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Old 6th June 2009, 20:34   #1
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Default Delhi - Kolkata : A ride on RD350

Hi friends,

After a long waiting period of almost 3 years, I just bought one RD350 HT. I am really grateful to my childhood buddy Kallol Dutta, who spent many precious weekends searching for a decent RD350 and without whose active support, my dream would never been a reality.

I am posting an image of the same, but now it is in restoration phase with Sumeet Mehndiratta - the RD Guru. As I want the color to be red and everything to be as per showroom condition, the full restoration will take a month or so. I will be posting more images as and when I got them from the workshop.

I am planning to be in India by Nov end and drive the beast to Kolkata. I need your suggestions and helping hand to make this planned journey a memorable one.
  1. Is it safe to drive a bike in NH2 during Nov end and Dec starting?
  2. What is the road condition of NH2?
  3. Approximately how much distance will I be able to cover a day in NH2 riding on a RD350.
  4. What are the best places for night halt in this journey?
  5. Is it safe to drive between Varanasi and Asansol, and which is the best place for night stay in this 467km path?
  6. Do I need any special paper to drive through the states of UP & Bihar
  7. Which is the best GPS to be used and approx cost involved.
I would appreciate all your suggestions and please feel free to post your advice.

Regards
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Old 6th June 2009, 22:51   #2
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Nov-Dec drive will be nice except the Fog problem. U may not able to drive for more ever.

NH2 will be safe. Use google map for exact distance and the route. You dont need any special permission to drive through any of the State.
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Old 6th June 2009, 23:32   #3
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Keeping in mind the 'Fog' problem - will not I be able to drive 300-350 km/day. I don't want to drive more as I am not in any hurry and want to do lot of photography.

Another question is how safe is Varanasi - Asansole part. And exactly, where stay at night - Sasaram or Dehri?
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Old 6th June 2009, 23:50   #4
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Congrats milind on getting your own beast! I had an RD350HT for 2 years back in 2004 and although I never did a long drive on her, this bike is made for one for sure! Enjoy her and take good care of her, I'm sure she'll never stop surprising you with her performance.
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Old 6th June 2009, 23:59   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenh0rn View Post
Congrats milind on getting your own beast! I had an RD350HT for 2 years back in 2004 and although I never did a long drive on her, this bike is made for one for sure! Enjoy her and take good care of her, I'm sure she'll never stop surprising you with her performance.

Thanks friend. I am really waiting for the day to see her. I am sure, my experience with her will be everlasting.
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Old 7th June 2009, 08:54   #6
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Salute to you!!! RD 350 and Kolkata to Delhi!! Drive dhould be smooth in NH2...any rain damage should have been repaired by Nov-Dec.
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Old 7th June 2009, 15:25   #7
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Can anybody suggest any good hotel along NH2 - where I can stay for the night.
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Old 8th June 2009, 10:14   #8
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Congratulations on your new purchase. I am glad you want to do Delhi-Kolkata. I can advice you on the Varanasi-Kolkata sector. SStraveller can advice you on the entire stretch. Probably you should meet him in Delhi before starting on the journey.
There are now loads of information on this stretch on team-bhp. Do check out the travelogue section. But a few points to remember
  1. Post golden quadrilateral (GQ) this stretch is a dream run, even by western standards. Except for around 40/50 km in Jharkhand and the Allahabad city, the road is absolutely billiard top, four-laned with a very wide median.
  2. You don't need a GPS because you don't have to take any diversion/exit etc. Just keep going straight, straight, straight and you will be in Kolkata.
  3. The NH2 that is shown on all the road maps does not exist anymore in that way. This can be confusing, particularly if you intend to go inside any of the cities along the route.
  4. Officially the GQ is the new NH2 now. In certain parts they have made the old road wider (locally called GT Road all along this stretch), while in certain other parts the old road still exists inside the main cities and the new road bypasses the city.
  5. You need not know all this unless you want to go to a certain city on this route. For example, if you want to go to Varanasi the maps will show it as on the right side of NH2. This can be totally misleading. Actually Varanasi city is on the left side of the GQ (coming from Delhi). It is on the right side of old GT Road.
  6. Although you will be going through three of the most so called lawless states in the country - UP, Bihar and Jharkhand - you will not see any visible signs of lawlessness on the road itself. Just take some of the basic precautions like don't stray off the main highway unless you wanted to go to big cities on the way. Try to avoid night riding.
  7. The road side staying facility on the way from Varanasi to Asansol is virtually non-existant.
  8. The Hazaribagh district is perhaps one of the most beautiful stretches on this route. The Tilaiya dam is also absolutely exquisite. Enjoy nature photography but exercise caution with where you want to stop. They have Maoists and criminals on this stretch. But once again - I have travelled with my wife and child on this stretch and nothing has happened to me. So I am not trying to scare you off. Just want you to be aware of the potential trouble spots.
  9. Hook up with SS for a more detailed dope.
  10. Research more in the travelogue section.
All the very best for your journey.
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Old 8th June 2009, 13:23   #9
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Hi milind - here's my 2 paise worth. Hope it helps...
Quote:
Originally Posted by milindajp View Post
  1. Is it safe to drive a bike in NH2 during Nov end and Dec starting?Absolutely. Just mind the crazy traffic driving on the wrong side of the road. And don't ride after dark/stop overnight in Bihar/Jharkhand.
  2. What is the road condition of NH2? A-ok except about 70 km around Allahabad (35km each side) and about 25-30 km around a place called Isri Bazar in Jharkhand. Even there, though the track is single lane, road surfacing has been done recently. Don't know how it'll be in end-Nov, though.
  3. Approximately how much distance will I be able to cover a day in NH2 riding on a RD350. 500 km easily. You can time your journey to leave Benaras early morning and be in Asansol by late afternoon. The distance is about 425km.
  4. What are the best places for night halt in this journey? Anywhere in UP or West Bengal. The risk of staying somewhere in Bihar/JH is thefts - your bike might disappear overnight. I believe a good RD350 is still a lucrative machine in those states.
  5. Is it safe to drive between Varanasi and Asansol, and which is the best place for night stay in this 467km path? Less than 467 km border to border.
  6. Do I need any special paper to drive through the states of UP & Bihar No special documents required. Just carry your DL, RC, insurance and PUC.
  7. Which is the best GPS to be used and approx cost involved. I use an Asus P527 with SatGuide in it, and it's pretty much useless for the new highways.
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Old 11th June 2009, 12:28   #10
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Thanks everybody for all your suggestions. So, after going through all the advice and consultation, the itinerary is as follows.

1. Dubai - Delhi : 27th Nov 2009
2. Final checking of bike + essential marketing : 27th & 28th Nov
3. Delhi - Agra - Kanpur (467Km) : 29th Nov
4. Kanpur - Allahabad - Varanasi (319Km) : 30th Nov
5. Varanasi - Mythone Dam (??? Km) : 1st Dec
6. Rest : 2nd Dec
7. Mythone Dam - Kolkata (227 Km) : 3rd Dec

And I am also attaching images of my bike - under restoration....
Your suggestions are highly appriciated.

Thanks
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Old 11th June 2009, 16:52   #11
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Here is my log of the route from Kolkata (my home) to Varanasi. I think it is fairly exhaustive and detailed.

Varanasilog08(1).xls

Also attached is the link to my travelogue to Varanasi.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...urga-puja.html (Kolkata-Benares during Durga Puja)

Maithon is 4/5 km off the highway to your left near Asansol. There are perpetual truck parking in that area because that's the entry tax point for Bengal. Watchout for the road sign to your left.

According to SS - Allahabad is a better option for staying than Varanasi. Because in Allahabad you go right through the town and therefore don't need to look around for hotel. But for Varanasi town you have to go off the highway and ride for quite a distance. It's a real pain at the end of the day's riding, because that road from the highway to the middle of the town where all the hotels are, is one of the worst in UP with half finished flyovers and all sorts of cow belt chaos.

I have a travelogue for Maithon as well. Here is the link
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...-calcutta.html (Maithan - A weekend getaway from Calcutta)

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Old 11th June 2009, 17:43   #12
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Thanks Sudipto, thank you very much. The Varanasi log will help me a lot.

I was posted at Sasaram for some way back in 1997. I used to frequently visit a Bengali sweet shop at Dehri to have 'Rasmalai'. A really big one called 'atom' valued at Rs.5/- . And the journey on a friend's Rajdoot from Sasaram to Dehri - 2hrs. net.

Things have changed a lot with time - Golden Q is really shining.
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Old 11th June 2009, 20:01   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milindajp View Post
I was posted at Sasaram for some way back in 1997. I used to frequently visit a Bengali sweet shop at Dehri to have 'Rasmalai'. A really big one called 'atom' valued at Rs.5/- . And the journey on a friend's Rajdoot from Sasaram to Dehri - 2hrs. net.

Things have changed a lot with time - Golden Q is really shining.
So at least a part of this trip is familiar territory for you. That's great. Don't worry too much about law and order on the way. Nothing will happen if you ride during the day and stick to the main highway.
By the way, if you aren't careful you might completely miss out Dehri or Sasaram. The exits to these towns are not very well marked. The new road completely by-passes them.
Regarding rasmalai in Dehri - I am told kalakand in Jhumri Tilaiya (off Tilaiya dam towards Koderma) is also delicious.

By the way - I hope your friend has properly broken in the newly done up bike and it is fighting fit for the long journey. Perhaps you should ask your friend to go on a day trip (nearer the time of your journey) to some places outside Delhi to test its reliability. The new GQ is an excellent road but there is hardly any support service available on this road. God forbid, if there is a breakdown it will not be easy getting it mended on GQ.

Last edited by Sudipto-S-Team : 11th June 2009 at 20:09.
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Old 12th June 2009, 00:31   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by milindajp View Post
Thanks everybody for all your suggestions. So, after going through all the advice and consultation, the itinerary is as follows.

1. Dubai - Delhi : 27th Nov 2009
2. Final checking of bike + essential marketing : 27th & 28th Nov
I will suggest you to drive your bike at least 100KM after you do the all service and before you start the trip.
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Old 12th June 2009, 00:41   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arin_12 View Post
I will suggest you to drive your bike at least 100KM after you do the all service and before you start the trip.
I think you should take your mechanic along and do a Delhi-Jaipur-Delhi stretch to check for reliability. It should not take you more than 10-11 hours.

As they say prevention is better than cure so better be prepared for adversities.
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