Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Shiva Samudra Falls

Well if one is more eager to write a trip log, my lazyness surely kicks in.

Following trip log by Nithin Nath:

Destination: Shiva Samudra water falls
Distance : around 120kms from Bangalore
Total trip distance : approx 268kms

The plan that went wrong!
Hmm ... Its been an uneventful week for me. No drags,not much happening. That's when I thought why not guys in b'lore plan a short trip. So left veteran(read banglorian) praveen to decide upon destination. Based on feed backs from guys in our group, we decided upon Shiva Samudra waterfalls. I guess Amit was the inspiration behind this choice. Well initially the response was dull but apart from the two of us,Sanjay(ZMA)
and Badri(L-Amb!) had plans to join. But last minute had some engagements and then it was just the two of our CBZs.

Start point: Woody's restaurant (Jayanagar) 10:30AM

Praveen's silver-red-black CBZ* and my plain silver CBZ :)

Condition of bikes:
.....a power washed well kept,gleaming CBZ* with electric start and disc brakes looking down on a not-so-funky looking dirty ol' lady who didn't have the push button advantage or the disc brake!! Add to that, a broken kicker spring ensured I was craving to get my hands on Praveen's Self start unit...I swear I wud've flicked it :D

She didn't have a rear view mirror either(the right one broke so I removed the left one too)and had to look behin thru out the trip to check if my buddy was behind. Then a dreaded problem was with the throttle-when I wring it, it also rotates the switch unit and the conduit carrying the cable from the switch box came to rest under the brake lever and at this point if the front brake lever is pressed it wud
get stopped by this thing and lo' no brakes!!!
And praveen fiigured out how scary a ride I might have had,when he took my bike for a short stint! Coz when I rip her to 100+, the thing obstructs the lever and to ur horror u find the brake is not being actuated!! And u have to take ur hands off the throttle to push it down and press brake lever again and pray the drums have enuff bite...all this thanks to the enfield bullet handle bar which is not as meaty as
the stock CBZ ones and the switch box wudnt fit tight! But guess they are more comfy for tall riders.

..... But she did have one plus-the rear michelins which gripped the road unlike the dreaded zappers on the CBZ*.

Since praveen had a topped up tank he watched me fill up my girl just 5 litres adding to my previous day refill of 3.5ltrs. I am not used to toppin up my tank and if I did,feared the hopefully rusted top part to break off :D

Roads that are seasonal Well... as per Praveen, the road should have been wonderful at least 3 months back,but infact there were more potholes than there were milestones, which kept us suspect of what was yet to come. Guess the rains took away most of the tarmac. What we feared was nothing, the road kept getting worse but the two determined bikers prefered to keep the speedo needle above 100 :) On certain occassions,It did give us spine chilling moments...especially with unwary kids straying on the roads and surprise attack by dogs n sheeps....

At around 11:30AM after we had purchased snacks n all,left for Kanakpura. Tied up all the stuff onto the CBZ* with the Bungee ropes :) The initial 10kms or so was full of traffic. Then there was a decent 20km stretch with memorable events. We ran the bikes to their limits. Running in convoy both touched 110 on speedo,guess if there was more tarmac,wud have taken further. But my bike seemed to be hovering around the 7800-7900rpm band and that means she can climb to higher speeds coz
her rated power comes at 8k. The emission figures are decided by so called IDC(indian driving cycle) to meet this rated rpm(where peak power is specified in practice) is slightly below max power rpm.. So there will be a slightly higher power after 8k,but gotta know her fly up speed(max safe by manufacturer). If its around 9000,then can afford the extra 500rpm. Some jetting might solve the problem. So
optimistically,even with the bigger rear tyre,she can do a 115kmph on speedo. Guess Praveens baby wud top better and for me she looked faster. There were occassional gravel laid stretch where the zapper showed its true colours with the CBZ* rear loosing line many a time. Also on corners I cud lean her much more than praveen or maybe he didn't prefer to lean her that much. There werent any challenging or exciting curves either much to my dismay.

I hate round headlamp bikes!!
Then there was this maniac on a 150dtsi who was out to beat the two of us. He was with us in the city traffic,and when we touched open road,he tried to wizz past us. I was trailing behind praveen doin arnd 75 and he ripped past me and shook an unsuspecting praveen!! I decided to give it a try and ripped past praveen.i knew I wud loose out on top end with the dtsi,but surprisingly I reduced the 10m gap between me and him and was parallel and still in 4th gear doing 90 and reluctant to shift to 5th and loose the torque band. As soon as I touched 8k,I slotted up and went
ahead doin 110(poor him) and then......a bend(poor me)!!!! I slotted a gear and tried my front brake and the lever was obstructed due to the throttle cable conduit!!! I thought I was done for(!),and lucky me there was no on coming traffic and I ended up making the near impossible bend going to the outer end! Oh for the 150s theory, guess this is the only time I could not leave him on my rear view mirror :( ...................... Well I didn't have one :D

68kms from start
We took a well deserved break and discussed about our bikes and the group. We felt the ride was not that enjoyable considering that Praveen was scared by the fact that I managed that with drum brakes :) then on..no more drags. Praveen comments that my bike really looks old and I need to get a new one. I tell him my 250cc plus dreams and try to convince that she looked brand new till Mar 04:)! Ok fine accepted,she
is 4.5 years old now.

We reach the place and realise it's the wrong approach. The falls were not so exciting atleast for us. Maybe we came to the wrong side! From the pics that I shall soon upload,u can see that we cudnt get a face on view of the same. If we had gone around the falls on the other side,view wud have been better. Amit can u throw some light on it? To add to that, they din let us down coz the path was under construction. So managed a few snaps and had snacks.

Two depressed and dissapointed bikers return. We decided to go to Sangam-a place where two rivers meet which ahppend to be some 40kms from Kanakpura. But the road once again unlike what Praveen told me was to say the least-non existant! Hardly after 15kms,my bike went into reserve(I reset trip meter to zero) and fearing a bad average(I have a key lock knob-guess reserve is abt 3Ltrs!) and even more horrible roads, we decided to abort the plan.

87Kms from Swarnamukhi falls we stop to fill up at the last pump before bangalore. Suspecting poor fuel quality(which I shu regret) I fill for only 100 bucks.we have an eventful 100kmph constant ride with close shaves with a stray kid and then a stray lamb(not badri's,the real on and a heard of em'). Not to mention the two crazy guys n a TVS victor out to prove a point with us,almost killed themselves attempting(and to our surprise,just making!) an overtaking manouvere which both of us had
given up on safety grounds! He would've splashed on the windscreen of oncommin bus! Then we break for tea and discuss about the close shaves :) and how the CBZ had tough time keeping pace with the ZMAs on his Gokarna trip.

The road seemed to be different from moring(!),maybe the attitude had something to do and we managed constant rip of 90-110 all along and reached bangalore city by 5:15PM. Then we break at Coffee Day in Banshankari and Praveen shows first signs of cold and complaints of a sore throat!!

Then we swap bikes for another 3kms in city. Maybe I must agree with Sanjay,the CBZ* didn't feel very encouraging. Guess the CBZ is beginning to loose its sting. But personally I felt it to be quicker off the mark but then the mid range was not entertaining. I did feel the vibes to be harsh and engine not comfy. And I did notcie a puzzled Praveen struggling with the kicker(infact the damn thing fell off and that krrrr noise was audible to me,but Praveen enjoyed my bike so much that he
failed to notice) and then scaring himself off coz of close encounters with my drum brakes :D

In th end I was relived when he told me "now I know why u wudn't sell this bike. Man I really felt she wasn't good,by her looks-she has punch". He too commented on the unstressed engine sound and a free revving unit and was at ease with my handle bar :) guess that coz he too is my height. But for me the shortest ride on moonies green devil ranks her as best CBZ ive ripped/ridden till date...maybe out of just the
11-12 bikes ive tried.

The two riders are happy for the last 70 odd kms were really good... we have already made plans for next ride shortly. Guess we can have more company this time and better planning wud help. then after I get my road map back home,verbally, and trying to remember all those lefts and rights n circles we left for diff directions. Then the ace surprise being the figures she gave amost twice I expected-38kmpl riding at 100kmph!! Any biker would take that..

To sum it up....
.......maybe the choice of destination was wrong/route we chose was wrong/time we chose was wrong....it didn't matter where we went or when we went..all that mattered was- on 'what' we went!

Long live the CBZ