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Old 20th June 2022, 22:50   #16
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Default Re: Tiger 800 @ Spiti | June, 2022

Great thread with so much details of the planning. Thanks for sharing the same. Good journey and an experience to remember

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Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
....... - a Honda CRF 300 and a GSA 1250.
Just curious, I see a Number plate in one of the pics of Honda CRF 300, but I am not sure if that is indeed a registration number? Can you confirm if it was registered? Is it allowed to be registered here?

If not, how come this bike was on public roads without registration?
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Old 20th June 2022, 22:56   #17
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Default Re: Tiger 800 @ Spiti | June, 2022

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Originally Posted by sunilch View Post
Just curious, I see a Number plate in one of the pics of Honda CRF 300, but I am not sure if that is indeed a registration number? Can you confirm if it was registered? Is it allowed to be registered here?
Thank you.

Its a street legal registered bike officially imported through the private import route. This isnít uncommon. My group similarly also has a Tenere 700 which someone had brought in through a private import. Iím not aware of the specific process required to get such an import but I know its possible.
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Old 21st June 2022, 09:48   #18
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Default Re: Tiger 800 @ Spiti | June, 2022

It's just so much fun to explore the Himalayas on 2 wheels. Beautiful travelogue! Thanks for penning it down and the amazing pictures. You've inspired me to start writing about my recent experience of riding in the Himalayas
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Old 21st June 2022, 11:47   #19
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Default Re: Tiger 800 @ Spiti | June, 2022

Great travelogue and brilliant pics !!

One question which I'm sure is on a lot of people's minds is -- how did the CRF300 Rally perform in the company of the big boy ADVs? Did he manage to keep up?
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Old 21st June 2022, 13:01   #20
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Default Re: Tiger 800 @ Spiti | June, 2022

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Originally Posted by loki View Post
Great travelogue and brilliant pics !!

One question which I'm sure is on a lot of people's minds is -- how did the CRF300 Rally perform in the company of the big boy ADVs? Did he manage to keep up?
He would have been ahead and would probably have been the guy to reach all destinations first and probably also would have had the most fun lol

Sorry, i know the question was for Axe.
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Old 21st June 2022, 17:18   #21
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Default Re: Tiger 800 @ Spiti | June, 2022

Nice. Good to see an Adv being used to potential. Also, I am no expert to judge; but it certainly looks like your riding abilities and confidence have matured and grown over the time you have had the Tiger. Overall super good.

Onwards and upwards
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Old 21st June 2022, 19:05   #22
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Default Re: Tiger 800 @ Spiti | June, 2022

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Originally Posted by loki View Post
-- how did the CRF300 Rally perform in the company of the big boy ADVs? Did he manage to keep up?
Thank you all.

On this kind of terrain you're really averaging pretty modest speeds so no issues at all keeping up for the CRF 300. In fact, like Redliner indicated, if anything its the mountain goat of the lot with the most appropriate tyres too unlike all the other heavyweights, so its the most apt bike for a ride like this.

It can cruise up to 90 - 110 kmph so its only on open wide highways where bigger ADVs could be significantly quicker.

Related note: On a recent ride to Nepal (Upper Mustang etc) by a bunch of my friends with big ADVs, there were at least two Africa Twin owners who elected to take their Hero X-Pulse's instead. They had quite a blast on that bike too given the challenging terrain.

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Originally Posted by mohansrides View Post
Nice. Good to see an Adv being used to potential.
Thanks man!! I know you love tarmac much more so hope you can get the time out at some point for a nice long ride on high quality roads. I'm guessing down South is a great bet for something like this, if you've got the right route chalked out.

Last edited by Axe77 : 21st June 2022 at 19:07.
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Old 22nd June 2022, 05:25   #23
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Default Re: Tiger 800 @ Spiti | June, 2022

Nice ride report. Interesting times for motorcycle riding in India. When you have companies like TXE to handle the vast amount of planning and logistics for you, makes it a lot easier, especially for regions you are not familiar.

I have been up to Shimla via rail and have done Chandigarh Kasauli a few times by road. I could see the chaos on the road while the train went up the hill. This train runs slow and even at this slow pace, more often, we were overtaking road traffic. This stretch of road does not feel like a highway at all.

Its probably worth looking into this for your next trip, though there is more work involved in the process. Relocating motorcycles via rail freight. It will be cheaper and safer.
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Old 22nd June 2022, 08:50   #24
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Default Re: Tiger 800 @ Spiti | June, 2022

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Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
On a recent ride to Nepal (Upper Mustang etc) by a bunch of my friends with big ADVs, there were at least two Africa Twin owners who elected to take their Hero X-Pulse's instead. They had quite a blast on that bike too given the challenging terrain.
What an amazing trip Axe! Great write-up and pics to take us all with you back in time through your journey.

I know Chandratal wasn’t in the itinerary and you guys didn’t seem to have that extra day but that is one beautiful place with a route deserving of your Tiger and the Hondas. Did you guys not try to squeeze it in by cutting down some rest time here and there? Just curious to know the reason since I once rode to Spiti primarily in awe of Chandratal and couldn’t make it few kms beyond Kaza due to the bad weather. This was in 2014 on my old FZ16. I faced a lot of challenges since I was riding solo and due to the carburettor acting up for most of the time due to a messed up tuning.

I agree it’s always good to have a backup like your wonderful TXE guys for that peace of mind and a relaxing ride. But on a flip side, it’s also a strange sense of freedom and immense rush when you’re out there in the mountains on your own. Atleast, I used to think that way back then and also maybe it was just my luck that I found local help around always when I needed. Slowly but surely I’m switching sides now towards these well organised rides by some passionate people just because of all the good things that I keep hearing from a lot of riding buddies and your story is a testimony in itself. Maybe someday in future.

By the way how old are your Forma boots? Glad to see a local cobbler getting it fixed. I too have those very same Forma Adventure boots and I find them really good. The prices off lately have shot up quite a bit in case you’re looking for a replacement soon.

I too was intrigued by a CRF300 in the midst so had some questions but seems you’ve already answered those above. Though I still wonder how these private importers manage the service and spares considering how bad (or maybe okay) is the after sales service scenario in India even for regular bikes like CBR250. I guess its just the love and passion these private importers would have coupled with a lot of spares import planning and patience that keep these CRFs and Teneres chugging along.

Ps: I’m doing the same circuit and beyond (maybe Pangi valley) in two weeks time on my Xpulse 200 4v with some of my close friends. This thread is really helpful and your comment above really gives a lot of confidence by the comfort a lot of our riding buddies in India have placed in the abilities of this small home grown purposeful machine. Only those tube tyres are giving me nightmares now though i have the Formula X gel for some peace of mind. As a backup I’m learning to fix the tube through YouTube (also planning a DIY session with my regular tyre service guy soon) and getting the necessary tyre levers and patches for the job but I sincerely hope I don’t need them. Sorry for a bit of OT above

Last edited by camitesh : 22nd June 2022 at 08:57. Reason: Typo
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Old 22nd June 2022, 14:31   #25
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Default Re: Tiger 800 @ Spiti | June, 2022

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Originally Posted by camitesh View Post
I know Chandratal wasn’t in the itinerary and you guys didn’t seem to have that extra day but that is one beautiful place with a route deserving of your Tiger and the Hondas. Did you guys not try to squeeze it in by cutting down some rest time here and there?
It could have been done if we have left Kaza on Thursday in that direction but then those who were up to it used it to do some other sightseeing. Even I am disappointed that I missed visiting Chandratal. Perhaps for another time now.

Quote:
I agree it’s always good to have a backup like your wonderful TXE guys for that peace of mind and a relaxing ride. But on a flip side, it’s also a strange sense of freedom and immense rush when you’re out there in the mountains on your own. Atleast, I used to think that way back then and also maybe it was just my luck that I found local help around always when I needed.
I’m sure that’s the case but its just not how I’m wired. I like the peace of mind and assurance that issues will get fixed if and when the need arises. And my schedule on the whole will be predictable given that even while I’m on such a trip, I need to actively connect with work stuff at the end of each day. There’s no absolute 7 days switch off for me ever (not a happy circumstance but it is how it is).

Quote:
By the way how old are your Forma boots? Glad to see a local cobbler getting it fixed. I too have those very same Forma Adventure boots and I find them really good.
They were purchased around Feb 2020 and I suspect had less than 10,000 kms under their belt. I have now ordered an Alpinestar Toucan to be imported. Should find its way to me in 4 – 6 weeks.

Quote:
I guess its just the love and passion these private importers would have coupled with a lot of spares import planning and patience that keep these CRFs and Teneres chugging along.
Spares are bound to be an issue but then these are usually seen in multi bike garages. Also, anyone willing to go through the pain of importing a bike are going to find a way to get the parts too.

Quote:
Ps: I’m doing the same circuit and beyond (maybe Pangi valley) in two weeks time on my Xpulse 200 4v with some of my close friends.
...
Only those tube tyres are giving me nightmares now though i have the Formula X gel for some peace of mind. As a backup I’m learning to fix the tube through YouTube
Sounds awesome - should be a hoot on the X Pulse. Please do consider whether you want to carry some extra tubes as well and not just the puncture kits.
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Old 23rd June 2022, 12:25   #26
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Default Re: Tiger 800 @ Spiti | June, 2022

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Originally Posted by sandeepmohan View Post
I have been up to Shimla via rail and have done Chandigarh Kasauli a few times by road. I could see the chaos on the road while the train went up the hill. This train runs slow and even at this slow pace, more often, we were overtaking road traffic. This stretch of road does not feel like a highway at all.

Its probably worth looking into this for your next trip, though there is more work involved in the process. Relocating motorcycles via rail freight. It will be cheaper and safer.
Agreed Sandeep. Always wanted to try the toy train from Kalka to Shimla, especially in winters. Its beyond beautiful!

Having transported my commuter bike from Mumbai - various parts of our country like Jammu/Chandigarh/Kalka/Ernakulam/Tirunelveli etc., I do agree to some of your positive thoughts on rail freight. However, I can list down some negatives below which have made me move away from this completely now. These are just from my personal experience

1. The work involved like you mentioned, dealing directly with authorities is a hassle. Have almost always had to take help of the agents available at the station who would charge arbitrarily anywhere between 50-100% premium over the standard rail freight cost, which involves packing and loading charges. Last I used rail freight was in 2017 so this information may not be accurate now

2. I have mostly had some or the other damages, though never any catastrophic one to abandon my ride plans (broken mirrors/pegs/lights, slightly bent rims/guards, large scratches etc.)

3. Struggle to get the petrol after unloading the bike at destination. Though not a big issue but I've ended up dragging my bike for a KM or two a couple of times with full luggage and gears to get to the nearest petrol pump. This was when I was traveling in same train as a passenger with the bike. This is not an issue if you take a flight as you can manage a couple of liters of petrol on your way to pick up the bike.

4. Other strange issues - Couple of times I was asked to pay crazy storage charges since I was a few day late to pick-up the bike from railway station in Mumbai. On another occasion, I was boldly asked to pay full Octroi and Road taxes when my MH registered bike returned to Mumbai (Bandra terminus station) from Chandigarh. I had to argue and hassle, run pillar to post for more information on these absurd charges. There was always a subtle request for settling the matter in both the above cases, if you know what I mean but I had time and patience back then so i stayed put. Only after a few hours the authorities let me go without any crazy charges. I did end up paying nominal charges whatever was due as per the rules that they could show to me.

All in all I could still recommend someone to consider rail freight for small bikes which are easy to fix but certainly not comfortable transporting bike bikes by train, especially now that there are so many better and safer purpose built road carriers for bikes. They may not be as fast or cheap but from what I hear, they're generally safer and hassle free.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
It could have been done if we have left Kaza on Thursday in that direction but then those who were up to it used it to do some other sightseeing. Even I am disappointed that I missed visiting Chandratal. Perhaps for another time now.
Yup, its always good to have something pending to go back. Not that we need a reason to

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Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
I’m sure that’s the case but its just not how I’m wired. I like the peace of mind and assurance that issues will get fixed if and when the need arises.
Could resonate with the feeling. I haven't ever tried joining an organized (except for the one-day x-bhp rides in yester years) but I'm looking forward to it someday soon and have a feeling I'd end up liking it.

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Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
Sounds awesome - should be a hoot on the X Pulse. Please do consider whether you want to carry some extra tubes as well and not just the puncture kits.
Thanks! Yes, I usually carry atleast one tube as a precaution even for my tubeless bikes and it has come in handy twice when I had rim damages on the hills and during rail transport. This is one cheap investment which pays when in need.



Axe, could you please share an estimate for one way transfer per bike from Mum-Chandigarh or back. While we are riding from Mumbai to Spiti, we may take a flight on our way back and transport the bikes by road. If you can share contact details of the transporter you guys used, I can take the discussion forward with them directly.

Cheers!

Last edited by camitesh : 23rd June 2022 at 12:35.
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