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Old 2nd February 2014, 17:48   #16
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Default Re: Bangalore Annual OTR 2014 - A luxury passenger's report

And thus we enter another trail. Almost instantly I realise that this trail is a photographerís dream. The very first image on this report is from this trail, that should give you a hint.

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By now you should have guessed this is a massive granite quarry. Here is a closer look.

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Here marshal Kamal is doing some vigorous and much needed spotting.

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While another Marshal looks on.

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Endy gets through carefully.

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Marshal Kamal is quickly onto the Pajero.

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I was so damn impressed by Marshal Kamal that I asked him to spot me when I started down the slope on foot. After a momentís confusion he obliged.

I continued on foot because the scenery was spectacular. Some views from below of the obstacle we crossed.

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Then we reached a point where track was narrow, especially tricky for the SUVs.

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You could see the camp from this point.

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But there were couple extra obstacles before we could reach the camp.

First was a drop followed by a mound crossing. These were barely a challenge for these SUVs.

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The final obstacle was more challenging, a very dusty bouncy gravelly long climb, that can be crossed only with the right combination of power and momentum.

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A view from the top, of the waiting Jeeps.

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At first attempt, Vishnu gets it wrong.



Then it is a long reversing back to the beginning. And we take off again.



And thus Bangalore Annual OTR 2014 came to an end. A very successful run for both the SUVs that came so well prepared. A jubilant Vishnu was thrilled with the feat that he didnít have to skip a single obstacle. And a feather in the cap for Dr.Abhishek for coming out in flying colors in his very first hardcore OTR in a Pajero.

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Being a luxury passenger for two days in a offroad prepped SUV has given me a new insight. I mean, we all know the old argument that SUVs donít belong in the hardcore trail. We all know the reasons too. But these two SUVs defied the conventional logic and won many converts.

Let us look at the old arguments against SUVs:
  1. SUVs are too wide for the trail: That is because we make the trails just wide enough for Jeeps and Gypsies. If we make it wider, SUVs too can make it.
  2. Very difficult to tow a heavy SUV: Insist that SUVs come with 12000lbs winches, so that they can do self-recovery.
  3. The long chassis can beach the SUV: With sufficient lift and bigger tyres, that is not an issue. The Endy/Pajero demonstrated that very well.
  4. OTR damage to the body and parts are high: Leave that to the owners to worry about. Passionate SUV owners are spending lot more than Jeep owners on their technically superior offroad mods.
  5. SUVs canít crawl like Jeeps: Neither can Gypsies or Thars. Leave the owners to figure out how to adapt their driving style to match the vehicle.
On the other hand, SUVs have major advantages that old Jeep/Gypsies canít match. Much higher reliability, stability, luxury, power and high quality mods. Keep in mind that I am talking about properly offroad modified SUVs. If somebody shows with a stock SUV, they should be disqualified for being really naive. To go neck-to-neck or beyond a Jeep, SUVs should have suspension/body lift, full underbody protection, bigger tyres and high capacity winches. That is when the game is on.

Looking beyond the vehicle, the driverís skill and experience is also very important. It was a great pleasure for me to ride with Vishnu, who was not only knowledgeable about 4WD mechanics, but could apply that knowledge in the trail with uncanny precision. Not once did I see him commit a driver error. It was pure Nirvana to see such mastery.

To Be Continued...
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Old 2nd February 2014, 18:31   #17
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Default Re: Bangalore Annual OTR 2014 - A luxury passenger's report

As we returned to the trail, I was in a hurry home. That was because my teenage son had hurt his wrist in a skateboarding accident and my wife wanted to me to come home ASAP. I had just enough time to gulp some tea, quickly shoot a few snaps of the marshals who were relaxing at the camp after a very successful and wonderful OTR event.

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He is actually the Gokak Marshal.

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And finally the man behind it all, Chief Marshal Vijay Kumar aka Swastik Viji.

Bangalore Annual OTR 2014 - A luxury passenger's report-p1250465.jpg

Every year, B.O.D.A has been increasing the level of organization, luxury and trail complexity. Every time I attend the Bangalore Annual OTR by B.O.D.A, I go back thinking they canít improve on this next year. But they do it, every time. In fact, we were so hard pressed to find a fault, we finally complained about not having WiFi facility at this middle of nowhere location.

The End.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 12:39   #18
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As usual, an excellent report with illustrative pics/videos , Samurai

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...my teenage son had hurt his wrist in a skateboarding accident ...
Hope it was a minor injury and he is recovering well.

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...But they do it, every time. ..
This time, I was blown away by the fuel-bowser arrangement (with a credit-card swiping facility as well )
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Old 3rd February 2014, 13:37   #19
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Hope it was a minor injury and he is recovering well.
It was a fracture alright. By the time I reached home, his right hand was in a cast. No home work for 3 weeks.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 14:15   #20
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Default Re: Bangalore Annual OTR 2014 - A luxury passenger's report

Wonderful report Samurai. It's as if i was right there.

It's so nice to see the same faces! BODA guys: You people rock!!!!

What gear was the endy doing the long climbs in? 2nd or 3rd?

Also, in a pic of the hi lift jack on the jeep, just wanted to point out that the jack handle should always be in up position as safety precaution to prevent the jack unit from descending and the handle from causing damage if it snaps.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 15:02   #21
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Wow, what an amazing report and well in time.
About SUVs, I guess there is an ecosystem in India for modding jeeps. So you have jeeps capable of doing tough trails. In stock form, with 29" highway tires, even jeeps cannot do these trails. What we see here are jeeps build from ground up.
If a similar ecosystem comes for SUVs also, like in west, we can look forward to see more prepared SUVs, capable of doing difficult trails without hiccup.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 15:42   #22
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Wonderful report Samurai. It's as if i was right there.

What gear was the endy doing the long climbs in? 2nd or 3rd?
Totally agree, fantastic report. I love the way a story is told with plenty of pictures and videos. This style of report should be made a benchmark / standard for all event reports by TBHP officials.

I was doing all the climbs in 2nd low.

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Wow, what an amazing report and well in time.
About SUVs, I guess there is an ecosystem in India for modding jeeps. So you have jeeps capable of doing tough trails. In stock form, with 29" highway tires, even jeeps cannot do these trails. What we see here are jeeps build from ground up.
If a similar ecosystem comes for SUVs also, like in west, we can look forward to see more prepared SUVs, capable of doing difficult trails without hiccup.
The Terra Tigers are trying to create the ecosystem for SUVs in the south. We have been organizing SUV offroad excursions every 2 months to get SUV guys to use their vehicles and next month we are also organizing the first SUV only Offroad Competition!

I feel that in order for SUV owners to modify their vehicles for offroad, we have to create the appropriate environment and events for them to be used in. The current offroad events are hospitable only to Jeeps / Gypsys and maybe an extreme SUV owner here or there. But what about the rest? We are creating the avenue for growth down south. Requesting others across India to do the same. Create an avenue for growth of SUV offroaders and you will see a slew of monster SUVs on your trails!
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Old 3rd February 2014, 15:47   #23
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I was doing all the climbs in 2nd low.
Did you try 3rd low for longer but less steep climbs?

Just want to know out of curiosity.


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The Terra Tigers are trying to create the ecosystem for SUVs in the south. We have been organizing SUV offroad excursions every 2 months to get SUV guys to use their vehicles and next month we are also organizing the first SUV only Offroad Competition!

I feel that in order for SUV owners to modify their vehicles for offroad, we have to create the appropriate environment and events for them to be used in. The current offroad events are hospitable only to Jeeps / Gypsys and maybe an extreme SUV owner here or there. But what about the rest? We are creating the avenue for growth down south. Requesting others across India to do the same. Create an avenue for growth of SUV offroaders and you will see a slew of monster SUVs on your trails!
Yes, i saw on Facebook the wonderful initiative by Arka and the SUV page. We've got some requests to do such trails in this side of the country and are considering that as well. Shall contact you guys for tips.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 15:51   #24
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Did you try 3rd low for longer but less steep climbs?
His Endy has automatic transmission. If you revv hard enough in 2nd low, it should upshift to 3rd to preserve the engine. At least it does from 1st to 2nd. I remember this from the review I did in 2010.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 16:27   #25
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Did you try 3rd low for longer but less steep climbs?

Just want to know out of curiosity.
3rd low was not required at all because it is too fast for the rocky / bumpy Bangalore trails. If the climb is less steep I still do it in second low and just chug along. Only place I use 3rd low is in Palar where I need the momentum.

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His Endy has automatic transmission. If you revv hard enough in 2nd low, it should upshift to 3rd to preserve the engine. At least it does from 1st to 2nd. I remember this from the review I did in 2010.
Did not even rev that hard in 2nd low, did not need to gain that much speed.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 16:44   #26
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3rd low was not required at all because it is too fast for the rocky / bumpy Bangalore trails. If the climb is less steep I still do it in second low and just chug along. Only place I use 3rd low is in Palar where I need the momentum.



Did not even rev that hard in 2nd low, did not need to gain that much speed.
you have modded your ride with suspension modification and bigger tires. Does it give you headache as far as reliability of the drivetrain is concerned. for example Axles, the clutch/gearbox etc.,
The reason i ask this is that people who have fitted bigger tires on vehicles like Thar(31" etc.,) often compaint about CV joints failing and stuff like that.
If your endy manages well, then indeed its very well built.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 17:01   #27
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you have modded your ride with suspension modification and bigger tires. Does it give you headache as far as reliability of the drivetrain is concerned. for example Axles, the clutch/gearbox etc.,
The reason i ask this is that people who have fitted bigger tires on vehicles like Thar(31" etc.,) often compaint about CV joints failing and stuff like that.
If your endy manages well, then indeed its very well built.
Have not had any issues with CVs or transmission or any drivetrain components at all so far. Cross my fingers and hope my luck continues. I've been thinking if I should just replace my CVs before they break but I haven't yet been able to convince myself to spend money to fix something that isn't broken.
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Old 3rd February 2014, 17:14   #28
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Have not had any issues with CVs or transmission or any drivetrain components at all so far. Cross my fingers and hope my luck continues. I've been thinking if I should just replace my CVs before they break but I haven't yet been able to convince myself to spend money to fix something that isn't broken.
How many kms have you done with this vehicle on big tires and lift Kit?
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Old 9th February 2014, 12:56   #29
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Amazing report Sharath.. Does justice to the Amazing event that happened!

Kudos to BODA for organizing yet another extremely fulling offroad event. It had everything you could wish for in a fun off-road excursion. I was particularly amazed at how comfortable they could make us in the middle of no where. And the choice of trail, was just perfect. Though I would've loved slightly more difficulty level, this was perfect as a family excursion.

The only complaints, if any, I could dig out is:
  • They could have refunded cancellations. I understand it is very difficult, and all the expenses for that particular participant would've already been paid. But considering its a fun event, they could have done it. In Wayanad, we had 5 cancellations and we refunded every single one of them.
  • Need a closed space for women to change. Considering the very few number of women, it could have been done easily?
That said, I had the most fun at this event. The Food, the accommodation, the facilities, the company, everything was amazing!


I loved the challenging climbs too! And was particularly impressed by the Invader's offroad + onroad balance and capability. When we were doing 100+ with ease on road, I also completed every single climb thrown at it.



Track 2 Climb 1 - Successful.



The Track 2 Climb 2 - The long climb, was done with 6 adults on board - Impressed with the MDi Turbo!

However, at the end of the day, I was left with a broken sump. A Mahindra 4x4 vehicle without a sump guard??!!!!...
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Old 7th March 2014, 08:27   #30
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Superb review and write-up Samurai !!
It is always inspiring to learn from distinguished people.
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