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Old 7th March 2009, 19:15   #1
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Angry 10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done

Ah! The jeep bug bite me and it did so hard. I went crazy over Mahindra Classic (even as a kid liked it). I went searching for one almost 3 years ago. Came to know it has been discontinued. Thanks to my Mahindra I found, TBHP and jeep thrills. Also came to know about Gurkha at that time.

Then one fateful day we decided out trip to Corbett, our usual hangout. Four of us went to Corbett. We were on my friends Safari and since I also own Safari we were pretty confident on this. It is King of highways and even on bad roads we have done well on it even though it was a 2 wd. Curiosity kills the cat and same thing happened to us. Spending night in Jungle in month of November after being wet and no food or alcohol since morning (as we drove from Delhi to Corbett and straight went to this place) you can judge our condition. The following picture would tell you the rest of story, that night to next morning….

10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done-saf4.jpg
10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done-saf1.jpg

We spent the night in Jungle. We thought we were trying to become “Phantom” so this happened to us. 2 months later I was back to the same place, taking one of my friend from Mumbai to show him where we got stuck and lo we got stuck again just before that point on road it self. Another night in Jungle and it was scary, that too once we realized where we had got stuck was a crematorium for the locals.

Came back and started my research on 4wd. Started following Gypsy, MM550/540 CL etc. chupke chupke on TBHP and Jeep thrills.

Then Gurkha caught my attention. It looked ultimate. My need was the vehicle with which I can go off-road and also get some creature comforts like AC and power steering, so got hooked to the desire of owning this one. On Jeep Thrills I met “Gurkha” (Dr. Roy) and then followed him to TBHP on the most viewed thread on 4x4 section! All the time waiting for the elusive OM611 engine Gurkha told me. Force kept on telling me next month and slowly two years passed. In fact in between Samurai’s TD of Gurkha came and then even Monster bought one. I was loosing my steam. Samurai’s thread I used to read everyday umpteen no. of times and every time wud read it three times – lol. The pictures became my desktop display.

One day in October I was having a conversation with my dad and told him about this is the vehicle I want. He said Force motors - I know few people in there. He talked on phone to some one, and they said they will deliver it to me in 4 days. I was like WHAT?

Called up “Gurkha” and he said grab it. Also in TBHP people had good words for this engine about its torque. Well so on 22nd evening I paid up the advance and on 27th Oct 08 the car was with me with ODO reading 1042 KMS. They drive it down!

I was asked by “Gurkha” to get everything checked and tightened again, went with that and then on 28th they gave me the delivery.


Once I reached home and took people out on drive. Initial reactions to this vehicle were:

My Dad was like “Why they have named it Gurkha, it is taller than Australian people”

My mother goes “Does this vehicle has brakes”?

One of my employees was here from US, and she goes “Oh! It rides and drives like an improvised tractor”

My wife said the ride is very harsh and is just like some farm equipment.

Dejected I called up Dr. Roy (Gurkha) and he advised me to go and get the tyre pressures checked. I checked and it was 65 psi in all. Got them reduced to 32 and wow the vehicle was running smooth now.

Then came the makeover thing. I was looking for 235x85x16 tyres could not get it so settled for Yoko Geolander AT+ 31.5x10x15 along with alloys. Got the seats padded and also added a stereo along with light sun film.

My best part of this vehicle came when I drove to the Petrol pump. The guy asked me Sir Diesel or Petrol, he was looking confused after having a look at the vehicle. I asked him what you put in tractor, just put that in it. It is actually a modified tractor. The guy was so overwhelmed he called other people as well to have a look at the best-modified tractor they had ever seen!!

Posting Few pics of interiors of New Gurkha and then how it looked with the tyre change and how it looks besides my Safari

10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done-gurkha-int..jpg
10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done-gur1.jpg

Comparative to Safari

10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done-gurkha-office.jpg
10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done-g-s.jpg



To be continued… Coming Next
  1. NVH and driving
  2. Comparison wrt to Safari
  3. ISSUES & Problems ( lot of emotional ones as well!)
  4. Condition as of now
PS: I do not have the writing and presentation skills like that of Samurai and other members, so please bear with me.
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Old 7th March 2009, 19:31   #2
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Very good writeup Rhandle & that Safari incident was fun!
From the pics. Gurkha is looking machoer than the mighty Safari!
I shall be following your posts closely as you did to other Gurkha threads, as Im interested in it now!
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Old 7th March 2009, 20:08   #3
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the gurkha looks great..

How much did it cost ON ROAD? Does it have diff locks F&R? The Alloys look even better!
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Old 7th March 2009, 22:20   #4
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@rhandle: I peered hard in the first interior pic of the Gurkha and couldn't see the 4x4 lever. Does the Gurkha come with electronic shift-on-the fly switch for 4x4 operation? I thought it was a manual shift to 4WD
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Old 7th March 2009, 22:34   #5
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Nice

10\10 to your gurkha for the way it looks

i would love to hear more about that safari getting stuck incidence as to how did you come out?
i my self have been in almost same situation
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Old 7th March 2009, 22:41   #6
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Nice intro with the Safari incident. Would make a great commercial to promote the Gurkha

Looking forward to the rest for your ownership report.

Cheers
Teja
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Old 7th March 2009, 22:54   #7
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Great thread, eagerly looking forward to your experience. Did you take your Gurkha to the same place where the Safari got stuck?
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Old 7th March 2009, 23:47   #8
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That's a nice right up and a great choice rhandle!! The car looks great.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
@rhandle: I peered hard in the first interior pic of the Gurkha and couldn't see the 4x4 lever. Does the Gurkha come with electronic shift-on-the fly switch for 4x4 operation? I thought it was a manual shift to 4WD

Try to look at the seat belt engager once again You'll get it this time
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Old 8th March 2009, 03:07   #9
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Thumbs up Trax Gurkha - Initial report to 8000kms - Is it worth?

1. NVH and driving
2. Comparison wrt to Safari
3. ISSUES & Problems ( lot of emotional ones as well!)
4. Condition as of now

All Merged in One... Hope you guys are able to work it out...

First 2500 kms

Noise.... initially I thought it is Good. Good thing because you cannot listen to your wife nags while traveling in this car. Though after first service it reduced and by the time I got the second service done @7000 kms it’s noise level is better than Safari. The issue is doors and windows are not packed like Safari so you get lot of outside noise. This is OK as of now.

Vibrations .... Yes it doubles up as a vibration massager. Then on fellow Gurkha owner advice I am having three layers of carpet to diffuse vibrations. As soon as carpets were put the vibrations were gone. There was enough rattling though, as lots of nuts were loose.

For first 2000kms Vehicle crosses 100 not easily and takes a toll on you. This is good again because it tends to teach you patience and accident would be rare, so what if a M800 vrooms past you! Sound increases with increase in speed and so do vibrations.

I forgot to add that once the tyres were changed the ride improved considerably and became lot more smooth. The noise also decreased because of tyres I guess.

10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done-tyre.jpg

Now after 8000 kms I have done speeds up to 120 kmph with still some grunt left in the car.

Till first service, Gear changes have to be in spot or the vehicle gets angry and starts growling. I heard they were making it for military so the vehicle is very disciplined, you cannot have your terms with it. You need to go with the vehicle demands.

Now after 8000 kms gear shifts are as smooth as Safari or might be I may have got accustomed to the shift patterns.

Oil Leaks from the joints. You tighten the screws and again in few days everything starts to leak. I went to force motors number of times to get things set. Good thing they do it free of charge. But since second service everything is spot on.

The doors, which have the pushfit studs, they come out after a rough day by a 10mm or more. You got to push them back in, happened to me twice.

Once when I drove to rishikesh and back, I saw four nuts on the vehicle floor. They have fallen down in 500kms ride.

I just pray that sometime like that is not loose inside engine bay.

Also the first service was unexpected one. The alternator belt being loose and I got stranded on Mathura highway with my family. Ultimately had to book myself a hotel room, cost me 4k. I really thank my stars for being on a major highway. Had the vehicle stalled 50 kms before I was in a notorious area of Rajasthan as I had been to Balaji.

Workmanship was poor. Now the things are set. Everything working properly, except that I have still not received by registration papers.


Comparing with Safari:

Initially I literally cried over my decision of buying Gurkha.

Ride was harsh, so much noise and vibrations. The oil leaks and loose bolts have taken my sleep of. Gears wont change and wud do so after lot of persuasion.

There were many other things in Safari, which made me feel Gurkha like a waste. No temperature control in vehicle. During the trip to Rishikesh I had to wipe out the glass in front to be able to drive, because of condensation on Glass. You cannot control the direction of flow of the blower. There is no poodle lamp and no power windows.

There are no handgrips on rear seats unlike Safari. tossing the people left and right.

The hand break is in weird situation you cannot easily use them and if you are fat like me then you really have to work hard (I mean bend down and forward). There is no holder of any type, and no Arm-rests!

The cabin lights do not have the option of letting them to on mode while the door is open. Passenger seat does not goes back enough like in safari to make your trip comfortable, though it is OK like.

AND THE WORST THING, if you are a smoker, windows are straight. There is no slant or cut as in cars or in Safari. So you need to keep the entire window down if you are smoking other wise all the ash would come in if you keep half window open. Safari is so neat and driver friendly.

Also you cannot fit a remote alarm as there is no place to fit in those button of remote on door, besides you would also have to take the pain of drilling through 4 mm sheet.

Now the Good part –

Turning radius is same as that of Maruti Zen, might be smaller at 5.5 mts. Trust me that is a boon when you are driving this car in compact places like Noida/Delhi. This thing alone makes it tower Safari in terms of comfort.

Seats are high and straight which gives you a great position to steer. Also somehow the visibility is more than Safari. My wife has a problem with those seats though as you are looking directly to passengers of mini bus. Again do not know good or bad but the vehicle attracts lots of attention. Once while crossing Nizamuding bridge I was parallel to a guy driving TLC and he was desparate to know about which car was this. Ultimately his passion wore out and he rolled down his windows to search for any identification on the vehicle. I kept looking straight since to roll down my passenger windows to be able to speak to him I would have had had to lie down on the passenger seat to manually pull down the glass ☹.

Another good thing is this vehicle is stable. For example when I am turning on clover leaves on flyover (especialy the DND one towards sector 14) or any Safari scares the hell out of me on anything aboout 60kmph but I have done it at more than that speed on Gurkha without even an iota of distraction or fear. Excellent turning!

Best part is 3 years or 300,000 kms warranty, it simply kills the Safari over here. After 8000 kms I hate driving Safari, and would prefer any day this vehicle if I am just going with my wife and my two kids. Three adults would be a problem on Long drives (My long drives are Delhi-Mumbai or Delhi- Diu or Delhi-Pune kind of distances)

Now what I have to deal with is no Temperature control and rear sit comforts and the arm rests


Off-road:

Been out just twice. Once with NIOC and once on my own … I do not know if I should heap this place with the off roading pics! and a beginner's experience. If you guys want just give me holler I wud pwrite that up as well.


A teaser

10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done-n-banks.jpg
10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done-gurkha-up.jpg


PS: I am non-technical guy who just enjoys his ride. Gurkha is my first 4WD vehicle, and my first 4WD experience. So, I may not be the best person to answer your technical queries.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bhp1 View Post
Very good writeup Rhandle & that Safari incident was fun!
From the pics. Gurkha is looking machoer than the mighty Safari!
I shall be following your posts closely as you did to other Gurkha threads, as Im interested in it now!
Thanks bro! You can call me Rahul. Yes Gurkha is any day better looking than Safari.

Quote:
Originally Posted by headers View Post
the gurkha looks great..

How much did it cost ON ROAD? Does it have diff locks F&R? The Alloys look even better!
The Gurkha has front and rear diff locks. The Alloys are different, with silver and black finish, so I picked them up, and I feel they go great with the car.

10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done-difflock.jpg

Quote:
Originally Posted by gd1418 View Post
@rhandle: I peered hard in the first interior pic of the Gurkha and couldn't see the 4x4 lever. Does the Gurkha come with electronic shift-on-the fly switch for 4x4 operation? I thought it was a manual shift to 4WD
Gurkha has manual shift for 4WD. Look again near driver's seat where the seatbelt goes(red color thing) just behind that is the 4wd lever. The Gear lever is in front of diff locks near steering wheel.

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay4587 View Post
Nice

10\10 to your gurkha for the way it looks

i would love to hear more about that safari getting stuck incidence as to how did you come out?
i my self have been in almost same situation
That was scary. Spending night in a jungle, that too Corbett and listening noises, when you are tired hungry and out of sleep terrible. Posting a pic of the snake which I caught over there. And guess that story would take hijack the thread from Gurkha to our "adventures"

10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done-snake.jpg
10 Dummies guide to Gurkha ~ 17000 kms done-snake-me.jpg


Quote:
Originally Posted by H3LIOS View Post
Nice intro with the Safari incident. Would make a great commercial to promote the Gurkha

Looking forward to the rest for your ownership report.

Cheers
Teja
Well nothing to promote Gurkha. Gypsies and 540 were doing that with ease. Do not forget the Safari was a 2wd vehicle. it was our fault trying to become Phantom (my way of saying to wear underpants over Pants).

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Great thread, eagerly looking forward to your experience. Did you take your Gurkha to the same place where the Safari got stuck?
Bro this I am suppose to do. Most probably would do that this month itself.

Still does not have the registration number with me :(



Please bear with my way of writing and I am no expert. This is my first thread or any report stuff on TBHP or anywhere for that matter.

Thanks
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Old 8th March 2009, 03:31   #10
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Buddy, a very humorous take on the pains the Gurkha is inflicting upon you, but i guess it is a special vehicle and a different ownership appeal.Please continue the great writeup.

P.S: The Gurkha looks classy, the Safari is not a patch on it surprisingly.
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Old 8th March 2009, 06:47   #11
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excellent with F&R difflocks and 4wd, good yoko tyres, there's literally no stopping you now!

Cheers
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Old 8th March 2009, 08:23   #12
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Glad that you have overcome your initial apprehensions and are enjoying the Gurkha. This vehicle has so much potential. Wish Force Motors had little more drive to compete in the SUV segment. If they put the CRDI engine and some nice interiors, they would have given Mahindra/Tata a run for their money, atleast with the 4x4 version.
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Old 8th March 2009, 08:35   #13
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A good report, Rahul! Nice humorous way of putting across your experience.

Gurka surely has a very mean look! With those crash guards and the stance it is taking. The indicators in the front are also interestingly place.

So, did the snorkel come as a standard fitment?

Was shocked seeing the photos of the Safari in such strong currents! Might have been an experience in itself.

And do go ahead and share the OTR experience.
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Old 8th March 2009, 08:37   #14
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Great review my friend.

We need more. Pics, reviews, what you saw, what you ate , where you went,how you got stuck (if you did), how you managed to get out. Tell us everything !!

Please do go on.
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Old 8th March 2009, 11:06   #15
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Rahul nice writeup on the Gurkha and would be good if you startup a thread on your adventures in teh Corbett Park faced twice.

I think it was a great risk you guys had taken by driving the strong currents without a backup vehicle and paid for the wrong judgment, in night you will not be knowing the force of the water and depth and distance between the shores.

Waiting for you to share those experiences in a different thread with the photos.

Now continue writing about the Off Road experience on the Gurkha very eager to see how you would rate performance of the vehicle.
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