15 July 2007 – Speed Test Session

When: Sunday, 15 July 2007
Where: Near Pune
What: Testing Speed of various bikes using Bushnell Speed Gun

It was a wet Sunday morning with overcast conditions to start with. The speed test session was all set to get cancelled when Sun decided to come out and started to dry up the wet tarmac.

The session lasted for just over 2hours in which 20 timed runs were performed in total by all the bikes.

The distance of the test strip was around 750meters with enough braking space ahead of it.

The bikes belonged to club members of RDDreams and RoadShakers. Also were present some riders not belonging to any club.

Most of the bikes were different models of Royal Enfield Bullets with one Yamaha RD 350, one Yamaha RX 135 5-Speed, one Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSFi and one Hero Honda CBZ. Baring the Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSFi and Hero Honda CBZ all bikes were modified to extract extra performance, to different level (some modifications being as simple as a different air filter or different exhaust). The details of the modifications are best known to the owner of the bike or the mechanic/tuner who did those modifications.

Following were the fastest three bikes and their riders:
Sling on his Yamaha RD350 at 145km/hr. Video

Rahul on his Bullet Lightning 535 at 140km/hr. Video
Tinu on Doc’s Bullet 500 (Std) at 137km/hr. Video

Following are the other speeds achieved by the rider and bike combo (only the fastest of all their runs is listed down).
Doc on his Bullet 500 (Std) at 133km/hr. Video
Tinu on Adil’s Bullet Lightning 535 at 125km/hr. Video
Adil on his Bullet Lightning 535 at 124km/hr. Video

Rash on his Yamaha RX 135 5-Speed at 123km/hr. Video
Tinu on Amit’s Bullet Machismo 500 (AVL) at 120km/hr. Video
Adil on Thomas’s Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSFi at 120km/hr. Video
Thomas on his P220 Bajaj Pulsar 220 DTSFi at 119km/hr. Video
Adil on his Bullet Thunderbird 350 (AVL) at 116km/hr.
Nauzar on his Bullet 350 (Std) at 110km/hr. Video

Nav in his Hero Honda CBZ at 108km/hr.

These are the other runs (video’s not uploaded but can be provided in case of any doubts about the speed).
Rahul on his Bullet Lightning 535 at 139km/hr.
Rahul on his Bullet Lightning 535 at 139km/hr.
Tinu on Doc’s Bullet 500 (Std) at 136km/hr.
Kunal on Rahul’s Bullet Lightning 535 at 135km/hr.
Kunal on Rahul’s Bullet Lightning 535 at 131km/hr.

Doc on his Bullet 500 (Std) at 131km/hr.
Amit on his Bullet Machismo 500 (AVL) at 115km/hr.
Adil on his Bullet Lightning 535 at 114km/hr.

Riding thru Rain, Fog ‘n’ Flood

When: 30th June 2007
Route: Pune – Khambatki Ghat – Wai – Parsani Ghat – Panchgani – Mahabaleshwar – Ambenali Ghat – Poladpur – Mahad – Poladpur – Ambenali Ghat – Mahabaleshwar – Panchgani – Parsani Ghat – Wai – Khambatki Ghat – Pune.
Riders ā€˜nā€™ Rides: Praveen Shirali on Black P180, Nalin on Silver P180, Me on Black Fiero and Shyamal on Gray Unicorn.

Distance: 405km
Time Taken: 15hrs (5:45am to 8:45pm)

With another weekend coming, we planned a slightly longer ride this time, with the route as Pune – Khambatki Ghat – Wai – Parsani Ghat – Panchgani – Mahabaleshwar – Ambenali Ghat – Poladpur – Mahad – Varandha Ghat – Bhor – Pune. This time we were 4 riders (other 2 dropped out), as compared to 2 of last time. With the route slightly longer an early start was required so we decided to start at 6am.

Even before we could start the ride, it started to rain heavily and by the time we stopped to refuel at Reliance gas station on NH4 we were all drenched (from outside only) with our rain gears trying hard to stop the water outside.

We were maintaining speed around 80km/hr and were approaching Shirval when disaster stuck, suddenly I started to feel my front end has gone heavy, I realised its a puncture so I slowely pulled over to road side only to find the help (puncture repair shop) across the road. While the puncture guy was fixing the puncture, I sms’ed the group about my problem, few minutes later the group was back. The puncture costed us around 30minutes and Rs 60 (due to damaged valve as well).

After we resumed the ride, soon we were at the foot hills of Khambatki Ghat, traffic was heavy today. As we started to climb up, the series of breaks started, to click pictures and enjoy the scenery.


Khambatki Ghat and a waterfall there

Surface of Khambatki Ghat has gone slightly bad and potholes has started to show at various place. After crossing Khambatki Ghat we took the diversion towards Wai, traffic was lesser on this road and still the road condition was as good as it was before rains. After crossing Wai as we started the climb up the Parsani Ghat (good road surface still), the scenery started to go from nice to better to excellent. With clouds all over the place.


Enroute to Wai, Climb up Parsani Ghat

Clouds all over the place was a great sight, it was not so good to click pictures :-) As we climbed up, the cloud cover on road got denser and denser. After we reached at the top we pulled over to Harrison Point to have a view of the valley down.


View from Harrison Point

Due to rains the muddy track on Harrison Point was slightly slushy, thankfully not too many car’s have come here so there was still decent paths for two wheelers to ride on.


Harrison Point and Bikes

After spending some time at Harrison Point, we realised that we are behind the schedule so without wasting much time we headed towards Mapro for lunch. Sadly strawberries season is over and we were forced to have sandwich with hot chocolate.


Flower ar Mapro

After Mapro our target was to reach Poladpur as soon as possible. As we started towards Mahabaleshwar it started to rain with lots of fog on road making it a wonderful ride. After crossing Mahabaleshwar we were on the Ambenali Ghat which was full of waterfalls, fog and heavy rains.


Waterfalls at Ambenali Ghat

Had we stopped at every waterfall to enjoy it, we would have spend almost the whole day here. So we kept pushing each other to carry on and only to stop at some of the best waterfalls.


Fog and Waterfall at Ambenali Ghat

The road surface of Ambenali Ghat was decent almost all the way. There was a small section where landslide was getting cleared up.


Waterfall and bikes at Ambenali Ghat

As we came down towards Poladpur the fog cleared up but no respite from heavy rains. Since we were behind the schedule (thanks to puncture and numerous halts on the way) we scraped the plan to visit Kashedi Ghat and headed towards Mahad. NH17 was having lesser traffic than normal as we ripped on wet NH17 towards Mahad. Just before the toll booth at Mahad we turned towards Varandha Ghat only to be warned by some people about road under water. We thought that we can always ride over such stretch so we carried on. After a km or so we came to a point where a ST Bus, a 4 wheeler and few two wheelers were standing due to overflowing river water running across the road (see picture below). The force was so strong that none of us could think of risking our life and hence decided to turn back. We wasted some 10min before we headed back only to see the road we have come has started to get under water. The intensity of water was still not high so we quickly crossed over it.

We now had two options, either to return back via Mahabaleshwar or try the Mangaon route. We decide to try the later route and hence headed towards Mangaon. On the way we saw almost all of Mahad under water (whatever was visible from road side). Just after crossing Mahad we came to a point on NH17 which was getting under water (see picture below). We knew if we cross this and if we had to turn back from Mangaon, this place will be impossible to cross so we decided to take the safer option and headed back towards Mahabaleshwar. On the way we saw police has already closed this road for more traffic.

Floods all around Mahad

After a small rip on NH17 we were back at Poladpur. We took a small break for hot tea before we started our climb up Ambenali Ghat. As we climbed up we started to see some beautiful views. Cloud trying to cross over a hill (see picture below bottom left), etc.



Ambenali Ghat

As we reached the top of Ambenali Ghat the fog started to get thicker and thicker with visiblity reduced to 5-6feets. By the time we reached Mahabaleshwar fog was at its peak. (Next day I read in news that this road, Mahabaleshwar – Poladpur, is closed for traffic).


Foggy Mahabaleshwar

On the way we meet with another Nomad, Praveen Sathaye, at Wai. After a small chit chat we all headed back to Pune. Just before Khambatki Ghat we stopped for some evening snacks. As we resumed our return ride, soon it got dark and started to rain little bit. It was difficult to see the road properly due to darkness and rain drops on visor. So it was a slow ride back home for me with speeds around 50-60km/hr as I was worried about not seeing some pothole on road and hitting it at high speed.

After around 15hrs of riding I was back at home totally wet below waist (even when I was wearing rain coat’s pant. Above waist I was almost dry (got wet while taking out camera in rains to click pictures) thanks to my new jacket.

In the end though it was a wonderful ride but I still miss the Mahad – Varandha Ghat – Bhor – Pune leg, which I hope to do sooner than later.

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Frank Thomas: FTW260 Sprint Aqua Jacket

Me and My Riding Jacket

On 29th June 2007, I bought this jacket from Praveen Shirali (another BikeNomad and a colleague).

A much needed safety gear. Fit and finish is good (have not used any other jacket, except for a few plain leather ones). It fit me like it is made for my size šŸ™‚ Best gear I have used for rain riding (100% rain protection as long as you don’t open the jacket in rain). No plans to crash test the jacket so that part will wait till lady luck is not with me.

Specifications
Hypertec technical fabric construction

Aquapore Advanced waterproof, breathable membrane lining
– Upper chest & lower back ventilation system
– Sleeve stud adjusters
– Air-flow ventilation system
– Single shell CE Approved removable armor in shoulders and elbows

Hypertec

A technically advanced high performance breathable material. Designed to maximize abrasion resistance without compromising rider comfort. Hypertec has twice the abrasion resistance of nylon, and over fourteen times the durability of cotton.

Aquapore Advanced
The Aquapore Advanced system is an improved breathable, waterproof membrane. The membrane allows perspiration to transpire through but will not allow water in, providing 100% waterproof protection.

All details about jacket can be found here

To view image(s) in larger size, click them.