Riding an FI bike in the Himalayas?

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by tropicalbikey, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. tropicalbikey

    tropicalbikey n00b

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    Anyone here ridden a fuel injection bike in the Himalayas?

    If so what were the issues at extreme altitudes? Fuel availability in remoter areas?

    Thinking of either bringing my Versys 650 over or getting one in India to do a long ride through Ladakh, Spiti Lahaul, Manali etc next year end of spring.
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  2. arn

    arn Been here awhile

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    For those areas you need to carry extra fuel or have a larger tank, as the Tandi Leh sector is beyond the range of your tank.

    Apart from that there are no fueling related issues. I've just returned from there riding my CBR 250R and my friend will be returning from there on his ER6F, his second trip to Leh on that bike. His bike has a larger than stock tank (27L), an additional crash guard fitted as well as having a two brothers exhaust to increase the GC
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  3. Krummemusic

    Krummemusic Adventure Dreamer

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    I am planning to be in Kathmandu early March and ride down to West Bengal/Sikkim/Nagaland.
    How do you plan to bring your bike in ?
    I am still struggling to find a reasonably priced option out of Singapore...
    Based on some recommendation from the valued forum, I am now looking into shipping it from Bangkok through TG...so what's your plan on that ?
    Maybe we meet - will be there on an F800GS
    Cheers
    Uli
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  4. tropicalbikey

    tropicalbikey n00b

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    Hey Arn - Thanks for the info. Acouple of years ago when they first started selling the CBR250R in Delhi I considered buying one there but my bone are getting old (almost 60, jeez where did time go?) and would be more comfortable on the Versys. Good info though.

    Did you go in through Manali over the Rotang etc? I have driven thru Kashmir a few years ago via Kargil (in a jeep), not sure I want to go that route mainly because of the whole scene in Kashmir.

    Did your friend have the tank fitted in Delhi? locally made or simply fitted in India?
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  5. tropicalbikey

    tropicalbikey n00b

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    Hey Uli, I haven't made up my mind yet whether to get a new bike in India or ride up to Thailand and then ship. There were rumours that Kawasaki+local partner Bajaj were going to assemble the 650 Versys there this year but as I was leaving Delhi two days ago I picked up Bike India magazine (ZX14R on cover) - the article says they are producing the ZX10 and the ZX14 but no mention of the Versys. The advantage of buying a new one is that I could leave it with friends and always have it there for when I go to India (usually about 2x a year). BUt that could entail maintenance hassles too.

    Can you keep me posted on the prices to ship plus custom clearance stuff? When you say TG you mean air freight it? wouldn't that cost a bomb?
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  6. Pecha72

    Pecha72 Long timer

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    You mean the Kawasaki Versys is now assembled in India?? The last I´ve heard Kawi assemble some models in Thailand (not sure if Versys is one of them, though). But India certainly has very heavy tolls for all imported vehicles, that´s why you see very, very few of them there.

    As a tourist, you can bring your own vehicle to India by making a temporary import using a Carnet de passage. But then it must be re-exported within the time specified by the customs (usually a few months), or you have to pay all taxes and duties.

    And shipping: for reference, I payed just about 600 euros total to send my DL650 by air from Chennai to Bangkok (via Kuala Lumpur, using Malaysia Airlines MASKargo). But this was back in 2008. Following the forums I´d say Bangkok<-> Kathmandu by air seems to be the route to use.
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  7. Warin

    Warin Retired

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    EFI systems have a pressure sensor built in - so changes in altitude should not matter. You have more to worry about fuel (range, where to get it, quality).

    For shipping try HU http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/get-ready/shipping

    they have a lot more on international travel ...
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  8. tropicalbikey

    tropicalbikey n00b

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    Hey Pecha, yes the Versys is assembled in Thailand. Mine here in Indonesia was assembled in Thailand but because we have southeast asian trade agreement we get them in with minimal tax/duty but it still makes it more expensive than buying in Thailand. If you bought yours new here it would cost something like USD 11,000, about 2000 more than Thailand I think.

    And I did see something on an India website about the Versys likely to be launched in India by the end of 2013, the price being around 5-7 lakhs (one lakh=100,000) Rupees which means somewhere between around 8-10 thousand US Dollars. But so far no more confirmation.

    Re the Carnet de passage, yes I know about that but what I don't know is do they specify the time according to the validity of your visa or the time you request? As an Indonesian citizen I can only get max 6 months tourist visas.

    Good to know about the MAS cargo deal, thanks.
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  9. tropicalbikey

    tropicalbikey n00b

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    Warin, yes they do have the pressure/CO2 or whatever sensors but I was wondering whether after a certain altitude the basic thinness of the air just simply goes beyond the range. I have asked on different forums and there are some diferent opinions. But I talked to some people who have been up to 15k feet with little problem save perhaps a slight loss of power (to be expected). But there are a couple of passes up in Ladakh that hit around 18k feet.
    Thanks for the link, will check it out.
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  10. arn

    arn Been here awhile

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    Hi, any naturally aspirated bike will display a loss of power at those altitudes as the basic lack of oxygen means that no matter how accurate the fuelling, there is less charge to explode in the cylinder. I'd say that the CBR250 loses about 1/3 of it's power in the really high passes, but will still pull easily with a solo rider plus luggage. To put it in perspective, if primitive 18bhp (company claimed, at sea level on a very good day) bullets, more like 10hp at the wheel at sea level, can do those passes, modern bikes can do so easily. My friend had overloaded his ER6F (also called the Ninja 650 in these parts) WAY past manufacturers recommendations, by almost 50 kilos, but lack of power was not a headache, anywhere. The rear wheel hitting the underseat fender was his problem. Not a surprise.

    Neither of these bikes require high octane fuel, so it's unlikely there will be any problem unless you are unfortunate enough to land up with adulterated stuff.

    The stock ER6F end can is prone to making contact with the ground - it was changed to an awful sounding but much more compact two brothers unit, which never contacted the ground. The stock tank was cut horizontally and a two inch vertical strip added to it all around to bump up the capacity, however, doing this on the stock bike is likely to have it foul with the handlebars - this did not happen in his case as he has bar risers fitted to make it more ergonomic for him. The job was done in Mumbai.

    You'd also need to change the tyres - those road tyres will be completely useless in the slush, and while you may get lucky and find little on the particular day that you ride, it's not a good idea to plan for luck. My friend had fitted TKC's at the back and some TL tyre with a similar pattern up front. If there is snow and it's followed by a couple of sunny days, there will be PLENTY of slush , especially on the ascent to Rohtang on the Koksar side, as the road is more like a dirt track.

    The stock ER6F costs INR 600000, none available for rental, whereas the CBR250R, non ABS costing somewhere in the region of 170000 may be available for rental at a few places.

    I went via Manali and returned by the same route, and as usual it's in lousy shape over large sections of the route. The weather dictates how easy or difficult it will be for anybody, but fortunately, it's been mild this year. The Srinagar Leh road is apparently in excellent shape but is prone to shutdowns due to agitations, etc.
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  11. Krummemusic

    Krummemusic Adventure Dreamer

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    Will be happy to keep you posted - I am currently actively contacting various forwarder who can air freight my bike into Kathmandu.
    As I am living in Singapore, I prefer to ship from here - but that costs indeed a bomb.
    Shipping from Thailand is cheaper - and so far I have got 1 x quote....waiting for some more to come in.

    Yes - both options are quite costly - but then - for me its the trip of a lifetime which can not be weighted against money.

    I will be happy to share everything I have with you - but feel it might not be appropriate to put prices and quotes into the web.
    I do not know the forum rules....if you give me your email, I will be happy to let you know what I found so far.

    I also do have (or, I believe I do) a company in Kathmandu, to help me getting the bike cleared.

    As far as I see know, sorting out the logistical issues seem to be more complicated then the actual trip.

    Cheers

    Uli
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  12. Krummemusic

    Krummemusic Adventure Dreamer

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    One general suggestion I can give you.....contact ThaiAirways Cargo (use google and it will show)
    Then contact them and they will propose you their appointed agents in your country.
    Note: their appointed agents are not always "up-to-the-job"...I got one who replied quickly and precisley, the other one replied complete rubbish. So it looks like becoming a bit tedious to find the right one.
    Cheers
    Uli
    #12