Bit­ten by the Bike Bug

Bike India - - IGNITION -

I am sure this e-mail finds the testers of the kick­starter in­dus­try in ex­cel­lent health. I am writ­ing on be­half of my cute 13-year-old nephew, Pranav, who fol­lows your mag­a­zine on an an­nual ba­sis, since he does not get reg­u­lar ac­cess to the mag­a­zine.

I get my monthly copy from the news stand reg­u­larly. Once I fin­ish read­ing it, I keep it safely for my nephew for the time when he vis­its me dur­ing his sum­mer hol­i­days. Once here, he de­mands all the 12 is­sues from the year gone by.

He reads the mag­a­zine so care­fully and en­thu­si­as­ti­cally that I have even seen him look up the dic­tio­nary for words that he does not un­der­stand. I and his fa­ther are both mo­tor­cy­cle en­thu­si­asts and I sup­pose he has in­her­ited that en­thu­si­asm in right earnest. As some­body rightly said, ‘In­tro­duce your chil­dren to mo­tor­cy­cles and they will never have money for drugs.’

BI has made Pranav’s mind so sharp that now he has started ask­ing me ques­tions I am hard put to an­swer­ing on my own (maybe, the BI team can help me in this re­gard). His lat­est ques­tion is as fol­lows.

Dur­ing im­pact, mo­tor­cy­clists are thrown off the bike, which leads to fa­tal­i­ties in many cases. Why not ex­per­i­ment on seat-belts and built-in side airbags to see if these can avoid in­jury and death? I tried to ex­plain to him the cost in­volved which he some­how was not able to di­gest. To es­cape such ques­tions, I have re­ferred him to BI. Since he is only 13, he is not al­lowed by his par­ents to have a per­sonal e-mail ad­dress (for ob­vi­ous rea­sons). How­ever, I am sure the day he gets his own e-mail ac­count, your in­box will get flooded with his queries!

When his dad is away at work, Pranav flicks his Royal Enfield Thunderbird for a short spin with his mother (with the hel­met on, of course) and un­der her su­per­vi­sion. He re­cently sent me a pho­to­graph show­ing him astride the bike.

Since 22 April is his birth­day, see­ing his photo pub­lished in Bike In­dia will be the great­est gift he can ever get. Gau­rav Awasthi, by e-mail Dear Gau­rav,

It is fan­tas­tic that Pranav has taken to bik­ing at such a young age. Of course, he has two petrol­head role mod­els in his fa­ther and your­self. If he does ride his fa­ther’s bike, we would strongly rec­om­mend that he do so in an en­closed en­vi­ron­ment and not on pub­lic roads, for this would be il­le­gal and would pose dan­ger to him­self and oth­ers on the road.

As for Pranav’s ques­tion, some bikes do come with airbags, the Honda Gold Wing be­ing a shin­ing ex­am­ple of this. How­ever, a seat­belt would be very im­prac­ti­cal be­cause you are less likely to get se­verely in­jured if you are thrown off the bike rather than when you are strapped to it: in case of an ac­ci­dent, you don’t want hun­dreds of kilo­grams of metal to crush any part or the whole of your body. This is also why, mov­ing for­ward, airbag tech­nol­ogy in the two-wheeler world is be­ing in­cor­po­rated into the rid­ing gear rather than the bike it­self. Safety gear man­u­fac­tur­ers are con­stantly push­ing the en­ve­lope for pro­tec­tive rid­ing gear, which in­cludes this tech­nol­ogy.

We hope this an­swers Pranav’s query and here’s wish­ing a very happy birth­day to him from the en­tire Bike In­dia team.

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