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Two Wheels to Move the Soul

Writing about my motorbike rides and other motorcycle related stuff

Month

February 2013

Dosa @ Veppanapalli – short ride out of Bangalore.



This Sunday was the designated day for a short ride out of Bangalore. I have been trying to find friends who would be interested in riding out of the city but for a shortish (~ 100 Km) distance. My aim is usually to be back home by 10:00 in the morning so I can spend time with the kids as well. Did not happen on this ride, but hey good intentions count too, right ?! Right ?!? 🙂
Doc with his new 500 CC

One of my friends, Doc, recently got his 500 CC Bullet. It was therefore imperative to go on a ride. I got in touch with a few other ex-colleagues most of whom have big bikes and proposed a ride. We got together a Hayabusa, a Ninja 650, a 500 cc Bullet and my Bullet Classic 500 for the ride.

To briefly describe the route, one takes the Sarjapur road, ahead of the Wipro office, Decathlon etc. From the Sarjapur town square keep going in an Eastern direction towards Bagalur. From Bagalur look for the KGF road (Kolar Gold Fields) on that road you can go up to Veppanapalli, it is ~ 100 kms from Silk Board junction. Very nice road, not much traffic at all especially if you hit the road early in the morning.



 We all met opposite the Total mall on Sarjapur road, had a super-sweet cup of chai there and proceeded towards Veppanapalli. Aiming for a 6:30 start, we actually hit the road by 7:00 a.m.

While I am a thump-lover at heart, I must say the Hayabusa has a roar that can dull out all thumps, my word! We had a brief discussion about protective gear, the guys on the Busa and Ninja both had Alpinestar jackets and gloves. I will cover more about protective gear in detail on a separate post. The Bullet riders had leather jackets of course. 🙂

We then made our way out of Bangalore along Sarjapur road. A word of caution, the rising Sun can shine straight in to your eyes as you head eastwards. It will be good to make sure you have some means of shading the eyes, visibility is severely impacted by the Sun in your eyes. 

Sarjapur town has a bottleneck where the road snakes through the heart of the town and it is in complete disrepair. On the way out, early in the morning it was ok, not very bad, but an area to watch out for. Further up, Berikai also has the same issue, the main road goes through the town and it is quite a bottleneck. Before that, just to get the direction right, as you pass through Bagalur you need to take a left turn at the T-junction (there is only 1) and then take a right within a 100 meters or so, directions showing KGF. Once you are through Berikai, the road becomes quite picturesque. Fields on both sides, hills in the distance and a nice undulating road under your treads!


At one point on the road you have palm trees lining both sides with hills in the distance, the fragrance in the air and the freshness makes it completely worthwhile. Glorious!

At about 15Km after Berikai, you get in to a couple of small Hills, there are a few hair-pin bends which are great fun to go down and even more fun to come up. As you ride through sleepy villages it is interesting to wonder why dogs love to sit in the exact middle of the road. They have also mastered the art of JIT, they get up and move out of the way ‘Just in Time’. At one point there was a little pup, no more than a couple of months old sitting in the middle of the road, he was obviously an apprentice to one of the larger dogs.


The road here is quite nice, no surprising potholes to make you brake or swerve, just the occasional village traffic looking curiously at big bikes going by. We passed by what looked like a full-on village mela, but it was in the process of setting up. On the way back too, they were still setting up their wares otherwise it would have been a definite stop for us.

Riding on quiet roads is certainly therapeutic and you can feel the thump of the bullet going through your heart and make you feel at peace with the world.
As you near the Kolar hill range the road turns to the right and starts heading towards Krishnagiri, soon you will come upon Veppanapalli. A small non-descript and dusty town. It has one joint selling dosas and other sundry breakfast items, plonk in the middle of the market. He has a huge rectangular tava and makes yummy dosas which are as big as a decent sized roomali roti. 

The joint is of course a bit hardcore, focus on your plate and eat type of place. They put a clean sheet of plastic on a plate before giving it to you, Chutney and sambar are on the same plate as the dosa and you need to be a bit dexterous to not soak your dosa. Nope, no katoris or cutlery here! Of course the dosa tastes superb as do the chutney and sambar just not 3 star dining. This time I didn’t take any photos at the joint, next time I ride there, I will make sure to do so. 

Unfortunately, the joint does not serve tea or coffee, for that you need to walk back up the market a bit and find a chaiwalla. The chap we had it from was excellent and made us some coffee without sugar, a rare phenomenon at a small town roadside-stall.

“100 kms to get your morning dosa and cuppa, exactly what the doctor ordered to beat the city blues and to reset for a new week ahead”.

Purely for the camera, never ride without a Helmet 🙂 
Having satiated ourselves we had a decision to make. Whether we go ahead and join the main highway or go back the same route. We decided to stick to the scenic route. It was another extremely satisfying 100 kms ride back in to the city. On the way back, Sarjapur was quite jammed, luckily we were on bikes and could maneuver through small lanes and leave the jam behind in our wake.

We stopped on one of the hills for a couple of photos and then drove back non-stop to the city. Of course by then the city had woken up and welcomed us with honking and exhaust fumes.

Our heart and mind was still on the road left behind! 
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Royal Enfield are getting up to date and I am loving it!
Thunderbird 
So, I saw the new Thunderbird 500 on the road a few weeks ago. My God ! They have done a fabulous job on the bike. Not only does it look amazing, they have also upgraded the technology quite a bit.
The headlights with the projector in the middle, the rear lights with LEDs and the hazard light function makes it quite hip. I am quite green with envy for those features, will try to figure out how to get them incorporated in to my Classic 500.
Read a few reviews of the bike and uniformly everyone has good things to say about it.
Zigwheels review – I think this one was the most detailed of the lot.

The one thing that I found a little unexpected and possibly a disappointment was the sound of the bike. The new silencer is shaped completely differently and the bike has more of a roar, no thump.
I mean, seriously guys, this is a brand which needs a thump.
If I were in the market for a 500, the lack of thump would really make me reconsider. So far, I am happy with my Classic 500. I will be even more happy when I can improve the light hardware of my bike. J
Now, if they can get their distribution sorted and get the waiting period down it would be superb
Accessories
Finally, finally Royal Enfield have woken up to the fact that there are fans like us who might actually spend money on Royal Enfield branded stuff. They have made available Tees and Polos for the merchandise section, a bit steep I would say but as long as the quality is right there should be takers. 
More interestingly they have brought in some serious riding gear. Jackets, boots and eyewear all made for touring. The jackets are not too bad, though I do find them expensive, but when I look at comparable ones on amazon they are in the ballpark. I have not actually used any of the stuff so only have web images to compare but the RE stuff does seem quite good. The Nylon riding jacket at 7K INR is quite decent and the riding boots at 5.5 K are pretty neat too.
I think there is a lot more they can do in the accessory department but finally there is hope.
Link to the accessory section on their site
Personally, this jacket is my favorite.  
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Café Racer
Lastly, the next big thing I am waiting for this year is the café racer.
The bike looks amazing, though I am pretty certain it will be priced above the Classic 500 but it seems to be specced higher too with an engine of 535 CC and BHP of 35+.

That’s all folks ! 
Hope this one was of use to someone out there or at least an interesting post. Hoping to go on a medium long ride shortly, will post details about that too.
Till then, keep riding and keep safe ! 
Disclaimer: None of the images here is mine, the RE website is the source for the Tbird and jacket images and the news articles are the source for the cafe racer images. 

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