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Old 9th October 2020, 18:47   #1
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Default Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Sach Pass @ 4500 mtrs


What happens when you take a 200 cc to it's extremes?


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Last edited by ast.ggn : 10th October 2020 at 08:00.
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Old 9th October 2020, 19:30   #2
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Planning (or rather lack of it)

I usually plan my trips in advance (at least route, number of days), this was one off trip where I had no idea how to go through till the time I reached Chamba. One of the reasons might be that COVID had kept us confined to our homes for last 6 months and a much needed break was on my mind. I just wanted to take a break from work without worrying too much about route etc. Another reason could be that I had a friend in Chamba on whom I was relying to help me out with route etc as he was familiar with the area.

Checked with a couple of friends about the weather conditions in the area and got a feedback that weather is pleasant, not too cold.

I got an action cam few days prior to the trip and till last moment I couldn't get to mount it properly on my helmet. Finally decided to let it go and give it a try again in Chamba.

Route Map:

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-screenshot_20201009183530_maps.jpg

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-screenshot_20201009183608_maps.jpg

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-screenshot_20201009183650_maps.jpg

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-screenshot_20201009183713_maps.jpg

So our plan had 850 kms of straight highways and 650 kms of hills. Out of these hilly 650, 250 kms were on non existent roads.

Alternatively, one can take a detour from Killar and proceed towards Kishtiwar -Patnitop - Jammu. It would take atleast 2-3 days more from what we did. I wish I had more time to explore that route.

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-screenshot_20201009183801_maps.jpg

Last edited by ast.ggn : 10th October 2020 at 07:25.
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Old 9th October 2020, 19:48   #3
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Day 1: Gurgaon to Chamba

Planned to start off early morning as I knew that the day would be hectic. Long distance ride on NH-1 with a bike like Xpulse which has it's own limitations, the ride was bound to be tiring. But as is the case with most people, till 12 AM we were searching for bags and planning for luggage.

Woke up at 4 AM and by 5 AM we were ready to leave.

Odo at start - 16312 kms


Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201002_051014.jpg

First break was near Karnal, second break between Ambala and Rajpura:

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_161059.jpg

Missed the cut at Jalandhar towards Chamba and had to return back for a few kms. At Jalandhar, seeking some shade from hot midday sun:

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Post Pathankot, some relief from heat and beautiful sights:

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201002_172249.jpg

These brown mud hills presented an amazing view, pic didn't turn out to be so good.
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201002_162017.jpg

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Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_162033.jpg

Some posing:

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_163759.jpg

Behind the scenes:

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_164520.jpg

At final destination:

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_164316.jpg

Reached Chamba around 6:30 PM, checked into the Hotel. Our friend who owned the hotel, was travelling and was supposed to join us late that night. He had made arrangements for our stay and staff made us comfortable.

Our friend joined us late in the evening and had a discussion with him on route possibilities. Finally decided to cover till Killar-Pangi and call it a day, also mounted that action cam on my helmet with my noob skills (you guys can see result in next post )

Last edited by ast.ggn : 10th October 2020 at 07:30.
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Old 9th October 2020, 20:26   #4
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Day 2: Chamba to Killar (Via Sach Pass)


Woke up lazily at 8 AM and missed the sun rise. By the time, we got to leave post breakfast it was almost 10 AM.

View from Hotel balcony:



Furry friend at the hotel:

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201003_081045.jpg

A little after Chamba, reminded me of my Spiti Trip (minus the snow):

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_170051.jpg

Phone check is mandatory:

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_165318.jpg

Panaroma view:

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_170214.jpg

Road conditions from Chamba to Bairagarh is good, after that you can forget about any road. It is all gravel, mud, stones etc.

Fuel is available last at Tissa, after that there is no fuel pump for 200 kms atleast (I might be wrong but better to tank up there).

There is a check post at Satrundi (after Bairagrah) where you are required to submit your proof of identification and a photography/ videography is kept as a record.

From the checkpost till Sach pass, it is all uphill and road conditions stays bad.

Some action cam footage from Bairagarh to Satrundi:



Little traffic encountered:

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_165832.jpg

Satrundi to Sach Pass route (special mention for other bikers we met midway at 1:00 min mark):



On way to Sach Pass, landscape is barren and beautiful.

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_170623.jpg

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_170827.jpg

Approaching Sach Pass action cam footage, you can see road conditions as well as surroundings:



Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201003_152038.jpg

Finally at Sach Pass at around 3:30 PM.

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_171717.jpg

We spent around 10-15 mins there was it was getting real cold and sun was setting fast.

180 deg view of Sach Pass Top:



Action cam battery was exhausted by then and there is no more footage from rest of the day.

After Sach Pass it is all downhill and continues the same way till Killar.

Some posing after conquering 14500 feet.

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_172116.jpg

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201003_163312.jpg

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Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_172551.jpg

Forest fire before Killar. It was present in almost 4-5 different locations.

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201003_181826.jpg

It was dark by the time we reached Killar at around 7 pm. The hotel at which we were planning to put in turned out to be a scam trying to make money by overcharging evening customers. Luckily found another hotel nearby and checked in. Half an hour later, we get another shock that the hotel doesn't have food facility and by that time entire market/ restaurants were closed. We were carrying some snacks and that served as dinner for the day.

Last edited by ast.ggn : 10th October 2020 at 17:00.
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Old 9th October 2020, 21:32   #5
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Day 3: Killar to Manali

No dinner means no breakfast too and packed snacks coming to our rescue again.

Action cam footage from Killar to Udaipur. Road was perfect for the bike to show it's true capabilities. Enjoy the video:


Random click midway.
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201004_110254.jpg

Some photography near a water stream flowing.
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_175332.jpg

Short video clip of above stream, it was very beautiful.


Manali 140 kms away:
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201004_111531.jpg

Finally got lunch after 24 hrs at Udaipur.
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201004_125555.jpg

Post Udaipur, roads are good and scenic.
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201004_142404.jpg

Apple orchard along the roadside.
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201004_142446.jpg

Panorama view:
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_180640.jpg

Udaipur to Sissu (Atal Tunnel) roads were excellent with little traffic.


View of Atal Tunnel from opposite side of the bridge:
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201004_160102.jpg

Atal Tunnel entrance. It was inaugurated a day earlier. When we reached there, we were informed that tunnel was closed for 1 hr as some accident had happened inside. Inside the tunnel, road is well built, speed limits and nearest exit points are clearly marked in case of any emergency. The tunnel is really a time saver or else one would need to climb all the way upto Rohtang to reach Manali.
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201004_161049.jpg

We reached Manali at around 6 pm and checked in at our pre-booked hotel. Warm shower and scrumptious dinner to end the day.

Last edited by ast.ggn : 10th October 2020 at 07:52.
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Old 9th October 2020, 21:46   #6
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Day 4: Manali to Gurgaon

Morning view from hotel room. It was a nice little property in new Manali. We checked out at 9 AM.
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_181018.jpg

Owner's brother is a BHPian it seems, unfortunately I couldn't get to say hello.
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201005_084427.jpg

Some random click during midway, bike was very dirty due to ongoing construction near Mandi.
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201005_134817.jpg

Rest of the ride was uneventful till Gurgaon, we lost some time due to traffic near Panipat and reached back at 12 AM.

Odo reading 17800 kms. Total 1500 kms covered in 4 days.
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201006_000645.jpg

Special mention for accompanying Himalayan on the trip. I had shared quite a few pics of the Himalayan in my Spiti travelogue, so decided to keep it to a minimum here. The bike has clocked half kms as my Xpulse and already had a cone set replacement, battery change etc. It's handle was loose and we had to get it adjusted before Sissu.
Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201003_171851.jpg

Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse-20201009_181717.jpg

Last edited by ast.ggn : 10th October 2020 at 08:06.
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Old 9th October 2020, 22:32   #7
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Performance of Xpulse

It is no secret that the engine is the weakest point of the bike. Day 1 travel had almost 500 kms and Day 4 had almost 350 kms of highways. I was able to maintain speeds between 85-90 kmph for most duration. Anything above 90 kmph and engine would feel strained, I rarely went above 95. However, even after 500 kms of travel, the performance was constant.

On altitudes above 3500 mtr and steep inclines, bike was clearly struggling. As we were approaching 4500 mtr, most of the time bike had to be kept in 1st and 2nd gear to get something out of the engine. I am not sure if FI version of the bike would perform any better there, given the limitations of engine.

On bad roads, for e.g.- returning from Killar to Udaipur, bike felt at home and made the roads look like a joke. My recent off road practice with Urban Nomad did make a world of difference between how I used to ride previously and now. I guess it would get better with more experience.

Bike held good throughout the trip, no breakdown, no rattles of any kind. Towards the end of trip, I could hear little squealing sound from front brakes, it might be due to dust deposits or pads wearing out. Will get it checked this weekend. I had changed the tyres to Ralco Motocross sometime back and they do make a lot of sound on highways but no complains when the roads are bad.

I would like to conclude here for now. Thanks for reading.

Last edited by ast.ggn : 10th October 2020 at 07:58.
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Old 11th October 2020, 05:07   #8
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 11th October 2020, 08:52   #9
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Wow ast.ggn that's a wonderful travelogue of a wonderful place that has somehow escaped me, I've always planned a ride to Sach Pass and beyond to Gulabgarh and Kishtwar but could never implement the plan so far. Thanks for this beautiful motivation !

Glad to know that the XPulse behaved so well in its home turf. I've always admired the XPulse and it's abilities. Even without the rally kit in place, I'm sure the motorcycle is surely more than capable for this kind of terrain.

It would be great if you could share some details on the stay options at Killar. I had heard of a HPTDC property at Cherry, near Killar. But the HPTDC website does not lists down this property so I'm assuming it has been shut down.
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Old 11th October 2020, 10:22   #10
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Thanks for kind words //M.

Quote:
Originally Posted by //M View Post
Glad to know that the XPulse behaved so well in its home turf. I've always admired the XPulse and it's abilities. Even without the rally kit in place, I'm sure the motorcycle is surely more than capable for this kind of terrain.
Yes it mostly did well except for last few kms towards the top where altitude affected it's performance. I wish it had Duke 200 like power (if not more), it would have been a perfect bike for most situations.

Quote:
It would be great if you could share some details on the stay options at Killar. I had heard of a HPTDC property at Cherry, near Killar. But the HPTDC website does not lists down this property so I'm assuming it has been shut down.
At Killar, most of the hotels/ stays are concentrated near main bus stand. There aren't too many options, may be 4-5 at max including a PWD guest house. I couldn't explore much as we reached there around 7-7:30 pm and were tired as hell. Next day, I remember seeing that property around 10-15 kms downhill from Killar towards Manali, but I cannot confirm if it is was open. If you are planning to visit in near future, I can try to confirm it from a source.
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Old 12th October 2020, 09:41   #11
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Very good read probably first travelogue post covid lockdown in t-bhp. Xpulse brings in a good balance between city, highway and hill rides. Once the rider accept the limitations it is a wonder machine. This bike will soon be seen in many of Leh Ladakh Spiti circuits hereafter.
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Old 12th October 2020, 10:56   #12
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Quote:
Originally Posted by ast.ggn View Post
At Killar, most of the hotels/ stays are concentrated near main bus stand. There aren't too many options, may be 4-5 at max including a PWD guest house. I couldn't explore much as we reached there around 7-7:30 pm and were tired as hell. Next day, I remember seeing that property around 10-15 kms downhill from Killar towards Manali, but I cannot confirm if it is was open. If you are planning to visit in near future, I can try to confirm it from a source.
Thank you for the pointers.

No plans to do it immediately in the next two weeks and post that I am sure the Sach Pass would be blocked by snow. So I guess I will have to wait for the appropriate time next year, once the pass reopens.
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Old 12th October 2020, 11:38   #13
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Nice travelogue. Most carburettor bikes need to be retuned when you go for higher altitudes, as air gets thinner, the Af ratio screw and idling screw needs to be calibrated to extract the usual performance that you get in city.

There are videos on YouTube that guide you on how to do that, try this next time and I am sure you will enjoy the ride even better. 200cc is ample for doing 100kmph straight effortless runs on Highway, unless Xpulse came with short gearing (may be purpose built for off roading).
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Old 12th October 2020, 12:03   #14
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

Kudos to you for doing this trip safely in these trying times. Though not a biker myself, I have been exploring road conditions here in different videos, and yours as well, it being the latest one. They seem to be doable on an Alto K10, right?
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Old 12th October 2020, 13:26   #15
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Default Re: Sach Pass - Testing Xtremes on Xpulse

This is awesome! Seeing all the pics and your mean looking motorcycle made your post a delight to read.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ast.ggn View Post
Performance of Xpulse
On altitudes above 3500 mtr and steep inclines, bike was clearly struggling. As we were approaching 4500 mtr, most of the time bike had to be kept in 1st and 2nd gear to get something out of the engine. I am not sure if FI version of the bike would perform any better there, given the limitations of engine.
We faced the same problem when we were on our Delhi-Leh trip, but with Royal Enfield classics. The 500cc Desert storme with FI was fine on high altitudes, whereas the the 350cc without FI was struggling.

On my Sach pass trip, even the 2200cc Safari Storme was struggling once you cross the first checkpoint after Bairagarh. Altitude impacts any engine in the similar manner as it impact human beings. We can carry oxygen cylinders with us, but engines are less fortunate

Ride Safe!
Slushmaster

Last edited by Slushmaster : 12th October 2020 at 13:26. Reason: typo
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