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Old 15th January 2017, 13:06   #1
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Default Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250

This is the fourth such solo journey for me on a bike.
On 26th December 2016 I started on a long journey to visit Goddess Kamakhya temple in Assam and wanted to go beyond that state.
I chose a route . I chose a bike and I planned the journey.
First I got my CBR 250 Honda Bike serviced. It had an odo of some 10,300 km. I purchased Motul oil 20w50 and gave it to service mechanic at Honda service center at Somajiguda,Hyderabad. I realized later that it was mistake. There was another mistake and that was to continue with that old rear Tyre ( stock Tyre). Both started showing problems.

I started from Hyderabad in the morning and reached Nagpur by about 2 pm and found my to way to Jabalpur road. My idea was to stop at Sagar , which meant that I had to leave NH and go inside to find Sagar town and an hotel. But that did not happen. The road through Pench national park ( about 100 km) was very ,very bad. It was much bad compared to an year and half ago when I went through the same road to reach Haridwar on my RE 500.
The road is so bad that when I stopped at a road side Dabha inside Pench National park area it was already 6.00pm and Seoni ( which is pronounced as "Shivuni" by locals ) which is just out side end of the Pench area is nearly 50 km away.
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-paintnearseona.png
I have just asked about hotels in the nearby area and the Dhaba fellows told me that their own just behind the Dabha is under construction and one room is ready and I could stay if I wanted. They quoted an exorbitant price and I bargained for some 650 rupees for the night. I had my dinner here and slept for the night. The night was very cold for that new room. Next morning the water chilling cold but I took bath and started by 6:00 am. There was fog and it was still very dark and off course the road was terribly bad with full of new road constructions ,diversions and dust. Though I had my coffee break also in between it was nearly 7:30 by the time I reached Seoni. I had asked a truck driver to take my photograph with my cell phone
and he had observed a nail stuck in to my rear Tyre. The tubless tyre was just holding on the air but already much less than required air is there. So I had to stop and look for a puncture shop at the junction of a place where National Highway had a small gap to a road that goes to Seoni town inside. After some time the puncture mechanic appeared and he did the job but took a great lot of time. I was carrying puncture kit and a foot pump but after seeing the puncture sealing , I thought it could have been a lot more difficult for me to do the same work.

Now the four lane nice NH starts from here. What I noticed was that all the way , on these very good highways from Hyderabad to Nagapur and now again from Seoni towards Jabalpur my Honda bike was making more noise and the speed pickup was not commensurate with that noise. I suspected that the Motul oil was not good enough for Honda but It was not convincing to myself.
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-mirzapurvaranasiboarda.png

After reaching Jabalpur and then crossing that town was horrible experience. The roads were terribly poor. None of us like people coming from AP or Telengana can imagine such a road even in a nightmare. Some part of it you would straight go through the Dandakaranya forest. Over a hillock in that area the road was so bad that it would be much great adventure than a Rohatang pass while going to Leh in Laddhak.
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-nagapurjabalpurvaranasiboarda.png

I started getting tired even by the time I completed just 260 km !! to Mihar ( locals pronounce this as Myhaar)

I stopped at a road side hotel-lodging in Maihar and he asked for an exhorbitant price of 1000 for the night. I took a room ,had dinner and slept.
Next morning 7:00 am again I resumed my journey through this MP and the hopeless roads. From Maihar onwards road though here and there was good ,but it had terrible potholes all of a sudden. It is a two lane road and the truch drivers drive straight and if you do not jump out of road , you would simply be crushed under the truck. I saw locals jumping out of the road to avoid colliding with the truck and I simply followeed the rule at least twice to save my life.

One truck overtakes the other and there is no room for your bike while on coming truck would not stop. Once or twice I stayed on the road until the last minute forcing the trucker to slow down and give just enough space so that I , on my bike would do rope trick sort of circus on the edge of the road but at one point I had just jumped out of the road to save myself for the sake of my family .

So through these troubles and travails I reached Mirzapur town by about 3.00pm and I could not take my lunch because of lack of any good hotel on the way. I stopped in the Mirzapur chowrasta and ate some fruits and here we have to change direction towards north in that chowrasta. The fruit vendor told me that the roads would be much worse after this area. I could not understand how people are allowing politicians here to do whatever they wanted.

At a petrol bunk after Mirzapur when I stopped the bunk owner stopped me and insisted that I should take tea with him and told me to relax. He also told me that my target destination which was Varanasi was not very far and road would be four lane highway to Varanasi and that golden four lane highway would come after about 25 km !! . He was right , it was just after 25 km I got on to a four lane Highway and it was a dream to ride. But I had missed the entry in to Varanasi ( most of the locals it Benares) and again I had to depend on natives to guide me as to where to leave highway and enter Varanasi.
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-aviewbenarasghata.png
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-benarwsbathingghata.png
Finally I was in Varanasi on the third day and started searching for a budget hotel because I planned to stay for two days initially. At last after an hour I found an hotel very near to Kashi Vishwanatha temple.

I stayed in Varansai for three nights and got my bike a water wash and polish just before I started from Varanasi.

Everyday early in the morning 5:00 am I used to go to Kashi Vishwanatha temple of lOrd Shiva with a vessel of milk to pur on Shivlinga which is allowed all through the day unlike in most of the temples of South India. Here you have to keep your shoes ,wrist watch ( surprisingly wrist was not allowed along with cell phone etc., ) etc., in private shops and in that manner you have to accept a small bowel of milk and useless ,tasteless sweet packet and flowers for about Rs 260 !! . First time I paid to one of those little shop owners in that narrow lanes and felt cheated for the cost. So next day on wards I walked barefoot to temple and off course without a wrist watch and cellphone etc., I purchased half liter milk from street vendor and here you can get stainless steel vessel for a small deposit of Rs.30 only which you can get back while coming. It was always early in the morning so there would not be many people , just about 15 or 20 devotees in that cold morning , that was all. it used to be about 8 degrees in the morning but by midday it was not that cold at all.
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-funeralpyresgangaghata.png

Varansi is full of very narrow streets and very heavy crowds milling thought these streets ,people chewing pan and spitting through these streets is the hall mark of Varanasi.

I had hired a boat and saw the entire Ganges ghat while boating on river Ganges. The broker for these boats asked for 600 rupees but agreed for Rs.200 !
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-guwahati-roada.png
There are many ghats built of stone some 500 years ago !! for example a Ghat was constructed by Rana Pratap. But stone masonry and the strength of construction is just unbelievable. And river Ganga during monsoon flows in the streets of Varanasi after flowing over these Ghats !! The pollution in to Ganga is reduced very much now and I myself took bath in Ganga in a very cold morning on the other side of River Ganga after hiring a boat.
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-guwahatihighwaybhutanbordera.png
After Varanasi my next destination was Guwahati. So I started on a very cold morning at about 6:30 am , the temperatures were about 8 degrees and the manager at reception warned me about extreme cold outside and made me wear one more sweater inside my jacket and later I alearnt that it was a good advise.

In the very begining within half a furlong I noticed that the screw and nut which fixes clutch lever to the motorcycle body is missing though clutch wire was intact. I returned back to the hotel and searched and found right in front of the hotel the screw or bolt that goes through the hole but the nut to tighten it was still missing. I started like that keeping one finger on the bolt so that it would not fall off again. This happened because of water washing the day before. In front of the hotel ( right on the foot path of the road ) the bike was coverd with a sheet of dust as much as to make it unrecognizable so I went for water washing the day before I started. . At the time I noticed the bike chain became loose and asked the mechanic and he tightened it but I forgot to tell him to check the clutch wire.

At a road side after 100 km , I had encouraged a Tyre puncture fixing person to find a nut and tighten it. He did it after a search for a watcher and nut in his tool box. After this , through the cold winds I went through a two lane road ( not much bad ) towards Patna. And on the way when I stopped to wipe my face , I had accidentally dropped the bike. The bike was standstill but I could not put the side stand. The ground was too low and while tried to balance myself , the bike tilted and I could not hold on to it. It simply dropped. The clutch lever was bent but not broken. The bike did not self start. I had asked some boys to push the bike and finally started when two young boys pushed it with a jerk and speed.
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-kamakhyatemplea.png
But I noticed , the gears were good only up to third gear , some times up to second gear only and after wards it was difficult to swift to third gear. After so many attempts I could succeed. Every time I had slowed down or downshifted the up shift had become a cause of worry.
The problem turned out acute by evening. I had to stop at a petrol pump. They were very sympathetic and tried to find a mechanic but it was day after 1st Jan and all shops were closed. No mechanic was available. I went like that in the second gear towards so called Patna road and suddenly it shifted to third and fourth. But an hour later it was the same problem again but this time I found a road side mechanic in a small town. He was afraid to touch the bike because it was a Honda 250 cc. I had encouraged him to find solution and explained to him clearly about the actual incident and how it happened. He finally attempted and removed the gear lever's second level attachment nut and then fixed it again . And asked me to test ride it. So I took a U-turn and tested and it was perfectly shifting. Even though I gave him just Rs.20/= , he was immensely happy.

I stopped at PATNA bypass road at a small motel and slept there for the night.

From Patna I reached Siliguri on the same day. The roads were good towards Muzafarpur and then towards Siliguri. But 15 km before there were traffic jams due to too many trucks.
In Siliguri , I found a very good hotel for Rs.700/= and Siliguri was comparatively warm !!
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-onthewatoshillonga.png

From Siliguri to Guwahati my journey started on the second day of starting from Varanasi.

The road was only two lane road up to about 120 km with full of pot holes which appear all of a sudden on otherwise a good road. You will go through tea gardens ,paddy fields and many small towns of Bengal. The rural poverty of Bengal is very naked and very visible. After such a dangerous journey , because the taxi drives mostly Sumo type jeeps and car owners reckless driving , I finally reached Assam state border where you would enter a very vast four lane cement concrete road and I stopped to have photograph which you can see as above.

But this four lane is here and there has terribly broken patches. I stopped for a tea break in the evening and the Dabha owner helped by pouring a big mug of water on the rear tyre while I was checking it. It had two punctures with a very slow leakage of air. After fixing these punctures , I had finally reached Guwahati by about 6.00 pm and found a hotel for about Rs.1100/ per day.

While I was standing in a queue at Kamahya temple in the next morning ,( in Rs.500 queue which took 3 and half hours ) a young man who was with his wife and child searched the internet on his cell phone and gave phone numbers for Honda bike service.
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-shillongtraditionala.png

With some difficulty I found the Honda service center next day and waited until they opened their shop but the mechanics there refused to do service to 250 cc Honda. Instead they had sent along a mechanic boy to show me another service center at a place called "Paltan Bazar". They did a very good service and changed the oil. Now the high noise was gone and pick up definitely increased. When I asked a Tyre change , they finally found Continental Tyre which I requested and fixed that Tyre with nitrogen gas for about 4000 rupees.

After Tyre change there were no more Tyre punctures at all. And also I could do cornering very easily.
After Guwahati I went to Shillong but I felt there was not much to see.

I visited Shillong top ,from where you can see entire Shillong city . It was a very beautiful site because the clouds also create shadows. But unfortunately the power in my camera was gone.
Only one photograph of Shillong natives traditional dress wearing I could photograph.
Shillong was very cold. The hotels were very costly. There were long queue of car traffic jams. I had to park my bike in a government owned parking site for Rs.120/= for the night.

I had got message from home and I had to get back home urgently.
So I started from Shillong , took rest for the night at Siliguri and after starting from Siliguri I was riding for the whole day and the whole night non-stop , crossing Kolkatta , Kharagpur and stopped at Balasore ,160km from Bhuvaneshwar.

Next day I started and reached Vishakapatnam but here I stopped for a day . And started from Vishakapatnam at 6:30 AM and reached Hyderabad by 7:00 pm travelling for about 700 km . It took me an hour in Hyderabad city to reach my home.
So, totally I covered about 5530 km .
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-aftercomingback10c.png
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-starting-point11c.png

Last edited by venuraja : 19th January 2017 at 14:22.
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Old 20th January 2017, 17:16   #2
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 20th January 2017, 17:28   #3
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250

Looks like you've taken NH7, pls correct if I've misunderstood; if it's NH7, please share how did you manage fuel between Nagpur to Jhansi as I remember, there were few long stretches that looked scary even during bright day light + no fuel pumps for the standards of NH & even if they were to be found, they didn't look good & appeared to be adulterating.
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Old 21st January 2017, 13:17   #4
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250

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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Looks like you've taken NH7, pls correct if I've misunderstood; if it's NH7, please share how did you manage fuel between Nagpur to Jhansi as I remember, there were few long stretches that looked scary even during bright day light + no fuel pumps for the standards of NH & even if they were to be found, they didn't look good & appeared to be adulterating.
No, from Nagapur , I went to Jabalpur to Maihar to Varanasi.
Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-jabalapurvaranasimapt.png
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Old 22nd January 2017, 10:17   #5
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250

Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250-varanasikamakhyamaptr.jpg
This is the route I have taken to reach Kamakhya temple in Guwahati.
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Old 23rd January 2017, 22:43   #6
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250

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Originally Posted by aargee View Post
Looks like you've taken NH7, pls correct if I've misunderstood; if it's NH7, please share how did you manage fuel between Nagpur to Jhansi as I remember, there were few long stretches that looked scary even during bright day light + no fuel pumps for the standards of NH & even if they were to be found, they didn't look good & appeared to be adulterating.
Taking the liberty to reply since I had done this circuit on my R15 in September last year from Bangalore on the way to Spiti. Had tanked up at a BPCL outlet with about 50 kms still to go before Jhansi and had no problems. Rest stops and food on the go is a real issue and all you have are dhabas which you would not want to go if you are with family. But then again, this is a highway mostly used by truckers and bikers like us on the lookout for adventure and hence this should be looked upon as an experience. While there is no comparison between the N-S highway and the much frequented GQ through MH/GJ, I would not call this stretch scary, not during the day anyway. I did spot a few highway patrol vehicles and one has to be careful winding through the numerous cows resting bang in the middle of the highway. Jhansi - Gwalior stretch is still pretty bad though but the simply awesome Chhindwara - Narsinghpur stretch (about 100 odd kms) compensates.
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Old 24th January 2017, 07:34   #7
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250

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Taking the liberty to reply since I had done...Chhindwara - Narsinghpur stretch (about 100 odd kms) compensates.
IMHO, issue is not with R15 which has a fuel tank capacity of 13 liters with FE of 40 Kmpl compared to the same CPR that only yields 32 Kmpl unless ridden in 80. Basically the range of R15 is better than CPR. That's the most primary concern.
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Old 24th January 2017, 10:07   #8
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250

Thanks ! Hothatchaway

In 2015 July-august I went to Haridwar from Hyderabad on my 500cc RE ,so called Bullet, it wasa slow bike comparatively but I never had any problems with this bike.

The mistake I did was at Jhansi. I reached this place by about 5:00 pm and I thought it was too early to retire for the day and I thought very easily I could reach Agra. At the end of Jhansi and at the beginning of the bad stretch of the road , when I was taking tea , I was talking to locals and realized the road was indeed very bad through the notorious Chambal area. And indeed it was. I had to ride through this Chambal area in pitch darkness and I had to ride very cautiously and slowly and reached Agra only by 11 pm night.

While coming I took Chindwara route after Sagar. That road was definitely better than Pench National park route to Narasingpur-Jhansi but chindwara route had no petrol bunks at all. After having lunch in a Dhaba in the middle of the jungle , I slept there itself . It was about 15 km from Chindwara town itself.
This particular journey ( the travelogue above) is through Pench,Jabalpur,Maihar to Varanasi. All the way from Jabalpur the road was real horrible. Even inside Mirzapur it was unimaginably bad.

Last edited by venuraja : 24th January 2017 at 10:09.
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Old 24th January 2017, 10:32   #9
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250

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IMHO, issue is not with R15 which has a fuel tank capacity of 13 liters with FE of 40 Kmpl compared to the same CPR that only yields 32 Kmpl unless ridden in 80. Basically the range of R15 is better than CPR. That's the most primary concern.
If I say there is nothing like Honda , you might think this is chauvinism but Honda is not just very reliable bike but it has no vibrations even at 130 kmph. The one quality I liked is its excellent balance ,low humming sound,smooth engine and you will not get tired .

I used Ninja 250cc for Hyderabad-to-Leh and back and RE Desert Storm 500 cc for Hyderabad to Kanyakumari and also from Hyderabad to Haridwar.

Now I have used Honda CBR 250CC for this tour of Hyderabad to Shillong. Of all the three bikes, I have to admit to myself that I liked Honda and in future I may buy 650cc Honda even though its cost very prohibitive. I am 58 year old and if tiredness is a factor for any one ( and it should for everyone ) Honda is the best. I was very much tired on my new RE.
Ninja 250cc was as much good but its power is at the end of RPM and no mid range like Honda. But that was not the issue at all. The issue was that it nearly killed me in Kolkotta because Ninja skids a lot. Even by mistake you can not touch rear brake. You have to use only the front and it would not skid. Otherwise its tailspin is notorious. And also the rider slid forward and if the rider do not clutch the petrol tank with his knees for any reason his genitals would be crushed against the tank while braking.

In Honda CBR 250 CC ,yes, our neo-rich car drivers rash driving caused me panic braking , both brakes , on the edge of a curving road when a car fellow had overtaken another car which was already overtaking a car !! These neo-rich buggers want to prove that they arrived on the scene, so that is the problem . My Honda with both brakes on , with ABS saved my life or ( saved me from skidding) several times.
Oh! yes! after 90 km ph this Honda mileage goes down drastically !!! unbelievably low , even goes to 28 or 27 !! but otherwise 32 you can expect with its wonderful mid range power.
I never have had a chance to ride Yamaha,though I liked its design.

Last edited by venuraja : 24th January 2017 at 10:36.
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Old 24th January 2017, 11:43   #10
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Default Re: Hyderabad to Shillong on a Honda CBR250

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The mistake I did was at Jhansi...inside Mirzapur it was unimaginably bad.
This is exactly what I had observed in Dec 2015. That stretches were kind of looking deserted with very very few heads around, though my friend Madhu said the roads were improved in the years. But finding a good fuel station was very tough. We were even told at a COCO BPCL that its risky to travel on account of folks roaming with guns. Forget the threat, I was concerned about fuel
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