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Old 9th January 2014, 12:42   #46
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Default re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

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Originally Posted by ani_meher View Post
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!
Ha ha. I know. Even I was bamboozled when I got to know about what he did over the weekends and I asked him the same question. His answer was, "Either I get a sleeper ticket via a ticket agent or I always carry my bed-sheet around so even if I have to sleep on the floor it's fine, as long as the TC isn't an honest person."
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Old 10th January 2014, 15:40   #47
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

I think our agenda here is to confuse you totally

But jokes aside, more people here are for the car. Its a car forum after all. But there are some of us who feel otherwise.

My thoughts - if you are choosing between a car and an RE - please, please take the car! If you are the more adventurous kind and have experience in doing some RE maintenance yourself, then it is ok. Otherwise, the car is a better option.

But if you are considering other bikes, some bike more reliable, then there are many others to choose from.

Wish you all the best in your decision and do keep us posted.

But I really hope you take the bike
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Old 10th January 2014, 16:31   #48
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

Being an RE owner and rider, I will say go with the RE but this is a biased opinion.

If going alone to remote places a car may offer you some shelter and protection from the elements, but it does take the fun of having the "wind in your hair" away

I wish you all the best with your adventure and hope you have a great and safe trip. Look forward to some pictures or a TL once you return
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Old 10th January 2014, 18:19   #49
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

If you are going on a long journey then it is definitely a car. A bike on Indian highways is a security risk - accidents, breakdowns and even looting.

As far as cars go, I would advise you to get a new vehicle. My personal preference is either an Alto K10 or a Maruti Van. These will give you enough FE and be more than enough space wise for one (and even two persons). I have traveled a lot in M800 and the van, and definitely van wins. The best part is that its turning circle is even smaller than that of an M800 so that you can go practically any where a bike can. Both M800 and the Alto K10 can fold the rear seats down so that you have an extensive space enough to curl up and sleep if required.

Why a new car? Unless you know the service history of the car and sure of its condition, pre-owned vehicles will have more chances of a break down compared to a new one. With a new vehicle all that you need to carry are a set of essential spares and the fuel.

If you plan to go on a long journey, have you thought of all the paraphernalia that you require to carry? At the minimum are
- Spares, oils, 20L can for spare fuel and a good tow rope.
- Basic food stuff - Rice, Maggi, Salt, Sugar, Biscuits etc to keep you nourished in case you are stuck when the road is closed due to natural disasters. We always carried basic stuff and many a time that was all that saved us from hunger and/or exorbitant demands from the road side vendors.
- Medicines
- Chargers for any electronic item you may be carrying - Phone, Camera, Laptop
- Clothes - minimum one weeks worth, woolens, spare shoes etc.

In short you will require a lot of space which will be extremely difficult to fit in a bike.
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Old 10th January 2014, 18:28   #50
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

What you are attempting will be influenced by one major factor: the amount of money you are willing to spend.

I would suggest you figure this out before anything else. No point getting a four wheeler and then realizing that fuel bills or some other unforeseen cost have eaten into most of your planned expenses.

As for the mode of transport, I also think a combination of various modes should work best. Hop on the train/bus for long distances, and rent bike or car at the destination accordingly.

All the best mate, hope you give us a nice travelogue in return for all the advice
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Old 10th January 2014, 18:43   #51
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

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A bike on Indian highways is a security risk - accidents, breakdowns and even looting.My personal preference is either an Alto K10 or a Maruti Van.
Not trying to contradict or anything, but we used to have a van for years and IMHO, if a bike is a risk in terms of accidents then a Maruti Van is only slightly better in that aspect! That thing is scary on the highway!

If the OP is going for a car to be used for long highway trips in India, I'd suggest any other car BUT a Maruti Van! Personally, I'd rather use a bike in that case.

And for the OP, when do you plan on starting your sabbatical/trip? If it's anytime soon and you are set on a new Bullet, you may end up spending your whole sabbatical waiting for RE to deliver your new bike, given those crazy waiting periods for new Bulls!

BTW, any info on how exactly you went about negotiating/planning this sabbatical from work would be great!

Also, a lot of people seem to assume that a laptop is part of what one would carry on such a trip. Why? I would never carry a laptop on a long ride. Just extra/unnecessary baggage IMHO.

Last edited by am1m : 10th January 2014 at 18:47.
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Old 10th January 2014, 20:22   #52
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

Let me start of by saying in terms of fun, I'd pick a bike over a car any day. Nothing can beat the thrill of touring on a motorcycle.

However, for your particular needs, I would recommend you take that Alto or M800. It's going to be a 6 month long trip, and a motorcycle may get tiring unless you're a hard core enthusiast.

The car will let you carry a lot of essentials you may need, such as a nice DSLR with tripod (and extra lenses), a laptop if necessary, more clothes, an electric kettle in case you want to make your own chai. A car charger should keep your cell phone up and running at all times as well.

A motorcycle might be fun if you plan to make it a 1-2 week trip, but a good ol' reliable Alto should serve you much better for what you seem to have planned.
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Old 10th January 2014, 20:47   #53
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

Hey recker_us, the vehicle, either a bike or a car is a mindset. I was speaking with a friend yesterday, a Merchant navy captain and he said to me that his uncle, One Mr. John Conrad Alvares from Goa, last year completed a 13,300 Kms visiting east and north east of the country and celebrated his 70th Birthday at Kathmandu. He rides a 150 cc TVS Suzuki.
He is 71 Years now and I was given to understand that he is planning one more long solo ride soon to north india and I am going to meet this septuagenarian biker in person one of these days as he lives in Goa.

there is no much fan fair about his ride except for a small clip in local english daily

http://www.oheraldo.in/News/Local%20...ome/75551.html

I had put forth a post earlier here # 26 mentioning some aspect in this regard like the type of person you are, your expectations, your risk taking abilities etc. The above example of Mr. John Conrad is just to say that bike riding is not as risky or scary as it is made out to be provided you take adequate precautions and it is passion that counts. My sincere suggestion to you would be Just listen to your heart (and may be pocket too) and decide. either way, a car or a bike, ( both with their pros and cons) I believe that you will have a wonderful time under the sun during the sabbatical. God Bless.

Last edited by ashkamath : 10th January 2014 at 20:48.
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Old 11th January 2014, 04:49   #54
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

Recker_us
I am a Bullet rider and have traveled to various parts of the country on a Bullet. There is nothing more exhilarating than travelling around the countryside on a Bullet. Get the bike checked out by a good mechanic who is known for his work on the Bullet and then you will have nothing to fear.
I would also advise you to ask the mechanic to teach you some basic repairs so that you are prepared to face the situation if anything does go wrong. Unlike other bikes the Bullet has a fan base all over the country. So, even if you are stuck somewhere a bulleteer passing by will always stop to help. That's the Bullet fraternity!
Have a safe trip and tons of fun.
Regards,
Ashok
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Old 11th January 2014, 07:53   #55
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

A car ofcourse! Unless you hav the passion for riding a motorcycle around the country and in course enjoy the nature in its full glory. The heat, the snow, the dust and much more. But let me tell you, that I had done a K2K (8500Kms) on a Pulsar 180 in 45 days. That was few years back. I have traveled to various passes including Nathula in Sikkim. A 800 / Alto while, OK, will definitely be underpowered and unsafe on such long adventures. But few pointers here:

(1) While a bullet is a comfortable machines, you can't ride on footpegs, something which is required up there!

(2) A petrol vehicle will definitely not be an economical option. You need oodles of torque and will be traversing the Indian subcontinent. I would rather look for a used SUV! More space, more torque and much more economical. Spares should not be an issue as well.
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Old 11th January 2014, 12:54   #56
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

If I were you, I would choose a bullet.
Here are my reasons:

1) It's a once in a lifetime opportunity and the places you would like to explore are best explored by being as close to the nature as possible. The bike gives you the freedom and gives an opportunity to 'feel the wind in your hair'
2) Bullet allows you to carry reasonable amount of luggage and necessities like spares (tubes, plugs, etc.). However, you'll have to ride with the saddles and bags on the rear.
3) It's easy to repair - you might need some hands-on on some of the repair mechanism and procedure. However, nothing is as complicated as it sounds.
4) Photography and fringe activites won't be a problem. Bikers indulge in all such creative outlets all the time.

My only piece of advice would be to ride safe with proper gear.

Cheers
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Old 12th January 2014, 21:33   #57
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

I am a bike guy, but considering that you are going on a six months trip I would recommend a car. You would need a lot of luggage space and a bike would be tiring, unless you plan to have a very relaxed routine. Carrying luggage after reaching the destination is also a pain if you travel by bike. But a car can never beat the feeling - close to nature, adventure - you would get in a bike.

Most important - if you are riding, invest in quality riding gear.

Alto is a good choice as it would be easy on your pocket, has decent power, comfortable, fuel efficient, reliable, and has extensive service network. Diesel would be move economical, with useful torque, considering that you will be travelling for six months. If vehicle cost is not an issue, get a SUV (Scorpio or Innova) or a Diesel Hatchback/ Sedan (Swift/ Ritz Diesel, Etios, SX4, etc).

For bike, my choice would be CBR 250 and Karizma - in the order given. I would not recommend Enfield, considering the reports on reliability.

Go, live your dream. Have a safe trip brother.

Last edited by PatienceWins : 12th January 2014 at 21:41.
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Old 12th January 2014, 23:51   #58
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

Its got to be a car.

Agreed that there are some cons to it, but then too, IMHO it has to be a car.

With regards to a bike, apart from other things mentioned by fellow members, one more imp. thing that needs to be mentioned is unloading and loading the bike every single day in n day out which can be very tiresome

With respect to traveling by train and then hiring a car/bike can be quite cumbersome as well coz very few places will offer you self driven car/bike on rent.

Anyways keep us updated about your travel plans.
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Old 13th January 2014, 02:30   #59
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

ok so most of us agree it has to be a car. But my suggestion , it should neither be 800 or alto, go for a OMNI my friend.

You can put a Folding bicycle in it, and full length bed on the passenger side, plus you can have a mini kitchen as well. Surf the net and you will find mini motorhomes built on the OMNI, called as Suzuki carry elsewhere.

But the only downside would be , OMNI can get tiring over long distances.
You can put an aircon in it as well, and create a partition to make it effective.

OMNI has better low end torque and better GC then 800 and is as safe or unsafe as a alto/800.

A good second hand Omni should be well within your budget.
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Old 13th January 2014, 02:39   #60
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Default Re: Cheap Car...or a Bullet?

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Originally Posted by auto_enthusiast View Post
Its got to be a car.
Agreed that there are some cons to it, but then too, IMHO it has to be a car.

With regards to a bike, apart from other things mentioned by fellow members, one more imp. thing that needs to be mentioned is unloading and loading the bike every single day in n day out which can be very tiresome
Well those days of tying a rope or even a bungee chord with hooks and all on a bike and struggling is over now. The present saddle bags are smartly designed. I have a Viaterra Claw saddle bag which has humongous space (55 Litres) and can be mounted or dismounted on a bike in about 2-3 minutes max. It just has 3 simple velcro straps. Infact I have done mounting / dismounting it in under 2 minutes. There are other like Cramster which does not have strapping too. Just straddle it over the pillion seat and you are done. 30 Secs. and they are huge too.

But having said that I have come to this thread again to perhaps retract my earlier stress on riding a motorcycle over a car after going through the discussions and sharing done by lot of senior and experienced T-BHPians.
The reason is in the 6 month trip (unless recker_us breaks his tour into 2-3 seperate smaller trips of 8-12 weeks duration in which case he can try the bike / car / bus-train combi ). But if it has to be a 6 month trip then a car perhaps a not so old Alto or slightly older Wagon R ( again this is considering his recker_us budget of Rs. 1.5 Lakh for the transportation) will be suitable. The SUV/SX4/SWIFT/ETIOS etc are out of reckoning right away due to budget constraint.
recker_us plans to spend his time in eastern /north eastern India which experiences heavy rain. For example Guwahati experiences severe rain from March itself and it is really heavy showers there. It is not for nothing that Cherrapunji is called the wettest place on earth. So unlike the Bangalore, the weather conditions are pretty harsh in northern India and also the roads are extremely bad during rains with endless extreme slushy roads / landslides / potholed / bad roads etc. Then there is the Himalayan chill and combating AMS and all, then a bike almost shuts of night riding possibility where as in car it is still doable.
Bike is good for wind in hair and sun in face ( my own words down in this thread). But 6 months trip warrants safety as a priority to put the mind at ease.
Further if one is a NON-Biker, as some one had said, one will tire in less than a week time on road. It requires lot of Passion to be a biker.
So I would suggest an ALto / Wagon R, may be the front passenger seat and modded to recline 180 deg and form a sort of bed, a 5 Kg LPG gas with portable burner ( 5 KG LPG cylinder is available in many petrol pumps I heard), ready to eat food / Maggie / spices, a few utensils, a couple of 10 liter cans ( for water and petrol if needed), medicines, Music CDs, some nice books, foldable chair and table for outdoor solo partying, A camping tent and a sleeping bag (perhaps a Minus 5deg sleeping bag would be nice in Himalayas), Navigational tools like MMI(Map my India)/garmin GPS (very very handy and important),
You could plan your stays at YHAI / YMCA / B&B / clean Dhabas (avoiding expensive hotels) or if you plan to sleep in car then may be at the local police station compound, with their permission / or busy petrol pumps on highways) or even some charming outdoors if you feel so, using your camping tent and sleeping bag and with some barbecuing / cooking your favorite meal while you are seated at your portable table and gazing the sunset and listening to your favorite music and not a soul in the vicinity
Perhaps you can even take a Bicycle on the top of the car to help you ride in the local towns or explore some trails if you feel like.
Also learn some basic repairs at your friendly repair shop carry spares like bulbs / fuses / etc, include in your tool box an army knife/ a camping axe/ torch etc.
Some Mobile sims like airtel and BSNL also don't work in North east. check out which one works, carry some spare sims of that service provider, even create a support system ( through this very forum with T-BHPians in East and NE region ) like my biker friend from Bangalore who on a NE/Bhutan/Nepal/Himalaya and all India ride was camping at his Bike friends places (on invitation)though they had never met and only interacted over net earlier.
The possibilities are immense. and Yes, a car can take a whole home with it for creature comforts as some mentioned above which a Bike cant. Bike is more of raw and passion and adventure with the risk factor increased manifold. For wind in the hair, may be you have to stop the car and take a stroll on the road some time, but that would be fun too.
Also please do carry the laptop and record every days happenings ( later down the years, this will be one nostalgic memory and to be told to grandchildren). Lots of Pics. the list is endless.
In all I think most of the above tour accessories and the car can be managed with the budget of Rs. 1.5 Lakh ( you may have to slightly stretch and presuming some items like Laptop / camera etc are already there).
If you are really up to it ( as my friend did) do a live update everyday of your daily trip on the forum with photograph and then there you have a successful sabbatical

Quote:
Originally Posted by silverado View Post
ok so most of us agree it has to be a car. But my suggestion , it should neither be 800 or alto, go for a OMNI my friend.

You can put a Folding bicycle in it, and full length bed on the passenger side, plus you can have a mini kitchen as well. Surf the net and you will find mini motorhomes built on the OMNI, called as Suzuki carry elsewhere.

A good second hand Omni should be well within your budget.
Hey Silverado, we both seem to echo the same sentiment and I was busy typing for a while and see we are in same page.
An omni is a good option too and unlike some opinion that it is risky and dangerous, I believe that can be a perfect vehicle for this trip. and an aftermarket Air conditioner would be great in the Omni. that is sure some camper van that you have there

Last edited by ashkamath : 13th January 2014 at 02:43.
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