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Old 5th May 2016, 12:36   #1
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Smile Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki

What do you do when your friend bails on you for a trip to Goa, when you are desperate for riding your bike? Well, you go ahead and make the trip solo. Well, at least that’s what I did.

As I mentioned earlier, the plan for Goa went south with my friend citing office schedule issues. So where was I to go?. I wanted to go to Goa but then I wasn’t physically fit and a bit sceptical to make the journey alone from Chennai. So I put the Goa plan on hold and picked out Ooty in the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu as I’ve always wanted to check it out. It was 530+ kms from my home and it was completely doable. And thus this is how it went.
The dates of travel was April 29, 30 and the 1st of May, 2016. I packed my bags with the gear and the gadgets, filled fuel to the brim on my bike the previous night and on 29th April, at exactly 03:16 AM I started to Ooty from my home. The route I took was Tambaram – Ulunthurpet – salem – Avinashi – Mettupalayam – Coonoor – Ooty which was 548 kms. The plan was to reach Ooty in the evening and rest for the night , do a bit of riding around on the ghat sections and visiting places in Ooty the next day, and to return on the third day.

The road from Chennai to Ooty is pretty straight forward as Ooty is well commercialised place for tourism. The road all the way to Ooty is very well maintained and till Avinashi it is four lanes and after Avinashi junction you go onto the state highways which goes through Annur and Mettupalayam via Black Thunder water theme park.

From Mettupalayam junction there are two routes that one could take to reach Ooty. You could take the Kotagiri route or go through coonoor to reach Ooty. The Coonoor route is better for four wheelers and is the main road to reach Ooty. Both the roads are well maintained but are quite narrow and treacherous as there are several goods Lorries and tourist buses going up and down making overtaking a risky venture. After reaching Mettupalayam, the plan was to go through Coonoor and reach Ooty, but as it was election time, there was a huge procession on the road blocking the traffic, so I was forced to take the Kotagiri route to Ooty. After meandering through the ghat roads I reached the hotel that I’d booked by 11:25 AM. Checked in, refreshed myself, had lunch and decided to go to Avalanche Village and lake, which is a petite picturesque village location about 27kms from Ooty. The narrow road from Ooty to Avalanche is broken and battered and goes through villages, plantations and forests. It is quite an experience and you get a spectacular view of the beautiful Avalanche lake from the road. After taking several pictures, returned to the comfort of my room in the evening.

The next day I planned on doing a circle of the nilgiris, going till Gudalur through Pykara, from Gudalur to Masinagudi through Mudumalai tiger and Elephant reserve and back to Ooty. The road from Ooty to Gudalur through Mudumalai and Masinagudi is simply sublime and is an exotic experience for anyone. It is so well laid and well maintained and picturesque. If you are a traveller and seeking a mesmerizing road trip in the wilderness, go for this. It is special. To say more I’ll let the pictures tell my tale.

About the Bike,.. My Kawasaki Z250.

Kawasaki knows how to make a great all round bike. And with the Z250 they have ticked all the boxes. The ride is simply very comfortable and the quality and the refinement of the parallel twin is unmatched. The seating is well relaxed and the only pain that I got was a sore behind. The headlight offers good illumination in the dark and the front brakes are pretty responsive even without ABS. The rear brake is rather poor though. In all, it is such a smooth and comfortable bike, so smooth that you don’t get the sense of going fast even at 100kmph. Cruising in triple digits is unnerving and not stressful in any way. Yes, you wouldn’t call it as a value for money bike but hey, for the looks, the quality, the charisma and the rarity, it is all worth it.

Info:
As of may,2016
Roads from Chennai to Ooty – Well laid and maintained and has toll. Have to pay an entry fee of 20rs for Cars and 10rs for bikes. Ooty is well commercialised and has all basic amenities. You have ATM’s, Fuel Stations (four of them set 100mts apart), Medical facilities, Bread and breakfast Police Station etc.
The road from Ooty to Mysuru is in good condition and goes through Pykara – Gudalur – Gundlupet via Mudumalai and Bandipur Wildlife Sanctuaries. The road from Mudumalai via Masinagudi to Ooty is smooth and good for travel in four and two wheels. Parking is an issue in Ooty during summer as the town gets inundated with tourists.

Metupalayam – coonoor – Ooty route is wide and recommended for Cars and other heavier vehicles.

On the road to Kotagiri from Mettupalayam
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0009.jpg

Ghat road near Kotagiri
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0018.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0023.jpg

somewhere near Kotagiri town
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0029.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0037.jpg

Beautiful Landscape all around
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0055.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0059.jpg

Near Fernhills,Ooty
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0097.jpg

Big wheels
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0124.jpg
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The road to Avalanche town and lake
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0141.jpg
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Through dense forest cover. Predator country
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0187.jpg
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Eerie and well away from civilization
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0208.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0210.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0257.jpg

On the road leading to Avalanche
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0303.jpg

Somewhere near Fernhill
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0320.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0324.jpg

Green and mean
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0341.jpg

Paradise. A lonely cottage in the middle of a slope.
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0378.jpg

Gorgeous backdrop near Lovedale
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0379.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0395.jpg

Beauty that mesmerizes
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0408.jpg
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Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429dsc_0045.jpg

-ride safe-

Last edited by GTO : 6th May 2016 at 12:35. Reason: Just some formatting - thanks for sharing!
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Old 5th May 2016, 13:35   #2
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Default re: Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki

Ooty - Chennai Photologue Part 2
Somewhere near Salem
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429img_20160429_060348975.jpg
On the road to Kotagiri
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429img_20160429_103326899.jpg
The picture speaks for itself. The beautiful Avalanche Lake
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429img_20160429_153709130_hdr.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429img_20160429_153745752_hdr.jpg
The way back to civilization from Avalanche.
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429img_20160429_154553101.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160429img_20160429_170621780.jpg
Ooty - Mysuru road via Pykara
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0459.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0463.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0464.jpg
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Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0475.jpg
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Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0481.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0486.jpg
Like the sun setting on Charlize theron
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0487.jpg
Near Pykara
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0496.jpg
Those Eyes.
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0524.jpg
Pykara Dam
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0503.jpg
Near Gudalur
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0535.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0536.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0540.jpg
Road to Masinagudi Via Mudumalai and Bandipur. The road is in pristine condition and is a joy to ride on
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0594.jpg
The route through Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0554.jpg
True Beauty
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0557.jpg
Mudumalai
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0562.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0566.jpg
Sugomi.Crouching predator
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0575.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0581.jpg
Masinagudi Via Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0602.jpg

Last edited by GowthamDonz : 6th May 2016 at 10:22. Reason: Changing content
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Old 5th May 2016, 14:06   #3
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Ooty - Chennai Photologue part 3
Lovedale Railway station. Vintage Colonial Aura
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0662.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0683.jpg
Lovedale to Silent Valley
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0645.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0641.jpg
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Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0630.jpg
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0626.jpg
View from Charring Cross road, Ooty. The Tea Factory.
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-20160430dsc_0611.jpg
In Mudumalai. Notice I had no gear on as it was scorching hot.
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-2016050217.jpg
Geared up for the return journey home
Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki-201605029.jpg

Last edited by GowthamDonz : 6th May 2016 at 10:03. Reason: changing content
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Old 6th May 2016, 10:31   #4
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Default re: Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section). Thanks for sharing!
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Old 6th May 2016, 10:55   #5
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Default re: Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki

Thanks for sharing mate! The pics are beautiful. Ooty is sure a nature's wonder, such a relaxing place with greenery all around.

This is the first travelogue of z250 that I have seen. Somehow haven't seen this bike on road yet, only in showroom.

Seat padding by a local seat maker makes the seats far better. Also you may want to keep an HID upgrade on cards.
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Old 6th May 2016, 10:58   #6
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Default re: Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki

Nice pictures GowthamDonz. You have done 5xx odd km in about 8 hours averaging about 68km per hour solo. Wonderful.

It used to take about a day in my Bullet for the same journey a couple of decades ago.

I can gauge your passion for the Kawasaki Z250 and the travel bug from your pictures.
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Old 6th May 2016, 11:12   #7
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Default re: Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki

Beautiful Bike, Beautiful place, Beautiful roads and really beautiful pics that captured them all. Wonderful!!
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Old 6th May 2016, 11:16   #8
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Default re: Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki

Wow! Long distance travel on a 2 wheels make you feel liberated. And when the ride is an engineering marvel - it increases the feeling even more. What lovely photos! The community would love to hear about the performance of the Z250. The inline-4, Z800 is one of the bikes I would definitely want to own. How much was the on-road cost for this bike? How is the overall experience with kawasaki and the Z250? What mileage did it give on the highway? Did you feel any wind blast touring on a naked bike?

I know these are a lot of questions but I don't refrain myself from asking them because this seems to be a forum which could help you know about the dream bikes/ cars.

One piece of advice that I would like to give - there is one photo where your bike is parked just after a turn. Please try and avoid such stoppages as any vehicle can come out of the turn and your bike can catch them off-guard. Just my 2 cents!
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Old 6th May 2016, 17:51   #9
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Default Re: Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki

Kudos to you for penning this down GowthamDonz! Absolutely brilliant travelogue, fantastic HDR frames and a mean, green naked quarter liter to sum it up!

Ooty seems to be a brilliant place for biking. Those open roads look delicious! Also, I am eager to know more about the Zee. Not many people own this underrated Kawi, you see. First hand feedback is hard to come by! How potent a tourer is she?

Also, which camera(s) did you use? Can you please give us some tips to replicate those awesome HDR colors?

Thanks in advance!

Neel
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Old 6th May 2016, 18:22   #10
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Thanks for sharing your travelogue, and for beautiful pics. I really appreciate your photographic skills mate! Z 250 looks stunning. How did she perform on the ghats?

Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungSaint View Post
One piece of advice... your bike is parked just after a turn. Please try and avoid such stoppages as any vehicle can come out of the turn and your bike can catch them off-guard.
I second you! I have myself faced this once - while descending from Tirumala to Tirupati on a rainy evening, I had parked my car right after a turn on the ghat section. An overloaded Mahindra Jeep negotiated the turn and Jeep's driver spotted my car right after the turn. He applied brakes in reflex and Jeep started skidding towards centre of the curve (right side of the road has 2-2.5 feet deep open drainage for rain water to flow), and it stopped few centimeters before the drainage.

Such a lack of common sense I displayed . We thanked God, and apologized them and immediately moved the car from there. Ever since, I am very particular about where I park my ride during a drive.

Last edited by ajmat : 6th May 2016 at 21:29.
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Old 6th May 2016, 23:02   #11
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Smile Re: Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki

What beauty; both the nature you rode in and the bike used.

"Like the sun setting on Charlize Theron" - Topgear fan (Jeremy to be precise).

Anyway, how was the bike without much wind protection? Would a Ninja 300 or a Yamaha R25 be a better bet for long journeys?
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Old 7th May 2016, 06:50   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GowthamDonz View Post
On the road to Kotagiri from Mettupalayam
Attachment 1503793

Ghat road near Kotagiri
Attachment 1503794
Attachment 1503795
Hi, Superb pictures from Ooty. Very high quality photos. What is the filter that you have used to capture those stunning pictures with sun on the opposite? Is it a ND filter?
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Old 7th May 2016, 07:39   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LandCruiser View Post
Hi, Superb pictures from Ooty. Very high quality photos. What is the filter that you have used to capture those stunning pictures with sun on the opposite? Is it a ND filter?
Hi. Thank you. I didnt use any filters for the pictures. I just increased the highlight value of the pictures using lightroom software.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tejus.s View Post
What beauty; both the nature you rode in and the bike used.

"Like the sun setting on Charlize Theron" - Topgear fan (Jeremy to be precise).

Anyway, how was the bike without much wind protection? Would a Ninja 300 or a Yamaha R25 be a better bet for long journeys?
Top Gear reference indeed.
There is a bit of windblast once you go past 90kph. But its nothing that would hinder the stability. But after +120kph the windblast unsettles the rider and the bike as in any naked bike. The front end wobbles when the road is even slightly uneven. Then again going more than 110kph is risky given the lack of ABS.

Quote:
Originally Posted by petrolhead_neel View Post
Kudos to you for penning this down GowthamDonz! Absolutely brilliant travelogue, fantastic HDR frames and a mean, green naked quarter liter to sum it up!

Ooty seems to be a brilliant place for biking. Those open roads look delicious! Also, I am eager to know more about the Zee. Not many people own this underrated Kawi, you see. First hand feedback is hard to come by! How potent a tourer is she?

Also, which camera(s) did you use? Can you please give us some tips to replicate those awesome HDR colors?

Thanks in advance!

Neel
Hi Neel,
Thank you for the compliments.
Ooty is indeed a brilliant place to go for a vacation or to just ride around. But I would recommend Ooty to be visited in the monsoon season when the rains make the landscape amazingly beautiful.

Its true that not many people own a baby Z which is on of the reasons I went for it. Exclusivity. When we're presented with the Z250, we tend to compare it with the Ninja 300 or the Dukes and the RC's, which is well and natural given the price for which it is sold. The bike as a whole is simply sublime. The transmission and the engine is in a class of its own. One simply has to ride to understand what Kawasaki has done here. Yes, most of the bits are from the Ninja 300, but in this naked version, it is so much more than a 250cc over priced motorbike.
Anyway, it handles like a dream when you push it above 8000 or 9000 rpm and is very stable on the highways. Couple this with the large fuel tank, 17 litres to be exact, touring is a bliss on the baby kawasaki.
But as I have mentioned earlier in the post, the only thing I would change, in a touring perspective is to get a better comfortable seat. Arrgg the pain.

The pictures were taken with a Nikon D3200 DSLR camera. And the HDR like effect was by adjusting and tuning the highlights and the clarity of the pictures in Adobe Lightroom.

Last edited by GTO : 7th May 2016 at 12:04. Reason: Merging back to back posts
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Old 7th May 2016, 19:46   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by YoungSaint View Post
Wow! Long distance travel on a 2 wheels make you feel liberated. And when the ride is an engineering marvel - it increases the feeling even more. What lovely photos! The community would love to hear about the performance of the Z250. The inline-4, Z800 is one of the bikes I would definitely want to own. How much was the on-road cost for this bike? How is the overall experience with kawasaki and the Z250? What mileage did it give on the highway? Did you feel any wind blast touring on a naked bike?

I know these are a lot of questions but I don't refrain myself from asking them because this seems to be a forum which could help you know about the dream bikes/ cars.

One piece of advice that I would like to give - there is one photo where your bike is parked just after a turn. Please try and avoid such stoppages as any vehicle can come out of the turn and your bike can catch them off-guard. Just my 2 cents!

Hi,
I dont mind the questions and am very happy to answer them. Thank you for the compliments. The Z250 is more of a complete overall bike rather than being focused on a single particular thing(I'm looking at you RC twins). Performance wise the engine is super smooth and very well refined. Personally, this maybe due to the fact that I previously owned an RC390, I would have loved for kawasaki to have given this bike some more power. The quarter liter mill is adequate but with a bit more power it could simply be a revelation not to mention it already is. But if we are not being pedantic about it, this is a really good bike which is hindered only by the massive pricing. The Kawasaki experience can be said as a class about anything and everthing else.
And I got a efficiency of about 34kmpl to 37kmpl on the highway which I felt is a really good range. The parallel twin is simply magnificent.
Wind-blast plays major spoilsport and makes the front end unstable at speeds above 110kmph.
And about me parking in the turn. Point taken and thank you for pointing it out. I do refrain myself from parking in any blind turns. Last thing we want is to put another fellow motorist in harms way due to our negligence. Sure to take it to my brain. Thank you.

More information about the baby Z coming up in a few days as a ownership experience article.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowler View Post
Nice pictures GowthamDonz. You have done 5xx odd km in about 8 hours averaging about 68km per hour solo. Wonderful.

It used to take about a day in my Bullet for the same journey a couple of decades ago.

I can gauge your passion for the Kawasaki Z250 and the travel bug from your pictures.
Hi Prowler,
As you said, it was a decade ago. The roads are so good these days making every journey memorable, quick and as safe as possible. Kudos to the highways department.

Quote:
Originally Posted by praveen_v View Post
Beautiful Bike, Beautiful place, Beautiful roads and really beautiful pics that captured them all. Wonderful!!
Hi Praveen,
Thank you

Quote:
Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
Thanks for sharing mate! The pics are beautiful. Ooty is sure a nature's wonder, such a relaxing place with greenery all around.

This is the first travelogue of z250 that I have seen. Somehow haven't seen this bike on road yet, only in showroom.

Seat padding by a local seat maker makes the seats far better. Also you may want to keep an HID upgrade on cards.
Hi Ani_meher,
True, Ooty is indeed nature's wonder.
Prior to getting the Z250, I found it really had to get any information about the bike in terms of ownership experience. Even the showrooms in Chennai don't have it on display. This is a really rare bike mainly because of the cost.

Thank you for the suggestion. Have to go for the seat padding to rid myself of the pain next time. The HID upgrade would not only give good visibility but also enhance the style quotient of the Kawasaki. Thank you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zinda View Post
Thanks for sharing your travelogue, and for beautiful pics. I really appreciate your photographic skills mate! Z 250 looks stunning. How did she perform on the ghats?



I second you! I have myself faced this once - while descending from Tirumala to Tirupati on a rainy evening, I had parked my car right after a turn on the ghat section. An overloaded Mahindra Jeep negotiated the turn and Jeep's driver spotted my car right after the turn. He applied brakes in reflex and Jeep started skidding towards centre of the curve (right side of the road has 2-2.5 feet deep open drainage for rain water to flow), and it stopped few centimeters before the drainage.

Such a lack of common sense I displayed . We thanked God, and apologized them and immediately moved the car from there. Ever since, I am very particular about where I park my ride during a drive.
Hi Zinda,
Thank you. Not knowing anything about photography, compliments make it more sweeter.
And while the Z250 is really good on the turns in case of stability and traction, it does suffer when going uphill. More low end torque is much needed and it makes a clear difference when going uphill. The brakes and the IRC road winner tyres are good and grippy respectively. No worries there. But when encountering an uphill hairpin bend, after turning, you would have to put a considerable amount of throttle action to get the power going. Now I know this is a bike that loves to rev all the way up to eleven, but it makes me cringe to see it scream in such a sudden manner. However on open ghat roads, this is sublime.

Thank God everyone were safe in your unfortunate experience. Will take it to my head next time. Ride/Drive safe.

Last edited by Aditya : 8th May 2016 at 07:17. Reason: Back to back posts merged
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Old 8th May 2016, 10:42   #15
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Default Re: Ooty: Across gorgeous hills & forests on a Kawasaki

You sure seem to have had an amazing experience touring in the Nilgiris @GowthamDonz and yeah, your pictures are simply mind blowing. great PP skills on lightroom my friend.

Having lived in Kotagiri for more than 15 years, I can proudly say that this place also has a lot of places to check out. Catherine Water falls, Kodanandu view point and a few other places. The Nilgiris will always have amazing roads mainly because half of Kotagiri's tea estates belong to the current Chief Minister of TN.

Hopefully in the next 7 months, all TBHP and HVK members will have an amazing Homestay to crash ur tired bodies, wash clean and lube your vehicles in Kotagiri for very special prices. My very own HomeStay.

Happy riding !!!
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