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Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by GF-kam, Dec 28, 2018.
Awesome report, Kameron. Looking forward to the rest of your trip report.
Is this Ali M. I met in Warm Springs this past fall? On that tricked out 2018 1200GSA ?
Thank you for kind remarks on ride report. Hopefully more to come.
DRIVING IN INDIA
I need to leave myself a note here and to remind you about some of the great conversations we had collectively with Mahi, Vidur, and Archana with respect to traffic. Don't worry. We're all average riders and we survived no problem.
The one rule you should remember is that in India there really aren't any rules and anticipate the unexpected. Kind of an accepted way of riding. You'll figure it out in a day or two of riding. The good news is that with the congestion and traffic, most of the time you'll be at a stop or moving slowly.
Perhaps the fist thing you should be aware is that in India, you follow the British convention and drive down the left side of the road. Not that people strictly abide by this. You'll always have someone ...cyclist, biker, or even vehicle.... coming down the wrong side. You keep to the left and pass to the right of your lane. The exact opposite of in U.S. Divided roads with a median are not very common. You also won't see a lot of well marked centerlines and passing lane dashes.
In India you drive with your hearing ( ears ) as much as with your eye. What do I mean by that? In any big city or even small village, the fist thing your hear when you step out of your hotel or onto the street is the symphony of honking. This honking serves as a sonar. Analogous to a bat. The honking enables you to visualize the proximity to a vehicle from all directions. Similar to a police or emergency siren. You can hear the sound approach you or fade. So honking is essential to send a sort of a ping that you are about to pass or about to be bumped into. So even more important that a working brake light, you need to have a working horn. Turst me, you're left thumb will be on the horn switch the entire trip. The bigger and louder the horn the better.
Traffic moves through congested crowded cities like water flowing down a mountain stream. The same way water finds the path of least resistance so do vehicles in India. Every inch of open space equates to a path of least resistance. You move your bike into that space and move along.
Traffic lights are optional. Be aware. Treat a green traffic light like a yield sign. If you have a very busy intersection of rotary, usually a traffic cop will try to give everyone a turn at the green light.
Ah rotaries. Yes you go around rotaries in opposite direction as we would in U.S. Counterclockwise in U.S. but clockwise in India. Again left is the norm. In the morning the mental thing for me was remembering the left thing when pulling our of a hotel into main road. Just look both way. There's always enough traffic where you'll know immediately.
When passing pedestrians just don't change your speed or direction radically. Always pass a cow on the hind ( rear ) side. They don't move backward or lurch radically.
Most bikes made for India have weak front brakes. I suspect so you don't lock your front wheel with all the stop and go.
COWS, DOGS, PIGS, HORSES, and occasional MONKEYS. Expect to see them all in the middle of the road once you're out of a major city. Even herd of goat or sheep. The infrastructure is used by farmers to move their cattle around and working cows.
Watch out for the KL buses. Those are the fancier looking buses owned by privateers. Mom and pop operations. They drive aggressively and are top of the vehicle hierarchy. Don't be surprised to see them in your lane on a blind corner. So, be proactive. Usually they try to blair their horn or flash their lights telling you that they are going to be coming down your lane. The bus always wins.
I'll post more things about the " rules of engagement " when riding in India.
As I mentioned earlier, I packed some tools and an electric pump. Enough tools to remove wheels and tire patch kit.
IMG_7684 by Kam A, on Flickr
Content of my tool bag. I decided to bring some quality Motion Pro tire irons that I normally use and some good Craftsman wrenches. I use WD-40 as lubricant for getting tire bead on and off. I also packed one of the smaller Motion Pro bead breaker tools https://www.motionpro.com/product/08-0519
IMG_7686 by Kam A, on Flickr
This is the Aerostich Mini Compressor https://www.aerostich.com/aerostich-mini-compressor.html
I guess now I have a spare tool kit ready for the next adventure.
A Few Tips When Stopping At Gas Station
A few tips when pulling into a gas station in India for first time.
excellent pics and writing. Your videos are very informative!
Those tools look like they have never been used
Did you tip the gas attendant?
Many thanks. Just beginning to post. More good stuff to come. Glad you like it.
You know how it goes. Bring all the tools, and like insurance policy you'll never have to use them. Five bikes and not one flat tire. Only one bike needed the rear brake control adjusted.
Yes. I went ahead ant tipped the honest gas attendants. 20 IND Rupee . Which is basically less than 20 cents in USD. Pass the good karma forward in my mantra.
STOPPED BY COPS
Couple of times during the trip, we got stopped by the cops. At the highway checkpoints. Both occasions near the smaller state of Goa. The second time Vidur warned us that we cannot transport any of our left over booze across Goa state line. Something about cross border state taxes. Anyhow all good.
This cop is far more interested in talking to a bunch of foreigners in flashy outfits and Himalayan bikes. With all our Hi-viz gear and ATGATT outfit, I think he was would curious. Everyone is super nice.
Wow I didnt realize it was that inexpensive. Great trip report so far. I'm in!
Day 5: Mysore to Kabini
LET THE FUN BEGIN!
Our first unintentional off-road adventure began today on our way up to The Peepal Tree reserve in Kabini, Karnataka. A few of us got bogged down in the mud and had some fun along the way. The RE Himalayan performed like a champ. I even got caught up in some barbwire and went down. All good. I'll let this video tell the story. Enjoy !
So how many bikers does it take to get a 450 lb. bike and rider out of a swampy marsh? That kind of deep, silty, sticky, hold you down mud you find along a brackish water.
First we try to get Roldan's RE Himalayan out. Bald street tires. Excuses ...excuses...excuses! Poor Archana was pushing the bike directly from behind as Roldan turned on the throttle. She got covered in mud.
IMG_0200-2 by Kam A, on Flickr
IMG_0201-2 by Kam A, on Flickr
I went off to Vidur's KTM. But, he just carried the bike out :)
IMG_0203-2 by Kam A, on Flickr
Time to power wash everyone down with garden hose. I hope you noticed the only two people who were calm , collective, and enjoying themselves. The only two guys would be Mahi and myself ( Kam ). We're the only ones who actually took the time to make sure we have some video footage and pics.
This is Mr. " No Fear Vidur " and Archana who joined us on the trip. From the video you can see the couple have no hesitation of riding their bike off-road or into the marsh. Beautiful young couple from India. They ride two up on a KTM 390. From the Himalayan mountains in the north and all over India. I just heard they are on a short list for most popular couple travel bloggers in India ( currently second ). Monumental in a country of nearly 1.4 billion. With a B. Well deserved. Extremely knowledgeable and likable couple. Fluent in our U.S. culture, language, and habits. I am hoping for bigger things in near future. Stay tuned. I posted their website earlier.
In addition to Mahi, these two couple made sure we came back in once piece.
IMG_0102_Vidur_Archana by Kam A, on Flickr
The Peepal Tree Kabini preserve was our next stop. Nice place. I think it sits near a tiger / animal reserve so you can catch a safari ride inside. A more remote place to get closer to nature http://www.thepeepaltree.com/index.html
DSCN1860 by Kam A, on Flickr
The staff at Peepal Tree had setup a beautiful Indian buffet lunch for us. Seem to be nobody else around but us.
DSCN1843 by Kam A, on Flickr
The place is the kind of a rustic place in nature. Dinning room from outside.
DSCN1841 by Kam A, on Flickr
Each of us got a nice cottages fully equipped with two separate double bedrooms, a suit, full kitchen, and bathrooms.
Pool overlooking the Kabini river. If you look out beyond the pool, that's where we were playing in the mud with the bikes.
DSCN1845 by Kam A, on Flickr
Roldan chilling by pool.
DSCN1847 by Kam A, on Flickr
Looking out from pool towards the boat dock.
DSCN1848 by Kam A, on Flickr
Archana found a kids bike and was happy to be a kid again.
DSCN1853 by Kam A, on Flickr
DSCN1855 by Kam A, on Flickr
Everyone found something to play with. Archana got the bike with training wheels. Vidur played around with his dgi Mavic Air. Incredibley lightweight, compact, and amazing stable 4K footage. Please Santa...maybe I'll be a good boy next year. As prices continue to plummet, I think all of our video cam and head cams will obsolete and replaced by these highly compact drones.
DSCN1849 by Kam A, on Flickr
The Mavic drone in flight. I'll try post some footage.
DSCN1856 by Kam A, on Flickr
Some drone overhead shots of The Peepal Tree. Kind of remote place.
DJI_0064 by Kam A, on Flickr
DJI_0065 by Kam A, on Flickr
We were off to the right of this field when we got our bikes bogged down in the marsh. Maybe we can try it with a hovercraft next time :)
DSCN1838 by Kam A, on Flickr
Or maybe next time Vidur can configure his KTM like Robbie Maddison's Pipe Dream video. How cool !
After cooling down in pool, we walked the grounds and started to experiment with the dgi Mavic drone. The crew.
Screen Shot 2019-01-01 at 8.07.28 PM by Kam A, on Flickr
Footage of The Peepal Tree Kabini pool and river in background.
After a beautiful Indian buffet dinner, we enjoyed some tribal dance performance.
IMG_0205-2 by Kam A, on Flickr
Video footage of tribal dance. We joined in after a few drinks.
I just found some GoPro footage of my unit / villa. Nice size units. I feel so spoiled. Shortly after this shot, my GoPro fell off the table . Landed dead center on the lens. Crushed like a hard candy. One of the few times I had my GoPro HERO 4 out of the protective case. Gone to Valhalla. Farewell my Norse warrior.
Excellent photography and write up!
Hope you'e enjoying it with a nice glass or Duro wine in Porto.
Fantastic report, really interesting. Great pics and videos and info.
Glad everyone enjoying pics and format. I usually leave my two camera devices in same setting. I also try to keep a daily diary. Although, I trusted my memory this time. Thanks .
Mahi here.....One detail I want to add is that we did Bylakuppe after we left Kabini and were enroute to Coorg. Bylakuppe is the 2nd largest settlement of Tibetans in the world. In the early 1960's when Tibet was annexed by China, there was a large influx of refugees fleeing Tibet. The Indian government settled the Tibetan refugees in 2 places.... Dharamsala in north India (this is where the Dalai Lama lives), and Bylakuppe in south India.
The "Golden Temple" at Bylakuppe features an impressive array of golden statues inside..... to give you a sense of the scale of the statues, here is a photo.