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Old 14th November 2014, 21:52   #1
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Post Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

Note : I've already posted this on X-bhp and wanted to share here as well. So posting it here in it's entirety again

Date : 09-08-2014

There's one ruling force in this world that's very hard to oppose and I'm friends with it. Laziness. But I've beat it two times this weekend. One was yesterday when I decided to hit the road and today when I determined to write this post.

I've been to work at 0400 yesterday and was back home by 1100. I went out for a short trek near my workplace and that made me realize how much I've missed riding out this monsoon.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-wp_20140906_09_14_47_pro.jpg

As soon as I reached home I called up a friend and in 20min we're on the road still undecided where we're headed to. The beauty of Pune is we can travel about 30km from home and get awed by nature's beauty. He suggested some places towards Solapur. But that meant crossing the city traffic and I'm not prepared for it. So we headed towards the Mumbai highway intending to take a left or right and get lost in the ghats.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-camera360_2014_9_1_092201.jpg

We rode on looking for that lucky turn and after 35km reached Kamshet. We decided to take a turn here and ride on until the road ends in a ghat. We rode for about 15min when we saw this narrow road leading up to a small hillock. The mind always follows the heart and we took the turn on instinct. Something at the back of my mind reminded me that whenever we took those turns on instinct they led us to spell-bounding locations.

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When we reached the top of the hillock, the road didn't end there. It went on. Now wouldn't we tempted. I was about to drive on when my friend suggested that maybe the road could lead us all the way to Lonavala and we may not come back in the same road. So we stopped for some pics. It's been quite some time since I've snapped my ZMA. Resisting the temptation to drive on I took some snaps.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-img_3989.jpg

The face of the ZMA is what I like most. It's that stern, aggressive face that caught on to me in 2008 and am in love since then.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-img_3998.jpg

My friend's Yamaha.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-img_3999.jpg

One last snap before we rode on.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-img_4002-copy.jpg

We got on and rode on wondering what's ahead. I sometimes get a feeling that the ZMA is not made for conquering heights, but is for cruising along at nice speeds. I had another friend pillion-riding with me and we went up the initial inclines without any resistance. But as we rode on the incline increased and the angle at some turns and straights was almost 65 degrees.

After about two turns we stopped as we're not sure how far this track will lead us. We heard a bike coming from behind and saw an elderly "kaka" riding his Hero-Honda Passion. He said it's another 3-4km and we cannot walk. There's a BSNL tower on the top and that's where he's headed. We rode on again and stopped at a sharp U-bend. I was finding it difficult managing the balance and riding uphill. As if this is not enough the water flowing downhill added to my misery and my Michelin Sirac street is doing little to help with the traction.
The rains have played havoc with the road and what's shown below is only the beginning.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-img_4014.jpg

We decided to park our bikes and trek our way up to see how the road's like. The next u-pin turn had a mini waterfall running off it with gravel and loose earth.
Suddenly a flurry of thoughts flashed in front of me, starting from my left eyelid which was twitching from a week; people who laughed that why someone like me who weighed 70kilo wanted a 150kilo 223cc bike; the day I got the Sirac street and proudly looking at it's tread thought I'd just conquer every off-road: to the fact that I'm still considering buying a term insurance and haven't bought one.

I announced that we'd just trek as much as we can, take some pics and be off as the prospect of riding down the road which we came till now didn't look pleasing.

We were walking heaving and panting wondering how our "kaka" friend managed to ride out of sight on his 99cc Passion. I comforted the others with my gyaan that he's a local and is used to driving here. Another turn and we met a goatherd.
He looked at us as if we've just parked our bikes on a highway and decided to walk.

"People drive all the way up to the tower even driving triples!! why are you walking. Put it in first gear and slowly move on." I said that I was apprehensive as the road didn't look good. He said it's only bad here. "People drive Pulsars all the way up. what bike do you have?"

The mention of Pulsars and triples was enough to fire me up. I ran down and fired up my ZMA with all those images of "bhaag milkha bhaag" flashing by; and I still don't know why.
I avoided the running water by clinging onto the outer edge of the road. Another two turns and it was all plain and straight. We smiled and looked up feeling relaxed only to see that the tower was further up and the road went on.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-wp_20140906_15_36_10_pro.jpg

We drove on now and remembered the goatherd's words and cursed him as the road deteriorated further on and now it's a constant 50 degree incline. I can see the deep valley onto my right through the thick undergrowth. Putting the bike in 1st gear we moved on at 20kmph. Suddenly I felt the incline increasing more and can feel the loss of grip from my rear tyre. My friend instantly got off and we found that the path was covered in moss.

The monsoon combined with the thick overgrowth made the path damp. I got off and tried to walk the bike as if I'm leading a Labrador on a walk. The wheel just spun in place. I really wonder for what sort of road conditions the Sirac street was made for. I'd be interested to know if there are tyres that are made for such wet moss covered tracks.

We tried pushing and cajoling it to move on and finally managed. I rode on solo and found that we're just 2 min away from a clearing.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-img_4020.jpg

From the clearing we can see that there's a cobbled path leading up the way to the top of the hill where the tower is located.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-wp_20140906_15_22_20_pro.jpg

We heaved a sigh of relief and were awed at the view this location commanded.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-camera360_2014_9_6_015055.jpg

The Mumbai-pune expressway and the old highway were visible across the plains. If you're coming from Mumbai towards Pune on the old highway, when you're climbing the incline before Kamshet, look to the right. On top of a hill, you'll find a cellphone tower. That's the spot.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-camera360_2014_9_6_015119.jpg

We saw that the kaka we met was nowhere in sight but his bike was parked there. Talk about tyre grip and stuff; The Passion's rear tyre is like a balding head. I can only see hints that it had treads earlier. While we were busy looking around and happily snapping away a sound jolted us.

A TATA Sumo sprung out of the track we just arrived. We were so shocked that we just stood there looking at the vehicle and the people in it.
We got into talking with them and found that they were here for the maintenance of the tower up there. They used to come up here in a 4x4 earlier. If someone were to test the new Duster AWD this would be a perfect track to test it's grip.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-wp_20140906_15_13_03_pro.jpg

We went along with them to the top and we can't help but appreciate all those people who laid this road and constructed the tower there.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-wp_20140906_15_15_00_pro.jpg

They had vehicles transport material all the way onto the mountain top when it was constructed!! Wish I could've been there.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-wp_20140906_15_20_36_pro.jpg

We finally reached the top. It just had a maintenance room and the cellphone tower. It was very windy, but provided awesome views. It's a pity that I forgot to take my 18-55 and had to do with my 55mm and mobile. The 18mm would've provided good wide-angle shots.

The expressway actually wound about this hill. This shot was from behind the hill. So it swung around this mountain towards Pune.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-img_4054.jpg

Adding this for a perspective of the height of the mountain.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-img_4058.jpg

Light plays hide and seek with the toy village

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-img_4077.jpg

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-img_4078.jpg

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Viewing the villages below reminded me of the epic strategy game "Age of Empires".

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-img_4080.jpg

We started our descent and apart from hot alloys and burnt brake shoes it was uneventful. I tried using the engine braking; It worked to an extent, but then the brakes had to bear the brunt of the momentum.

Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-wp_20140906_15_31_33_pro.jpg

All in all this short trip taught me valuable lessons on not leaving things at the fag end when you're almost near success.



Hope you had a good read.
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Old 15th November 2014, 14:07   #2
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Default re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

Well written and short too. Get a cam. The ones that can be fixed on handle or the helmet. From what you describe, it would have made a good video!
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Old 15th November 2014, 17:00   #3
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Default Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

Superb spot! What an amazing view. Just one of those locations you can find only by exploring. Throw in some music and you can spend endless hours picnic'ing with a friend.

Can you please share the time taken to get there from the turn?

Great report, writing style & photographs. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 16th November 2014, 01:13   #4
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Default Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

Excellent pics, love the color of your bike, I would say you maintain it well.

Bro can you please please track this path on google for rest of us to be able to find this road and attempt it. Not only this track if you find any such similar good roads around pune please put it on google maps so others like me can explore them.

I often fail in finding such good tracks so it will be of great help.
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Old 16th November 2014, 01:54   #5
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Smile Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rav11stars View Post
SIRAC Sheet
Nice photography and it is really a good location to travel by bike .
You have mentioned that your Karizma rear tyre is SIRAC sheet.

- Whether it is tubeless or tube ?

I'm planning to replace my Karizma rear tyre as it is already clocked 20K Kms and confused between SIRAC, Ceat Vertigo, MRF Vyde and MRF Zapper Q.

- Did you find any performance lag or any issue out of Sirac ?
- What is your SIRAC tyre size?
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Old 16th November 2014, 09:18   #6
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Default Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

wow, I'm on cloud9. Thanks a lot. Guess what? I searched for the location on google maps and came to know that it's called "slope of hell". No wonder it's called that and it made it more interesting.
It looks like it's famous for off-roading. Here's the map location.

http://goo.gl/maps/rnkxQ
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Old 16th November 2014, 16:03   #7
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Default Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rav11stars View Post
wow, I'm on cloud9. Thanks a lot. Guess what? I searched for the location on google maps and came to know that it's called "slope of hell". No wonder it's called that and it made it more interesting.
It looks like it's famous for off-roading. Here's the map location.

http://goo.gl/maps/rnkxQ
Thanks buddy interesting name indeed for such a place.

Long time back I had found one way of finding such places where there is a steep climb and beautiful terrain.

I used to open google maps in terrain mode and find paths passing over the high terrain areas. Sadly I didnot take the idea seriously and sat over it.

But it seems it works. The terrain height at slope of hell is around 1000 metres which is quite good enough to be scenic.

Let us post these google locations in and around pune as we explore.

Thanks again and beautiful pics. Next time do not miss your high-end camera and also click pics of the ghat roads and terrain.
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Old 17th November 2014, 15:35   #8
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Default Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

What a staggering view and very nice write up!

A view of Dehradun from Mussoorie (Uttarakhand) has a similar feel to it. The valley view is fantastic from up there. Dehradun folks, especially the college going people are extremely fond of riding almost every other evening to the snack joints on the way to the hill city. It's simply beautiful.
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Old 17th November 2014, 20:14   #9
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Default Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

Quote:
Originally Posted by amit_purohit20 View Post
Thanks buddy interesting name indeed for such a place.

Long time back I had found one way of finding such places where there is a steep climb and beautiful terrain.

I used to open google maps in terrain mode and find paths passing over the high terrain areas. Sadly I didnot take the idea seriously and sat over it.

But it seems it works. The terrain height at slope of hell is around 1000 metres which is quite good enough to be scenic.

Let us post these google locations in and around pune as we explore.

Thanks again and beautiful pics. Next time do not miss your high-end camera and also click pics of the ghat roads and terrain.
I actually had my DSLR, but thanks to my laziness skipped on my 18-55 stock lens. It would've helped capture a wider view
yeh, let's share such locations. It's a different experience sitting there and all you get to hear is the sound of the howling wind. I'm waiting for monsoons again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Karthik Gullu View Post
Nice photography and it is really a good location to travel by bike .
You have mentioned that your Karizma rear tyre is SIRAC sheet.

- Whether it is tubeless or tube ?

I'm planning to replace my Karizma rear tyre as it is already clocked 20K Kms and confused between SIRAC, Ceat Vertigo, MRF Vyde and MRF Zapper Q.

- Did you find any performance lag or any issue out of Sirac ?
- What is your SIRAC tyre size?
It's a tube tyre and is 100/90-18. Although the grip is slightly better than the stock MRF, I'd not recommend the Sirac street. I'd even say it's a bit dangerous as it tends to slip more than other tyres on gravel and wet roads. It might be probably due to the large buttons which almost makes the tyre bald.
Back then I didn't have much of a choice in MRF and the MRF T&S said I need to buy the tyre and get it replaced outside
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Old 18th November 2014, 09:40   #10
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Default Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rav11stars View Post
This picture is my favourite one! It looks like as if you guys were on Adventure Trip via dense forests. Thanks for sharing this. We shall hit these road to explore the beauty of the nature once the monsoon hits again.
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Old 18th November 2014, 11:27   #11
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Default Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

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Originally Posted by Nick_Wanderlust View Post
This picture is my favourite one! It looks like as if you guys were on Adventure Trip via dense forests. Thanks for sharing this. We shall hit these road to explore the beauty of the nature once the monsoon hits again.
yeah, the dense overhanging branches and the gloomy weather added up. I felt so frightened to be honest, that I declared this will the last time I'll be doing such stuff. But now, I want to go there again, probably after the first showers. That way, we'll get a clear view of the greenery around.
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Old 25th November 2014, 16:40   #12
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Default Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rav11stars View Post
yeah, the dense overhanging branches and the gloomy weather added up. I felt so frightened to be honest
Just a word of caution, beware of snakes. I must have visited this place more than 50 times, camped there few times.
During my last few trips snake encounter has increased.........

Regards,
Shubhendra
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Old 1st December 2014, 17:26   #13
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Default Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

Amazing Pics and a crisp travelogue. Great job rav11stars!

Pune and the hills around it are splendid during the rains and wet weather. The lush green landscape are amazing to thrill the eyes. As GTO aptly said, such locations can only be found by exploring. Surely an 18mm wide angle shot is missed considering the expansive views from the hill, but your energy and enthusiasm in the writing makes up for it. Thanks for sharing.
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Old 21st October 2015, 10:34   #14
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Default Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

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Originally Posted by justwheels View Post
Amazing Pics and a crisp travelogue. Great job rav11stars!

Pune and the hills around it are splendid during the rains and wet weather. The lush green landscape are amazing to thrill the eyes. As GTO aptly said, such locations can only be found by exploring. Surely an 18mm wide angle shot is missed considering the expansive views from the hill, but your energy and enthusiasm in the writing makes up for it. Thanks for sharing.
An year late and a verbal "Thank you" bro Just bumping this thread to check if anyone found any such offbeat tracks.
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Old 20th December 2015, 00:48   #15
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Default Re: Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rav11stars View Post
An year late and a verbal "Thank you" bro Just bumping this thread to check if anyone found any such offbeat tracks.
Hello Bro,

Today afternoon was not feeling sleepy and thought of exploring a new place nearby so used my old method to open google maps in terrain mode and find roads which criss-cross mountain tops or at higher elevations near pune.

The nearest road which I had not explored was the Kondhwa - Bopdev Ghat.
Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-bopdev.jpg

The plan was to start at Katraj By-pass road also called Pisoli road (which starts from Saswad road and ends at Katraj Satara road). Then proceed towards Bopdev Ghat, climb it and after crossing the Bopdev Ghat take a right detour off the road.

The dirt trail leads to Gogalwadi and further joins the Pune- Satara road.
The highlighted area is a small ghat section with a good amount of slope and loose soil and boulders
Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-gogalwadi.jpg


https://goo.gl/maps/uZgMn1mePv12

This detour is a dirt trail and leads through some scenic background and crosses small mountain and reaches Gogalwadi. From Gogalwadi you hit the Pune- Satara Highway and come back towards pune through the Katraj Ghat.

The roads are filled with rocks and dirt. At some places the authorities were building the roads. At the ghat section there were no roads and only rocks and the slope was also high so the bike was slipping inspite of applying the brakes. But this dirt trail in terms of difficulty level was no where close to the "Slope of Hell"

View of Katraj, Pune from Bopdev Ghat
Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-1.jpg

Take a right after you cross over the Bopdev ghat. The scenic roads start.
Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-2.jpg

Hardly after few metres the road becomes a dirt trail with loose rocks.
Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-3.jpg

The dirt trail leads to some ghats having a good amount of slope and windy sections as highlighted earlier
Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-4_1.jpg

The road winds through some nice ghats and at the foot of the mountain is the Gogalwadi.

A beautiful lake just before Gogalwadi
Offroading with a Hero Honda ZMA: Pune to Kamshet & beyond...-4.jpg
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