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Old 6th January 2014, 10:02   #31
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Originally Posted by Sherlocked View Post
But why not look for the old WagonR. It has good low end toque and also had reclining seats. You can comfortably sleep in it also if situation demands.
+1 to WagonR. I personally think, WagonR is best suited to your puposes, especially the hilly terrain that you intend to take. During our recent Sikkim / Darjeeling tour, we travelled extensiely in a WagonR and on enquiring with the Cabbies there, they said that it is the best car for such terrain. Reason: Ground clearance, Petrol Engine and ease of driving.

Anyway, whatever you choose - Enjoy your journey and have a safe one. And yes - Travelogue please (a running one would be perfect!)
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Old 6th January 2014, 10:43   #32
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

My choice is a bike any day man. If its a sabbatical then make it a proper one. Free yourself from the clutches of the ordinary and take a plunge.
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Old 6th January 2014, 10:53   #33
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

I will be going against the trend here, but I will suggest motorcycle. This will be a once in a life time journey, and trust me, a journey on motorcycle is far enriching than a car journey can be. I have travelled extensively using both vehicles, car as well as motorcycle, but even though car is best for creature comfort and safety and what not, a motorcycle ride is the best way to travel.

I noticed that when you travel by car, your itinerary becomes start from A, reach B, explore B, head for point C. It becomes point to point journey, with hardly anything in between. On a motorcycle, the journey from A to B, B to C takes a front seat, and many times it is much more enjoyable than the places itself. You get to meet people who are much friendlier towards a motorcycle guy, you get to experience the slightest change in atmosphere and the change in the crops grown in that area by smell.

For me, the choice of car or motorcycle depends on with whom and for what I am travelling. When I am accompanied by senior citizens or need to visit a place for work, a car is preferred. However when it comes to travelling for enjoyement, a motorcycle is always preferred.

That said, I would urge you to consider other motorcycles as well. A bullet has its own charm (so they say!), but you want an extremely reliable machine as a companian. Somehow, bullet doesn't come across as a reliable machine, as can be seen by numerous niggles and problems faced by bullet owners here on team bhp and elsewhere on other sites. It is a good bike, and I think it rules in Himalayas, but you might have to get your hands dirty on that far more times than you'd have to on say Karizma or CBR250.

Oh, just read you have never owned a bullet! In that case brother, trust me it is not worth to try it first on your long journey! Go for other reliable and much more comfortable machines.

Last edited by ani_meher : 6th January 2014 at 10:55.
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Old 6th January 2014, 11:40   #34
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

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Oh, just read you have never owned a bullet! In that case brother, trust me it is not worth to try it first on your long journey! Go for other reliable and much more comfortable machines.
+1 to the above. The Bullet is a lovely vehicle and I have done countless kms on it including a trip to Leh with only my wife as companion (not a group ride). After the trip I found new found love and respect for 3 things - My Wife, My Bike and the Indian Army!!

I envy you and the trip you are planning to undertake but as has been said in this thread multiple times, I can only recommend a bike for this mission but would not recommend a Bullet, simply becoz you have never ridden one and not becoz it is unreliable etc etc.

Eventually, it is you who has to decide whether to listen to your heart or your head! And trust me, listen to your heart, if you do take a decision on the contrary and take a car or a bike (as the case maybe), inspite of completing the trip successfully, you will always keep yearning that you should have listened to your heart!

Best of Luck!!
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Old 6th January 2014, 15:55   #35
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Smile re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

If you're doing such solo long trips, buying a car is recommended. Fellow bhpians have listed out above why a car is recommended and also as you said, you can carry around all the required stuffs for such a trip.

Having owned a M800 for 9 years, I've noticed one thing that whenever there are 3 or more people (avg 60kgs) in the car, the underbody of the car touches the speed breakers most of the times. You're gonna ride solo and this may not happen in your case but keep that point in mind.

In case you plan to go for a bike, I'd highly recommend you go for the CBR250R rather than the bullet. Its a real comfy bike for touring and won't get stressed out if you maintain 100km/h speeds. You might only have to spend a little more than the bullet and you have a 10 times more reliable machine than the bullet, more comfort, smooth ride, peace of mind.
I've heard from a lot of people that RE is not meant for three digit speeds and it gives a lot of vibrations. I'm sure you won't regret spending that extra penny for the bullet proof Honda.

Cheers and happy riding/driving whatever you choose
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Old 6th January 2014, 16:25   #36
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

Why not a used Sumo for about 1L and then keep the rest for fuel and other things. Ultimate ground clearance. 3L engine. Also, it's an easily repairable MUV on highways. Plus, you can always give a lift to people who're looking to travel on the same route. Talk to them. Hear stories. You can do away with the last to rows and make it a nice big room.

P.S: Do write a book once you're done with your trip. You'll be doing a lot of us a huge favour.

Off Topic
I agree with @bblost back there when he suggested traveling in a train. A friend (a very shy and reserved kind) of mine used to head out of Mumbai once every month to a place unknown. He'll walk up to the station and pick up a random train and board it. Then, once he's up the next morning, he'll get down at the next station. If there's a lodge, he'll stay there and explore...but if it is a small village, he'll pay 500 bucks to a family and ask for food and place to sleep in return. Man, the amount of stories he has. And the good thing is, he still does it 3-4 times in a year.
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Old 6th January 2014, 17:03   #37
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

I own a bullet. and I have traveled to Himalayas on it. But for the kind of non-stop travel you plan to do, I would suggest you get a car. For travel more than 2-3 weeks , a bike has serious limitations. The amount of kilometers you do on a day gets drastically reduced on a bike.
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Old 6th January 2014, 17:39   #38
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

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Off Topic
He'll walk up to the station and pick up a random train and board it. Then, once he's up the next morning, he'll get down at the next station.
OT, but how would he know which ticket to buy?? Trains require specific ticket for each train, and it is not a common ticket for any train!
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Old 6th January 2014, 17:40   #39
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

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Originally Posted by recker_us View Post
Hi Friends,
After 15 years in IT, I am looking forward to my first sabbatical for 6 months.. The plan is to go around India.. Explore lesser known or even unknown destinations in India. I might be travelling alone most of the time..

Whats your recommendation?... Any suggestions would be welcomed..

Thanks
JP
Wow ! You are going to be a monk who sold his Ferrari.

You have broken the first barrier by jumping out of routine life where most of us die but can't break thought it. So lets break one more barriers and live a real life in natural light.

It should be bullet any day because they says "Four wheels move Body, Two wheels move Soul."

Thanks,
Vishal
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Old 7th January 2014, 17:37   #40
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

Friends, my sincere apology for being away from this thread... I was not expecting such an enthusiastic response.. I feel overwhelmed, proud and privileged to be part of this community.. Thank you again..

It was nice hearing for great experiences and suggestion.. The most Out of Box kinds were:

1. Driving around in a Sumo... Giving lift to needy people and in turn get priceless memories in return.

2. Sleeping randomly in any train.. waking up next morning and getting down at any unknown place, even at a small place which may not even have a lodge. .

While I am still undecided on which mode to chose, this seems to be the message from from the majority:

1. Bullet is out :( :( :(... CBZ is in...
2. The humble M800 is getting a strong competition from WagonR.
3. Bharatiya Rail: The hybrid approach of traveling by train and hiring a bike at destination makes it even more interesting ..

Frankly speaking, I am tempted to try all the above option.. Have you realized that the "choice between two" has now become the "choice between three".

Mod Note : Please avoid typing with excessive dots.........like................this.

Thanks

Last edited by moralfibre : 7th January 2014 at 20:13. Reason: Only two smileys per post please
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Old 7th January 2014, 20:51   #41
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

Since I have gone to Ladakh Leh (7000km) in 15 days return trip, Various 2000, 3000, 5000 trips here there Gujarat, Rajasthan, Karantaka, Kerela in my Swift Diesel, I will give you a perspective.

In a car, you get tired too. Yes very tired if it was a hatchback as Indian roads in a small car means you are always in attention for that pothole/stone or a cow/human darting across, but the amount of attention you need to give in a bike for this = X 10 that of a car.

In car at the most you damage the car ( not talking about big accidents here) in a bike, you fall and damage yourself ( sometimes fatally or break a lot of things).

I cannot fathom riding a bike for 6 months around India. It will just break your back/moral after a week or two. Plus the lack of luggage carrying capabilities is a big downer. You need to be well equipped to sustain yourself for 6 months. Laptop/Camera, Lots of clothes, sleeping bag, minor tools to fix your ride etc etc. A bike is just too cumbersome in all this ( Hell this is not a Leh to Srinagar bike rid)

A car is like your home for 6 months, you rather stretch your legs in comfort and live it out or you just park your bottom on the bike seat and live it out, I would say the former sounds more fun/safe and comfortable.

If you can extend your budget, get a brand new Alto 800 or if budget does not permit a sparingly run Wagon R. Get everything in the car fixed and just concentrate on enjoying your life for these 6 months.

Its just my opinion.

Last edited by humyum : 7th January 2014 at 20:53.
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Old 7th January 2014, 21:09   #42
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

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Originally Posted by bblost View Post
But if I was in your shoes I would do neither. I would travel by general or second class in trains to every place in India.
+100 to this. Only scenario for the bullet is if you've extensive touring experience on bikes and love it that way. If you're just interested because of the novelty of it, don't. It's not as rosy as it looks. If you drive by night, you'll have to worry about security (I've seen a lot of scary things happen at night on highways on north india - real scary, including attempted murders) If you ride during the day - you'll have to put up with the sun and the weather, and the rain is a risk anytime.

Even the car, I would suggest only if you absolutely positively want to drive. I've been part of an all india and kanyakumari-bhutan drive, and we drive as a group of 4, with two shifts of two each. even then, it's very tiring. You tend to reach every destination tired, and all you can think of is some sleep, and you will absolutely not be able to enjoy the journey.

Another factor is that a lot of hotels follow the 12 noon checkout system, which is a pain when you're driving long distance. You'll either pay for extra days, or you'll have to drive nights, which sucks, and is dangerous solo.

If you had company, all of this would change, but for solo, backpack on buses, trains, tractors, tempos, auto rikshaws, whatever's available!

if you still insist on riding/driving, think long and hard about what is more important to you. The destination, the journey, or driving/riding. You may not be able to have it all.

if you're planning a second hand car, the first gen WR (square one) all the way.
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Old 8th January 2014, 17:27   #43
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After going over your very frank and insightful opinion, its slowly sinking into me that 6 months on road is not going to as rosy as I initially thought..

My only solo trip till date was a 13 days trip which was completely unplanned.. After starting my travel in an unconfirmed sleeper class in Bangalore, I finally landed in frozen chitkul in the sangla valley in the peak of winter.. That still remains as one the best trip I have ever done..

My bike trip is limited to a one week trip from Bangalore to Chennai and then travelling along the ECR to Rameshwaram.. This was done on a P150.. This is one bike which you should never ever use even if you are given a free ride.
.. but the drive along the small villages, lesser known towns was a wonderful experience..

With my humble Alto, I have never taken a trip beyond 3 days... any travel beyond 300km/day was challenging.. So, looking back, an M800 with an even poor suspension may not be very easy...

In fact, one of the thought is to split this period of 6 months into three parts... The plains of India can be better covered with public transport... It possible to reach almost every on the plains with trains/buses and usually the frequency of service is reasonable.

The second part can be a period of rest for 2-3 weeks at home or any place on the journey which I find comfortable to stay for long...

In the third part, I can plan to transport a bike to the railhead nearest to mountains... New Jalpaiguri... or Kalka or Kathgodam or Udhampur.. and then head on to himalayas in a bike..

What do you suggest?
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Old 8th January 2014, 17:41   #44
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

Quote:
Originally Posted by recker_us View Post
After going over your very frank and insightful opinion, its slowly sinking into me that 6 months on road is not going to as rosy as I initially thought..

My only solo trip till date was a 13 days trip which was completely unplanned.. After starting my travel in an unconfirmed sleeper class in Bangalore, I finally landed in frozen chitkul in the sangla valley in the peak of winter.. That still remains as one the best trip I have ever done..

My bike trip is limited to a one week trip from Bangalore to Chennai and then travelling along the ECR to Rameshwaram.. This was done on a P150.. This is one bike which you should never ever use even if you are given a free ride.
.. but the drive along the small villages, lesser known towns was a wonderful experience..

With my humble Alto, I have never taken a trip beyond 3 days... any travel beyond 300km/day was challenging.. So, looking back, an M800 with an even poor suspension may not be very easy...

In fact, one of the thought is to split this period of 6 months into three parts... The plains of India can be better covered with public transport... It possible to reach almost every on the plains with trains/buses and usually the frequency of service is reasonable.

The second part can be a period of rest for 2-3 weeks at home or any place on the journey which I find comfortable to stay for long...

In the third part, I can plan to transport a bike to the railhead nearest to mountains... New Jalpaiguri... or Kalka or Kathgodam or Udhampur.. and then head on to himalayas in a bike..

What do you suggest?
I think you are talking to the wrong people. Seriously. Most of us have NEVER done such a trip and cannot give you that advise - just as most here are biased against bikes without having done anything like a 3-4000km trip on a bike and a car both. (and it would have been reverse on the other bhp forum!)

Your trip is in a different league from the usual leh ladakh or NE trips - you should IMHO ask the mods to lock this thread, and just speak to four (or five) people:
a. http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...e-forever.html (The Road My Home Forever...) - FOUR years plus on the road.
b. http://praveenkm.blogspot.com/2009/0...n-unknown.html - six months and 25k km.
c. http://earningmyquartermile.wordpres...india-trip-08/ - just over 3.5 months all india. then he floated an equally crazy idea: http://thebrokenscooter.com/2012/05/...nable-journey/
d. http://blog.fatema.in/2010/07/leh-ja...t-all-started/ 8 months around India, by a woman. Freya. I had the privilege of meeting her in Delhi. Salute her!
e. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bharadwaj_Dayala 18 months around the world, solo!!

I can sense a bit of a "lets take it easy" copout in the post. Relax. Speak to the right people, the true mavericks. They will really guide you. The more people you speak you, the MORE you will be confused.

Speak to the real mavericks and then do what your HEART wants to do.

lemme know if u need to speak to any train mavericks - i know someone who does crazy 14 day all india north/south etc train trips, just riding in trains. surely he has seen/knows crazier folks.
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Old 8th January 2014, 18:18   #45
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

recker_us, just speak to hvkumar. Personally I would prefer a car (Wagon R suggestion is sensible, reasonably roomy and suitably anonymous/inconspicuous), but that would be speaking for myself. Your choice should be your own, and based on inputs received from people with suitable experience. There is no better person to guide you than hvkumar.
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