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Old 11th November 2015, 01:17   #121
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Apologies for taking so long to finish the story. All 3 readers ;p


Day 8, 9 & 10

Day 8 is a washout. The knee is aching and I can't do much.

So while everybody else trots off to Tigers Nest, I sit back and watch aeroplanes land from the balcony of our hotel.

It's a lovely hotel, quaint and cosy. And has a view of the flight path of landing and taking off planes.

I sit with a book, cup of coffee and a notebook. And I write. Random musings, thoughts, ideas, all sorts of things flow.

A plane flies overhead. I get my phone out. It's a Druk Air flight coming in. Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447182716791.jpg

I go back to writing. In the evening, I sit envious of everyone who's gone and done Tigers Nest. I look at the photos and curse myself for having come to Bhutan for the second time (the first was a work trip last year) and not having done Tigers Nest.

Day 9. Tyre Shops in Bhutan Are Strange

The rest day has paid off. My knee is fine. No need to limp or hobble about.

Immediately I get my act together and decide to get my tyre fixed and then ride with the crew onto Thimphu and then hopefully Punakha.

Unfortunately for me, I need to literally reinvent the wheel. There's no shops with tubes to shove into my tyre that's seemingly got no punctures but rapidly loses air anyway.

I go off looking for a tyre shop and finally we find one. The only issue is there's no Tyres in stock. Finally after much soul searching, we find a Michelin Pilot Sporty for a Bullet. It's a 100/80/17. The profile is wrong (stock is 110/70/70) but the options are limited.

Pulling off the tyre, I realise the interior is ripped up in three places. No wonder it's losing air.

The next problem is that the shop doesn't know how to get the tyre off. No worries, I watched Titu Ghosh take off the tyre of VCs bike the other day. So armed with a number 8 spanner, and having jacked up the bike on the sump guard, I get to work.


Soon the tyre is off, we fit the new tyre on and we're back in business. The only issue is the rest of the gang has split into two. One lot has gone off to Thimphu and the other is recovering from Tigers Nest.

So, D and I decide to look around Paro. We've spent 4 hours looking for a tire and then getting it fixed.

First stop, the Paro Dzong. A Dzong is an administrative building similar to the municipal headquarters in any Indian city. Only thing is that it's gorgeous. Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447183646030.jpg
The View by The River
Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447183683302.jpg
From above

Obviously, clamity Djpeesh isn't wearing a full sleeved shirt or geared up. So they say, sorry, you can't go inside. I content myself with looking at the building from outside while D goes inside for a chakkar. She's back super fast. Apparently it's a government office and there's not much to do.

Happy, we decide to go to the museum set above the Dzong in an old watchtower.
Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447183990273.jpg
Well, the old watchtower is being renovated. So the museum is in a tiny building next door. It's remarkable how they managed to cram in so much without the museum feeling cramped.

The views from outside the museum are gorgeous.

Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447184049268.jpg

We head back to town and eat some beef, pork and chicken. The beef in Bhutan is chewy while the pork is a bit fatty. And they use so much chilli thst you cry out for some Druk beer.

After lunch, we pose by the river and head back to the hotel. Later, we decide to get some pizza for dinner. At 7 pm, the streets in Paro are deserted. Pizza done, we call it a night, given that there isn't much else to do. One more day and we're back to the hell that is India.

Day 10. Welding? Welding? Welding?

I decide that it may be prudent to get the rear brake pedal welded, given that we're riding back to Siliguri tomorrow. So we spend another couple of hours looking for a welding machine. No one in Paro seems to have a aluminum welding machine.

So we decide to ride to Thimphu and look there. Every single garage in Thimphu is closed as its a Sunday. We decide to lunch and shop for souvenirs instead. So we go to Bhutan Kitchen for lunch. It's a bit of a disappointment, what with the food being almost entirely veg. They say that's to cater to the mainly Indian crowd.

Post lunch, we walk down to the market. On the way back, we bump into @grplr02 at a cafe. Good chat sir, even if extremely short.

Regrouping and much confusion later, we head back to Paro, sad to be leaving this beautiful country.

Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447184849753.jpg
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Old 11th November 2015, 01:48   #122
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Day 11. A study in contrasts

Today we're going home. We're all up at 5 am and packed, raring to go.

I unilaterally decide that it might be better for D to go in the car, given my luck so far and my absence of rear brakes.

Leaving Paro, we encounter the famous Aircraft landing, please wait board on the road. So we wait and wait.

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It's a beautiful day and soon we're cruising 4 bikes and 2 cars down to pheuntsholing. We stop enroute for breakfast and soon we're at the border, incident free and bike all intact.

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After finishing all our Ngultrum at the petrol pump in Pheuntsholing, we cross the border into chaos. The contrast couldn't be more startling. On one side, we have well tarred roads, everyone following the rules, no honking, clean roads and pavements. On the other, we have auto rickshaws belching black smoke, potholes and garbage all over the place.

We half decide to turn around and go back. But unfortunately, we have crappy jobs to go back to to help pay the EMIs for the bike.

So we quickly ride onto Siliguri. After crossing the hell hole of a road from Jaigaon to Binnaguri, we hit the beautiful stretch through the tea gardens of Debpara, Chalsa and Lakhipara.

With the signs pointing out to the manager's bungalow, club house and factory, it reminds me of books I've read about the planters life.

Soon we're across the Coronation Bridge and witness an idiotic accident where someone fell out of a bus into a garden just near the end of the bridge leading to general commotion between the fallen gent and the bus driver. Well, at least I wasn't involved.

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The said bus and the angry fallen man walk their respective ways

We're in Siliguri at 2 pm and we check into our hotel. I decide that riding to Sikkim and then back to Bombay on a crappy tire and sans rear brakes is foolhardy. The other three are equally tired and all want to go back to their jobs quickly. So we get in touch with Gati (I previously made a tentative booking as my folks wanted me to ship the bike back) and head over to have our bikes shipped home.

Following intense bargaining, the bikes are parked and they promise to despatch them tomorrow (in reality, it takes them a week after we left them to pack and ship).
Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447186276833.jpg

After dropping off the bike, I feel a strange sadness overpower me. I have tears in my eyes. I've actually done it. Bombay to Bhutan and sort of back.

Tomorrow is going to be the first day without my second love after almost two weeks on the road.

And with that, I sign off on the Bhutan diaries. Hope the rubbish writing and photos conveyed a teeny bit of the excitement, pain, elation and smorgasbord of emotions I felt on an amazing 3,700 kms across the country.

As of this writing, Bonnie is back from the workshop with a new paint job, spanking new levers and pedals and a dab of paint on the crash bars that saved her.

Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447186227295.jpg
So, boys and girls, keep watching this thread, a new adventure begins tomorrow.

768 kms of hopefully fall free riding.
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Old 11th November 2015, 02:05   #123
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Happy Diwali from Bonnie and Me

Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447187648957.jpg

Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447187669307.jpg

Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447187714813.jpg
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Old 11th November 2015, 19:02   #124
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

Been following your wonderful ride. Nice narrative & pictures. Sad about the fall but glad you came out safe. Yes, if you are touring on a bike in the sub-continent region a loud 'skoda horn' can indeed be a life-saver. Somehow taxi/truck drivers and a lot of pedestrians in our part of the world have more powerful audio senses than optical senses!! (for some the optical senses are only strong when they see a headlight switched-on during the day!) I also recently had a close call climbing up Yercaud ghats in pouring rain when an Indica was right on my face in my lane on a blind curve, but somehow the loud horn got him to swerve at the last moment although I had some run off space to my left.

Do you carry a portable air compressor and puncture kit. Worth the weight although I know in your situation that would not have been of much help.

Thanks for sharing and ride safe
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Old 16th November 2015, 12:48   #125
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The Bonne Got lots of TLC and then lots of riding on the extended weekend


Did just under 1,000 km on four different rides. Loving my Bonnification at 15,000 km. The upgrade 'keeda' has gone away more or less.

Some pictures.

Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447658182914.jpg
Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1447658232141.jpg
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Old 26th February 2016, 17:21   #126
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Here's the Bonnie at 17k kilometers young.

Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1456487283181.jpg
Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1456487311111.jpg
Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1456487329261.jpg

I gotta say I'm loving it. Every day, I realize that the Bonneville is every bit of the legend it's touted to be. While I'm tempted to upgrade to the new Bonneville t120, the heart says hell no!
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Old 3rd March 2016, 23:45   #127
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

DJ, do I see new rubber on the Bonnie? I remember you getting new shoes for it but not changing it. How many kms did the original metz last?

Btw I've started the planning for my next trip post the monsoon - in all likelihood, Bhutan!

Cheers,
Sting
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Old 4th March 2016, 00:05   #128
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sting View Post
DJ, do I see new rubber on the Bonnie? I remember you getting new shoes for it but not changing it. How many kms did the original metz last?

Btw I've started the planning for my next trip post the monsoon - in all likelihood, Bhutan!

Cheers,
Sting
Think its Pilot 2. I too got the same (if its the same he got) for 9k. I upsized too!
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Old 4th March 2016, 07:52   #129
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sting View Post
DJ, do I see new rubber on the Bonnie? I remember you getting new shoes for it but not changing it. How many kms did the original metz last?

Btw I've started the planning for my next trip post the monsoon - in all likelihood, Bhutan!

Cheers,
Sting
Ah. Bhutan is lovely and you'll love it on the bonnie. Yes, as JK Das said, they're the Michelin pilot road 2 tyre. Got them from the distributor here for 6.5k last year. 120/70 ZR 17. They're beautiful tyres although I'm still on the fence about rear tyres.

The stock Metz last 12k kilometers but they burst in Bhutan and so had to stick on a 100/80 Pilot Sporty, as that was the only tyre available in Bhutan. It was terrible
and wobbled badly.

Changed the tyres when I got back. With the rear squaring off and almost done at 17k, I'm thinking of up sizing to the Pirelli Scorpion Trail 2s (140/80) for the rear.




Quote:
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Think its Pilot 2. I too got the same (if its the same he got) for 9k. I upsized too!
Yup. Same pinch
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Old 30th June 2016, 18:53   #130
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New Rubber on the back


So after months of procrastination, I decided to finally change my rear tyre. The Scorpion Trail 140/80 was my original choice but while the price was good (6.5k), the tyre was old (of 2012 vintage).

Instead, I decided to upside to 150/70 as the height would be more or less on par with stock and also the dealership had one in stock. While double the price, it cane with warranty and a much more recent manufacturing date.

Only ridden 15 km on them so far but the ride is much improved. The potholes dint hurt as much as the wet grip is exceptional.

Enough chatter. Here's what they look like


Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1467292898860.jpg
Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1467292913400.jpgTriumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1467292934136.jpg
This is what it looks like compared to stock. Apologies for the crude comparo:
Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!-1467292954715.jpg
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Old 30th June 2016, 19:14   #131
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New Rubber on the back


Instead, I decided to upside to 150/70 as the height would be more or less on par with stock and also the dealership had one in stock. While double the price, it cane with warranty and a much more recent manufacturing date.

Only ridden 15 km on them so far but the ride is much improved. The potholes dint hurt as much as the wet grip is exceptional.

Enough chatter. Here's what they look like
13k for that? The 140's are cheap coz they are the same for Duke's or so.
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Old 30th June 2016, 21:59   #132
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Quote:
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13k for that? The 140's are cheap coz they are the same for Duke's or so.
No, cheap because they're old JK. And the stock bonnie Metzler is also 13k.
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Old 7th July 2016, 08:46   #133
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Default Re: Triumph Bonneville: Yet another Bonnie story from the heart !!!

Djpeesh, how many kms did the rear Metz last? I'm on 10000 kms and wondering if it'll be ideal to use for an upcoming 4k km trip.

Did the dealership rebalance the wheel after the change?

Cheers,
Sting

Last edited by Sting : 7th July 2016 at 08:49.
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Old 7th July 2016, 09:09   #134
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Djpeesh, how many kms did the rear Metz last? I'm on 10000 kms and wondering if it'll be ideal to use for an upcoming 4k km trip.

Did the dealership rebalance the wheel after the change?

Cheers,
Sting
Hey Sting,
Rear Metz lasted 16,009 km. Never had a puncture, never had a slow leak. They were perfect till the end. But the tread wore out and the tyre was almost bald, and with the monsoons lashing us here, it seemed like a good idea to switch. I was sure it would go another 1,000 km but didn't want to take any chances.

Yes, the dealership rebalanced the wheel before fitting it back.

I've ridden about 200 km with the new tyre. So far, I'm loving it.
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Old 15th July 2016, 19:40   #135
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sting View Post
DJ, do I see new rubber on the Bonnie? I remember you getting new shoes for it but not changing it. How many kms did the original metz last?

Btw I've started the planning for my next trip post the monsoon - in all likelihood, Bhutan!

Cheers,
Sting
Sting, if you come to Bhutan post monsoon, do let me know, would love to meet up! Same goes for other BHPian.

djpeesh, finally read the rest of your report, very interesting! happy you had a good time in my part of the world. BTW, the Paro Dzong is not just an administrative building, it's also an old fortress and the scene of many intense political and military activities during Bhutan's turbulent pre-modern era. In fact the last act of the warring era in the late 19th century took place in this dzong when a warlord was cornered here, decapitated and his head thrown off into the river below - same place you captured in your photo of the dzong and river.

Last edited by mobike008 : 15th July 2016 at 20:47. Reason: Merging the posts. Please use EDIT if adding content within 30 minutes
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