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Old 31st March 2015, 18:26   #31
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
could not find this video - is it like ?
Here is the link
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Old 31st March 2015, 18:28   #32
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
could not find this video - is it like ?





I maybe wrong but isn't this something like changing gradient of treadmill in a Gym vs actual trek ? Have you factored drop in performance due to lack of oxygen / air at such heights ?



This is unnecessary personal comment probably , TSK has vast experience and has travelled to so many places including I believe M-La . Maybe he has not personally done this segment and guys at your place have a better idea on challenges but we must express our opinion as a family .
The video you have quoted is mine, I did go on the Sandakphu route but that was till Singalila National park. There was a lot of effort and planning in doing the climb. To be honest, if I had to stop in the middle of the climb to make way for another jeep to pass, I might had to reverse all the way back to the starting point. The fact I am trying to stress is no video or photograph can actually represent the actual conditions of the Sandakphu route. Take note of the video at 21 seconds in front of the screen, the Duster could not climb/cross it. Failing to do so twice, I had to reverse to the point shown on extreme right of screen at 20 seconds. But looking at the video to judge the gradient, one may feel a simple M800 will be able to cross it. Had to spend hours building that part of road and gasping for air at the same time.
Coming back to the Stop and Go test, yes we did consider the lack of oxygen/air during our discussion. Lastly to do a real time trek, one need to change the gradient of a treadmill to test and improve ones climbing abilities and stamina.
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Old 31st March 2015, 18:56   #33
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by himadrimondal View Post
The video you have quoted is mine, I did go on the Sandakphu route but that was till Singalila National park. There was a lot of effort and planning in doing the climb. To be honest, if I had to stop in the middle of the climb to make way for another jeep to pass, I might had to reverse all the way back to the starting point. The fact I am trying to stress is no video or photograph can actually represent the actual conditions of the Sandakphu route. Take note of the video at 21 seconds in front of the screen, the Duster could not climb/cross it. Failing to do so twice, I had to reverse to the point shown on extreme right of screen at 20 seconds. But looking at the video to judge the gradient, one may feel a simple M800 will be able to cross it. Had to spend hours building that part of road and gasping for air at the same time.
Coming back to the Stop and Go test, yes we did consider the lack of oxygen/air during our discussion. Lastly to do a real time trek, one need to change the gradient of a treadmill to test and improve ones climbing abilities and stamina.
I think you have the 2WD duster and not the AWD, correct?
The 110PS duster has tall first gear, so not really the right vehicle I guess.
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Old 31st March 2015, 19:19   #34
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

BlackPearl has done it, so has 1100D & Himandri, surprised as to why others are jumping the gun. No, not that you can't comment. It can be done with out that tone of sarcasm.

Tanveer voiced a counter point & wasn't sarcastic anywhere. You too can convey your POV without going over the board.

This post (of mine) maybe removed if it doesn't add any value, but so does quite a few posts.
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Old 31st March 2015, 19:25   #35
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I think you have the 2WD duster and not the AWD, correct?
The 110PS duster has tall first gear, so not really the right vehicle I guess.
I believe that is the point of discussion here. HimadriMondal's Duster, being a 2WD, could only make it till Singalila, and that too, admittedly, with meticulous planning and several re-tries, along with tweaks to, including, but not limited to, the road surface. That would go to show the limitations of the car in the frame of reference of the road surface, incline and the other factors of similar nature.

The reason why the Duster AWD was subjected to the Stop-Go Test on an incline, as is seen in the video, was to mimic a possible situation that the car would face in the event it attempts Sandakphu, and whether the added feature of AWD (alongwith a short 1st on 4L enabling a snail crawl) on the Duster renders it more capable than its 2WD counterpart to crack the nut.

The outcome was for all to see. That is, again, subject to the real world conditions versus the test conditions. It may be compared to the situation pertaining to ARAI mileage and the actual mileage delivered on real-time conditions.

In such conditions, as I have tried to assert hereinabove, statements without being supported by first hand experience or exposure are unwarranted. To that, on a personal note, I thought the approach to the dry pond (as shown in the video) and the exit therefrom would be a cakewalk, when I saw the earlier videos pertaining to the same. Real time, though, I was really thinking whether I took the right decision in attempting it.
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Old 31st March 2015, 19:29   #36
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by khan_sultan View Post
Now, it could happen that a duster AWD does it with more perceived drama than say a 4WD with dedicated low range/locked diff. For example, on a turn up we could see duster lift wheel and spin for some time and make it look dramatic. On stop/go on a steep turn similar stuff could happen but climb a duster AWD will.
+1 , cant agree more to you! Another disadvantage with the Duster or a similar Awd can be in these prolonged 1st gear runs in higher revs and wheel spins in several occasions the clutch plate may take a toll but with a capable driver it should make it! The wheel spin from the Duster AWD in the first two video's of this thread were more prominent than the Bolero's and Thar's.

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Originally Posted by Turbanator View Post
This is unnecessary personal comment probably , TSK has vast experience and has traveled to so many places including I believe M-La . Maybe he has not personally done this segment and guys at your place have a better idea on challenges but we must express our opinion as a family .
Tsk1979 is a respected member and moderator of Team Bhp and he is vastly experienced in hill driving too. His guide on the Ladakh circuit has benefited many. No one has questioned about his driving ability or skills. But people like 1100D , BlackPearl , Himadrimondal are also highly experienced hill drivers and they have faced the scary consequences on their way to Sandakphu and all of them has the first hand experiences. But without being on that particular terrain Tsk1979 has put his comment as 'Sandakphu is overrated', that has hurt many Bhpian's over here. From the video's its hard to judge the actual driving condition or the gradient of a road. In few bad roads i have taken video's of my personal experiences. When i saw the video's at home, it was like 'whats the big deal' ! But at the time of driving it was a big deal!

Regarding Marsimikla , 1100D from Kolkata has done it in his Scorpio 4x4 and he has done Sandakphu twice ! Quoting his statement below -

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Originally Posted by 1100D View Post
But Sandakphu was definitely one very tough destination (probably to cite an example that you will relate to, the last 500 meter climb to Marsimik-La, the last 3 kms is steeper than that and goes on and on, worse on the way back)

Last edited by Samba : 31st March 2015 at 19:59.
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Old 31st March 2015, 19:33   #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I think you have the 2WD duster and not the AWD, correct?
The 110PS duster has tall first gear, so not really the right vehicle I guess.
Exactly my point. It all started because of the mention that any 2WD vehicle with high ground clearance could manage the climb. The fact is NO 2WD will be able to scale Sandakphu unlike what you have mentioned in your first comment. Hope we rest this here.
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Old 31st March 2015, 19:49   #38
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

The stop go part on the very steep inclines toward the end of the climb will be scary in the duster AWD. Just powering out from standstill may not be that easy with very little by way of room to play with on that terrain. Rolling backward a millimeter (exaggerated ofcourse) is not an option in many places.
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Old 31st March 2015, 19:56   #39
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Unhappy Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
... surprised as to why others are jumping the gun. ...
With due respect to you and all, Sir, I am of the opinion that none here have jumped anywhere, lest a gun. Unfortunately, though, such a nomenclature to voicing one's opinions and/or thoughts is unfortunate. The facts leading to the instant state are evident from the perusal of the entirety of the thread. I rest here.

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
... This post (of mine) maybe removed if it doesn't add any value, but so does quite a few posts. ...
May I reiterate that I perceive everyone here have just voiced their opinions. Let us all rest here, for we are family, as has been aptly and correctly stated. Peace.

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Originally Posted by megazoid View Post
The stop go part on the very steep inclines toward the end of the climb will be scary in the duster AWD. Just powering out from standstill may not be that easy with very little by way of room to play with on that terrain. Rolling backward a millimeter (exaggerated ofcourse) is not an option in many places.
I totally agree with you there, my friend. Every vehicle has its limitations, and are definitely terrain-specific. The ease with which the Bolero LX 4x4 would climb can compete with the Land Rovers doing daily duty in such terrain, due to, amongst others, the Bolero's lineage and genes. The same, however, cannot be said for other 4x4s, for example, the Yeti. But that does not mean that Yeti is incapable. It just means that it is not suitable for that specific terrain.

Last edited by JKDS : 31st March 2015 at 20:02. Reason: To add further information and/or comments.
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Old 31st March 2015, 20:02   #40
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Before this thread turns into a "my place is better than your place and it is more difficult than yours" fight, let me clarify a few things. I like Ladakh as much as I like Sandakphu and I have had my fair share of hill driving experiences over the past decade or so. I get many calls and PMs from bhpians and non-bhpians asking different questions about Sandakphu (again thanks to Team-bhp for the exposure). Most of the queries are if their respective vehicles can go to Sandakphu. The list has been from Polo, Manza to Yeti, Safari, CRV etc. This thread was also started because fellow bhpian ghostrider28 also had the same query about his Duster AWD. There is nothing that I am going to gain from promoting the Duster or Sandakphu, but I want from the bottom of my heart that people should visit Sandakphu as it is an unique experience. Purists will be against me because they want it to remain a trekking route and look at us as invaders. At the same time I dont want to give people false hopes and promises that any vehicle with a skilled driver can make it to Sandakphu. There lies the responsibility of team-bhp to request people to tread with caution, because please believe me that the slopes of Sandakphu has the potential to kill people. I am absolutely against the idea that people might just take the plunge after reading on team-bhp that any 2WD with a high GC or even an AWD like CRV can make it to Sandkphu. I started this thread because I seriously believe that Duster AWD has the potential.

Last edited by BlackPearl : 31st March 2015 at 20:03.
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Old 31st March 2015, 20:50   #41
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Back to the topic.
Totally rookie question I guess, but what tyres would be ideal on that terrain?
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Old 31st March 2015, 21:17   #42
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

I just want to add to BlackPearl's statement above regarding what made him to opine that Duster AWD is a capable machine with the potential of succeeding in scaling Sandakphu. The test track (a natural one) was chosen after meticulous selection process during which BlackPearl's White Tusker (Bolero 4x4) and my King Kong (Safari Storme VX 4x4) sustained quite a few severe injuries. Yes, I and my King Kong were fortunate enough to assist BlackPearl during shortlisting. So, the following is the points that I guess readers should know about the test track (Trademill).
  1. Inclination close to 50 degrees in places near the top which is we believed good enough for simulation.
  2. Maximum fall in the test track is approx. 25 feet. In the actual track (road to Sandakphu) it's anybody's guess

I guess the following two videos taken during our previous trials will give you a little more realistic picture of the test track.

It gives a better idea of the gradient from the side view. In this video the White Tusker climbs the maximum gradient and the point of maximum fall.




Please make a note of the gradient where King Kong is descending down the slope.

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Old 31st March 2015, 21:26   #43
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

I see the Duster is equipped with the Continental Cross Contact A/T

That itself would make a big difference in the traction & overall confidence of the driver too
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Old 31st March 2015, 21:48   #44
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

Okay let me clarify. I am not saying 2WD can do it. I simply said 2WD maybe can do it. Since it required Low ratio, obviously I am wrong about 2WD. I stand corrected.

Coming to the second point of Duster AWD. What makes the duster AWD special. Is it worse than other AWDs? Is it better than other AWDs?
Somebody did a roller test and found subaru AWD is among the best and Honda is the worst. Unfortunately there is very few roller testing evidence for Dacia duster(could find only one video).

So a lot of AWDs may be able to do it. We may not find out, because AWDs are very rare breed in India. Unlike Europe, where AWD cars quote common, here even Part time 4WDs are a rare breed.

That said, from the discussion I gather this place is a very steep road with loose surface and tight hairpin turns. This means, not very good for a Safari 4x4. Yes, some may have done it, but I am wary of tight hairpins with loose surfaces. Storme of course has a much nicer turning radius and is more ideal for this.
A heavy vehicle of course requires low range, but a light vehicle like Duster will get by with a shorter first gear. From what I have experienced, the limit of dusters climbing ability is first breached in lieu of traction, rather than by lack of engine power.
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Old 31st March 2015, 22:04   #45
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Default Re: Can the Duster AWD scale Sandakphu, the highest peak in West Bengal?

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
This means, not very good for a Safari 4x4. Yes, some may have done it, but I am wary of tight hairpins with loose surfaces. Storme of course has a much nicer turning radius and is more ideal for this.
King Kong is yet to climb the Empire State (Sandakphu) Hopefully some day soon he will do it.
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