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Old 24th November 2008, 14:24   #1
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Default NCR OTR Report 22Nd Nov 2008

This is a brief summary of my first OTR with the North Indian Off-road club ! A dedicated bunch of guys - no wait rough necks !!

What can be Said about jeepers,..dignified looking men and women with children in tow,..hand them the key to their jeeps and they all of a sudden turn into hooligans,..and I mean it in no subtle way !!

I do not own a 4x4 hence had to ask a dear friend to get his (TLC).
The total count was something like this.
  • Ex-army MM550 -03
  • Willys -02
  • CJ3B -01
  • MM Major -01
  • Diesel Gypsy -01
  • Mitsu. Pajero -01
  • TLC Prado -01
There were three different trackS we had set for the day.

1. Extereme Hill Climbs and decents
2. Mud-slinging on a marshy lake bed
3. Rocky River bed trail and river fording

When we reached the first track,..we were left with our jaws hanging as we did not expect to see such extereme climbs. This was near vertical 12 feet wall of mud with a very short run up to it. The preceeding jeeps had managed to cut ruts in the sides of the walls (helped by pick axes) to soften the edge a bit. Then on it was mayham. Max momentum, and the engine revvs kept to a max,.. run thru,.. two wheels in the air at the end of the obstacle and clear !! This was the case time and again with the M&M's

The Pajero was already attempting the climb when we got there,...it took 2 or three tries before he made it. I must hand it to the guy as he bent his running board during the final try,..but didn;t give up. Knowing the TLC was wider and probably lower, we were advised againt this particular climb by Sativinder (NIOC Moderator).

We did try a smaller hill about 6 ft high,..a recce on foot to see what lies after and away we went (4x4 selecter in 4LL and gear level on L1),..we took it cautiously but smack the engine skid plate the the lowest point on the TLC just beached itself. The first thought was to give up,..the second was to try the same run up on 4HH and L2,..gain momentun and blast thru like the others were... and viola were we rewarded,..both the front wheels in the air followed by a nice landing on all fours and the hill was conquered.

I apologize for not having any pictures and I did not want a lens between me and my first OTR. There was too much to assimilate than to be worrying about angles and lighting.

To gain access to the second track we had to decend down a 45 degree hill/ wadi (as it was almost a ravine with steep drops on both sides) into a lake which was all marsh. Going by the golden rule of 4x4 we selected 4x4 LL and gear lever on L1, and let go of all pedels. I had to yell on top of my voice dont touch the brakes,..DO NOT TOUCH THE BRAKES !! As it went againast what we have known and learnt from the begining,ie you use brakes to slow down !! A few nerve racking moments later we had made it down with the other jeeps. Pretty proud of the TLC by now.

What followed here was mud slinging mayham !! We did get stuck once as we were too slow and did not maintain momentum. Guys I have images for this track but unable to post as they are all above 1 MB. Help if you know a way out.

The next and final track was up a rocky river bed, leading to a lake.
the drive up to the spot was a slow uphill process negotiating ruts, rocks and fallen trees. The trail was thorny like someone said ,..but not a serious cause for concern as far as paint damage is concerned.

On reaching the spot for the campfire we realized this was the last obstacle as we spotted a shallow river snaking thru the campsite.

The first MM550 which tried to make it across got stuck and eventually made it thru on its own with some expert help and directions on what to do. The diesel gypsy was next and made it without much fuss,..We tried and made it as well. Not too bad,..for a second we were a little concerned as water was upto the windsheild at one spot (But then it could have been the wave and not the actual depth) The snorkel did make us feel a lot more secure in the knowledge that we would'nt take in water.

Once we reached our destination the Campfire and Barbeque was lit and the bottles opened. We had bacon, sausages, Grilled veggies, and corn on the cob. Everyone chips in the form of food and beverage. Basically pot luck and BYOB.

It was dark by then and everyones spirits uplifted thanks to a Very Old Monk and some lager !! This was when i least expecetd it a MM 550 & the Lone CJ3B decided to get their feet wet,..and how....!

Forget about crossing,..they were fording thru the river not crossing it !
Not once not twice,...just driving thru the current,..and against the current !! I tried taking some shots but it was way too dark .
After the adventure we drove back to the house of one of the senior members and spent a great deal of time discussing the machines and headed out to have a pratha dinner.

And that my friends was the end to a rather eventful day.
Go slow ,..do add in points that I might have missed.

Last edited by Torque-ative : 24th November 2008 at 14:38. Reason: typos
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Old 24th November 2008, 14:38   #2
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torque-ative

Your off road fun sounds interesting....hope u could post some pics
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Old 24th November 2008, 14:42   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vinod_nookala View Post
torque-ative

Your off road fun sounds interesting....hope u could post some pics

Hey Vinod,..I would love to but all mages are over 1 MB and I am unable to upload any . If anyone knows a way out it would be much appriciated.
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Old 24th November 2008, 14:44   #4
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Wonderful narrative, sounds like real good fun!

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Originally Posted by Torque-ative View Post
Hey Vinod,..I would love to but all mages are over 1 MB and I am unable to upload any . If anyone knows a way out it would be much appriciated.
Just download & resize them, that will reduce the file sizes as well

Last edited by suman : 24th November 2008 at 14:48.
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Old 24th November 2008, 14:47   #5
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Here you go about the resizing http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/976066-post4.html
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Old 24th November 2008, 15:04   #6
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Default Images

Thanks for walking me thru this Suman,..!!

I promise better quality pictures next time. I had my heart in my mouth thru this one.

These are all from the second track (Marshy lake bed)Name:  100_0591.jpg
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This one is after we got pulled out.
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Suman, Tanveer, GD

You guys should come except the extereme hill climbs your cars should more than comfortably clear the trail. I am on the look out for my jeep.
Its addictive man.

Thanks All,..I will try and post the videos as soon as I get my hands on them.
Attached Images
 

Last edited by Torque-ative : 24th November 2008 at 15:17. Reason: typos
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Old 24th November 2008, 15:07   #7
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Great to hear about your first OTR experience. It seems that you enjoyed the day and are looking forward to more OTR action.

OTR is addictive. isn't it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torque-ative View Post
... we were left with our jaws hanging as we did not expect to see such extereme climbs.
He he he.. that was exactly my reaction when I had first gone for an OTR. Believe me, that's the exact reaction when people see 'real' OTR terrains for the first time. It takes some 'leap of faith' to believe that these terrains are doable.

Quote:
.. I apologize for not having any pictures and I did not want a lens between me and my first OTR. There was too much to assimilate than to be worrying about angles and lighting.
Great. Taking pictures is secondary and a nice to have thing at best in your first OTR. Good you concentrated on enjoying the experience for the first few obstacles atleast.

So when are you buying your 4x4. I am sure your desire to own a 4x4 must be even more now
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Old 24th November 2008, 15:29   #8
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There is an immdiate need to identify one.

The Gypsy according to me would fit the bill nicely, due to its reliability.

The only concern,..all jeepers advised against it. Reason stated was low-end torque.

But quite honestly all tracks were more about momentum rather than out and out torque. So now its all about diesel vs. petrol,..hmm need to think this out before I take the plunge !!
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Old 24th November 2008, 15:43   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Torque-ative View Post
.... The Gypsy according to me would fit the bill nicely, due to its reliability.

The only concern,..all jeepers advised against it. Reason stated was low-end torque.

But quite honestly all tracks were more about momentum rather than out and out torque. So now its all about diesel vs. petrol,..hmm need to think this out before I take the plunge !!
Honestly, it doesn't matter which one you pick for an OTR -- a jeep or a gypsy or some other 4x4. I am YET to see a terrain that has been done by gypsy and not doable by a jeep and vice versa.

For most of the OTR's that we do in India, either would suffice. Within various sections of an OTR there would be terrains where jeeps would have it a bit easy and at other terrains the gypsy would have it easy.

99/100 times it comes down to the 'man/woman behind the machine' rather than the machine itself.

You decide which one you are more comfortable with and take the plunge. Till then: 'happy off-roading'

Cheers,
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Old 24th November 2008, 19:48   #10
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Nice to see that you guys had fun. Pity I missed it. Hope the next OTR is on a Sunday at least. I can then hopefully add a Scorpio to your line-up. If the Prado could do it with its bulk, I'm sure the Scorpio and Safari can as well.

BTW - had one bad experience with deep slush in the Scorpio, and it took quite an effort of rocking (4Low + reverse-forward-reverse-forward-reverse-forward) before it finally got out. I'm still on HT tyres and will try slush again once I switch to AT tyres to see if they really make a difference.

PS: Does the Prado have differential locks?

Cheers,
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Old 24th November 2008, 19:56   #11
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How i envy you guys.
Seems like loads of fun

Waiting for bigger pics and videos
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Old 25th November 2008, 10:02   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roshun View Post
... I'm still on HT tyres and will try slush again once I switch to AT tyres to see if they really make a difference....
Of course. 110% the A/T tyres will make a difference. Traction is the operative word in OTR's and tyres play a great great role in traction.

No harm in trying with H/T tyres if you have other 4x4's around to pull you out if you get stuck.
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Old 25th November 2008, 10:44   #13
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Nice pictures Torque-ative. Any shots of the Nissan Gypsy in action?

@ GoSlow - Where art thou?
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Old 25th November 2008, 10:57   #14
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Looks like you gents had a lot of fun.

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Originally Posted by Roshun View Post
I can then hopefully add a Scorpio to your line-up.
Go ahead with your Scorpio sir - and have a blast.

You will struggle in some places with H/T tyres but overall, as long as you are not worried about a few scratches, go right ahead and enjoy.
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Old 25th November 2008, 12:53   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hrag View Post
...as long as you are not worried about a few scratches, go right ahead and enjoy.
Yeah, this is the reason which prevents most of the luxury SUV owners to unleash the potential of their vehicle in off-road conditions. Nice to see the Prado owner taking the plunge.
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