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Old 15th June 2022, 10:39   #1
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Default A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

College was over, for good, and I had to get back home. Booked a train ticket this time, since I had to carry my motorcycle with me. Figured I'd put it on the train, chill in the AC for a day, and reach home without any hiccups. How wrong I was!

Sitting at a popular restaurant on the evening of the last exam, I loudly proposed an idea (the same one I'd come up with several times before): Why not ride my bike down? It's a distance of barely 1900kms, on arrow-straight highways, and a route that's been traversed a million times by bikers already. Start from Bangalore on Day 1, stop at Visakhapatnam for the night, and then ride straight to Calcutta on Day 2. Except, I ride a 21-year-old 100cc 2-stroke motorcycle. Not unreliable by any means, but a 2 stroke after all.

This time though, I was determined. I pulled up my phone and started reading old threads on the forum, checking the route status, and drawing up stoppage points. The first plan I drew up looked something like this:

Day 1: Bangalore to Vijayawada
Day 2: Vijayawada to Gopalpur
Day 3: Gopalpur to Calcutta

I then reminded myself that I was riding down to enjoy myself. It wasn't a task or a chore, and riding my motorcycle is something that I truly enjoy. Hence, a new plan was drawn up:

Day 1: Bangalore to Vijayawada
Day 2: Vijayawada to Visakhapatnam
Day 3: Visakhapatnam to Bhubaneswar
Day 4: Bhubaneswar to Calcutta

With this in mind, I informed my friends that I would be riding down home. Really, no joke.

I quickly sent all my stuff (clothes, bike parts, more bike parts) home by courier, and then took my bike to my trusted mechanic for a "quick" check. Mind you, the bike had been serviced barely 15 odd days and 200 kms ago, just before my exams. While at the mechanic's, I thought what the hell, and got a whole lot of parts changed again. Majorly, a brand new chain sprocket kit, with a larger front sprocket to aid highway cruising, and a cellphone holder with a charger. I also bought some spares to carry along:
  • 2.5 litres of 2T oil
  • 1 spark plug
  • 1 plug spanner
  • 1 tube
  • Royal Enfield petrol pipes for the carb
  • Clutch cable

After spending 5 hours at the mechanic's for what was supposed to be a 15-minute visit, I bid my goodbyes and came back home.

I'd had a surgery exactly 6 days ago, in my jaw, and I had to get the stitches cut out. With 10 hours to go for the ride, got that done too.

Went to sleep at 12am, planning for a 6 am start, and then the lights went out. A power cut. Tossed and turned in bed till 1:30 am, and realized I wasn't going to get any sleep either way, so I might as well hit the road. Took a shower, strapped my 2 backpacks onto the bike with a bungee cord, kick-started a machine that woke up my entire neighbourhood, and off I went.

Odo reading at the start of the ride was 1,02,819:

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-20220605_021603.jpg

Some pictures of myself:

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-img20220606wa0029.jpg

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-img20220606wa0033.jpg

I quickly made my way out of the city via Indiranagar, KR Puram, and then hit the highway to Kolar. I cruised at a steady 60kmph, and at no point did I feel the bike's lighting system, or power to be inadequate. I was grinning inside the helmet, praising myself for leaving in the middle of the night. The bike ran much cooler than it would've during the day, and I munched miles steadily. I took my first break after the Hoskote toll:

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-whatsapp-image-20220615-9.42.20-am.jpeg

The next stop was just after the toll plaza near Mulbagal:

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-whatsapp-image-20220615-9.42.20-am-1.jpeg

I was taking stops roughly one hour apart, and progress was good. I do not know the location of the next stop, but the geotag on Instagram said I was in a place called Gaddurur. Very well:

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-whatsapp-image-20220615-9.42.20-am-2.jpeg

I must've crossed into Andhra Pradesh either just before or just after this, and I was greeted with wide, 6-8 lane highways, and small hillocks on both sides. A little while later, the sun rose and I switched off the headlamp. Stopped again after the next toll, which again I have no idea where it was. Geotag showed Chittoor, and I added it, but I later realized Chittoor was quite some distance away from the place.

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-whatsapp-image-20220615-9.42.21-am.jpeg

By now, the sun was up and I was beginning to feel a little hot. No biggie, I thought, and rode. An hour later, I crossed another toll:

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-whatsapp-image-20220615-9.42.21-am-1.jpeg

Had covered 200kms by then, so decided to tank up at the next decent looking petrol pump. Found one around 40kms before Tirupati, and tanked up. Sat down at the pump and adjusted my bags, replied to my WhatsApp messages and took a 10 minute break.

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-20220605_065613.jpg

By now, my ass was beginning to hurt a little. The seat felt too soft, and I took care of it by sitting on hard surfaces every once in a while. Progress slowed down. I took some more photos:

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-20220605_063003.jpg
A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-20220605_063514.jpg
A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-20220605_063523.jpg

AND then it hit. The 40-odd kilometre-long single-laned stretch from Tirupati to Naidupeta. I can confidently say that this was the stretch that derailed my entire trip, drained me immensely, and broke my rhythm to the point where I found it difficult to build it up again. I must've taken 3 breaks in this short stretch, that's how horrible it was. By now, the sun had risen considerably high so it was hot too. I refused to take off my jacket (safety yada yada). A couple of pictures I have from this stretch, and these were among the last few pictures I took, I was THAT exhausted after this:

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-20220605_083026.jpg
A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-20220605_091602.jpg

At this point, I even dropped a message on the Team-BHP WB WhatsApp group, whose members were keeping an eye on my live location:
Name:  WhatsApp Image 20220615 at 10.36.16 AM.jpeg
Views: 315
Size:  64.5 KB

Oh, how I wish I'd listened to myself and turned back at this point! But, I strapped my helmet back on, and pushed off.

Last edited by GTO : 17th June 2022 at 18:01. Reason: Rule #11. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th June 2022, 11:52   #2
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Default Multiple stops, lunch, and the dash back home

It took almost 2 hours to cross the stretch and finally land on the 4 laned highway from Chennai to Calcutta. Once on it, I whacked open the throttle and maintained a steady 80kmph for about 30 mins, post which I stopped for a rest at a petrol bunk around 50kms before Nellore. I must've stopped there for a good half an hour, and drank a full bottle of water.

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-20220605_105543.jpg

By now, the sun was directly over my head, and it was BURNING, I kid you not. The bike didn't complain though and was all eager to go. I put on my jacket and helmet and started off again. My next stop was after the Nellore toll plaza:

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-whatsapp-image-20220615-9.42.22-am.jpeg

I was severely exhausted by this time. Looking back, I wished I'd taken my jacket off. Crossed Nellore around 11:45am, and stopped at a restaurant adjoining a petrol pump. At this point, I seriously began reconsidering my plans. There was no doubt that I'd reach Vijayawada today, but did I want to do it again over the next 2-3 days. Not in this heat. I proposed the idea on the WhatsApp group and there were mixed reactions. Some wanted me to find a hotel, take rest, and then think about it. Some wanted me to return back immediately. BHPian Sayan15 called me up and spoke to me for a good 10 minutes, and said, "Whenever I've been in a similar situation, I've just carried on and I've always reached my destination." I knew that was to inspire me to carry on to Vijayawada for the day, but by then I had made up my mind to return. Vijayawada was 250kms away and Bangalore, 400kms.

I barely ate my lunch, paid the bill, and walked out with my bags. Enquired at the pump if they knew someone with a mini-truck who would take me and my bike back to Bangalore. No luck, their options were limited to me putting the bike on a train or something, and me taking a bus. Nope, not gonna part with my bike at any cost, and wasn't that one of the main reasons I embarked on this ride?

I took off my jacket and strapped it onto the rear carrier. Called up my landlady to inform her that I hadn't vacated my apartment for good, that I was coming back for the night. I'd reach home around midnight and I didn't want to wake her up for the keys so she should keep them in a flower pot. The call didn't get connected. I dropped a text to my friend, and started my ride back to Bangalore. The next 150 kms, I took 0 breaks. I kept the throttle at a constant 80kmph and didn't stop no matter what came my way. Just before the dreaded single-laned stretch, I stopped, bought a bottle of chilled water and pushed off. I rode through the entire stretch without taking a single break, as opposed to the 4-5 breaks I had taken on the onward journey. It was the jacket, I felt much better without it.

I stopped somewhere after Tirupati, and tanked up again. This time, it had been 400 kms since the last fill-up, but a visual inspection of the tank showed that there was quite a lot of petrol left. Weird. I filled up 6 litres anyway. In the meantime, one of my friends had gone to my place and gotten my keys from the landlady and kept them in a secret place outside my apartment. Thank God for friends!

By this time, the sun was on its way down, and the weather had cooled down considerably. I was stopping every once in a while, downing a 250ml bottle of Pepsi, and carrying on. On one such stop just before sunset, I took this picture, around 170kms before home:

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-20220605_174531.jpg

I noticed a little oil leak in one of the bags. Was probably one of the opened 2T oil bottles due to the pressure of the bungee cords. Well, nothing I could do about it then. My clothes were in a plastic garbage bag anyway, so I hoped they were dry.

Exactly an hour later, around 6:30pm (it wasn't dark yet), my rear tyre had a puncture. I stopped, in the middle of nowhere, and decided to ride on to the next town at a very slow pace. A couple of kilometres later, I found an intersection and rode into the village. Found a tyrewallah working on a truck tyre. I asked him if he could fix mine first, as I had to ride back to Bangalore in the dark. He refused, so I took out the spare tube from my bag, borrowed his tools and started taking off the rear tyre myself. This was the last picture I took that day, with the bike parked in front of the puncture shop:

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-img20220605wa0039.jpeg

And then, it started pouring. I quickly grabbed my jacket from the carrier and dashed inside the small hut. Let my bags get wet since there was no way to get them without getting myself wet. The village suffered a power cut, and the puncture guy began working on replacing my tube with the help of my phone torch. At 7:30pm (according to my payment history), I paid the guy Rs. 80, he fitted the wheel back. It had stopped raining by then, the weather was cool, and I started the journey with renewed vigour.

I must've covered some 20 kms, before it started raining again. There was no place to stop, and in a matter of seconds, I was drenched from head to toe. This was when I felt the most vulnerable, I screamed and cried inside my helmet and hoped that the rains would stop soon. It was too much to take in a day.

Around 120kms before Bangalore, I stopped at the Mulbagal toll plaza. Called up one of my friends and cried on the phone for a good 15 minutes. The rain didn't subside, my clothes were wet, and my spare clothes in the bag were probably wet too, which meant that even upon returning home, I wouldn't have anything to wear. I was shivering in the cold. After a final "what the hell", I decided to carry on. If I had waited for the rain to stop I would have probably waited till the next morning. I unstrapped the bungee cord, slung one backpack behind me, and one in front, and that was all the armour I had against the cold. I took off, for the final 120kms to home, with the aim that I'd follow some car and reach home safely. I remember telling my friend, "I know I'll reach home, but why does it have to be difficult?"

Famous last words, I said to myself.

The next 100kms passed away in a literal blur. I kept following cars, trucks, other bikes, and literally anyone else with a working tail lamp. It wouldn't be wrong to say that I was blind otherwise, and I slowly watched the milestones pass by. The puncture guy had probably tightened my brakes too much, every time I applied the rear brakes, the rear of the bike fishtailed once to the left, and then to the right. Started singing to myself and watched the kilometres roll by. After a good 3 and a half odd hours, I rolled past Hoskote, and ended up in the maddening traffic at KR Puram. Chalo, I had reached, I thought to myself.

I couldn't be more wrong. It was probably my fault though, that I was senselessly just gunning the bike. A couple of wrong turns and a flyover later, I found myself heading towards the airport. WHAT!

It was raining too much to even check my phone. A signboard told me I was in CV Raman Nagar. I had no idea where on earth that was. I again went back on the flyover that had led me here, and ended up in KR Puram. Took a U-Turn, and stopped and asked someone how to get to Indiranagar 100ft Road. It was easy, apparently, I just didn't have to take the wretched flyover. I rode on and on, through the IRR and reached Koramangala. At this point, I believe I was in a state of trance, since I didn't even recognise the right turn to get to St. John's Hospital. Luckily, I asked an autowallah, and he guided me. Reached home at exactly midnight. Not even kidding, my wrist watch showed 00:00. Ordered some food, and went to sleep around 2am.

Woke up at 8am, and there was absolutely no pain in my body. No fever either, the others in the WhatsApp group were surprised. Well, all's well that ends well.

I went down and took a photo of the odometer, reading 1,03,642kms:
A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-20220606_094830.jpg

I wouldn't be exaggerating if I said the bike performed absolutely flawlessly. Apart from the puncture, and you can't blame the bike for that.

One of the many reasons I embarked on this trip was, I didn't want to look back later on in life and regret the fact that I didn't take a cross-country trip on a 2 stroke when I had the chance to. I was also sure I would never get the opportunity to do it again. I'm fresh out of college now, so I have that drive in me. Who knows how I'll feel about a long ride on a 2-stroke, say 2 years from now?

Anyway, here are some stats from the trip. Pardon me for recording them on a cycling app, it was the only ride-tracker app I had on my phone.

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-screenshot_20220606002357_strava.jpg
A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-screenshot_20220606002332_strava.jpg

I suspect the "moving time" is wrong. ~22 hours sounds more like the total time I was on the road, and I must've spent 3-4 hours in total taking breaks. Oh well.

What next, you might ask? I cancelled my train tickets, put my bike on a truck to Calcutta and took the next flight out of the city. In between, I took the bike on a 30km ride around the city, and visited my favourite places one last time. Here's a photo:

A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke-whatsapp-image-20220615-11.54.20-am.jpeg

My bike is on its way to me as we speak, although it's taking a painfully long time (close to 2 weeks). As soon as I get it, the first thing to get replaced will be the seat. I still have painful memories of that.

That was my story. I'm looking forward to the next long ride on a 2-stroke, hopefully, I'll be able to do it before these wonderful machines get banned all over the country.

May we never stop being adventurous!

Last edited by boniver : 15th June 2022 at 11:56.
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Old 15th June 2022, 19:05   #3
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 15th June 2022, 19:49   #4
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

@boniver superb write-up, loved it.
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Old 15th June 2022, 21:22   #5
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

It takes a lot of courage to start on such an epic voyage but it takes a whole lot more to take that decision to fight a battle some other day. Something tells me you will eventually make that trip one day (call it an itch that needs to be scratched). I’m not going to give any gyaan on how you should go about it next time (you will figure it out yourself) but this I will say, Start after you have had a good nights rest, adrenaline is a funny thing it will make you feel like you can conquer the world, but once it wears off that crash can make a grown man cry. Happy riding and eagerly awaiting your next report of how you rode down from Calcutta.

Last edited by deepfreak15 : 15th June 2022 at 21:24.
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Old 15th June 2022, 21:29   #6
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

Absolutely brilliant writing skills. Felt like I was living through every moment of yours!
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Old 15th June 2022, 21:36   #7
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

Hi boniver,

I can understand what you went through. I have been in such situations couple of times. I travelled a lot through train I hate train journeys so much that I have not been in a train since 2008. So when I started working I started riding everywhere I had to go. I had a Bajaj Discover and later bought a Karizma after saving money from my savings. On one occasion I undertook a 400 kms ride after completing 325 kms the rear tire got a puncture and when the puncture guy opened the wheel the tube inside had melting where it was touching the wheel due to heat. Wish you many happy rides in future.
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Old 15th June 2022, 21:47   #8
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

@Boniver, actually feeling relieved after finishing the post when it became clear that it was only an abort, and not something else. Happy to see the old workhorse doing what it should, smoothly. These are simple machines, and taken care of, can last a long long time. Not that it hasnt already done enough summers

I wish we could have tubeless tyres on these bikes, but I guess it would kill the looks by replacing those stock, spoked wheels with something else. Punctures are the one thing I am wary of when riding these bikes.

Take care, and wishing you a long happy riding back home. You could wave a thanks to the mechanic for the work he has done

Last edited by condor : 15th June 2022 at 21:48.
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Old 15th June 2022, 21:48   #9
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

Great write-up and thanks for sharing. Was a very ambitious plan and you probably took the decision to call it off at the right point. That return journey was harrowing even to read, so cannot imagine how hard it would have been in reality. Glad you made it back safe and sound.

Curious as to why you did not ride on to Vijayawada and ship off the bike from there and take a train/flight? Due to paperwork or it being an unfamiliar city?
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Old 15th June 2022, 23:51   #10
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

This is not a failure, this is an experience.
Riding solo for 800 km in a day on such an old 2 stroke bike is no mean feat, this in itself is an achievement. Many will not even dare to take this ride. Hats off to your spirit. All the best for your future rides.
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Old 16th June 2022, 01:28   #11
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

I was one of the naysayers for your trip and I accept that I was a tad too negative to your liking may be. Having been in your situation previously and having gone through the drill, I knew the challenges that you would face. It’s great that you ultimately chose to live your wish and how. No mean feat this, I really admired your perseverance throughout the trip. It’s not easy to go back from your initial aim, certainly not in your age. In the end, it was a good call to return back, given the state of mind that you went into. May be someday, you will end up riding your unfulfilled dream drive, however I will not place any bets on that. For now, let’s have that Biryani which I know you hate, but I am counting on this 800 kms ride to at least put a semblance of logic to the entire saga. How can someone not like a plateful of Biryani ??
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Old 16th June 2022, 07:49   #12
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

Thanks for being daring enough to share your story where you were not able to accomplish your trip. Often we see rosy stories that underplay the harder aspects of the trip. This story is very useful for providing a reality check and should be helpful to a lot of folks while planning their bike trips.
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Old 16th June 2022, 08:21   #13
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

Such episodes tend to teach us more about life, than textbooks ever could. If not already, you will eventually look back at this ordeal rather fondly and be proud of the misadventures, rather than regret all this. I'm sure you know that both, you and the bike, can do this journey. And I hope you do it some day. Also, don't be too harsh on yourself. College is the time, you can embark on mis-adventures, safely.

Rightly said, this is an experience. Absolutely not a failure.

Thanks for sharing. Misfires are just as important as success stories!

Last edited by libranof1987 : 16th June 2022 at 16:33. Reason: Typo
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Old 16th June 2022, 09:17   #14
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

Relief finally to know that you took a decision to change your original plan.

One curiosity - Would it not have made sense to proceed to Vijayawada for 250KM and taking a train from there to your destination, instead of driving the 400KM back to Bangalore?
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Old 16th June 2022, 09:33   #15
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Default re: A Failed Road Trip | 800+ kms in a day on a 2 stroke

I read this at night, I was not getting any sleep and your write-up was so intriguing, that to me, it appeared I was on your pillion seat. While I have done similar rides, in this day and age, I don't have the courage & patience to ride a 100cc with drum brakes on our highways.

Maybe on a different bike, outcome might have been different. Was it your first really long ride?

BTW, you should write more often, I loved it .
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