Ridin' with the "Devil"

The Devil was my first love....It was my first bike, it still is my only bike, which i ride to wherever I wanted to go. Made by the Bajaj Auto Ltd Company in Akurdi, Pune, this bike was based on the Kawasaki Rotary Valve 100 CC Motorbike. Rechristened "RTZ" by Bajaj to be marketed in India, It was my first choice for my steed. I was 22 years old when I got it, on 9th February 1995. It was at that moment, I decided, I will never sell this bike. Previous vehicles in the family hardly lasted Three years with us. Its now over Six years, I still have it with me. I loved ridin' the bike on long drives. At the oppurtunity given to me I would push off on long trips. I wanted to call it the "Blitz" for lightning fast and speed, but decided to call it the Devil . There is a story behind it, but for now its best left untold.

The first trip outside Hyderabad came when we were to go to a friend's brother's marraige. Sometime in end of 1995, It was in a place called Warangal, about 140 km from Hyderabad. Myself and my buddy Vijay, smuggled out the bike from my house (my mom would have killed me if she had known I was ridin the highways) and went to Warangal and back. we made the journey so liesurely it took us nearly five hours to cover the 140 km!. We stopped wherever we felt like it, took pictures, made jokes, sang songs...It was fun.

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Photo Ops Gallore. The Ride to Warangal gave many beautiful locales for pics like this. (L) Myself cooling down on the Road on the return trip. (R) Vijay gives a still with the Bhongir Fort as the backdrop.

This was followed by a 100 km trip to Nandi Hills with one of my college gangs, but the most memorable trip ever was the one to Nagarjuna Sagar. Four of us made this journey to the 165km away Dam which also was a tourist spot. Myself and my buddy SM, while Vijay Accompanied another buddy, Rahul on his bike (Another Bajaj 4 Stroker bought on the same day as I bought the devil). The Day was memorable, we had a race in which we touched 95 kmph (probably the fastest i ever gone doubles or singles), were hauled up by the local police on suspicion of being the local terrorists, for brandishing an Air Rifle, which we hauled along, swam and bathed in the crystal clear waters of the Krishna, and ofcourse the long and tiring journey back home.

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Destination Sagar!  From L to R : Rahul on his bike a "Bajaj-Kawasaki 4S Champion"   Myself on the Devil, SM doing a back to the barbed wire and the Dam. Pic taken by Vijay. The "Bandits"  of the Deccan,  At 60 kmph speed on the bike, I imitate a John Rambo with my Air Rifle, while SM pretends to do a Modelling shoot. No wonder the Police picked us up on suspicion.
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The   Hooligans again, taken near the Ethipothala Falls.  With scruffy hair and cloths, Myself and SM peer at the camera in a pic taken by VA riding on the other bike.The Rifle is stowed behind our legs resting on the footgrips, the barrel just jutting out in the front besides the fork. The   Gang of four with our bikes just outside the Police Station at Nagarjuna Sagar, with sheepish smiles in this photo just after being released . We were detained on suspicion of being Naxalites after they saw us carrying the very realistic looking air Rifle. Our lessons learnt, never did we try to flaunt the rifle in public again!

If I had thought I would not have much long trips to make, I was to be mistaken, In my first six months of my first job, I had to undertake lot of touring , i preferred to take my bike with me. And there I was wearing a ruck sack, stuffing a Lap Top in it, wearing a Helmet with a walkman to my belt, I used to tour small towns like a nomad. I used to take the bike by train to the Coastal town of Bhimavaram and tour the district then bike the way back to Hyderabad. My longest trip /Ride was the 437 km Ride from Tadepalligudem to Hyderabad, which started at 11.00 am and ended up at 21.20 hrs. I had already biked my way from Vijayawada to Hyderabad once. (270 km). I also used to take my bike to Nizamabad (145 km) and back. Once I went to Nizamabad to Karimnagar and back to Hyderabad. I must have shuttled down the road to Nizamabad atleast ten times on the bike. No Wonder while in the first year, My bike covered 16000 km, In the second year, I had covered 20,000 km! Then the journeys tapered off. The last trip was probably in August 1997 to Nizamabad. after which I never took the bike outside Hyderabad till date.

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DEVIL meets the Lightining - Intially I wanted to call the bike Lightining, Here It gets face to face with another "Lightning". A Hawker Hunter Fighter of No.20 "Lightning " Squadron in Secunderabad. The Only Picture I ever took of myself on the Bike journeys during my office tenure. This was at Vijayawada Kanaka Durga Temple, in which My boss too was there.

After I changed my company, I never got the chance to ride the bike on a long trip with the exception of a short journey to Dundigal Air Force Academy in Medak District which was about 40 km from Hyderabad. One of the hidden fears one faces during these journeys is a the fear of a flat tyre. Pushing a bike with a flat tyre for 5-6 km at the least with a rucksack and other paraphenalia is a daunting task. Luckily for me , Once I missed narrowly when I discovered the bike had a flat the day after I rode it home, It was a rarity. In fact, I never had a flat during these journeys. In fact the front tyre never had a flat during its 50000 km life.

My dream journey is to take the bike to go tour the North Eastern State of Arunachal Pradesh. I would love to bike my way from the Foot Hills , up the 13000 feet Se La Pass, and on to Tawang, motoring the battle areas the Indian Army fought in the 1962 War. But The Five years in a job had killed my adventurous spirit. I dont feel like taking the bike for long journeys. part of the reason is now its on the border of being worn out. The reliablity has also fallen down. Not that there are major breakdowns or any thing, but its just not possible to do 70 km Non-Stop at that speed.  The bike had its first major engine overhaul in its late 60s. somewhere around 65000 km or so, the engine underwent a major refit. a small screwup on my part got the engine refitted at around 73000 km mark again. The last time I hit 80 km was recently which again was after a three year gap. Another screwup in 95800 area saw a major overhaul that cost me 4500 bucks.

Today [8th January 2002] I had covered the magical '100000' . One lakh Kilometers on the bike. Now the Odometer reads all zeroes again!. It took me Six Years and Eleven months to achieve this. Ofcourse Six months in the last one year, I could not use the bike as I was in the US. Now I will probably get myself a new bike or a car. I will still keep this one. maybe cover 161000 (For 100000 Miles figure) and retire it.

Kilometers and Places Covered.

Year   1- 1996 16151 Km 16151 km Warangal (142), Shamirpet (30)
Year 2 - 1997 36569 Km 20418 km Nandi Hills (80), Nagarjuna Sagar (155), Nizamabad (140) , Karimnagar (140), WG Dist (440) , Vijaywada.(270)
Year 3 - 1998 51000 Km 14431 km Nizamabad(140), WG Dist(400) Vijaywada (270)
Year 4 - 1999 68000 Km 17000 km Dundigal (40).
Year 5 - 2000 83338 km 15338 km Shamirpet (30).
Year 6 - 2001 93500 km 10162 km -None-
Year 7 - 2002 100400 km   6900 km 100000 km reached 8 Jan 2002 at Rahul Auto Bpet- Dundigal (40). 6 months offroad
Year 8 - 2003 106400 km   6000 km 3 months Offroad
Year 9 - 2004 113142 km   6742 km
Year 10 - 2005 120000 km   6858 km
The Latest Picture circa December 2001 Devil2004.jpg (48721 bytes)
Specifications - BAJAJ RTZ Major Spares Consumption
Name : Bajaj RTZ
Engine Type : Two Stroke, Air Cooled, Rotary Disc Valve
No of Cylinders : One
Capacity : 99.69 Cubic Centimeters (100CC)
Maximum Net Power : 11 BHP
Top Speed : 95 kmph with 65 kg weight
Fuel Consumption : One liter Petrol for every 42 km.
Vehicle Dry Weight : 110 Kgs
Vehicle Max Recommended Weight (incl Riders) : 240 Kgs.
Length : 1940 mm
Wheel Base : 1260 mm
Batteries : Two
Tyres : Rear Tyre (Two replaced) Front tyre (One replaced)
Pistons : Three  Replaced
Sprockets : Two (Third still running)
Chain : Three (Fourth running)
Meter Bracket : Six (Seventh Running)
Cylinder Block : Two (Second Running after reboring)
Handle cum Ignition Lock (Two sets replaced)



101000 km 20th May 2002
102000 km 16th Jun 2002
104000 km (+750km unmetered - 4 weeks of riding) 23rd Sep 2002
105000 km 23rd Oct 2002
106000 km 15th Nov 2002
112000 km Around 1st Jan 2004
113142 km 9 Feb 2004 (Nine Years Completed)
118500 km 1st Jan  2005
120001 km 8th Feb 2004 (Ten Years Completed)

The Devil after covering 101000 Kilometers (20 May 2002). At a rough average of 40 km per hour, that's about 2525 Hours of riding. As can be seen in the picture, the rear mudguard arrangement is a 'modification, but otherwise the bike is in its original OEM specification.

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