There are times when a bike makes you stand and stare, like a kid, eyes wide and heart pounding.
There are times when you see something so remarkable that time stands still. Imagine someone streaming classic rock at a crowded local train station, or Elvis Presley being able to fly.
That is what the Maniac is. The man behind this beast of passion is Jaipur-based Pankaj Sattawat. Mechanical engineer-turned custom bike designer, Pankaj runs a bike body shop called The Hustler Moto, and the Maniac is his first creation.
And boy, has he created a masterpiece!
A lover of everything that goes vroom, Pankaj put in all he had while working on the Maniac.
The Maniac is based on the 2004 Bajaj Pulsar 150, a legend in its own right. Pankaj first stripped it apart, piece by piece. Like a thorough petrol head, he created a design on his computer, calculated the tolerances, and then went to work.
The black and yellow paint job, reminiscent of the golden era of cafe racers, adorns the Maniac, lending it a butch, classic look. The panels have all been painstakingly crafted by hand.
We haven’t ridden it yet, but we are pretty sure that the fit and finish is top-class. The small, neat headlamp sits nicely on the short, stubby mudguard. The single-piece handlebar has been replaced with a bespoke clip-on one.
The instrument cluster now consists of a pair of aftermarket retro dials ( odometer and tachometer) with a custom smartphone/GPS holder. The fuel tank, the single most tasteful bit about the Maniac, is from a machine that bikers have had wet dreams about since its launch in the 80s; The iconic RX 100.
Riding a bike, especially a cafe racer, is best-done solo, so the rear seat has been replaced by a lovely cowl under which sits a twin LED light assembly.
The background score is produced by an aftermarket performance filter, an up-jetted carburettor and a beautiful, curvy hand-made exhaust.
This machine, or rather work of art took more than just metal, rubber ,and oil to make. While working on his project, Pankaj refused job offers, suffered a fracture, and tackled manpower issues, all on his own. While all of us hold on dearly to our jobs, and understandably so, Pankaj let his imagination take over.
Pankaj, and his Maniac, are an inspiration to all of us. A call to all those who are slowly withering under the pressure of the daily ratrace of a “normal” life.
We need more stories like this since there really isn’t enough inspiration to go around these days. Bikes are not modes of transportation, but vehicles of fancy, where a twist of the throttle can take you wherever your heart desires to go.
Do check out our album on Facebook for more images.