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Old 31st August 2015, 15:59   #76
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

No, it is the next one coming, along with two other models. I want the Vulcan. Have set my mind on it. Wife and I have spent hours drooling over it...so, going back to a cruiser as soon as it is launched. I wish I had the money to keep this bike too.
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Old 12th November 2015, 21:28   #77
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

It has been long since I took my bike out. I have been using it mainly for commuting to work everyday. However, a couple of rides are coming up in November and December.

My observations after having used it for a little over ten months now, something I posted on the KNOGs group. However, I have listed only the gripes in this, but not the fact that I love the bike in every other way.

"Been riding the ER6n for over 5000 kms now, and although I love the way the bike handles on the highways and can beat the shit out of the cars, I am unable to fall in love with the bike for the following issues:
1. front suspension with very little play is scary over potholes and speed bumps. The bullet used to fly over everything.
2. horrible ground clearance of only 130 mm. Can an aftermarket exhaust help?
3. seat can't be lowered like on the Tiger XRx. At least 2 inches lower would have been better.
Solution, sell it and go for a Tiger. Suffer a loss of about 60 K or more and then pay through my nose for the Tiger, which is way beyond my budget. But if I need to fall in love with the bike and keep it, I need to do some insane mods. Talking about them makes me look like a madcap, but a little bit of surfing reveals that there are a lot of people who love the engine of the bike and hate almost everything else, but aren't ready to give it up. So they went and made adventure bikes out of their Ninjas. Here's one such pic, and believe me, there are many others in the US who are trying to put Versys forks on their Ninja 650s and making the suspension better.
http://i469.photobucket.com/albums/r...a/photo-16.jpg
The solutions I am thinking of for now are:
1. versys front forks (apparently one would need new springs too) and add handlebar raisers to dampen the feedback from the potholes. I spoke to Venkat Shyam and he says they can be fixed with slight mods. He mentions the rear shock has to be changed too. It is about an inch longer than the ER6n/Ninja shock, so the handling should be better. This should mean you can approach speed bumps at higher speeds and jump over them. Also, approaching potholes at speeds won't be an ass-constricting experience. I ride hard, and I hate slowing down.
Will think of bigger and thinner off-road tyres later. Need to have cash to try out all this, and still don't know how much this fork swap is gonna cost me.
2. Get rid of the exhaust and have an aftermarket exhaust to raise the ground clearance by quite a bit.
3. Bloody seat height will go up with the Versys forks/shock, so have to figure out a way to put a flat seat like in this pic that's not more than 790/800 mm tall.
Basically want to keep the engine and get a new, more capable body...
I know you will call me mad, but that is what's going on in my mind now."

Post that, I have actually gone ahead and shaved the original seat by an inch at Rao's seat covers, who have retained the original seat cover. So the effective seat height is now 780 mm instead of 805 mm, which is more confidence inspiring for someone only 5'8".

Here's a pic of the shaved seat. A couple of handlebar raisers are being added next.
The next two mods are:

Raise the ground clearance
Get a rack made

Hope you like the mean beast and how it looks.
Attached Thumbnails
My Kawasaki ER-6N-1982311_10153250278092828_8343761199184265704_n.jpg  

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Old 13th November 2015, 13:24   #78
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

Hey man - seems like you want the best of both worlds - Low seat height & high GC

The ground clearance is definitely an issue with half of the speed bumps in bangalore which are un-scientifically laid. The correct ones have those trapezoidal sections which aren't an issue at all.

My bike (CBR650) does scrape a few bumps only when riding two-up. But having Versys-type GC will give more confidence. These underbelly exhausts while aiding mass centralization do lower the GC a bit.
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Old 15th November 2015, 22:06   #79
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

What I forgot to add is, unlike I read in the the other threads (of bikes that I worship and dream about, like the Tiger XRX and the Bonneville), I have absolutely no problems faced with this bike. It has never failed to start, has never stalled even in rain or choc-a-bloc traffic, the fuel indicator never misled me like owners of some premium bikes have reported, and the electronics have been perfect. So, although sometimes I feel I should think of a Tiger XRx, when I read about the little niggles people face (low batt on a new bike, bar-end weight falling off, or fuel indicator not working), I feel it was a good choice to have bought the peace of mind that a Japanese machine offers.

After all, lack of reliability is why I moved from an Enfield in the first place, so what's a little bit of seating adjustment when I have a bike this fun?

BTW, Loki, I just spoke to the Kawasaki guys and with the Versys 650 coming into the market soon, so is its front suspension setup. I have put handlebar raisers today and am waiting for the price of the front suspension, which will raise the front by a few inches, giving me more suspension play and an upright riding stance. The downside? The seat height might increase.

If the front suspension setup is too expensive or if there are chances of the seat height increasing, I will dump that idea and spend some money on an HP Corse Hydroform exhaust and lose the scoop underneath the engine. That should take care of my GC problem.

To give the bike its due, I know I can close my eyes and rely on it, and when I go on solo rides, I don't have to worry about some engine failure or electronics malfunction. And truth be told, when am riding, I forget being so cynical...no bike is perfect, but mine is trouble free and immense fun to ride.

Last edited by Oreen : 15th November 2015 at 22:13.
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Old 13th February 2016, 12:09   #80
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

9000 km update

The bike's been with me for 12 months and 9000 kms. After a lot of speculation about whether to keep it or sell it, and after having put it up for sale on OLX for 4.8 lakhs and getting absurd offers, I decided to do more saddle time and invest in accessories.

There were many rides with groups in between, to Kerala, Kolli Hills, and a solo ride to Hampi. The ride to Hampi was primarily to try and fall in love with the bike. On the Republic Day weekend I took the Bangalore-Anantpur-Bellary-Hospet route reach Hampi in about 5 hours. I did everything I could with the bike.

I stopped to take pics, I gave the cars some time to feel good about overtaking me before I caught up with them, and thoroughly enjoyed the ride. The road to Anantpur was done in a little more than 2 hours, but the ride from there to Bellary was a little slow because of it being a single carriageway and a lot of road work happening.

The next day I came back via Bellary-Hiriyur, and that stretch is so beautiful. Despite being a single carriageway, that road has absolutely no traffic during the day and there are lots of bends. The ride back took only 4.5 hours and once on the Chitradurga-Bangalore highway, the average speed also went up quite a bit. Traffic between Tumkur and Bangalore was heavy, so I had to slow down, but by now I had started loving the bike. Without ABS it is a little risky to do above 130 kph, but on open roads with 180 degree vision, I opened up the throttle. The bike responds to you, it doesn't have a mind of its own, and is a beautiful little slave.

I had been trying to get a rack made, but ran out of patience and bought the sw-motech rack and extension from Bigbadbikes.com. Strapped a big rucksack to it and made my wife sit on this bike for the first time. She said although it gave her confidence to know there's something to lean on, her back never touched the backpack. It was there for mental peace.

Am keeping this bike. It is another matter that we want to pick up a Harley Street 750 for two-up riding.

Here are some pics of saddle time and falling in love, just on the eve of Valentine's Day.
Attached Thumbnails
My Kawasaki ER-6N-12573705_10153392884722828_1384432623231947893_n.jpg  

My Kawasaki ER-6N-12645234_10153392884602828_1471220042984217264_n.jpg  

My Kawasaki ER-6N-12654109_10153392884447828_944944801573750049_n.jpg  

My Kawasaki ER-6N-12654460_10153392884547828_594740825000201296_n.jpg  

My Kawasaki ER-6N-12669522_10153411519587828_5432965195685964579_n.jpg  

My Kawasaki ER-6N-img_20160209_214701.jpg  

My Kawasaki ER-6N-img_20160213_100527.jpg  

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Old 18th February 2016, 08:57   #81
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oreen View Post

Here are some pics of saddle time and falling in love, just on the eve of Valentine's Day.
It's good now you still haven't given up on the faithful for a more temperamental, hot & expensive bike. It sure will give you peace of mind in the long run.

Have you been given a cost estimate on the Versys's suspension upgrade?
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Old 23rd February 2016, 11:33   #82
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

Quote:
Originally Posted by anilupadhya View Post
It's good now you still haven't given up on the faithful for a more temperamental, hot & expensive bike. It sure will give you peace of mind in the long run.

Have you been given a cost estimate on the Versys's suspension upgrade?
I have asked Venkat Shyam of Auto Service. Am waiting for him to give me a cost estimate. It will be fun to have the Showa with so much extra play. Apparently it goes over potholes without even a whimper.
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Old 25th February 2016, 19:42   #83
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

Quote:
Originally Posted by Oreen View Post
No, it is the next one coming, along with two other models. I want the Vulcan. Have set my mind on it. Wife and I have spent hours drooling over it...so, going back to a cruiser as soon as it is launched. I wish I had the money to keep this bike too.
Hello there.....any news or update on the Vulcan coming to India? I talked to the folks over here in Ahmedabad, and one of the guys did not even know that there is a bike called the vulcan!. Makes me wonder how they manage to sell their bikes with this approach! No test rides, no idea of products etc...
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Old 13th March 2016, 21:47   #84
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

Quote:
Originally Posted by anandpkumar View Post
Hello there.....any news or update on the Vulcan coming to India? I talked to the folks over here in Ahmedabad, and one of the guys did not even know that there is a bike called the vulcan!. Makes me wonder how they manage to sell their bikes with this approach! No test rides, no idea of products etc...
anandpkumar

I am associated closely with the firm, and can tell you with reasonable confidence that Vulcan S should get launched this year. The time frame should be around Oct - November or even later. But should get launched this Financial Year.

Oreen : I am inclining towards the Iron 883, the 2016 one has the suspension sorted out, has a better cushioned seat and somehow looks much better than the outgoing model. I had a lengthy 200km drive with the 2015 model, and the suspension did not trouble me too much, it was certainly far from perfect . I guess Harley has tried to take the edge of the shocks by improving the suspension.
I am just not keen on the ridiculous Harley Tax to make the bike pillion worthy. Guess, it will stay single for at-least some time to come. Any pointers for after market accessories in Pune/Delhi?

Last edited by Bhatt : 13th March 2016 at 21:49.
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Old 12th April 2016, 16:49   #85
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

Hi Oreen , bike is up for sale again ?
What abt the suspension switch with the Versys ?

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Old 2nd December 2016, 15:50   #86
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

13300 km update.

The bike is still with me and apart from regular service, I haven't had to do anything with it at all. Recently did a short trip with our club to Yercaud and on the way back (riding solo) I really enjoyed leaning and turning on the highways. The twisties were easier because it wasn't raining, but I crap my pants trying to negotiate hairpin bends on wet roads. Some Kawasaki guys tell me that the tyres are to be blamed. Am willing to believe them, because the KTM 390 on Metzelers allows you to try out a lot of shenanigans without wetting your pants.

I will change my tyres at the designated 15000 km mark, and am not going with the OEM ones.

Meanwhile, because of wifey's constant complaints about the pillion seat not being very conducive to riding long distances, I had considered selling it again. But every time I ride it on the highways, I drop the idea. Might have to settle for a used Bonnie once I have that extra cash in hand.

Some pics from my recent trip.
Attached Thumbnails
My Kawasaki ER-6N-15271345_10154141863167828_702745787_o.jpg  

My Kawasaki ER-6N-15292891_10154141865092828_1569629565_o.jpg  

My Kawasaki ER-6N-15293283_10154141864517828_513282696_o.jpg  

My Kawasaki ER-6N-15321443_10154141861822828_1467462170_o.jpg  

My Kawasaki ER-6N-15302445_10154141862482828_422162741_o.jpg  

My Kawasaki ER-6N-15293366_10154136926667828_566825347_o.jpg  

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Old 10th April 2017, 12:50   #87
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

After finishing a project that lasted three months, when my boss actually approved a week’s leave, it was already rather late to do a solo ride toward the West of India. It wasn’t February any longer, and the midday heat of March can be unforgiving, but I lapped it up without any protest. I thanked her on my way out, and when she asked where I am headed, I said I had no clue.

This was my only window, and I just had to head out of this daily drudgery and routine. Somewhere. So I packed my bare essentials into a rucksack and tied it to my bike, with no particular destination in mind. Should I head toward Calcutta? I have been on that route five times from Bangalore, so if measuring the roads is the objective, it would have me seriously bored. Should I go to Delhi? The friends who are ready to put me up have children appearing for their boards, so that’s ruled out. Bombay then? Whatever it was, I knew this ride will help me find an answer to the question that had been troubling me. “What’s my purpose in life?” Riding solo had all the answers, I was sure.

DAY 1 (Bangalore to Thane 1010 km)

So Bombay it was. I left Bangalore on March 4, a Saturday, in the general direction of Bombay. At the start of the journey the odometer read 14910 kms. The idea was to do the Rann, the vast sand desert of Gujarat, for serious bragging rights. It took me about 11.5 hours to reach Pune with lots of stops for pics and lunch, etc. and about 13 hours to reach Panvel. But from Panvel to Thane took me about 2 hours, a distance of only 32 kms. A friendly biker on a Royal Enfield (with whom I rode on the Pune-Bombay highway) showed me the way to Thane. The road between Pune and Bombay is a riddle. There are two hundred entries into the expressway, which doesn’t allow bikes, and I made the mistake 201 times, because of Google maps showing that as the only road. With luggage tied to the back and the heat getting to me, it was quite an ordeal trying to turn the bike around and come back on the old highway. I had started the day at 4.00 a.m. and had a lot of doubts in my mind about the ride in general. It was cold, the mesh jacket wasn’t enough to stop me from shivering, and the darkness kind of gets to me if I am riding alone. When my legs started shaking in the cold and banging against the tank, I stopped to have some water and was desperately waiting for the sun. Why on earth am I doing this, was a nagging question on my mind.

Luckily, right then one biker passed me at a very high speed, making me forget the cold and start again. The ER can do serious highway speeds, so I was confident of catching up with the other biker, but it wasn’t before another twenty minutes that I could finally catch up with him. It was a Bajaj Pulsar 200, locked throttle at 135 kmph, and the guy was literally smoking the engine. I realized chasing him will only make him abuse the bike further, so I slowed down. It was time for the first refuel, and the sun came up on my rear view mirror. Now, there’s this Murphy’s law of highways, which states that if you are running out of fuel, there won’t be any petrol pumps in sight. The indicator had started blinking and I was getting worried. Someone told me this bike goes about 50 kms after the blinking starts, but I wasn’t so sure. Finally, exasperated with the absence of petrol pumps on the left, I had to go to the first one I found on the other side. And believe me, right after that there were huge petrol pumps one after the other. I don’t want to digress and talk about the Murphy’s Law of traffic signals, but you generally get the idea, am sure. I had been on this road in 2005, on my way to RiderMania in Panvel, and the first day’s ride to Pune on my AVL 350 had taken me 17 hours. The roads are much better now, and Hubli/Dharwad arrived before it was 10.00 a.m. At around Kolhapur I stopped to lube the chain, and reached Pune around 3.00 p.m. In between there was lunch, some pics, and the compulsory FB selfies :-P.


DAY 2 (Thane to Ahmedabad)

At Thane, I stayed at my nephew’s place and the next morning he escorted me to the Thane-Ahmedabad highway in his car. It was a Sunday, and the number of superbikes on the highway amazed me. There must have been at least 500 of them between Bombay and Daman, a distance of 150 km. Although my destination was Ahmedabad, I stopped over at Daman for some pics, but the dry sea without any waves lashing on the beach, made for a dismal sight. The rising heat constantly reminded me that I was in the west, and I had to make frequent rehydration stops. There were huge dhabas along the way, but all served vegetarian fare. I was pleasantly surprised to find Red Bull at these places, for my highway dose of caffeine. Reached Ahmedabad in the afternoon, and LJ and Tana were more than happy to host me. They are biker friends who were earlier in Bangalore, and they advised me against the Rann, in this heat. “Go to Udaipur instead, you will fall in love with the road,” LJ said. He has done Bangalore to Ladakh and back to Ahmedabad on his RE T-bird, so I thought it’s best to listen to a seasoned biker. So I stayed over at their place and roamed around Ahmedabad, eating lovely Gujarati dishes.

DAY 3 (Ahmedabad and around)

On the third day I did the Modhera Sun Temple, about 100 km from Ahmedabad. It was a temple built in 1066 AD, and despite the heat, I was glad I made the trip. A funny incident on the way gave me my morning chuckle. Around Mehsana, I suddenly saw one car coming back on the highway, having taken a U-turn. Very soon, I saw many other cars and bikes following suit. There was a big ditch between the service road and the main highway, but bikes could somehow manage to cross it. There were some adventurous cars which were trying to go over to the service road, and funnily enough, I found two Innovas dangling between the two roads, wheels freely spinning in mid-air. After I reached the toll booth and asked what happened, they had no clue. “The road is not blocked,” the surprised security guard informed me. Apparently, it was a case of a herd following the guard dog. That one car which took a U-turn for some reason apparently made everybody else turn around and try to get on the service road.

After Modhera, I came back to Ahmedabad and went to look for Adalaj Nee Bhav, which is a stepwell built in the 1500s. It had gotten really hot by the time I came back to LJ’s house.

DAY 4, March 7 (Ahmedabad to Udaipur and Chittorgarh)

On the fourth day, I started around 4.45 a.m. and proceeded toward Udaipur. Again, the cold got to me. After Gandhinagar, I had to stop and ask for directions, and there were truckers and auto drivers that early in the morning sipping tea and groggily giving directions. Stopped to take a picture of a milestone when two bikers thundered past with blue LED lights blinking on their tails. The khujli of catching up with other bikers got to me again, and I started riding. It was rather dark, and am anyway half blind, so I couldn’t do good speeds. After a while I caught up with the two Enfield riders, going from Ahmedabad towards Udaipur/Jaipur/Delhi, I can’t tell. I rode with them for a while, and by then had woken up properly. After the customary thumbs up, I overtook them and kept riding. The sunrise was surprisingly beautiful, between two hills, and I took a longish break just trying to capture it on my phone.

Udaipur came very early, perhaps around 10.00 a.m., but I must thank LJ for suggesting this road. It is beautiful, with hills and jungles all around, lovely corners, and sparse traffic. Some of the hills seemed to have Mohawk haircuts. But from close I could see that the vegetation was manicured, perhaps to mark boundaries. It made for a pretty sight though.
My days were running out, and I had planned for Chittorgarh, Panchmarhi, Hyderabad, and Bangalore on four consecutive days, to finish my ride. If I stop at Udaipur, I will have to do about 850 kms through Rajasthan and MP the next day, to be able to reach Panchmarhi. Given the roads are unknown, and with no idea if google maps will work in those areas, I decided to do a short trip in Udaipur and continue to Chittorgarh. I went to see the Lake Palace hotel from a distance, and took some nice pics of the bike. You can go around the lake, past the Army camp, to get a glimpse of the palace from behind. After about an hour of riding around in Udaipur, I decided to proceed to Chittorgarh after filling up. The attendant there told me to go through the city and avoid the highway. He said the road will join the highway at a point where there’s no traffic jam. While entering Udaipur, I hadn’t seen any jam on the highway, so I didn’t pay heed to the advice and came back the way I had entered. Turning left toward Chittor, I realized what a fool I was to not listen to him. The road had a ten-km jam of trucks and buses, and I had to do a fair amount of off-roading here, something the ER6n doesn’t like much. But after this block the roads were empty again, and I could reach Chittor by 12.30 p.m.

I went straight to the fort and parked at the RTDC restaurant in front of Rana Kumbha’s Vijay Stambh. The people there were very friendly and were ready to look after my jacket and other luggage, while I rode around the fort to see all the spots. I still hadn’t found a place to sleep that night, and some people suggested a dharamshala where one can stay for Rs 200 per night. I didn’t want to try that option, and went down to the city and checked into Hotel Padmini, which looks like a palace itself. I was finally out of veg Gujarat, so I happily asked them to send some chicken curry to my room, but these guys very gravely informed me that they are “shudhh Shakahari.” I didn’t want to get lynched, so I admitted to being a shakahari myself (haha, was just joking about the chicken), so why don’t you send up some aloo mutter and daal fry?
The light and sound at Chittorgarh fort had me in tears. It is superbly narrated, and I could recognize SRK and Shabana Azmi doing the voice-overs. Although kind of lengthy, it is a must watch. The tales of war and sacrifice of the Rajputs will make your heart bleed, though, so let this serve as a fair warning. I had managed to impress a typical Bengali couple at the café in the morning with stories of my ride, and the wife in saree and sun hat seemed almost ready to abandon the hapless husband and hop on to my pillion seat. Really, really? And then? Your wife let you go? What a courageous lady. I won’t let him go anywhere out of my sight, she added, pointing at her husband, much to his rising chagrin. What bliss, I tell you. May there always be impressionable tourists everywhere for wholesome bragging opportunities.

DAY 5 (Chittorgarh to Panchmarhi?)

I started off from Chittorgarh a little after daybreak, because I knew it would be hard to find roads in Rajasthan and MP. There aren’t properly marked milestones, and the google map I downloaded for offline usage came in handy. The only problem was, I don’t have a handlebar mounted GPS, which slowed me down quite a bit. Every now and then I would have to stop and check my phone. The breakfast was aloo paratha at a roadside eatery, and I would suggest one never to try parathas anywhere outside Punjab. I had parathas in Gujarat (YUCK), Rajasthan (YUCKER), and MP (WAKKTHHOOOO), and decided I would ask for sausages and bread wherever I go. Or maybe munch on energy bars. Have fruits even, although Bengalis are forbidden from having fruits of any kind by birth. But Confucius say, no have paratha if not in Punjab.
I took the Nimbahera > Mandsaur > Ujjain route, and somewhere along the way I came across a couple of girls riding their bicycles from one city to another. They were struggling in the heat, and one was waiting for the other to catch up. I couldn’t see any backup vehicle or anybody else, so it is awfully brave of two young Indian girls to be riding by themselves across the heart of India in the March heat. Kudos to them, whoever they are.
The bike went on without a whimper, and needed one chain lubing every 500-600 kms. The chain was getting a little loose, and I didn’t know how to tighten it. Maybe if you are planning a long ride on a Kawa, you need to carry the necessary tools (and knowhow in your mind) to tighten your chain every 2000 kms.
Because of the bad roads and frequent stops to check directions, I could reach Bhopal only around 3.30 p.m. The road to Hoshangabad from Bhopal is single carriageway and full of potholes, with a lot of traffic, so I was gradually slowing down and my energy was dwindling. One very handsome chap on a blue Harley caught up with me and asked me where I was going. I could tell he is handsome because he didn’t have a helmet. About 50 kms from Bhopal I came across an MPTDC hotel at Bhimbhetka, and because it was already 4.30, I decided to stop. Panchmarhi was still a good 150 km away, and I had no intention of going there just for the night, especially when I was barely managing 50 km/hour. Bhimbhetka was a good decision, because the manager of the hotel told me that the next 100-odd kms are through dense jungles and it is not advisable to ride a two-wheeler at night. Tiger country, apparently. This hotel is right next to a busy railway track, and I could see trains from Chennai and Bangalore going past. I also made time to go visit the prehistoric rock shelters of Bhimbhetka. Beautiful place, and if you happen to love watching trains, you have quite a perch on the rocks from where you can see the trains passing by 2 kms down below. The Nepali manager was surprised that I wasn’t from Nepal myself, and I was surprised that he looked like a mustachioed North Indian and nothing like a Nepali. He managed to get me some egg curry, so my desire for some form of non-veg was satiated a little bit. The whole evening was spent trying to click pictures of the trains that passed by, and am sure I dreamt of trains all night because of all the noise. The only book I carried on this journey was brought out from the inner recesses of my backpack, but it had flaxseeds smeared all over it, so was promptly shoved back in. The seeds had taken the title a little too seriously before considering to do anything to the book. It is called “Anything Considered” by Peter Mayle.


Day 6 (Bhimbhetka to Hyderbad, via Nagpur)

Now I was getting a little anxious to get home, but I still had 1500 kms to go. My wife had helped me all through by finding me hotels and sending me images of maps, and although I initially thought I will stop at Tadoba for the night and then proceed to Hyderabad the next day, I carried on. The road through Hoshangabad all the way to Betul is through dense jungles, with spectacular sights. You can see hills in the distance, little blue trains passing through the forest, a lot of monkeys, and boards warning you of tigers and leopards. This entire stretch was about negotiating potholes, and the 810 km journey to Hyderabad was looking like quite an ordeal. Now the front suspension of the ER6n is short and sturdy. To negotiate potholes, you can’t really slow down or apply brakes. Applying brakes would make the suspension play even shorter, making the pothole seem more jarring than it is. So, the trick is to suddenly gas the potholes and make the front wheel skim over everything. This trick is also very handy while negotiating bad speed breakers. Just do a wheelie and you are covered. So here I was, doing a short wheelie over anything and everything, straining my shoulders and arms, and managing a very bad average speed. There was also the fear of encountering a tiger or a leopard, but fortunately they were probably laughing at my antics from the cover of the bushes. Suddenly after a turn near Betul, I couldn’t believe my eyes at what was spread across in front of me. A six lane highway, newly laid, with absolutely no traffic on it. Not a single car or truck to be seen, and there were lovely bends and corners. My speeds tripled and I was trying to make up for lost time. But I was again running out of fuel, and there were no petrol pumps to be seen. And Murphy has no laws for roads in MP, it seems, because there are very few fuel stations in reality, and none of them accept cards. “Yes, we have ordered for card machines” was the response everywhere. I had also run out of cash because both at Chittorgarh and Bhimbhetka, I had to pay cash at the hotels. Found a dhaba and tasted the MP paratha that I mentioned about earlier and the owner told me that there was a petrol pump around 10 kms from there. Petrol and cash sorted, I rushed towards Hyderabad, found a lot of traffic inside Nagpur (because of metro rail construction), and eventually reached Hyderabad by 5.30 p.m. It was time to make up for all the vegetarian food I had eaten, so a lazy visit to the Charminar area at night with fellow bhpian Anirban was mainly to satiate my palate. We ate at Rooman, very highly recommended by both my auto driver and Anirban’s cabbie, so it wasn’t a difficult choice to find a restaurant. We had talawa and biriyani of the forbidden kind, and downed it with Thumsup. There was one extra plate of biriyani which we packed and gave to an old lady begging outside. Chewing paan at 11.30 p.m. on a busy Hyderabad street, burping out the soda, and picking the strands of meat from our teeth, we discussed what was going wrong with our beautiful country. The last bit of meat plucked from my teeth turned out to be a strand of saffron.

DAY 7 (Hyderabad to Bangalore)

I woke up rather late and it was 7.40 when I could leave my Secundarabad Hotel. Finding my way out of Hyderabad was also quite an ordeal. When I finally located an expressway and was about to get on to it, I saw a signboard announcing bikes aren’t allowed on it. The option was to take the service road below and try to follow the elevated road. At times it would vanish from sight, making me panic, but I could somehow stick by its side until I reached the Kurnool-Bangalore highway after the airport. It was already 9.00 and the road ahead was like a dream. I was doing about 125 kmph when I saw the LED DRLs of a red hatchback approaching fast on my rear view mirrors. It looked like a Baleno, so I thought I will speed up a little and see how far it goes. Strangely enough, the red car was gaining ground on me despite me going rather fast, so I left it behind a cluster of trucks and stopped for fuel immediately after. The red car went past like a rocket, honking like mad. It happened to be a Mercedes A-class, and not a Baleno after all!
Am sure the driver would have put it up for sale by now. Imagine his frustration at not being able to catch up with me in the entire stretch?
The road was beautiful and boring. Near Kurnool there were terrible crosswinds that made riding rather difficult. I wonder how lighter bikes manage such crosswinds. I reached Devanahalli airport around 3.00 p.m. and got stuck in Friday Bangalore traffic. The odometer read 19120 kms.

So, finally I had done my solo ride, got frozen in the morning cold, got roasted in the midday heat, wore out my new Pirelli Angel GT tyres, but didn’t find an answer to the existential question that had been troubling me all this while: “What’s my purpose in life?”

I guess another ride is on the cards very soon.
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Old 10th April 2017, 12:52   #88
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

Some more pics here.
Attached Thumbnails
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Old 10th April 2017, 14:06   #89
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

Wonderful trip Oreen!

4000kms in one week and that too a solo ride is really commendable

You should have given me a shout when you were in Hyderabad
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Old 10th April 2017, 14:10   #90
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Default Re: My Kawasaki ER-6N

Wow Oreen, what an epic ride! Hats off to you.

Truly goes to show that solo touring doesn't require a type of motorcycle but the right state of mind.

Cheers,
Sting
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