After a pleasant evening dinner, Dipika woke up at 6:30 am. Surprising for me, as Dipika never woke up so early herself. It was then I realised that she had woken up to see the mountains. The snow! This was new for her. The Himalayas are so wonderful. Last evening when we had reached the hotel, it was dark. All we could see was silhouettes of the mountains. Now, we could see the snow-capped mountains. Where are we? What am I talking about? Let me take you to a bit of a recap.
I was home and that’s when I got a call from The Road Less Travelled team. They wanted me to visit the Himalayas to spot the snow leopard. Last month, I had done a trip to Madhya Pradesh to spot tigers. This was the second instance in 2017. I agreed for it. On listening to my excitement. Another request popped up, which was from Dipika. She had never been to Himalayas, never seen snow. Then we both agreed to go for it together this time.
The weather was my biggest worry. Temperatures of -15degC to -25degC were concerning. For this reason, each one of us needed three layers of clothing, waterproof shoes, head gear, two layers of gloves and a pair of UV-protection sunglasses. Another worry that haunted me were the tyres on the vehicles we shall be travelling in. Thanks to CEAT, which gave us Czar A/T, which would have worked well in snow. This is when I heaved a sigh of relief. We were heading to Kibber village in Spiti-Lahaul. This is where majority of the snow leopard can be spotted. That is only if you are lucky. Many I know have managed to see the snow leopard once while some on their last two visits haven’t even caught a glimpse.
We got on to a flight to Chandigarh. Here is where Shankar and The Road Less Travelled team was waiting for us. There were Gypsies and Ford Endeavours that were our companions for the trip. These SUVs had Ceat Czar A/T tyres. From the airport we headed to Pal Dhaba in Sector 28, one of the landmark places in the city. Everything you eat will be greased with butter or oil. This is Punjab, welcome to this civilisation. For those diet-worried, should leave it back when visiting Punjab. Soon, we headed out to Kufri, where our first night stay was.
Chandigarh is a very noisy city, apart from the hussle-bassle the traffic is chaotic. Very soon, we exited all this noise and headed out towards the Himalayan Expressway. This was a beautiful stretch of tarmac, which wasn’t very crowded. The roads became narrow as we headed towards the mountains. Dual carriage turned into single lane roads. The layering of the tarmac was rough as there were too many bumps. It was by evening we reached Kufri, a small habitat just outside Shimla. Something like the Navi Mumbai of Shimla, which is coming up. As I drove up the entire route, it was indeed comfortable and convenient.
The hotel “Royal Tulip” was a big surprise for me. For such a small town, I was surprised to see the location. This was indeed one of the best places around. An all new hotel with amazing architecture. The rooms were large and funky. At par with any of the five stars. The dinner was amazing and as menu had a perfect blend of Indian and western cuisines. This place was expensive at about INR 12,000 for a night for a room. It was the next morning, when we saw the snow-capped mountains. Today, we were heading to Ski. This was a training session and introduction for many of us. There are Skiing sessions in Narkanda, about 130 odd kilometres from Shimla. Post this, we head out towards Kalpa our night stay. Here is where the roads become narrower and havoc. It was really a painful experience. Thank God that the Ford Endeavour and the Ceat tyres continued to absorb most of the road shocks. A long tiring day ended as we reached Kalpa. The weather was chilly at -3degC. The frost bite was bad, as we didn’t get acclimatised to it. For the next 15 minutes, we did feel uncomfortable. Now, here the hotel was fine. Though, the water in the pipeline had frozen. Everything was arranged for us. Thanks to the team of The Road Less Travelled, we had more than sufficient hot water for us, whenever we needed. They even had their own chefs making piping hot soups and lip-smacking meals.
Kalpa is a small town above Rekong Peo. From here is where you can see Kinner Kailash mountain. It is even viewable from some parts of Rekong Peo as well. Between Narkanda and Rekong Peo, Rampur is a major town. Post these areas, the Hindu habitat reduces and you will find more of the Buddhist culture. The topography will also change. If you travel in winter, then majorly till now what you see are snow clad mountains. Post this, it is all snow covered topography.
There is a change in culture, food, typography, weather. There is zero pollution in the air. Very minimal traffic. This was heavenly. For this leg, we had Ravi who joined our car and we were out shooting images throughout this leg. Dipika was having super fun and Ravi (our photographer) seemed high on energy levels. The roads were narrower, but smoother. However our pace had reduced. Every five minutes the car was stopping. Everyone wanted to capture all these moments, these scenic beauties in their minds, on their cameras. I’m glad there was no network from this point and only my spare BSNL sim card sprung to life from time to time. There is no Airtel, Jio post Kalpa. Vodafone has 2G and Idea, well doesn’t work most of the times. So, you cannot go facebook or twitter live! Post Kalpa you do not have data. We headed to the top of a mountain to Nako village. The Road Less Travelled team dropped a clanger as our lunch venue was the most beautiful one, at least I have ever had at. The helipad at Nako was chosen for this purpose. The view of array of mountains all around was spectacular. This was indeed heavenly. This was so Bollywood movie shoot worthy. I wonder how many movies could have been shot there. The helipad was covered with snow. This meant some amount of drift. I jumped into the Endeavour, shifted it to 2WD mode. And Vallah! Drifting, sliding in the snow, getting some amazing images for our shutterbugs. As OctaneAddict, I did enjoy every moment. This was a controlled slide and it was indeed a lot of joy to kick snow around. Felt better than sand or dirt.
From Nako we headed to Tabo Monastery. This was Deja Vu moment for me. I had been there six years back on a road trip to discover Monasteries. The moment we reached there, the frost had bitten us badly. The wind chill made the temperatures drop below -8degC. Without wasting much time all of us got back into our respective cars and sipped the hot tea and coffee from the thermal flasks. Every day we had a picnic basket in each of the cars with food, hot water, tea, coffee. These were refilled on a daily basis. The support team was also carrying sleeping bags for each of us, if in case there is a land slide or something.This shivered us beneath the skin. The wind chill was spine shaking. The sun was about to wish us good bye, when we headed towards our next night stay, Mane. Soon the orangish sky turned bluish and eventually grey. With the source of heat going away, the melted snow on the road turned into a thin layer of ice. The Ceat tyres had a firm grip with complete control. The Endeavour’s steering wheel was vague still we never had a lost control moment. We soldiered on at night, with only mountains and snow visible everywhere. With bad and narrow roads, we had to reverse a bit on some of the hair pins. The Endeavour has a long turning radius.
Mane was the coldest -18degC. This was the coldest we had been on this trip. We had Home Stay arrangement. A first for me. The rooms were basic with LPG heaters. We had to keep the doors open as LPG smell was suffocating. Each floor had one toilet sharing for every two rooms. There was no water in the pipe so we had to fill it from the big barrel in each toilet. The water in the barrel had begun to freeze. With The Road Less Travelled (TRLT) team, we had least to worry off. Hot water was arranged every time we needed one.
Now, a new thing for many. Most of the homestays here have a kitchen/water boiling room. This is the warmest room around. You can sit in a T-Shirt and a pair of trousers and not feel cold at all. This is where they boil water for utilisation for the home. There is a chimney that goes up all the way, above all other rooms on top of it, on to the roof. These are majorly the rooms occupied by the house bearers.
We had our own individual rooms. As we had switched off the LPG heaters, we were given hot waterbags every night to keep ourselves warm. Next morning, the Endeavour delayed our start. The diesel had frozen and we didn’t get anti-freeze on our way. So, we had to heat the fuel tank and then start it. Once the engine cranked up, we headed towards Kaza. Here we stopped for fuel and network. Again only BSNL works here. Nothing else. If you need affordable warm clothes for the trip ahead, you can pick it from Kaza. It isn’t very expensive out here and the clothes are warm and most of them are even waterproof. Kaza is a major town in this area. Then we were on our way to Kibber. As the Endeavour had delayed us, we had left by 2:30pm post our lunch.
We reached Kibber just when the sun had set. This is a super small village. Things to visit here are Snow leopard, Kibber Monastery and Kye Monastery. There are the three things one can visit. There is one bus in the evening from Kaza that comes to Kibber and returns next day. With the bus, you cannot visit Kye as it is on the way and bus doesn’t stop at any point. Also, if you go by share a cab, the charge comes to about INR 800 to INR 1500 per head depending on the vehicle. Kibber was a homestay too. However, here everyone had to share the same bathroom. To our dismay, there was no English style toilet either.
Next morning, our spotters had already spotted the Snow Leopard and we were not heading to find one. We were moving in its direction. We came down the mountain slopes as our spotters guided us. There we were, about 10 metres away from this rare to be found creature. The snow leopard had eaten a donkey and was sleeping in the mountain’s shade away from the harsh sun rays. After sometime it moved, glared into our camera and went back to sleep. Our bad, we couldn’t see it on the run. Our other spotters told to see two more of them. This was Heaven Almighty! Where everyone was struggling to see one on their trips, we saw one and were now walking towards two more of them. These ones weren’t that close. We got 3 snow leopards in our camera, with the recent BBC Planet Earth 2, it was a record to capture four of them on a camera. They were on another far off mountain, visible with a zoom lens or a pair of binoculars. We saw Ibex, Red Fox and even eagles. We did wait for the Snow Leopard to wake up. About sunset, there were a bunch of Ibexs were walking on the hill top. The snow leopard (on the same mountain), on the mid-part of the same hill sprung to life. It did jump up to attack them. But all in vain. We were glad to see this rear creature move and it did so swiftly.
We will like to offer a BIG THANK YOU to The Road Less Travelled team. It was them that made it possible for such a long trip to get completed with ease. I didn’t have very high hopes from the old Endeavour, but it didn’t let us down. Ceat all-weather tyres were a big bonus for us as we comfortably tackled all the bad roads and good grip around bends and moreover snow-covered routes.
Clothing for -18degC:
- Three layers are needed
- Waterproof shoes upto the ankle
- Two layer gloves (lining and water proof on top)
- Thick cap, some might even need neck warmers
Snow Leopard Trail Image Gallery
Image Credit: Ravi Verma and Dipika Hirani
[tw_gallery type=”gallery,slider” height=”200″]
Race at MMRT – TVS Young Media Racer
Mumbai – 6th July, 2018
I am stuck in slow moving traffic, a usual monsoon evening for Mumbai in the rainy season. While this is normal, I was a little tense because I had a flight to catch. The check-in counters had already shut and the along with the flight, I was also going to miss my second race with ‘TVS MOTORSPORTS’ at the Madras Motor Racing Track in Chennai. Before the horrible thought had sunk in god intervened. The flight had been delayed by 30 minutes. The non-stop rain had made me late and also delayed the flight. Who knew a delayed flight would turn out to be a blessing in disguise. So here I was, with my boarding pass to Chennai and another chance to get on the race track. Having already experienced dread at the airport, I was wondering how this race would be.
Chennai – 6th July, 2018 (mid-night)
TVS had arranged our stay at Fairfield by Marriott at Sriperumbudur near Chennai. We needed a good night’s sleep because the next two days meant a lot of action for us racers.
Chennai – 7th July, 2018
Next morning, I met the other racers and our team coordinators for breakfast, post which we left for the track. We reached MMRT in the morning at around 8:30am. Entering MMRT is quite a different feeling for me. This is the place where we underwent our training with TVS TEAM FACTORY WORKS, the place where I stepped into the adrenaline fueled world of racing. Our free practice session was scheduled at 10:30am. During the practice session we got comfortable with our Apaches flying around track. We are given a half an hour of practice time to feel the track, the curves and also to see how our designated bikes are performing. This was vital because they we could have minor alterations or adjustments done before our qualification round. I was given bike number 10 for this race. After the practice session, I asked the team of mechanics to work on the handlebar as it was a little too tight in right handers, the tyre pressure had to be corrected and one of the foot pegs was replaced due to massive vibrations at higher rpm. Post this at 1pm it was time for our qualifying round. The best lap timings would decide our position on the grid. Having been on this track for our training sessions, most of us were a little more confident being here and as this was going to be a faster track than our previous round at Kari Motor Speedway, which is too technical to race at. The qualification round was a little too tough a competition than expected and everyone was surprised by the results. I finished 8th out of 10 riders with my best lap timing being 2 mins 41 secs. Finishing far behind the guy who finished first, I wasn’t happy with my performance. Maybe it was over confidence that got the best of me. Post this round, we went for a track walk with our mentor, Harry Sylvester. Having walked the entire 3.7kms track, he explained to us our braking points, apex points and suggested what gears we should ideally be using on any particular turn. The track has 12 turns and 3 straights, which make it quick and relentless. We learnt about the track in much more detail and by now all of us in our head knew what mistakes me made during qualification. We were now more prepared for the next day.
Chennai – 8th July, 2018 – Race Day
Even though monsoons were in full swing here, the rain gods were pitiful. Maybe they wanted to see us race. The weather was far better than the last time we were on this track. It was peak summer when we started our training and would feel as if we were wearing body ovens rather than riding suits. But thankfully, it was cloudy and breezy this time and we could definitely maintain our cool. Our race was scheduled at 3pm. The race would last 6 laps that equaled to a total of distance of 23kms. Being positioned at number 8, I was far behind on the grid. Seconds before the signals went off, one of the riders had a false start which confused us all. The race started in complete chaos. To worsen the situation, I too had a bad start and watched the rest of the pack vanish ahead on the first straight and turn into Turn 1 after that. I had a lot to catching up to do. With our instructors tips running through my head and the mental pressure to go faster I started hunting down the pack. Making ever turn as crisp and neat as possible became a mission. I was braking late as possible and hitting every apex at maximum speed. I overtook two riders over the course of 6 laps and another position as a rider had crashed and couldn’t finish his race. Finally all said and done, the final outcome of the race placed me at 7th position with my best lap timing being at 2 minutes 30 seconds. I was glad that I managed to shave off a good 11 seconds off by best time from the qualification round. Maybe it was because of the mental pressure of being last, the track walk or just every rider’s goal to be on pole.
I wasn’t very happy with my performance in this race and had expected better results. But that does not dissuade me, every lap and every race teaches me more and maybe the next race at the Buddh International Circuit would turn out to better. My overall experience with round two of the ‘TVS Young Media Racer Program’ has been great. It is because of their great team, our mentors who support us, a lot of man hours put in by the mechanics, the pit crew and the marshals that something like that has been made possible. Headed back with a certificate of participation in hand and a lot of happiness for my co-racers who finished at the first three positions, it was time to celebrate.
Stay tuned to know more about the next race at the Buddh International Circuit. We are excited for this one. Hoping that the experience of riding on an F1 track would be memorable and much faster.
5 things you should avoid with a brand new car
A brand new car is a big investment and the pride and joy of an owner. The reality however is that the car is still a mechanical tool that will wear and tear after a while. The car with its daily use and abuse will become less efficient over a long period. Some problems may surface sooner than you think. A lot of these problems can be postponed and avoided if you treat the car in a certain manner when it’s brand new.
In addition to these tips below, do refer to your owner’s manual and the proper break-in period for the car and its servicing schedule. Also during an emergency while driving, one must not adhere to these tips and do the needful to be safe. Personal safety is more necessary than anything else.
Don’t Floor the Accelerator
The reason for this is that the pistons in your brand new engine have some amount of spring tension in them and the combustion gases produced exert force on the pistons cylinder wall to make it move more freely. The gas pressure required for this is very low. The more power and fuel applied makes more pressure and the cylinder walls of the pistons will wear out and not evenly. This is why manufactures have run in periods for their cars where for e.g. – the car should not exceed 4000rpm at any given time except for an emergency. This ‘run in’ period will make sure all the imperfections of the cylinder wall are smoothed over and there are no hotspots on the wall that will cause a problem in the future
Don’t Shift At Redline
There are some people who will say that their car has a very tall 3rd gear and they like to use it completely till the point the rpm allows. Yes, that is a good thing for acceleration. But in a brand new car where the engine is working out imperfections and the gearbox and clutch are being worked in, that is wrong. The car will be more economical to run and the transmission will have less load on it f quick upshifts will be done. The rpm on cars also varies. The petrol engine on most cars has a high rpm available. The rpm available on a diesel engine is lower. Also in cars there is a rev limiter which does not allow the car to exceed the rev range and in automatic and new cars with clever ECUs the car changes gears n=more quickly to be in the meat of the power band in the rev range and not be at high rpm wasting fuel.
Don’t Use Cruise Control
Cruise control is good and a feature that is great for long distance drive to ease fatigue. But in a new vehicle, the car should be treated with different loads of speed. Especially in manual cars that cannot shift gears for themselves, will hold the engine and the rpms to a certain speed which will put a lot of load on the car. Let the engine exercise with different loads of power and performance. The clutch and engine need to get used to a different varying condition and that is why one should avoid a long distance road trip on a brand new car which will involve the car sitting at one constant speed and rpm.
Avoid Short Distance Drives
I know what you are thinking, don’t do a road trip but also don’t drive for a small distance, where is the logic? When we say not to drive short distances. We mean to say that the engine in a new car needs to operated enough on any outing that everything can come up to operating temperature. Engine wear at a constant temperature is best for the engine to experience higher and varying loads in the future.
Your can do it, doesn’t mean it should do it. Any car should be allowed to reach its break-in period where everything has been starched to its maximum and the capacity of the car to lug more weight than its own is alright. Till the break-in period, the cars suspension, wheels, engine and other mechanical bits will be exercised and ready to haul more than its own and its occupants weight.
“That was fast” – Jaguar Art of Performance Tour: Experience
The Jaguar Art of Performance Tour is an event that comes once a year to every major city in the country and always leaves enthusiasts and customers with a massive grin on their face. Having being a veteran of this experience for the past 3 years and given the opportunity to experience it again I did not say NO. The event involves experiencing all the cars Jaguars make in India and enjoying them at their absolute limit. When I mean absolute limit; getting a behemoth like the XJL to brake hard and handle like you were ferrying a head of state away from a terrorist ambush or driving a Jaguar F-Type like you boosted it from Gone in 60 Seconds. There are instructors on scene that briefed us and explained us how to proceed with the three distinct parts of the event – Lane change activity, the slalom test and an acceleration run. Read below to know more about this activity now. We were told about the driver aids and other features that will make sure we are safe and help us unleash our inner – Lewis Hamilton without killing or wetting ourselves.
Lane Change Test
The lane change test involves accelerating hard, suddenly changing lanes and braking hard. The aim of this test is to find out the vehicles weight transfer and dynamic ability. We were shown how a car would react under a high pressure situation where a split second decision needs to be made. The car we tested here were the XE, XF and XJ. The XE and the XF were really good in this test. The most surprising was the big XJ that did not understeer and stopped on a dime in the braking box.
In this test we had to hustle a car from left to right and pit in the braking box as fast as we could. The test oversees the cars handling, grip and acceleration through corners. Of all the cars we drove here; the Jaguar F-pace, the big SUV was surprising agile. The car which really left an impression was the nimble and smooth baby XE. The XF was also overall the most effective car here for me. With the race car driver chaperoning me sitting beside me telling me, ‘that was plenty fast’. According to him it was the fastest he had seen someone apart from themselves maybe, complete this test. Ah flattery; all part of the experience!
The above tests were fun and technical. The last test was the acceleration run. There were two Jaguar F-Types on duty for that. I was the first to reach this test and made a straight bee line for the hot red SVR waiting for its first sortie. I got into the car, adjusted the steering, the seat and smiled for the cameras like a F1 driver giving people joy rides. Then the real racecar driver beside me gave me my instructions, don’t touch the gear leaver; he’ll handle that. My job was to mash the accelerator pedal as hard as I could and keep the 567bhp monster in a straight line. The car jumped of the starting line and the surrounding were a warp. And before we knew it, the braking point was there and the fury died down with a touch of the brakes. We then turned around and let the car unleash its fury back to the pits again. With the car slowing down and crackle from the exhaust on the down shifts subsiding, the experience was over.
The Jaguar Art of Performance that took place in Wadala, Mumbai was a great experience. We in the cars were not doing a mundane test drive but were scaring and surprising ourselves with the cars performance and full capabilities. It was worth getting up early on a Sunday!
Most scenic location in Maharashtra – you might have been seen!
How could you miss out on the most scenic location in Maharashtra! This is the best route that has never been taken. We encourage you to take this route and go out and explore the beautiful Maharashtra. Let us support this. Ridergirl Vishakha is a part of this and this entire road trip was possible because of our sponsor partners Coco by DHFL insurance. A new insurance brand that offers renewal and claims all easily through the web/mobile.
The Training – TVS Young Media Racer
“The adrenaline and stress of an adventure are better than a thousand peaceful days” – Paulo Coelho
If that is something you believe in then you probably know that motorsports can bring you to the peak of an adrenaline rush. We are talking about fast bikes leaning across turns and the sound of blaring exhausts zoom past you while you watch them go from the spectator stands. We were at Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore to witness this ourselves for the
MRF MMSC FMSCI INDIAN NATIONAL MOTORCYCLE CHAMPOINSHIP 2018.
The season will have three races over the next two months .The first round of races started off on the 8th of June spanning over two days and ending on the 10th of June 2018. Under the banner falls the national championship, TVS One Make Championship, TVS One Make Championship for women, TVS Young Media Racer & Honda One Make Cup.
A weekend with heated track action, fast riders, race spec bikes, pit crews, adrenaline and cheering crowd is what you imagine when you hear ‘RACING’ and this weekend was exactly about all of this. But hold on….I am not a spectator! I am here at the Kari motor Speedway as a competitor. Yes, TVS Racing has given us media personal a chance to get a first hand track experience. Under the YOUNG MEDIA RACER PROGRAM, 12 journalists and motovloggers from different parts of the country were chosen. We received a training session last month on the Madras Motor Racing Track in Chennai under the guidance of our instructor Harry Sylvester, a six time national champion Jagan kumar and KY Ahamad.
Here we were shown videos and trained step by step about the basics of motorcycle racing, it’s rules and tricks. The team at TVS Racing was really patient and we were given all the attention we needed. Harry Sylvester was patient enough to answer all our queries and questions whereas Jagan Kumar and KY Ahamad led us in two different teams on the track.
Every time a new thing was thought to us. We would get back on to the track to apply what we learnt. Step by step, one at a time so that we do not get confused by the information overload. They also made sure each and every participant got a chance to ride right behind our instructors to closely observe what was being thought to us.
Being a first timer on the track I felt very comfortable and confident. TVS provided us with full racing gear except for we had to carry our own DOT CERTIFIED, DOUBLE D RING HELMETS.
We got our hands on the race spec modified TVS APACHE 200.4V with a slipper clutch. The bike handled superbly and went around the corners like a piece of cake. I was surprised to learn what all this bike is capable to do on track. Lots of track technicalities were inculcated into our minds. Including braking, riding posture, turning for apex, checking the entry points, how to enter a turn and how to exit a turn at maximum possible speed. We were explained exactly where we should place our feet while not changing gears and how much should be the % ratio of braking and how to divide the braking efficiently between the front and rear brakes. To make things easier, the track was even temporarily marked so as to get a better judgment and make learning easier. Our instructors made sure as to give as much as personal attention to each of my fellow riders.
Apart from basics, we were educated about the various rules one has to follow on the track, the flags and penalties. A start off so as to not pop a wheelie and if we do, we were also trained on how to control it without falling. We were shown training related videos, slides and some racing related motivational videos made by TVS.
We were also provided with contact numbers for our trainers and instructors so as to call them and get our future queries answered. The team at TVS is always happy to oblige and open to feedback and suggestions. By the end of our training session all of us participants had also become good friends and enjoyed learning together as a team.
How to make a smart decision while buying a used car?
We are always worried while buying a used car. We always have the worry of getting fooled. We have heard about being fooled by used car dealers, banks and even some third parties during any kind of dealing in used car.. With a new car it is still simpler as there is a set price from the automaker. There is a sticker price. Whereas, used car buying and selling is a tricky business. The fact is, used car dealers and banks are used to deal with people on a daily basis for cars and we aren’t. They are much more experienced in this process. They can manipulate things, especially with the pricing. Hence, we recommend you to read these five crucial steps and understand how to tackle used car dealers for getting the best deals. (more…)
Top 10 affordable FI (fuel injected) bikes in India under ₹1.5 lakhs
There are so many bikes in different categories, variants and different price points available in India. But the big question of the bikes is, being affordable because reasonably priced bikes are the ones that move the most units in India. For the following bikes we have kept the maximum price range of ₹1.5 lakhs and listed out the best available in that price range-
Bajaj Dominar 400
The Bajaj Dominar uses a motor based on the KTM 390 engine. The difference is that the Dominar uses a different cylinder head and is tuned differently from the 390. The Dominar puts out a respectable 35bhp and 35Nm of torque, which is not as powerful as the KTM but it’s no slouch. It is also one of the best-equipped motorcycles here, coming with dual-channel ABS, a powerful LED headlight and a digital LCD instrument console. Bajaj Dominar 400’s price in Mumbai starts from ₹1.48 lakh (Ex-showroom)
Yamaha Fazer 25
The Fazer 25 shares its engine with the FZ25. The air and oil cooled engine produces 20bhp and 20Nm of torque. This bike’s main advantage over the FZ comes in the form of added wind protection, along with its 14-litre fuel tank, makes the Fazer 25 a good long-distance motorcycle. Like the Dominar 400, this bike also gets an LED headlight. Unfortunately, ABS is not an option that is offered on this bike by Yamaha who offers it else where in the world. The Yamaha Fazer 25’s price starts from around ₹1.28 lakhs (Ex-showroom, Mumbai)
Bajaj Pulsar RS 200
The Pulsar RS 200 uses a fuel-injected version of the 199.5cc engine seen on the NS 200. The Pulsar’s liquid-cooled motor churns out 24bhp and 18Nm of torque. The RS also gets ABS, though it is only a single-channel system. A digital-analogue instrument cluster and twin projector headlamps mean that this bike features decent levels of equipment; although the bike’s design may not be to everyone’s taste. The Bajaj Pulsar RS200 price in Mumbai starts from ₹1.26 lakh (Ex-showroom). The Pulsar RS200 is available in only 2 variants. The top-end variant Bajaj Pulsar RS200 ABS is priced at ₹1.37 lakh.
Yamaha R15 V 3.0
The latest iteration of Yamaha’s sharp and focused track tool, the R15 version 3.0, uses a 155cc liquid-cooled engine putting out 19bhp and 15Nm of torque. This motor has a strong top-end without sacrificing low and mid-range power with peak power at 10,000rpm. While the R15 misses out on ABS, it does get a slipper clutch. LED headlights and an LED tail lamp are also standard on the R15. The Yamaha YZF R15 V3’s price in Mumbai starts from ₹1.27 lakh(Ex-showroom). YZF R15 V3 is available in only 1 variant.
TVS Apache RTR 200 4V Race Edition 2.0
The Apache RTR 200 4V is also available with a fuel-injection system, the latter is supplied by Bosch. The FI variant commands a hefty premium of ₹12,700 over its carburetor alternative. The fuel-injected version produces 21bhp and 18Nm of torque from its 197.75cc air- and oil-cooled engine. This updated RTR features a slipper clutch as standard which is a really good thing. The TVS Apache RTR 200 4V is priced at ₹90,716 on wards (Ex-showroom, Mumbai). It is available in 8 versions.
Suzuki Intruder FI
The Suzuki Intruder is the only motorcycle here that is a cruiser, mimicking the design language of the larger Intruder motorcycles. It is a long and low motorcycle with a very comfortable ride. Its 155cc engine is also available with a fuel-injection system over the carb unit. The motor churns out 15bhp and 14Nm of torque. The Intruder comes with single-channel ABS, digital instrumentation shared with the Gixxer and is also seen on the Burgman Street. It also gets an LED tail-lamp as standard. The FI variant comes at a premium of Rs 6,901 over the carburetor version. Suzuki Intruder’s price in Mumbai starts from ₹1.04 lakh (Ex-showroom). The Intruder is available in only 2 variant. The top-end variant Suzuki Intruder FI is priced at ₹1.09 lakh
Suzuki Gixxer SF FI
The first motorcycle on this list to dip under the 1 lakh-rupee-mark is the Suzuki Gixxer SF FI. The Gixxer’s engine figures are identical to that of the Intruder. Like the Intruder, the Gixxer is also available with a carburettor to command a lower price but with a tiny price increase you can get a fuel injected version of the bike. For a premium of Rs 7,000 the SF can also be had with single-channel ABS. The Suzuki Gixxer SF FI is priced at ₹1,01 onwards (Ex-showroom, Mumbai). It is available in 2 versions – ABS and SP ABS.
TVS Apache RTR 160 4V FI
Like the RTR 200 4V, the TVS Apache RTR 160 4V is also available with carb and fuel injection options. The fuel-injected variant produces 17bhp while the carburettor variant churns out 16bhp. TVS charges a premium of Rs 6,000 for the fuel-injection version, which is quite significant when one compares it to the Suzuki Gixxer SF. The TVS Apache RTR 160 4V is priced in Mumbai at ₹77,813 (Ex-Showroom price).
Yamaha Fazer FI
The smaller version of the Fazer features an air-cooled 149cc engine making 13bhp and 13Nm of torque. Like its larger sibling, it features good wind protection and comfortable ergonomics. One of the Fazer’s strongest points is its refinement – something that is partly achieved with the implementation of fuel-injection. The Yamaha Fazer-FI’s price in Mumbai starts from ₹88,143 (Ex-showroom). Fazer-
Hero Glamour Programmed FI
Finally, we come to what is the cheapest fuel-injected bike in the country – the Hero Glamour Programmed FI. The 124.7cc motor in the Glamour puts out 12bhp and 11Nm of torque. The bike also gets a front disc brake, and an LED tail-lamp. With its fuel-injection system, it offers a level of convenience that no other bike in the segment can match. If you want a fuel-injected commuter, this is the recommended and only choice for you. Hero Glamour FI’s price in Mumbai starts from ₹72,903 (Onroad Price Mumbai).
5 cars we wish were on sale in India
Ford F-150 Raptor
We have seen this thing fly, swim and climb. Videos of the Ford Raptor pick-up truck doing something other than driving in traffic will always do well. The Raptor is a full size American pickup truck with a setup that is inspired for the Baja rally. This truck is now powered by a 3.5-litre EcoBoost rather than a V8. But that is okay because of it still has the power to make this radical truck jump from mountains into dunes. If the budding truck scene in India ever explodes, Ford please put our names down for one with the Black Ops livery.
There is already one muscle car in India. But with the supercar and performance scene getting hotter in India, we really hope another outlaw from Detroit lands here soon. Dodge makes a muscle car called the Demon which is an 800bhp street stripped muscle car that can do a sub-10 second quarter mile pass. This is thing comes prepped from the factory to go drag racing with slicks and a full kit. Imagine a cold winter night, on Mumbai’s Marine Drive, this car pulls up next to a 5.0 Mustang. Imagine the carnage.
Skoda Octavia Combi
Our affair with estate cars in India ended as quickly as khaleesi’s marriage to Khal Drogo in Game Of Thrones. It was a love story too good for this world. But we haven’t forgotten them. And I haven’t forgotten the Octavia Combi. They are good looking, super practical and sometimes like the super expensive Audi RS6 shows us, great sleepers that can hunt down supercars.
Subaru WRX STi
The car that was breed for rallying and making the Mitsubishi Lancer quake at WRC, it’s the Subaru WRX STi. It can keep up with supercars on a racetrack and can give some sports cars a pretty good thrashing. The beating it can take off road with its AWD system is legendary. If they ever come to India, we want one with a metallic blue paint job and massive gold MOMO alloys.
Yes, it’s bigger than a ‘normal car’. Yes, it would be a commercial vehicle in India. But this could be the car that kicks off the whole caravaning culture in India. It has a bathroom, a bed, a shower, a desk, a kitchen. It is your ideal home away from home. We would love one if we every need to shoot a few videos for a few days straight.
These are the cars that we want? Which cars do you want in India?
7 steps to follow while buying a used car
Buying a used car is a complicated process. So far, our market isn’t organised and this makes it difficult for the buyers to pick up the correct car. There has been no authority to state anything on the used car valuation. Here we share with you, seven simple steps to purchase a used car which will help you get a good deal on used cars. (more…)
BMW G310R launched at ₹ 2.99 lakhs (ex-showroom)
The BMW G310R has been launched at 2.99 lakhs (ex-showroom). Buyers have been waiting for its launch, ever since it was first revealed. The bike was also showcased at the Auto Expo 2018. The BMW tag is expected to pull crowd and a high response for this bike is expected. G310R is expected to be the volume churner for BMW. The company has a partnership with TVS, who will be contract manufacturing this motorcycle under BMW brand. This bike will be manufactured for BMW at their Hosur plant. Infact, there will be many common components with the TVS Apache 310 RR. This includes the engine, chassis, brakes, alloy wheels and few more parts. The bike will be tuned in a different manner and also the styling of the G310R will be unique. This is a naked design, which is also very popular among riders.
First seen at EICMA 2015, the G310R is now being sold in several European and American markets. Some South Asian markets are also selling this bike. The TVS BMW G310R is likely to be priced lower than the KTM Duke 390. This will also be one of the attractions in addition to the BMW badge. While it will not be as powerful or feature loaded as the Duke 390, it will pack in enough juice for the price tag it will come at. Read further about the BMW G310R Price in India, Specifications, Power, Top Speed and all other details.
- Design Preview
- Engine Preview
- Dynamics Preview
BMW G310R shall be an exciting product to consider. The 300-400cc segment has been heating up and BMW with its brand name will have an added advantage if priced well.
Electric Scooter to Ladakh – Episode 1
We ride Okinawa Praise to Ladakh! This is our first episode, where we take the Okinawa Praise – an electric scooter from Gurgaon to Ambala in the first leg. Check out all the details.
7 Tips to protect your car from rains!
We have shared the following tips to protect your car from rains. Follow these and your car is safe for this monsoon. What all has to be done? Check out our video on 7 Tips to protect your car from rains.
What are the tips?
- Free car check-up: Get your car check up done for free. Almost all car makers will offer you free car check up in monsoon and this will be apt for your car too. If anything majorly wrong, you can get that checked and rectified immediately.
- Tyres: Get your tyres inspected. These are one of the most vital part of your car. As these are the only things that touch the road. Ensure that your tyre treading is sufficient and if not, then replace immediately. If the tyres have crossed an age of more than 4-5 years, then too replace them at once. Ensure your spare tyre has air in it and it isn’t puncture. You will not want to get stuck in the rains with 2 flats instead of one.
- Wipers: Again one of the most essential things. Always replace your wipers at the start or just before monsoon. It is important. This is because the rubber on the wipers hardens in summer heat and this means not proper cleaning during the rains.
- Cloth: Never remove the fog of your windscreen from inside with your hand. This will leave finger prints on them and will affect your vision. Its advisable to use a piece of clean cloth for the same.
- Your safety: For your safety, always ensure your tool kit has all the equipment. All the First Aid Kit medicines are valid and not expired.
- Always charged: Ensure you have enough water in the car to drink and something to eat also. Carry sufficient power charge or mobile charging cable so your mobile doesn’t run out of juice.
- Fragrance: Your car shouldn’t be moist and stinky. For this purpose ensure, you have a air freshner in the car. Add newspaper on your floor mats if they are made of fabric and change them weekly or twice a week if needed. The better solution is to replace your mats in the rain with rubber or plastic ones. These are easier to maintain and clean in the rains.
Hope you have liked this video and the points we have shared. Do not forget to follow us on our social media and see our YouTube videos too.
2018 Hyundai Elite i20 Automatic (CVT) launched at ₹ 7.8 lakhs (on-road)
The Hyundai Elite i20 facelift was launched earlier this year. Now the automatic (CVT) variant has been introduced, the prices of which start at ₹ 7.8 lakhs for the Magna variant and ₹ 9.3 lakhs for Asta variant (on-road, Delhi). With this launch the i20 gets better options. The good part is that unlike earlier, the automatic now comes in two variants – Magna and Asta. The CVT comes only in petrol. The diesel version come with a 6-speed manual transmission. There is no automatic in the diesel version. The Elite i20 2018 gets cosmetic changes and some added features.
The dimensions of the car are the same as earlier. There is no change in the overall length or height. The interior space is also the same. The Elite i20 car is priced similar to what it was earlier. The engines shall be the 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrol and 1.4-litre diesel engines on offer. There are many new features on offer. Hyundai will raise the bar in this segment with many new features on the i20. Things that have gone missing will now be offered on this vehicle. The Korean auto maker has seen a major growth in this segment and now with the Baleno in the market, Hyundai will want to enhance the premium hatchback even further. We new i20 car is offered with a lot of brownies, and there are some first-in-class as well.
Hyundai Elite i20 2018
- Design Preview
- Interior Preview
- Engine Preview
The new Hyundai Elite i20 2018 facelift needs to meet the standard the hatchback has already set in the market. It is a difficult task, but if it is achieved then the brand will achieve success with it.
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Tata Hexa vs Toyota Innova Crysta Comparison
The name Innova is synonymous with utility vehicles in India. The completion has never managed to come close to the Innova in terms of sales and popularity. Tata had tried to challenge the Innova with the Aria, however it did not achieve much success. The new Toyota Innova Crysta came as a new generation vehicle and offers more options, better features and space. Tata too has upped its game and had launched the Hexa. The Tata Hexa competes squarely with the Toyota Innova Crysta. Both the MUVs offer good features, are spacious and also high on utility. They both also offer an automatic transmission. Both vehicles set a new benchmark in this segment in terms of looks, styling and features. Let’s see the Tata Hexa vs Toyota Innova Crysta comparison.
Tata Hexa vs Toyota Innova Crysta
- Toyota Innova Crysta
- Tata Hexa
Toyota Innova Crysta doesn’t just have a higher price but it gets additional features too. The Japanese MUV feels more premium than the Hexa on the inside.
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Peugeot 208 – Premium Hatchback for India?
The French automobile giant Peugeot will be entering India once again and the Peugeot 208 will be the first car it starts selling here. We were the first to spy this car in India, 2 years back and bring this news you. During that time, the company had stalled its India plans owing to the European crisis. Now, PSA group (Peugeot) has partnered with CK Birla group for manufacturing cars in their Chennai facility itself. The Peugeot 208 will be their first product in all likelihood.
The Peugeot 208 has also been spied testing alongside Hyundai i20. The Hyundai Elite i20 will be a direct competition to the Peugeot 208. The company will try to price the 208 in line with the Elite i20. This is the major competition. The 208 will come with petrol as well as diesel engines. In terms of features, it will get all the bells and whistles.
The Hindustan Motors plant in Tamil Nadu is where this car will be produced. It has also been spotted there on numerous occasions. The PSA Group is setting up its plant in Tamil Nadu itself. Initially, there were rumours that Peugeot could be looking at Gujarat. That was the initial plan as the Peugeot test mules came to India through the Navi Mumbai port itself. The company has evaluated the best suited products for the Indian market. The company is coming in JV with Hindustan Motors, which is one of the oldest car brands in India. While HM has a rich heritage, It never had any strong brand apart from the Ambassador, which was their best seller. Even Mitsubishi, never took off really, partnering with HM. Lets see how Peugeot takes this game forward. Read further to know more about the Peugeot 208.