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Old 6th October 2010, 09:29   #1
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Default Successful Saddlesore 1600K attempt in my Fazer

Bajaj Discover's influence:

I came across the "Iron Butt Association" website couple of years back while searching for long distance touring tips on Google. I was planning for a 500 km trip on Bajaj Discover 110 cc, a bike and my close friend that I owned then. Though I never did that trip due to various reasons, the "IBA" website stayed in my mind for sometime.

1st June 2010

It was my Ex-bike's(Discover) 4th Year Birthday and i was recollecting some happy moments spent with my friendly machine. IBA website too came to my memory and also the dropped 500km road trip plan.

Last week of August 2010:

Just one more month for my Fazer's 1st year Birthday and something memorable has to be done. I thought of going to Bangalore to meet couple of my friends from HCL, Biju and Parthiban, and then buy a tent in Bangalore that i could use for my bike tours. Then came this thought...the birthday is for the bike and not for me, so I gotta do something memorable for the bike.

Me: Shall we take the bike to temple?
My Conscience: No

Me: What about Mobile charger installation?
My conscience: It's the bike's Birthday and not "Operation" day

Me: What about Motul 15W40 Fully synthetic oil? Engine's gonna thank me.
My Conscience: i told u it's not "operation" day

Me: What else?
My conscience: Something that our bike gets a name "That's the first bike to..."etc.

IBA's website was on my computer screen the next moment and i finalized on "Saddle Sore 1600K" a ride of 1610 kms in under 24 hours. Further searching on Google to find out if anyone has done it from India, 7 people have successfully finished. Also came across an article about a guy who tried the Saddlesore attempt on Fazer and fell short by an hour. Another guy has successfully completed the ride on FZ-16. So if I do this ride successfully my bike will become "The first Yamaha Fazer 150cc to do a saddlesore 1600K in India"

My colleagues at the cabin were shocked when they heard my plan first but knowing about my trips on Fazer they were confident that I'll make it. However the key decision would be made by my boss for Bike touring, Mr. Arul from MBMC(Madras Bulls Motor club)

Me: Arul...I'm planning for a 1600+ km ride on my bike in under 24 hours (I was expecting he'll ask what is the funda behind this)
Arul: Oh...that Iron Butt stuff...Do it man! (How does he know everything about biking world!)

The initial plan :

Chennai-Vizag-Chennai, a couple of bikers have done the saddlesore ride successfully in this route using Pulsar 220. I quickly made the Trip plan preview and posted in orkut's Yamaha Fazer community. http://www.orkut.co.in/Main#Community?cmm=104340931


The final plan:

I was still not 100% satisfied with the vizag trip as i got mixed reviews about the route because of Traffic density. Chennai to Coimbatore was the route I wanted to do as the road conditions were excellent and hence finalized on Chennai-Coimbatore-Chennai-Madurai-Chennai. The trip was scheduled to happen on October 2nd though October 1st was my bike's birthday.



Trip preparation:

I did the 7th service for my bike on 1st week of september thinking that I'll run the bike for some few hundred kms and then directly take on the saddlesore ride. First time i used Yamalube 15W50 Engine oil and the result was awesome. Just then I got an opportunity to participate in a 500kms social cause ride along with 100 bikers from the city and that turned out to be a confusion maker. My bike has done 900kms with the new oil and I was a bit confused if I could carry on with the same oil for the ride or change the oil again though it is just 900kays old. Not ready to take on any chances i took the bike for a quick service on October 1st just to make sure everything is fine. My concentration was very much on the bke that I forgot to take care myself. It ended up having fever and cold and to make matters worst I accidently hit my left leg on a brick stacked at my home where construction work was going on. Who cares! My excitement level was so high that my sleeping time was not more than 3 hours. Moreover my friends have confirmed there presence next morning to send me off and that itself was a big boost to the morale.



The D-Day:

Got up at 3 A.M with heavy pain on the left leg and severe cold. I didn't have time to worry abut it as we are not 100% fit all the time. Silently packed up all the necessary stuff in the backpack(Mom and dad just knew I was going to Bangalore to meet my friends and will be back the next day) Bike papers, Chain cleaner and chain lube, tools, 3 bottles of water mixed with Electrol, Horlicks Energy bars and First Aid kit. Reached the Bharat Petroleum bunk at 5.30 A.M and waited for my friends to arrive. Once everybody was present the trip started at exactly 6.11 A.M after getting wishes from my friends. Shaggy, One of my good friend from Yamaha Fazer commmunity in orkut was riding beside me for the first 3 kms till I took the turn on Maduravoyil Bye-pass and entered NH4-The highway I used to ride every weekend to my farm at vellore. My bike was feeling so excited, thanks to the oil change and till we crossed Poonamallee we maintained a low profile on the road due to heavy lorry traffic. Took a quick break near poonamallee to give a gentle massage to my toe as it was paining like hell and was back on the road again. A guy riding on Apache was doing the usual honours that Fazers and FZ's recieve on open roads and we started to create some noise on the calm NH4. 100..110...115..123...124..I lost the Apache guy somewhere and decided to slowdown a bit and maintain 105 kmph as the steady speed. My first target stop was vellore, 120 kays from chennai. In another 1 hour and 20 minutes I crossed vellore and made up my mind not to stop till Krishnagiri.



1st Checkpoint(Krishnagiri):

Krishnagiri was my first checkpoint as the rules of IBA wanted me to obtain reciepts from petrol bunks at various checkpoints escpecially at corners like Krishnagiri. Stopping by an Indian oil Petrolbunk just to know that they won't give any compuetr printed reciepts i moved on and stopping by every petrol bunk i just began to understand that if I'm going to keep on looking for computer generated reciepts then I won't even reach coimbatore in 24 hours. Finally made up my mind to go for Hand bills itself and took the first break on a Indian oil petrol bunk in Karimangalam near Krishnagiri. Messaged to my friends about my location and slowly munched the energy bar. Tripmeter indicated 269 kays and it took me 3 hrs and 20 minutes.



2nd Checkpoint (Salem):

since there exists a shortcut route to coimbatore from krishnagiri apart from the normal route via salem I was forced to take another reciept to confirm that I passed through salem and not through shortcut. It was 10.30 in the morning and the open highway suddenly changed it's image to a city like road in salem eventhugh it is a bye-pass there were couple of signals and I was welcomed by a long waiting queue of trucks. I knew these were testing times and slowly passd through the heavy traffic hoping that I could still make up for the lost time.

Time: 10.31 A.M

Trip meter: 329 km



3rd Checkpoint (Perumanallur, coimbatore):

After a steady 110 kmph cruise on the highway reached the outskirts of coimbatore. With coimbatore city centre still 50 kms away I managed to find a Canara Bank ATM that mentioned the coimbatore city name and it turned out to be my 3rd checkpoint. There was a college nearby and some girls were waiting on the bus stand. They were curiously looking at me...ok...not me...they were looking at my bike. Just then a dog came sniffing near my bike's tyre and to avoid any "Outpouring" I immediately switched on the engine and left the place.


Time: 12.05 p.M

Tripmeter: 461 km

Time wasted sighting the girls from inside the ATM: 3 minutes


4th Checkpoint (Near Krishnagiri):

After recharging my harmones with some good "Sightings" in coimbatore I started heading back to Krishnagiri on the same route. After crossing Salem by battling the Lorry traffic once again i needed a real butt break. Stopping by a lonely place I had my lunch- One Horlicks energy bar. The sun was performing it's duty exceptionally well and my body's Liquid cooling system was working at peak load. I had about 100 more kms to cross Krishnagiri. Back on the road the fun continued and in no time we were back in Krishnagiri. The only petrol bunk on the left lane welcomed us with a sign "Petrol out of stock" and to the horro of my eyes the fuel indicator started blinking! That means I've got not more than 40 or 50 kms. I was literally searching for petrol pumps but none came on the way. Sadly i couldn't rev my engine at this point of time and maintained a shameful 50 kmph. To be frank i was literally crying inside my helmet. Just then an orange colored board was sighted in a far off distance. Wow! An Indian Oil Petrol pump. With lot of enthu i entered the station and to my bad luck that seemed to be an old fashioned petrol pump with no roof and having sand everywhere. With no other choice left I topped up the tank.

Time: 3.40 P.M
Tripmeter: 690 km

5th Checkpoint: (chennai)

The sun lost its power soon and rains began. That means my dream is gonna end. I've never experienced sharper rain drops in my life like that one. It felt like a needle. On entering vellore agian the dry weather resumed and I felt relieved. Reached Tambaram via Maduravoyil Bye-pass and it was completely dark. I used up all the cash in various petrol bunks that i was left with 500 rupees as cash on hand. That's fine, after all we are in city now and almost all the petrol bunks in NH45 (Route to madurai) would accept cards. Topped up Petrol for 500 bucks and the attender returned to me and said "Sir your card has some error and we can't process the payment. Please pay by cash" Next thought that came up to my mind was "Is this the end of the trip because of card error?". I slowly rolled my bike beyond Tambaram searching for ATM. My Heart was killing my mind by telling "Has the card got damaged? If yes then this whole trip is a failure because of lack of money, what a climax!" Just then an IOB Bank ATM was sighted near Vandalur. A couple of people were waiting and i too joined them patiently. every minute i stood there was like hell as I know it's gonna seriously affect my ride. Just before i could enter the ATM, people turned back saying that the ATM is out of order. I am irritated with banks who don't care to maintain the ATMs well. With more frustration began to roll my bike again. Just 5 kms beyond that in a place called Urapakkam saw this Karur Vysya Bank ATM. With desperate need of cash I joined the long queue of 15 people!
"Saddle sore dream is gonna be a nightmare"

Time: 7.40 P.M
Tripmeter: 946 km

Still 664 kms and 10 hours left....


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Old 6th October 2010, 09:30   #2
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At Start point:

With my Friends:

First fuel Topup that marked the start of the ride:

First break at Krishnagiri:


Resting at some place between salem and Krishnagiri while returning back to chennai:

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Old 6th October 2010, 09:31   #3
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Patience being tested to the core:
Waiting in the long queue of 15 members in the Karur Vysya Bank, I wasted some time. Fear started mounting on my mind, "What if the card fails?" I never thought I would waste time like this in the middle of an endurance ride where every minute wasted would affect the average speed tremendously. With all these thoughts ruining my mind I finally got my turn to take cash from the ATM. Well...the machine took an unusually long time but finally got the cash on hand! Phew...what a relief! Now the trip can really happen!

Time 7.40 P.M
Tripmeter 946 Km

Eating up kms in a Jiffy:
My bike was happy on the delay as it got some rest after a 13 hour rush ride. We started to kill the kms mercilessly at speeds around 110 kmph. Tindivanam passed like a breeze and same is the case with Villupuram. After topping up Petrol in Villupuram my next target stop was set to be a non stop ride to Madurai that is about 300 kms away. Worrying factor is it's night time and Chennai to Trichy route is the most important gateway for all the cities in southern Tamil Nadu with Chennai, hence it's a nightmare for motorists due to countless Private Air Buses and lorries rushing through the highway.

Time: 9.38 P.M
Trip meter: 1081 km

Nature's furry :
With 300 kms left to madurai, I started in a good mood hoping the NH45 is gonna be smooth sailing but then came the warriors from the sky. My Helmet visor started giving up to the heavy downpour and the visibility dropped down by more than 75%. Almost all the vehicles reduced their average speeds and that affected my average too because everytime I overtake a lorry or a bus, the water/mud were splashed on to the visor and I was forced to slowdown and clean the visor with a dry cloth that I placed in my wind shield. Even if I clean the visor the muddy water created a glare that every time a vehicle passed in the opposite direction, my speeds would go down to 40 and 50 kays. I was disappointed as the milestones reading Trichy distance were not motivating. The downour was so heavy that it just kept on increasing without any sign of stopping. The dry cloth was not dry anymore and i was forced to stop. With no option left I removed the visor from helmet and started riding with the balaclava. Soon realized that the visor was better as the rain drops were so sharp that my eyes started burning and tiredness set in for the first time. Even if i speed up or slow down I was always splashed with water from the buses and lorries and cars. Unable to bear the pain on the eyes i took numerous stops just to wash my eyes with water. Time was running fast and just at that juncture came my guardian angel- A Volvo Twin-axle bus flying on the highway to Tirunelveli. My guru Arul has once mentioned about the speciality of Volvo twin axle buses that they could cruise comfortably at 140 kmph speed. However due to rains the driver has reduced his cruising speed to 120 and with less wind resistance I started tailgating the monster at a safe distance. 115 kmph was the speed maintained and my bike has gotten used to these speeds by now. Trichy went past in a Jiffy and I was thankful for that bus driver for slowing down. Alas, he came back to his aggressive mood again after cossing Trichy and eventhough i was crouching fully behind the wind shield and my bike's speedo struggling at 124 kmph the bus took off like a rocket and disappeared. With heavy rain still playing spoilsport my speeds dropped once again and the pressure mounted enormously for the first time in the ride. It was 11.50 P.M and Madurai was still 54 kays away. Just then realized that I was in Kottampatti, that belongs to district of Madurai. I don't have to reach Madurai's town cente afterall it is the distance that matters and not the fact that i enter the city or not. Finalized to stop in the next petrol bunk and head back to chennai.
Time: 11.58 P.M
Tripmeter: 1306 km

Killer rain:
Took a small break in a empty bus stop and finally got a chance to lay my back on the cement floor. What a comfort! My back thanked me and not even a million dollar bed would have given me such a comfort...that cement floor in Kottampatti, Madurai District! I have 6 more hours to go and 304 kms on hand. But considering the rain I knew it will be very tough unless I get another Guardian Angel in the highway on the return journey. Luck was not by my side though and the roads were empty till Trichy. Rain was so heavy and it took me a whopping 2 hours ride to cover just 78 kms! My eyes were burning and my toe started sending warning messages to my brain about the merciless activity that my body has been forced to. Cough set in followed by running nose and my burning eyes started to send out tears that were cruelly washed away by the eye prickling rain. After crossing Trichy I was welcomed by a long queue of trucks.
Time: 2.00 A.M
Tripmeter: 1384 km

The Accident:
Nothing worked on my way since evening. There was a long queue of trucks and an Ambulance rushed passed me. I knew something bad has happened. The police stopped my bike when I was trying to cross the long queue of trucks and asked me to wait for a while till they clear the bodies(!!!!) oh my God...a lorry has crashed into a car and the Butter smooth highway was sparkling by the broken glasses. 20 minutes passed and after crossing the lorries slowly I was at the front waiting for the Police to allow us continue the Journey. Once I heard the whistle I started to zoom past the accident scene and started twisting the throttle like never before. Yes.. fear has set in by now. I was 226 kms behind the target of 1610 km and time left was 3hrs and 30 minutes. Finally nature stopped her play and my dear Fazer, that never showed any signs of giving up, started roaring. Even now when i'm typing this blog i could hear my bike's sound and my heart's sound that time is running...time is running...we may lose like that other guy who has tried saddle sore in Fazer and lost it by an hour. Everytime i thought about that guy my speed climbed up and was chasing the wind.

and finally....

Villupuram passed by and i didnt had any mood to stop anywhere. My own tank was full and needed a leak but a big no no! Tindivanam passed by and i recieved the final reminder that if i'm not gonna stop then my bladder will blow out. Unable to bear the pain i stopped for a leak and when i was back on my saddle it felt so comfortable! I had 45 kms to cover in a solid 1 hour and 30 minutes. Still i didn't want to slow down and kept the throttle fully open. 45 kms were done in 42 minutes and that's it! I've completed the saddlesore challenge of 1610 kms with 48 minutes left. Messaged my friends (Somehow the message I sent to shaggy who was updating my status in my orkut community didn't reach him) and they were present in Vandalur to recieve me. Every km beyong 1610 km felt great! My heart was jumping with Joy...finally we did it...as promised i've given my bike the best gift she deserves "The first Fazer to do Saddlesore 1600K challenge successfully". I knew there were lot of formalities in IBA and it would take them at least 2 or 3 months to complete the verification process but who cares! I have the proof with me!

We made it!
My burning eyes sent down big packets of tears...my mind was recollecting the comments made by many people that it won't be possible to do a 1600+km ride on a air cooled 150cc engine...I also remembered the words of my friends who came from long distance just to wish me have a safe journey, though they had late working hours still they woke up early and came to see me, wishing me luck..Deepan, Vinoth, Jayaraj sir, Prabhakar sir, Thirumavalavan sir and Suresh from HCL..then my very own beloved touring companion Shaggy from the orkut community who rode besides me for the initial 3 kms to see me fly off on NH4 safely..I also remebered that dreadful "Sir, your card has error" message given by the attender in a petrol bunk...the long queue in the ATM at Urapakam, chennai...the heavy rain ...the Volvo bus...the accident...my toe stopped sending warning messages...my heart took over the control of my mind and I stopped my bike just 5 kms before reaching the final check point,Vandalur. I Walked up to the front of the bike and hugged my bike's fairing with my tears rolling down the sweet looking pilot lamp nestled at the centre of the twin headlamps and gave my bike a kiss that tasted more sweeter than honey. My Fazer has silently taken up all the pain throughout the ride and is trully the best companion a guy can get.

Back in Vandalur my friends were waiting for me and finally got the computerized reciept from the Bharat Petroleum bunk. It read "6.03 A.M on 3rd October 2010" We made it with 8 minutes to spare! Everybody were filled with Joy that i acomplished my dream run and we went on to have breakfast.

"What's the best part of the Journey?" one of my friend asked me.."Well it was the kiss that I gave my bike!" murmured my heart inside. But my mouth started out.. " While returning from coimbatore the roads were.......blah blah blah"

Time: 6.03 A.M
Tripmeter: 1665 km
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Old 6th October 2010, 09:38   #4
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At 5.23 A.M I completed the ride with more than 48 minutes left:


At the End Point: 1665 kms in 23 hours and 53 minutes

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Old 6th October 2010, 09:48   #5
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Congrats! Kudos to the effort!
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Old 6th October 2010, 09:50   #6
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Congrats blueband4u,

One of the rarest ride in the whole life that too in 24 hrs without any Company.
Wishes and Splendid Salute to you man,you rocks.

Enjoy and Drive Safe
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Old 6th October 2010, 09:57   #7
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Great writeup.. and congrats on the ride man.

Saddlesore 16k has been in my mind since the past 2 years, never got the courage to make it due to lack of time for planning and lazinesss. Now your writeup has sparked it again in me
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Old 6th October 2010, 10:09   #8
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Thanks a lot gentlemen! I have mailed all the necessary documents to IBA and waiting for their verification process. I think it'll take more than 2 months for the process but it's worth it

@Jingaboysr
Hope you'll be doing the ride soon!
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Old 6th October 2010, 10:13   #9
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CoNgRaTuLaTiOnS @Blueband; Yes Fazer or FZ could do this in a nick of time. I too remember a guy doing it in his FZ with about 3-5 minutes to spare, but that was in Mumbai.

What's the difference between...
Quote:
At 5.23 A.M I completed the ride with more than 48 minutes left:
and
Quote:
At the End Point: 1665 kms in 23 hours and 53 minutes
Being a biker at heart, I know how difficult it is to do it with a Fazer. Good that you did & I'm happy for you.

And don't even worry about the certificate 'cause YOU WILL GET it for sure as you've clocked more than 1660 Kms. Even if IBA applies their 4% error on Japanese meters, you're still bound to fall in the limits

Last edited by aargee : 6th October 2010 at 10:16.
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Old 6th October 2010, 10:17   #10
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@ aargee

Thank you sir...As per IBa requirements we need to complete 1610 kms in 24 hours and i completed that requirement with 48 minutes to spare. I thought i could gulp some additional miles as the guy who did in FZ-16 has claimed 1649 kms or something and I wanted to overtake that! so finally closed the ride at 1665 kms with 8 minutes to spare
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Old 6th October 2010, 10:29   #11
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It was a good attempt that you did to clock an additional 55 Kms. The thumb rule is always to clock additional Kms as reserve because IBA uses their own method's to calculate the route distances.

Though I'm confident you've seen this, but still
Quote:
IMPORTANT NOTE: Unless your speedometer has been calibrated, do NOT depend on your own odometer readings for official mileage! Most Japanese motorcycles register at least four percent more miles than actually traveled. Over the course of a 24 hour period, this error can be quite severe - as much as 40 miles. IN ALL CASES, mileage will be verified with either Automap (a computer atlas), DeLorme Atlas or DeLorme's "Map'N'Go", Mapquest (an Internet mapping program), MapsOnUs (also an internet mapping program), Rand McNally's Tripmaker, Microsoft Streets and Trips, Google Earth or an American Automobile Association atlas
Anyway, this is neither Japan nor you're riding a true Japanese motorcycle, so nothing to worry on this either. People have even clocked around 1620 Kms & have been able to obtain their IBA in India.

Congratulations buddy.
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Old 6th October 2010, 10:37   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueband4u View Post
[b]
Killer rain:
Took a small break in a empty bus stop and finally got a chance to lay my back on the cement floor. What a comfort! My back thanked me and not even a million dollar bed would have given me such a comfort...that cement floor in Kottampatti, Madurai District! I have 6 more hours to go and 304 kms on hand.
That was a fantastic ride, congratulations!

Now, about the highlighted part. Kottampatti to Vandalur is only 304 KM by road? Is there a typo?
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Old 6th October 2010, 10:42   #13
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Congrats Blueband4u on this tremendous achievement. Can feel the passion for your bike in your words. I guess you just gave a perfect birthday gift to your fazer or maybe shall we say, your fazer gave you a perfect gift as well by doing the ride without any niggles
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Old 6th October 2010, 10:43   #14
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@ Gansan

Actually it is more than 400 kms but to complete the 1610 km requirement I just needed to accomplish 304 kms from that point at Kottampatti
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Old 6th October 2010, 10:48   #15
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A job well done. Congrats.

But next time, please do wear some body protection kits.
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