The One and The Only – Dilip Bam


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Those of you who have grown up reading auto magazines of the yesteryear - mainly in the 1980s/90s - would know Dilip Bam - the ultimate two wheeler tester that India auto mags have ever seen, and probably will ever see. His road tests were hilarious, insightful, humorous and full of witty remarks. He had his biases but he would religiously test every motorcycle/scooter in his own ingenious way and would not comment anything on the technical aspects of any two wheeler unless he had tested and verified it himself. An extremely talented and qualified individual who wasn't afraid to call a spade a spade, much unlike the motoring journos of today. It was rumored that he has tested and owned every single bike that has been sold (at that time) in India. There was not a single road test report filed by him that didnt had me in splits. He was associated with magazines like Indian Auto (R.I.P) , Car & Bike International (R.I.P), and Auto India. An IITian and XLRI alumnus, Dilip Bam is now 65 years old (the great granddaddy of Indian auto journalism!) and an asst. professor at a management college in Pune and though he does not write for any auto mag now (I think there would be no present day editor who would dare to publish his views, given the way he writes), he is the bikguru at indiabike.com and has launched his own website dilipbam.com (crude but again, hilarious to read his posts). I hope we see more of him. Those of you who remember him/his reviews, please do contribute to this thread - the new generation needs to know about this man and his unique way of testing two wheelers. Leaving with some quotes that I still remember from his reviews:

(On the Suzuki Shaolin having the same body panels as the Suzuki Samurai) : "My sister has a look at the bike (Shaolin) and said - gadhe ke upar ghoda likh dene se gadha ghoda nahin ho jaata" (a donkey doesn't become a horse if you write 'horse' on it)

On the Enfield Diesel: " Though vibrations do not bother the bike, they do bother Dilip Bam"

On the LML Supremo: "In italian , capo di tuti capi means boss of all bosses. The Supremo, then is scooto di tuti scooti".
"You would see that this scooter has very little luggae space. that is because this is not a maal gaadi (goods cart). Anybody who can afford this scooter would have servants to carry his maal (stuff)

On the Kinetic 4S not having a stepped seat : "I personally despise such cusped seats bcoz I don’t like dictators who dictate where I should park my ass! Hell, it’s MY ass, and since I am the driver, I demand the right to park MY ass wherever I feel like, not where the seat maker dictates me to."

On the Bullet Electra : "Dreams are of many types – pleasant, painful, enjoyable, scary, exciting, new, old and many more. Bullet is all this and much more! It is the closest any bike comes to being all things to all people. Being all things to all people is impossible. A theory. That is what Bullet is. A theory. And people love theories. "

On the Honda Eterno: "Being a geared scooter, more solid males would opt for it than liquid females"

On the Honda Unicorn: "Fact is Unicorn is actually the MOST apt name for this bike because the Japanese never do anything without solid logic, Honda even more so. When Alexander invaded India in 326 BC, he saw for the first time in his life a one-horned Indian Rhinoceros (which does not exist in Europe). He named it Uni-corn (Uni=one; corn=horn). Now everyone knows that this bike is the first bike in India to have mono-shock (Uni-shock) rear suspension. Thus, mono=one=uni, and as we all know the shape of a shock absorber is cylindrical like a Rhino horn. The rear end & tail light is also very horny. So what else would you call this bike but Unicorn?"


On the Bullet buyer: "There are two kinds of buyers. ONE is the type who goes to the market to buy a means of transportation and looks for things like low buying price, mileage, quick pickup, faster top speed, attractive looks and so on. This type of buyer is looking primarily for a commuter machine with as many frills and add-ons as possible in his budget.

The other type of buyer is one who goes to buy Bullet. He is one who is beyond commuting. "

On the TVS Apache test bike given to him: "0ne point I would like to mention here is that this bike did not come to me for test as a brand new virgin. Indeed it had already been done more than 5500 km times by male members of the auto magazine community when it came to me."

On Bajaj's DTSi technology : "Welcome to the world of DTSi, which is Pulsating the market so much, that Bajaj Auto has Discovered that fitting DTSi into Eliminator makes it Terminator ! (==Arnold DTSi Schwarzenegger)"

On the Hero Honda Ambition : "Why Ambition? Why now? Two reasons. First, in this high-competition motorcycle business, you have to keep running ahead full speed just to stay where you are or you’ll be left behind. Secondly, you have to keep re-inventing yourself, or else you petrify and die. Ambition is the spur for all activity. Activity is what you DO, because you are what you DO. If you DON’T, you AREN'T!"

On the Kinetic GF150: "The note of the horn is out of this world. The tone of the horn is like a nightingale singing its mating song."

On the Yezdi : "The Yezdi 250 is a low-tech machine with large tolerances. It is an extremely simple design in which very little can go wrong, simply because there is very little to begin with. Remember, ultra sophistication cost much money, and high-precision repairs of high-tech gizmo-baazi costs mush more money which is always in short supply. Also remember: a pedigreed racehorse costing ten lakh rupees runs just a ten-minute race four or five times a year, whereas an ordinary mule, costing just a few hundred rupees, works 12 to 14 hours a day at full capacity, day-in and day-out, every day, Sundays and holidays included, 365 days a year, never falls sick, needs no maintenance and is available to its owner whenever required.Indeed, if you see the doodhwalas (milkmen) of Pune, you will observe that all of them, without exception, use ten-year-old Yezdis to deliver upto 250 litres of milk all over the city, every day (we do drink milk on Sundays, don't we?), 365 days a year, rain or shine, good roads or bad, village or town, kuccha or pucca. Now 250 litres of milk + 250kg, plus the weight of umpteen brass and aluminium containers (50kg) plus rider (70kg) plus pillion (70kg) plus weight of the bike itself (140kg), all adds up to a tidy 580kg, ie much more than half-a-ton! Now tell me, even if the Yezdi gives just 25kpl, it costs less than 0.14 paise per kilogram-metre, which is about the same as what it would cost going doule-seat (rider + pillion + bike = 280kg) on a Bajaj Champion giving 60kpl!"

On storing the bike during the rains: "Now buy some anti-rust paste in a tin can or a tube (like toothpaste) if available and for ease of use. What I do is, I get some fresh grease worth two bucks from costing ten times that amount does, because I am myself a Faltu mechanic, not a sophisticated my corner mechanic and bring it in a sheet of folded paper and use it instead of any sophisticated paste costing many bucks. For me, two bucks worth of Faltu grease does the basic job (of preventing rust) just as well as sophisticated anti-rust paste, Hi-Funda magazine editor, who gets fat revenues from media hype advertisements of such anti-rust paste manufacturers and designer cover manufacturers"

On the TVS Wego : " But the pushlever of the side stand is not visible from my stance. If the pushlever had a different stance or been longer by two inches, my report would have been shorter by two sentences."


Cheers !

Quotes from www.dilipbam.com
 
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AMG

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Re: The one and the only Dilip Bam

your creation or copy pasted from a site?

truly incredible.
 
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Re: The one and the only Dilip Bam

your creation or copy pasted from a site?

truly incredible.
AMG, this is an absolutely genuine post. I wonder what made you think otherwise. The Shaolin and Supremo quotes were published in two separate issues of Auto India circa 1996. Some of the other italicised quotes have been picked up from indiabike.com where Dilip Bam's articles and some of his road tests could be found.
 
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Re: The one and the only Dilip Bam

I meant if you compiled the quotes yourself or you just copy pasted it from somewhere?
 
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Re: The one and the only Dilip Bam

C'mon friends, where are you? Don't tell me none of you have ever heard of this man. Surely there would be a lot of members on an eclectic forum like TAI who fondly know Dilip Bam.

Meanwhile, some more snippets:

The Supremo's headlight points skywards insted of pointing on the road. Indeed, this scooter should be used to investigate the arms dropping case at Purulia.

Who the hell gives a **** about Dilip Bam? What matters, is which bike is between his legs?

Eliminator will get eliminated by a bigger, faster, Eliminator. A new terminator will overcome the pulse of the Pulsar. The Shogun will be overshadowed by the Ronin, the RX 135 by the ZXR, and so on. But the Bullet will remain Bullet.

Front fork leaks? Aah! Don’t ask stupid questions. Like I said, perfection is just a theory.


I know of many old Chetak 2-strokers still in use today which are over 20 years old, which is 33% longer than eternity, since Bharat Sarkar has defined eternity as 15 years, the one-time-tax (RTO) validity period.

Apache are the famous and best known ADIVASI tribe of America.

Dilip Bam is also the Bike Guru at indiabike dot com. All kinds of people post all kinds of questions related to bikes at this portal and he answers all of them in his howlarious style. Doesn't matter how stupid or irrelevant a question is, he answers them all. An example from the same site (all punctuation, spellings etc copied):


HASTEN LOBO Question: Dear sir.hero honda has become motocorp so will hero honda bike production will stop in few years completely and will spare parts be available after few years?

BIKE GURU Answer:IF HASTEN LOBO WiLL CHANGE HiS NAME TO JALDi BOLO, WiLL HE CEASE TO EXiST? will HE stop BREATHiNG in few years completely and will HiS spare parts be FUNCTiONAL after few years?
 
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Re: The one and the only Dilip Bam

Just came across this thread now Sam. I know Dilip Bam through his articles from the good old days till recent. His articles are such a treat and gives you an honest review of the bike or scooter in question, unlike most of the idiots who call themselves journos and say only the pros and cover up the flaws or cons of the vehicle they're reviewing.

I still pick out old magazines from my archive which contain his articles and go through them. It still enthralls and I love going through them. I still remember most of his articles to the word, especially the Samurai-Shaolin article you mentioned. Its like I'd never forget that story.

Salute him for his good work.[cheers] He's unparalleled & a legend if you ask me.
 
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Re: The one and the only Dilip Bam

I remember with cheeky laugh all those bike reviews since the 80's through 90's and thereon. The reviews were very crisp and spiced by him in his unique flavor. Hats off to his biking zeal and vast experience in biking ,trekking and meeting people.

Thanks Sam for reminding me and my thoughts resonate with Jalex .
 
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Re: The one and the only Dilip Bam

Just conversed with Dilip Bam on FB. He still is the same person that I knew through his articles. He sent me his Website add, Just take a look. You'll know more about him and what me Sam and Carabiker are talking about.

DilipBam.Com
 
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Re: The one and the only Dilip Bam

Just conversed with Dilip Bam on FB. He still is the same person that I knew through his articles. He sent me his Website add, Just take a look. You'll know more about him and what me Sam and Carabiker are talking about.

DilipBam.Com
I had shot him a mail sometime back and this is the reply that I got:

Hi Sam,
Than Q VeRRReeeee much for this mail. What an eye opener for me! Thanks for giving me the data from Enfield site.
I see that it has karburetor but is twin sspark.
Also very grateful for the info on LML.
I think I should contact them.
Can you tell me how to contact PSChowdhary or someone for doing tests and putting up report on indiabike as well as my own website,
I would be grateful.
Once again thanks for this mail
By the way, what do you do? And where do you live? Do I know you?
best wishes
Dilip Bam


jalex: If you are in touch with him, why not ask to have a look at this thread and join TAI? His vast experience and unique skills would be a great asset to this forum.

Signing off with his view on the Hero Panther from his book : The Perfect Two Wheeler:

Hero Panther: If I changed my name to Bruce Lee, wore a kung-fu suit (paint job) and put on a helmet (fairing), could I hope to beat up Dara Singh? They did this to the popular 240DX model and called it Panther.
 
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Re: The One and The Only – Dilip Bam

Was flipping through an old issue of Auto India yesterday. Came across his LML Supremo review. This is what he writes about the mileage that he got after testing the Supremo:

Actually, 35kmpl is not a bad mileage for a 150cc two-stroke scooter weighing 135 kgs. You cannot buy an Arabian stallion and feed it on a donkey's diet.[lol]
 
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I had expected good response for this thread but it seems we have too many youngsters on this forum who have not heard of Dilip bam. Really, for someone who has read his reviews, the modern day reviews just do not hold any water. Quoting some of his answers verbatim (spellings, punctuations etc everything lifted as it is) form indiabike.com

ANKIT BHATNAGAR Question:
hi dilip, i own a bajaj pulsar 150 which is arpund 6 months old.i regurlary use the high octae petrol for my bike but what i have heard is that now tata motors have put up posters saying high octane petrol is bad for normal engines...is it true? would using the high octane petrol reduce the engine life? waiting for an assurance regards ankit

BIKE GURU Answer:HIGH OKTAIN YETROL IZ GuuD FOR Hi-COMPRESSION RATIO ENJINs. P-150 COMPR. RATIO IS 9.5, VICH IZ NOT VERi Hi. SO I AM USING ONLY NORMAL UNLEADED GREEN YETROL. Hi-0KTAIN YETROL DEFINITELY REDUCE ENJIN LIFE. REMEMBER, ""SLOW-AND-STEADY-WIN-THE-RACE??"" U WANT Hi-PERFORMANCE, YOUR BIKE WILL NOT LIVE LONG, LIKE CHEETAH, WHICH IS HIGHEST PERFORMANCE AMONG ALL LAND ANIMALS, LIVES 14 YEARS. BUT IF YOU LIVE LIKE TORTOISE, VICH IZ LOWEST PERFORMANCE AMONG ALL LAND ANIMALS, LIVES 300 YEARS ! WHADDYU WANT? LIVE LIKE SHOOTING STAR WHICH EXIST FOR FEW SEKONDS VICH ALL WORLD SEEs, OR LIVE LIKE TORTOISE VICH EXIST FOR 300 YEARS AND NOBODY SEEs. VHAT ASSURANCE U WANT? I HAV ALREADY TOLDED U THE LAW OF NATURE VICH APPLIES TO EVERYTHING. I BELIEVE IN USING ORDINARY YETROL, SO THAT WITH THE MUNNY I SAVE, I KAN BUY ICE-CREAM. TO ME, ICE-CREAM IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN OKTAIN VALU OF YETROL.

SURAJIT ROY Question: hi, I am planning to go for a Pulsar 180.But I heard from someone that in Pulsar,the seat design is such that if u apply sudden brake and become a bit unsteady,your reproductive organ can perish.In fact somebody cited me few cases as well.Can you please suggest?? Surajit

BIKE GURU Answer:NO SUCH THING. THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN. HOWEVER, IF AXIDENT, THEN ANYTHING KAN HAPPEN ON ANY BIKE. EVERYDAY IN HINDUSTAN, HUNDREDs OF BIKE RIDERS ARE DYING ON ALL BIKES, NOT ONLY PULSAR 180. THE IMPORTANT THING IS NOT THAT YOUR REPRODUKTIV ORGAN IS GETTING CRUSHED. THE IMPORTANT THING IS HOW MUCH YOU USE IT BEFORE IT IS CRUSHED:lol!:, BCOZ FINALLY EVERYBODY DIE==CRUSHED!

Quotes from www.dilipbam.com
 
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Re: The One and The Only – Dilip Bam

Attached file represents his fuel efficiency tests for the Apache RTR 180. How many motoring journalists carry out vehicle testing so thoroughly?
 

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From www.dilipbam.com

Posting his review of the TVS Wego for the benefit of members. Note his distinctive style (pay special attention to how he measures the fuel efficiency) [clap]:

(Mods: I hope we can make an exception for his way of using the English language)


WeGo :The scooter with a stance !


After enjoying much market share in the gearless scooter category with the 2-stroke Scooty and the 4-stroke Pep, Pep+ and Streak, TVS finally decided to grow bigger and enter the FULL SiZE gearless scooter category by launching WeGo scooter. The name of the scooter is WeGo, bcoz We==at least two or more people which means dubble seat. And Go means Good power, performance, kwik pikup and higher top speed, which the WeGo scooter has in good measure.

ENGiNE & OTHER DETAILS :
Powered by the same 109.7 cc engine having bore X stroke of 53.5 mm X 48.8 mm which powers two other bikes from TVS (Star City 110 and Jive), this engine produces EiGHT ps of power at 7500 rpm and develops a Tork of EiGHT Nm at 5500 rpm. The high rigidity under-bone frame with a wheelbase of 1275 mm, rides on 90/90 X 12 tyres front and rear giving a good ground clearance of 145 mm. Starting is by self as well as kick while stopping is by 130 mm drum brakes both front and rear. Front suspension is heavy duty telescopic twin forks while rear is a single nitroX shoX shock absorber having triple rated spring, mounted with Teflon coated bushes for low friction Fuel tank kapasiti is FiVE Liters. The self start elektriX are powered by a 12 volt 4-Ah maintenance free battery. Headlight power is 35 watts while tail light is a 12 volt LED==Light Emitting Diode.

TECHNOs :
There are a few Techn0 aspekts to this skooter. Tires: Firstly larger cup-size12-inch fronts – as well as rears, while most udders have 10-inch0s both frunt and rear. The higher tekn0 aspekt in these tires is that they are made of wet compound, which means you are getting a Michelin equivalent tire, which means better road holding which means more safety which means you live longer. The all metal body is definitely a plus point in these days of un-recyclable plastic bodies of skooters. Firstly metal is re-cycle-able and hence totally environment friendly. Sekondly, in case of a minor dent you can repair the dent yourself by using DENT-KiNG, which advertises early morning every day on National Geographic / Discovery / Animal Planet channels before 8am. Along with Dent-king you also get a FREE felt-pen type scratch filler called SCRATCH-PEN which covers up minor skratches. Dent-King & Scratch-Pen together cost Rs.2490/- which you can order 0n-Line. Check it out on TV if you can wake up at 7am. The third Tekn0 aspekt is the fuel filling system. The fuel tank cap is NOT under the seat as in ALL udder skootres today. It is behind the ass of the pillion behind the seat. If you are the lazy type (which all gearless riders are), U don’t have to move your ass, get up from the seat, push your bike, lift your skirt (~sorry seat), to allow the pump attendant to put his hose into the fuel cap hole which is behind your (or pillion’s) ass. The hole, i.e. your petrol tank cap, now has a separate identity and separate location which is independent of the location of your ass and udder nearby parts. And even to open the fuel tank cap you don’t have to move your ass from the seat. The key-slot for the under-seat dicky opening is dual purpose. Turn key klok-wise and seat opens: turnkey anti-klok-wise and fuel tank cap flips open 0tt0matikally. No need to get up or get off or use hands or even to look at it. You can keep your eyes focused on the petrol pump digits to ensure ZERO before filling & make sure you don’t get cheated on petrol quantity. 0ne important aspect which I must mention is that putting this skootre on main stand is the easiest and lightest among all 100 cc + skootres in this whole country! A great boon for lazy people.

ROAD BEHAVIOR :
The forward stance seating aspect of this scooter is evident as soon as I retract the side stand and park my ass on it in moving stance. The handlebar width is in keeping with this stance. I press the starter button and the engine splutters. I twist throttle and bike moves smoothly. The road outside my gate which was pukka before the rain is now worse than semi-kuccha and the down-slope after that has become horrible, washed-out and dangerously skiddable due to bajari=very small rounded pebbles which were embedded in CoalTar=Daambar which got washed away in the rain and the bajari became loose. On such bad road WeGo kept its stance and WeGo went, thanks to wet compound tires. I came back after a short first ride and wanted to park on side stand. But the PUSHLEVER of the side stand is not visible from my stance. If the PUSHLEVER had a different stance or been longer by two inches, my report would have been shorter by two sentences.

Keeping up (or down) with traffic is a breeze. Roads are not too good, the rains just got over and the pot holes are not filled up yet bcoz politic0 pockets are not filled up yet, waiting for the k0ntrakt0rs to fill their pockets which are deep indeed, and lining the deep pockets of politic0s is a long tailoring process. Takes time. So the roads are bad. Yet the 12-inch wheels of WeGo take them with aplomb & make for good ground clearance.
Brakes are excellent and WeGo maintains its stance even on wet curvy roads, thanks to the wet compound tires. The headlight beam quality is excellent. Night driving on highway at speeds of 65-70 is quite reassuring. Two separate and distinct tell-a-tale lights placed at the extreme left and extreme right of the dashboard to indicate left turn and right turn respectively, accompanied by a reminding beeper add to the safety aspect of WeGo. Top speed I did was around 80. Maybe it can go faster but I did not want to race on this scooter. I have too many other bikes to race on.

In any case, a gearless scooter is hardly made for racing on highways. Gearless scooters are majorly used for city traffic by <1>females <2>older people <3>physically challenged people <4>learners <5>people who lack confidence <6>couch potat0s - who want to save their energy on biking and use it on FACEBooK !

MiLEAGE :
I did many mileage tests on tankfull-to-tankfull basis. I fill up the tank, upto 2-cm below the top rim of the tank neck. Close the cap. Shake the scooter front and back by locking the front brake. Sit on the scooter and hump it like riding horse. Tilt it to 30-degrees on both sides. I do all this to get rid of any air bubbles. I open the tank cap again (bike parked on level ground at the same spot) and see that the level has gone down (no fuel has been used bcoz the engine is off). I fill it up again upto 2-cm below the rim as before. I then again do the same shaking and tilting actions to remove more air bubbles if any. I do this three-four times, until no matter how much I shake or tilt, the level does not go down. This means there are no more air bubbles left, which means greater accuracy.

First I went single seat (my weight is 54 kg), SEVEN km on the highway. No traffic lights, medium but orderly traffic, brakes used only once in seven km bcoz of a big puddle at a particular spot where all traffic had to almost stop. Same with my WeGo. Then again riding steady at speeds mostly below 40 with much upslope and downslope. At SEVEN km I made a U-turn and returned home the same way. Traffic was lighter and speeds between 50 and 60 were possible, with one stop at the puddle. This 14 km return trip consumed 0.21 liters, giving a mileage of 14 divided by 0.21==66.7 kmpL. I did further tests, all in town area. In two more tests of 14 km each in city traffic it gave me 42.1 kmpL and 41.2 kmpL. In the fourth test 14 km (dubble seat==120 kg) in city traffic it gave 38.6 kmpL.

So the mileage calculation is: 42.1 + 41.2 + 38.6==121.9, which when divided by 3, gives 40.6 kmpL in city traffic inklooding dubble seat, which is on par with, or better than other full size scooters in the market. On highway with no using of brakes, and speeds up to sixty, it gives 66.7 kmpL, single seat rider 54 kg.

Gearless scooters are not mileage champions. The stop-go-stop-go type city traffic consumes petrol without contributing to the forward motion of the scooter, bcoz every time you use brake to slow down or stop, the variat0r belt instantly slackens (as per Law of Nature), and when you want to pick up speed again and twist accelerator / throttle to increase engine rpm, the petrol gets used in inkrizing rpm to tighten the slack without contributing to motion. This is as per Laws of Mechanics as defined by Pythagoras, Archimedes & Newton, which is also Law of Nature, and even GwaD (==god) cannot increase the mileage of ANY gearless skootre. This happens every time you use brake, which in city traffic we do about 100 times per km. There is nothing you can do. YOU want comfort and ease of driving, YOU pay for it.

KON-KLoo-Zi0N :

WeGo is available in four attractive colors: Midnight Black, Cappucino Brown, Golden Beige and Sporty White. Costing Rs.49,953/- on road Pune, you get a sturdy scooter which gives excellent mileage and has excellent road holding & pickup, and a comfortable stance ! .
 
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