Thursday, February 9, 2012

Yamaha announces Riding Clinic-III

  • The focus of training would be towards improving physical & mental fitness, vehicle setup, performance comparison, high speed cornering, etc.
  • Ex-GP rider, Mr. Osamu Miyazaki to conduct this Clinic in India and share his knowledge
  • Separate clinics for expert & novice class,
  • The Riding Clinic is open for all riders restricting the entries to first 30 registrations in each batch (first come first served basis).

  • During the course of attending "Yamaha Riding Clinic-III" and "R15 One Make Race Championship-2012", best performing riders selected as per the selection criteria will get a chance to represent INDIA and participate in the "Yamaha Asean Cup Race" to be held in late, 2012.
  • Talented riders can further get a chance to compete in "Asia Road Race Championship 600cc Class" based on their performance in "Yamaha Asean Cup Race-2012".
  • Rider selected based on his results in the "Asia Road Race Championship 600cc class" can make his life time dream come true as he could get a chance to participate in the Grand Prix.

Doni Tata, a rider from Indonesia made to Grand Prix through this race.
He started his career as a rider in "Indonasia Yamaha Cup Race". Due to his excellent performance, he got a chance to participate in the Yamaha Asean Cup Race, where he proved himself and which led him to Asia Road Race Championship Race 600cc class and later to the Grand Prix 125cc, 250cc and currently 600 CC category.


Batch I: 8th – 9th May 2012
Batch II: 10th – 11th May 2012

Madras Motor Sports Track, Irrungattukottai, Chennai

Max entries per batch: 30

Fee structure:
Normal fee: Novice- Rs. 4000/-, Expert- Rs. 5,000/-
For Yamaha R15 customers: Novice- Rs. 3000/-, Expert- Rs. 4,000/-
(Yamaha customers need to submit a copy of their bike registration certificate as a proof of ownership.)

Payable by DD favoring Madras Motor Sports Club, and sent to the Club at 123/1, T T K Road, Alwarpet, Chennai 600 018. Email:

Contact Person: Mr. Pramod Kumar (09841065145)

It will be a two (2) day event for each batch.

Day 1
08.30: Riders Registration
09.00 – 09.30: Opening Ceremony
09.30 – 10.00: Riding Seminar
10.00 – 10.30: Machine Setup
10.30 – 17.00: Practical Training, Advice & Free Practice.

Day 2
08:30: Riders Briefing
09.00 – 09.30: Machine Setup
09:30 – 16:00: Practical Training, Advice & Free Practice.
16.00 – 16.30: Q&A
16:30 – 17.00: Race
17.00 – 17.30: Closing Ceremony

Last date of registration: 1st April 2012.

Entry Form: Attachment 885006

Attached Files
File Type: doc Yamaha Riding Clinic-2012_Entryform.doc (384.0 KB)

The new addition to our family.... the CAAAR.... Bronze Grey Nissan Sunny Diesel
4:22:03 AM aroonanand
My search for the new car and the selection process
My hunt for a new car started in mid 2011 – I have been driving a faithful Santro for the last 5+ years but with the car showing signs of age and the need for a larger more comfortable car, the search for the next addition to our family started.
When I started, the budget was ~6-7 lacs and I was looking for entry level petrol sedans. Primary requirements were an efficient engine, decent space, quality of interiors and finish, and finally some "fun" factor to drive. I generally do not race on my cars and prefer to drive sedately, so the car need not be a total "drivers car". Was going to be primarily self driven with ~30 kms in cities daily and so fuel efficiency was a factor to consider. The options were the Swift Dzire, Etios and Tata Manza. Here're my take on these cars:

Maruti Suzuki Dzire – Overall good value for money, decent driving comfort and experience, features for the price offered. Liked the features offered in the Vxi and for ~6.75lacs OTR, was a decent buy.
Toyota Etios – Had mixed opinions about the car before I test drove, and only one opinion after the test drive – just not worth it notwithstanding the Toyota badge and the efficient engine. NVH was extremely poor – my Santro had better noise insulation, quality of plastics and interiors were way below what you would expect in a 7 lac car. Only top model had music system, no centre armrest even in top variant and several other misses meant I gave this car a skip by all means !
Tata Manza – classic case of dealerships turning away eager customers. Walked into a Tata showroom on a Sunday morning in Bangalore and was told the TD car was under service and unavailable for next week !!! Request for brochure and price list resulted in salesmen running all over the showroom who finally managed to trace it after ~10 minutes !!! Was informed they would call me in a few days for the TD, which never happened.

Also saw the Fiat Linea parked in the same showroom; the car looked amazing and is clearly one of the best lookers… But the fact that you would depend on Tata for A.S.S was something to consider. Also fuel efficiency and ground clearance was an issue and given the pricing, was out of contention.

So the decision was in favor of Dzire and was getting ready to book it when Ford announced the launch of Fiesta Classic at great prices – Test drove the Classic and the features were more or less the same as the outgoing Fiesta. Was ~50k more expensive than Dzire but did not mind it given that this is a proper Sedan and not a hatch with a boot… Loved the driving experience and is truly a driver's car…. The decision was moving quickly in favor of the Fiesta Classic…

Also test drove the Honda City and Chevy Aveo just for the sake of it – City met expectations and is a very good car for a OTR of ~9L, was way beyond my budget. Did not consider Aveo or Suzuki SX4 as these were outdated models and the VW Vento was also beyond budget.
As if to delay the process, I started reading about the impending launch of the Nissan Sunny in mid Sep 2011. Having waited all this while (it was end of Aug now), I did not mind waiting another month given that the car will be staying with us for a few years atleast… Preliminary reports on the internet meant that the Sunny ticked all the boxes when it came to meeting the criteria. I had stayed in the Middle East earlier and was quite familiar with the value proposition of the Sunny and hence was a contender. Was a bit more expensive than the others considered but then, scored much higher on features and hence decided to stretch budget to ~8L.
Come Sep and I checked the Sunny out – the car offered oodles of space in the front, rear and the boot. Nissan was offering Airbags, ABS and EBD as standard across variants, which was nice to see. Interiors and finish was overall very good as were the features offered at the price point. For ~8L OTR, you have a proper sedan with lots of space, dual airbags, ABS, EBD, music system, rear AC vents, electrically adjustable mirrors etc etc and importantly, quality interiors…. I am quite fussy about the quality and finish of the interiors including plastics, seats, dash etc and is a deal breaker.… TD the petrol and was overall satisfied, despite not being as much fun as the Fiesta to drive … Everything looked good and looked like Sunny was going to be my new car. Decided to go for the Bronze Grey

The booking process: Booking 1 – a nightmarish experience, and the re-search for a car
Went ahead and booked the car with Sherif Nissan but had a miserable experience with them – they defaulted thrice when it came to delivery despite making payment and had to call the deal off… They were just not professional and I did not want a long term association with such a group. A detailed review of Sherif Nissan is posted at
So, I was back at the drawing board – after a bad experience with a Nissan Dealer, I was skeptical about approaching another dealer. By now, a few things had changed. There were more reports of petrol price hike in end of 2011 and so seriously started considering diesel cars. Did some math and with ~1000 kms of monthly usage primarily in the city, looked like Diesel was a better option despite additional upfront cost of ~1L. On the cars front, the following happened:
· Launch of the Skoda Rapid
· Launch of Sunny Diesel
· Price cuts in the Vento and Linea

TD the Linea and found the car too heavy and the ground clearance of ~160mm on the diesel was too low for comfort given the condition of Indian roads. Trendline on the Vento and base / mid versions of the Rapid were too basic and so went back to the Sunny. The fact that it had the frugal Renault 1.5litre diesel engine was a major plus – I frequently take the Logan cabs to Bangalore Airport and am amazed at the engine performance despite these cabs being abused by drivers and having run over 2lac kilometers on an average.

Booking -2, a pleasant experience

Decided to give Nissan another chance and approached Jain Jubilant Nissan at Egmore, Chennai and initial impressions were very good. Were a lot more professional than Sherif and offered TD on the diesel. Went to the showroom and the good experience continued – staff were very courteous, specific mention of the sales consultant Jai Ganesh and his manager Balaji who handled my account. TD the car and liked it instantaneously – while the petrol engine did not feel very powerful, the diesel overcame this issue easily. NVH levels were quite refined and the engine settled down very nicely. Absolutely no turbo lag and good low end torque. Test drove during the peak hour traffic and found it extremely easy to handle. Made up my mind that the CAAAAAAAR was going to be my car… It was end of Dec 2011 and was promised delivery in mid Jan, which worked for me…. Paid the advance and eagerly awaited delivery.

Got a call in 1st week of Jan that the car has been shipped from the factory and I can expect delivery around the 20th. Excitement levels went up and started inquiring about an auspicious date for delivery. Took printouts of the Team BHP delivery inspection checklists and fixed the delivery for 20 Jan 2012. Was promised that the car would be registered on the 19th and the accessories would be fitted on the 20th before delivery.

D Day – the much awaited delivery

Called the dealer on the 20th morning and was informed that everything is on course, the number plate would be received in the afternoon after which I could take delivery. I reached the showroom around 230 PM and was informed that the delivery team has taken the car out for a pre-delivery test drive and to fill in the customary 5 litres of diesel. Was shown the papers but I stated that I would sign them after the inspection. I wanted the "formal delivery" to happen post 430 PM given that was an auspicious time of the day. The car returned by 245 PM to the showroom and I had plenty of time to inspect and check.

Extensively used the Team BHP checklist and did not find anything amiss – Odo read ~55 kilometres and the interiors were clean. No dents / scratches / anything abnormal were found and the papers were good to be signed. Jai Ganesh sat down with me to explain the papers, the features of the car and any queries I had. Once I signed the papers, I got the customary box of chocolates and completed the puja at the showroom. After thanking everyone, I left the showroom to drive home…

Driving the diesel through evening traffic was a breeze – was nice to see other drivers acknowledge the new car by giving long glances and passing comments that this is the "CAAAR". Reached my hotel in Chennai in no time and parked the car. I was getting excited about the drive to Bangalore the next morning, which would let me test the car fully.

Did not add any accessories to the car apart from the rear parking sensor – did not feel the need for anything else as the CAAAR had everything else !!!)
Drove from Chennai – Bangalore on the 21st of January – completed the distance in ~5.5 hours. I did not want to push the car to its limits given the requirements of the initial run-in period. Here's my take of the car after ~500 kilometers of running

What I like
  • Looks and finish –the car may not be a head turner to many but it is pleasing to the eyes. The exterior finish and paint job is extremely good. Doors feel reasonably sturdy and whilst there is no "thud" like the European cars, it does feel well built.
  • Space, space and more space… At the front and the rear….. No issues with legs / knees hitting either the dashboard or the front seat… Rear seat can comfortably accommodate 3 well built adults
  • Responsive engine offering linear power delivery – as it is the same engine used in the Logan, I was quite sure of what to expect. The engine has been tuned to offer more power compared to what is offered on the Micra / Logan and found it more than sufficient for reasonably sedate driving. The car easily did 100-110 kmph without much effort on the highway and I could easily overtake vehicles without significant gear downshift.
  • Automatic Climate control is very efficient and cools down the car very quickly. Not noisy at all, say, compared to the AC on the Fiesta Classic
  • Quality of interiors is definitely good amongst its peers – whilst many might find the grey dash to be boring, I quite like it and find it classy !
  • Good quality OEM music system with steering mounted controls makes it easy to use – would have been better if there was USB compatibility too
  • Rear passengers (mom and wife) found the rear AC vents to be quite useful – at blower position 1, it does offer wafts of cool air at the back. Having said this, this could be better tested at hotter places as in Bangalore you really don't need it
  • Fuel efficiency – despite being a brand new car, the fuel efficiency on the Chennai – Bangalore drive with the AC continuously on is a very good 21.7 kmpl !!!
What can be improved
  • Gear box – Definitely not as bad as made out to be in various posts but can be improved, especially the shift from Gears 1 to 2 / 2 to 1 and the reverse.
  • Noise levels specifically tyre noise. Read in some forums that this is due to the nature / make of tyres – not very sure. Will be helpful if someone can throw light on this
  • Brakes take some time to react – for the first second after using the brake, there is no reaction from the brakes.
  • Boot lid feels light and flimsy – definitely an area of improvement
Will post some pics soon.

No comments:

Post a Comment