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Old 8th November 2007, 16:47   #1
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Talking First off-roading with Grand Vitara

It was late today when I got up, being holiday and all. So here I was sipping my morning tea at 10:30 dimly peering at the newspaper.

My wife suddenly comes to me and says Let's go off-roading! I was like where... Then she clarifies that she wants to reach some temple that can be reached only via muddy track. We had tried finding that place on the very first day (last Sunday), we had to finally reverse out of the 2-3 roads we tried. Nobody can really gives exact direction around here.

Destination: Somewhere inside the maze shown below. (Shot by Rudra Sen in Feb 2007)
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This time we didn't want to go unprepared. So I pulled out the map, um, actually there no paper map, I basically went to Wikimapia and tried to trace out a route. First we located the destination and then retraced every mud track until it hit a tar road we recognise. No printer at home, so I had to memorise every turn at every fork in my head.

We finally took off at 12PM, promising the M-I-L that we will be back before the baby wakes up for his lunch at 1PM. That's right, this was a couple thing, no kids.

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After 3Kms of regular bad roads, we turned off into the mud tracks. I was focusing hard on the road since I didn't want to take a wrong turn somewhere. But we realised that they were planning to pave this road and lay a tarmac soon. There were some extra detours that were not in the Wikimapia image. The GV handled the uneven mud roads very admirably.

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Out of the blue I noticed that road has just dropped off, probably awaiting a bridge construction. That was a bummer, so we got down to take some snaps before we turn. I also wanted to scope out the space for an U-turn instead of reversing.

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When I looked down, first I sighed, and then a wicked thought started forming in my mind. My eyes started making various measurements, entry/exit angles, width of the track, room for errors, slipperiness etc. It was clear that it was recently made by a Hitachi scooper and there was no sign of any vehicle actually ever traveled by that route, I saw no tyre track of any kind. My GV could be the first wheel based vehicle to pass this track, provided I can pull it off.

So I turned to my wife and said, we can do this. She got excited and now I got committed. Since I'll need some external guidance, I asked her to stand on the opposite hill with the camera giving me advice on what's ahead of my tyre, upon entry I would be blind as a bat.

Now, this may be kid stuff for the hard core off-roaders here from Jeep Thrills, but kindly notice this is my first SUV of any kind and this is my first attempt at something serious that too without any expert help. In addition I am attempting this in a medium off-roader which some people consider to be a soft-roader.

I had only about a foot of room on both sides, if I deviate or fall into one of the crevices on the track, I could be in serious trouble. So I took my time deciding the proper entry point, reversed couple of times, until I was placed at the best entry point. I also noticed that I have to quickly twist once I enter to avoid a crevice. I switched to 4L lock for the first time in my life, the slippery path would surely need all the wheels turning in unison.

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The entry was the most scary part. It was like a blind leap of faith, I felt I was flying off the cliff or taking off into the sky. It is an amazing feeling, then the nose went down and everything looks normal. I quickly twisted to avoid the crevice and reached the bottom in seconds and back up the next hill. Then I disengaged the 4L Lock back to regular 4x4 mode.

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Now the wife joined in again, but we found road coming to a stop 100ft, the scooper was yet to finish the work, obviously we were in the wrong road. By now we had some audience watching our off-roading with their jaws down. We got some directions from them and did a prompt U-turn.



Now the challenge was to climb this very steep hill back. This time wife didn't want to miss the fun by standing outside. So, no photos of climbing back. Switched to 4L lock again, and I just took off, practically climbing a wall. My mind was screaming only 170Nm of torque, can I do it? But the torque multiplies in 4L mode, 170Nm X 1.97 in case of GV. But the GV climbed in 1st gear without a single hiccup, we were up within seconds without any sweat. Yow baby!

Then we got back into the right road, but again lost our way, I badly need a GPS equipment now. But we had our fill for the day, so we turned back and headed home happily.

Parting shot.
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Last edited by Samurai : 15th March 2008 at 18:04.
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Old 8th November 2007, 17:10   #2
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Brilliant again Sam. The GV has begun to grow on me.
BTW whats with the last shot? In the other thread tooo its stunning and this one's great too.
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Old 8th November 2007, 17:33   #3
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so am i going to see a INRC entry soon .

very nice report.
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Old 8th November 2007, 17:45   #4
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Lovely report! You save the best snap for the last always do you?

Don't want to dampen your spirits, but since you will be taking the GV off-road at times, I thought I should let you know something I learnt today at the Maruti workshop here, so that you are a bit careful during your adventures.
The Mud Guards of the GV (mud flaps I'm told) cost Rs. 5000 a pair . That's 10K for all four. And if you need them painted then add another approx 1.5K. A GV owner in Kolkata had broken them and had them replaced today. Though I didn't get snaps of the car, I have a couple of snaps of the price tag on the polythene pack in which the flaps came. Apparently local replicas are yet to hit the market.
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Old 8th November 2007, 17:54   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc View Post
The Mud Guards of the GV (mud flaps I'm told) cost Rs. 5000 a pair . That's 10K for all four. And if you need them painted then add another approx 1.5K.
Holy ****!!!!!
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Old 8th November 2007, 17:56   #6
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Thanks guys.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pawan View Post
so am i going to see a INRC entry soon .
Oh no, I am not into rallying and those need for speed thing. But palar challenge is something I can think of.

Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc View Post
Don't want to dampen your spirits, but since you will be taking the GV off-road at times, I thought I should let you know something I learnt today at the Maruti workshop here, so that you are a bit careful during your adventures.
The Mud Guards of the GV (mud flaps I'm told) cost Rs. 5000 a pair .
Then remember how much the whole car costs. Does that mean I should stick to on-road? Doesn't that defeat the whole point? Although I realised I need under body protection soon. There is an alloy under body kit to protect the belly, need to figure out how to get it to India.
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Old 8th November 2007, 18:07   #7
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Nice one Samurai San!! Your the VIP to inaugurate that road even before any minister
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Old 8th November 2007, 18:08   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shuvc View Post
Lovely report! You save the best snap for the last always do you?

Don't want to dampen your spirits, but since you will be taking the GV off-road at times, I thought I should let you know something I learnt today at the Maruti workshop here, so that you are a bit careful during your adventures.
The Mud Guards of the GV (mud flaps I'm told) cost Rs. 5000 a pair . That's 10K for all four. And if you need them painted then add another approx 1.5K. A GV owner in Kolkata had broken them and had them replaced today. Though I didn't get snaps of the car, I have a couple of snaps of the price tag on the polythene pack in which the flaps came. Apparently local replicas are yet to hit the market.
after knowing this I would have immediately removed the mud flaps from the car and kept them in a secured place.
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Old 8th November 2007, 18:18   #9
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Nice looking off-road excursion indeed! And I have to agree with everyone else about the last pic...it is simply stunning. The GV makes a beautiful subject indeed!

Cheers!
k.
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Old 8th November 2007, 18:33   #10
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Wow SAM !!! Excellent thread once again.

The GV looks like an amazing vehicle. Also hats off to you to TD the vehicle when it is so new. BUT then what goodis a 4x4 if you are not going to use it. Cheers for this Mate !!

I was reading this thread and your other ownership one and was showing it to my wife, she simply loved your photos and the GV.

The last pic is Amazzzzinngggggggg !!!
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Old 8th November 2007, 18:43   #11
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Great photos again ! I have been strictly following your both threads on GV as I am crazily in love with it from September 2007. A funny thought came to my mind: If majority preferred (could afford) SUVs and off-roading as a passion, we would have got all the city roads free from blocks. May be all the pot-holed and broken roads to the rich-sporty-minded drivers and all the well kept, smooth roads to the middle class population with M800s, Altos etc.
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Old 8th November 2007, 18:50   #12
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Awesome thread and awesome pics.

Only thing missing on the GV is the option of a diesel. Otherwise its a winner for sure!
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Old 8th November 2007, 19:05   #13
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Sweet and lookin' good! Off-roading while running in? Thats got to be a first! Just dont stress the engine too much.
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Old 8th November 2007, 19:32   #14
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Hey Samurai, I like your third shot as location. Please remember the spot. You can do that by going there again and again..We'll shoot your car there for sure.

Oh, forgot! Please tell them not to make any road or bridge there.
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Old 8th November 2007, 19:42   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Hey Samurai, I like your third shot as location. Please remember the spot.
You mean the hill where my wife is standing? I am not sure which one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Oh, forgot! Please tell them not to make any road or bridge there.
You gotta come early, they may finish off the road by next month.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Sweet and lookin' good! Off-roading while running in? Thats got to be a first! Just dont stress the engine too much.
Hardly, I didn't cross 3K rpm anywhere.
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