used to long for drives on a bike and unfortunately none of my father’s relatives and close friends had a bike. I used to ask bike rides from those neighbours in my street where I grew up. I had my preferences too, I would not ask for rides on Ind-Suzuki or Rajdoot, I preferred Yamaha RX100 and Enfield😀

Years just passed, I grew older. I wanted to get old enough to drive a bike . I was just in my 2nd standard then and I took my first steps. I learnt how to drive a cycle. Few years passed, their came a time when I had to take my first important decision in life. I was doing my fifth standard and my parents asked what cycle I wanted. They asked me to go for BSA SLR as it was well tested and road worthy, my friends asked me to get Hercules MTB with front shock absorbs , other friends asked me to get Top Gear, the first gear cycle then but none had an idea that I had already set my mind on.  I don’t know whether many would remember it, my choice was Brown spotted CANON BARREL. It was the cycle with a broad frame; I am getting nostalgic as I write this. Few years passed, my inaccessibility to bike continued and I had access only to scooters. I was in my 9th std, when I forced my father to teach me how to drive scooter, a geared vehicle.  More years passed, I completed my 12th and attained 18 yrs. I went to RTO the next day, applied for a learners license and in a month then, I had my license to drive a geared vehicle. I used my father’s LML Vespa to get my geared vehicle license. Yet again, I had to face a situation where I had to make an important decision. I had gone to my Engineering Counselling, I had fixed that I would take Electrical Engineering but the college was undecided. I took a college that was quite famous and was close to my home. I had to pay 1st years fees in advance to block my seat. After a week, I had got a seat in the best Private college which was 42 km from my place through a different interview session. When I asked for the refund from the first college, they denied my refund and said that I had to forego the money as I had lost them one seat and they couldn’t fill that seat in outside market. I was in a dilemma, My father then gave an option, instead of wasting that money, I will get you a bike and you can travel by bike. I liked the deal and took it. Result, I got myself a Pulsar 150, the best bike, every college student’s dream then. It was my loyal companion, had been in a few accidents, few really bad ones, but we carried on. Pulsar went on to become one of two superstars in the Indian Two wheeler market. Hero Honda Splendor and Bajaj Pulsar sold like anything that they reined as superstars of the market unbeaten for many years. I strongly believe that those records can never be broken again!

Pulsar accompanied me loyally. It didn’t ask for much maintenance, gave a good mileage of 50-55 KMPL and yet provided me with necessary muscle power to burn the roads as a college student😉 I used it for my entire college time, then I had to go to Bangalore for work. Left it at home for 2 yrs, used it only on weekends and vacations. Later, It accompanied me to Bangalore and was there for almost 2 yrs. I went on to do my higher studies at Mahabalipuram, close to Chennai. Here again pulsar played a loyal companion and helped me travel miles along ECR and OMR. My Pulsar ensured I had the comfort and power at the same time cost efficiency with mileage and maintenance and flexibility to ride any terrain as any local mechanic could work on it and any spare parts shop had its spares.

Over a period I got attracted to Enfields on the roads, I felt they rode the roads Royally. I used to like the machine for the steel and engine, it looked even more masculine. In the 90s it was perceived as a police bike which always lost chasing the villains, the cinemas those days ensured that by damaging many such enfield with such stunts. It had, over the years, obtained a brand perception that the ones those ride these bulls are honest, straight forward men. At least, thats how I see it, the unshakeable men drive it. I liked their characteristic thumps, I liked their longevity, their steel etc., and the list goes on. I decided then, that my next bike would be a Royal Enfield. I visited their website, fell in love with the Classic Battle green. Was saddened that I cannot buy it in India, Tried hard to find why it won’t be available in India and saw if it was legally possible for me to get a bike or paint one like that. To find why we cannot get it here in India, read this article.

Since Classic Battle Green 500 wasnt available for Indian market I had to enquire about other bikes. I kept enquiring at different dealers in Chennai about the waiting period for various enfields. For 350 cc, it varied from 6-10 months, for 500cc – it varied from 4-6 months. I had a dilemma between 350 or a 500 cc, 500 definitely had more power, more thumph, more aww factor among men, lesser waiting period but on the down side, it gave poor mileage and cost more. More, I had to ply in city traffic and commute to office. I decided that I will go for 350cc after considering my driving needs. Now I again I had a dilemma, though electra and Standard had the traditional bullet look, I wasn’t convinced with the looks. I was confused between Thunderbird and Classic variants of 350 cc. On the day of booking, I was confused and the sales guy at the brand store convinced me that Thunderbird would be a better option considering the features and electricals. I immediately booked it with a 10 months waiting period. But something kept ringing in my mind about the decision, I went a week later to show room and checked TB. TB didn go well with me considering my personality. TB needed someone tall with good shoulders. I wasn’t tall enough. I decided to go for classic 350. When coming to color, Black was usual and Red was not for bullet and my natural choice was silver. Moreover, i liked the term ‘Silver Bullet’. So I changed my booking to Silver classic 350 and this was the day I decided to gift myself for my graduation.

Months passed by. Waiting period is an awful phase, you know you are going to get one, but don’t know when. Days moved like months and even like years, towards the end. Finally after many calls and convincing, I got my bike. I don’t know what went through my mind all these days, but definitely a Silver bullet did🙂
classic

Petrol & Diesel Pricing in India

Petrol Pricing & Diesel Pricing in India     

Let us do introspection on why the difference in fuel pricing is there in India. We need to understand that India is a nett importer of Oil than Exporter, which means India needs to import oil to satisfy its local demand.

Why hike in fuel prize happens?

India is nett importer of fuel. India is majorly depended on the OPEC countries for fuel import. The OPEC countries run as Cartels ( Cartelization is banned for certain goods in many countries). The OPEC cartel decides to hike or lower the prize of the oil barrel depending on the supply and demand.

Why is diesel priced lower?

Government levies import duties on the oil apart from that there are two components, A Central Govt and a State Govt component. In those days initially when the Green revolution began in India, the major consumers of diesel were farmers (for their pumps) and the truck/lorry operators involved with food logistics. To ensure food security, the motive of green revolution, the then Govt. and policy makers decided to subside/ reduce the taxes on diesel. As Diesel directly impacts the inflation of the country and which impacts the poor, diesel is priced lower, While taxes are levied in full against petrol. There is also a theory floating around that says the subsidization on petrol is compensated with the taxes on petrol.

Misuse of Diesel Subsidization

 In the recent times, Diesel vehicles like cars and SUVs, Diesel generators to supply power to telecom towers and institutions.  The diesel, whose taxes were subsidised for farmers and logistics use so that food reaches the needy at the right price, but instead diesel drinking machines in the likes of the SUVs had most benefits.

Why not hike in Diesel price?

Diesel has become the blood of the Indian economy over the years. The Farmers who cultivate use Diesel, while the truck operators who ensure that the cultivated vegetable/grain is available in various parts of the country. The lower price of diesel ensures lower price of vegetables for end buyers. Govt. doesn’t want to hike up the inflation which might impact the basic fundamental of running a country, proper food and no good government would do that. The reason is a hike in diesel inevitably hikes the price in food, which doesn’t impact the rich people in the country but definitely strikes the majority of the population who run every month on a budget and the people below poverty line. So hiking diesel price is not easy.

A regulation was brought about by Central Govt on recommendations of experts, it was decided to link Petrol price to market ,while the Govt held the responsibility of hiking Diesel prices.

What is the spilt of the Petrol & Diesel Price?

The Price of diesel is more than the price of Petrol at purchase, but its the tax and the cess that makes the difference.Image

Image

Below is the information from the Press Information Bureau, Govt of India on the Petrol/Diesel price.  http://pib.nic.in/newsite/erelease.aspx?relid=73697

What are the adverse effect of subsidizing Diesel and keeping high taxation on petrol?

According to me, Petrol in this 2013 is more a poor man’s fuel than a luxury. Major petrol consumers, according to some statistics, are the Two-wheeler users.  On the other hand, Diesel is consumed by generator operators and Diesel Automobile operators. The adverse effect is a man who can afford to buy a Hero Honda Splendor or a Bajaj CT100 through his life savings is paying more for a litre of Petrol for his economical vehicle while a man owning an SUV pays lesser for his diesel drinking machine.

Whats the solution?

Indian Govt. can impose an annual tax on all diesel vehicles (private and commercial involved with trading non essential goods), Generator Operators to compensate for the subsidization with Diesel. These are the people, who drive SUVs, which offer a mileage of 1-2km per litre of Diesel and basically they can afford to pay. By collecting such annual tax from Diesel vehicles and Diesel Generator operators, they can reduce the burden on petrol and lessen its price.

or

If the Govt can enforce that Diesel will be available to Diesel vehicles and Generator Operators at price on par with Petrol, this can help reducing the burden on Petrol. To keep a check on any illegal selling of Diesel, a Quota system for diesel can be introduced.

Or

Govt owned subsidized diesel would be sold only for farmers and Lorry operators by issuing necessary ID cards. While the diesel sold in normal fuel stations to be taxed in full.

Its time govt reduce the pricing of petrol and reduce the burden on the lower-middle class/ middle class people who are just seeing a luxury in an economical two wheeler which can shunt them between office and home.

To cite a few instances, in the state of Goa, the price of Petrol is cheaper than price of Diesel.

For more info, read this http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/WorldEconomy/Petrol-costs-less-than-diesel-in-Goa/Article1-1059247.aspx

Another article in Economic times that tells how Diesel used by Generator Operators are causing loss to the Government – http://articles.economictimes.indiatimes.com/2011-05-18/news/29555896_1_telecom-towers-telecom-sector-diesel-fuel

In the recent decade, India is driven by policy makers who are embarked in an era of Policy Paralysis owing to alliance issues, Corruption and lack of brilliant heads at the helm. This has led to stalling of industrial growth and not to forget the inflation which has been on the rise. Its time for the Govt to take some bold steps forward that would bring good for the Indian Economy.

 

Under the Prime ministership of Indira Gandhi, it was decided that India should have a uniform pricing policy of fuel across the country. That is, Petrol should cost the same from Kashmir to Kanyakumari and even in Andaman Islands. That was a novel idea but got lost in times. Now Bangalore and Hosur which are neighbours but have different fuel pricing as they belong to different states. Let’s not deviate from the subject.

 

Keep your Vehicles safe from thieves

How to keep your Vehicles safe from theft

In the previous article from nh4.co.in we had provided the Know How of steps that needed to be followed in case of vehicle theft. With people enquiring on preventive measures, this one is being penned. This article as such could never be complete and you will have better options which could have been missed, and with time there could be better options too. You can contribute and add comments and you are welcome.

Insurance

First let me make one thing clear. Pay your insurance on time and ensure you renew them on time. This holds good for two wheeler and four wheeler owners. Also, the insurance company looks for the slightest mistake from the owner’s front to not be eligible for insurance. Please read the insurance document and understand the nuances. Lots of instances of corrupt insurance officials are well known, so keep your documents fine and adhere to the insurance norms. Worst case if you lose your vehicle you can atleast get some compensation as a part of insurance.

Never leave your vehicle unlocked- I am sure that many would ensure that they don’t leave their vehicle unlocked, but in some cases you tend to forget. ( Even I had don’t that many times). Double check that you have locked your vehicle, when you leave it. Keep your vehicle locked even if you keep it in your home and the main doors are locked. Dont give the theif a chance, make it hard for him to steal your vehicle.

Change locks when you lose a set of keys – When you lose your keys, and unable to identify it, it’s advisable to change your locks at the earliest. There is a chance that someone could have stolen your keys to steal your vehicle. In the time between you have lost your keys and before you can replace the lock, use additional lock mechanisms. Also, When you feel that your lock is worn out, (that is when you don’t feel any friction when inserting the key into the key-hole) and when any key can open your lock (yes there are such cases😉 ) , it’s high time you change your lock.

Install additional Lock systems – If you are have a two wheeler or four wheeler, install a front wheel lock. You can also use proper chains and Godrej lock to lock your wheel to the frames. Most of the times thieves look for soft targets, when you have additional lock systems they don’t get attracted towards your vehicle unless yours is some vintage or imported or worth the shot.

Parking Care – Ensure you park inside and avoid parking in unsecure places. For eg., when you can park your vehicles inside a compound, or where there are securities and security systems like CCTV installed, they are not easy targets for thieves and they keep off it. Don’t leave your vehicle in places which look abandoned and lack activity, leave them in well lighted areas. Even when parking in your home, lock it well and keep the lights for the parking are on. Don’t park in areas known for such incidents.

Vehicle Documents – Do not leave vehicle documents inside your vehicles. Two wheeler drivers tend to leave them with the frond petrol tank cover or utility box, while they are often left inside a car.

Install additional Security systems – To keep your vehicles safe install security systems.  These devices could be additional expense, but definitely they provide better safety than not having them. Below are some of the anti-theft systems suggested by Delhi Police. (http://www.delhipolice.nic.in/home/auto-theft-new.htm)

  • IGNITION CUT-OFF: A hidden switch that interrupts the power supply from the battery to the ignition. This can be integrated to mobiles, and you can operate from mobiles.
  • FUEL CUT-OFF: Integrated into the fuel line, this device prevents the flow of gasoline once the fuel in the gas line is used.  This again can be activated through mobiles now.
  • IGNITION COLUMN GUARD: This security device can provide protection to the ignition starting system. The device fits around the steering column and over the ignition starting system.
  • DOOR LOCKS: Visible inside door lock buttons would be made smooth and tapered. this hinders the thief from a easy steal.
  • ANTI-THEFT STEERING WHEEL LOCK:  This one locks and prevents steering wheel from turning. It is generally visible and deters the thief from stealing one.
  • TRUNK LOCK: A secondary locking device, a heavy duty chain lock would be installed inside the trunk and is key-operated.
  • CAR ALARMS: Install car alarms, Loud ones with higher range. Generally these sirens are hidden in the engine compartment and ranges are around 300+ feet. Such alarms can be put off by the remote key switch and it takes the thief to open the bayonet and shut it off. Normally this wards off inexperienced thieves.
  • GPS TRACKER: This one was missed by the every police website I had researched before penning this article. I am not sure whether those websites are quite old or there is any legal barrier. But do check. Installing a GPS tracker and keep it hidden in some place inside the car, where the reception is proper. This not only helps you track your vehicle back, this help the thief get caught easily and thieves might keep off.
  • OTHER INNOVATIVE MEASURES: One of my friend purposely leaves a low value mobile back in the car. Somehow even if the car is lost, the mobiles IMEI no is easy to track, so when the stolen phone is found, he has better chances of getting his car back. So be innovative, make new security systems that will make it difficult for the thieves. Consider a thief is stealing your vehicle and faces a system he had never seen, he will get deterred and back off or get caught on stealing.  I have heard systems like GSM security systems, Finger Print Security systems, so many starting off as College projects and becoming products sold by security firms.

Forced Robbery- There had been instances of a group of people robbing vehicles along highway or abandoned roads. As far as possible try to use main roads, even if you have to go via gullies, use well lighted ones.  Go by roads that have some human activity. When you see someone approaching or asking for a lift, just speed up and avoid them, if they look suspicious. When you have gone further distance, inform highway patrol of the suspicion you had and be vigilant always. Don’t be a victim, make it hard for them to steal your vehicle, frustrate them (lock the vehicle and throw the key into bushes😛 at the same time ensure your safety ). In case you got cornered and lost your vehicle, try to call police patrol immediately and inform about the theft and direction they took and alert the patrol line directly. Preferably keep their numbers handy.

Car Audio System- Along with the spurge in vehicle theft cases, there is also an additional level of car audio system theft. Car audio systems are soft targets for the thieves as they cannot be tracked, easy to sell, after stealing. How to protect them, install easy to remove car audio systems and take it in hand with you or keep it hidden in some compartment. Install audio systems that are not that costly.  With the advent of court ruling on using sun film coated partial visibility/tinted glasses, the car audio system thefts could be on rise as they become easy targets.

Additional measures – When your vehicle gets stolen, the first thing the thieves do is removing the number plates. What can be done is to make it difficult for them. Try to etch the vehicle’s number into the glasses of your vehicle. Two wheelers can also do this to their headlight. Use additional stickers and make the job difficult for the thieves.

Report to police on your stolen vehicle at the earliest and get an FIR filed. Sometimes your vehicle could be used for some illegal purpose and you don’t need to answer unnecessarily for that. There are onsite lost vehicle data bases, do update your vehicle no, chasis and engine number to those data bases. Some police departments, for eg, Westbengal CID website and Delhi police website offer such links. Its high time, other state police offer such a service.

Be Vigilant, be a responsible citizen. Report to police in case you find an abandoned vehicle parked in an area for more than a day, Abandoned vehicles in parking lots, any suspicious activity involving vehicles. May be the law of karma could help you, You helping one find his stolen vehicle, and someone might help you find in case your vehicle is lost.

Lost your vehicle?

Lost your vehicle? Know what to do with live exampleImage

When listing one of the most terrible things that can happen to someone, Losing Vehicle is definitely one of them. That too for a bike/car freak, the loss is huge. The loss is terrible it could have been a last gift from someone close, or you had got it off your first salary, you might have got a license with it etc, many reasons.

Ok, what provoked me to write this article is recently, my friend lost his bike. He lost his Hero hunk which he had bought 6 months back. He loved that vehicle a lot, He was the Ad first, Love at first sight happened, waited for its launch, went to nearby showroom enquired price, saved money for few months and finally got the bike. He used to clean the alloys every day!

It so happened, we worked in the same office in Chennai. Ascendas IT Park, Taramani, Chennai, one of the major IT parks within Chennai City limits. It’s known for its lack of capacity to provide parking for those working in it. Most of the two wheelers and four wheeler owners park their vehicles outside. My friend and I, did not get our parking pass to park inside the Tech Park and there was long waiting period of over a year. We resorted to parking our vehicles outside on the pavement along with 300+ other vehicles. We parked there first as there was no other place to park, next it was exposed to whole road and looked pretty safe and many people parked there. Many a times our vehicles had been pushed down , scratched, changed positions, for others who had parked just wanted to take their vehicle and run off. My friend felt very bad at this.

It was a Thursday, the next day, Friday was a holiday and my friend had planned for his long weekend. He came to office early so that he could leave early. He left his seat at 4PM.  He couldn’t locate his bike, he called us for help, for he was getting late for his journey. We all tried but in vain. We scanned the entire area from place where he had left, enquired with the securities and did a thorough scan from the back gate of IIT till the OMR junction on both sides of the road. We couldn’t find it anywhere, finally someone told Traffic police sometimes towed vehicles that were in No Parking zone. We immediately went to the nearby Traffic Police yard and got confirmation that they did not tow the vehicle. We were quite convinced that the bike was stolen. My friend looked lost, haven’t seen him like that.  He cancelled his trip.

We didn’t know what to do at first. After calling up a friend we got some clarity. We needed to lodge a complaint with the police station in whose jurisdiction the bike was lost, then get an FIR filed by the company. With the filed FIR, go to the insurance company’s office and file the necessary documents. The Police, with the FIR will search for the lost vehicles for three months and in the end, if unable to locate it, they will give provide us a letter stating unable to find the vehicle. Now with this letter we need to submit it in the insurance office and they will proceed with your process of reimbursing you with the Vehicle’s depreciated value.

Let me explain every step in detail.

  • Filing an FIR

It sounds easy, believe me, its not as easy as it sounds. You need to go to the Police station, under whose jurisdiction you lost your bike, get your FIR filed. Police do not give the FIRs so easily. You need to take your RC book, take some residence proof to the police station. In my friend’s case, he was asked to visit the Police station 3 times and only a complaint was filed. A complaint does no good. He used some influence, met a Deputy Commissioner. With such an influence he got his FIR filed. Once you get your FIR filed, take 2-3 photo copies.

  • Produce the FIR at the Insurance office.

Contact your insurance office helpdesk, check the process and the places in your city where you need to file the complaint. Some insurance companies ask for the FIR once its filed, others ask for the ‘Unable to Trace’ letter alone. So check the formalities properly, this could be written at the back of the vehicle Insurance sheet.

  • Final Report from Police – ‘unable to trace’

The FIR you had filed would be investigated by the police and they would search for 3 months. At the end of three months, if the vehicle is still untraceable, You need to ask police for the ‘Unable to Trace’ letter. This letter would mention the FIR no. and the date when it was filed. The Police, if they are really straight, would offer it to you by discharging their duties. Some police might expect some commission to provide you with such a letter. For they know, you might get some money from insurance. I agree, its like adding salt to the wound. You lost your vehicle and still  you need to bribe and get what you are entitled to. This is quite normal as per one of my friends who had lost his vehicle.

Consider you got your letter. You take the necessary copies of the letter and submit it to your insurance company. They again might take some days and even weeks to process your request. Here again crooked insurance agents/officers would come inbetween you and what is rightfully yours. But never give hope.

What you need to do, When you are not finding your vehicle?

  • Never Never give up, Gather your RC book and Insurance document.
  • Check the Traffic Police yards, your vehicle could have been towed.
  • The First 2-3 days of the theft are important, beyond which the vehicle could have crossed the borders and sold in a different state. Dont be lazy , be quick in filing the complaint.
  • First thing get your FIR filed. Go to the correct Police station and even if they make you come 10 times, get your FIR filed
  • Follow up with the insurance company and get the process details. Better visit the insurance office once and do the necessary filings. Most insurance companies are evasive about such reimbursements.
  • Keep calling the Police Station 2-3 times a week. Ask them what action was taken. If possible visit 2 times a week too.
  • Try to make friends with local mechanics in and around the area where you lost the bike. If you have any contacts who know the mechanics of the area try to gather fronts and start your own investigation.
  • Go to the nearest RTO, File your Engine/Chasis no. ( One of my friends mentioned, the RTOs would block the vehicles that come with similar chasis for new registrations) *
  • There are some online forums, post pics of your bike and ask for help.
  • If nothing seems to work out, by end of 3 months, get the ‘Unable to Trace’ letter from the Police and submit it to the insurance office. The insurance company will reimburse the depreciated value of the vehicle. The depreciated value is mentioned in the vehicle insurance sheet. Depreciated value is the value of the vehicle after considering the natural loss in value for the vehicle. You don’t pay the same price for new vehicle, a month old vehicle and a year old vehicle. That explains depreciation.
  • In case you are in a metro, there are common areas in which bikes spares are sold. For eg. Pudupet in Chennai common place where auto spares are sold from lost bikes. Just go there after a week and try to be cool and look for your bike spares. Those spare shop owners might not be friendly for what you are looking for😉
  • In case you have exhausted all possible options of getting your bike back and police efforts also didn’t work, just pray that your insurance company will cover for your losses.

Simple verdict, the theft has to be reported to the police, insurance company. If the police is unable to find your vehicle, after three months get the final report and submit to the insurance company.

My friend is still searching for his vehicle and is hoping that he gets his vehicle soon enough in a proper condition.