Shining to Victory

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Do not get bemused by the title of the article, there is no race report being penned down here. After riding the 125cc TVS Victor Edge for over a month when I got chance to switch to 125cc Honda Shine in the middle of a ride, I could not stop myself from grabbing this chance to compare Shine with Edge.

The moment I got myself seated on Shine for the first time, immediately I notice the difference in sitting posture. Where the handle of Edge is comparatively smaller and lower, Shine got handlebar placed slightly higher. Though both bikes got different handle position but both of them are comfortable to ride with.

Gear shifting on Shine and Edge are smooth and got the same shift pattern. Though both bikes got brakes with same specifications, front disc of Edge is more powerful than Shine. Not that brakes on Shine are inadequate but after riding Edge it takes some time to get used to the slightly lesser powerful disc brake of Shine, if you have never ridden Edge you will find no problems with the brakes of Shine.

Since the roads are wet I never got chance to explore either of bikes in twisty on wet but both bikes are comparable to take turns at speeds up to 60km/hr depending on the road surface and curve.

Suspension on Edge is slightly on the stiffer side as compared to Shine. Ride over broken or non-existing roads on Edge after the speed of 50km/hr gets a little bit bumpy, not bumpy enough to rattle your bones, whereas the same stretch on Shine can easily be done at speeds up to 60km/hr without any problems but then the people who are the target buyers for these bikes will never go at such speeds over broken roads. A point to note here is that Edge got gas charged shocks whereas Shine got the conventional hydraulic shocks. Reminding me of the comparison I did between CBZ’s hydraulic shocks and gas shocks of Pulsar both used on the same CBZ, where the 6 years old CBZ shocks were as good as brand new gas shocks of Pulsar. I rode the CBZ over incomplete road (just layer of stones no layer of tar present) up to the speed of 80km/hr and there was hardly any difference between the shocks.

With Shine just 500 odd kilometers old, I did not push the bike to check its top end or revved the bike hard to check the pickup but still bike felt peppy.

Both Edge and Shine got little bit of vibrations. On Shine there are vibrations which can be felt on foot brake level and gear lever at speeds as low as 40km/hr and as the speed approaches 60km/hr the vibration are also felt on the foot pegs, as the speed increases vibrations start to appear on handle bar also. I took the bike up to 80km/hr just once for a very small time and the vibrations on foot levers, foot pegs and handle bar were present with very little bit of them coming from tank also which can be felt as you grab the tank with your knees. On Edge there are no vibrations up to the speed of 50km/hr. As the speed approaches 60km/hr vibrations start to appear on tank, which can be felt when you grab the tank with your knees. As speed is increased further, vibration starts to appear on foot brake lever and little bit on handle bar but nothing on foot pegs. Neither of these bikes come with bar end weights, which might have helped in reducing the vibrations. These vibrations on either bike are not of the intensity that one can not ride the bike but just that they are present making you reminding that the engine is running. Even with vibrations there, I feel one can easily cruise at 80km/hr comfortably on either bikes.

Where Edge is easier to maneuver due to 17?-18? setup Shine is not that easy to dodge potholes etc due to its 18?-18? wheel setup. Seat of Edge is slightly on harder side as compared to Shine, none of them are uncomfortable to sit on. Having astride Edge for over an hour non-stop and 3 hours with breaks and on Shine for close to an hour without breaks, both seats are comfortable to sit on. Exceptionally wide seat of Shine reminds me of my bullet seat.

None of the engines are right candidates for the most silent engine competition but neither of them makes noise which can be disturbing to the rider. As the speed increased engine noise on Shine increases slightly more than Edge.

Riders buying 100cc-125cc economizers prefer to shift gears as less as possible and that is one place I think not many bikes will be able to beat Shine. On Edge I (weighing 90kg plus weight of helmet and rain coat) am able to go as low as 25km/hr in 4th gear and still able to pull but the pace is slow no chain snatch or knocking. On Shine I was able to go as low as 15km/hr (below that I did not try) in 4th gear and the bike still pulls easily (much easier than Edge). The surprise came while climbing up Pirangut Ghat. The bike was pulling up the Ghat nicely in 4th right along with few other bikes and Edge then we all have to slow down due to a slow climbing truck, could see all the bikes shifting at least 1-2 gears down to keep up with the slow pace of truck and then pass it when we got the space but me on Shine did not require to shift any gear, yes the get away was slower (no chain snatch or knocking) than the other bikes but they all were either in 2nd or 3rd gear whereas I was in 4th gear. One day I would love to climb up Khandala and Khambatki Ghats on Shine.

No idea about the mileage of Shine, have only being able to put Edge through rounds of mileage testing. Also having not ridden Shine in night can not compare the head light beam quality of the two bikes.

Another good thing about Edge is its front mudguard design. When riding in rain or over wet surface, front mudguard of other bikes (including Shine) will start to throw a spray onto the legs and pants of the rider. No such signs on the Edge. Rode the bike for over a month in rains and many times over wet roads (with no rains) and not once my legs or pants got dirty by the spray.

Engine
Victor Edge: 4 Stroke, Single cylinder, 2 Valve per Cylinder, Air Cooled, Single Over Head Cam. 124.86cc, 54.5×53.5, 9.3:1, 9.3PS @ 7000rpm, 9.9Nm @ 4000rpm.
Honda Shine: 4 Stroke, Single cylinder, 2 Valve per Cylinder, Air Cooled, Single Over Head Cam. 124.60cc, 52.4×57.9, 9.2+/-0.2:1, 10.4PS @ 7500rpm, 10.9Nm @ 5500rpm.

Dimensions
TVS Edge
: 1993×710×1107(L x W x H), 185 (GC), 1240 (WB), 117kg (Kerb Weight), 11.5lt Fuel Tank.
Honda Shine: 2015×730×1070(L x W x H), 175 (GC), 1265 (WB), 118kg (Kerb Weight), 11lt Fuel Tank.

Suspension
TVS Edge
: Telescopic forks (Front), Double Sided rectangular swingarm, twin-gas charged shock absorbers (Rear).
Honda Shine: Telescopic forks (Front), Tabular swingarm, Hydraulic shocks (Rear).

Wheels
TVS Edge
: 1.6×17 Front & 1.85×18 Rear (5 Spoke Al Alloy) OR 1.6×18 Front & 1.85×18 Rear (Wire Spoke) rims, 90×90/17 Front & 3.00×18 Rear (5 Spoke Al Alloy) OR 2.75/18 Front & 3.00×18 Rear (Wire spoke) tyres.

Honda Shine: 1.6×18 Front & 1.6×18 Rear (Wire Spoke) rims, 2.75/18 Front & 3.00×18 Rear (Wire spoke) tyres.

Brakes
TVS Edge
: 240mm Disc OR 130mm Drum (Front), 130mm Drum (Rear).
Honda Shine: 240mm Disc OR 130mm Drum (Front), 130mm Drum (Rear).

So in the end, which bike do I recommend? Well none of the bike is exceptionally good than the other in any category. Both of them has some areas which can be improved upon. So ride both the bikes and pick up the one that suites your taste.

Rain ride – Mulshi, 30 July 2006

Maharashtra, the country of great Shivaji maharaj and one of the best destinations if you are a travel freak. Central Indian tableland merges with undulating hill ranges, which grow into the majestic Western Ghats before swooping down to palm-fringed beaches. Place where you can explore Caves, Temples, Forts, Beaches, Hills, Forests, etc. One of the best place to be in if you love to travel. Only thing missing here is snow clad mountain peaks.

Summer is not the best time to travel in this part of country because of heat. Monsoon and winters are the best time to explore this place as during rains the complete country side is covered with a layer of greenery everywhere. So as soon as monsoon arrived in this part of country I decided to plan my rides.

It was some time back that I have ridden to Goa and also it is over a month that I’m riding Victor Edge. Every weekend I plan to go for a small ride to Mulshi on the bike and every weekend it keeps on getting cancelled due to some or the other reason. So I was very firm on the decision to go on ride this weekend. Came Sunday morning and I started to get ready for the ride. As I switched on TV, every news channel is showing different places in Maharashtra and Gujarat caught in floods. Many places in Maharashtra including Pune were in the list of flooded cities. As I look outside my window, there is no sign of rain and sun is also peeking out of clouds every now and then. I put on rain coat over riding gear and head down towards bike to kick start the much needed rdie.

Just after 9am I reach Chandani Chowk and wait for Dilip Bam to arrive. He arrives in few minutes, riding the new 125cc Honda Shine. Soon we start our ride on the recently widened SH60 towards Mulshi. The road is wet but in amazing condition, hardly any potholes, as compared to the roads oops you can not call what we got in Pune as “roads”.

Right after we started the ride we stopped for breakfast. When you are riding with Dilip Bam the menu for breakfast is mostly Ussal Pav and Missal Pav.

There is another good thing about riding with Dilip Bam, you will be taken to some of the roads which you might not have ever visited. Just before hitting Pirangut Ghat we went off the main road to climb up a small hill. It is too windy here but gives a very nice view of the Pirangut Ghat.
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Since we are riding towards Mulshi, the direction from where all the clouds are coming towards Pune, we are greeted with sessions of no rains to drizzle to heavy rains. We took lots of breaks on the way to Mulshi. As we reach the main gate of Mulshi we took the road towards the house of one of Dilip’s friend. As we start the climb, road started to get narrow and broken at many places.

After negotiating a few hair pin bends we stop on a relatively flat surface. The view of the Mulshi dam and near by places is great from here.
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As I talk to Dilip about the destination of this route I got to know that this is one more way to reach Lonawala. Though this route is also scenic with Mulshi Dam on one side and hills covered in clouds and having numerous small to big waterfalls coming down, on the other side but still the other route that I have taken last time to reach Lonawala via Mulshi is more spectacular.

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I knew that we will not get much dry sections to click pictures so I came prepared so that I can click pictures even if it is raining. As I stopped to shoot some waterfalls, it started to rain, so I decide to try out my idea to click pictures in rain and this is what I manage to do. In the picture there are the two 125cc machines along with Dilip Bam.
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Though in summer it is not much of fun to get out of Pune to ride, but in rains one can spend numerous weekends exploring the nearby places. Short on time, we are not able to stop every now and then to enjoy nature and click pictures, trying to capture the beauty in still images.
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The road at places is not in good condition. Water is flowing over the road at many places. At many places gravel has come out of potholes and got collected on road making it difficult to ride over it, especially when it is in a curve. Soon we reach house of Dilip’s friend. It is located at a very scenic location with the view of Mulshi Lake right in front of it.

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After spending around 30 minutes we start our ride back. While riding back I started to make plan for my next ride, which will be to reach Lonawala via this route and return via the other route (the one I have used to reach Lonawala last time around).

As planned we stop for a picture in the small section covered with trees.
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Here after taking the pictures, Dilip made a surprise announcement, “Time to swap bikes”. As we resume the ride, I flick my leg over Shine and immediately I can notice a few differences from Edge. With Dilip immediately shooting off the block, I decide to take it easy in the beginning, trying to get used to the bikes handling, braking properties. With Dilip not in sight I decide to stop and click some more pictures.

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Few minutes later I catch up with Dilip as he has stopped road side for a fag break. I park the bikes next to each other and decide to click one picture. Once again this image is taken while it is raining.
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As we are approaching main road we could see more and more weekend travelers out of busy city life, enjoying themselves in the clean pollution free climate of hills. You can find people in big group’s right next to each of a decent sized water fall.
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Once again as we start, Dilip just shoots off in distance with me taking it easy with the brand new bike, just 500 odd kilometers on the odometer. Having a nice time riding Shine I reach the beginning of the hairpin bends to reach Mulshi, meet up with Dilip here.
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As we reach back Mulshi we decide to head back towards Pune as we are running out of time, it is already well past 2pm. While we are riding towards Pune, we can see many people still riding/driving towards Mulshi. As we are approaching Paud village, Dilip pulls over to venture out to the banks of overflowing river near by. He being an experienced tracker, just starts walking through the water filled slushy fields towards river leaving me behind thinking about insects etc which might be there in the water or the muddy field. Looking around for an alternate route, I found one a few meters away. This is a route made by farmers who would be taking this to reach their fields. To reach the river I still have to walk across muddy field. After I reach the overflowing river, the view is worth all the efforts taken. Following is the snap of the hill, which was always taken from the road side. In another picture you can see the overflowing river.

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While walking back towards road I see a snake like animal just crossing the muddy track right in front of me. It was enough to make me run and quickly get back to the road. I am feeling hungry now so we decide to take a stop at Paud village for another round of Ussal Pav and Missal Pav for lunch. Post lunch Dilip again zooms off riding Edge leaving me enough time to analyze Shine with my past experience with Edge. Well lots of useful observations to put them down in another article.

As I am riding towards Pune, signs of rain is reducing with occasional drizzle only to make the roads wet all the way, except for Pirangut Ghat which is having road dried out completely at many places.

Enjoying the end of a small ride I reach Chandani Chowk where Dilip is already waiting for me to swap the bikes again and to end the ride.

The ride was a much needed starter of a never ending multi course meal. Hoping to hit SH60 back again on the coming weekend.