ALL ABOUT MY CAR, HONEY
First came the bike then Venus to ride pillion. That's the order of most boyhood dreams.
But the arrival of the personalised bike has changed everything. Now, the customised bike-maker is more touted than the bike itself! Zubin Ponnappa is from the fraternity and crafts replicas of race bikes for enthusiasts.
The 36-year-old owner of Zubinn Design has always been passionate about his two-wheel dreams. He has fond memories of zipping off on his first bike, 'a gift from my dad', an RX 100 – the king of the road. “I come from a family of artists. My father is a fine artist and so is my sister. We have always been crazy about cars and bikes. Dad told me it's your bike, it's your world do what you want with it,” he says. Words, Zubin took to heart when his muse turned into his canvas.
Soon he was professionally painting and tuning these flying machines. A paint job takes him a week to 20 days and will cost you Rs 20,000 to 35,000. Performance tuning is more pricey and can go up to four lakh. It's time-consuming and requires constant engine upgradation, he says. As race bikes are pretty loud and velocity-driven, Zubin reserves the testing for the races.
He's also an avid collector of miniature bikes. This has come in handy for clients, who get a three-dimensional view of what the bike will look like once it's customised.
Beyond the design board, Zubin loves the torque and 0-60 rush of his road runners. So when opportunity knocked in 2004 to be a part of Dhoom (a blockbuster biker film) he was quick to kick the pedal. He recalls:“We did work for the movie Dhoom. We did all the biking sequences as well as the robbery and all for the movie (laughs). We were shooting real time riding real fast and that was the fun part. But we also had to do the fire sequence where the bikes come out of the fire ring and that was very challenging. All three riders had to ride at the same pace and maintain the same distance from each other. This was specially difficult as there was absolutely zero visibility. This I guess killed my fear for fire.”