I am a couple of months into this lockdown and I am itching to get back on the saddle and start chasing the sun on my motorcycle. However, the current pandemic has other plans. The lockdown, expected to end in a couple of weeks, is already showing signs of a possible extension. I know how this feels to a fellow motorcycle traveler. I know how it feels to wait for that next ride.

The places are not going anywhere, stay home.

While we keep ourselves and others safe by staying home, let us work towards keeping our motorcycles in great shape, so that we are ready to ride out, once the lockdown is over. Here are a few things I am doing to take care of my Royal Enfield Himalayan. Though, these will work for almost any motorcycle.

  • Take the load off the suspension and tires. Park the motorcycle on its center stand such that both the wheels can move easily
  • Since the motorcycle may be parked in one place for over a week, it will be a good idea to roll it around occasionally, while gently applying the front and rear brakes
  • Keep the motorcycle covered or in a closed space to avoid exposure to the elements
  • Keeping the battery charged will be one of the common concerns.
    • Start the motorcycle, run it in idling state for 5-10 minutes as regularly and safely as possible
    • Do not twist the throttle too much as it will lead to overheating of the engine
    • In case you are not able to do this regularly, and your motorcycle will be parked for long, disconnect the battery cables to avoid discharging the battery
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disconnect accessories from the battery

  • Move levers like brakes, clutch, and throttle at least once a week to ensure free movement
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move levers once a week

  • Chains can rust when not in use. Apply the cleaner, clean and lube the chains to avoid rust
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lube chain to avoid rust

  • Clean the motorcycle with water and wipe with a clean, dry microfiber cloth periodically
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wash with water and wipe with microfiber cloth

In the future when the lockdown ends and you finally get the chance to go out riding, don’t just jump on your motorcycle and ride off. Take some time out to ensure the motorcycle is roadworthy.

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check air pressure in tires

  • Check the air pressure in the tires as air can leak over time
  • Ensure the battery is charged, especially in motorcycles without a kick start
  • Check all the cables/levers for free movement and ensure they work as expected
  • Check if the motorcycle is in need of engine oil change or topping up fuel
  • Finally, swing an eye over all the electricals to ensure they are working as expected

These small steps would help you keep your motorcycle in shape and get back to riding in a flash.

While I wait for when I can ride my beauty, I am definitely keeping the memories alive by taking care of my motorcycle. How are you spending this quarantine time?

Visit your nearest dealer for a test ride and for pricing options in your city? You can even book your motorcycle online from the comfort of your home.
Now choosing accessories for your Royal Enfield is made easier by just clicking on this link. From bodywork to seats, luggage, and protection, all can be styled online and your customized Royal Enfield is ready to be ordered online.

DIY Water Spout For Cats

I adopted Peri-Peri last April. He is my 1.7 years old naughty cat. I am yet to figure out what breed he is, all I can say is that he has long hair, the color is a combination of black, dark rust and grey. Yeah, that!

peri and me

Today I will take you through how and why I got around making a water spout for him.

One of the common ailments that happen to cats is kidney stones. A common reason is not drinking enough water, the other is drinking water with a high content of dissolved solids. In an average household, in Bangalore, tap water can contain over 900mg/l of total dissolved solids (TDS). Most generic water filters reduce this to below 100mg/l. The other spectrum of the problem is stagnant water. Water in a bowl will become stagnant over days and can even start smelling odd.

Peri Peri

Cats do not like drinking stagnant water. This is one of the reasons we see them trying to drink off a leaking tap at times. Cats love drinking flowing water. It is believed that cats find it difficult to see still water up close and flowing water solves the problem. This is why I decided that I should have a water spout or a fountain for Peri.

Now, there are tonnes of options available in the market, however, they are very expensive. Most are imported into India, thus increasing the cost furthermore. And the cost honestly does not justify the build or the work it does. I figured that most of these fountains were just submersible pumps with a filtration unit in place.

Now, where did I come across a similar setup before? Aquarium Water Filters.

They may be functionally different but essentially pump water through a filter and in turn to create a flow. I had tried different types of aquarium hang filters in the past. They worked but had issues like splashing water outside and not being stable due to the odd shape and size.

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Recently I came across a water filter meant to be used in turtle aquariums. It has a slow flow rate and requires only the bottom 5cms of the pump to be submerged. It is equipped with a charcoal and sediment filter to clean the water being circulated. Additionally, it has a rubber suction pad to the bottom of the filter to stick it to the container you would use this in. This helps avoid the filter falling or running dry. This filter coupled with a deep dish became the affordable water fountain I was looking for.

The setup can hold up to 4 liters of water circulated throughout the day. Just keep topping up as you see the level going down. I prefer giving filtered water to avoid any health issues for the cat or scaling in the pump. One needs to clean the filter just twice every month. The filter traps any dust or pet hair that might find its way into the water. Additionally removes any odor the water might have, using the charcoal filter.

Peri Drinking Water

The waterfall is the bonus, it does not splash a lot. Just enough for it to make a soothing sound of flowing water. My cat loves drinking directly from the waterfall. It took a couple of days for it to get used to it. Till then it was happy drinking directly from the dish.

Overall, it took me just five minutes to setup & cost me around Rs. 600/- INR (under 10$).

Amazon link to the aquarium filter I used.

Sometime earlier, my team and I were working towards successfully moving our workforce to a ‘work from home’ arrangement. I like the ‘work from home’ lifestyle as it allows me to have more time to work on my hobbies. However, one tends to overlook their health and immunity in such a setup.

Work from home setup with external display and headphones

As an IT professional, working from home one tends to forget the boundaries of work times and one gets habituated to be available 24/7. This can be because you have teams that are globally spread out. Or, simply because you do not know how to manage time and you end up staying logged in beyond your work hours. In my experience, it is usually the latter which is the problem area. It is necessary to follow the same timelines you would follow if you were working from the office. Sleep at the same time, have your meals at the same time. In fact, it is a good idea to keep a scheduler to remind you of your mealtimes. This ensures you do not overwork yourself and get the rest your body requires.

all in a days work

Working from home also means that you will not be moving around as much as you used to earlier. No walks around the office for a meeting or the pantry for a coffee break. Even the walk down to the nearby tea shop is no longer happening. Our daily routine before ‘Work from Home’ helped us burn calories without us realizing it. For example, without including exercises, my average step count went from 6000 steps to 1000 in the last one week. Hence, I have taken out time daily to do some basic exercises. Where do you get the time? One might ask. Well, I am utilizing the time I would otherwise spend commuting to work to do my exercise routine.

My food habits had to change too. One, because of the limited resources available. Two, because of the change in lifestyle I was going through. I reduced my red meat intake and increased vegetables & fruits. I consciously tried to increase my intake of proteins and vitamins. These help in improving your immunity and in turn increases your ability to fight infections. How does food habits improve immunity, you might ask?

Good nutrition is essential for supporting a strong immune system. The right kind and amount of nutrients in your daily diet helps protect yourself and support your immune health. Inadequate nutrition increases the vulnerability to infection through a weakened immune system, and infection aggravates the condition, further weakening the immune response. A well-functioning immune system is key to providing a good defense against infectious disease.

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Meals, particularly, can be tough, no matter what we cook with the limited resources available, we cannot ensure we get a balanced diet. A supplement like Ensure from Abbott with its 31 nutrients is helpful. Keeping this in mind I also take multivitamins and nutrition supplements. These, I take as an add on to my daily food intake. This way, if not all I will be closer to getting a decent dose of essential vitamins and minerals daily.

I encourage all of you to take your health seriously and work towards improving your immunity in the ‘Work from Home’ days ahead.