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Old 21st September 2017, 17:33   #1
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Default Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

We all have that one friend who is very enthusiastic when planning a trip, and then cancels the plan stating stupid reasons. Well, I'm that friend.

My friend who had been bugging me for a trip from a long time, finally gave up after I cancelled it twice. I felt bad for him and felt that I had to make it up to him. So I made the plan this time.

We planned a two nights ride to Munnar. We had initially planned for the Independence Day weekend. But assuming it would be crowded, we shifted the plan to the next weekend (i.e 18-20 Aug).

We made the reservations the week before and the excitement kicked it.

This was his first long ride after getting his R3, and my second long ride.

Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-both-bikesmin.jpg

The plan was
- 18th morning leave Chennai at 3:30 am
- First Fuel stop and breakfast at Trichy
- Second stop for refreshments and Fuel at Theni
- Check-in at around 1:00 pm at the hotel
- Spend that evening and the next day exploring
- 20th Morning start back to Chennai and reach by evening

Hotel name : Treebo Monsoon Grande

Total Distance (up and down) = 1100kms

Number of fuel stops = 2 (one side)


This was the planned route
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We gave both the bikes for service and got a few accessories attached.

Changes on the R3

- Rear tyre upgraded to 150/60 Michelin Pilot Street radials
- Added a mobile holder

Changes on the Dominar 400

- Added handlebar risers (Best decision ever)
- Added a mobile holder
- Added BOLT mobile charger

For the luggage we used my ViaTerra Claw Saddle cum tail bag. One side was filled with his clothes and the other with mine, the rest of the stuff was in the middle. The bag was to be mounted on the Dominar. My friend carried his backpack with a spare set of clothes, the DSLR and his documents.

Finally, the day arrived..

We had stayed in our friend's flat the previous night, for no particular reason. We woke up at 3:15 sharp, and got into our riding gears after freshening up. I had chosen to wear a quick-dry T-shirt under the jacket for the ride which turned out to be an excellent choice.

Both the bikes were filled to the brim the previous night itself so we just hooked the bags onto the Dominar and were on our way. It was drizzling when we left.

The Grand Southern Trunk road was a bliss to ride on in the early morning hours. We were easily able to maintain 120kph despite the drizzle.

We took our first stop at a coffee shop somewhere near Tindivanam as we didn't want to ride on an empty stomach. After the coffee stop we rode non-stop to Trichy for our first for breakfast.

Both the machines were setting the highway on fire. My Dominar with the handlebar risers installed was very comfy. And the R3 wafting on tarmac was truly a sight to behold - it is one beautifully made bike.

After breakfast we entered Trichy to take the road to Dindigul, this was were GPS gave up on us. At a certain junction we were going around in circles, until we finally found the exit onto the Trichy-Dindigul Highway.
The first few kilometers of the highway is bad, but after that its super smooth tarmac all the way. We had a bit of fun on this road as it was mostly empty with very few intersections. The R3 roared and the Dominar stayed stable as ever.

Upon nearing Dindigul we had to take a right to by-pass the town altogether.
The road would merge onto multiple highways going out of dindigul but we were to remain mostly on the service roads. We saw a group of bullet riders taking a break on one of the side roads. To the right were beautiful mountains under a slightly overcast sky that looked inviting.

Upon reaching Theni we decided to fill up the tanks before starting the climb. After filling up, we took the right from Theni and we were on the way to start the climb. The sky started turning cloudy so we called up the Hotel to check if it was raining in Munnar, they said no but it was going to.

Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-juice-stop-thenimin.jpg

We reached the first hairpin and fired up my friend's helmet mounted GoPro, and started the climb, a few curves and hairpins later the view already started to look stunning. We were able to see far off into the horizon. We spent some time at a viewpoint to click some pictures and left.

Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-helmetmin.jpg
Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-curves-2.jpg
Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-curves1.jpg
Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-horizon.jpg
Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-r3-overlooking-horizon.jpg

Once we crossed Pooppara it started to pour. Luckily we had already attached our rain liners and had covered the saddle bags. So we went ahead unscathed until the fog started to appear. Neither of us had Pinlock visors so our visors fogged up badly making it very hard to ride. We left a small gap for the air to circulate but still it was bad.

After crossing Devikulam the roads narrowed, and there were a few potholes, and slow moving trucks to add to the woe.

Amidst all this rain and fog and mud, we took a stop and looked around us to see mountains lined with acres of tea plantations covered by fog. It appeared as though we were ascending into heaven.

After a few more kilometers it started to rain heavily so we stopped at a tea stall. The people at the stall told us to bypass Munnar town and ride to the hotel as it was a few kms away from the town. But I did not want to ask for directions in this rain and followed G-Maps. We reached Munnar town at around 2:20pm and turned left at a bridge to take the road to the hotel.

The hotel is placed in the middle of a tea estate, and reaching it is a bit of a roller coaster ride. The small roads (about one car width) that lead up to the hotel had crazy incline angles and even crazier drops. We finally checked in and were allotted a room on the top floor.

The room was fantastic with a hall, a bedroom with huge window and a balcony, both having a fantastic view of the tea gardens outside.
We removed our shoes, and stuffed newspaper in them, and we hanged everything else to dry in the hall. Both of us were hungry as hell, so we immediately went to the restaurant and ate a LOT.

Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-shot-roommin.jpg

We planned to go out in the evening, but were tired, also the rain and cold weren't very inviting either. So we clicked pictures around the hotel watched some TV and crashed.

The next morning after breakfast we were ready to go to Top Station, and along the way visit Photo point, Mattupetty Dam and Echo point.

We left the Dominar at the hotel and took the R3, we rode up back to Munnar town and there we finally got 3G signal. After updating our social media profiles, we headed up the road to top station. [Yes, there was WiFi in the room, but it was too slow to do anything]

The roads were simply beautiful and overlooked the KTDC Plantations which extended as far as the eye could see and more.
Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-tea-farmsmin.jpg

We didn't stop at Photo point as it was crowded. But we found a spot a few kms ahead that had even better backgrounds.

At echo point we found a safe parking spot for the bike and walked down to the point to shout absolutely nothing of any importance

Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-img_4732min-1.jpg

There was a separate pathway a few hundred meters away from the crowded spot, where you can walk down and take photos in peace. Surprisingly, it wasn't raining up here. So we grabbed the opportunity to have some fun cornering with the R3. We found a set of beautiful chicanes not very far from echo point on the way to Top station.
Knees were scraped, adrenaline was pumped and smiles were widened.

Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-friend-r3.jpg

The R3s handling deserves to be mentioned. Although the lack of ABS hinders confidence when the roads are damp.

It was lunch time and we were both hungry for some biriyani. So we skipped Top station and rode back to the town to have some steaming hot biriyani.

With that we wrapped up and went back to the room, we cleaned and lubed both the chains in the evening.

For dinner we wanted to have some local kerala food. So we went to this "Thattu kada" a few kms from the hotel as suggested by the Hotel's manager and grabbed some Parotta and beef.

Back at the hotel we watched some TV again and crashed.

The next morning we checked out of the hotel at around 9 am.
We were supposed to leave early like around 6 am, but the hotel's card machine wasn't working and we had to ride a few kms to the nearest ATM to get the cash. And because all this took a while, we decided not to waste the day's complimentary breakfast.

We filled up at HP bunk, Anachal.

To save time we took an alternate route to Pooppara as suggested by the hotel manager.

Anachal-Rajakkad-Pooppara
Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-anachal-pooppara-route.jpg

And boy was it a bad decision.
The route was muddy, and full of deep potholes. we averaged only 30 kph throughout.
Reaching Pooppara was a relief, after that the roads turned smooth but it was raining until we reached the lower set of hairpins. Now it was the Dominar's turn to shine - downhill it was pure fun with the ABS and Slipper clutch I rocketed down the wet slopes with confidence.

Once we were down, we removed our rain liners and set off.

Then we reached the Batlagundu Bypass road.
A small but clean piece of tarmac that had the best views. Entire rows of banana plantations and coconut trees with the mountains gaping over them. We spent a good amount of time clicking pics on the bypass.
Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-vatlagundu-bypassmin.jpg
Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-route-vatlagundumin.jpg
After that it was one long pull to Chennai, stopping only twice for water - once in Trichy and once in Tindivanam.

Both the bikes pulled like freight trains on the highway.

We reached Chennai by 4:30 PM.

Overall it was a pleasant ride, except for the extremely wet weather of Munnar. Definitely, need go back there someday when the sun is shining.

About the bikes

-The Dominar performed brilliantly throughout. With the handlebar risers the bike felt like a sport tourer. The only thing bothering me was the wind blast. I should definitely get some aftermarket wind shields installed next time. (Any suggestions?)

-The R3 is a fantastic bike, but little did I know it was this good for touring. It matched the mileage of the Dominar (27-30kmpl) and the seating position didn't really have any negative effects on my friend.


Sorry that there are very few pictures in the travelogue. As I was the photographer, most of the pictures are of my friend and he doesn't want it shared here.

This is my first ever write-up on T-bhp. Hope you guys like it and please leave suggestions on how to improve.

Last edited by Rehaan : 12th October 2017 at 16:08. Reason: Please ride safe and avoid promoting high speeds.
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Old 12th October 2017, 16:10   #2
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Default re: Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 12th October 2017, 16:39   #3
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Default re: Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

Some wonderful pics and write-up there. Can you share a pic of your Dominar with the handlebar risers? Have seen this suggestion almost in every Dominar thread here and elsewhere and hence need to check on it.
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Old 12th October 2017, 19:54   #4
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Default re: Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

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Originally Posted by dre@ms View Post
Some wonderful pics and write-up there. Can you share a pic of your Dominar with the handlebar risers? Have seen this suggestion almost in every Dominar thread here and elsewhere and hence need to check on it.
Thanks a lot.

Here you go,
Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3-img_20171012_195147.jpg
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Old 13th October 2017, 13:28   #5
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

Now that's one really good ride, reminds me of my last trip to Kerala on an Avenger and Pulsar 220. It is definitely different than doing the same stretch on a car, the bike just adds a certain flavour to the whole thing which is otherwise unobtainable. It's also a pleasure to come across other riders from Chennai, maybe we'll cross paths on some future rides. I'm just waiting to upgrade to the RC390 (2018) version, here's to hoping that they bring in some conclusive changes on the RC next year.
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Old 13th October 2017, 13:44   #6
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

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Originally Posted by BlazzingInferno View Post
Now that's one really good ride, reminds me of my last trip to Kerala on an Avenger and Pulsar 220. It is definitely different than doing the same stretch on a car, the bike just adds a certain flavour to the whole thing which is otherwise unobtainable. It's also a pleasure to come across other riders from Chennai, maybe we'll cross paths on some future rides. I'm just waiting to upgrade to the RC390 (2018) version, here's to hoping that they bring in some conclusive changes on the RC next year.

Yea, bikes definitely add an element of fun and thrill. Will definitely cross paths someday!

The RC is already a pretty perfect version of itself, in my opinion a twin cylinder engine would be a worthy change!
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Old 13th October 2017, 16:13   #7
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

Beautiful pictures and I am sure you guys had *FUN* If you have more pictures, please do share.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cezond666 View Post
Thanks a lot.

Here you go,
Attachment 1684997
Hi! From where do we source this? Any online links etc?
Thank you
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Old 13th October 2017, 16:18   #8
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

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Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Beautiful pictures and I am sure you guys had *FUN* If you have more pictures, please do share.



Hi! From where do we source this? Any online links etc?
Thank you
Thank you!

I got them from a company based in Coimbatore, called Lluvia.
This is their website : http://lluvia.in
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Old 16th October 2017, 15:13   #9
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sheel View Post
Beautiful pictures and I am sure you guys had *FUN* If you have more pictures, please do share.

Hi! From where do we source this? Any online links etc?
Thank you
Carbon Racing Inc in Bangalore also makes D400 risers. they use really good aircraft grade materials and are inexpensive. check out their facebook page.
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Old 17th October 2017, 20:44   #10
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

Cezond666,

Great ride it looks like. I would have loved to see more pictures of the Dominar.

Best Wishes
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Old 25th October 2017, 22:56   #11
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cezond666 View Post
Thanks a lot.
I must say this is one neat clean write up Iíve come across. R3 looks so beautiful with that wet weather wrapped around in the pic and good choice on the helmet too.

Like you said, there shouldíve been more pics of your bike and R3 but thatís for us! Iím sure you were bowled over with the beauty of nature and the adrenaline these bikes were pumping in continuously, ensuring youíd very little gap to take pics - Iím jealous as this reminds me of my Pulsar 220 FI inspiring me to take it out on a long ride and expeirence the ride along the nature. Nevertheless this is a very good travelogue and hoping to see few more

Ride hard and safe!
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Old 21st December 2017, 17:13   #12
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

Nice log and great pictures ! How much do you charge per hour for photography? Just kidding.

How durable are those handlebar raisers for D400? I need one and wanted to knwo how safe they are and how much they cost? Can they be installed manually?
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Old 9th January 2018, 18:22   #13
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Default Re: Chennai to Munnar on a Dominar 400 & YZF-R3

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Originally Posted by amods View Post
Nice log and great pictures ! How much do you charge per hour for photography? Just kidding.

How durable are those handlebar raisers for D400? I need one and wanted to knwo how safe they are and how much they cost? Can they be installed manually?

Hehe!

They're pretty durable I've used them for 7 months ( close to 8000kms) they've been perfect. Yes they can be installed manually, albeit with a second pair of hands for help.
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