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A Hundred Things

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.
3. Porsche 
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
some people.
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.
9. Shift-on-the-fly 
A phrase misused for ages in almost every four-wheel drive car road test. Some readers, especially women, find it funny though .
10. Hyundai 
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.
12. Wheelies/stoppies
 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.
14. homologation 
An excuse for government employees to have fun with high-end machinery.
15. Trackdays 
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.
16. Splendor 
The most successful spelling mistake of all time.

17. Running out of fuel in a Splendor 
A hideous crime that requires capital punishment.
18. Handling 
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.

19. Lamborghinis 
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.

25. Thunk 
Useful word to describe a car’s build quality. Inevitably used with doors. Cannot be used as the past tense of think.

26. Cupholders 
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’

27. Tweak 
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

31. Toyota 
Another word for miracle. An outstanding example of how to dominate the world with blandness and be successful at it

32. Fiat 
Another word for lost opportunity. An outstanding example of how to engineer products with passion and yet lose out.

33. Crossovers  
Automotive crossdressers. Go well with metrosexuals. A clever ploy by manufacturers to straddle two market segments but usually end up falling between the two.

34. Vbox 
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’

38. RD350 
Everything a motorcycle should be. Everyone claims to have owned and crashed one at some point

39. Prius 
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

44. Ferrari 
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

54. Ducati 
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

56. Expressway 
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

57. Nice 
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

59. Bombay 
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

60. Crashes 
Happens to all of us. Some of us even admit them in print. Thankfully, between airbags and protective kit, injuries have been relatively few

61. Wood 
After crashes, the next thing has to be wood. Now reach out and touch some

62. Yamaha 
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

64. Dakar 
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

65. Rains 
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

66. Visa 
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?

67. Burnouts 
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

69. Deadline 
The date by which the article is usually due. Not to be respected or followed under any circumstances

70. Redline 
Not to be confused with deadline, it’s a place where motoring journalists like to shift gears

71. Powerband 
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

72. Two-strokes 
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

73. Sunrise 
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?’

76. Beer 
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

77. Cruisers 
Strange motorcycles that don’t really go, but have lots to show. Usually ridden by tattoed men who wear Arrow shirts during the week

78. Clubs 
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

80. Now! 
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

85. Photoshop 
The ultimate garage. It fixes everything, from slow speeds in pans to broken headlamps. Apply liberally for best results

86. Drift 
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

89. BMW 
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!’

92. Understeer 
You will hit that tree

93. Oversteer
 Same difference

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).