Monday, December 18, 2006

Night Safari

Pix by Arun

Click here for a writeup on the trip by Arun

4 O clock sat evening get calls from vicky and arun for night safari in muttanga wild life sancturay and are waiting for me and i myself din know that i was in the ride!!. Ok we are in neway and me all eager to see wat my bike can do with the perf mods(cam lift:ZMAcam, K&N filter and head porting). Had just done with the runin. 6.30PM by the time me and arun start off towards mysore. Vicky had left a couple of hours earlier as he needed complete his runin of his ported bike too!!. Slowly open the throttle and check out how the bike behaves at higher RPMs and all to a delight find out its a completely different bike. new sound and new power band and it was just kicking in at 7k RPMs and discovered good high end torque which wasnt there before. me all happy with the stuff and it was worth the wait of its multiple surgeries last couple of weeks. It was a fun ride till mysore. Arun particularly impressed with the Honda accord and wanted to see it perform. On slightest intimidation by goin past it, the driver's ego was hurt much to put on a show for us. He left some gap and zoom passed us doin 105+ goin at prolly 150+ as if we were standing. only to catch up later when it got entangled between trucks. N later on we became ego threat to that and n a balenoa whome we finally managed to leave behind by the time we reached mysore. By the time we reach mysore my bike was ready to rip.

In mysore it is for dinner. Vicky having completed his bikes runin was out with this draggin with RXs :)) and entices us to check out the mean machines. We pretty happy with our adrenelin rush with the cars, turned down the offer which turned out to be a loss as we realised later that could have got a chance to ride an RD350!!. We start towards gundelpet as lazily as 10.30 pm. Well it was supposed to be a night safari and the night had just begun. We me kinda trance with the new awesome bike behaviour and vicky pretty happy with the his ported bike and arun's fav environment to ride, let the throttles loose and it turned out to be an adrenelin pumping co-operative race!!. Me race with the biggies did i say that? oooh yeah. The mods had done wonders on my bike and its power band opened up after 7 k RPMs and the loads or high end torque meant that i do catch soon with the biggies on their slightest breaking for ne reason and even go past them when they are locked in full throttle. They do catch up go ahead for sure but dare they use breaks. :P Ohh i got a new bike now :D. All this exitement i forgot a small detail here. I never ride fast in the dark leading cos Well hello i got a stock CBZ lamp here, as hitanshu says which is nothing but a high speed mombatti !!. Was bumped to it the hard way, just as i went past the two bikes a truck ahead coming out of a wide curve suddenly raised the beam and blinded me and all i notice was that the road to the left unduly widened. With nothing but intution simply sweared left so did arun seeing me and realised just after that i was heading straight for the dugup path for future divider!!. Damn no reflectors or ne warning!! but thats not an excuse and went back to my place to be the drag for the rest of the ride. And this time keep to the tail of the 180 and zma was ever so easy. :D Realised that my bike is not good for drags, will loose out on open highways but is custom modded for riding 2 lane roads where we ride the most. The power curve is not leniar ne more and have to build up the RPM correctly after 5.5k RPMs else all i would get is a loude houl of the K&N filter. But once at 7k the pull is too good.

Stop at gundelpet for tea all pretty exited about the session. Thank vicky for suggesting the mods to my bike :). Now on we decide to take it slowly as we do be entering the Muttanga wild life sancturary. Pretty cold by now i put on the extra layers i had taken along and a nice ride through the forest road. Then wats a safari without a wild animal!! and we spotted the first elephant by the side of the road. went ahead without distrubing it. Saw a few vehicles parked n when we go ahead we realise theres an elephant close to the road as we start to go ahead vicky breaks and we have a pile up at 5kmph speeds:D yes there one more elephant other side. Confused which way to go, guys decided to make a run for it but not before give a teasing screme at the elephants :D. The road nothing much to talk about and we cleared the sancturay spotting a few more wild elephants by the road. Take a break at the check post as we could get to warm ourself with the fire wood lit by the guards. Start of the kalpetta with vicky complaining about loss of power. Nice twistes well utilised and stop at wayanad. Vicky's bike not behaving properly seemed to go out of control on the curves and after some R&D found out the rear tire had lot some air not visible to the eye. Well now i get to actually use the foot pump i carry and pull it out of wraps as i had never used tough i carried it in n Number of trips. Especially since kerala towns are like ghost town in the night with very very less ppl to help around. The pump seems to be working and vicky makes a dash to kalpetta hoping to reach it before further air loss. Now he to getting the full taste or his moded bike by now. We make it to kalpetta and but not before gorging on the awsome twisties:). Being a season, room not available ne where. Funny incident here, a couple guys wanted to let us know of a hotel and told to look for 'aeirategiri' we like wat and we again got 'aeirategiri' and we even started enquire with the same pronounciation and later found out it was 'Harithagiri' LOL. Needa learn kerala accent.:) With no luck we had to check in to a 3 start hotel. Tad expensive but a nice rest after the night safari.

Day 2:

Late to bed and late to rise :). Arun wants to rest summore, so me n vicky wanted to check out the pookot lake and lakkidi view point some 20 kms from the place. It was a rush with both the bikes K&N filter and the roar from the bikes was good. Oh well its twisties we are talking about. Both set to try out our modded bikes in broad day light and it again kinda becomes a race and it was amazing to find my bike go ahead of the ported p180 which was locked full throttle. High rev throttle response too good and i had lesser gear shift to do this time. I rarely needed 3rd gear and many could manage in 4th!!. where i previously needed to frantically shift 5-4-3-4-5 at every curve. Simply Wowsome.
Get to pookot lake. lookes like a well comercialised lake and nothing like we havent seen before at KA. Now we knew y arun wasnt even slightly interested :). Coming this far we even go the check out the lakkidi view point where the westran ghats ends and the kerala plains start. Calicut so near kinda tempted to go but not possible that day. We had back gorging on the twisties SLURRRP!. Break fast and Meen mutti falls it is. This will be the third time for me and we straight away go to the Thomas's place and park our bikes.

Me and vicky with the newly born calf!

Thomas arun's friend and guide literally :D. But he cant guide us today to the falls as there is a prayer at his home. We having gone there before, decide to find our own way. and The familiar 1.5 kms trek n steep dectent to the falls begins. No pix here though. After a heavy work out for 45 mins getting down some near verticale path we here the falls and not long before we get to see it. Its all worth it. Spend some quality time staring at the falls and remembering the last times we been here.

Time to go back and some how find climbing up less slipper on the dry silt tough a lot streneous. Get up for a welcome round of butter milk. Get to back to kalpetta riding through the miandering streets of among the tea estates to kalpetta. Sleepy town folks watch the 2 modded bikes rip and growl and stare at us till we disappear.

Have a very late lunch and by the time we start its 6.30 pm and we get only lazy as we move on. Get to the dhabha at the entry of the check post and spend over an hour discussing bikes, trips etc etc like we got all the time in the world. 8.30 pm ok time to move now. looking forward to an exiting ride back like yday. Night safari again the second time. but this time no luck with ne elephants and since pretty early in the night have to face quite a bit of opposing lights. Now i stay between the to bikes. And we get to gundelpet only to find fore opposing traffice. Such a contrast to the last night's ride. and to top it seems like its raining. Wat rain in december ?!?! damn i hate that now. I have to get wet wearing all the winter gear!! and this strech always seems to be very irritating especially when riding back. Few stops at an attempt to keep ourself dry. yeah have done quite some rain riding this season but its enough for heavens sake!!. Lots of opposing lights and rain, no lane painting. phew not a way to end the ride stay around vicky and looking ahead by his head lamp and arun forming the drag we reach mysore all by 11 pm. Arun wants to carry and while mine n vicky's situation compromised at homes and we cant do night riding now. We decide to stay at our respective cosins's homes for the night and ride back together next day.

Well morning it is and vicky wants to stay back for a couple of days and i start hoping to reach office early. And damn i see the clouds again. wat the hell. y me y me ?? :D. N bike not behaving so well. feel loss of power. stop a few times n check the oil level to be fine. And once the skies are clear the bike runs fine now!! wat is happening is it like the humidity is affecting it as i felt the same powerloss the prev night around rains. Hmmm... there must be some corelation. Get home after a nice ride. This was a spontanious ride, like, we got nothing bettor to do in town so lets ride out :). A welcome reprive after running lean season in rides ;) with bike not in good health. All 680 kms of it was fun with my new bike :)


Blogger Arun said...

yep,it was a nice little night safari :-)

January 11, 2007 2:07 PM  

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