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Old 25th November 2009, 12:15   #1006
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Well the reason being that Gurkha are not in production now, so dealer actually cannot give you a Gurkha so no discount even. I know for sure I did get discount of 30K on Gurkha.

Om611 wont be coming to reality by March 2010. So do not worry, keep on saving!

Safari is any day better in terms of comfort. I own one so I can tell you that. changing clutch twice in 70K and getting suspension work done is something I might not see in Gurkha in spite of the work I get it out from it.

Safari is good but if you would like to compare it with off-roading capabilities of Gurkha I may beg to differ. Safari tilt of balance is more towards comfort and Gurkha's off-road. No choice bad since it is always individual perspective. Go on with what you like.

Cheers!
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Old 25th November 2009, 18:18   #1007
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These vehicles are in different leagues. One is build with off-road in mind with some comfort for on-road use, whereas the other is predominantly an on-road vehicle that can has 4x4 to tackle some off-road situations.

I had made a point earlier that some people think that from the Gurkha you can get the excellent off-road ability with the refinement/comfort of a daily driver. In my view, it cannot be your only vehicle. Think of it as a more refined jeep but it it is never in the league of Safari/Scorpio for refinement and comfort. As Rhandle said the choice is based on the buyers perspective. If they are willing to compromise on some refinement and comfort for enhanced off-road abilities then the Gurkha is a good buy.
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Old 1st December 2009, 12:31   #1008
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The intention to compare with safari was to work out the worth not machines.

To make the Safari a good offroader you need to strip it off by almost a tonne plus add some offroad necessities. Many luxury and comfort features offered in Safari are not at all required for serious off roaders.

Where as about Gurkha for the amount you spend you are getting a generation old machine, now as the new gen machine is there in front of your eyes its always human mentality to get the better one.

The option I considered since last year was to get the Gurkha with td 3200 engine instead of 2650. I don't care the truck like firing as this will be my weeked ride and can have the feel of free flow exhoust. which was ruled out as Gurkha is not offered in td3250 engine.

The other option I was looking for was to go for Safari / Scorpio and strip it off till it became crude offroad performer, now over this option this is only possible with second hand vehicle in which reliability will be again a concern, whereas buying a new vehicle and modding it is not in my budget.

So last option I consider am left with is to wait for OM 611 Powered Gurkha OR mHawk powered Mahindra 540 to cater my requirements for offroad vehicle.

Till than everything else is "Angoor Khatte hai" for me.

This is my perspective, views may differ upon idividual to their requirement taste and usage.
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Old 1st December 2009, 19:27   #1009
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Jeeper:

I was just highlighting your point where you mentioned that you didn't mind getting a crude vehicle provided it has the off-road hardware since you plan to use it mostly as a weekend/leisure ride.

But many folks think that this can be their main/only vehicle which I think is not the case.
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Old 8th December 2009, 22:53   #1010
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4x4addict:

In my view, no stock vehicle can sustain abuse of more than an OTR or two.

The vehicle I am talking about is for pure offroad abuse.

Such vehicle can be a companion for weekend adventure but it can not be mode of daily office / business commute.

Its something like Junior management plays Footbal, middle management plays Tennis, Senior managment plays Golf. So the more you grow in an organisation, your game and ball both changes accordingly.

Over the lighter note moral is the more you grow in organisation your ball shrinks more n more.

So after a starter vehicle once you develop the interest have to go for the special purpose vehicle n spent to cater the curiosity.

Cheerrsss..
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Old 28th December 2009, 10:02   #1011
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Thumbs up When Predator met Gurkha, and (err) his Gurkha!

Yesterday my wife and I paid a visit to Dr Arup Roy Choudhury of Kalyani, the famous "Gurkha". I have not stopped short of bothering anyone for my Project Nomad, and ARC is the latest casualty. Had spoken to him many times over the phone, finally met him yesterday.

A word about the man. ARC has a tremendous knowledge of automobiles in general, and off-roading in particular. Off-roading, as we know it, is very different and far more advanced than what we typically learn in India. The machines are mechanically more advanced, the techniques employed are different, even the terrain is different. There is a lot more mechanical intervention, achieved through technological upgrades, and each of them seriously enhances the vehicle's capabilities. Except maybe Khan_Sultan's "Gypsy on Steroids", I don't recall seeing another 4X4 on this forum sporting many innovative tech upgrades! Received lot of inputs on Project Nomad as well.

Anyway, here's the real point of the post:

Predator's driving impression of the Gurkha

ARC has a 10 yr old Gurkha, the one with the IDI engine. The vehicle is stock, except for a straight through exhaust system and Pioneer ICE. Currently it is shod with imported Yokohama G052 235/80 HT tyres. I drove around the vehicle for about 7-8 kms with ARC's brother Sujoy riding shotgun and my wife on the rear seat.

Here are the main good and bad points from my TD. Remember that (a) I'm a car guy who's never owned an SUV before, so my POV will be different from a regular SUV owner, and (2) I'm not a hardcore off-roader, so I don't come with a jeep/gypsy/gurkha bias!

Good points:

1. The NVH levels - particularly vibration and harshness - are really good. ARC's car is a 10 yr old IDI with 1.5 lakh kms on the clock. Even with a cold engine, and straight through exhaust system, the VH was less than, say, a warmed up MM or CJ!

2. The ride quality of the vehicle is really good. Having tried both, I can say a stock Gypsy's rear seat is not for human beings, neither is the rear bench on a MM550. However, the Gurkha had very good ride quality both front and rear. The vehicle seems to smother the terrain. And ride gets better at speed.

3. There were absolutely no rattles. This is an amazing revelation. In the last Kolkata OTR, I had driven a MM550 restored by UBS, no less. There were atleast 6 noise sources in the car. They tired me out on the way back from the OTR. In fact, when I came back to my Verna, I started appreciating the hush that modern cars offer and we take for granted.

But ARC's Gurkha had no such issues. It was a well put together vehicle that never rattled or squeaked. Except for the boom of the straight through exhaust coming through, I was not bothered by anything.

4. The Gurkha is really capable of being driven at speed. In my PN thread, I had written "exactly how do you make a jeep go fast?". The Gurkha had no such problems. It could comfortably keep up speeds of 80 kmph, the power delivery was linear, and the gearing was comfortable enough. I tried to go faster, but Kalyani doesnt exactly have wide speedy roads. ARC claims one can comfortably drive the Gurkha at 130-140 kmph.

5. Capable transmission - The Transmission is really on a different grade compared to a jeep or Gypsy. No fighting with the gearbox. The gear ratios are well selected, well matched to provide correct power at correct speeds. Plus there is some pleasure to be gained at your palm feeling every step of the mechanical operation, as you shift.

Bad Points

1. My biggest disappointment of the day was the vague steering. Even around the empty roads of Kalyani, I had trouble placing the car into turns. Most glaring instance of the steering was when we came back from the drive. ARC's gate was at right angles to the road. I took a wide turning radius and tried to place the car in line with the gate, and overshot it. Even some classic cars have more predictable steering! C'mon man, how am I expected to use this vehicle in the hustle and bustle of the city?

ARC however, said it was only because I was driving it first time, and needed a few hundred miles to start feeling comfortable. His brother Sujoy drives it with pin point accuracy. But either way, its unacceptable.

2. Below basic instrumentation - The Mahindra Bolero was launched in 2001, and a rich college buddy bought a vehicle from the first lot. Being car crazy, I was given the honour of driving it (to his) home. As much as I loved driving around that huge SUV, there was only one grouse - the instrumentation and ergonomics. If I'm paying 5 lakhs for my vehicle, I expect to have better ergonomics (stereo NOT around my knees, rear seat NOT at right angles, 6 plus footer NOT cramped for space.)

The same thought manifested itself 8 years later. The Gurkha has minimal instrumentation plonked into holes in a slab of steel. The speedo is roughly of the plastic quality that you find in Chinese, 200 rupee table clocks. There is no console, and the pioneer HU is plonked somewhere around the driver's ankles. The pleasure gained from the solid gearbox is marred by a long gearlever, which bangs against the dash on shifting forward (one of my pet hates from driving a diesel ambassador with floor shift).

The point here, is the acceptability factor. Even if the interiors don't attract prospective owners, they should at least not repel them. Even if one does not need fancy gadgets like climate control and sunglass holders, there is no problem in offering better ergonomics and better quality of plastic.

3. Tank Like Build - Sorry to be classifying this as a disadvantage. Yes, a tank like build quality is definitely good on an OTR, and more so in surviving the urban jungle. ARC laughs recalling how an Opel Astra rear ended him once. The front of the car was wiped off, yet the Gurkha only suffered a slightly bent rear bumper.

But this is living in hypothesis. In real life, the bonnet weighs a ton, so does the tailgate. The vehicle is so tall, getting in and out is like rock climbing. The bonnet stretches a mile ahead of the driver, and being square, doesnt offer any reference on judging the extremities. Now I know why Scorpio and Safari design teams spend so much time in making the driving experience car like (not that it helps) - basically to reduce the learning curve for new adapters.

Conclusion

You'd see all the good points I've highlighted have to do with engineering, and all the bad points have to do with living with the vehicle on a daily basis. As with all vehicles, ultimately choosing a Gurkha depends on what is important for you.

Coming up in the first week of 2010:

1. Testing the Gurkha on a proper OTR.
2. Testing a more modern Gurkha (with the DI engine) and perhaps better ergonomics.
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Old 28th December 2009, 12:28   #1012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Here are the main good and bad points from my TD. Remember that (a) I'm a car guy who's never owned an SUV before, so my POV will be different from a regular SUV owner, and (2) I'm not a hardcore off-roader, so I don't come with a jeep/gypsy/gurkha bias!
Actually this is not a good thing. I did my test drive of Gurkha two years back under similar conditions, no offroading background, no Jeep/gypsy experience. So I ended up doing the review of Gurkha from a car driver's point of view, which didn't make any justice to the vehicle under review. Just like you, I put vagueness, lack of instrumentation under negatives. In other words, I was like one of those media reporters covering an event without understanding it.

About 1.5 years later, I got drive the same Gurkha again, even offroad. Now I had enough offroad/Jeeping experience to review a vehicle like Gurkha. I knew how much it can be pushed, where it can be pushed, and pushed it so. This time I came away very impressed. Steering vagueness was a non-issue. In these vehicles, steering is done in broadstokes, not micro-managed. Just needs practice to get it right.

Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Coming up in the first week of 2010:

1. Testing the Gurkha on a proper OTR.
Again, how are you going to make justice to this if you donot have offroading background? Please don't take offense, I am just presenting you simple logic here.

During one of my earliest offroad trips, I had refused to cross a stretch in Choma Kunda saying my CJ340 might get damaged. Romi (from NIOC) who was there, made a simple statement then, "I don't know whether you can do it, but your vehicle can do it without a sweat, even run circles around it".

Gurkha's offroad ability is not really under dispute, not from most of us who have seen it in action. If you really want to see it perform in OTR, sit in the passenger seat, fasten seat belts and let Arup or his brother push it to the max. If you drive it, you won't be able to see what it can really do.
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Old 29th December 2009, 21:02   #1013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by predatorwheelz View Post
Bad Points

1. My biggest disappointment of the day was the vague steering. Even around the empty roads of Kalyani, I had trouble placing the car into turns.
Assuming you are not talking of freeplay in the system, this is a design tradeoff. For real OTR, the axle location/ steering system needs some compliance built in. Guards against breaking/ rapid wear out of components. And the steering wheel suddenly spinning fast enough to break your thumb. But on road, it will manifest itself as vagueness/ lack of precision.

Regards
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Old 30th December 2009, 12:38   #1014
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Hi,

I am Sunil Kumar based out of Bangalore & very new to the Jeep world.
Own a Comet GT-250 (bike) & Matiz SG for last 7 years

Just LOVE the Trax Gurkha (thanks to you guys & other web sources).

Called up Khivraj in Bangalore, and they denied its availability, hence wrote to sunil dhadiwal GM in force motors, who promptly forwarded my quire to Amardeep Bhandari, He replied about its availability (with spec as below) and gave the contact number of Mukesh Malpe.

Just (Dec 30th 2009) spoke to Business Manager Mr. Mukesh Malpe and learn't the below:
1. its ONLY available in TD 2650 FTI Turbo Charged Intercooled Engine
2. OM 611 is being tried in TT now (may be out in 3 months for TT) & will take a long (almost an year) for it to get in to a Gurkha
3. PO will be provided to me vai Khivraj, (noted my my mail ID & postal Address)
4. Cost of 7.9L INR
5. post full payment, wait period of 2 months for delivery, Only made to Order.
6. If we notify them before 20th of a particular month, they can plan it for the next months production.


Thanks
Sunil


Spec:

GURKHA 4X4 - METAL TOP
ENGINE TD 2650 FTI BSIII TURBO CHARGED INTERCOOLED EGR & OXYCAT TYPE DIRECT INJECTION DISPLACEMENT 2596 cc COMPRESSION RATIO 18:1 MAX OUTPUT 75HP @ 3200 RPM MAX TORQUE 195Nm @ 1800 - 2000 RPM CLUTCH TYPE SINGLE PLATE, DRY FRICTION, HYDRAULICALLY ACTUATED TRANSMISSION G1 18/5B - OVERDRIVE NO. OF GEARS 5 FORWARD, 1 REVERSE FRONT AXLE AXLE RATIO 4.9 WITH DIFFLOCK (LIVE RIGID) REAR AXLE AXLE RATIO 4.9 WITH DIFFLOCK (LIVE RIGID) STEERING POWER STEERING CHASSIS FRAME TUBULAR LADER TYPE SUSPENSION FRONT INDEPENDENT CONSTANT VELOCITY JOINT DRIVE SHAFT & HYDRAULIC TELESCOPIC SHOCK ABSORBER AND ANTIROLLBAR REAR SEMI ELLIPTICAL LEAF SPRING WITH HYDRAULIC TELESCOPIC SHOCK ABSORBER TURNING RADIUS 5.8M BRAKES FRONT DISC REAR DRUM - DUO SERVO WITH LSV FUEL TANK CAPACITY 63 Ltr DIMENSIONS MM WHEEL BASE 2400 OVERALL WIDTH 1660 OVERALL LENGTH 3882 OVERALL HEIGHT 2055 OVERHANG FRONT 707 OVERHANG REAR 775 TRACK FRONT 1430 TRACK REAR 1440 WEIGHT KG FAW 1100 RAW 1410 GVW 2510 GROUND CLEARANCE MM 235 SEATING CAPACITY 6+D


Cheers
Sunil

Last edited by Samurai : 30th December 2009 at 14:22. Reason: removed font tags
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Old 30th December 2009, 12:42   #1015
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Forgot to mention. Tyres have a huge influence on feel. These too are a result of tradeoffs and compromise. You can optimise for on road or off road, not both.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 7th January 2010, 02:54   #1016
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It seems that Bajaj only builds the Toofan and the Cruiser models on a regular production line. Everything else is made to order. I inquired about the Trax Gama as a possible Bolero substitute (yeah, stupid idea, I know) but was turned off by the cost (a lakh dearer than Bolero @ 7lakhs+ OTR), the primitive dash and panels. How can they even think about selling something as bad in the passenger segment? Bajaj has the R&D and it's a shame that they won't make the slightest effort to spruce up their Trax range. Every other model has had a makeover except for the Trax. If they'd just come out with the model that they showed in a previous expo, I'd seriously consider it.
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Old 12th January 2010, 08:48   #1017
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I have given up on force motors, even though I see a Judo with OM611 CRDi, 4WD, AC, PS and 7 seating - 5 door option as the best on Indian roads. I would pay 2 to 3 lakhs more for the above combo when compared to a bolero or any other similar vehicle with the same config.
Sad, really sad force motors.

Last edited by GrayBerry : 12th January 2010 at 09:05.
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Old 12th January 2010, 16:05   #1018
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Hi All,

Please let me know from which year the Mercedes engine discontinued from Force motors. I know couple of trax which are used by health departments and ready for auction from govt of Orissa.
Is it a good idea to pick a old one and start a complete rebuilt.
Thanks you
[FONT=&quot]Srinivas[/FONT]
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Old 12th January 2010, 17:44   #1019
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are they 4WD or 2WD ?

If it is going to be auctioned by a govt dept (read : very old vehicle), I am sure it must be with the OM616 engine.

The DI engine transition would have taken place recently (maybe 2-3 years ago) ...but I am not sure about the exact year. Hope someone else can provide accurate figures.
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Old 12th January 2010, 17:48   #1020
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Current gen Gurkha was first delivered in 2007 end. Anything before 2007 would be OM616.
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