Sunday, November 06, 2005

The ride to Goa and back

After my stint with Amazon India was over, I decided to have a long ride on my Enfield Machismo 350cc motorcycle. Goa was the obvious destination. It is about 700km from Bangalore, and the ride along the coast from Mangalore to Goa was supposed to be fabulous. One of my colleagues showed interest in joining me for the ride but dropped out later.

So it was to be a ride alone. I was thrilled at the prospect and started preparing with charting my route and getting the bike in perfect shape.

I got the bike inspected by my favorite garage in Bangalore (Mehboob Garage on Nandi Durg Road), got the chain and brake cables tightened. The day before the journey was to begin, filled up the tank, withdrew enough cash from the ATM, packed a few t-shirts and shorts in my backpack (along with a digital camera, some Mild Sevens and a road map) bought a loaf of wheat bread, had a light dinner and went to sleep, setting the alarm on my mobile phone to 4.30am.

Day One

Got up, got ready, prepared six sandwiches (peanut butter and orange marmalade), wore my weatherproof jacket, gloves and sandals (sandals were the odd item out in my motorcycle attire, but I consciously chose them as I wanted to carry only one pair of footwear and sandals would be perfect on the beach as well as in a shower, and it wasn’t too cold in October that my feet would get uncomfortably cold during the bike ride. If I had space in my backpack I would have worn boots.)

Started off at 5.30am, dropped the keys of the apartment at my office to be picked up by my ex-colleague. Bangalore was having heavy rains every afternoon during that time and it was already lightly drizzling at that early hour in the morning but I was pretty sure the rains would stop as soon as I quit the hilly regions around Bangalore.

I had a hazy idea of how to get onto Tumkur Road highway from the inner city but there being no road signs, lost my way towards the end and did a 10km detour to get on the highway, had to wait at a train crossing, which was good because I could get over my early morning daze. The sun was just beginning to lighten the eastern sky.

Once on the highway, I started the cruise in right earnest at a steady 70kmph. Tumkur road intersects NH 48 at a place called Neelamangala and even though it is a prominent enough intersection, I was wary and once asked a fellow roadster how far Neelamangala was. Reached Neelamangala around 7am and took the left turn onto the national highway 48 towards Mangalore via Hassan.

My ambition was to reach Goa the same day in the evening after having lunch at Mangalore. Via Mangalore, Goa is around 700km from Bangalore and it is a long distance to cover on a motorcycle in a single day but I had faith in my stamina and in my cruising speed.

Rain drops started getting more insistent as I started on the delicious NH-48. My helmet has a clear-glass visor and the drops lingered there, producing aberration of the oncoming highlights in high beam so I lifted the visor up. The raindrops felt as pin pricks on my face and I soon found that there were airborne insects on the highway. Driving without eye protection wasn’t prudent.

I kept the visor up, put on my glasses which had a lower level of aberration and continued. Keeping the visor up also meant that my ears were exposed the wind noise, a billowing whoosh at 70-80kmph. Never mind!

The road was in superb condition for cruising. It was mildly twisty with a great surface which was lightly wet with the rain.

After covering around 50km and as the sun rose, the raindrops stopped and visibility became better. I put the visor back on. As the road was now dry, I increased the cruising speed to around 85kmph. Had a couple of stops for maintaining my bladder pressure at the right level.

The road was indeed a pleasure to ride on. I had wisely chosen the early morning hours as the traffic was negligible, both while coming out of Bangalore and on the highway. I had decided to have a coffee stop at Hassan, about halfway to Mangalore and I kept on cruising.

Reached Hassan as it lay on the highway, around 10am. As I coasted the bike for a stop to what looked like a village coffee shop, I found the bike suffering from some recurring friction which continued even if I disengaged the clutch. Hmmm. My first thought was that one of the tires were lighly touching the mud guards. I got down and checked the revolutions of the tire but the Enfield is a heavy bike and it is not easy checking its wheels on one’s own while inclining it.

To my great surprise, there was a tire garage right next to the coffee shop and I sought the mechanic’s help. I asked him to ride the bike and feel the friction. He tried starting the bike and failed. Obviously he was not an Enfield guy. Anyway, I started it for him and he rode it on the highway and back and floundered while breaking to a stop. I had a good laugh at his expense as he all but hit his own shop. Well, he concluded (and righly so) that the chain was too tight and the friction was due to the chain brushing too tightly against the front sprocket.

I checked the chain tension and it was way too tight. Damn Mehboob Garage. I had the over-confident mechanic start his work on loosening the chain a few cm (after making sure he knew how to do it on an Enfield) and went off to have my coffee. Well, I found out it was not a coffee shop after all but was serving tea in paltry 50ml plastic cups. I had the tea, smoked a Mild Seven (people were gawking at my long hair, my Enfield and the carefree attitude with which I blew the smoke away. I indulged them).

The chain was now just right. I cranked the motorcycle again and was on my way.

As the hills which separated Mangalore from Hassan appeared, the road started becoming weary at the turns. At each turn in the hills, the road was totally broken and one had to slow down to 5kmph and take the least offending pathway through the break. This condition of the road continued for more than 60km and it ended only along with the hills. The hills, however were very picturesque and I stopped more than once to appreciate the valleys and take a few pictures.

I was approaching Mangalore and all the signs of a big city were becoming apparent. More traffic, billboards, roadside establishments, speed limits and so on. I knew I had to take a right on NH-17 towards Goa and after confirming once that the turn lay further ahead, went on, found the turn (it was a big circular intersection with hotels all around it) and went off. I wanted to have lunch on NH-17. It was around 12.30pm and I wasn’t particularly hungry.

I stopped at what looked like a college canteen outside a polytechnic but found out that they didn’t serve anything, not even coffee. Strange. I had seen a few restaurants a few km back and went back to have my lunch. Had a south India thali and a coffee. They put so much rice in the thali that I couldn’t finish it (I had a few of my own sandwiches as well). I was feeling quite filled up and didn’t want to continue the ride right then. Went to the neighboring bar and had a pint of beer and a smoke. Now I was feeling just the right amount of light-headedness to continue the cruise.

I had been carrying the backpack on my back since the start of the journey, and I wanted to ride more comfortably and without my jacket, as it was getting hot. I had a nylon rope and packed both the backpack and my jacket on the passenger seat securely. Just on a whim, I checked the engine oil level and found it to be just a few notches above the minimum level. Okay, never mind. The lubricants shop was also right there. I called my mechanic in Bangalore for the specification of the engine oil for the Enfield (it is SA 20W40) and bought 500ml of engine oil. Put in half of it, then foolishly dumped the rest of it in the engine as well. Well, I cranked the engine, shut it and then checked the oil level again. Now it was way above the maximum mark. I felt a little pissed but too much lubrication never hurt anyone, true? I checked that the oil cap had a small hole in it so it would spurt out excess oil if the oil pressure became too much, so I wasn’t much bothered.

Okay, now the bike was full of lube, my back was free, and NH-17 beckoned. It was around 2.30pm. So off I went. There were a lot of trucks on the way but it was a pleasant enough ride. It again started drizzling lightly as I approached the glorious backwaters and the umpteen bridges which lay over them on NH-17. The overcast sky was ominous but beautiful and I stopped on one of the longer bridges to take in the view and a few photographs.

I continued in the drizzle. Soon before I completed around 400km, I had to refuel as well.

Before undertaking the trip, I had researched the stops on the way and Bhatkal had a reputation for having erotic pleasure for sale. Well, a little looking around is always interesting. This “looking around” proved to be quite a lark. I had found out that a place called Mysore Café was the center of the trade. As I reached Bhatkal, I stopped at one of the petrol pumps and asked for directions to Mysore Café from a local truck driver. He asked me why I wanted to go there, and I said to have coffee, what else! He wearily remarked that there were so many nicer places to have coffee but I got the directions out of him.

I went back, took a right turn and found a café with an almost desolate look and an unreadable signboard which looked something like saying “Mysore Café”. I asked the proprietor if this was Mysore Café and he replied in the affirmative. Now the fun started.

There was a well-decorated lady sitting in one of the cottages just outside the café but she seemed a family woman because there was a husband like character and child around. I went inside the café and looked around. There were six run-down tables and four chairs on each table and the whole place looked like no one had ever come there for anything. The cashier’s desk on a usual café is lined with biscuits, cakes and cold drinks but the desk here had nothing. Interesting.

I asked the shifty guy there if they served coffee. Yes, they did, he said. I asked for a cup. He went through the back door of the café into what looked like a kitchen and started boiling water in a kettle. It all seemed like this was not a café after all. It didn’t seem like anything else either. There was nobody inside. There was some kind of a residence on the back of the café (in the same building) which looked equally forsaken.

You must appreciate a few things at this stage. I had come on an Enfield, was wearing black jeans and a grey jacket and had my knife on my belt on the right side and my luggage in a black backpack on my bike, was well built, looked alien with my slightly long hair and had asked specifically if this was Mysore Café. Now if you are the proprietor of a shady establishment in a conventional town, how relaxed would you feel with such a guest inside your place?

I think the guy just freaked out thinking that I was from police or some gang.

The guy was decidedly scared and I decided to put him at ease. I shouted to him as he was bent over the stove not to bother with the coffee but he replied that the coffee was already done.
Alright. Bring it on. He brought the coffee in a woeful cup and saucer and gave it to me. I had been standing and looking around the whole time while he had shouted to someone in the back rooms to go upstairs (maybe one of his family).

I smelled the coffee. It smelled like shit, really. I thought of having it. Not having it would hurt this guy’s feelings but I thought of my guts’ feelings as well. I put the cup on the cashier’s counter and lit a cigarette at the front door. The shifty guy also came there alongside with me. The family living next to the café closed their doors after having had a good look at me.

I asked this guy if any people came there. He fearfully mumbled that no one came there and looked the other way. I then told him that one of my friends had visited this place six months back and had told me about it (a lie). He again started mumbling that no one had come there. I left the untouched coffee on the counter, paid him 4 rupees for it and told him that I was leaving. I think his blood pressure at that stage was about 200.

I was laughing inside as I took my bike and looked back at him and his decrepit abode of pleasure. Onto NH-17 again.

Now it really started pouring. I had put my jacket on and my bag was back on me. I continued without a care as the rain became heavier and heavier. My digital camera was secure in my waterproof backpack but my mobile phone (a new piece I had recently bought for five thousand) was in the left front pocket of my jeans. As I became increasingly more soaked I became anxious for the well being of the phone. Soon even my underwear was soaked with water and I decided to pull over till the skies cleared a little. I found a small tea stall by the side of the road and skidded to a halt. Hastened inside the shack and checked out my phone. It was alright and I put it into my bag. Asked for a hot cup of chai while I took out the remaining sandwiches.

The folks in that shack were native Kannadigas and didn’t understand either Hindi or English. The surroundings were quite pretty with hills in the distance and I asked about the price of land in that region. They didn’t even know the units of land measurement. Poor folks.

I shared some peanuts with them and as the sky cleared, I was off again. I wanted to spend the night at Gokarna, a place my friend had recommended as very beautiful. The sky was getting darker with the evening and Gokarna was still 50-60km away. I continued along the excellent road as I dodged oncoming trucks and lorries with their high beams on. At one time it was so dark and I was so blinded with the oncoming lights that I couldn’t see anything and had the distinct sensation of riding into the unknown darkness, into a nether world without knowing anything about it.

Finally came to the crossing where I had to take a turn towards Gokarna (13km away now). The road was full of potholes which were filled with water and so gave no idea about their depth. I navigated around them and continued on the road. It was quite dark and I had no idea about the surrounding landscape (only in the morning was I to know). I continued on and on for what seemed like an eternity (as it was dark, I was soaked and tired, and the road was so bad). I finally had the apprehension whether I was going to just ride into the sea as by my perceptions Gokarna had been left far behind. Ha!

I found the hotel where I wanted to stay (Hotel Gokarna International, it had a few foreigners staying there so I guess that made it international). The room cost a mere Rs 200. The room had a strange TV which required great dexterity to operate. As soon as one pointed the remote at it, the channel changed. So one pointed the remote and found something interesting then smothered the remote control with the blanket. It was 7.30pm and I was quite cold and first changed into something dry. Then went out, had some rice and dal with eggs and bought a 250ml bottle of brandy. Had a few sips of it, felt much warmer. Spread my clothes on the balcony to dry out and went to sleep.

Day Two

Woke up, had a hot bath, had some breakfast at the same place that I had had dinner and decided to check out the beach. Rode my bike to the beach. The beach had about fifty Indians (mostly family people) having fun with the water. There was a hill on the left and a great span of coast on the right which looked more solitary. I started walking to the right till I reached a stretch where there was nobody around, changed into my swimming trunks and had an enjoyable hour in the calm and warm sea. Took a few pictures, went back to the busy portion of the beach, had a soda and a smoke.

There was a beautiful Nepali lady selling t-shirts at one of the shacks and I winked at her. She became rather upset. I soon found out why. Her husband was around. Perhaps she wouldn’t have been so upset otherwise, I convinced myself and decided to move out of Gokarna and on to Goa. I didn’t find Gokarna all that interesting, maybe my friend had visited it in later in the year when the joint-smoking crowd is scattered around the beaches in this sleepy town.

Checked out of the hotel, packed my stuff on the backseat and rode off. The 13km side road which led to Gokarna was surrounded by beautiful hills and backwaters and even the road wasn’t too bad, I found out. In my weary and bleary stupor the evening before, I had judged it too harshly.

I was soon back on the NH-17, the clouds loomed over the hills but I was determined to outrace them. No such luck. Suddenly it started pouring in sheets and I pulled over into a bus stop shelter. I spent 15-20 minutes there and the clouds passed. I was on the road again. The NH-17 stretch from Gokarna to Goa is too beautiful to describe. Undulating hills, villages on top of those hills, great roads, occasional views of the ocean, negligible traffic, smiling and waving bikers … As I crossed out of the state of Karnataka into Goa the road became much narrower. I passed dense forests where the highway became scarcely more than a 20ft wide narrow road. What a great ride, however.

I stopped in one of the towns on the way to quench my thirst and asked a nearby mechanic to check the tension in my chain as after such a long ride, I was apprehending that it might be too loose. He confirmed the loss in tension and tightened it again. Again the friction started and I regretted having gotten it tightened and resolved to get it loosened again in Goa.

Reached a crazy intersection where it wasn’t clear which way NH-17 lay and I asked someone for directions to Margao which was to be my lunch stop. He pointed me towards one of the roads and I soon found myself at Palolem beach instead of Margao. However, it was a great beach, with shops selling foreign tobacco cheaper than airport duty free shops. I couldn’t resist buying a hand-rolling tobacco pack myself.

It turned out be a great stop. Margao wouldn’t have been half as good.

I enquired about beach side huts and took one at Rs 200 a night, put my stuff there, and had lunch at a great restaurant just outside the huts facing the beach. Had a nap and then went to the beach to have some fun with the water. Swam around on my back for an hour or so, came back to the restaurant and had a beer. Had a chat with a beautiful Israeli girl who was waiting for a guy she had met in the Himalayas to miraculously turn up right there in Palolem. What romantic hopes!

Spent the evening chatting and having dinner with her. Went off on the road behind the huts to have a walk and checked out my email at a cyber café. Came back to the huts, heard some trance music, and trotted to find out what was going on. Turned out some guys were celebrating the opening of a small café (it was to open the next morning). They were spaced out and I joined in the fun. Smoked a joint, wished them well and went back to my hut to sleep with a smile on my face.

Remember: Alcohol and foreign tobacco are cheap in Goa, especially at Palolem, which, after talking to many people there, is considered the most beautiful and chilled-out beach in Goa as of now.

Day Three

Had a great breakfast and a swim in the ocean before I decided to move onto the Northern side of Goa. Packed my bag, wished the Israeli girl good luck and went off. Again, the ride was marvelous. I crossed Margao, Vasco and as I approached Mapusa, took a left towards the Anjuna/Vagator beaches. Had a Goan fish curry and rice lunch at Anjuna and watched a family taking care of their crying babies as I sipped my beer. The baby stopped crying and all was well with the world.

Found that there weren’t any beach side huts in Anjuna, so went down to Baga beach. No luck there as well. I didn’t want to stay in a hotel so enquired some more. Some said that beaches further up north (Morjim and Aswim beaches) had beach side huts.

Rode my bike around for a while. Refueled it, got the chain loosened again to my satisfaction by a cursing mechanic who was having a bad day, checked my email in a cyber café, put some Navratna oil onto my scalp (it felt deliciously cool) and went off to search for some beach side dwellings.

Morjim beach is famous for turtles on the beach but it didn’t have any place to stay so I moved further north, after having found a newly built hotel nearby which was charging Rs 1000 per night. Looked at the map and found that the Mandrem and Aswim beaches had nicely named places called the Papa Jolly’s hotel and Silent bar. The road led uphill towards Mandrem. Papa Jolly’s hotel turned out to be a super-expensive place charging Rs 8000 per night (it was luxurious but still the price was way too high). The owner was a disciple of Sri Aurobindo and he sympathized with me when I mentioned the exorbitant room rate. He helpfully told me that there might be some huts further up the road.

After enquiring at a few establishments which were getting their huts ready for the rave season (Aswim and Mandrem beaches, being up and solitary, attract the rave crowds at the end of each year), finally found the Silent bar and restaurant where a Haryanvi man, obviously drunk offered me a hut for Rs 300. I jumped at it. The bamboo hut was facing the beach and had electricity and a lock. What else does one need (if even that)?

I spent the afternoon and the evening lazing around the beach and in the sea-water. As the sunset approached, I pulled up a chair onto the utterly secluded beach and watched the stars rise while I finished the bottle of brandy.

Feeling cozy and warm and still not sleepy, I took my bike to ride along the hilly road to find out more about the adjacent villages. I found some interesting things: a woman operating the counter at a wine shop in the village, utterly no tourists that early in the season, no cafes or snack bars, and a half moon illuminating a road having hills on one side and the ocean on the other. Great place to relax.

Had a relaxed night in the hut and woke up to another glorious day which was to prove to be the most nerve-racking in the entire trip.

Day Four

Called my friend Shalender in Hubli who works in the railways there that I’d be ending up at his place by evening. Hubli is merely 250km from Goa and I optimistically estimated the trip to take not more than 5 hours. It was to take more than 10.

The highway NH-4A from Vasco to Londa is easily the worst highway in India. It goes through the hills but is so crowded and broken down by noisy smoke-bellowing trucks carrying iron ore from nearby mines that one wonders how hell can be so close from heaven.

The road is a sheer disaster and it took me more than four hours to reach Londa. The motorcycle and myself were dusty red with iron ore and the mud and water in the potholes on the “highway”, and I must have been a sight to behold as I stopped for a soda on the Londa-Belgaum-Hubli crossing. There was a Regional Transport Office at that crossing and I went there and complained about the horrid road conditions. The officer didn’t know what to say and he took my decision of writing to the papers about the condition of the road very well. I asked him whom in the government should I write to regarding the road and he scratched his forehead in confusion, finally coming up with the definitive answer that he didn’t know. So much for apathy.

I asked for the condition of the road from Londa to Hubli and got the definite impression that the road was really bad and I would be better off going to Hubli via Belgaum.

I took that route. It was to be a lesson in its own right.

The road from Londa to Belgaum (NH-4A) is superb and I made the 60km in less than one hour but the fun started after that.

I didn’t know which turn to take for the highway to Hubli (it was supposed to be a right turn according to the map). I asked a traffic cop and he confused me no end with U-turns and whatnot. I tried to follow his directions, got lost and asked someone again. He pointed me to what was to become a subzi mandi with hardly space for walking between the fruit and vegetable stalls. I rode my bike through that maze, conscious of the daylight getting dimmer and dimmer and finally after a dozen turns ended up on a pothole ridden road which I wearily accepted as the Belgaum-Hubli highway. Not so, fortunately or unfortunately. The highway was another big road up ahead without any on-ramp. How to get onto the imposing highway? Well you take a parallel side road which would then connect with the main highway, I was told. I took the side road and it just went on and on. Finally I realized that the “connection” to the highway were unbuilt sections and I just had to go over one of them.

The fun had just started. The highway (NH-4 to Hubli) was under construction. There were no markings on the road, no street lights, and it was an undivided highway most of the way. So I had to ride with high beams in my eyes, dust flying all over and lots of trucks going all over the place. Undoubtedly the most dangerous leg of my entire journey. I wanted to do good speed to reach Hubli in time but the road was too dangerous to cruise at a high speed. Unexpected speed bumps, diversions and whatnot lay on my way.

I finally found a Maruti Alto with a family inside going to Hubli at a good speed (80kmph) and decided to take its shelter as I rode. I followed it all the way to Dharwad (Hubli’s neighboring town) and provided a lot of amusement to the inmates of the vehicle. No matter what they did, how fast or slow they went, I was always on their side or behind them. The kids in the Alto were screaming with joy at me and waved wildly whenever I threatened to overtake them.

Reached Hubli and received a warm welcome from Shalender, his wife Aastha and their lovely son Saksham. Had a home-cooked dinner, chatted with Shalender who was my room-mate in Jwalamukhi hostel at IIT Delhi, got convinced that I should stay at least one day with them instead of just leaving the next morning and went to bed to have a well-deserved sleep. I was glad to be just alive after passing through all the hellish realms during the day.

Day Five

Shalender had to go to his job while I lounged around the house and later went off to search for a cyber café. There was not even a single working cyber café in the entire city. Imagine my surprise then, when coming back dejected to Shalender’s place I found a Reliance web-world outlet which had a state-of-the-art internet browsing center (complete with LCD monitors, attached web cams, broadband speeds). I couldn’t believe my luck and punched away happily at the keyboard for an hour.

In the evening, went off with Shalender to the railway shed. The shed was specifically to service and maintain the American made (and their indigenous copies) GE’s EMD (ElctroMotive Division) engines. Saw the insides of diesel railway engines, superficially understood their parts and working and rode in one of them. Then Shalender took me to a simulation center where new locomotive drivers got their training. The simulator was state-of-the-art, with hydraulic pumps simulating engine vibration and motion while the screens showed realistic Indian tracks, platforms and obstructions (cows, trees, unmanned crossings). I had fun driving the engine for 10-15 minutes and had to suddenly brake as a tree was blocking the tracks. All good fun.

Day Six

Had a nice breakfast, wished my friends well and started on the 400 km journey back to Bangalore at 7.30am.

The first 200km of the highway NH-4 from Hubli to Bangalore are under construction. For a couple of kilometers, one side of the highway runs fine (with both sides of the traffic sharing the road), then one suddenly one has to turn over to the other side because now that side is done and this one is under construction. I failed to understand this sadistic streak in highway builders.
Why couldn’t they finish one side first since it would take the same amount of time? Each diversion had four speed bumps, two where the constructed side ended and the other two at the start of the other side. Sometimes there was no warning of the speed bumps, but one learned pretty quickly to expect them.

I stopped just before Chitradurga for a soda.

However, the last 200km were fabulous. Well-paved, well-marked, wide six-laned (or even eight laned at times) highway. Even with a light drizzle (and sometimes heavy rain) it was a safe pleasure to ride at 100kmph.

There were two Reliance petrol pumps on the highway which were at par in food and rest-stop facilities (showers, beds, phone booths) with gas stations in the west. I was pleasantly surprised to find them and congratulated the owner of one of them. These facilities will certainly make traveling on Indian roads more convenient and pleasant. He mentioned that the main source of revenue for them was not the sale of petrol but the sale of food as hundreds of buses stopped at their plaza for having lunch or dinner.

I continued towards Bangalore at great speed.

I had lunch at a Kamat Upachar restaurant just after Tumkur when it started raining very heavily. I waited for the rain to lighten as I continued. I reached Bangalore at 2.30pm, went to office to pick up the keys to my ex-colleague’s apartment (where I was staying). Had a chat and a few smokes with my ex-team and went to the apartment to reflect back on the long trip and to wash myself and my iron-ore stained clothes.

Got the bike washed the next day. It looked as new. Hehe!


Amol said...

Hi Harmanjit,
Ur journey was really interesting. That road from Goa to Londa is hell. My native is on that road. Travelling once thru that road will make u iron-ore. I always travel by train to aviod that iron ore and mud. Every thing was fine in ur tour to Goa except the road between Goa-Londa. By the way where do u stay in Bangalore?.

Harmanjit Singh said...

Hey amol, I have now moved out
of Bangalore am now in my home
town in Patiala.

Anonymous said...

I was looking for directions for my car trip to Mangalore-Uduppi-Kollur and stumbled upon ur blog. Excellent piece. Really enjoyed travelling with u all the way and back. You write very well. Expecting more...

Anonymous said...

now... i slurped ur goa trip in a shot! because i m planning a ride to goa (from blore) on 20th oct 2006. :D

i wonder why u didnt mention any real bike troubles other than chain tension...may i turn an optimist now? ;)

btw i own a machismo too...:)

apimple said...

Hi Harmanjit,
Please let me know about Machismo>.Am trying to make up my mind for Machismo as I am planning to buy one very soon..Need your advice about How Machismo is?? how is its thump? can the thump can be made louder? need your advice..
Please help

Neville de Conceicao said...


I was planning on doing a similar trip with a pal of mine on my '91 Bullet 350cc. I guess you took the longer route. Anyway, do you by any chance have the map online? I really wouldn't mind heading to Gokarna for a reef or two.

S!D said...

I believe the biggest mistake you made was that you serviced your bike and left immediately the next day.. you should service, ride around for a day or two and then move.. then your bike is perfect for the road..

Ketan said...

You should've sent even this link to satisfy my curiosity! ;)

Caffeine, nicotine, and alcohol and riding. Extremely surprised, and somewhat pleasantly so. :)

Anonymous said...

nice trip log

Impratically RealistiC!! said...

10 years and this still is a top rated article.