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Sanjay Gupta's new 11-lakh BIKE

By: Upala KBR, Mid-Day

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta has just acquired a 2006 Yamaha MT-01. He already has a Honda Valkyrie.

His true love for bikes comes across, when he says, "I prefer biking to boozing as going for a bike ride gives you more of a thrill than booze. Also there is no hangover after a bike ride."

The cost of a 2006 Yamaha MT-01 is 11 lakh (approx). We cornered Gupta for a chat on bicycles, bikes and his buddies. Read on...

When did you develop the bike passion?

I developed a passion for bikes during my school and college days. Being a state-level cyclist, I always loved cycling. For me, it was a big sport. I had a Hero Honda in college, but I waited till I could afford a fancy, flashy bike.

Today, I have two - a Honda Valkyrie and my spanking new 2006 Yamaha MT-01 with retro features. The new love of my life came last Friday. I have been waiting for her the last four months. Now I am very happy as my Honda Valkyrie has company. It's like having two girlfriends and two-timing them.

What's the difference between the two bikes?
Plenty, I say. It's of two different genres and I have the best of both the worlds. The 2006 Yamaha MT-01 is also called a retro as it goes back to the retro period - the 60s and 70s - and is a cross between a street bike and a cruiser, while the Valkyrie is a cruiser, which I had used in Musafir.

Dhoom had shot with street bikes. A Honda Valkyrie is very powerful. It is 1500 cc with 6 cylinders while the 2006 Yamaha MT-01 is 1600cc.

One reason why a bike is better than a woman?
I can name many, not just one...It's the best girlfriend a guy can have, you can ride her anywhere anytime, it doesn't complain or fight back and is ready to go anywhere!

What's the best time to ride?
I always ride after midnight and go for a ride on the highway, Bandra Reclamation, to town and back.

Lets talk about your biker buddies
I have a gang of filmi and non-filmi biker buddies. In the film industry, there's Sanju (Sanjay Dutt) with his Harley-Davidson, John (Abraham) who has a Yamaha R1, Sikander (Kher) has a kick-ass Honda, Rohit (Roy) rides my Valkyrie, Fardeen has a Suzuki, Arshad (Warsi) has just bought a Dragstar.

Zayed, Salman and Sohail have bikes, too, as do Andre and Viraf of Wizcraft. Normally, John, FK, Siku, Sanju, Zayed, Rohit, Fardeen and I meet up and go for bike rides together. As of now, there is no official gang, maybe we should make one...

Is there a bike race in the offing?
Since there are so many bikers in the film industry, we are trying to work out, along with IIFA, a charity ride from Mumbai to Pune with the pretty heroines sitting pillion with us.

An unwritten rule for a new member?
Though there is no written rule - we bikers just say be happy and keep riding. An unwritten rule is - a dirty bike is not allowed. You have to maintain your bike well. A bike is like a woman and has to be given lots of TLC, nourishment and laad-pyaar.

Three cardinal principles of biking?
Firstly, safety first. John Abraham, our mentor in safety riding, has taught us everything about safe riding - wear a helmet always and other safety rules. Secondly no competing with fellow bikers.

That's foolhardiness. No zipping each other out. Biking is all about bonding and chilling out together and no competition. And lastly, no out-speeding the other bikers. It's just about enjoying your ride.

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