She is tamed. He loves her.

Four wheels move the body. Two wheels move the soul.  Perhaps this is why Anil Abraham has found solace in his motorbike and finds riding his motorbike the most enjoyable part of his life currently. This man exemplifies a great man-machine relationship where his motorbike evidently seem to lighten up Anil’s spirit every time he even came close to her. She is his solace, strength and his source of renewable energy.

Her name is Yamaha R6.

March in Qatar is just perfect. Apart from the disturbing dust, most folks can enjoy the departure of winter and look forward to enjoying the outdoor maybe for only thirty days – before the harsh summer sets in.

I took three challenging days of shooting, to get the right capture and to come close to understanding Anil and his love. I must admit that the 3 days were worth every bit and look forward to shooting him when he gets an opportunity to burn wheels on a race track proper. On day three, my son Ronak joined me for the shoot and even he found the experience rewarding.

Anil told me of an important milestone in his life that did not go the way he expected. A surprising turn of event left him dejected and downhearted. He became a recluse and a little bit of an introvert. It was always work, back to his room to sleep, work, sleep and back to his hideout again. It was monotonous routine. Something seems to have punctured and flattened the zest in his life.

Months went by. Uneventful days passed by.

Then one day, a faint ember from deep within him flickered itself into life and began building a fiery feeling inside him – his love for motorbike riding. He had a special liking towards Yamaha motorbikes even as a child and all during his youth days. As if responding to the burning desire that was building within him, he made a resolution he is always glad he had made, and bought himself a Yamaha Superbike, the best in its category – The R6. He recalls this as the most exciting and fruitful decision he has ever made, and only laments why he did not do so any earlier.

Light, powerful, and bristling with knowledge gained from years of racing, the R6 is the most advanced production 600cc motorcycle Yamaha—or anybody else—has ever built. When Yamaha launched the new-generation YZF-R6 for the 2006 season the machine became an overnight sensation. Equipped with the most advanced technology, and featuring aggressive minimalist bodywork, as well as a phenomenally quick engine and an ultra-compact race-bred chassis, the R6 represented a giant leap for high-performance motorcycle design. Anil’s 2007 model R6 engine delivered the most incredible hit of power from 10,000rpm upwards. With its class-leading YCC-T (Yamaha Chip-Controlled Throttle), free-revving short-stroke configuration, race-developed fuel injection with secondary injectors, and a torque-boosting EXUP system, the 600cc 4-stroke DOHC in-line 4-cylinder 16-valve powerplant this bike is a class of its own.

Anil chose the Yamaha R6 because it provided him with the perfect street bike with a race bike feel. The power and speed that this bike generates is amazing, says Anil. He also says that the R6 rider gets a closer and more connected relationship with the bike’s front end, allowing them to interpret more accurately the feedback from the surface. This allows riders to select and hold the desired line through a curve for quicker and more accurate cornering, which gives a more exciting and satisfying riding experience. There is no other bike on this planet that gives Anil the power, thrill and satisfaction like the Yamaha R6. However, just like a wild Arabian horse, you need to tame her. Once she and you become one, the thrill begins.

All throughout the photo shoot, I kept conversing with Anil about him and his bike. I could sum up his joy and love in these few words: Anil rides because when he does, he can easily ignore pretty much all of his life’s issues, and simultaneously focus on what’s really important at that moment: the challenges of skillful riding and the intense rush of being at one with the bike, the wind, the corner and the moment. In that setting, whether it’s total escapism or total clarity, Anil is fulfilled.

Patric Rozario

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Capt. Ahmad Abdulrahman and his Gyrocopter. Fly Baby Fly.

Two years ago I had seen Capt. Ahmad land a Microlight at a Remote Control airfield. I fell in love with the Microlight and kept the love embers burning all along. When this Photo Project took off, I had targeted to shoot Capt. Ahmad in his Microlight. When I called up Capt. Ahmad and explained the photo project to him, he immediately consented and cooperated in arranging a suitable flying day.Capt. Ahmad Abdulrahman is a man born to fly. Besides being an accomplished pilot, he is a scuba diver, painter, paraglider and an active environmentalist. He is one of the first few in Qatar to receive his Gyrocopter/Microlight flying license and become a certified trainer.

The much anticipated day was Wednesday the 29th February 2012. It was not a Microlight, but a Gyrocopter instead. After a short ephemeral introduction and a brief on the photoshoot, Capt. Ahmad immediately went on with his ritual – the pre-flight checks. The meticulous pre flight checks that he carried out only gave me the assurance that I was in the safe hands of an experienced pilot.

I was pretty nervous knowing that I would be flying in this tiny open cockpit aircraft, but my previous experience in jumping off a cliff  (Kullu Manali, India) strapped onto a paraglide, gave me a childlike expectation of the thrill that would soon consume me.

Before moving on, I should first explain what a Gyrocopter is. A Gyrocopter looks like a small helicopter. A gyrocopter (also know as gyroplane, autogyro or rotaplane) is a type of rotorcraft, which uses an unpowered rotor in autorotation to develop lift, and an engine-powered propeller, similar to that of a fixed-wing aircraft, to provide thrust. While similar to a helicopter rotor in appearance, the gyrocopter’s rotor must have air flowing through the rotor disc in order to generate rotation. There are three primary flight controls: control stick, rudder pedals, and throttle. Unlike most other forms of flight a Gyrocopter flies slow enough and low enough to allow you to see what is happening in the world below, whilst at the same time providing a truly exhilarating experience. It is the ultimate way to fly.

While the gyro is usually flown for recreational purposes, its uses extend far beyond that. Gyroplanes can be used in agricultural applications, environmental observation or to monitor traffic, pipelines, etc. They are ideal for aerial photography or the exploration of remotest areas, and every flight is guaranteed to offer a unique experience.

Flying a gyrocopter with Capt. Ahmad was a joy and an experience one will not forget. In 10 minutes, my nerves calmed down, and I was able to fully open my eyes and enjoy the flying. Being an environmentalist, he was very familiar with the landscape he was able to talk to me (speakers in the helmet and attached microphone) about various environmental issues in Qatar.

He handled the Gyrocopter (aka Angry Bird) with such skill and ‘smoothness’ that made me forget the fear and just enjoy the sky and the views. At one point he landed the Gyrocopter on a short strip in the desert, just for a few seconds and lifted off again!I have never felt such a sense of freedom as when flying in a Gyrocopter. In the gyro the urge to ‘follow my heart’, to totally ‘let go’ and be one with the earth, to chase rainbows, to see what’s over the next sand dune, or around the next bend, or to simply just play with the flamingoes in flight was so very strong. No matter how long the time spent aloft, the flight always ended too soon.

 Specification

Make:
Brand:

Length x width x height:

   

 AutoGyro, Germany
 MTOsport

 5,1 m x 1,9 m (1,6m) x 2,7 m

Rotor diameter:  8.0 m or 8.4 m
Cruising speed:  160 km/h
Maximum speed:  185 km/h
Rate of climb:  4 m/s
Max takeoff weight:  450 / 560 kg
Engine:  Rotax 912 ULS (100 hp)

Hazem and his Ducati Monster

I had posted on an expatriate networking website about my ‘Man and his Machine’ photo project. Within hours Mr Hazem wrote to me that he wanted to participate! I took his eagerness seriously and decided to photograph him. He owns a Ducati Monster and an Audi TT. The shoot was scheduled the same weekend. Then he called me to tell me that he would be leaving Doha and returning to Perth Australia, where he hails from.

He had sold his Audi TT and will be selling his Ducati within the next few days! I quickly shuffled my shoot programs, informed others about the postponement and decided to shoot Hazem first. Wednesday 29th February 2012. I chose the Corniche (Doha’s 7km palm-fringed waterfront promenade) and a few shots against the Amiri Diwan as the background – so Hazem could take good memories of Doha with him. The Amiri Diwan government complex consists of the offices of the Amir (the ruler), the Crown Prince and Prime Minister, as well as the Council of Ministers’ buildings. The complex is the symbolic, ceremonial and administrative centre of the State.

The shoot was scheduled for the wee hours of the morning, hoping to catch some dawn light. We met at 4am. Funny that we are meeting for the first time then, and within 2 minutes I had to commence the shoot. I had brought along a brick so Haz could take his bike over the curb, without much effort. He rolled his bike over to the edge of the jogging track. We were cautious of the police as no bikes and bicycles were allowed there. We prepared ourself mentally on how to handle the police, and immediately put it behind out head to concentrate on the shoot. Shoot took place in two locations. The second location was Al Riwaq in Corniche, Doha’s warehouse-style art space by the Islamic Art Museum, showing Takashi Murakami Ego’s famed art works.

Hazem had to get back home by 7 am and I had less than 2 hours to get the best out of the situation. No police. No dawn’s first light. But we made best use of available light, and my off-camera flash. No doubt the images could have been much better if I had more time in hand. Overall not bad, I would say. That evening Hazem sold his bike.

The Monster (informally called Il Mostro in Italian) is a motorcycle designed by Miguel Angel Galluzzi and produced by Ducati Motor Holding in Bologna, Italy since 1993. It is a ‘naked bike’ characterized by an exposed engine and frame. Ducati’s official website has this to say about the newer models of Monster: “The ‘less-is-more’ philosophy that made the Monster a motorcycling icon is now further enhanced to redefine your naked expectations”. The deliberate use of the trellis frame in the Ducati monster is an integral part of the motorcycle’s design allowing for both aesthetic appeal and for structural efficiency. Ducati motorcycles use almost exclusively 90° V-twin engines, which they call L-twins. In 2005, Monster sales accounted for over half of Ducati’s worldwide sales.

Ziyad and his V-Rod Harley (10th Anniversary Edition)

Ziyad Abdul Azeez went to buy a Shawarma (Arabic sandwich) and ended up buying a Harley!
Yes one destined day, Ziyad bought his much loved  on-the-go meal and was enjoying the thinly sliced chicken strips with veggies in a pita bread. Then he spotted the bike store across the road. Has seen the Harley Davidson showroom many-a-times, but has never ventured inside. But that day, he decided to go in. What he spotted first was the broad rear tire of this one particular Harley in the showroom. Love at first sight. The more he spoke with the sales assistant, the more he fell in love deeply. A few weeks of contemplation and discussion with the family went about. Then on Christmas day in 2011, the folks at his love store delivered his Harley. A silver V-Rod 10th Anniversary Edition.

Dr Rensy and his GMC Yukon Harley Davidson

The first person (and the only) in Qatar who has a Harley Davidson grill in his GMC Yukon.
Shot on Feb 12, 2011. Sunset. Aspire Park, Doha, Qatar.