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Bhopal's superbike craze in top gear

Wednesday September 21, 2011 04:09:07 PM, Shahnawaz Akhtar, IANS

Zeeshan Khan, on his CBR 600 superbike.

(Photo courtesy: Saurabh Sharma)

Bhopal: This 'city of lakes' has a curious love affair with bikes, which unite the young and old. And while motorcycle-enthusiasts regret the bike accident which killed the son and nephew of former cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin, they say their passion for their mean machines will not lessen a bit.

Bhopal, home to a two-time national champion in bike racing and nine participants of the popular biking reality show MTV Stuntmania, boasts of around a dozen superbikes.

The mean machines come in the price range of Rs.7 lakh-20 lakh, with brands like Suzuki, Honda and Yamaha starting to offer their latest models in the country.

But bikers say riding a superbike comes with its own set of challenges.

"While riding a superbike, one has to be careful as it can reach 100 kmph within seconds. But, then, that is the joy of riding them. Yes, initially, it needs training from professionals and one should wear the complete riding gear," Nura Khan, who has been riding superbikes for the past five years and is the proud owner of a Suzuki Hayabusa, told IANS.

The 30-year-old's Hayabusa GSX 1300 R is more powerful than the GXS 1000 R which Azharuddin's son Mohammed Ayazuddin, 19, and his cousin Ajmal-ur-Rahman, 16, were riding in Hyderabad last week.

While Rahman, who was riding pillion, died on the spot when the bide skidded due to high speed, Ayazuddin died after battling for life for five days.

Khan said one has to be extra careful with superbikes due to the potent mix of speed and power.

"I ride the Hayabusa in the city during night hours and on highways. Otherwise, the crowds and condition of city roads are not conducive for such bikes," he said.

Zeeshan Khan, who was among the top five participants in this year's edition of MTV Stuntmania, said: "When I heard about Azharuddin's son's accident, I knew it was the rider's fault. A bike is a machine and it moves the way you want it to."

"I love my superbike and bike riding. If I am outside home, I miss my bike and when I return, even before meeting my family, I take my bike for a spin," said the 20-year-old, who owns a Honda CBR 600.

Another biker, Lucky, said motorcycle accidents involving youngsters only show the parents' carelessness, who hand out the powerful machines to inexperienced riders without thinking of the consequences.

Two-time national champion Muzaffar Ali, who started his career as a mechanic assembling bikes and taking part in races, said he is now looking to feature in the international circuit.

Bhopal's bikers are, in fact, gung-ho about the future.

Automobile engineer Nabeel Bari told IANS: "Bike riding is not going to lessen in Bhopal. In fact, it will increase in the near future as motor sports is going to get a more prominent place in the Indian sports arena."

And he has two important tips for superbike-enthusiasts.

"While riding superbikes, two things should be taken care of. One, its throttle, because of high BHP (brake horsepower), can pick amazing speed. And, second, the handle of superbikes is longer than other bikes; so while turning, one has to be more cautious," Bari said.

(Shahnawaz Akhtar can be contacted at





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