Dreams on wheels

Dreams on wheels

Bike world

Dreams on wheels

Toys and chocolates may be a child’s best friends but not for Junaid Khan, a second-year mechanical engineering student of Ghousia College of Engineering, who has spent most of his childhood in the company of bikes, trains and machines.

When he was young, Junaid spent his free time meddling with washing machines, coolers and parts of fridge. He used to remove and re-assemble the parts. “I remember my parents shouting at me quite often,” he recalls.  
However, his affinity towards machines grew and at the age of 14, he found his true calling. He dismantled the parts of his father’s old bike and re-built it on his own. “It didn’t come out as badly as I had expected and my father was really happy with the output. I used to spend a lot of time at hole-in-the-wall service shops, mechanical stores and welding places to learn the intricacies of electrical engineering and automation, about parts and power-engines, fuel and flashlights.”

Dismantling and restoring bikes soon became a part of his life. “I would dismantle a bike; modify and restore the secondary parts such as the shield, headlights, tail-lights, mirrors, handlebars, with better ones. I  lift up the performance and the mileage of the engines, change the seating arrangement and tyres and add racing equipment. I also take a racing sheet metal, design it, weld and mould it according to the desired measurements. I take the chassis, the inner part of the bike, cut down the unwanted metal and design the chassie in a way that it becomes much lighter.”

Junaid spends most of his time in Shivajinagar where he looks for raw materials and scraps. He started customising bikes for his friends but as his contacts expanded, he started customising bikes for racers as well. “I take an ordinary bike and modify it into a superbike or a ‘Cafe Racer’. A ‘Cafe Racer’ is a Western concept where racers ride around cafes but this concept hasn’t come about in South India.

I learnt a lot about handling different parts, the engine performance and understood the aerodynamics through books and internet but it was nothing like learning from the mechanics themselves,” he says. The bikes he has customised have gone on to compete in various racing championships.

“One also has to keep in mind the legal issues, safety aspects and modify the bike at the desired cost. It’s also a long winding process to explain to the customer how the bike will turn out.” Now, Junaid, with the help of a few friends, can modify two bikes in one week.
Junaid has big dreams. He wants to build electric bikes (and flying cars) as he feels that they are the future of automation.

“I prefer to garner the interest of teenagers to help me manufacture bikes and want to make it available to people who can’t afford bikes.” He is grateful to his brother, who is his prime motivational force. “Every project I make is by hand. It’s all creative engineering,” he says.

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