Oct 24, 2007

2 Road Trip to the "Highest Motorable Road in the World" on a Pulsar 200 DTSi [Part II]

3 intrepid college friends, 3 bikes, 1 Road Trip.. to the "Highest Motorable Road of the World" and back..

The Pulsar 200 DTSi rider narrates the story.. [Part II]

Himanshu, Nilu & Kenny

From Left.. Himanshu, Nilu & Kenny


Day 4: 12.09.07
Darcha to Pang..

We were fairly anxious as to how the bikes would be behaving in the freezing temperatures, and fairly enough, my bike didn’t start at the first go.

Actually, none of the bikes did, but the other bikes had kick-starts while the p200 had none..

Day 4 was our trip from Darcha to Pang and we got up fairly early in the morning at Darcha and readied ourselves as well as the bikes for the next leg of the trip. After loading everything onto the bikes, it was time for us to start them. We were fairly anxious as to how the bikes would be behaving in the freezing temperatures, and fairly enough, my bike didn’t start at the first go. Actually, none of the bikes did, but the other bikes had kick-starts while the p200 had none.


The battery low warning beacon came up on the LCD screen of my bike after the first go at the thumb start. So I decided that I would have to try alternate means. I didn’t want to keep trying the self-starter lest I drain the battery. Fortunately there was a slight incline on the road.

I shifted to the 2nd gear and let the bike down on the incline. After gathering some momentum, I decided to jumpstart the bike. I released the clutch and the bike sputtered for a moment and the engine came to life bang on. The engine sounded really muted in the cold morning and after letting the engine oil circulate for a half a minute or so, I gently opened the throttle of my bike. I let the engine run on around 3000 rpm for a while and then eased the throttle off.After that I had to adjust the idling rpm a little because the current setting wasn’t enough to sustain engine start at such low temperatures. Fairly enough, the other bikes’ idling had also to be fiddled with. That was the first jump-start experience on my bike! Later on, I’d come to know that I forgot to use the choke and had I used it, I wouldn’t have had to resort to jump-starts!



We started off quickly after that and crossed Baralachla at an altitude of 16500 ft. The rarified atmosphere was beginning to have its effect on the bike’s performance. The engine exhaust note had totally changed and there was a very noticeable drop in pickup and pulling power. I was hardly making it to the 3rd gear when I had to downshift to gain some more power on the steep incline. Others were none the better, with people complaining of lack of torque as well.


I wasn’t able to shift upwards of 2nd gear and my fat rear tyre wasn’t doing much good on the slippery rock and ice sheets..

We made it to Sarchu without any problems as such and halted for lunch. My tripmeter showed 839 km. I checked my chain again, relieved to notice that the slack wasn’t getting any worse. Post lunch at Sarchu, we passed through Lachulung La at an altitude of 16616 ft and form there we could see snow fall on the peaks above. After a while, we encountered light snowfall and I wasn’t having any problems with road traction whatever. But then it started to snow heavily as we climbed higher. It was then that we decided to halt for a while lest we lose traction and end up with something bad happening to us. At a wider section of the road., we covered our bikes with tarpaulin and took out the camping tent to wait until the snow had subsided. . It may be noted that it was cold enough to kill the engine at idling, even with the increase in idling speed at Darcha in the morning.

Nilu's Pulsar 200 DTSi

Nilu's Pulsar 200 DTSi



After a halt of about 45 minutes, we resumed our ride to Pang, which was just 18km from where we had stopped. But those 18 kilometers was a ride that took us 2 hours to cover!! The road was extremely treacherous and the fresh snow had just made it worse. I wasn’t able to shift upwards of 2nd gear and my fat rear tyre wasn’t doing much good on the slippery rock and ice sheets. And the fact that we had to keep the rev above 2000 rpm wasn’t helping either. Fortunately, we made it to Pang without any trouble with our bikes or any mishaps.





End of Part II.
Concluding and last part coming soon..







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This is to remind that the Views or Opinions in the blog are entirely mine unless explicitly stated. The Views and Opinions published in this blog should in no way be related to any other person or organization associated -- directly or indirectly -- with me.




2 Comments:

Jithin said...

khardung la on the p150!!! dats a mean feat! ppl think twice b4 taking a bullet..nd u on the pulsar..really praiseworthy!!

Jithin said...

khardung la on the p150!!! dats a mean feat! ppl think twice b4 taking a bullet..nd u on the pulsar..really praiseworthy!!

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