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Old 6th August 2010, 19:55   #76
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Default Problem with my Std 350

Hi,
Got a problem with my Std 350. The bike starts well but while riding the bike jerks a lot (like there is no fuel intake). But there was good amount of fuel. Went to the mechanic, he said that there is some carbon deposits in the CB point and cleaned it (he said that this happens in the rainy season). He also checked the spark plugs and cleaned them. But the issue has been solved. The bike still gives a some jerks. Went to him again and he said that there might be some problem with some coil.

Any idea what can be the issue here.

Thanks,
Subu.

I hope I have written my query under the right Thread.
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Old 7th August 2010, 09:16   #77
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Originally Posted by subushady View Post
Any idea what can be the issue here.
could your fuel mixture be too lean possibly? or a choked fuel filter, inadvertently cutting fuel off under hard acceleration?
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Old 9th August 2010, 21:48   #78
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that there might be some problem with some coil.

I hope I have written my query under the right Thread.
The Ignition Coil would be kaput. Resulting in a weak spark. Get it replaced and then she would be ok!
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Old 9th August 2010, 23:02   #79
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Day 7

The night sky in the mountains and the explosion of stars that are visible to the naked eye is always awe-inspiring. The milky way extends all the way across the sky and the colder it is, the closer and clearer it seems.

And boy was it cold… at 3:00 am.

Even with Angelina valiantly cutting out a major part of the wind whistling around my ears, a lot of it found it’s way into the sleeping bag like an insidiously cold finger. Finally at about 4 in the morning, I sat up to huddle near the clutch cover of the motorcycle. With dawn breaking pretty early around here, I brushed and washed up at first light. Soon thereafter, as I was loading the bike up, a white Bolero screeched to a halt to unload a harrowed looking Ashwin. One look at him and I knew that he’d had a worse night than me!

With less than 5 words exchanged between us (across a road) he re-alighted the death trap Bolero and sped off uphill, to look for the missing men and their machines. About 20 minutes later, I heard the unmistakable sound of an Enfield coming downhill as a flash of chrome and blue came around a bend.

With a wildly gesticulating and hysterically screaming man.

All that I could make out was, "therearaxleonashwinsbikecameoffandnitinalmostkill edhimselfsowestoppedatrhumseforthenight."

Translated – on the way down from Tanglangla, after repairing the twins carrier as best as they could, the nut (pun unintended!) on the rear axle of Ashwin’s motorcycle had come undone. Nitin (or was it Jitin) who was riding the bike down remained blissfully unaware of this significant little fact, till the rear drum brake just exploded the expended brake shoes onto the road.

Then he pretty much crapped himself.

With the 22 group riding just ahead, Topi (our friendly neighborhood spiderman!) came to take a look to see what he could do to help.

He pretty much crapped himself.

Knocking the axle back into it’s slot, the guys had gingerly pushed the bike to a little house that had offered to take them in, at the princely sum of a 100 bucks a head. Unloading the rides, 2 of them had contemplated riding out to Upshi to let us know the situation, but with some convoluted logic that they came up with – they deemed it a better idea to remain warm, cozy and snug where they were!

Jackasses.

Ashwin the sorry sod had finally given us up for dead (at the very least) at 12 at night. With no money to pay for lodgings or food (all his stuff was still on his bike in Rhumse), he had fortified himself against the neighborhood dogs with a battalion of dhaba chairs. Said neighborhood dogs were displeased with the unwanted entry of, ‘the big doh’ in their hood and were making it abundantly clear by growling and occasionally charging the leather clad Ashwin. The night was spent fending off the, ‘advances’ of a pack of stray dogs.

The joys of being single eh? You wild dog you...

To rattle back to the present, with the spare throttle cable firmly entrenched in the throttle housing, we headed back to Rhumse, where a grinning Digvijay, wildly smiling twins and a pink colored Ashwin greeted us like long lost brothers!

Over hot chai and the most delicious omelet in roti, is when the truth came out that Jaiveer had actually pulled the short straw. For who was going to bell the cat (myself), now knowing (Ashwin had done the honors) that Ashwin and I had spent a very cold night in the open on the road…while they slept without sleeping bags in a very cozy room!

Which explained, "therearaxleonashwinsbikecameoffandnitinalmostkill edhimselfsowestoppedatrhumseforthenight."

As they say, attack is the best form of defense. Following the principal, Jaiveer was trying to get the whole story out before I ripped him a new….*ahem* orifice.

With Ashwin’s rear wheel and axle now jerry rigged, all of his stuff was distributed amongst the other 4 bikes. A group of Germans also on hired Enfields kindly offered to let Nitin ride in their support vehicle with the completely destroyed Ladakh carrier. So we set off in what was fast becoming a common sight and the de-facto norm…

1. Ashwin sat astride a dead bike.

2. Coasting downhill, scrabbling uphill.

3. Almost killing himself messily (on a number of occasions) since his life hung by a thin wire (literally)

4. Cursing like a sailor except when he was stoic as a monk (very rarely!)

5. With no rear brake and a very fragile front brake.

6. Being pushed from the rear periodically by either Jaiveer or me.

Although in all fairness, Jaiveer did do pretty much 80 percent of the pushing. We covered the 30 odd kilometres till Upshi in a little over 40 minutes and then another 15 or so kilometers in thrice that time.

Then we quit.

On a particularly long uphill push which involved all six of us pushing a darned 200 kg piece of utterly useless and mind numbingly temperamental piece of crap (and I’ve not even got to mentioning the bike yet…) Hailing down a goods carrier and negotiating with him to transport the bike till Leh, still about 35 kilometers out. I then set out ahead to look for accommodation for the night, while the rest of the guys loaded the bike and accompanied it to a mechanic.

With Ashwin’s bike deposited at the mechanic (it needed a whole new rear hub), and the twins carrier being repaired, we all jumped onto the remaining three bikes and headed to the lovely hotel we had found refuge in…

Wooden floors. Running water. Flushing toilet. Soft mattress on a real bed. Clean linen. We were in civilization!!!!

Bath’s, shaves and unmentionables dispensed with, we headed out to the German bakery for some much needed lunch at 4:30 in the evening. We were back at said German bakery at 7:30 in the evening for dinner! Gluttony at it’s best (worst).

In the meanwhile, a raging debate had broken out over the route back to Delhi. The planned itinery (which was now shot to hell) was for us to ride through Kargil / Srinagar / Jammu / Pathankot and head to Delhi, thereby completing the loop.

The only fly in the ointment was that Srinagar was under curfew.

An officer who had been my dad’s ADC was posted in Srinagar and had organized acco etc in Srinagar and R&R in Sonmarg at appropriate Army transit camps. He was also keeping us updated on the situation in Srinagar itself and according to him, if we made it in before nightfall, we should be okay. Reassuring? Not even remotely.

The choice was whether all of us were to die ducking stones and bullets in the Kashmir valley or, retrace our way to Manali through torrid water, terrible roads and have only Ashwin die on us of AMS. The discussion was going nowhere till I stepped in and announced that Srinagar it was to be.

That settled, we picked up the bikes that had been repaired, had the rest of our bikes looked at; Angelina had a wash / wipe and wax and we headed back for dinner, a scant 2 hours after finishing lunch. Post dinner I headed back to the hotel, since the rest of the guys wanted to tank up tonight itself. I didn’t. About 15 minutes after getting back to the room, I get a phone call. It was one of the twins, I forget which.

The opening statement with laughter and mirth in the background, “Err…(ha ha ha ha) our bike’s caught fire...

I of course thought they were being idiots. Till it turned out that they were dead serious.

Sat on a motorcycle with flames licking at your nether regions, directly below a 14 litre tank of petrol, while sitting atop a petrol pump with a gazillion litres of highly inflammable fuel is never a good idea. That is exactly what one of them did.

Someone started throwing sand and mud onto the fire, while others ran around to figure out what else to do. A bored petrol pump attendant actually looked the other way. To cut a long story short, putting the fire out, they then pushed the bike to a mechanic who was miraculously open at 11.30 pm. He then changed the entire wiring because a short circuit in the ignition cabling had started the fire in the first place. All for a very reasonable 100 rupees. They then all came back to the room(s) an hour after that, to collapse into bed.

I was fast asleep long before this time.


to be contd....
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Old 10th August 2010, 06:30   #80
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Excellent narration BTB. Great travelogue. I had loved "one life to ride" by Ajith Harisinghani. I love yours even more!! Your never-say-die attitude is foreboding..Already waiting for the next part.
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Old 11th August 2010, 15:36   #81
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Originally Posted by madhkris View Post
Excellent narration BTB. Great travelogue. I had loved "one life to ride" by Ajith Harisinghani. I love yours even more!! Your never-say-die attitude is foreboding..Already waiting for the next part.
hey madhkris...

i shall go look for 'one life to ride' now and i'm sure i'll enjoy it immensely!

shall update asap with the next installment.

thank you for the kind words!

cheers and be safe mano,
ak
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Old 11th August 2010, 15:58   #82
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Bite The Bullet, can you insert pics inline instead of attaching pics at the end.

The easy way to do this is to attach pics and then use the attachment button to insert the relevant attachment inline.
When you attach 10 images in one shot, its difficult to remember which image was which, so I do this.
I select three images, and upload them, then insert the 3, after that I write some more, and then again insert 3.
The announcements section has a tutorial about inserting pics inline.
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Old 27th August 2010, 09:43   #83
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Day 8


We were supposed to be riding by 9 am.

We were on the road by 8:40 am instead.

I was gobsmacked. The first (and only) time that we ever left on (before) time on the entire trip.

We had made contact with Ram and Vinuta earlier and now rode upto their guest house to collect one of the twins boots, which they had carried when the twins carrier had disintegrated at More. They had made the wise decision to ship their rental bike back to Manali and fly out to Delhi, giving them some more time to enjoy Leh itself.

With exhortations to meet up in Delhi, we set out of Leh towards Kargil. The six intrepid, brave, pioneering, barrel chested bikers from the plains. Bollocks. We were a tired, weary, achy and slightly apprehensive lot of chaps riding headlong into the boiling, seething cauldron, also known as the Kashmir valley.

The road out of Leh towards Kargil for about 50 odd kilometers is simply mind-blowing. The typical moonscape that Ladakh is famous for, plays a pivotal role in presenting scene after scene of mind altering landscapes. Added to the already surreal surroundings is the magnificent black top that runs uninterrupted till Nimmu a Leh model village. If I had my way, we’d have been taking pictures till the cows came home – and then some. Thankfully, I was controlled.


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There comes a point on most road trips where rider/driver, motorcycle/car and the elements all seem to come together in one huge glorious mélange. For the cynics who refuse to accept that machinery can have a soul and that human and machine soul’s can meet – they need to take a road trip. This stretch of road proved that in spades. With my helmet visor up, the wind rushing against my face and the sun pouring down over baked desert sand, all that I could hear was the muted but steady thump of the large single below me. Rock steady. Dependable. Reassuring.

The one time I looked to check that everyone was okay, I could see that everyone was in the same zone. We rode easy, we then gunned the throttle. We coasted downhill and screamed uphill. We leaned into wide sweeping hill bends like we were on a track and then took hairpin bends slow enough to walk them. Angelina remained poised, beautifully balanced and magnificently sure footed.

This road is also decidedly less busy, so except for the ubiquitous Army vehicles and the stray civilian people movers, the road is pretty much your own. On the way, we also crossed, ‘Magnetic hill’ which is such a con job! There were a couple of guys in cars who were not amused when we expressed our views on the topic, so we bid them a cheery goodbye and left.

We of course knew that it was too good to really last, and so it was. The road finally ended. Just like that. “Pffffft.”

We were back to eating dirt, and getting bounced around like a couple of rag dolls in a particularly inspired vuvuzela concert in high definition. And we continued to eat it for another 40 odd kms till we finally pulled upto a deserted resort around 12:30 pm to try and get something edible to eat. All that was on offer was omelets and toast, which we gladly accepted.

I have eaten bread in a lot of places around the world including San Francisco, New York, Paris, London, Cannes, Venice, Hong Kong, Dubai, Zurich, Phuket, Rome, Amsterdam, Singapore (I am showing off now… I ought to stop) but by God, this was something else. Freshly baked on the premises and then lightly toasted with wholegrain and sesame seeds on the crust, delicately layered with a thin film of butter, where the crust had the perfect crispness to offset the soft, flavour ridden, moist centre of the beautifully scented slice of God sent bread.

The baker deserves a medal. And a million bucks.

We tucked in like we hadn’t seen food in… errr 15 hours(?) Then we ordered seconds. We’d have ordered thirds had he not told us that he’d run out of bread!! Sated, we then cleared a sizeable tab before reluctantly setting out again. The road from here on was a curious mix of non-roads and gorgeous black top in equal measure. Where ever the blacktop arrived, all 5 motorcycles would open up their throttles to their full blooded throaty best and we’d go hell for leather as long as it lasted.

It was on one of these stretches of tarmac that we crossed 2 motorcycles; a beaten up Thunderbird conversion being ridden by a weedy looking Sikh gentleman and a Hero Honda Splendor with a 6 foot 5 inch man, a 5 foot 11 inch woman and a 3 inch baby sat astride it.

A baby. On a bike. At 13000 feet.

Some people are born suicidal. Some others inherit it from psycho parents.

Shaking our heads in collective disbelief, we shot past these two and started to climb a sharply rising series of loops, not that different from the Gata loops. The only difference being that this time, we were also overtaking an Army convoy on their way up the same route! Remembering that the average convoy was 40 trucks and as bikers we were the smallest (non) entity on the road, we squeezed, scrimmaged, nudged and wheedled our way past the ten tonners after a good 10 kilometer odd climb.

I’ve been trying to work out for the longest time why this part of the trip sticks out in my mind as being dark and menacing, when the Manali route was decidedly more rugged and bony. It has just come to me. It’s got to do with the color of the rock that make up the mountains. The other side has a lot of sandstone and the like, which means that there are a lot of light colors around you on the way to Leh. Here the rocks are all a dark shale and a black igneous rock. The mountains look broody and menacing. The drops look more sinister and the rock faces more prickly. You suddenly start to feel very small. Very, very small.

We finally stopped at the top of the climb to get some pictures of the insane surroundings (and also to massage some of the fierce saddle sore out of our backsides – we were long past the, “we are men, we can take it” stage by this time!) Barely had we finished re-adjusting luggage and squeezing our gluts, the ruddy army convoy was on us again. We were not interested in a repeat of the overtaking maneuvers’ we had undertaken less than fifteen minutes ago, so we seriously hot-footed it out ahead of the Stallions.


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Pretty much all along the way, the mighty Indus thunders along below the road. A boiling seething mass of muddy, molten chocolate, colored water. Every now and again, you climb away from it but it inexorably draws you (and the road) back to it. Places where there are constrictions on bends or because of landslides, make for some insane ‘brown’ water (try as you might, you cannot call it white water!) The thought of running those rapids and tipping into them is not appealing! At all.

Crossing through, ‘Fotu la’ which also happens to be the highest point on the Srinagar route (at 13000 something feet? Tch tch tch tch!) the ‘Fotu’ opportunities must not be missed! So off we came from the bikes, trying not to wet ourselves as we piddled in the ferocious breeze. It’s pertinent to mention here, something that caught our eye. A solitary Doordarshan relay tower and control center sat atop the pass. You must need to seriously piss someone off to get posted here methinks. I mean, flirting with your bosses wife in front of the boss kinda stunt.

I felt sorry for the poor munchkin holed up here in the winter.


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Descending through Fotu la, the roads again disintegrated into nothingness, and coming around a bend on a relatively paved stretch of it, we encountered someone who hung a left instead of a right.

To end up distinctly wet behind the ears.


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It just brought back very quickly how short and unpredictable life is. Also a wake-up call to stay alert and careful. We finally come up towards Kargil, which sits on the other bank of the Suru river, a tributary of the Indus. Descending past roadwork’s, we cross the bridge into this pre-dominantly military town in search of phone lines to contact Srinagar.

We were sure that Army accommodation had been organized, we just didn’t know where. The only problem was that every single phone line and internet connection out of Kargil had been down for over 24 hours and would not be back for atleast another 24. Left with no option but to fiercely negotiate a reasonable rip off price with the caretaker of the inspiringly named Hotel Zojila, we unloaded for the evening after a hard 240 km ride.

Whatever we saved on the room negotiations, we got s*****d out of in the dinner! 10 bucks for a tawa roti, 80 bucks for a bowl of Dal and 220 bucks for a bowl of bony meat curry. Oh and 40 bucks for a quarter plate of onions (salad)… But we didn’t complain. We were famished and we were tired. I’m still trying to figure out when I went to sleep that night.



to be contd...
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Old 4th October 2010, 10:25   #84
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Hi Buddy

Great story! Loved it, Jaiveer happens to be a common friend, I met him on the sets of Nat Geo-Flight of the Hawkz and I remember both of us chatting up on RE Bullets. I own one for ages and trust me one has got to be a true blood bulleteer to understand the passion and this story is more or less that!!

Ride safe
Chandeep

P.S:- BTW this has given me some more ammunition on Jaiveer ;-)
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Old 11th October 2010, 00:49   #85
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Originally Posted by Tigersingh1984 View Post
Hi Buddy

Great story! Loved it, Jaiveer happens to be a common friend, I met him on the sets of Nat Geo-Flight of the Hawkz and I remember both of us chatting up on RE Bullets. I own one for ages and trust me one has got to be a true blood bulleteer to understand the passion and this story is more or less that!!

Ride safe
Chandeep

P.S:- BTW this has given me some more ammunition on Jaiveer ;-)

Hey chandeep,

thanks for the compliments mano... jaiveer is actually my kid brother! not sure whether this story denotes passion or just plain crazy, but it was fun...which is pretty much what really counts eh?

i'd be glad to supply even more ammo as and when supplies run low!

take care and ride/drive sane.
ak
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Old 12th October 2010, 15:12   #86
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Hi,
Got a problem with my Std 350. The bike starts well but while riding the bike jerks a lot (like there is no fuel intake). But there was good amount of fuel. Went to the mechanic, he said that there is some carbon deposits in the CB point and cleaned it (he said that this happens in the rainy season). He also checked the spark plugs and cleaned them. But the issue has been solved. The bike still gives a some jerks. Went to him again and he said that there might be some problem with some coil.

Any idea what can be the issue here.

Thanks,
Subu.

I hope I have written my query under the right Thread.

Hi,
Sorry for the late reply. But i guess i have nailed the issue and fixed.

Was going to Pune on Sat and the same fuse (under the seat) was blown out at Uran Bypass Toll Naka. Searched for a mechanic and got it replaced after 2 hrs. It happened when I switched the parking lights (2 small bulbs over the headlight). Reached Pune that night. In the morning did the same thing and again the fuse was blown. Same one. Changed it myself (have a spare in the fuse under toolbox).
Today morning took it to my mechanic. He checked the wiring under the rear wheel mudguard. The wires were bruised and the plastic covering had come off. Hence sometimes when the wire touched the fuse was getting hit. Got the wiring fixed and taped it well. Hoping the problem is solved (this is what the mechanic says). Also hope this solves the jerks that the bike used to give at times. (did not any jerks while riding it for some time)
This fuse i guess is connected to the wires that work in DC like parking lights.

Will have a long weekend ride and keep you all posted.
Thanks all for the suggestions and help.

Regards,
Subu.
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Old 26th June 2013, 21:31   #87
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Okay...apologies for bumping up a 3 year old thread, but I realised that the ride wasn't finished being documented - so here it is!!!


Day 9

The fact that we could all shower…Oh. My. God. It never fails to surprise me, how much one values a shower on physically challenging trips.

Anyway, I digress.

We have a smidgen over 200 kilometers to travel today. It isn’t much…if you aren’t riding motorcycles between Kargil and Srinagar. And…every bone in your body, every muscle on those aching bones and every sinew in those muscles, isn’t cursing the last 683 generations of your forefathers for the distinctly underdeveloped brain function of the retards sitting astride those motorcycles, attempting it in the first place.

*Ahem*

So, where were we? Yeah, Srinagar… no sorry, Kargil.

One of the benefits of crossing over (or riding to/from Leh) through Kashmir is that fuel is probably always close ’ish’ to hand. All of us tanked up at a petrol bunk across the river, which (in our retarded wisdom) we had gleefully bypassed the previous evening, in our hurry to get into town. Fuelled and ready, we close ranks near the river and ride away into the sunshine. Or something like that.

Kashmir is absolutely gorgeous and no surprises why it is so often called the abode of the Gods. We switch back and forth between a number of valleys, with numerous rivers ebbing and flowing around, near and below the mostly tarred, double road. Quaint villages with cherubic red-cheeked children, will happily wave as you go by. Behind their smiling faces though, I’m almost 100% convinced, that they share the same sentiments as those bones, muscles and sinews I spoke of, a little while ago.

We however were not taking the opportunity to do much (any) sightseeing at all, because we literally were on the clock. Srinagar was under partial curfew, which basically meant that unless we had our backsides inside the army cantonment and ensconced behind military walls before sun down, we were scr*wed.

So unfortunately we missed seeing the Kargil memorial to the brave men who fought that dastardly war. We missed taking pictures of magnificently flowing rivers, with their fish skimming the tops of the waves ever so often. We also missed giving our heartfelt middle fingered salute to the military posts of the Pakistani Army, fleetingly visible every once in a while.

No.

Seriously.

On atleast one section of the Kargil – Srinagar highway, as you take a bend, a large yellow BRO board proclaims, “Caution – You are under enemy observation.” Given the BRO’s stupendous sense of humour (what with their classic exhortations on many mountain roads), you would be tempted to think, this is another gag. I wouldn’t of course want to be the sorry sod who makes that mistake and decides to moon the ruddy Pakis. Only to find that a sharpshooter with a surly sense of humour (and a fervent dislike to being mooned) gifts him a spanking new bung hole…

Traffic is sparse with the ubiquitous Mahindra’s ferrying locals, military transport ferrying army personnel and our motorcycles ferrying…us. We cross over bridges and duck in and out of the sunshine, never sure whether we want to keep our windcheaters on or just stay in our t-shirts. Most of us decide to just alternate between being toasty and then boiling in our windcheaters.

Till we ride into the Drass valley.

The air seems to imperceptibly change a little, not helped by a fairly substantial board proclaiming, “Second coldest inhabited place in the world. Temp (-60 C) on 09 Jan 95”

That little point settled, the weather God’s seem to have also developed a sense of humour suddenly. It starts to rain. Not the “Oh my God, we’re going to DIE” kinda rain, but more like the “Oh my God, I’m going to skid, fall off the edge of the road, break my neck, drown and then DIE” kind instead…

*Sigh*

We also now start to climb. Towards Zojila pass.

Now, I was brought up in a home and environment, which always taught me, “it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog that matters.” NOWHERE have I seen it more apt than at Zojila.

The pass itself is a pithy little 11,578 feet high. I mean, we’d been peeing at heights at least 5000 feet more than this, these past couple of days.

I was…
no, too graphic.

Since you get the drift, I will only say that I almost peed my pants on at least a couple of occasions while riding up and about 10 other occasions riding down.

Going up:

With the drizzle and the cloudiness and the fact that this pass remains open barely 4 months of the year due to it being snowed in, there is no tarmac. Sludge is replaced every once in a while with curiously brick lined roads Old style brick roads! And when that runs out, it’s replaced by a particularly vicious sludge that does everything to whip your front wheel out from under you. We ride past dirty snow walls, finally coming to a bunch of cars, trucks and a solitary bus waiting. Not wanting to be waiting again – courtesy of that ever ticking clock we were trying to beat, I went ahead and did possibly the stupidest thing I had done on the whole trip.

It played out like this.

There was an elevated road section (which was being constructed in concrete) and a lower sludgy section. Most of the boys decided to ride in the sludge slowly, while I…didn’t. So. I ride up to a truck. I can’t get past his right hand side, since there’s no space but peering around his left hand side, I gleefully see enough space for Angelina and myself to delicately squeeze past. I forgot to mention, the left side also falls away sheerly to a 4000 foot drop into the upper reaches of the valley below.

I ride out all peachy, eyes dead ahead till I get to about halfway past the truck. You know that feeling don’t you, where you always want to do what you know you MUST not do...should not do?

I looked down into the chasm.

I cr*pped myself.

I was hit by instant vertigo.

My knees began to shake.

And I wanted to stop to put my foot on solid ground. AT THAT VERY INSTANT.

The only problem was there was no ground on the left to put my foot on since my left footpeg was almost hanging over the cliff, and my right footpeg was cheek by jowl with the truck on my side. I’m not sure how it happened, but the throttle gunned itself, shooting Angelina and myself past the front cab of the truck and I hyperventilated my guts out at about 10000 feet.

I remember one of the other boys also following me, whether it was Jaiveer or Digvijay, I’m not sure… I was too busy getting my heart and lungs to climb back into their respective body cavities! So we regroup, and ride on. Till I find that we’re at a fork and the boys have all hung back as I go all macho explorer on them and ride down the lower road, stopping about 500 odd feet from the fork itself.

I look back to see a curious looking man in uniform, animatedly waving his arms around like he was signaling an aircraft coming into land on a carrier in gale force winds. He also looked distinctly upset and was yelling something, which kept getting snatched away in the wind… Wondering what all the commotion was about, I ride back up the road, ready to give him a piece of my mind; about stopping us from going ahead and just being a general jackass...

As I pull up, an ominous crack sounds behind us; then I see a big chunk of mountain slither and tumble past the approximate place I was standing a matter of minutes ago. It appeared, *ahem* that the BRO (Border Roads Organisation) were using *ahem* dynamite to clear a landslide just about 200 metres above us… *ahem* which is also why the traffic was being regulated in the first place.

I… just kept quiet.

The mountains around the pass itself are absolutely gorgeous. Menacing, dark, craggy, with sharp stalagmites hanging off precipices. There is an ominous air of foreboding, both energizing and terrifying at the same time. And given it’s relatively modest height, I have to say that the Zojila pass has to be one of the toughest passes to negotiate on two wheels, on the entire Leh ride. It has my respect like none of the others.

Don’t get me wrong, the rest of them are all difficult to get past – each with it’s own character and method to get across it, without too much damage to you or your ride. Zojila though will maul you, and then spit you out, un-remorseful if you lose your concentration for even a moment.

Coming down:

There is no road, so once we get across the pass, we’re back on churned, sticky horrid mud. Except the views…Oh boy! You finally enter ‘the valley’. It’s a good 5/6 kms of steep mud riding to do before you hit tarmac. All through the way down, you can’t help but stare at the views. Gorgeous greens with twinkling streams in the distance. Open meadows with pilgrims tents, all waiting their turn to trek to the Amarnath shrine, using Pahalgam as their staging point.

We rush down gorgeous roads, on our way to an army transit camp, where we can ostensibly freshen up, eat and then depart for Srinagar. We reach the transit camp, to be bundled into a dorm. There was some miscommunication regarding our meals, so after a quick wee, we mounted our bikes and off we went in search of food. As you can see, food played an important role in our ride!

So we pull up to this innocuous little restaurant proudly claiming to serve authentic Kashmiri wazwaan. For hungry men, there can be no greater calling!

We ate like pigs I am ashamed to say. We ate Gushtaba, Rista, Tabak Maaz, Rogan Josh, Yakhni and probably a couple more meat dishes, the names of which either escape me, or I’m simply at a loss to say! Then we ordered some more! All consumed with rice and countless naan’s. And the icing on the cake was that after ALL that food, we ended up paying some ridiculous 1000 rupees or something as the tab…

We needed therapy after that meal.

Aptly provided by the ride down into Srinagar from Pahalgam! It is truly spectacular, since the road is an effortless 4 lane black top, running parallel to a river that seems to be singing, dancing and frolicking along merrily beside it. Gently sweeping curves and brilliant sunshine meant that all of us were coasting along at an easy 80-85 kmph, bringing us into Srinagar at a very respectable 5 pm.

With us finally getting to the Station Headquarters, where dad’s previous ADC was posted, we go through the mandatory and very very thorough checks at the sentry post, before we are shepherded towards the Officer’s mess – and it’s inviting guest rooms. I don’t blame the poor sentry’s for giving us a once over, because we all looked like shite anyways…

Bathed, spiffed up and moderately sane, we met up with our guardian angel for much needed refreshments later that night! Stories were swapped. We were called idiots – more than a few times too and then dinner was eaten…

The day thankfully came to an end, with the promise of an early morning start tomorrow.


to be contd...

Last edited by bIte tHe bulLet : 26th June 2013 at 21:40.
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Old 26th June 2013, 23:02   #88
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Very awesome. Just read through the whole darn thing. Hah. And double hah.
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Old 27th June 2013, 01:02   #89
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Superb write up - My wife has been sitting next to me, while i read the entire thing here, She was like would you mind talking to me, and I didn't even hear what she said (She told me what she had said after i finished reading the whole thing) and must say I could literally visualize what you guys did out there.

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Old 29th June 2013, 15:10   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Liner View Post
Very awesome. Just read through the whole darn thing. Hah. And double hah.
Gracias senor... next installment is almost done as well. You'd have thought this was the end of our adventures huh???

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearbox View Post
Superb write up - My wife has been sitting next to me, while i read the entire thing here, She was like would you mind talking to me, and I didn't even hear what she said (She told me what she had said after i finished reading the whole thing) and must say I could literally visualize what you guys did out there.
Dude, take it from a much married man; don't be pissing off the wife I tell ya!!! and thank you for taking the time to read and the compliment...
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