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Old 22nd June 2010, 18:59   #31
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I generally ride alone and hence the advice keeping that in mind. the more the merrier.

Carry a clutch cable and learn to replace it. In case no clutch cable is available, learn how to do with a makeshift one with a scooter clutch wire.

I have had lots of incidents where the mechanics refuse to touch a Bullet even to remove a Leg guard.

Never follow trucks closely. You are a 'Chinna' thing on the road and the trucks may not see you in the RVM at all. Also, with the actual condition of the trucks seen on the highway, there is a lot of probability of something or the other falling down and you not getting enough time to react.

Do not screw with the trucks. In fact do not play with anybody at all on the highway. Remember, you are the smallest thing on the highway.

Whenever there is any village on the road, SLOW DOWN. I mean very slow. The folks that live on the highway have no fear at all and do not watch before crossing. Kids running across the road is a common scene on such roads.

Respect the highway and pay attention - especially when near any village / city. All the cars have Schumy inside and all the bikes have Rossi riding them. Maximum fatal accidents are seen near the citys/villages. The road once far from the city is relatively safe.

No Heavy food which make you sleepy. try sticking to Dal-fry and rice on the dhabas.

Carry a spare tube. - a 19" tube of Bullet. In case of emergency, an 18" of pulsar can be used by overinflating a bit (Keeping pressure of about 35 PSI)

If riding in the rains, slow down - considerably - Remember the contact patch between the road and the tyre is only about the size of a 50 paise coin.

If comfortable, a Bullet can keep doing 100kph for hours, but you should be comfortable and also keeping safety in mind.

Taking breaks may slow you down, will let go cover more distance. One more reason you to pull out your deathstick if you smoke.

Avoid night riding if the highway is unknown. Research beforehand - Some places are not even so safe during the days - I have also done numerous rides in the middle of the night from Mumbai to Pune.

When asking for directions always ask for the simplest road - not the shortest road. The Locals have a different concept of 'Chota' road than an outsider. Better yet stick to Bypass rather than enter a city. Also ask two different people for directions. If directions of both do not agree, ask a third person.

DO NOT take anything on your back. even if it is a light load. It will ruin your back. By long riding, already you are putting strain on your back. Load anything on the seat /saddles. Invest in bungee cords, saddle bags, tank bags.

Upgrade your headlight - The stock headlight is like going blindfolded on the highway at night.

Join a bullet club. You will get plenty of practical advice from people who do real long rides like 700+kms in a day or from Mumbai to Delhi.
I am part of the Roadshakers Pune and because of them I have developed the confidence of riding solo.

Start collecting safety equipment - I mean serious equipment. If is bit costly (Ok - may be really costly) and people around you may not understand why are you spending Rs 3K on a Helmet when you can get a ISI marked Helmet for Rs 500 helmet. But with all said and done, Its your life. you may be a Rossi, but the guy driving a tempo in front of you could have an IQ of a table.

For any mods, learn whats done and how to nullify it in case of
emergency.

Visibility in the Night. - Wear reflective material (Like the construction workers wear on a highway) in the night. All the drivers / riders drive on judgement in the night - Make sure you are the first thing they see and avoid in case you are stationary.

Enjoy the ride - start with something in 100kms radius and increase it.

If stuck, do not panic. I have found people to be very nice to a Bulleteer - specially to a Bulleteer.

Pillion is not an issue if he/she is experienced. - If new, then control the speed and tackle ghats slowly. I had an experience of leaning on a ghat at 60/70kph, and the newbie behing me going 'Aaaaaaaaaa'. I have also done 700 kms in 36 hours with another pillion taking the same road and not even a 'uff' even at 120kph.

Above speeds of 60/70 kph, ask the pillion to stick to your back (Ref: like a girl holding the rider close) This helps in the wind resistance.

Also, if the pillion is a bit experienced, he/she can keep taking pics of the beautiful scenery around while you keep riding. (attaching the pics taken by the pillion when I was riding to my hometown 330 kms away)

Keep enjoying the scenery - ride slow. The road 5 inches below your feet is a reality. You are part of the scenery. Keep the high speeds only on 4 lanes and times when you are late - and avoid such times by planning accordingly. Remember anything can wait - Except maybe your marriage - but then what are you doing on a Highway?

Me is in office now, will upload the pic of equipment that I generally take with me in the night.


Travelling long distances on a Motorcycle-dsc_0030.jpg

Travelling long distances on a Motorcycle-dsc_0093.jpg

Travelling long distances on a Motorcycle-dsc_0105.jpg
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Old 22nd June 2010, 21:09   #32
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Also, Highways does not mean flirting with danger. Rash riding is. 22K kms on Pulsar and 32K+ kms on a RE (mostly highways), and still I am clean. Near misses only once or twice. You can still enjoy without being rash.
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Old 22nd June 2010, 22:36   #33
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Sweat has nicely narrated vast experience. The tips told are not only for bullet but for all riders/ drivers.
+1
Don’t start ride just after got serviced your bike (bullet or any other) get the repairs/service few days before and check in city rides. So that any defect can be known in a well approached limit.
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Old 23rd June 2010, 12:21   #34
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I would like to add just one little thing here. It does not matter whether the pillion is experienced or not. All that matters is, how much confidence he/she has on his/her rider. The same holds true even for cars. When you take your new girl friend on a long drive, you can observe how quickly she touches the dash board on hard braking. But once she becomes your long timer or wife, she can enjoy her drink or ice cream and manage a wink at you, all at the same time.

By the way I noticed No Sweat is wearing shorts on the ThunderBird. I personally would prefer pants any day, especially on a highway....

But all in all a great post which truly comes from a very knowledgeable and seasoned rider.
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Old 23rd June 2010, 17:25   #35
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+1 to (Alok)'s point

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradhey View Post
By the way I noticed No Sweat is wearing shorts on the ThunderBird. I personally would prefer pants any day, especially on a highway....
Thats correct. But starting a ride from Mumbai at 2:30PM in May forces you to take decisions you do not like. BTW I must add here that I am a bit partial to my 3/4ths

Quote:
Originally Posted by bradhey View Post
But all in all a great post which truly comes from a very knowledgeable and seasoned rider.
Miles to go before I sleep Amigo. I am yet a 'Bucket' in front of the Oceans of knowledge that I have met


One more thing, the TB clutch wire can be replaced by keeping the bike on side stand and opening just the Huge Bolt kind of thing and the cover saying '5 SPEED'. No need to open the gearbox cover.


Did I mention the 2 second rule? this says that when following anyone, keep distance of 2 seconds between you. Whenever the vehicle in front of you crosses something (example: pole) you could be able to count 1 missisipi , 2 missisipi before crossing the pole yourself. This gives you ample time to react if the vehicle brakes suddenly.

Last edited by no_sweat : 23rd June 2010 at 17:32. Reason: Keep changing my mind ;)
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Old 23rd June 2010, 17:34   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no_sweat View Post

One more thing, the TB clutch wire can be replaced by keeping the bike on side stand and opening just the Huge Bolt kind of thing and the cover saying '5 SPEED'. No need to open the gearbox cover.
And before you leave on your long ride, ask the mechanic to run a spare wire along side the existing one. So you can simply fix the ends and be good to go.
No need of wasting time running the wire under the tank as its already done.

Do cover the ends of the spare wire with some plastic bag held in place with rubber bands. To keep it dry and clean.

OR learn how to ride without using the clutch.
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Old 23rd June 2010, 19:20   #37
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This clutch wire thing, is it having problem only on the TB or the other RE Bikes too?
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Old 23rd June 2010, 20:03   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KA18 View Post
This clutch wire thing, is it having problem only on the TB or the other RE Bikes too?
All the RE have a heavier clutch due to bigger engine. I have had mine broken every 6 months or so. Not a huge issue actually if you know how to go about it.
I had a pulsar for 3 years but no issues with that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
And before you leave on your long ride, ask the mechanic to run a spare wire along side the existing one. So you can simply fix the ends and be good to go.
No need of wasting time running the wire under the tank as its already done.
Actually that is a very good idea. Hit me too, but I m still procrastinating

Quote:
Originally Posted by bblost View Post
OR learn how to ride without using the clutch.
This is important too. You may not be able to stop and replace the clutch wire immediatly. (you have to consider everything on the highway). Worse you get your clutch wire broken on a Sunday - when the RE guys like to rest.
For a TB: to start, keep the bike in neutral, get a rolling start, rev the bike a little and put the bike in the 2nd directly (Not the first or the bike will stall.) When in motion, tap the gear lever slightly/lightly by the heel while revving the engine. On certain RPM, the shift will happen. Same goes for the downward shift. Avoid going to the first gear at all. The thing is bit tricky to describe.
Practise the tecnique beforehand or you will have to learn the thing in the heat of the battle - may not be practical or pleasant.

Hope I am not scaring anybody off by the huge list. I was a noob once. Just took the bike and some guards (The el cheapo skating elbow and knee guards) and helmet on my first ride (solo) about 225 kms one side (with some boosting and advice from the senior riders of course).
Start riding and you will learn along the way. Just keep safety in mind. Ride is for your enjoyment. You should survive (scratchless - or else u will become a bad example) to tell the tale.

The monsoons are here, the land is green, go out on the highway and be seen. (I know - a very bad attempt)

Last edited by no_sweat : 23rd June 2010 at 20:08.
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Old 24th June 2010, 04:23   #39
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Items I carry:

Helmet, Gloves, Elbow and knee guards, Shin guards, Reflective jacket to wear at night, Bungee cords/ net. Military Shoes. Got the shoes from a Shop in Camp, Pune. Very effective. During the Pune autocross practice (Here (Pune Autocross - 2nd may 2010 Report and Pics)), I fell down and my left leg was pinned under the bike and I couldn't pull it out. Someone lifted the bike for me and I completed the race/practice. The leg was safe due to the knee guard and the Ankle length shoe. Not even a sprain.

Travelling long distances on a Motorcycle-img_0721.jpg

My one friend/philosopher/guide once told me - "Mohit, Use sunscreen if you want to maintain your youth and beautiful skin in-spite of the outdoor activity"

Travelling long distances on a Motorcycle-img_0727.jpg

Odomos, Clutch cable, Acc cable and Spare Tube. Check your tube once in a while. Do not let it go bad without use.

Travelling long distances on a Motorcycle-img_0730.jpg

This is the bare minimum that I carry to each ride. A riding jacket is added to the list now. Rest, depends upon the trip itself.

Keep enjoying your ride.
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Old 25th June 2010, 04:49   #40
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Truly an amazing write up and included all the relevant information. I am planning to do a trip on my bull from Bangalore to Ooty and i have now got all the information i needed. Thanks a ton no sweat !
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Old 25th June 2010, 11:18   #41
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Sorry for posting an off topic question here. But posting it elsewhere didnt get me any replies:

What is the mileage Electra owners usually get on the highway and at what speeds?

I usually maintain a constant 80 and my mileage has always been 26-27kpl. Any ideas, suggestions?? The bike is in perfect condition and has around 72k on the odo.

Coming to what I carry:
1. Cramster tank bag. Spacious for my needs and helpful.
2. My fenix torch.
3. One old leather jacket
4. Cramster riding gloves.
5. A pair of Woodland shoes.
6. 1 spare clutch cable, 1 spare acc cable,2 chain links, spanners from size 7-19, two screwdrivers, one cutting plier, one nose plier and waste cloth.
7. 3 pairs of undergarments and socks. I wash them at any dhaba I sleep and dry them on the bike on the move.
8. Old news papers to wipe my visor.
9. One towel around my neck and one in the bag(the thin cotton variety).
10. Mosquito repellent cream Odomos.
11. Fully charged cellphones though I plan to rig up a cigarette lighter socket soon.
12. Full face helmet Studds with a very clear visor.

I consistently travel 800kms plus in a day when I need to do so/destination is more than 800kms. I take a break every 300kms when I tank up for fuel and plan my food breaks accordingly as well. I prefer night riding to day and have an upgraded 90/100W headlamp.
I almost always ride solo.
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Old 25th June 2010, 12:34   #42
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N Devdath you are truly and inspiration for motorcyclists in India. I mean travelling 800 kms plus is no ordinary task in our democracy, where people are well know to disobey law. Where do you travel by the way ?? Have you got any write ups of your travel, 'cause it would make a very interesting reading.. take care and thanks for sharing your views.
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Old 25th June 2010, 13:18   #43
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Dev i think the mileage is a bit less, my ci500 gives me about 35odd when am doing speeds around 90-100, considering some good part of winding roads is involved... 800kms a day wow how many hours you take?
Quote:
Originally Posted by n.devdath View Post
Sorry for posting an off topic question here. But posting it elsewhere didnt get me any replies:

What is the mileage Electra owners usually get on the highway and at what speeds?

I usually maintain a constant 80 and my mileage has always been 26-27kpl. Any ideas, suggestions?? The bike is in perfect condition and has around 72k on the odo.

Coming to what I carry:
1. Cramster tank bag. Spacious for my needs and helpful.
2. My fenix torch.
3. One old leather jacket
4. Cramster riding gloves.
5. A pair of Woodland shoes.
6. 1 spare clutch cable, 1 spare acc cable,2 chain links, spanners from size 7-19, two screwdrivers, one cutting plier, one nose plier and waste cloth.
7. 3 pairs of undergarments and socks. I wash them at any dhaba I sleep and dry them on the bike on the move.
8. Old news papers to wipe my visor.
9. One towel around my neck and one in the bag(the thin cotton variety).
10. Mosquito repellent cream Odomos.
11. Fully charged cellphones though I plan to rig up a cigarette lighter socket soon.
12. Full face helmet Studds with a very clear visor.

I consistently travel 800kms plus in a day when I need to do so/destination is more than 800kms. I take a break every 300kms when I tank up for fuel and plan my food breaks accordingly as well. I prefer night riding to day and have an upgraded 90/100W headlamp.
I almost always ride solo.
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Old 25th June 2010, 13:26   #44
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Devdath, you are truly an inspiration for bikers. 800kms in a day!! Could you please post your bikelogues. Would really like to read your long ride posts. There would be lot to learn from it.
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Old 25th June 2010, 13:54   #45
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Thank You Lohith, Abhinav and Bradhey,

Quote:
Originally Posted by lohithrao View Post
Dev i think the mileage is a bit less, my ci500 gives me about 35odd when am doing speeds around 90-100, considering some good part of winding roads is involved... 800kms a day wow how many hours you take?
Precisely Lohith, and I have been trying to get it improved for a long time now, with the ASCs and mechanics that I know. Somehow, though, I have not yet succeeded. The day I get 35kmpl @ 80kmph, I will be amongst the happiest souls on earth. Believe me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by abhinav.s View Post
Devdath, you are truly an inspiration for bikers. 800kms in a day!! Could you please post your bikelogues. Would really like to read your long ride posts. There would be lot to learn from it.
Coming to my travel practices, this is what I usually do if my trip exceeds 1k kms:

Leave office at 1700HRS-Reach home by 1800HRS. Check Don, though he usually is ship shape. Have an early dinner and a heavy one. I do not travel with light meals and stuff. Pack everything 2100HRS and charge my cell phones(2) and do a final round of checking which takes less than 5 minutes.

Give Don a good wipe at say, 2130HRS and leave him in peace for the next hour.
I usually leave home by 2230-2300HRS and begin the travel. Over the years of practice, I take breaks every 300kms when I need fuel and keep riding till I reach my destination. I never exceed 80 kmph even on super highways and try not to go below 60 at anytime. I ride for around 15 hours(on the saddle) in a 24 hour stretch if I have no time constraints which gives me around 1000kms per day.

Though I regularly do BLR-DEL non stop in around 2 nights and 1 day around twice a year.

Last edited by n.devdath : 25th June 2010 at 13:56.
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