Subscribe: December 2014 issue Issue

We've been good this year - we've done our homework on all the rides we've tested, washed our fair share of them for our Live Life in OVERDRIVE experiences during which we pulled them (and ourselves) through the most treacherous of terrains. So now, it's time to skip the main course for some well-deserved dessert. Which is why, this time, we skipped desert of all manner and sent Shumi to New Zealand's Middle Earth country to have a go at Smaug the Magnificent. Well. Not exactly. But the Indian Scout and the Honda CB500X proved to be no less than jewel-bellied fire-drakes with that occasional fault in the armour.

Meanwhile, Halley too declared himself good because he reviewed the Mercedes alphabet in the increasing order of fun, with the B-Class hatch first, followed by the C 200, saving the luxurious, high speed cruising E 350 CDI for the last. Bert earned himself some ecological brownie points by giving the greener than thou Renault Zoe a chance and was rewarded immensely as he learnt that electric can just be as much fun for petrolheads like him.

And while the others were just trying to be good, Rohit,Alan and Rishaad decided to draw their own 'nice and naughty' lists. Rohit compared the bestselling Alto K10 in its new avatar with its litre-class contender, the Hyundai Eon. Alan then proceeded to make it a tad bit easier for you to choose from the trifecta of entry level luxury offerings from the Germans - the A3, the A-Class and the 1 Series. And while Shumi's KTM RC 390 road test would tell you all you need to know about riding the sportsbike on Indian roads, Rishaad pitted it against its stripped sibling to tell you if the dressing really makes for all the difference in the taste. Among other snippets of wisdom from Mr Mody is that good things come in small packages too - evident from how the Hero Splendor Pro Classic proves to be a splendidly simple sort of joy to ride. Remember that when you're unwrapping your Christmas presents this year. Not that Alan was listening, because after the German luxury car comparo, he treated himself to a spin on the behemoth that was the Triumph Thunderbird LT.

Back from the Shire, Shumi got his hands on the mild-tempered Benelli BN600i which may just be the most affordable inline four cylinder bike in the market. But after the fire-drakes he encountered on his sojourn, he says it's the fast, explosive and insecty TNT 899 that you're really going to want.

All this and more Yuletide cheer in the December issue of OVERDRIVE - since you've been so good this year too, go ahead and treat yourself to it. And we hope you light up like a Christmas tree when you see our Mercedes-AMG GT poster inside.

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