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Old 3rd February 2012, 01:16   #61
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Default Day 1 (our day 2) Pt II. Post lunch

The organisers arranged for a HOT lunch on the trail (beggining of Sector 2). It was brought to us (or at least what was usable after that bumpy ride) at a narrow but shady part of the trail. We wolfed down the lunch (supplemented by some odds and ends that were in the Thar), perched on some convenient stones and set off on the trail again. This trail was interesting with lots of stones (deeply embedded) and some tight turns between stones/trees.






Soon the thorny scrub disappeared and was replaced by thick (dwarf) bamboo groves. Looked lovely (sorry no pictures) but was lethal in the Lynx which has no doors. We were busy trying to duck the bamboo that would swing into the cabin and lash at us. The moment a bamboo stick crossed the A pillar Fazal saab and I would dive to the centre and duck each trying very hard to push the other out of the Jeep :-). Soon we found a way of doing this without getting in each others way.

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We returned to the campsite around 4.00 p.m. tired, dusty and with thorns stuck in our clothes and exposed skin - but HAPPY!

We we greeted by a campsite that was spick and span! Surprised at how the organisers managed to achieve this, we looked around and saw an army of labour (sourced locally) cleaning the periphery before moving away. Brilliant idea to have the camp cleaned while everyone was away on the trail. There was a posse of policemen too - to keep our things safe (also to ensure that no-one got too rowdy?).

When we came into the camp there was a bunch of the political variety hanging around and sipping tea but they quickly beat a rather hasty retreat in the face of an onslaught of grimy, sweaty, dirty and boisterous off-roaders (both men and machines).

Since we were the first pack to return to the camp - we had the run of the place and put it to good use by dousing ourselves with water (right out of the spout of the trailer-tanker). All refreshed and having washed away some of the dust we settled down at the tables (with the table cloths) and enjoyed a refreshing cup (or two - who was counting) with delicious, piping hot pakodas. There was some freshly made hot veg. biryani too for those who missed lunch (or were just hungry for more). Prabhu, Fazal saab and I even managed to nap sitting there (so tired were we).

Suitably refreshed we set about chatting with the officials and the participants to gather info and feedback. We learnt that the terrain remained much the same as tracks 1 & 2. What we heard gave us serious cause for thought. Track 3 had gained the reputation of being a vehicle breaker and definitely not recommended for anyone with a bad back, spondalytis etc. (not that any of us suffered from something like that).

Track 4 sounded interesting. It had two steep and long inclines. The longer one sounded challenging and interesting. But we were also warned that the first days attempts (only a handful were successful) had churned up the soil and had dislodged many of the stones.

This info called for a quick brain-storming session. Fazal saab, Prabhu and I put our heads together. The fact that the Thar HT was now without a spare tyre and the Lynx had a squished fuel line weighed on our minds. We also never lost sight of the fact that home was about 700 km away and that we had to drive the two faithful machines back home. So, with a heavy heart we decided not to do tracks 3 & 4 but to head home after breakfast the next day.




As all the participants came home to the camp, there was an air of festivity. Old friends meeting up after a break, meeting new people and perhaps making a few new friends. People brought out little tid-bits to munch on that they brought from home, juices, soft drinks and soda salted away in their bags and pretty soon a great party was under way, fuelled by a bonfire over which succulent bits of meat were being barbequed. The kitchen dished out some great bajjis, pakodas and kebabs.

The talk consisted of anecdotes about experiences off the road that day and at previous events. Terms like locks or diff-locks and LSD, ratios of gears and differentials, structural stress and flexural stress flew thick and fast. Newbies (like me) listened in awe as doyens of the sport like the redoubtable Uday Bhan Singh spoke in depth with authority and a quiet confidence. The merits and demerits of various machines was discussed thread-bare, yes discussed though to many it might have sounded like an argument that was close to coming to blows. The women smiled on indulgently, no doubt telling themselves "boys will be boys" the kids of course had a whale of a time and the sheer joy was evident on their faces. Soon, the women and children called it a day and retired for the night, no doubt tired from the long exciting day of off-roading.

We ate, some great hot fluffy (some crispy) poories, with a kheema curry, a chicken curry (I am sure there was something vegetarian too) several varieties of finger food and some rice with assorted stuff. We sat down and chatted late into the night. For me as well as the others in our team, it was great to meet up with the guys from Bombay. I was honoured to finally meet legends such as Arka, Sandeep (Frankie), Khan saab or Shahnawaz Khan, Dwarak, Sharath and of course Mr. Uday Bhan Singh in person.

Finally our tiredness and lack of sleep over the preceding week (spent getting the Jeeps ready) got the better of us and we had to hit the sack. The 2nd morning - we were supposed to lie in bed till late but, we were up at the crack of dawn and sauntering out of the tent we saw the welcome sight of piping hot tea. All thoughts of brushing, washing etc. vanished from our heads and we relished the tea without much ado. Barely had we finished tea and freshened up, breakfast was served. Shira, omlettes, bread, idlis, vadas, pongal - WOW what a meal it was! Breakfast was leisurely, we bade our good byes and chatted. Post breakfast time was given over to examining each others vehicles keenly and a few test drives. We waited for the ones going onto the trails to be flagged off before we set out.

The drive home was pretty uneventful except that the inevitable happened - the Thar suffered a flat tyre just after nightfall and we somehow had to get it fixed to reach home.

P.S.: My impressions - The Thar is a very good compromise, between on-road capability and off-road capacity. It has decent highway manners with an acceptable cruising speed and is also a capable off-roader. The 550 however remains my vehicle of choice for extreme off-roading.

The hard top for the Thar Prabhu was testing performed well, both at high speed cruising and off the road without a squeak of complaint. He did identify a few small issues and is working on them.
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Bangalore Annual OTR 2012 - Report-p10908021.jpg  

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Old 3rd February 2012, 11:24   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ravveendrra View Post
The organisers arranged for a HOT lunch on the trail....and is working on them.
Ravveendrra,

The precise and photographic narration skills that you possess are admirable, I was awaiting your reportage since long.

Again to the O Team..if we have not thanked you enough, the little details looked into managing a huge turnout in the middle of nowhere was a great task, very successfully accomplished by your joint effort. The on-trail food, water and juices kept us going.

To the Marshals, a very well organized unit you all were, in continuous communication with each other by radio. The tough job of managing this many Jeeps on an unforgiving terrain and ensuring that all made it out of the track back to the base camp did not go unnoticed.

If not for your spotting there would be many heading to scrap yards and nearest hospitals. That reminds there was a standby ambulance that went unused.

The Cooks, working 24X7 literally in a little shamania. Awesome job !!! Churning out food for 200+ Jeepers is no easy job. . The veg. breakfast and lunch served, though veg. was so full of flavor, swear I did not miss non veg. (my non veg. pattern starts from breakfast-dinner) atleast for those two days. Dinner was definitely good non veg.

Just after breakfast the hot takeaway meal served at the start point was just 'amazing timing'.

Special mention the the Chennai and Gulbarga group. They were one single unit through thick and thin.

Awaiting pics from Samurai's cameras.
Regards,

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 3rd February 2012 at 11:26.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 17:02   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM

Dear Endeavour333 - you have been right royally bitten by the Thar bug. Are you still using the Endeavour? Thanks for your comments, I really appreciate. Now everybody is reading so everybody knows! I seriously suggest you drive it on road also, I bet you, you will have a wide grin on your face as you throw every other car behind you. . Let me know!

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar
Dear Mr. Dhabhar,

I actually did drive it on the road afterwards as well for about 40-50 km. I really liked the Thar but realized after a day or two how much I would have to give up from owning an Endeavour to owning a Thar and have realized that having the Thar as an only vehicle would not be a very smart idea. But believe it or not I was utterly and totally convinced after the drive that I absolutely must own one. Just ask ANYONE in the chennai team how much I was talking about it

What I didn't like:
1) The Thar seemed more nervous than my Endy on bumpy roads. Rear seemed to float/slide around on bumpy roads a lot more than the Endy even though they both have leaf springs. Guess it was the weight difference and my ironman suspension kit that made the difference.

2) seating position was not comfortable for me but I was planning on modifying that when I bought my own.

3) seats lacked side support. Had the feeling I would slide off the seat if I wasnt holding on to the steering. Had plans to modify this too with some sporty seats.

4) lack of practicality as an only car. For the next 2 or 3 days all I read about on the Internet and team bhp was the possibility of a good hard top for the thar so I can lock it.

5) too many squeaks and rattles. But I guess that is part and parcel of owning what is still a jeep. But coming from an Endy it was noticeable to me.

I honestly did not mind the interiors and knew I could get AC added aftermarket.

What I liked:
1) the engine was absolutely brilliant. More than enough power and low end torque to turn even 33" tyres. I would still have put a tuning box on it though.

2) Offroad capability. For me it's on a completely different planet from any other SUV on the road today. Especially much more capable than my Endy because of the difference in wheelbase.

3) Manual gear box. I really enjoyed driving manual after a long time because my Endy is an auto. Love the connected, in control feeling. The gearbox itself was better than I expected except it was a bit hard to shift to 1st gear sometimes.

The Thar was GREAT Offroad and Good on road but just didn't make sense for me as an only car. I'm still waiting for the next version though which will hopefully be a big step up in usability. After the next one comes out I will reevaluate the decision of whether to sell the Endy for the Thar or not.

I also drive a lot of my friends around and I don't think they would have appreciated riding in the Thar as much as I would have loved driving it.

Other than that, at the 8 lakh price range the Thar is GREAT value for money but only as a second car. I think Mahindra can capture a huge share of the market if they only made the Thar make sense as an only car. Congratulations on developing an awesome machine and I hope my feedback was helpful.

Are you still developing the Thar or are you doing something else now?

- Vishnu

Last edited by Endeavour333 : 3rd February 2012 at 17:11.
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Old 3rd February 2012, 21:39   #64
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Default Re: Bangalore Annual OTR 2012 - Report

Vijay Kumars Doberman... - YouTube
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Old 4th February 2012, 07:33   #65
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That definitely was the doberman dance..
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Old 4th February 2012, 10:10   #66
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Nothing less than desert rally! Aptly named -Doberman
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Old 6th February 2012, 01:21   #67
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(in continuation of my earlier post 26. My apologies for the delay.)

27th Jan, Sector 2.

We started off at a leisurely pace on what was just a easy country path with no idea of what lay ahead later in the day.
Bangalore Annual OTR 2012 - Report-dsc01377.jpg
Bangalore Annual OTR 2012 - Report-dsc01378.jpg

Stopping to regroup.
Bangalore Annual OTR 2012 - Report-dsc01381.jpg
Bangalore Annual OTR 2012 - Report-dsc01382.jpg

Friendly Mod Khan
Bangalore Annual OTR 2012 - Report-dsc01383.jpg

Mostly from easy moving vehicles covering a fair amount of distance.
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madhkris
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banjejas in gypsy with mohang_j following closely.
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It was getting quite warm and we were very thankful for the juice and water that the organizers gave us. The need for an ac was felt so that we could feel at a bit of ease while waiting intermittently. By now we were wary of the thorns coming inside the windows.

Bangalore Annual OTR 2012 - Report-dsc01392.jpg
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Waiting for leading vehicles to clear the first challenging obstacles from a newbie view point.
Bangalore Annual OTR 2012 - Report-dsc01397.jpg

more in next post.
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Old 6th February 2012, 13:28   #68
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Thanks all offroaders!

Special thanks to Bijoy, Anand Mahindra, Vinod Nookla and Vinay Thomas of Mahindra and Mahindra for their support for Annual Offroading Event 2012 and all goodies (Tshirts, Bags and CAPS) sponsored by them. Offroaders are grateful and look forward to continued support in future too.


Bangalore Offroaders.
BODA

I feel most photographs do not picturze the real gradiants/ criticality of the terrain. Wish we could see such effects.

Dwarak

Last edited by Jaggu : 6th February 2012 at 14:20. Reason: Back to back post, please use EDIT instead. Thank
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Old 6th February 2012, 13:47   #69
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Quote:
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I feel most photographs do not picturze the real gradiants/ criticality of the terrain. Wish we could see such effects.

Dwarak
Yup Dwarak, maybe next time have dedicated Video guys at each BIG obstacle!!

I can still hear/feel the tear of the thorns as we made our way through them!!
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Old 6th February 2012, 14:25   #70
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Quote:
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I feel most photographs do not picturze the real gradiants/ criticality of the terrain. Wish we could see such effects.

Dwarak
Quote:
Originally Posted by headers View Post
Yup Dwarak, maybe next time have dedicated Video guys at each BIG obstacle!!

I can still hear/feel the tear of the thorns as we made our way through them!!
Sorry for the delay. I have some videos and snaps of the real inclines of sector 2 & 3. However due to location restrictions (thorns) could not get off to photograph from side in most places. :(

i need a little more time as other essential things got super important all of a sudden. Maybe around midnight tonight. Yesterday i was receiving timeout errors by the dozen after each upload.

Last edited by optimist : 6th February 2012 at 14:32.
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Old 6th February 2012, 18:54   #71
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwaraka View Post
I feel most photographs do not picturze the real gradiants/ criticality of the terrain. Wish we could see such effects.

Dwarak,

That's right !

As it is the obstacle viewed in 2D (photographs) looks 30-40% flatter than actual.

Getting the gradient/ angle close to the real thing needs an advance study of the terrain and then set the camera position accordingly.

Expecting something good to come from Samurai's cameras.
Regards,
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Old 6th February 2012, 23:04   #72
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Trail 2.

The starting warmup from the camp. Shot from bantejas's gypsy, immediately ahead is madhkris(nice wheels), and before him pradeep in a new thar.



Till before the first rocky descent.


The first real descent. Well it's not really too much for the seasoned but as you see further the first timers needed better precision.

For us photographers, it's
Here an ouch,
there an ouch,
everywhere an ouch !
LOL. our best attempt

madhkris comes down cleanly.


Next tejas has a bit of confusion as he is not able to see down.


Where to go?
Bangalore Annual OTR 2012 - Report-20120127105936.jpg

Sorry! Edit time out on the previous post. Mods please merge with previous post and delete this line. Thanks.

Tejas being guided.
Bangalore Annual OTR 2012 - Report-dsc01400.jpg


Pradeep in his new Thar too had a little trouble with the rock but easily managed to wriggle out with a small scrape behind the front left wheel as it came over the rock
Bangalore Annual OTR 2012 - Report-dsc01398.jpg

Immediately past this descent there was a relatively steep climb.

The gang from Gulburga climbing up with full compliment of passengers. Photographer, "RUN, RUN for it!"


Bantejas slowly getting the hang of things. Marshals ask the earlier jeep to standby for help but he makes it.

Last edited by Samurai : 7th February 2012 at 00:47.
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Old 7th February 2012, 06:57   #73
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Thanks a lot for capturing and posting it here Optimist. Clearly Sector 3 and Sector 4 were tough and unforgiving.
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Old 7th February 2012, 16:21   #74
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I missed this video yesterday from the steep gradient after the rocky descent.

Pradeep climbed up the slope in the Thar without any sweat. Madhkris followed and after an attempt cleared the same. He was followed by bantejas as posted previously.
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Old 7th February 2012, 20:50   #75
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Default India's Best Off-road Event

Hi Guys,

Sorry for the delay.

The preparation for the BAOTR2012, started in earnest, in Sept.2011. The Terra-Tigers look forward to this event, as premier OTR event in INDIA.

Sept to November, we were rallying the team together and making the necessary preparations.
Diff-Guards, Skid-Plates, Petrol Tank Guards, T-Case Guards, tow-ropes, recovery points, preparatory OTR and the usual

Our Plan was to leave Chennai on the 26th Jan, assemble at Motel Highway and then Drive to Krishnagiri and re-group, then head toward the OTR spot.

Since we made in to Krishnagiri, 12:30AM and some confusion related to the Lunch Point most of us crossed Hosur, we decided to cut across the NECE Road onto the Kanakapura Road, and catch up with the BODA’s.

We stopped at Hotel Vaishnavi Palace, a regular post OTR watering hole back in 2005-2006 Off-road season. We had lunch and met up with the Gulbarga Off-Roaders.

A few Kms down the road we gathered at the Assembly Point and were allocated the Vehicle No.s and sorted in to convoys.

The Drive to the campsite refreshed my memories about the good’ol days of Off-Roading around this region.
There was a slight delay and after a necessary route correction, we reached the campsite, parked our vehicles, fought with other off-roaders for our sleeping allocation, and then it was business as usual.

Time to catch up with the who’s who of the INDIAN Off-Road scenario, and friends from various other Off-Road regions.
Dinner and socializing done we got ready for the Day1 Trail.

Day#1 Trail#4
Since all the TN Boys were together, we were sent of to Trail#4.

The highlight of this trail was Climb No.1 & Climb No.2

Climb#1 was a 50-60ft incline with a few twists and a lot of turns.
Most jeeps made it up 70-80% before they were winched out, and the entire process of 20 odd vehicles took a 3-4Hrs.
The trick was to increase the speed slightly before every steering correction, to make it right to the top.
Otherwise the LAMBDA hydraulic Winch was put through a thorough test.

But the Off-Roading gods were demanding their sacrifice and not being the one to incur their wrath, I promptly sacrificed a Goodyear G90 7.50XR16 LT Tyre.
They were still not satisfied and a Thar CRDe decided to offer a Continental AT.
But we had incurred their displeasure, so most of us had to be winched up or winched out.

Had a chance to drive Harish’s unique MM550XD, with Andy Rao’s spotting, was fun driving another JEEP.

After re-grouping at 1500hrs we decided to continue on the trail and make another attempt at Climb#2, which was not possible as a groups attempt because the LAMBDA Winch support headed back to camp.

We requested the senior Marshals, that only Winch and or Locker Equipped vehicles will give it a shot, keeping the time considerations in mind, we had to be back in Camp by 1830.

The first Vehicle up the climbl was a Red MM550XD with Front Lockers and Maxxis Bighorns and a winch, Ashok & Vivek (papaboost) made short work of the trail.

The next vehicle was a Mahindra Major with 4.88 diffs and Maxxis Bighorns, went up without a fuss.

Mhd.Ali decided to head up in my MM540XD, and he just walked up, but walking up was not enough, so he decided to back up and walk up faster and even that wasn’t enough, so he tried to modulate the throttle, turn the steering left to right even that wasn’t working, the vehicle was climbing up but not crossing over the crest.

So I decided to share his predicament and took over, Siddu and Chetan were now spotting me through and a tried a few different lines, but the result was the same, I was climbing up and not crossing over the crest.

So I tried 2nd Low to get some speed and the vehicle stalled, it was then I realized, a little bit of speed (momentum) will help, but how to get momentum and carry it over 2 Right and 2 Left hand bends, all the while climbing up on loose rocks and dried earth.

Start from the beginning, at the bottom, so after reversing yet again, down to the Second Left Hand Bend, decided to slot into 2nd Lo a see if the vehicle moves, it did, so I backed up some more onto a flatter ground and started in 2nd Lo and gave it a bit of throttle before the 2nd Right hand bend, this gave me enough momentum to speed up the last bit, and was too fast for the spectators to react, but that was just enough to reach the top and negotiate a rock and Tree to make a U-Turn and start getting back down the climb to camp.

On the way down, my JEEP was caught in a side slope and was winched out by Vivek & Ashok, and then we head to Camp.

At Camp we decided join the OTR Night-Life. So a Bath was mandatory, for such an occasion, a few of us decided to high jack the toilet area and took a nice cold bath outside the Chem-Toilets, reason being we could use more water, and someone could pour water on us, and if need be scratch our backs.

Bath/Wash done we changed and head out for Dinner and a superb Barbeque managed by Prithvi.

Got to spend time with the BANGBROS (Mumbai off-roaders) Allan, Ankit, Ravi, Manan, Soumya & Prasad. It was nice catching up with them especially Prasad’s animated descriptions and explanations.

Spend some more time warming up at the Bonfire, before calling it a Morning.

Day#2 Trail#3
Started of on a easy pace, since 50% of the Off-Roaders and their vehicles decided to head back.

Trail#3 was a technical Trail with a lot of careful steering and some lovely sheet rock climbs.

After the Trail we went to camp and packed and headed back to Camp. On the way the wheel Bearing on one of the Chennai MM540DP with SFRA acted up and Vivek promptly helped us in procuring a SFRA Bearing and allowing use to replace it in his well equipped garage.

We reached the hotel at 2115hrs and the last JEEP arrived from Vivek’s garage at 2145.

After that it was a night out at the Filling Station.

A few points which will help in making things easier.
1)Separate Trail for Winch Equipped Vehicles i.e tougher Trails
2) ID with Meals & Goodies details which can be punched/ticked/scored, hence the onus is on the Participant to get his meals & goodies, and if lost no one else can avail the same.
2) Increase the entry fee, and use the additional money for a few more Chem-Toilets and some washing area. (poles and canvas sheet enclosures).

It was a very memorable off-road, and a extremely well executed event with a lot of effort put in by all involved.

THIS IS THE BEST OFF-ROAD EVENT IN INDIA.

Regards,

Arka

PS - Pics will follow

Last edited by ex670c : 7th February 2012 at 20:54.
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