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GPS, iPod, PC and two cameras…that’s the Techtree bike

A tech geek, a custom bike designer, lots of electronic goodies and a desire to be different. The Techtree Bike v1.0 is born.

It’s fun to test all kinds of bikes — big ones, small ones, long ones, light ones. But the Techtree Bike v1.0 is something else. The small workshop in Jogeshwari, Mumbai, was crammed with low riders custom-crafted by Vardenchi Choppers. Some strange modifications drew our attention to a motorcycle called the Stealth. The plexiglass panel atop the headlight, the holes in the side panels weren’t too much of a giveaway, but the silver Bluetooth dongle strapped onto the handlebar seemed very out of place on this matte-black motorcycle.

Yes, this is the Techtree bike v1.0, a tech-laden scheme proposed by Mumbai-based Sudeep Naik and fortuitously backed by Vardenchi’s Akshay Varde. Akshay arranged a donor bike, the Stealth, and Sudeep had to get the electronic goods to make it “bit” better.

And so, the mods began. To start off, the bike was blessed with guidance of the GPS variety, courtesy Mapmyindia. To make the satnav easy to access, there’s a small plexiglass platform mounted above the headlight. Then, the SatNav is mounted using the standard suction mount provided with the kit! Sorely lacking on motorcycles is the kind of entertainment options that are available in a new-age car. The Techtree Bike is armed to the teeth. There is a Sony PSP for easy gaming at every stop light. An iPod Touch mounted in a special secure case just under the handlebar provides music and videos. All this is made all the more enjoyable thanks to the Bluetooth dongle with the incredible headset that has in-built volume controls. A pity you can’t fit them under a helmet!

But, apparently you can fit a PC on your bike without worrying about it getting wet in the rain, or stolen. Here’s how. The Stealth has a spine running down its tank and onto this one side of two simple press-locks are welded on, the kind used to keep cabinet doors from opening. The other half of the press-locks are attached to a small platform, which then only have to be gently pressed onto the tank to get locked on. The pad stays steady as it has soft bushes at the extremities that prop it up. Then using two really big rubber o-rings, the EEPC Netbook is strapped onto the platform. There you have it, a mobile office; now you can hack away at the keyboard and fire off the mails at every stop light.

But the coolest part has been saved for last. Two discreetly attached cameras at the front and rear of the bike plug into the laptop to give you a live video feed! So the next time you head out on a ride, you can document it by just making a video of the trip!

Frivolities aside, the camera software can help you out on the long dark roads at night since it is equipped with a night mode. Using the video feed on the laptop screen, you can see the road ahead at night without even turning on the headlight! That can surely be a life-saving feature by helping you spot the errant dog stepping out from the bushes on the divider. At which point, if we apply Murphy’s Law, we are bound to run out of juice on the laptop, right? Not to worry, as the Stealth comes kitted with sockets in its side panel where you can plug in an adapter and charge all the gadgets on the go. Uber cool.

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