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Old 4th April 2018, 08:14   #1
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Default CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!

“To bask in Kerala’s glory you must first know where to look for ‘God’ in ‘Gods own Country’ ”

~A.P.


Prologue

So here I am attending a presentation and in the middle of it I get a text from my usual co-rider A.S informing that all the rooms in Kodaikanal and Ooty are booked and the only place with room availability was Munnar.

For a moment I was not sure of what to respond or whether to respond at all as my presenter noticed my lack of attention and was making attempts to direct a question at me, in the undue pressure I recalled asking A.S if he’d be interested in doing a 2~3 day run to Chickmagaluru, so why is he asking me to visit Munnar, a place he knows I despise due to a one day Munnar run I’d done circa 2013 where I rode from Kollam to Munnar Top Station and back in the same day on my then preferred mode of transport my Bajaj Discover 100 4G covering around 750 km’s and hating every bit of the place as it seemed overhyped and infested with couples of all genres, shapes and sizes.

But before I could respond the room was booked and everything was finalized and that was the end of it, though even if I had the leverage to respond otherwise I would not or rather could not refuse A.S as he was my co-rider while covering the Golden Quadrilateral circuit, something which he agreed to be a part of without a second thought and that too within a days’ notice, not the average response you’d expect from a sane person, huh?

So the next topic of discussion was the motorcycle of preference, I simply couldn’t afford riding my Bajaj Pulsar 220 as I’ve been without a steady income for the past couple of months, so as you’d expect it, I was on my beloved Bajaj CT100B. A.S on the other hand owns 3 motorcycles and I expected him to either come on his Royal Enfield Bullet 500 or Off-road converted Hero Honda CBZ Xtreme, but guess what he rolled in!

A.S on his spanking new Bajaj Dominar 400 with only 7,000 km's on the odometer.

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The Bajaj Dominar 400 with four times the Displacement, Power and Torque compared to my humble CT100B which would’ve been a matter of concern when it came to touring together if the intended route were to be dominated by multi-lane highways but quite contrary to that the route was packed with twisties and everything else that came along with the Western Ghats!

Day 1

Look familiar?

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The route was mostly similar to the one I opted for to reach Meghamalai(Bajaj CT100B: 600 km ride to Meghamalai & beyond!) the previous weekend, though this time around the rendezvous was set at Kottarakara, Kollam and from there the roads were nothing commendable until we entered Kottayam district from whereon the roads though state highways were many folds better than the national highways running through the rest of the state, the gap between the CT100B and Dominar started to widen a bit on the straights but thanks to the winding corners the CT100B was still able to keep pace and due to recently increasing rear suspension preload after the Meghamalai ride the concern of shoes, pegs, brake pedal scraping was almost non-existent, thought the rear wheel still did slip and slide a bit while manoeuvring aggressive corners.

At a point we even revisited a corner that seemed wide and safe enough, so that we could capture some mid corner photos of each other. The Dominar looked stunning and did sound the part even on stock pipes but its Achilles heel was it poor cornering clearance, especially on the exhaust side. The motorcycle being new and barely over 7,000 km’s on the odometer A.S didn’t want to scrape anything, which is until really left without an option.

One moment he was gazing at the corner.

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The next moment he was taking it.

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As you can see, we were a bit bothered about cornering clearances.

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Why should the big boys have all the fun, eh?

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My joy of being able to keep up with the Dominar was short lived as the CT100B hit reserve which I was not expecting due to having filled the tank for fuel worth Rs.500/- the previous day and covering barely 60 km’s before the ride, which should in reality leave enough fuel for me for the rest of the day but god has other plans it seems as I cannot fathom why else the CT100B would’ve consumed so much fuel in such a short distance. Now you’d be wondering why I’m fussing over low fuel efficiency, right?

Kottayam’s residents predominantly being Christians meant that most of the fuel bunks en-route would be closed on Christian Holidays which was the case and in spite of riding according to situation I was short of fuel after covering roughly 50km’s on reserve, as I’d left the Dominar behind on the twisties I was alone on the road towards Munnar roughly 30 km’s before Adimali, the road being narrow I had to limp the motorcycle until I reached a safe spot to park and while alone I thought of tilting the motorcycle as I’ve seen many people who run out of fuel do from the beginning of time, having never had to do that I was not certain about its practicality but without any other option left other than wait for A.S I went ahead and tilted the motorcycle till the pegs touched the ground after which I set the motorcycle right and cranked the motor, though I’ve seen this technique used a lot I never really expected it to work hence I was half surprised when the motorcycle came back to life.

A.S made sure to document every bit of the experience!

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Without wasting much time I was back on the road and all was well until for about 10 km’s when the motor choked to death again, by then the Dominar had caught up with me. Repeating the tilt’n’shake procedure again I was able to cover another 5 km’s or so before the motorcycle stalled for good.

When the CT100B stalled for good we were at least grateful that it was near scenery.

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Without much ado I hopped on the Dominar’s pillion seat and we rode 15 km’s onto Adimali, Idukki and I bought a litre of fuel in a bottle for the CT100B whereas A.S filled up the Dominar, we rode back, filled up the CT100B and rode on towards Adimali where I filled her up to the brim to make sure that I don’t end up stranded again.

Dominar to the rescue!, A.S had to cover 30+ km's more than the planned route in order to get fuel for the CT100B.

CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!-img_1379.jpg

The whole chain of events brought a lot of humour and adventure into the otherwise vanilla ride, but to this moment I still fail to understand how Rs.500/- worth of fuel could’ve vanished in under 250 km’s, further investigation to be carried out in the upcoming weekend.

Back on the road after having filled up!

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Once fuelled up we were back on track and rode straight past Munnar towards Devikulam where we had booked a room at a hotel named ‘Club 9’. I’m no fan of staying overnight especially when the total distance to be covered is under 1000 km’s or 18 hours of travel time, but as A.S had planned other means of entertainment for the night and had an even better surprise planned for the next day which is why I pretty much obliged without question as part of me was curious to what A.S had in store, especially in Munnar!

A glimpse of the road conditions, now imagine two state transport buses crossing paths!

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Scenery en-route Devikulam.

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Our overnight stay, Club 9!

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Incidents of Day 2 in the following post.

Last edited by ashwinprakas : 4th April 2018 at 08:20.
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Old 4th April 2018, 08:56   #2
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Default Day 2: CT100B: 700 km's of Munnar, Done Right!

Day 2

We woke up pretty early as A.S wanted to see the sunrise and so we headed towards ‘Lockhart View Point’ the roads leading to the place had a few newly excavated paths which I wanted explore just for fun but A.S insisted on keeping it for later as our priority at hand was to witness the sunrise, which we eventually did, and also explored the trails while coming back to our hotel room.

Road Conditions en-route ‘Lockhart View Point’

CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!-img_1552.jpg

CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!-img_1568.jpg

Reaching ‘Lockhart View Point’

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A view of the clouds, last time I had such a view was on an airplane.

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The sun rise of-course!

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Me 'Dash-ing' into the clouds!

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Off-road fun while returning!

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Back at our room I was trolling A.S for taking me to see the sunrise as I expected the surprise to be a lot more, but guess I was wrong in doing so as he told me that the surprise was yet to come and it involved a 100+ km’s deviation from our usual route out of the way towards “Kanthalloor, Idukki”.

After some quick Googling I got to know some stuff about the place such as it being the only place that wasn’t affected by demonetization due to prevalence of barter system, which was absolutely irrelevant information considering the circumstance but nonetheless good to know as I believe given the right circumstance, every bit of information may amount to a life’s worth!

The route towards Kanthalloor had its own share of sights and let me tell you this, if you ever intend to visit Munnar then you’d be at a loss if you leave without covering Devikulam and Kanthalloor as the ‘Munnar Top Station’ has nothing commendable to offer that is otherwise seen or experienced in the aforementioned places, not to mention that to reach the top station and back you’d have to ride/drive at a snail’s pace up 37 km’s and then crawl back at the same pace through the same place until you get back to Munnar, which is similar to Kanthalloor as to return home we’d have to ride 50 km’s towards the place and return via the same route to cross Munnar but having done both I’d any day side with practically anything over the Top Station, see for yourself!

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Painted rocks adding to the aesthetics!

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The selfie of approval from my end!

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The flowers of the region.

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Yours truly with his recently acquired(yet to develop) taste for photography!

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Kanthalloor View Point

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Kanthalloor also seems to be an upcoming vacationing cottage spot, A.S's family owns one of the cottages seen in the picture, which is how he got to know about the place.

CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!-img_1614.jpg

The time was about 12:00 PM when we decided to head back, after having a tummy full of food we hit the road, en-route we were stopped by check-post officials to check our luggage for any traces of contraband but that didn’t set us back by much and we resumed riding until we passed Munnar and got on the highway back towards ‘Onnukal’.

A few minutes on the highway and I noticed that the traffic was considerably more as a result of which we had to change our riding style due to displacement being a determinant factor in our respective overtaking styles, as the saying goes “There is no replacement for displacement”. While A.S was taking it easy, I was not able to keep pace as I needed more time to pull through, to make up for this I decided to target the corners, while the traffic slowed down for each corner I accelerated overtaking considerable traffic and made sure I was safely within my lane way before the apex due to most riders/drivers coming the other way overtaking at corners at excessive speeds resulting in them having to come onto our lane.

A short while later I was considerably ahead and had to stop for the Dominar to catch up, rather than stopping at the narrow section I decided to stop at Adimali and refuel while A.S caught up, and once he did he filled up the Dominar as well so that we would not have to break until fatigue called for it.

The Dominar got fined for over-speeding while doing 80 kmph, a caution for those riding/driving on Pala roads, the speed limit is 60 kmph. Obviously they could not fine a CT100B for over-speeding!

CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!-img_20180331_220947.jpg

Back on the road the Dominar was taking lead so that we would not get separated, Google Maps on the other hand made that a certainty by redirecting us through the twistiest of roads, which frankly kept us entertained for a bit, that is until interrupted by squids, we came across many, thought the ones that deserve special mention are a Yamaha FZ16 and another Bajaj Dominar 400.

The FZ16 was ridden by a kid who was obviously not wearing a lid, he overtook me on the straights but was not able to overtake the A.S so he kept gunning at it, such that I could literally see his contact patch widen. Not having time to waste I decided to pass him when he slows down for the next aggressive corner but what caught me by surprise was that the kid’s brake light was out. Seeing me back out A.S pulled to the side letting the kid pass him, after which I believe the kid achieved his intent as he did not bother us anymore.

The next instance was with two kids on another brand new Dominar, the latest iteration with golden alloys. They were also lidless but in a way better than the FZ16 kid as they did not bother us much, they just accelerated hard overtaking A.S then slowed down until we overtook them and kept repeating the process over and over but A.S signaled me to play it cool and that is exactly what we did, after a while the kids got bored and moved on.

Though we ride motorcycles on polar ends of a manufacturers price range, I use the same make and model lid as A.S. Let that sink in.

CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!-img_20180330_151113.jpg

We had maintained an exemplary pace till we crossed Pathanamthitta, but a temple procession caught us out of the blue and we were stuck in traffic for a good 30 min’s of which my motor was idling most of the time due to having to move as and when instructed by those modulating traffic flow, the strain was such that my motor heated up to the extent that is burnt the lube on the kicker shaft pivot resulting in it starting to grind when the kicker had to be pulled out to be operated. Overall I believe that processions of any nature, be it political, religious or what not should absolutely be banned with serious consequences for the perpetrators if found guilty, only then would the country see any real development or so I feel.

After passing the procession we reached Kottarakara from where we split, A.S towards Trivandrum and myself towards Kollam.

Until next time then.

CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!-img_20180331_065846.jpg

A.P.

Last edited by ashwinprakas : 4th April 2018 at 09:09.
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Old 4th April 2018, 15:10   #3
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Default Re: CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!

Hey buddy you seem to be clocking miles every weekend with rides making us jealous.
The 500 rupees fuel that you refuelled at was it a trusted bunk, possible that they may have filled in less after distracting your attention at the pump.

Any pointers on the accomodation and food at Kanthalloor Idukki where your partner owns cottages.
How would you rate the hotel at devikulam , any recommendations for a good stay there .

Last edited by majumon : 4th April 2018 at 15:11. Reason: Missed a line
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Old 5th April 2018, 00:59   #4
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Default Re: CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!

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Originally Posted by majumon View Post
Hey buddy you seem to be clocking miles every weekend with rides making us jealous.
The 500 rupees fuel that you refuelled at was it a trusted bunk, possible that they may have filled in less after distracting your attention at the pump.

Any pointers on the accomodation and food at Kanthalloor Idukki where your partner owns cottages.
How would you rate the hotel at devikulam , any recommendations for a good stay there .
I hope the good times keep rolling, though to be honest I'm barely managing cause the restlessness wont go away until I really start leaving states behind, if nothing I at least hope to do a 24 hour run to Muzhappilangad Beach and back, fingers crossed!

Fueling the CT100B can get tricky i.e if you fill more than 500/- of fuel what happens is while riding long distances the fuel evaporates and comes our through the fuel lid keyhole and leaves a yellowish sticky residue everywhere. So I have a fair idea of when to refill and the bunk I went to was one of the usual spots with the only difference being that I opted for premium fuel due to regular not being available, even then I cannot figure out why the motorcycle would run dry in such a short distance. A valve adjustment is due and when I source the consumables along with a new feeler gauge I'll be taking her apart, then would also inspect the tank and fuel tap for any issues.

Many makeshift home stays were visible but Kanthalloor is yet to be developed, as you can see even the one owned by my co-riders family is still undergoing construction. I did note some youngsters on motorcycles camping on rented grounds but I doubt that would be a feasible option for serious travelers as camping in someones cramped front yard doesn't seem charming to me for some reason But if what I've heard is right do search around in the upcoming months and you'll find many reliable spots up for business in the area.

As for food, head down to the center and you'll get whatever your heart desires as the cuisine is a mix of Kerala and Tamil Nadu food, which was not up to my expectations as I was hoping to have some authentic "TN Pongal" but had to do with "Kothu Porotta" but the quality and rush was way above our expectations.

The hotel was decent, many couples and families had booked rooms along with us. Food was surprisingly wonderful which we didn't expect due to there being no provision of Mineral water within the hotel, but it is available at the provision shop just outside.

Hope that helped.
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Old 5th April 2018, 12:29   #5
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Default Re: CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!

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Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
I hope the good times keep rolling,.
Yes you will keep rolling buddy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
I at least hope to do a 24 hour run to Muzhappilangad Beach and back, fingers crossed! .
It's a fantastic beach , we had a great time there, could not believe that we could drive on a beach. Why would you want to do it in 24hrs , is it for a record.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwinprakas View Post
even the one owned by my co-riders family is still undergoing construction. .
Let us know when the cottages are ready we could give it a try , expecting to have a better treatment in an unknown area with your reference.That place looks so inviting buddy.
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Old 6th April 2018, 16:43   #6
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Default Re: CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!

Thanks for this inspirational post. This makes me comfortable in settling for a 150cc motorcycle again! I am starting the hunt for the used unicorn now itself!!
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Old 7th April 2018, 00:16   #7
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Default Re: CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!

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Originally Posted by majumon View Post
Why would you want to do it in 24hrs , is it for a record.
Nothing like that, completely against such runs.

The intention is to start at night, cover the place in the morning and return before night the next day, the intention is to save up on accommodation costs, we usually do this by sleeping and hydrating ourselves well in advance before the ride.

Quote:
Let us know when the cottages are ready we could give it a try , expecting to have a better treatment in an unknown area with your reference.That place looks so inviting buddy.
Indeed, the owner is an enthusiast as well it seems also would make a new travelogue to visit the place once the accommodation is set up.

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Originally Posted by COMMUTER View Post
Thanks for this inspirational post. This makes me comfortable in settling for a 150cc motorcycle again! I am starting the hunt for the used unicorn now itself!!
I would recommend against opting for a Honda as they would be high up on resale costs but terrible when it comes to spare availability and parts quality.

Sadly the only safe bet you have is with any 100cc Hero/Hero Honda's or any Bajaj motorcycle that has been around long enough.
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Old 7th April 2018, 07:20   #8
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Default Re: CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!

Nice travelogue! Munnar will always be my preferred place to visit any time. Be it the location or the roads, its always inviting. Always love to be there.
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Old 20th April 2018, 23:07   #9
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Default Re: CT100B: 700 kms of Munnar, done right!

Wow lovely Log of events and pictures. Will be doing Munnar end of this month and after seeing your pictures, feeling even more excited. I would although on 4 big wheels loaded to full capacity.

MaSh
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