1. New car smell
The smell of poor quality industrial adhesives that lingers on inside a car for a while. The worse put together the car, the better the smell
2. Lift-off oversteer
The strange feeling of being out of control when fear takes over mid corner and you take your foot off the accelerator in a front-wheel driven car. Both ways you are not going to make the corner.
The best known German word to mankind. People from different strata pronounce it differently. Also a very fast kind of car.
4. Ticking engine
Metal contracts when the engine cools down. Romantically described by smokers who don’t waste an opportunity to a take a break from riding or driving. Best used with phrases like ‘setting sun and a turquoise sky’ (As in, the engine ticked away to glory and the Triumph 100 was silhouetted against the setting sun and a turquoise sky).
5. Bum steer
A sensational way to make it around a corner by involuntary contractions of a particular set of muscles. Also known as ‘sh*tting bricks’ by
6. ‘Nice and upright driving/riding position’
A phrase used by ageing motoring journalists who cannot get into sports cars, let alone ride Yamaha R1s .
7. ‘Torque steer’
A sophisticated and nice way to start a paragraph that eventually will talk about handling of a front-wheel driven car. Any front-wheel driven car. It works big time with most readers and fellow writers.
8. McPherson strut
Not a kind of walk. It is actually a cheap way to ensure that the front wheel does not fall off the car. The poor Ford employee from Dagenham never thought his name would launch many an automotive journalism career.
A phrase misused for ages in almost every four-wheel drive car road test. Some readers, especially women, find it funny though .
Best known Korean word to mankind. If you can pronounce it, you’ll get a job with the firm. Even if you are on bail after slaughtering your family the week before. Cheap and best cars too.
11. Sunday morning ride
Normally starts at around noon and ends at 12.30 pm after a mandatory stop to hear the engine tick. Lots of beer follows.
Activities that justify writing on sticker upgrades on 100cc/150cc two-wheelers.
13. Motoring journalist syndrome
Early symptoms include activating wipers just when you need to indicate that you are turning right or left. It needs serious attention when a journalist gets into a left-hand drive car from the right side and reports a missing steering wheel.
An excuse for government employees to have fun with high-end machinery.
A good excuse to spend the weekend at the racetrack, burn a set of tyres and try to get your knee down. If you’re lucky you’ll do both.
The most successful spelling mistake of all time.
17. Running out of fuel in a Splendor
A hideous crime that requires capital punishment.
Goes very well with ‘ride quality’ and ensures that a long and winding paragraph which incorporates suspension system jargon can be made. Use oversteer for rear-wheel driven cars and understeer for front-wheel driven cars and you are promoted to road-test editor.
Seriously fast and fabulous cars. Characterised by parking and reversing hassles as well as pronunciation problems (Ga-ll-ardo?
Ga-ya-rdo? Moor-cie-lago? Mur-thee-lago?)
20. Vintage and classic cars
Troublesome, temperamental and highly dated machines that make you think you are going fast without actually doing that .
21. Vintage and classic car collectors
Troublesome, temperamental and highly dated individuals who think, without reason, that their machines are worth their weight in gold.
22. Vintage and classic car rallies
An euphemism for a marketplace .
23. Concept cars
Waste of money.
24. Motor shows
A redundant 20th century concept of displaying your wares and concept cars. Now irrelevant thanks to the Internet.
Useful word to describe a car’s build quality. Inevitably used with doors. Cannot be used as the past tense of think.
The most critical part of modern-day cars. It’s the biggest automotive invention by America. To put it into perspective, as an ad for the Mitsubishi Eclipse said: ‘Heck, a Ferrari does not even have cupholders’
A useful word to use when a motoring journalist doesn’t know exactly what changes have been made. For instance: ‘The suspension has been tweaked to offer a better ride quality’
28. Audi A6 and A8
Clever objects to play ‘spot the difference’ with. Applicable to Aston Martins too
29. Feedback forms
Sheets of paper provided by automotive manufacturers which motoring journalists fill in after a test-drive/ride. The test-drives/rides are always of machines that have already been despatched from the factory to go on sale the day after. Feedback forms serve the purpose of making motoring journalists feel important and that they have contributed towards the improvement of a car.
30. Solenoid switch
Something that goes wrong with diesel cars often. So blame it on the solenoid switch every time your diesel car stops running
Another word for miracle. An outstanding example of how to dominate the world with blandness and be successful at it
Another word for lost opportunity. An outstanding example of how to engineer products with passion and yet lose out.
Automotive crossdressers. Go well with metrosexuals. A clever ploy by manufacturers to straddle two market segments but usually end up falling between the two.
A velocity measuring tool that effectively hides a motoring journalist’s lack of writing skills
35. Car/bike manuals
The equivalent of an appendix in a motoring journalist’s life. They remain in pristine condition in an auto hack’s hands
36. Press conferences
An opportunity to have five-star food without paying for it
37. Absent without leave
Where Pablo takes a paid holiday and describes it as ‘work’
Everything a motorcycle should be. Everyone claims to have owned and crashed one at some point
A landmark car. From this point, only software geeks will be able to full test automobiles. Smelling petrol grow passe.
40. Pan shot
Where you make a hapless team member drive/ride up and down a road at least fifty times, just for the fun of it. Resulting photos are usually not sharp. Sounds like a swear word when said very quickly
41. Octavia RS
The automotive equivalent of a quickie – fast, furious and fun
42. Maruti service stations
More of em’ than paan shops in this country
43. Average kya hai
Synonymous with ‘fuel efficiency’. You’re guaranteed to be asked this question at a traffic signal, regardless of whether you’re on a bicycle or in a battle tank. It might even be alleged that the battle tank is a modified Maruti 800
What we think of when someone says ‘red’ or ‘mid life crisis’
45. Edit meeting
1 to 2 hours spent cracking jokes, taking phone calls, sending text messages, drinking tea, arguing and cursing. An issue still appears on stands every month
46. Monthly parking pass
A piece of paper over which we argue with the parking attendants every day
47. Mixed plate
A batata vada, a medhu vada, lots of sambar and chutney. The greatest meal ever invented. People go into severe depression when the mixed plate guy goes on holiday
48. Ten tenths
A term used to describe going flat out on a 100cc motorcycle. Usually means about 68 kph
49. Mature ride quality
As opposed to infantile, pre-pubescent, adolescent and geriatric ride quality. Used when writer can’t think of anything else to say
50. Motogiro d’Italia
An opportunity to show off one’s Italian pronunciation skills. Also happens to be a vintage bike event
51. ‘All new’
Where manufacturers put all their leftover stickers, badges, paint, seat covers and hideous model names (sometimes all at once) onto a car/bike
52. Car of the year
An opportunity to give every manufacturer, component maker and their respective uncles an award
53. Pedal to the metal
A cool way to say ‘I depressed the accelerator.’ Can be liberally used in a story to make even a bullock cart sound fast
Very beautiful motorbike with two cylinders missing. You have to pawn your family to buy one
55. Knee down
What all bike testers aspire to, without realising it’s easier to simply kneel on the ground
The Nurburgring, Nardo, Silverstone and Spa Francorchamps all rolled into one, for auto hacks. They’d be at a complete loss without it. Also a road connecting Mumbai and Pune
Euphemism for a quality that leaves the journalist at a distinct lack of adjectives. Usually translates to just about okay, certainly not commendable, not worth talking about but there’s no way to not mention it
58. Pulverising tarmac
Works well with any car above 100 bhp (in the Indian context). Sadly misused for 100-150cc motorcycles by some writers since ‘tickling the tarmac’ does not have the same effect
The bejewelled city that hides an amazing depth of superb, rare machines in its chaotic folds. Ten years of BSM on, we’re still finding new diamonds for our pages. Amazing
Happens to all of us. Some of us even admit them in print. Thankfully, between airbags and protective kit, injuries have been relatively few
After crashes, the next thing has to be wood. Now reach out and touch some
The enigma that makes the most exciting bikes everywhere in the world, except for our poor little country
63. Isle of Man
This is the ultimate roadrace. The danger is real as are the heroes. Wonder how long the ‘sanitised’ world will let this madness go on
Could have been just another country capital. But instead is the finish line for the toughest race in the world. Most of us would sell the proverbial grandma for a walk down the banks of Lac Rose on a certain weekend in January
The time of the year when all car guys sneer at all bike guys. And everyone drives a touch more carefully. Bikers avenge themselves by dripping into office and leaving puddles
A stamp on the passport that says you’ll be treated like royalty in a foreign country for a short stay. But instead of being chauffeured, you’ll have to drive the latest product from the host. It’s not the greatest of jobs, but someone’s got to do it, right?
When wheelies and stoppies don’t work and the cornering shots don’t look that great, this is the ideal solution. Consumes tyres, but they’re never ours, so that’s fine. Best done one-handed on a still morning (wind blows smoke away)
68. Rolling burnouts
Same as above but results in very little smoke and a well-done clutch
The date by which the article is usually due. Not to be respected or followed under any circumstances
Not to be confused with deadline, it’s a place where motoring journalists like to shift gears
Rapidly becoming a rarity, a powerband is a narrow bunch of revs where a bike/car makes a lot more power than elsewhere. Separates men from boys and the memorable from the mundane
The ultimate buzz bombs. Ride one, any one, and you’ll realise just how civil and docile your powerful four-stroke really is. They also seize now and then and add to the mechanical involvement of the owners
The time that usually produces the best photographs. Uniformly hated by all motoring journalists because of precisely that reason
74. Press previews
Some of the sweetest days outside the office. Closed off roads/tracks, a fleet of new cars and motorcycles and a full day to hoon around on them. This is why we work so hard for so little money
75. Driving holiday
Euphemism for ‘Okay, you can take the week off. But take that slow new car and grind along on your holiday. And take lots of pictures. Especially at sunrise. We’ll expect the story two days after you return. OK?’
Not good for operating vehicles, no question. But the ideal lubrication for all manner of social automotivism. Works for everything from bench racing to bravura tales. Superb way to end a ride/drive as well
Strange motorcycles that don’t really go, but have lots to show. Usually ridden by tattoed men who wear Arrow shirts during the week
Come in all flavours from real to fake. Can be great fun to hang out in, whether you’re laughing at the members or with them
79. Market Survey
A huge survey preceding a product launch that leads manufacturers astray without fail. You would think competitors would pay
for these, but somehow they’re always self-funded. Usually great at preventing progress
A three letter word yelled out by Shumi when he’s asking for a story. Usually at the time you start writing it
81. Matter begins
Two words that Srini can mull on from the time he switches on his computer to the time the issue closes
82. Rear seat room
Mother-in-law seats are passé. The back seat of a car is where all the action is at
83. Opposite lock
Something almost everyone will do out of reflex when a car loses control. At times you survive and talk about ‘that timely opposite lock’ for the rest of your life
84. The Royal Enfield Bullet
A motorcycle that has outlived most of its owners. Twice over
The ultimate garage. It fixes everything, from slow speeds in pans to broken headlamps. Apply liberally for best results
Sounds like a good way to go to sleep, but is actually a masterful manoeuvre involving willingly stepping over the limit gracefully
87. KTM Orange coloured, ludicrous looking motorcycles that’re invariably really, really good. Already in the dream garages of at least two BSM staffers
88. PR Reps
Artificially sweet and kind. Especially if they are of the opposite sex
Natural winner in a shootout. All ‘cause it’s rear wheel drive
90. Walter Rohrl
Every journalist mentions him in his/her article the moment they have to write about a Porsche
91. Koenigsegg CCX
A very complicated way of saying ‘Mother of God!’
You will hit that tree
94. Missing front seat headrests
An excuse for not being able to see whilst reversing
95. Mercedes CLS
The only Merc tall men with headgear don’t buy
96. Chris Bangle
If any car design sucks, a motoring hack eventually terms it ‘Bangled’
97. HM Ambassador
Refuses to die. Just like our politicos
98. Motoring intern
Cleans cars for photoshoot, gets tea and ciggies for seniors and fakes stories to his friends about half the cars he never drove
99. Marcello Gandini
Styling God (four wheeler department)
100. Massimo Tamburini
Styling God (two wheeler department).