LOST IN BHUTAN: 6 BIKERS, 20 DAYS, 7500 KMS OF INSANITY!

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14

Chapter 4 – The Twist of Fate.

There is not a single invention in this world which is perfect. There always will exist the term called as drawback/shortcoming, and the Ninja 650 is no different. We were warned that the two potential issues for this bike would be:

  1. Radiator fan failure 
  2. Fork seal oil leakage

But with the spare fans lying in Nicky’s bags, fan problem was ruled out, but despite the thorough servicing and cleaning for covers and seals, both the Ninjas developed a leak.

So once Akhil’s Duke tires were sorted and the stay at Orcha done, it was Nicky and Sachin’s turn to get their bike problem sorted. The ride began at morning 5 am from Orcha, when the 3 Ninjitsus (2 ninja 650’s and 1 Ninja 300) began their journey to Lucknow and the Dukes took rest at the hotel to catch up on their much needed sleep. Here I realised after a tiring two days ride with minimal sleep, the perks of touring and sticking to the planned schedule. It felt like being in an army camp where soldiers getting trained are informed to wake up at 4 AM and be ready for parade by 5 AM.

The target was to reach Lucknow at 9 am, as the SVC opens at 9:30. Prior calls were made to the required people, alerts were sent out about our arrival and conditions of the bike and regarding the reasons for the urgency. And thus, the ride began. The climate was pleasant and cool, roads were butter smooth, but unfortunately this happiness was short lived. The battlegrounds began once we had crossed Kanpur. Godzilla foot sized potholes made their guest appearance. The already present problem on both the Ninjas, aggravated even more. To top it even more, the ongoing lane to Lucknow was completely blocked and the riders had to take a re-route through the opposite lane. But thanks to the Gods who were in favour, the riders got to tail an ambulance on duty, and cleared through the traffic jam of approximately 7 kilometres through the opposite lane.

Soon the riders were closing on Lucknow city, and the call was made to the Service centre. It is then that, the riders experienced the synchronicities of life when Rishabh Katiyar came to our rescue. We were waiting for him at airport road when looking at 3 Green Ninja’s with fully geared riders caught the attention of the local crowd. Same old of story of CC, cost and fuel efficiency got discussed. After 30 minutes of fun discussion with localites Rishabh appeared in the scene with his car. He gave us a very friendly welcome and took us through what we may term as “the most aggressive traffic” we have ever encountered. The route passed through a lot of scenic points and never did we even once think that even a bad ride could be so rewarding. By this time, the Ktm’s had left from Orcha towards Lucknow.

The KTM SVC at Lucknow welcomed the bikes with open arms. They said they’ve been following the group’s activity ever since the tour had started. Once at the Ktm SVC, the luggage was unloaded and then, Mr. Afzaal Khan and Mr. Nitish began their magical work on the 650’s. But, then came a twist of fate, Sachin’s Midori, faced a problem when the oil from the fork was drained. The oil seal plainly refused to come off. It was after great efforts by Mr. Afzaal Khan, it was finally taken off. This entire activity took us more than 5 hours. Soon the Ktm’s had arrived to the SVC.

During a normal check-up of the Ktm’s, it was noticed that Sherman’s bike had a flawed rear disc, and the over wearing of the pads, had resulted in damage of the read disc rotor. Luckily the SVC had the entire assembly, and the same was replaced in an instant, at a ridiculously cheap price. Akhil’s long time friend Gaurav Sharma had also joined the party by then, and to celebrate the spirit of biking, we went out and got some of Lucknow’s famous Kebabs!

It was just surprising to see the events being aligned in such a way, that all the problems were being sorted automatically, one after the other. By the time all the problems were done with, it was already 7pm, and the group had already lost 8 costly hours. It was then time to depart and say good bye to our new friends and commence on the journey. Once we were escorted to the main highway, it was time to fly again.

We were already 300 kilometres behind schedule, and this just added up more to that. To meet the target, the group made the most important decision, which turned the entire events around, to ride to Ayodhya. And so we did, covering up a total of 470 kms even after losing a lot of ground, reducing the deficit of total 550 kms to a mere 200 kms behind schedule.

73 Responses

  1. Avinash Ambekar says:

    Lovely intro. Let the rest roll out soon. How stupid I was to miss this epic ride 🙁

  2. Sachin Nair says:

    We wish you were there Avinash to care of photography 🙂

  3. Mihir Naik says:

    Hey Sachin. Awesome 🙂 I am having goose bumps. 🙂 Is it possible to join you in your next ride? 😀

  4. Uday says:

    Yes, the road before Chittorgarh is horrible with lot of dust in the air. When we rode, we could ride following a bus which had tail lights. It took a better of 2.5 hours to cover this behind this. And added to it, my colleague had a misfortune of hitting a rock and having a fall. But the roads till then are heavenly, sparse traffic and well marked roads.

    • lost_rider says:

      Uday – Yes, I agree the roads till Chittorgarh are awesome but the last 40 kms bad roads we were completely unaware of and that caught us by surprise

  5. Bhakti Engineer says:

    Beautifully written guys..

  6. That’s Hell of an DAY! *Touchwood* for the fellow rider’s company you had! 😀

  7. Rajdeep Roy says:

    Epic experience and narration guys! Keep up the good work. Waiting for the next chapter. Ride Safe!

  8. amit says:

    Amazing i use to get goose bumps only during lisnin to music and nw after reading this is like damn .. What twists and turns hehe

    • lost_rider says:

      There’s more twists and turns amit. The trip has just began and wait for further updates to here the complete story!

  9. Ashwin says:

    Bihar part is epic! xD
    The description is just too awesome but thinking of what you guys went through makes me feel horrible.

  10. Sushil Ayarottil says:

    Amazing writeup!!! And more importantly an awesome experience!!! Waiting for the rest of it.. Waiting for Bhutan!!!!

  11. Ashish Gupta says:

    Awesome experience for you Sachin and your folks for a lifetime.

  12. Rishabh says:

    Never got a chance to ride through Bihar, but I’m sure ur experiences gonna help 🙂

  13. drpratik says:

    part5 was one of the most entertaining read i’ve read in years…cheers you guys !

  14. Shishir says:

    Buddy,
    This was an amazing read. For a guy who’s passionate about riding this epic write-up only serves as a kick. I now dream of taking this path, not that I am excited to ride on it but just to see what our roads really like. To experience the flavours. Like you said, when the destination calls, all these stand trivial. More so when you have accomplished what you set out to achieve

  15. Swadhin says:

    Brilliant. You guys are new age Xuanzang 🙂 . One suggestion please take a polarizing filter next time.

  16. Bhakti Engineer says:

    Epic Write up for Day 10

  17. Awesome… DAY 10

    btw did u take KAWASAKI MECHANIC ( in green tees) on the ride 😛

  18. vipinjoseph says:

    “Tool Kit” What a fate you got man….Sherman ur bitching or writing…Well played man
    :0

  19. Shubham says:

    So when is the next part coming? Excited to read it further! 😀

  20. Alinel says:

    Dual sport motorcycles (which seems like a distant dream in India) is the answer to terrible roads

  21. Sanatan says:

    Hey still waiting for the last part….please update the last day in bhutan…and the ride back if possible 😉

  22. Niman Vazirani says:

    Brilliant write up man! Helmets off to you guys! 2 of us are doing a ride to Bhutan next year around the same time as you guys! What would you guys suggest? ride through and through or is it better to train the bikes to Calcutta and then ride on and spend more time in Bhutan? I think we would be spending a max of 20 days on the road!

  23. Kumar Bagchi says:

    Great write-up dude.Read every page.
    Planning to do a Bhutan trip from Kolkata on this October.
    As i am a student the financial thing comes first.So can u please tell me a approx budget to cover the whole ride?

  24. Manish Rawat says:

    the shop national auto accessories shown in background could have helped as he is a regular client of ours and i know he is a resourceful and helpful person

  25. Suprith says:

    Awesome.. (y)

  26. Tautik says:

    Great inspiration indeed. Plan to do the ride 3rd week of April. A quick question – How does ‘Permit from Customs department’ work? Is it pretty straight-forward? Keep inspiring!

    • lost_rider says:

      Hello Tautik,

      There are 2 permits needed – Individual permit and vehicle permit. The process about the same has been mentioned in the first page of this blog.

  27. Ashok Kamath says:

    Hi Sachin, this is Ashok from Goa. Me n 2 friends on 2 bikes ( yes 2 bikes not 3) will be riding thru Bhutan from this coming Sunday. I will be following exactly the same itinerary as yours ( in fact I copied your itinerary and made it ours). Is it possible for you to provide me with details such as Hotel names / contact name / numbers at places where you halted and also any other specific information ( contact persons/ timings of Djongs / petrol pumps / eateries ( what’s Bhutan specific and where) that might be useful to us.

    Could you please email me the information at my email address kamath.ashok@gmail.com.

    Thanks for your amazing travelogue which is now my one most important and relevant single point reference to riding thru Bhutan.

    God Bless.

  28. Issan says:

    Hey Bro , that was really some good piece . I am in office right now , and the time is 6:30pm , bro i started reading your blog since morning (11:30am) and literally i kept on reading with no work done 🙂 . I just didnt want to wait ,as in what could happen next. All the chapters felt like a movie . The photographic session was totally flawless . I too am a biker and love to travel far lands , and yes i am a crazy photographer too . Just loved your blog , simply mesmerising . You guys are a perfect combo to make a tour worth while. Had never read something so in-depth , i felt like i too was travelling with u guys . Simply awesome !! Ride safe !!

  29. sudhakar says:

    Hi,

    What is Permits from Customs?? How to obtain??? is this separate from RTO permission???

  30. Wow 7500KM . I wish i will be there with you guys.
    Awesome dude.
    thanks for the plan and guide

  1. November 25, 2014

    […] button tires. You can read follow the link below to read the travelogue if anyone is interested LOST IN BHUTAN: 6 BIKERS, 20 DAYS, 7500 KMS OF INSANITY! – L.O.S.T. Some pictures from the ride below Fog, dirt tracks are the recipes for a memorable and […]

  2. December 4, 2014

    […] Let’s write something useful and uncontroversial shall we? During my recent 7500 kms long Mumbai-Bhutan-Mumbai ride, I really wanted to use hard luggage, Dirtsack panniers to be precise. Since I really […]

  3. December 17, 2014

    […] day I came back from Bhutan, I resigned from my job. It was NOT a tough decision at all, despite that fact that I’ve […]

  4. January 2, 2015

    […] and that has affected my life profoundly. I’m not a patriotic man, but after returning from Bhutan I was in depression for about a week. I didn’t want to come back to […]

  5. January 5, 2015

    […] was recently on a 7500 km trip from Mumbai to Bhutan and back. On day 2 of the trip (31st October 2014), about 25 kms from Kota, I went over a stone at […]

  6. January 7, 2015

    […] lane. Things are still bearable in metros, but if you are unlucky enough to find your ass in Bihar, prepare it to be dry humped. Where 4 wheelers can just waltz over a puppy without remorse or […]

  7. January 26, 2015

    […] is the same tire that is provided on the Duke 200, and I got to use it by accident, a literal accident. When I blew out my front tire on the way to Kota, I had to get a new rubber. The shops there […]

  8. February 24, 2016

    […] first time I got a mobile charger on my bike was just before the Bhutan trip. Picked up one of these from Redline+, and the thing went kaput within 4 months. What’s […]

  9. April 12, 2016

    […] For information about riding in Bhutan, click here. […]

  10. September 27, 2016

    […] 6 of us rode to Bhutan and back. In many ways this was a stupid thing to do, I ended up almost killing myself on multiple occasions, we rode too much and saw too little, but it was a life-changing trip for me […]

Leave a Reply