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Old 3rd May 2007, 19:24   #16
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Default A few pointers

Ok, first off - You gotta be a little crazy to do something like this. It's a hell of a lot of fun, but it's tiring and will squeeze every last bit out of you and your vehicle. I will put down a few pointers which might be of help. Please feel free to ask Questions, if any: -

1. Identifying Your Goal

Although the reliability attracts a fair number of participants, you will find that most are there for the adventure but some are there for the hardcore competition. You need to identify which subcategory you fall under and prepare accordingly. This will include the spares you carry, equipment you use, preperation of vehicle etc.

2. Actual Preperation

You might have all the experience in the world. You may be clocking 100+ km of driving everyday, driven all over the world etc.etc. but NOTHING and I REPEAT NOTHING, can simulate the conditions and terrain you will encounter in the Raid. You dont have to have a WRC car and dont have to be as fit as Tommi Makkinen, but taking into account the very nature of the rally you will have to be prepared. Remeber that in the Reliability / Adventure category only LIMITED MODIFICATION is allowed. Read the SR for further details.

The SR - Supplementary regulations are sacred and should be your Quran / Bible / Bhagwad Geeta etc. etc. from the day you sign up until the final results are announced. Everything is by the book. No rules under any circumstances are bent. Familiarise yourself with them and you will have an advantage over those who dont.

A lot of the first timers who come, land up without any kind of underbody protection. This is the biggest mistake anyone can make. You'd rather take a refund and head back home, cause your rally's already over before it even started. Last year, for the first time in reliability, they allowed aftermarket shockers to be fitted. Dont know if the rule is carried over or not. Check. Apart from this, try and get hold of previous years road book and familiarise yourself with the tulip.

to be continued............

Last edited by Sideways : 3rd May 2007 at 19:34.
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Old 3rd May 2007, 19:44   #17
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Sideways, Another thing that I can definitely add is that NO MATTER HOW PREPARED one is ... the RAID can still catch you out !!! But yeah your tips wud definitely be useful for all those giving it a shot ....

Steeroid, my lower back is being worked upon already .. so that is pretty much covered .

Suman@ Organic milk has been going into my system for the last 30 yrs so bones shud hold out .

As for turning 50 ... BIG DEAL !!! though what I meant was that the Raid can be attempted at even 50 , whereas the raid on the bike --- I wudn't be fit enough by the time the next edition happens , so this is the last shot I got . And for taking a lighter bike .... well , the Eliminator is a neat bike to use on dirt if one knows how to treat it . The only place where this bike has a COMPLETE mind of its own is on ice , though i have ridden her for about 23 kms on sheer ice with a pillion and it gave my shoulders a Beating .

Also Im doing it more for completing it than for a position on teh podium ( though I know that will change the min I hit the first SS ) !!! But what the heck ... lets just do it ...

Cheers
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Old 3rd May 2007, 20:09   #18
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oy hillboy! go for it man, but here's a few useful tips (which i'm sure you have covered andway) based on my general experience of getting battered around and bruised in rather rough transport systems!

1- the back support - wear a back belt. this alone will help you out like nobody's business. it will also help to make sure that you are still walking by 50.
go find one in a medical store and use it a bit before just to get comfy.

2- i dont know how comfy the eliminator's seat is, but go hunting for some closed cell foam that you could park under the original seat. this type of foam will compress and return to size, thus will tend to soak up a little more of the shocks and vibration you will be subjected to.

3- gel insoles for your shoes. again very compressive and will ease off how sore they get. these will make their presence felt towards the end of the raid.
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Old 3rd May 2007, 20:18   #19
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Default A few pointers - 2

Continued from Post # 16.............

Your vehicle will defineately have to be road worthy. Please remember that this is not a picnic rally. You are not in and around any inhabited areas. Your vehicle can and will end up saving your life if need be. In 2004, there was snow storm and all the participants had to sit it our in their vehicls until they were rescued by the army. Make sure your heater works. if for some reason your car is not equipped with a heater don't even dream about taking it. Either get yourself another vehicle or get a heater retro fitted.

Tyres and suspension have to be in top shape. Your car does not have to be nice and shiny, without any dings and dents etc. It has to be mechanically sound. If you are taking part in a non Maruti vehicle, carry spare parts. Some service is provided at the end of the day, but availability of spare parts is restricted to Maruti vehicles only. I would suggest tie rod ends, struts and ball joints as major spares that you will need to carry. Have your electrical system thoroughly checked before you leave. Would recomend alternators to be overhauled. These have known to fail at high altitudes. Get new brake pads for all four wheels.

And for God's Sake dont be stupid enough and drive on oversized rims and low profile tyres. You will be the biggest idiot in the world. Don't laugh at this statement. There was someone who came to last years raid with oversized rims and low profile tyres. needles to say, but I will say it anyway - They were out by the first stage on the first day - not even half an hour into the rally - they had 3 punctures, and only 2 spare tyres.

This is my personal opinion - I would recomend that you take a vehicle which you are familiar with in and out. You are already used to the way it handles, how good / bad the brakes are, if there is minor issue, you atleast know where to start looking - for eg. if a fuse blows and you are in an unfamiliar vehicle, you wont even know where the fuse box / holder is. Please remeber that in the Reliability / Adventure every second counts - Every second late - 1 penalty, every second early - 2 penalties - this is the one time when reaching late is better than reaching early .

To be continued.......................

Last edited by Sideways : 3rd May 2007 at 20:21.
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Old 3rd May 2007, 20:30   #20
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Originally Posted by khaadu75 View Post
Another thing that I can definitely add is that NO MATTER HOW PREPARED one is ... the RAID can still catch you out !!!

Agreed Khaadu. And I have seen a lot of peple turn up especially for the reliability / adventure series, thinking that it's a walk in the park. And Oh Boy, are they in for a surprise or are they in for a SURPRISE !!!!!
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Old 3rd May 2007, 20:47   #21
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I can picturise cars with over sized rims, low profile tyres , carbon fibre body kits , loud free flow exhausts and a lil bit of the bling factor turning up for the event thinking that their cars are super cool and only to have to turn back before they even reach the first section !!!

The usual 1st and 2nd section on Day 1 are the routes that I go with my bike for fun when in the mood ... and thats usually after dark as thats the safest time , though an occasional leopard on the road can make your heart skip a few beats . Otherwise they both good sections .. one downhill and the other uphill !!!

Revvhead, the support belt advise is definitely needed as the back and the legs is what will take the max beating .... !!! Also the smoking needs to be put to rest as that can cause probs at higher altitudes ... so maybe the Raid is a blessing in disguise !!!

And yeah .. don't believe me when I say Im going to just try and complete it --- coz I sure as hell will try and give them younger riders with lighter faster bikes a run for their money , atleast on the dirt sections . The tarmac sections is where I will loose out time ...... so hope its more of dirt and less of tarmac in the CS's !!!

Also I need to see if there is a way I can fit some dirt tyres on my bike , though the original tread also holds pretty well on dirt , thats probably due to the well laid out chassis !!!
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Old 3rd May 2007, 21:38   #22
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Default A few pointers - 3

Continued form Post #19...........

So now that most of the vehicle is covered, a few pointers on personal preparation. I dont know how many of you have seen a snap shot of me. I am by no standards anywhere close to being fit. I am 5 feet 7 inches, weigh close to 98Kgs and smoke. I love McDonalds (ya ya I know what you all are thinking). Fruits and veggies - Huh?????????????

Please dont misunderstand me. i am in no way encouraging you to adopt the above lifestyle. It will probably land you in a soup sometime or the other. the point I am trying to make is that you do not have to be ultra fit. Yes, if you do suffer from High BP, Asthama, etc. you will need to be extra careful. Otherwise, you will do just fine. there is a list of medication mentioned on the site. Start taking these a week or so befor ethe vent and thru the course of the event and you will be fine. I have seen the fittest of poeple struggling at that altitude and the unfittest of the lot managing without a problem. Just take care of the basics and you will be fine. Dont over exert - thats the key.

Apart from this you will need, a good sleeping bag, gloves, woolen cap, thermals (I have nt used them in the last two years - Excess body fat does help sometimes ), woolen socks, a good solid jacket, sweater, Sun glasses, lots of sun block, petroleum jelly (Vaseline), choclates and biscuits, water etc. etc. theres a nice comprehensive medical list also on the web site.

Most Important - Maintain a cool and calm head. Your attitude needs to be right. Don't take things for granted. Last year we had 2 cars in our category going off the mountains. There have been people in the past who have died. Respect the terrain and mother nature. You never can predict what will happen when. This is not a hollywood movie and you aint Tom Cruise in Top Gun. This is real gentlemen (and ladies ofcourse).

It's a real fun event. The organisers are a fantastic bunch of crazy lunatics. They put in some really serious hard work and in my opinion this is the Mother of all rallies. There can never be any better. They are a real helpful lot. Appraoach them with your doubts and they will help. But dont expect them to come and dish out info like I am on this thread. You wanna know, you gotta ask. Don't say - "but no one told me" - It's going to be too late. No question is a stupid question. If you dont ask questions YOU ARE THE STUPID ONE.

Before I forget, - Phones dont work after day 2. so if you are the kind who needs to report to HQ (parents / wife / girl friend) even if you need to take a piss, I suggest you carry a satellite phone (dont know if it is allowed though). But yeah, you'd better warn them well in advance.

A little bit of humour goes a long way in easing things up. Make friends with your fellow competitors, hang out together in the evening for a while. You never know whos gonna come to your rescue when you need it.

Thats most of it people.

Last edited by Sideways : 3rd May 2007 at 21:44.
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Old 4th May 2007, 00:46   #23
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Originally Posted by pdev29 View Post
How much one would need to spend to take a part in this event?
Well it goes like this:

1. Entry Fees - Rs. 25,000 (Assuming 4-wheeler Adventure Trial, Early Bird Entry - 2 people).

2. Fuel - Raid Distance covered - 3000 kms, plus to-fro to Shimla/Manali from your city. FE should be estimated at approx 50% of normal for Raid. Its your choice whether you want to drive down from Mumbai or ship your car either way.

3. Snow Chains - Rs. 4,000-5,000.

4. Insurance (Rally/Personal Accident) - Rs. 2,000.

5. Licenses (Rally/Driver/Co-driver) - Rs. 2,000.

6. Helmets - Atleast ISI grade - Rs. 2,000.

7. Emergency Rations, Medicines, Oxygen cans - Rs. 3,000-4,000.

8. Transportation (to-fro Shimla/Manali) - Whatever you can manage for yourself and co-driver.

9. Other Contingencies - Keep atleast Rs. 10,000-15,000 cash handy for unforeseen circumstances. Don't depend on ATM's, you never know when you may need it.

Thats all I can think of right now.

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nk!
how good is the safari 4x4 for the raid?
and what mods are needed?is it madness to take a new car out there?
does the route keep changing or is it the manali-leh HIMANK road?
thanks a ton and good luck at burning rubber!
I agree with Suman on this. You really don't want a Yeti on those tight hairpins and steep slopes with hardly any road grip.

Well regarding a new car, a guy from Mumbai got his brand new Cedia Sport last year and finished it. Could have actually managed to finish in a much better position had he remembered that he was doing Reliability Trial and not Extreme. But he manged to get his car back to Mumbai without a scratch apart from a bumper hit in Ahmedabad on his way back while trying to catch a glimpse of a hot chick.

If you are hell bebt on getting a new car, make sure that it has run-in properly before you get there. You would be redlining the engine far far more than you would have ever imagined.

Regarding the route, Manali-Leh is just one of the sections on the raid. This year the raid plans to go to Chamba Valley as well before moving on to Srinagar. You can get the details on the Raid website.

H I M A L A Y A N M O T O R S P O R T

[quote=suman;428418]apart from, of course, Nitin who celebrated his honeymoon in ONE HELL OF A UNIQUE WAY, congrats on that once again Nitin!

Thanks Suman. Well my wifey dear deserves more than half the credit for actually agreeing to such a wild honeymoon idea. Hell man, she is after my life to get hold of a gyposy for this time around as well.

Wow Sideways, that's some list you put together man! That is a bible for any first-timer, heck even for someone who has experienced it before. Man, you do write as well as you drive the wheels off an automobile.
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Old 4th May 2007, 01:40   #24
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Come on NK, you are as experienced as I am. One thing I remeber about the raid so clearly (apart from the real handy tip you gave us ), was going up Jalori, I was in 2nd gear thru out the climb. Luckily Krupesh had set up the jeep really well and i was impressed at the way it held up. How I miss being at the Raid.
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Old 4th May 2007, 05:34   #25
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i always wanted to do the raid :(
have driven up to pangong tso in a gypsy 4x4.handled really well.did sputter at sarchu though.fule hose pipe gave away.
@nk:where can people like us train for the raid.seriously train?any pro driving schools that teach off roading here?
@suman:wish the safari 4x4 was a 1000 kg lighter,had 200bhp,the torque of a concorde and was as nimble footed as a tibetan antelope!
maybe we could get a gypsy, team up and hit the mountains bro?

Last edited by doctorkats : 4th May 2007 at 05:35.
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Old 4th May 2007, 07:24   #26
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Originally Posted by khaadu75 View Post
Also I need to see if there is a way I can fit some dirt tyres on my bike , though the original tread also holds pretty well on dirt , thats probably due to the well laid out chassis !!!
All the best dude. On my trip, we were doubles on a P180, and didn't have a single slide even on the Kaza-Gramphoo stretch. While sure, we weren't doing rally times (quite the opposite, in fact) but we were total novices, overladen (2 adults + 30+kgs of luggage) on a stock 180, and the tyres - MRF Motocross up in the front and Duro knobbies at the rear, did a fantastic job. These also helped through massive amounts of slush in the earlier part of the trip, and through slush and ice near a glacier slide near bharatpur.

I'm sure the 180 classic (the first iteration) can do it peacefully - tho I'd hate to rush through those parts of the world myself - its too beautful to not stop and take it all in, meditate and generally feel mesmerized

Not sure about the Avenger/Elim - its seating position is awesome on good tarmac - as my recent Pune-Blore ride confirmed - but on bad roads your back does take a little bit of a beating. That said, a 55 year old 'new' rider did those parts of the world on an Avenger last year, so it might just be doable.
Except, again, you'll be looking at 250-300 kms a day, where we probably topped out at 200, and often lesser, with lots of photo-op, chai, and even for-no-good-reason breaks.
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Old 4th May 2007, 09:19   #27
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ideally, one should take a tested vehicle to something like this. One thing is you should know the vehicle and how it handles, secondly, one should know the way it handles. From the himalayan motorsport site, it talks that the regular raid (not the extreme class) will be on tarmac. I really dont know how well the Safari will handle, on not so good road. Ideally, push for a low CG car / jeep.
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Old 4th May 2007, 10:22   #28
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ideally, one should take a tested vehicle to something like this. One thing is you should know the vehicle and how it handles, secondly, one should know the way it handles.
Madan - If you read what i have written, I have mentioned just that.

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From the himalayan motorsport site, it talks that the regular raid (not the extreme class) will be on tarmac. I really dont know how well the Safari will handle, on not so good road. Ideally, push for a low CG car / jeep.
Tarmac ?????? LOL you wish. Their definition of Tarmac is very different from what we think. Don't be fooled. Have a look at NK's pictures and you will see for your self. INfact on the himalayan website there are pictures of the Reliability cars. have a look at the terrain in those. Also the regular raid follows the same route as the extreme, except for one or 2 sections and obviously at a controlled pace. In my opinion the Safari will do just fine.

Last edited by Sideways : 4th May 2007 at 10:24.
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Old 4th May 2007, 11:40   #29
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All the best dude. On my trip, we were doubles on a P180, and didn't have a single slide even on the Kaza-Gramphoo stretch. While sure, we weren't doing rally times (quite the opposite, in fact) but we were total novices, overladen (2 adults + 30+kgs of luggage) on a stock 180, and the tyres - MRF Motocross up in the front and Duro knobbies at the rear, did a fantastic job. These also helped through massive amounts of slush in the earlier part of the trip, and through slush and ice near a glacier slide near bharatpur.

.
Sameer, trust me there is a whale of a diff between the raid speeds and the joy ride speeds ... like I mentioned earlier the Elim has a very stable chaassis and it can be pushed almost like a dirt bike and those speeds the bike is bound to slip and slide, infact I wud want it slip and slide as it helps one go around turns faster !!! Ive used my Elim under all kinds of situations ... and never has it dissapointed me .. except on ice , where it gets a mind of its own .

As for people who think its tarmac .... we define tarmac as a smooth stretch like the one in the following pic !!



Cheers
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Old 4th May 2007, 11:50   #30
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Originally Posted by khaadu75 View Post
As for people who think its tarmac .... we define tarmac as a smooth stretch like the one in the following pic !!
That doesn't look too bad, post an image of a really bad stretch.
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