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Old 19th June 2017, 22:34   #1
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Default Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

I got a pre-worshipped Z800 in January 2017. The “Sugomi” street fighter is a crazy bike. I just got back from a day ride to Dharmasthala (from Bangalore) and the experience was so surreal that I had to pen it down and share it with fellow motorbiking enthusiasts.

Background

I rode a CBR250R for more than 4 years. That’s how I got into biking communities and out-station rides culture. The CBR250R was an amazing sports tourer. I did rides to Ooty, Chikmagalur, Goa and other nearby places (from Bangalore) on the bike and I always came back with a grin on my face for the riding pleasure it provided.

In these 4 years, the biking culture had grown exponentially in Bangalore and a lot of superbikes had been launched in India and each one had a showroom in Bangalore (Triumph, Harley, Ducati, Kawasaki, Benelli). So I started thinking of an upgrade to an entry level superbike. Based on my preferences, I shortlisted and made decision about the following bikes:

1. Benelli 600i – Good bike but the 3 months service interval killed it for me. I would not want to go to service centre every 3 months for a bike that I would ride rarely on weekends. Plus the service cost of 7k plus every time, I had nothing to think further.

2. Triumph Street Triple – Amazing bike. The most agile in its category owing to its light weight but the India version was detuned and the Z800 with 113 bhp was available at a similar price. Nevertheless, I liked the Striple but the New Street Triple 765 was being tested and was due for launch the following year.

3. Kawasaki Z800 – Killer looks, sweet sounding inline 4. I liked this one. Yet again, Z900 was going to make the Z800 obsolete and was due for launch in 2017.

Amid all this confusion of new versions being launched, I started to look at pre-worshipped bikes (Striple and Z800) to see if I could find a good bike. I found a Z800 on the Superbikes Classified Page on Facebook. On contacting the owner, it turned out that he was an acquaintance as he owned a CBR250R in the past and we both were a part of the same riding group. We struck a deal and I brought home a 10 months old Z800 with 6k on the odo. The bike had been kept with love and loaded with superior accessories: Akrapovic Titanium slip on, Evotech radiator guard, Kawasaki engine guard to name a few.

The Ride

I was planning a day long ride since a couple of weeks and finally shortlisted Dharmasthala since I had never been there but heard a lot about Shiradi and Charmadi ghats so decided to do both routes, one while going and other while returning.

This is the route I took:

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I started at 5 am from my home and rode in dark for about 45 minutes. The dawn on Hassan highway was beautiful. It was foggy at places and the newly laid down tarmac was super smooth. Stopped for breakfast at around 730 am at A2B after CR Patna.

Dawn at Hassan Highway:

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Started riding again at 8 am and took the Shiradi ghat route through Sakleshpur. The road was good at some places and bumpy in some but overall there was nothing that could ruin the riding experience. I rode slow to absorb the serenity of the place. It was cloudy and misty and the river flowing alongside the Shiradi ghats made the whole experience heavenly. I took occasional halts for taking photos and finally reached Dharmasthala at 10:30 am.

The Z on Shiradi Ghats:

Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi-img_1486.jpg

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After resting for 15 minutes, I started riding again towards Mudigere through Charmadi ghats and this is when the riding experience went to a whole new level. There were innumerable waterfalls throughout the ghat section. I was riding through the clouds and cutting through the mist. The roads were good and traffic was sparse. This is the only time that I repented having the Akra slip-on. The exhaust was causing a sound havoc on the otherwise serene, calm and heavenly feel of the place. I rode slow and kept the revs low to keep the bassy beast under control.

Some pictures to give you a feel of the place:

Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi-img_1506.jpg

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Just after the ghat section ended, it started to rain. I was ready for that with waterproof jacket and riding pants but when it started to pour heavily, I stopped to wear an additional raincoat that I had bought from Decathlon recently and then rode in the rain. The gear worked amazingly to keep me dry amid heavy rain.

Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi-img_1551.jpg

The rain stopped and the road became smoother, wider and curvier. This was the road to Belur and it was another great stretch to enjoy to ride.

Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi-img_1560.jpg

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After Belur, it was another good section of road to Hassan. Here, one guy on Duke with a pillion decided to race with me or atleast that is what I think. I had passed them a while ago and now I saw them in my rear view mirror trying to catch up with me. I decided to slow down and let them pass. The pillion made a hand gesture which seemed like “Yes! We’ve beaten you!”. They were not even wearing helmets. I’ve had such experiences in the past also and I’ve learnt that it is always best to let such morons pass. The earlier they “win”, less the chances of them “losing” (their life).

After that it was the regular Hassan Highway through Kunigal back to Bangalore. I stopped for lunch at 3 pm at Swati which is one of the most coveted highway restaurants in that area. The bike was covered with mud and slush so decided to visit Torq92 to get the bike cleaned before heading to home. I reached Torq92 at 5 pm so it was a total 12 hours journey of 620 kms.

Bike wash

Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi-washpic.jpg

As expected, the bike performed extremely well. The power is mammoth. Braking is spot on. Handling is great. It does not feel as heavy as it really is. Exhaust note with the Akra slip on is sweet during speed runs on 4 lane highways but otherwise the bass and grunt sometimes becomes irritating when you ride for 10 hours in a day. Wind protection was sorely missed. Last but not the least, with its looks and sound, it left several people wondering what just passed them. Beautiful machine! Am I in love? Hell Yeah!

Oh and by the way, I captured a milestone on this ride. 11111!


Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi-img_1549.jpg

Last edited by moralfibre : 20th June 2017 at 10:23. Reason: Reformatting post and picture orientation
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Old 20th June 2017, 07:53   #2
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Default re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

Quote:
Originally Posted by anshumandun View Post
I got a pre-worshipped Z800 in January 2017.
Congrats. Nice travelogue as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anshumandun View Post
I stopped to wear an additional raincoat that I had bought from Decathlon recently and then rode in the rain. The gear worked amazingly to keep me dry amid heavy rain.
Even I have the Decathlon raincoat bought for all of just Rs 399/- Rode almost 1000kms through a storm and came out in pretty good shape thanks to it. Very effective stuff.

Quote:
Originally Posted by anshumandun View Post
Torq92 to get the bike cleaned before heading to home. I reached Torq92 at 5 pm so it was a total 12 hours journey of 620 kms.
We must be staying somewhere nearby then. I do visit Torq92 for all major washing duties as well.
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Old 20th June 2017, 09:04   #3
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Default re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrAzY dRiVeR View Post
We must be staying somewhere nearby then. I do visit Torq92 for all major washing duties as well.
I stay in Yelahanka New Town so Torq92 is very close for me. But I'll be shifting to Kanakapura Road next month to get closer to my office.

What do you ride?
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Old 20th June 2017, 11:31   #4
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Default Re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

Quote:
Originally Posted by anshumandun View Post
This is the only time that I repented having the Akra slip-on. The exhaust was causing a sound havoc on the otherwise serene, calm and heavenly feel of the place. I rode slow and kept the revs low to keep the bassy beast under control.
Rare sentiment, it's not often we bikers show such sensitivity towards the surroundings. I love the sound of a good exhaust, but often we bikers don't consider the surroundings we're causing such noise in. And about large group rides through forest areas, I don't even know what to say. Thanks for this, wish more bikers were like you.

Last edited by am1m : 20th June 2017 at 11:32.
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Old 20th June 2017, 11:46   #5
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Default Re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

Simple and elegant travelogue with good balance between trip and machine.


Quote:
Originally Posted by anshumandun View Post
I decided to slow down and let them pass. The pillion made a hand gesture which seemed like “Yes! We’ve beaten you!”. They were not even wearing helmets. I’ve had such experiences in the past also and I’ve learnt that it is always best to let such morons pass. The earlier they “win”, less the chances of them “losing” (their life).
This is the best solution. Even if they have their gears on, its better to avoid all opportunities for racing. Our country is just not the right place.
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Old 20th June 2017, 12:07   #6
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Default Re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

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Originally Posted by am1m View Post
Rare sentiment, it's not often we bikers show such sensitivity towards the surroundings.
I think it was just the magical place and serene environment that made me have this rare thought. Specially if you live in the chaotic city of Bangalore, such places are bound to spellbound us.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prithm View Post
This is the best solution. Even if they have their gears on, its better to avoid all opportunities for racing. Our country is just not the right place.
Agreed. In fact, public roads in any country are not meant for racing. Racing and stunts should be limited to tracks.
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Old 20th June 2017, 14:27   #7
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Default Re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

Nice travelogue, nice pictures. Keep riding, keep sharing.
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Old 20th June 2017, 15:12   #8
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Default Re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

Its a very good time to ride to the western Ghats. Z800 is a very capable bike with a lot of power. Thankfully this one has ABS unlike some of the smaller and medium capacity Ninjas they sell.
Quick question, How good is that mobile holder? Can you help me with the details of it please?
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Old 20th June 2017, 15:33   #9
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Default Re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

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How good is that mobile holder? Can you help me with the details of it please?
It works perfectly for holding iphone6. It has the rubber holder too which grips it from all corners after mounting to secure it properly. I got this from JC road for about Rs 900 and got it fixed at Kawasaki ASC. It has a charger too which I used in this ride and it worked well.

This is actually a replica of RAM mounts mobile holder which costs around 4k.
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Old 20th June 2017, 23:01   #10
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Default Re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

Beautiful machine and a beautiful piece of travelogue there! Would love to know more about your preworshipped beast. I was (and always will be) in love with the Z800, made up my mind to pick up one, but destiny had other things in store. But the sight of someone enjoying the Z the way it deserves to be used, and respecting its power always makes me envious, as it easily could have been me. So yeah, I am envious of you, but I'm glad somebody is enjoying their machine. Congrats on the stellar motorcycle, it's beauty and the beast mashed up into a single entity..!
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Old 20th June 2017, 23:20   #11
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Default Re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

Congrats on the Z Anshuman. Lovely pics really and it reminds me of how I never got to enjoy my Z in this way. Amazing pics - ride more and share some more updates too in an ownership review.
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Old 21st June 2017, 00:24   #12
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Default Re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

Can somebody please inbox me the link to purchase the Decathlon raincoat? I cannot find the right coat to wear over my DSG mesh jacket.
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Old 21st June 2017, 10:08   #13
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Default Re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doc_nikhil View Post
Would love to know more about your preworshipped beast. I was (and always will be) in love with the Z800, made up my mind to pick up one, but destiny had other things in store. But the sight of someone enjoying the Z the way it deserves to be used, and respecting its power always makes me envious, as it easily could have been me.
Sure Doc. I'll be posting soon about the bike in more detail. And I get your envy. I was in a similar state for 2 years until I finally managed to buy the Z800. So you go and get one even if it takes years to cross the 2 usual hurdles: finances and convincing family. Don't let destiny stand in the way of you doing what you want

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ride more and share some more updates too in an ownership review.
I wanted to start an ownership review but I don't think I can match the tbhp standard of writing a detailed review so thought of starting with a travelogue. I'll keep posting updates here

Quote:
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Can somebody please inbox me the link to purchase the Decathlon raincoat? I cannot find the right coat to wear over my DSG mesh jacket.
I went to Decathlon in my riding gear and tried the raincoats over the jacket and riding pants to find the correct size and fit. I suggest you do the same. I picked up XL to fit over riding gear although my actual size is M. I think the brand name is Quechua.
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Old 21st June 2017, 11:07   #14
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Default Re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

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Originally Posted by anshumandun View Post
I wanted to start an ownership review but I don't think I can match the tbhp standard of writing a detailed review so thought of starting with a travelogue.
Don't sweat over it . Just start off in the assembly line and cover all the important points of this bike. It's okay for a BHPian's review to not be as detailed as an official review, yet as long as it covers all the noteworthy points, we'll take it live.

Looking forward to your ownership report .
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Old 21st June 2017, 14:41   #15
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Default Re: Riding the Z800 on Shiradi & Charmadi

Very well complied ride report Anshuman. Looking forward for more!
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