Zooming on a dangerous path

Risky Trend

Zooming on a dangerous path

stylish Modifications  that enhance the  performance of a bike can have serious repercussions.

The trend of bike modification, wherein the appearance and performance of a motorcycle can be drastically enhanced, seems to be finding more and more takers in
the City.

Priced at around Rs 50,000, altering a cheaper bike to look and perform like a more powerful model is definitely lighter on the pocket than actually buying a new one. But at the same time, it involves some serious safety hazards. Metrolife speaks to a few mechanics and bikers to find out the potential dangers of pushing a bike past its limit.

There are two kinds of modifications that can be made to a motorcycle — altering its appearance and enhancing its performance. Some common examples of appearance modification include increasing the width of the bike’s rear tyre, changing its handlebars and replacing its shock absorbers, and these changes are more or less harmless. Altering the performance of a bike, however, involves actually tinkering with its engine and can have some serious repercussions.

Syed Murtaza Shakhadri, who owns a bike modification store on JC Road, claims that he has customers literally pouring in for both kinds of enhancements. “In terms of the look, many of them want their bikes to be modified to resemble superbikes. And when we are modifying the bike’s performance, we give it more speed and better running,” he explains.

Shakhadri claims that these modifications are perfectly safe, and an altered bike can be handled by even the most inexperienced riders. However, he is one of the few mechanics who believes this. Ravi Chandra, owner of a modification outlet, says that his mechanics never carry out any performance enhancements.

“We prefer not to tinker with the technical specifications of the bike. It involves many safety hazards because here you’re fiddling around with the engine power. It depends entirely on the workmanship of the mechanic, and it immediately changes the dynamic of driving the bike. The case of Azharuddin’s son is an example of what can happen when a rider doesn’t know what he’s handling,” he says.

Debraj Banerjee, the founder of a biking club in Bangalore, agrees with Chandra when it comes to the question of performance enhancements. “Modifications can be carried out on the engine of a bike for better pick-up, but this raises some serious concerns. When a bike is given a power over 1000 or 2000 cc, it can reach any speed at any point of time.

The people who go in for this are generally youngsters, who want to feel an adrenaline rush, but they often can’t handle these bikes,” he explains.  Jitesh, a business management student, has mixed feelings on the subject of bike modification. While some of his friends are avid bikers and have modified their bikes, he believes they do keep in mind the possible repercussions of this process.

  “The basic idea is to get a better look for the bike, though some do change parts to make its performance better. But before this, many go online and research about it, taking note of the possible safety hazards,” he explains.

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