Riding A Fire Spitting Dragon


What started out as a nice and easy evening ride with Blackbird quickly turned out to be something else. I took the customary sunset picture and was rumbling through fields when I started thinking about the stuff I’m doing to my Impulse to make it generate more torque.

The max torque that the scrawny Impulse engine generates is 13.4 Nm at 5,000 RPM. That was when it struck me that I was riding a motorcycle that generates 132 Nm of torque at just 3,250 RPM. This meant all that hell raising torque was at my disposal and here I was riding this beast like a wimp, keeping the RPM low and throttle barely open so that the loud free flowing exhaust pipes wouldn’t disturb the peaceful village environment.

Something came over me. To hell with decency, I said to myself. Screw the sunset. Damn the scenery. Let’s raise some hell.

I turned Blackbird’s headlight towards NH17 and twisted the throttle. I kept it twisted. People turned to look which possessed demon was flying through their village. Dogs stuffed their tails between their skinny legs and fled the scene. I rode Blackbird like a freaking hooligan and it felt so damn good.

I kept my eyes on the road but constantly monitored the tachometer, trying to place myself on the Fat Boy’s Torque-RPM curve. This ride was all about torque. Nothing else mattered.

I crossed the Goa-Maharashtra border and screamed past the Maharashtra RTO check post. Then I hit the deserted Sawantwadi bypass and all hell broke loose. At each upshift of the gear, I stopped twisting the throttle only when I was convinced that the tachometer reading had no intentions of moving up any further. As I closed the throttle to change gears I could hear the after burn blasts in the pipes and feel the flames coming out.

I had turned Blackbird into a pissed off fire spitting dragon who had just been freed from years of captivity.

It’s a good thing I reached the end of the bypass. I turned around and stopped at my regular dhaba for a bhurji. As I munched on the snack sanity slowly returned back to me. I then made my way back home at a nice and easy pace.

I have never ridden Blackbird like this. And I don’t think I ever will. But I think I’m going to remember today’s ride for quite a while.