Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Horsley Hills ride

Madurai Ride

Nowadays am not taking the train to visit my parents or in-laws. This time I took my pocket rocket to Madurai. The onward journey is solo, i was very excited about it. After the trip I realized solo long ride is not that interesting though i could reach madurai in a little less than 6 hours. On the return journey my wife accompanied me as pillion.

Here are a few snaps from my ride for now. Will add some snaps latter.
The Shade of a Banyan Tree.

On reaching my In-laws at Madurai

At Simmakkal, Madurai

After a rain - Attibele, Bangalore.

My Pulsar 220 - Fully Loaded

Saturday, October 01, 2011

DIY - Changing the Disk Pads

Last time i had to change my disk pads of my front disk brake in my pulsar 220 I ended up paying 150 bucks for the disk pads and 150 bucks as labour charge just to change the pads! Then I thought why not I myself do some work and save some bucks. With some little clues from the internet I was able to do it myself. So here is the procedure to do it yourself.

  • This method works perfectly on the Pulsar 220 front brake. The procedure may be similar for other brands.
  • Please do it at your own risk. I did the disk pad change twice so far and I didn't face any issues though.
  • Click the images below to view a larger picture.
1. Remove the bolts, marked red in below photo, that hold the caliper. You would need a size 12 spanner. A ring spanner would not damage the bolts so try buying one if you dont have those.

2. Now slide out the caliper off the disk smoothly.

3. Now remove the clip that retains the pin shown in the picture. You would need a plier to remove the clip.

4. Pull out the pin that holds the pads in place.

5. Now the pads will drop out freely. Disk pads have grooves that serve as an idicator about the usable life of the pad. In the below photo the pad on the left is a new pad and the pad on the right is the old one. Notice the groove is almost vanished on the old one which means its time to change the pad.
6. Clean the caliper insides using a brush and keroscene. Dirt usually gets clogged around the pistons(marked in the photo below) and it could affect braking. So cleaning it whenever changing pads is recommended.
7. In the above picture the pistons have almost come out. The pistons need to be pushed in to make room for the new pads. To do this keep one of the pad on top of the pad and push against the pad so that the pistons retract. I dont have a photo of the retracted piston.

8. Now position the new pads in the caliper and put back the pin that you removed in step 4

9. Now put back the clip that you removed in step 3.

10. Now slide the caliper back on to the disk, by gently positioning it such a way that the pads are on either side of the disk.

11. Bolt the caliper back on to the fork.

Thats it! Hope this helped. By the way, thanks to Rubert for allowing me to take the photos while he did the work.

God bless you.

Monday, September 26, 2011

KTM's 125cc street bike!

Finally its on the magazines that KTM DUKE 125 will be made in India! Its a great news that Motorcycle manufacturing gets outsourced to India aswell. If you are wondering when this bike will be available for the indian biker to buy, the aswer seems to be no, atleast for now. KTM has made this bike for the European market, news say. Motorcycle market is booming with new models with international quality every now and then. I wonder why this Duke should not be sold in India.

Coming to the Specs of KTM 125, the bike has 15PS of power and torque of 12NM @ 8000RPM. Now thats sounds like a fun bike to me.

Now coming to intresting part for the Indian bikers, is that  a KTM 200 would be made in India and be sold in the Indian market aswell. This would be a naked street bike. Im guessing this would be a good competitor for other bikes such as the Pulsar 220, Karizma, R15. From the price point it would be a good competitor for our CBR 250R and the Ninja 250R.

KTM bikes are expensive. Hopefully making them in India would bring costs down. Its very exciting to see more options in the market now. Hopefully we'll have more motorcycle models would be made in India and made for India.

Friday, September 09, 2011

We're commin back - Ride report of Day 3

Click to read about our Day 1

Its Independance day today! Lets celebrate by riding free. Its 8am, 15th August 2011. My brother and myself are at our parent's place at Trissur. Having had a sound sleep we are now ready to get back to bangalore on four wheels. I wish we had another day to spend with our parents. Anyways time start back to Bangalore. For the return we have chosen the route via Guddalur. We also wanted to ride up to Ooty, but since we cant fit it comfortably in a day's ride we left Ooty for another bike trip.

We waved bye to our parents, we started off. Rubert, being familiar of the place, took the lead towards Shoranur. The roads are narrow and almost always there are houses on the highway everywhere. Slowly the civilization ended and the ghat sections started. Wow, the twisty roads are everywhere here.

As always we had kept our head lights on. We got a billions of hand signals from pedestrians, people in the car and everywhere saying that our head lights are on. Why are they so concerned that my lights are on?

Being the Independence day, we thought we should wear the flag. We searched for a shop selling our national flag and finally found a shop in a village. We bought a few flags and stuck them on our motorcycles. We also gave away some flags to the children in the village. After saying Vande Matharam, we started rolling. Just as it was on day 1 of our ride there was no rain today. Its amazing our silly prayers are answerd by God. I thanked God for a rain free day as I rode through the lush greenery filled twisty sections of the hills God created.

Our mom had made a litre of black coffee. Time to drink some. Ahaa hiwayRebels Cafe. Anywhere any time. After enjoying a refreshing drink, Rubert checked up with the locals for the route towards Guddalur. Did I mention Rubert speaks good Malayalam! We still have about 70 km to Guddalur.

Typical Kerala houses show up regularly on the way. Another thing seen everywhere are coconut grooves. Our eyes are filled with green. Iam in love with the places. Ideas of owning a farm house popped up. If God willing let that happen! Suddenly I realized i have left my saddle bag open. This is the third time i left it open. But thank Jesus nothing had fallen off any of the time i did forget to lock it.

Its 12:30 Pm and the tramac improved. I was wondering why such a Race track quality road in the middle of the forest. But least did we thought there is a awesome section of twisties that is going to assault us. The roads reminded me of the Isle Of Man TT. We were totally enjoying each and every curve on the road. I wish they close public traffic on these roads and conduct races on these roads just like the Isle Of Man TT.

Its been a while I rode these kinds of twisties. I realized I need to brush up on my skill on knee scrapping. The roads are soo for the bikers who want to scrape their foot pegs. At times there were coffee(or tea?) plantations that feasted our eyes. We stopped for some snaps here and there. After having some coffee and energy bars we rolled off again towards Guddalur.

At the junction near Guddalur the road going left takes you to Mudumalai and then to karnataka. The road going right takes you to Ooty. After having lunct in Guddalur took the left turn and continued towards Mudumalai.

Soon we were at Mudumalai. We encountered a herd of elephants on the road. Man thats scary. But the beautiful beasts were as calm as a baby. I wish I have taked a few snaps of the creatures. We also spotted deers. I wish they weren't endangered. Then we could make a barbeque in the forest!

Now we are in Bandipur part of the reserved forest. Mudumalai part was more green than the Bandipur. Why? Is it because Veerappan kept Mudumalai free from civilization? After a quick break for some more coffee and photo shoots we rode as if there is no tomorrow.

As we came near Mysore the traffic on the roads started growing. Mostly cars. Like us many people are returing to the concrete jungle after their weekend vacation. On crossing Mysore the highway is packed with cars. Thank God the traffic is moving at steady 90-100 km/hr.

As we were coming close to Bangalore, I knew this is one trip to cherish though its a short one. We have done too many things in just 3 days. We got a chance to surprice our parents. They were having one of the surprises of their life time? Dad did joined us on his motorcycle to Chavakkad. Above all its was a time for brothers' time to bond.

We reached our homes by 9PM with a feeling of contentment of doing a good trip and thanking God for taking care of us all the way. What could be next? May be a trip to Kanyakumari and return back through the coastal kerala? May be.

Read: Previous Day

Friday, September 02, 2011

We're home - Ride report of Day 2

Here I am, Rubert, posting my 1st blog. Thanks to Hubert who gave access to post about Day 2 of our ride home. 
Church Alter
I setup my alarm at 6 to wake up and get ready. Because it’s Sunday and the mass is at 7.30 am. Looks like I was so tired that I didn’t even hear it screaming. Then someone was calling my name and I opened my eyes and it was Hubert waking me up. We all got ready and took dad’s car and went to church.
The actual plan is to go to church on bikes and then from there leave directly to Chavakkad beach. But we went grocery and meat shopping and went home as it was late. Mom was preparing amazing lunch and Hubert and I went to fix my bike. I learnt how to change the front disc brake. Thanks to Hubert again. By the time we finished it; it was lunch time and had delicious lunch. Thanks to mom for all the effort which she put in making it.
Installing Front Disk Pads
Now it’s almost 2:30 pm and we decided to leave to Chavakkad beach. We all got ready and we started rolling. The best part is my Dad was on Avenger and my mom was his pillion. This is the best part because after 12 years I’m seeing mom as pillion. 
Dad riding Avenger. Mom Pillion.
BTW, above is not effects. Thats how my mobile took when riding!
As soon as we were off the HI way, the roads became awesome, curvy and the nature put-up its best display. Lakes were overflowing (due to recent rain) and the roads were slightly covered with water between lakes.
Lake behind our mean Machines!

Another Lake View.

BTW, I managed to click some pic’s using my mobile while riding (please don’t hate me for doing this when riding. I did this coz I wanted to take pic’s of my parents when on bike). Also I was careful enough not to harm anyone or myself (man, it’s time to buy a helmet cam which I’ve been planning for some time now).
The ride lasted for an hour if I’m right and we reached the beach. We parked and entered and it was awfully crowded which we didn’t like. We sat there and took some snaps and had chats.

At the Beach

Mom Tryin to take her own pic!

Some serious talk???
Then we decided to ride a little further and find a peaceful beach where no one or less people gathered. As we rode we saw wall rising at the edge and we stopped by at a place and asked people around to know whether any beach is available somewhere around. Bad luck! they said there’s none other than Chavakkad. But still we rode about 2 km and below is what we found - Thottapoo (thank God).

Found the right place. It's on the other side of the road
This was a peaceful place where we saw few huge fishes surfacing to gasp air, no one around and the water slamming on the wall of rock. Latter we were accompanied by few youngsters who were playing around.

Can't get to the water as these rocks are slippery.
Mom brought few snacks and we had it while watching the awesome display of the Arabian. Then we took some pics of our bikes and with mom and dad.

Covering mom with his Camera

Mom ridng Avenger!

The 3 Bajajeers
Me on the slippery Rocks. Man it was scary.
Now the sun started to settle down and we though we will leave home. After 15 mins or so we had to turn on our lights as it was becoming darker. The traffic was very less until we reached the HI way and then we were home. Thank God for bringing us back home safe. All the way dad topped 60kmph and I loved it.
It was dinner time when we reached home and had parottas. It was a good family get-together. Off to sleep.
The Making of "The Parotta".

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