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Old 16th April 2004, 00:34   #1
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Just completed a 1300km round trip to Cochin and Kumarakom from Bangalore in my Vtec. Some notes:

The Road

NH7 Bangalore – Krishnagiri – brilliant two lane highway – cruising at 80 kmh (with my wife in the car ) and 120 kmh (solo) on my return – need to watch for idiots on the wrong side of the road

NH7 Krishnagiri –Dharmapuri – good surface but single lane – interesting curves

NH7 Dharmapuri- Salem - brilliant double lane ghat road

NH47 – Salem – Coimbatoire – a long boring 180 km road – good surfacebut single lane but it goes on - scenary is brutal

NH47 Coimbatoire by pass toll road – Brilliant single lane road – touched 160km/h when traffic allow. Painful havng to stop for toll checks – watch out for bullock carts – more about that in a minute

NH47 Coimbatore - Cochin – scenic single lane road – can be crowded – most of the time dealing with macho kerala drivers who declare panga on fast cars – imagine the ignorance of a m800 driver overtaking me on a blind bend at 100km/h – you know what the brakes are like on an 800 at that speed. Outside Trichur, there is a ghat section where the road is rough


Cochin – Kumarakom – went via Vaikom – brilliant twisty scenic route, suited the Vtec well


The car

A bit frantic on the highway unless you are not interested in pushing the car. In 5th gear, I really missed the torque, found myself stirring the shift between 3 and 5. Overtaking at 60km /h effortless – drop into third, watch the needle rise from 2500 to 5000 rpm and whoomph. Overtaking from 30km/h, you need to be brutal and rev it to get some torque

On curvy single roads like going to Kumarakom, I prefered to keep it in 4th, it loved windy back roads where you keep the engine at 3000rpm +

Brakes – great when stopping from high speeds but the car’s light weight is apparent. Bit dead feeling at low speeds

Ride – body control – I pumped the tyres to 32psi – big mistake – felt all the bumps. Car a bit unsettled in dealing with minor road imperfections. Rear suspension tramps up and down

Grip – predictable – but needs more rubber

Steering – accurate, responsive - still cannot beat the Peugeot 309 SR injection that I used to have in the UK (I still think that this – Pug GTI in a 309 body – or the 205 GTI is one of the best driver’s cars ever made)

Engine – Jekyll or Hyde – your choice

AC – Brilliant – coped well

Seats – comfortable - better lumbar support

Fuel – started with Speed 93 – car performed brilliantly. After 300 km , I filled with ordinary Speed – performance sucked – torque felt reduced, pinked at 4500 rpm. Filled up with Indian Oil High Octane (only high octane available in Cochin) – got back 90% of the performance. On the way back, I topped up with 10 litres of ordinary fuel without much of a problem. Key is to keep the octane rating as high as possible.

Kya Mileage hai : Going – full family + stuff + a/c = 13km/l . Return 12.1km/l

Journey time - going 567 km = 8 hours, return - solo – 7.5 hours

Idiot moment - Trying to do a drag from every toll booth - tried launching the car from 3500 but you need to shift up real fast as the torque band is narrow

Brown pants moment – 140 on the Coimbtore by pass and you move out to overtake a bullock cart – when suddenly the bullock swerves into your path. I braked hard to 70, decided to swerve gradually – better the bullock goes than me and braked again – close one ! Actually that 32psi helped in providing a stiffer sidewall

Key mod that the car needs - Plus sized tubeless tyres – this will be the icing on the cake –I should have done this when buying the car but I had splashed out a lot already. When driving up the ghat roads at 80km/h, was struggling with front wheel drive understeer , paucity of torque and minimal rubber, a Scorpio with fat tyres which I overtook 10 km earlier zoomed past without skipping a beat.

Frankly – for highway driving – a torquey Skoda would be the business but for twisty back roads – gimme the Vtec

Hope these notes help
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Old 16th April 2004, 00:57   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]most of the time dealing with macho kerala drivers who declare panga on fast cars
I know exactly what you're talking about. What is amazing is that I haven't seen as many accidents, keeping in mind the reckless bus drivers. Especially, when you go further northwards toward Calicut.
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Old 16th April 2004, 01:34   #3
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Ah, the brilliant drivers from Kerala. I've tasted that too. And i managed to get tangled up with the worst kind......an Accent. You can't imagine how an Accent behaves in the hands of these drivers.

More than racing, the only thing that got me ripping away from him was his reckless handling. For a moment i thought he would actually bump into me and take us both down.

32psi as you pointed out was a tad overinflated. That is why you couldn't keep up with the Scorpio.

And about the understeer, i've never really had any probs with that in my Vtec.

The Vtec is not the best bet when is comes to roll ons in 5th, but then i rarely use it to overtake. I'm what you might call, a "Shift-o-holic". Can't live without it.

567kms in 7.5 hrs is around 75.6kmph (average speed). And you got 12.1kmpl........hmmmmm. I think it's good considering the ghat sections n stuff.

It was nice reading about your experience. happy drivin......

BTW, how old is your Vtec?

Regards...
Shan2nu
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Old 16th April 2004, 07:02   #4
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hey guys lok what i have to go through... manipal to thiruvalla(100 kms for mcochin)
the total distance of say 650 kms. i undertake this treachrous journey in 8 hours. in my celo and she drinks like a camel sometimes in my zen which i think i s better since i travel alone ususally. no stops just some cool drinks and i am off. most of the time alone with my pioneer mp3 cd changer system that keeps me kicking.

well ur right about the accents man they do rip that thing. actually the lorry drivers r all schumi fans ..atleast they drive like him. another thing man the road signs r non existant... so i recommend carying a map.

at places like koylandy, kasargod and kozhikode man u have to simply know u r way ...and beware u the road is where everyone chills. so beware !!!

i am gonna make one in july when i go back after my exams... will write a travel log. on that and hope fully add some pics too...

caio...
ps: my cileo got banged recently by a sleepy lorrywallah. according to him i shouldnt brake in he highways... anyways i got pics if the accident too.. will post as soon as i get tiem guys....
got a practical (pharmacology) today.
supposed to pick my cielo today.. lets see what happens,,,,???
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Old 16th April 2004, 11:51   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (Shan2nu @ April 16 2004,00:04)]You can't imagine how an Accent behaves in the hands of these drivers.

And about the understeer, i've never really had any probs with that in my Vtec.
567kms in 7.5 hrs is around 75.6kmph (average speed). And

how old is your Vtec?
I had a duel with an Accent CRDi - it's torque kept up with me on the straights. He won - since I stopped at a traffic light on red

Understeer - more apparent when pushing the car in tight corners hard. some factors might have been the tyre pressure, maybe the weight distribution with luggage was a factor

My car is 18months old
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Old 16th April 2004, 14:14   #6
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So the CRDi guy didn't stop for the red light i guess. That's Kerala!!!

That car has some massive torque for a 1.5 ltr engine. With the Vtec though, life begins at 6,000 rpm.

ANd yeah Vish, the bus drivers really give you a hard time. They hate the idea of being overtaken, and will go to any xtent to see that you stay behind.

One of my dad's friend crashed his brand new Corolla in such an incident. The bus driver ripped when the car tried to overtake and when the car tried to back out, as there was a bus coming from the other direction, this dude slowed the bus down due to which the Corolla had no place to go except hitting the oncoming bus.

Crazy man!!!

Regards...
Shan2nu
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Old 16th April 2004, 14:32   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (ajmat @ April 15 2004,23:04)]Trying to do a drag from every toll booth - tried launching the car from 3500 but you need to shift up real fast as the torque band is narrow
Hey Ajmat,

Nice report man!! sounds like you had a fun trip!

From what i have quoted u saying above i was not sure whether you meant that u were shifting early/before redline OR that redline came up so fast that u had to upshift very soon.
For best performance you should be going all the way to redline (esp in a vtec)... trying to stay in the BHP zone and not the torque zone....

And man u guys are right about kerela drivers!! some crazy guys..u wonder how they have lived so long!

And M800s are always the guys challenging on highways! even when i was drivin to goa this m800 guy got offended that i passed him and kept trying to keep up......scary to watch that car cornering at high speeds!!

cheers
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Old 16th April 2004, 14:41   #8
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[quote=[b]Quote[/b] (Rehaan @ April 16 2004,13:02)]
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajmat,April 15 2004,23:04
Trying to do a drag from every toll booth - tried launching the car from 3500 but you OR that redline came up so fast that u had to upshift very soon.
Thats what I meant.

Referring to another incident, I was taking a scenic route via the backwaters - near Alleppy - a straight road with loots of hump back bridges - a family of 8 in an Esteem challenged me. I would slow and cross the bridge carefully, this guy would overtake, on the straights, no contest !!! - this leap frogging cycle went on. The driver got so enraged that when I stopped to cross a particularly sharp bridge, he accelerated, man - he was 4 ft off the ground - it was like watching Bullit but without the V8 roar !!!!!!! - the crazy part was he was not bothered about the safety of his family or the condition of the car
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Old 16th April 2004, 14:48   #9
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hey whats #8211
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Old 16th April 2004, 14:53   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (aadix @ April 16 2004,13:18)]hey whats #8211
#8211 = : or -

I had written this on a word doc offline and pasted it
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Old 16th April 2004, 15:25   #11
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Hey Ajmat,

Thats a darned informative review of your trip and especially the Vtec. I recently had a trip to Deolali in my Vtec and i agree...the right gear is just very important to extract the best out of this car. Coincidentally I got almost the same mileage that you did (12.3kmp/l) but I attributed this to the fact that my car is still not run-in, and it would improve once it crosses the 10,000 km mark.

The Vtec is definitely under-tyred at 175mm and the next upgrade I have planned is an upsize to 195mm Good year Eagle F1's (just love the rubber on these).

Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]Idiot moment - Trying to do a drag from every toll booth - tried launching the car from 3500 but you need to shift up real fast as the torque band is narrow
I know just what you are talking about, irrespective of the car that I am in...I always drag till I reach cruising speed from the toll-booths.

Another section I found amusing was that the trip with the wife was slower and had better average too....

Thanks for the journey report

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Old 16th April 2004, 16:29   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (GTO @ April 16 2004,13:55)]Another section I found amusing was that the trip with the wife was slower and had better average too....
Thats the pont that I was trying to make !
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Old 16th April 2004, 17:22   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] (GTO @ April 16 2004,13:55)]I recently had a trip to Deolali in my Vtec and i agree...
GTO
what ? GTO - you finally got your vtec and made a trip or 2 in that too ?

come on !! all of us r dying to know the remainder story about your acquisition of this beauty and more importantly...how did you handle those crooks @ ichibaan?

cheers

aditya
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Old 16th April 2004, 20:29   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by [b
Quote[/b] ]what ? GTO - you finally got your vtec and made a trip or 2 in that too ?

come on !! all of us r dying to know the remainder story about your acquisition of this beauty and more importantly...how did you handle those crooks @ ichibaan?

cheers

aditya
Soon pal, really soon

GTO
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