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Old 21st May 2012, 20:28   #16
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Tour of Bhutan

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Originally Posted by zaks View Post
Itinerary:

0 FRI 4thMay Scrutiny & Briefing
1 SAT 5th May Bagdogra Darjeeling 100 kms
2 SUN 6th May Darjeeling Pelling 110 kms
3 MON 7th May Pelling Gangtok 145 kms
4 TUE 8th May Gangtok Phuentsolling 220 kms
5 WED 9th May Phuentsolling Thimpu 176 kms
6 THU 10th May Thimpu
7 FRI 11th May Thimpu Bumathang 220 Kms
8 SAT 12th May Bumathang Mongar 200 kms
9 SUN 13th May Mongar Tashigang 100 kms
10 MON 14th May Tashigang Somdrup Jongka 180 kms
11 TUE 15th May Somdrup Jongka Guwahati 110 kms

Of course fuel is not included in above price but would cost another 2.5k for 1200km journey takign an average of 35kmpl.

Been there. Done that... and it was a load of fun.

The tour was superbly planned. Challenging, without being back-breaking, and passed through breath-taking scenery and a whole foreign country.

All-in-all (including air-tickets) it cost around Rs 60-70K of which only 22,500/- went to Royal Enfield. [I cannot see how they could have made a profit, or even broken even]. You can reduce the cost by upto Rs 25K if you use the train to transport self and bike.

Highly recommended, in case you are thinking of going next year.

Last edited by Rollin' Thunda : 21st May 2012 at 20:47.
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Old 21st May 2012, 22:43   #17
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Tour of Bhutan

Hi,

This is my first post in this forum. Could not not make it to tour of Bhutan this year. Will surely go next year. Just wanted to know if the route going to be same next year as well.

Thanks.
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Old 22nd May 2012, 09:39   #18
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Tour of Bhutan

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Hi,

Just wanted to know if the route going to be same next year as well.

Thanks.
I would expect only minor changes at most to the route, as it was pretty close to perfect, except that the early part in Darjeeling/Sikkim could be shortened so as to spend more time in Bhutan (but this early part was most challenging, as India has the worst roads!). I would expect the main route crossing over Bhutan to be unchanged.
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Old 23rd May 2012, 20:45   #19
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Tour of Bhutan

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Been there. Done that... and it was a load of fun.
Travelogue demanded. With route details, pictures, anecdotes, observations etc.

Regards
Sutripta
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Old 24th May 2012, 20:39   #20
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Tour of Bhutan

Sorry, my camera packed-up half way through the trip, so no pics.

I kept no notes, and the trip is a blur of "rising mountains, racing rivers and winding roads", as my souvenir T-shirt says....

All I can say is, it was one helluva ride....

However, Bike India is doing a feature on it (possibly in the July issue), and News-X was also there, so a feature can be expected this weekend...
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Old 5th June 2012, 14:14   #21
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Tour of Bhutan

Its there in youtube:

Thanks.
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Old 6th June 2012, 21:54   #22
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Default Re: Beware of transport companies!

One thing that all participants will have to do is to transport your bike to the starting point (Siliguri) and from the final destination (Gauhati). This is something you cannot take lightly!

Most of us used GATI for the transport to Siliguri. There were lots of complaints, many scratches and broken parts, for which Gati refused to take responsibility: "You did the packing, we just shipped it. If there is damage, it is only because the goods were not packed properly" (while in reality the packing was done by some local affiliate of GATI, who most of us thought were identical to GATI).

So on the return journey almost everyone on the ride decided to shift to Agrawal Packers and Movers from Gauhati. They did a terrific job of packing, we were all impressed, but their moving left a lot to be desired, if my experience is anything to go by. My bike was delivered yesterday; this was the damage to my TBTS:

1. Head light smashed.
2. Handlebar cracked.
3. Petrol tank dented badly (so that all that is left of the ROYAL ENFIELD emblem is ROY!).
4. Right foot peg broken.
5. Center-stand broken.
6. Rear left indicator broken.
(all of the above will have to be replaced.)

I just signed the delivery slip, and made no complaint to the company. Who want to fight for months to recover a couple of thousand from them?
But I am writing this to warn you all.

In retrospect [hindsight is so perfect 20/20 vision, isn't it!], I think the best way to transport your bike is by train. And at 1/3 the cost...! Even if you do not want to travel by train, you can still load your bike on the train if you have a wait-listed ticket. So if you want to fly, book your ticket late... but be there to receive the bike when it is being off-loaded, especially if your destination is not the terminus of the train, for otherwise your bike may not be off-loaded at your station! All the bikes that reached relatively unscratched were transported by train, even with minimal packing.

This may help the participants of next-year's Tour of Bhutan, or anyone else who is interested in transporting their bike.

[In all fairness to the transport companies, the roads to Gauhati are some of the worst I have seen. This is all the more reason to use the train, rather than road transport for your bike].

What an end to a wonderful tour....

Last edited by Rollin' Thunda : 6th June 2012 at 22:19.
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Old 6th June 2012, 22:34   #23
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Tour of Bhutan

^^^
Pity.

I see you are in Hyd now, but weren't you in KGP? In which case riding up/ down would have made more sense.

Regards
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Old 7th June 2012, 08:35   #24
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Tour of Bhutan

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^
Pity.

I see you are in Hyd now, but weren't you in KGP? In which case riding up/ down would have made more sense.

Regards
Sutripta
No, I was earlier in Kanpur (not KGP), but that was several years ago...
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Old 7th June 2012, 12:33   #25
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Default Re: Beware of transport companies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
Most of us used GATI for the transport to Siliguri. There were lots of complaints, many scratches and broken parts, for which Gati refused to take responsibility: "You did the packing, we just shipped it. If there is damage, it is only because the goods were not packed properly" (while in reality the packing was done by some local affiliate of GATI, who most of us thought were identical to GATI).
We are planning to ship our bikes through Gati to Delhi. Last week some of my friends shipped CBR 250 (it has lots of fairings) and they got bike in pretty good condition. Except one bike's side stand broke and other bike had some scratches on headlamp.
Gati guys say, Bullet (mine 500cc Classic) is easier to pack-n-ship than CBR.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
1. Head light smashed.
2. Handlebar cracked.
3. Petrol tank dented badly (so that all that is left of the ROYAL ENFIELD emblem is ROY!).
4. Right foot peg broken.
5. Center-stand broken.
6. Rear left indicator broken.
(all of the above will have to be replaced.)
Really sad to hear.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollin' Thunda View Post
In retrospect [hindsight is so perfect 20/20 vision, isn't it!], I think the best way to transport your bike is by train. And at 1/3 the cost...! Even if you do not want to travel by train, you can still load your bike on the train if you have a wait-listed ticket. So if you want to fly, book your ticket late... but be there to receive the bike when it is being off-loaded, especially if your destination is not the terminus of the train, for otherwise your bike may not be off-loaded at your station! All the bikes that reached relatively unscratched were transported by train, even with minimal packing.
I had bad experience with train. We had shipped my bikes [2 - 500 CC Classic, 1 - TB & 1 - Electra] via train to Jaipur [on 21th December 2011]. On receiving, bikes were in bad shape,
> All mirrors were broken [I also forgot to mention and the guy who took responsibility of shipping did not know that mirrors are to be removed]
> Tail lamp assembly on my bike had come out. Looked like someone used a rod and forcefully tried to remove it. Had to get the rear mudguard replaced because the socket where tail lamp nut fits was completely damaged and also had lots of dents.
> Indicators were broken
> One of the bike's had small dent on tank.

Unfortunately we reached Jaipur on Saturday evening and till Monday morning all shops were closed to get bikes repaired :(
That was the first time had shipped my bike, instead of riding all way up. Lesson learn't!

We rode to Ajmer on Monday [as per schedule] and got our bikes fixed.

Looks like in India, it is very difficult to trust the transport guys. As long as you have enough luck, you and your bike reach destination in decent condition.

From what I heard [did not inquire tough], railways have stopped shipping two wheelers post Hampi express tragedy. Hence we thought of shipping our bikes [1 - 500 CC Classic, 3 - CBR 250] via Gati to Delhi [for Leh trip].
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Old 8th June 2012, 00:11   #26
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Tour of Bhutan

Been lurking on this forum off & on for a bit now, decided to join in as I've recently gotten back on two-wheels after a very long gap.

Chitta_Moran, thanks for uploading the really neat video of the Bhutan tour. I've been spending a decent amount of time in Bhutan these past few years - got family there. I hope to be putting in some serious saddle-time in the Bhutan & neighboring Himalayas very soon and who knows, maybe I can join in with you guys next year?! Wanted to make a few comments here:

In the video somebody remarked about the group of Bullets thundering into Thimphu town indicating something along the lines of the town residents experiencing this for the first time. Well, as some of you may be aware, Bhutan actually sees a lot of motorcycle touring groups crisscrossing the country throughout most months of the year and practically all of them make a stop in Thimphu. Many of these are European and North American motorcycle-tourists and the majority ride Bullets (a few ride big KTMs and BMW R1200GS-type rigs). Recently there have been many bike groups big & small from India touring Bhutan too - I snapped the pic below of a Bullet-rider's group from Arunachal and NE states in Thimphu last December.

Bhutan also has a growing number of motorcycle enthusiasts, including a very active biker group that mostly ride RE Bullets, the Bhutan Dragon Motorcycle Club, wonder if any of you met up with these guys? Bhutan Dragons Motorcycle Club: The Round Robin Charity Ride- Pale's Mail

Finally, a Royal Enfield dealership recently opened in Thimphu a few months ago - did they participate in this Tour of Bhutan in any way? Shame if they didn't.
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Old 8th June 2012, 02:24   #27
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Tour of Bhutan

Guys, so sorry for the tiny photo! Been playing around with re-sizing and looks like I went overboard in trying to make it smaller size. Hope the pic below is better.

Also, Chintta_Moran, I travel to Kolkata quite often - infact, I'm here in KOL right now as I'm writing
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Old 8th June 2012, 07:10   #28
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Default Re: Beware of transport companies!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 500ContyCruiser View Post
I had bad experience with train. We had shipped my bikes [2 - 500 CC Classic, 1 - TB & 1 - Electra] via train to Jaipur [on 21th December 2011]. On receiving, bikes were in bad shape...
To transport by train I was told to follow these rules by riders who did it frequently:

1. Supervise the packing yourself

2. Be there for the loading, and see your bike is okay.

3. Be there for the off-loading.

4. Make sure the Center-stand is in good condition. The worst damage follows when the center-stand breaks (as it did in my case, during the road transport )
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Old 8th June 2012, 07:36   #29
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Default Re: Royal Enfield Tour of Bhutan

It might be a good idea to use a length of rope or wire** to keep the center stand from folding up if the bike gets jarred forward while in transit.

This rope or wire could be looped around the lower part of the left leg several times, then up under the front of the engine and over the top of the front engine mount.
From the engine mount it would loop back under the engine and return to its starting place.

If such a rope or wire were tightened and securely tied it would be impossible for the center stand to fold to the rear.

** The length of wire would be best because it wouldn't stretch if the center stand decided to fold up.
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