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Old 30th July 2008, 11:57   #1
senindra's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Essen (Germany)
Posts: 225
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Default Kolkata - Vizag - Chennai

2 bikes, 2 riders : Royal Enfield A350 Machismo & Std 500 (both modded)

I was eagerly waiting for this ride which I had planned 3 months
earlier already in Germany. Enquiring each and everyday how far my
bike was ready and when would it be out of the garage and in rideable
shape. After coming down to India and visiting the bike garage I was
told the bike would be ready within 10 days, but unfortunately the
bike was only finally ready 2 days before Hero and I started for our
ride to Chennai.

We successfully managed to stick to the original plan of reaching
Chennai in two days, which sitting here I can comfortably say that if
I had been in India and had done a couple of more rides on the bullet
and been in practice during the last 1 or two years it is a stretch
which can be done by lunch time of the second day, easily.

At 6 in the morning on the 4th of January my alarm rang and woke me
up. After a shower and packing the bikes we were on our way to
Victoria Memorial where Faisal and Arijit, two other buddies of
Eastern Bulls would be already waiting for us.

We arrived Victoria Memorial at around 7.20 AM and after a few snaps
and some gossip we 4 were riding towards the 2nd Howrah bridge. Toll
payed and soon 4 of us were thumping steadily on the Kona expressway.
After a short ride with Faisal and Arijit they wished us luck and rode
back to Kolkata promising to see us during Rider Mania .Hero and I
rode ahead towards whatever distance we could cover through the day.
Both of us were steadily thumping at speeds in excess of 100 as the
roads were quite empty and the weather was still pleasant. We had to
stop 2 times for a couple of minutes as the fuel can on Hero's carrier
was popping up, finally we found a solution and carried on.

Our first stop was after covering approximately 200kms from Kolkata
where I realized that Hero's main stand was crooked, not being able to
understand whether the stand is crooked or is it the career which is
making it look crooked we rode on, on a similar biscuit, pee and smoke
stop we finally pointed out the problem to a missing split pin. This
could cause a problem as none of our bikes have side stands. No
complaints regarding the road condition, it was as smooth as it could
be. We wasted nearly 40 minutes in a garage where we finally fixed a
substitute for a split pin at a roadside truck mechanic.

The two bulls were back on the highway steadily thumping. By about 2
in the afternoon we were already sitting in Bhubaneshwar which we made
our lunch hault. Calls were made to near and dear ones and they were
updated accordingly. I thought to myself if we have such road
conditions throughout we could easily cover a modest 1400kms on that
day itself, and soon after I was proved wrong. After getting out of
Bhubaneshwar and riding a small distance we realised the highway had
got narrower and we were only crossing towns, on one of such a town a
plastic bike was merrily making a U-turn just the way you would do in
your back yard, Hero with his heavy career and boxes somehow swerved
and managed to cross him and I managed to stop just before hitting his
rear wheel. What really took a toll on me was that the rider was
without a helmet which could have easily been fatal on a national
highway with high-speed traffic. However we moved on and were stuck at
a railway crossing for about 10 minutes where I told Hero to reduce
his idling rpm as it seemed quite high.

After this the roads gradually vanished and in no time we were
offroading on the so called NH5, especially since it was getting dark
and the red dust was really getting on our nerves which resulted in
barely being able to cover any distance and the traffic was pathetic.
Before Behrampur the national highway comes to a sudden end after
which you have lovely trees and forest, we took a U-turn and was
directed towards a village road going down.

It was a good idea to pick up the tire pressure gauge from Germany and
we could keep a track of our tire pressures and fill up accordingly as
we were riding nonstop for long distances. We stopped at around
7.00pm at a Reliance A1 Dhaba for a small bite and after having a talk
with the truckers there we learned that the bad roads would end right
after 10-15kms, after exiting the Orissa border and entering Andhra.
We were relieved as we were told the highway is a dream upto
Vishakhapatnam, which was still another 250 odd kms. The truck driver
enquired whether we wanted to ride all night till Vishakapatnam, to
which I replied well if it is 250kms and nice roads will it not be
doable by midnight ? He was quite surprised with my answer, well, we
rode on.

After getting out of A1 and riding another 10 kms we took a right turn
which looked more like a highway now, 4 lane, perfect stretches, and
in no time we were clipping away to happiness, it was a big relief
getting out of the 200km potholed so called National Highway. It was
nearly 8 in the evening and we could gradually feel our bodies wanting
a break, especially after the back breaking ride we just did a while
ago. But since the roads were perfect we maintained 110-120 through
the complete stretch, our first stop was after 200 kms at around
10.30pm when we realized Vishakhapatnam was easily doable by midnight.
Through this stretch of our ride we were jumping over dead dogs and
the likes. Took a small stop, had a smoke, walked around the bike for
a while just checking everything and then we were back on the road
again. Before entering Vishakhapatnam, after already covering about
920 odd kms we started hunting for Dhabas which is when we were told
that no Dhabas allow you to stay. Surprised. We rode on, exiting the
city and we stopped at a BPCL petrol pump which had a proper Dhaba and
a waiting room with Khatiyas laid out. What a relief. Calls were made,
a small meal, a smoke and we hit the bed. First day of riding was over
with a modest 970kms covered.

We woke up at about 8 in the morning, followed by a Dosa breakfast we
packed our bags, had a few smokes, water bottles refilled, tanks
topped up and we rode out by 8.45am towards Chennai. The ride was a
very lazy one as we were very confident that we would reach today
anyways, so we were stopping quite often and not covering much
distance like we were doing the previous day. We were steadily
cruising at speeds of 80-90kmph.

A stop was made at around 11 to top of some engine oil on the monster
500. We rolled on towards Vijaywada without any problems. After
entering Vijaywada we saw the sign board which divides the road one
towards Hyderabad and one towards Chennai following on to Kanyakumari.
We decided to stop for Lunch right after exiting Vijaywada, the first
dhaba only served rice, hence we rode on ahead to another one where we
were served some roti and vegetables.

After lunch the ride got even lazier, though we were still sticking to
speeds of about 90kmph. But we were stopping nearly every hour and a
half and lazing around for a couple of minutes. One last stop for fuel
about 240 kms before Chennai were we called Solo and updated him about
our whereabouts and he told us to keep riding till we enter the city.
The ride had to get slower from here as flies were making the ride
nearly impossible filling up our visor every 10 minutes and people
were crossing the roads on their bicycles while we were missing them
by barely a centimeter at speeds above 100.

We entered city limits by around 9.00pm, covering approximately 820
kms over a lazy riding period of just over 12 hours. After a smoke and
drinking some water Solo told us to wait for him at the Annanagar main
road where he met us with his better half. After meeting him for
nearly 4 years I was surprised to see that this guy has turned into a
civilized human being, I am still surprised as a matter of fact.But
however we greeted each other, and he guided us towards Adyar where I
put up at my aunts place.850kms covered.

The ride comes to an end, nearly 1900kms covered.

Fuel Requirements :

Hero's 500: 96 litres of Petrol
My A350: 65 litres of Petrol

Best Wishes
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