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Old 14th December 2013, 11:17   #46
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Default Re: Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110)

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Just 4X4, or 4X4 + low range?

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Sutripta
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Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
Himadri, the bird shots are amazing. What lens do you use? I am not a photographer, asking for purely academic purpose.



Yes, a 4x4 + low range. I would be a bit surprised if a 2wd or even a 4wd without a low range could make it till Sandakphu, but with Himadri around it is difficult to say anything definitely. A few days back I would say it was impossible, but after seeing this thread I need to be a bit more cautious
The 4x4 Duster has a very short first gear (lower ratio), it allows for crawling at 4-5kmph and coupled with a much lighter weight, makes the 4x4 duster quite a capable machine.
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Old 14th December 2013, 21:16   #47
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Default Re: Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110)

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The 4x4 Duster has a very short first gear (lower ratio), it allows for crawling at 4-5kmph and coupled with a much lighter weight, makes the 4x4 duster quite a capable machine.
Crawler 1st (and reverse I presume) for the 4X4? Makes sense.
Would you happen to know the actual ratios for the 4X2 and the 4X4?
Do the XUV and the Aria have similar variations?

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Old 15th December 2013, 00:35   #48
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Default Re: Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110)

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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
Crawler 1st (and reverse I presume) for the 4X4? Makes sense.
Would you happen to know the actual ratios for the 4X2 and the 4X4?
Do the XUV and the Aria have similar variations?

Regards
Sutripta
Here is a comparative between the 4x2 and 4x4 of the 110 Diesel Duster alongwith the "God Knows what it is"

Name:  Untitled.jpg
Views: 2410
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So the ratio's are significantly shorter for the Duster 4x4.

Have driven a AWD Aria and am sure by the way it drove offroad, it wont make it, the final drive itself will indicate why. I dont have the XUV specs, maybe an owner can check the owners manual and update, but from the outset, I did not find a low ratio switch on the AWD variant and it did not seem to have a very low crawl speed. I am quite confident that the XUV also wont make it.

But a Duster 4x4 will probably be an interesting watch.
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Old 15th December 2013, 20:00   #49
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Default Re: Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110)

^^^
A 6 speed gives one more leeway. Where does our 85 bhp 5 speed stand?
Actually best is to list ground speeds at 1000 rpm for each gear, and a note specifying the turbo cut in rpm.

Anyway we are hijacking the OPs thread.

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Old 15th December 2013, 20:44   #50
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Originally Posted by Sutripta View Post
^^^
A 6 speed gives one more leeway. Where does our 85 bhp 5 speed stand?
Actually best is to list ground speeds at 1000 rpm for each gear, and a note specifying the turbo cut in rpm.

Anyway we are hijacking the OPs thread.

Regards
Sutripta
You are not at all hijacking, infact this should be the type of discussion we all love to have. The climbing part is over and done with.
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Old 16th December 2013, 20:54   #51
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Default Re: Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110)

^^^
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/4x4-ex...ml#post3317588
might be a more appropriate thread.

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Sutripta
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Old 17th December 2013, 20:56   #52
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Default Re: Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110)

Thank you himadrimondal for such a detailed and an excellent travelogue, This is exactly what I needed before I start my journey to Sikkim in the month of January. Though I won't be touching any of these places you've mentioned in your travelogue and I don't even have that courage to do that on my Duster. So, I'm waiting for Renault to launch its 4WD version and hoping that I can buy that, I would definitely like to go to many such deserted places like these.

I'll be traveling from Bilaspur to Gangtok to Durgapur to Bangalore and planning to cover the following places while in Sikkim.

Bilaspur - Gangtok - Lachen - Gurudongmar Lake - Lachung - Yumthang Valley - Gangtok - Nathula - Durgapur - Bangalore

Since you recently traveled from Kolkata to Gangtok, it would be really helpful if you can tell me about the road conditions which you've traveled recently. After reading your travelogue I don't think there is anything in my itinerary where my Duster can't go, provided I get the passes. In case you are aware of the road conditions of these places would be really good and if there is anything which I need to worry about.

Also, how difficult will it be to get a pass to North sikkim for my own car, whether its possible or not?

Thanks,
-Pallav
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Old 19th December 2013, 12:05   #53
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Originally Posted by gurha View Post
Since you recently traveled from Kolkata to Gangtok, it would be really helpful if you can tell me about the road conditions which you've traveled recently. After reading your travelogue I don't think there is anything in my itinerary where my Duster can't go, provided I get the passes. In case you are aware of the road conditions of these places would be really good and if there is anything which I need to worry about.

Also, how difficult will it be to get a pass to North sikkim for my own car, whether its possible or not?

Thanks,
-Pallav
Hello Pallav, the road from here to siliguri is fine provided you take the Dumka-Bhagalpur route. Also download map engine to preset your routes, will be helpful.
Regarding passes above Gangtok, north Sikkim, its quiet difficult. Central Govt or army sources will surely work. As for me, it did not work as I have no such help. Even a mere drive to Zuluk was turned down by local police. Rest of Sikkim, mostly west and south is like my home. You can enjoy virgin nature in these parts.
Hope you get permission for North Sikkim.
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Old 18th August 2014, 21:06   #54
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Default Re: Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110)

Wonderful travelogue Himadrida! Gives me a reason to buy some camping gears
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Old 25th June 2015, 12:27   #55
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Default Re: Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110)

@himadrimondal. Awesome TL. And of course, great confidence in the driving skills. I have some vital questions for my intended drive to Sandakphu, and had a few interactions with fellow bhpians too.

Pls note the following before my query.

1. Route / trip : Bhubaneswar to Sandakphu to Phalut and back.
2. Intended time of visit : July 1-15, 2015 (everyone says the monsoon will wreck the trip)
3. Vehicle : Pajero GLX (may check the specs of the vehicle in my garage).
4. Fellow travellers : Doubtful / none. So I guess I will have to go solo. (not an issue at all).
5. Intent :
a. Wanderlust / To test the vehicle.
b. Car camp in solitude.
c. Disappear for a few days from the so-called civilized world.

My queries for which I need your frank opinion:

1. Can the Pajero get to the end-point?
2. Can it pass through the narrow bridge that people say is a bottleneck enroute?
3. Can the monsoon really be so difficult to handle? (considering people still travel in those Land Rovers even in the rains).
4. Are there any places where I could just set up camp along with my vehicle, without anyone in range to invade my solitude?

Thanks in advance.

Last edited by Unavowed_X9 : 25th June 2015 at 12:31.
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Old 25th June 2015, 15:58   #56
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Default Re: Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110)

Hello Unavowed,
Thanks for the kind comments. Answering your queries point by point:
1. Can the Pajero get to the end-point? YES, offcourse. It will sail through.
2. Can it pass through the narrow bridge. Yes, wont be a problem. May have to deal with space less than an inch.
3. Can the monsoon really be so difficult to handle? YES. To be on the safer side, please do not do this during the monsoon or late Jan and Feb. Last couple of turns are steep where the car slides even on brakes. As far as the LR guys doing it regularly, well they never drive on tarmac, that's their daily route to office. Their backup support arrives within a matter of minutes.
4. Are there any places where I could just set up camp along with my vehicle? YES, there are many spots. You are in Sikkim my friend. Drive to Varsey Rhododendron Sanctuary and set up a camp at place of your liking. Any place between Rabongla and Borong would be fine too. I have camped umpteen number of times in Sikkim, no one will even come and bother you. West/south sikkim is best for camping.
Regards,
Himadri.
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Old 25th June 2015, 21:54   #57
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Himadri da, you are one of the reason for me to go in for Duster and your video of drive upto Sangalila National Park inspired me. Have made the reference in my ownership thread under the title Duster.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/3649296-post.html
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Old 10th July 2015, 17:29   #58
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Default Re: Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110)

Finally, the plans of Leh/Ladakh having been scrapped for this year, there is only the option of doing NE this year. I have 15th - 30th Aug 2015 to do this. Will Sandakphu still be unsafe then?
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Old 11th July 2015, 17:24   #59
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Default Re: Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110)

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Himadri da, you are one of the reason for me to go in for Duster and your video of drive upto Sangalila National Park inspired me. Have made the reference in my ownership thread under the title Duster.
Lovely thread, thats a gleaming red Duster.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/3649296-post.html
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Finally, the plans of Leh/Ladakh having been scrapped for this year, there is only the option of doing NE this year. I have 15th - 30th Aug 2015 to do this. Will Sandakphu still be unsafe then?
Its actually raining heavily in the northern parts of Bengal and in Sikkim. Highways till recently were cutoff due to landslides. I have no idea how much of rain will be there during the month of August. You might give it a try if there is a week of continuous sunshine.
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Old 5th May 2016, 18:35   #60
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Default Re: Climbing heights with a 2WD (Duster 110)

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So did I U-turn after U-turn every 15-20 meters or so. But degree of inclines started increasing with each climb. The roads here are so steep, as if like God has created a short-cut to hell. I had by now lost track of how many climbs we made, at what mark my rpm meter is? what kind of blue is the colour of the sky turning to? All I am now seeing is boulders, gaps, inclines and hair-pins. Nothing else. My concentration felt like it would burst through the skull, I am seeing things very large. Even loose talk from my friends started getting me irritated.

Must have gone into a trans like meditative state where the car felt like an extension of me and what started as a mere test has now transformed as a challenge.
Faliure to climb, even on a FWD, has faded as an option. Chitrey came up in a little over half an hour. This is like 5kms in an hour. The distance covered will give an idea of the inclines and road conditions.

There came a few stretches where I had to slip the clutch to get the engine compression up. Some turns were so tight with hardly any room, wheel spins were imminent but the car climbed.The Duster suspension Rocks. Its just unbelievable. The MRF stock tyres were actually doing a fantastic job. The power steering was precise, and the narrowest of U-turns were dealt with ease. Talking about steering feed back, oh yes. The car kept crawling and rocking but the steering was steady. Over an hour has passed and I am still rocking like a boat at sea, Duster lumbers across rocks and loose gravel.

The inclines by now have reached a very uncomfortable state. On a climb there is hardly anything I see in front. Add to it the low seating and car like feel of the driver seat makes me see only the bonnet after the sky. I and my other friend in front had to literally look out of the window to see how the road curves. By now I have lost track of time. Lamey Dhura comes up and my friends interrupts the silence. 'We HAVE to take a coffee break'. I acknowledged unwillingly though. Black coffee with no sugar in freezing cold under bright sunshine.

Coffee had no effect on me, I was etching to go. The rush of adrenaline was too high for anything else. Unidirectional in my thought and aim, started driving again.
Photography is very difficult in such circumstances when you are the only photographer and driver. Could not resist a few shots though.

Next up Meghma at a little less than 10000 ft, we have climbed 3000 ft approx in 9 kms. Stopped to ask this driver of a Land Rover if the car can make it till Sandakphu.
He blankly replied,'2WD?'. Next thing he did was even surprising. He stooped down below the car to see how much clearance it had. Next question, "Kon si gari ye? (what car is this?)". Not understanding the word 'Duster' he stooped down again and now asking, 'Iska handi kaha hai? yeh to meri gari se ucha hai!! (where is the differential? higher than my Land Rover too!!)'. I replied, 'Nahi ha (not there), will this car be able to make it till sandakphu?'. He said, 'Yaha tak aa gaya, chale jaigi, mei baith saktha hu ekbar? (come till this much, will/should go, can I sit inside once?)'.
That Himadrda is enough to get in an epic transcendence of the situation . This would be one of the goto blogs for me when I manage to nail Sandakpfu in near future. Rated 5* would be an understatement, bookmarked it, hope to refer many times and soon.
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