The Yokozuna did a 1400+ km trip during Diwali across 10 days. The beast was loaded with 5 adults, 3 kids and 6 large suitcases on the carrier with some small bags below the seats.
trip was as follows - Pune - Aurangabad - Ajanta
- Jalgaon - Dahivad (NH 3) - Mandu
- Ujjain - Indore. 95% of roads were great - except 20 kms between Chopda & Dahivad. Towns marked in bold indicate overnight stays.
trip was as follows - Indore - Dhule - Malegaon (NH3) - Shirdi - Ahmednagar - Pune. About 35 kms between Kopargaon and Kolhar (after Shirdi) - on the Malegaon-Ahmednagar stretch was really bad. In fact this road is full of craters. From Indore to Pune - I would recommend Dhule - Aurangabad - Ahmednagar - Pune route. The return trip was done across 15 hours wih multiple breaks.
On a side note - about the food. If you are on NH3 - 100 kms before Indore- and like a great breakfast - I recommend a joint at Dhamnod (on the road to Maheshwar). Dhamnod has 2 exits (as you go from Mumbai to Indore). Pass the first exit. The second exit is about 2-3 kms. Take right. Then after 2-3 kms - you will see a petrol pump on your left -- and this Hotel Highway - is bang opposite to it. I highly recommend the kachoris, samosas, poha, chai ..heavenly. To compare - the best breakfasts we had were on the street side - and were 10 times better than breakfasts in the medium/bigger hotels and 10 times cheaper too.
Between Omkareshwar and Indore - I was on the road that takes your from Burhanpur to Indore - via Khandwa. This is a small road (2 lane) with lots of truck traffic -- similar to Nashik-Pune road. I'd recommend that this be avoided - you can drive at about 50Kms/hr.
Burhapur seems to be a very very interesting town with a bunch of monuments and rich history and I'd like to see it some time in the near future.
Observations from driving the Sumo -
- Great tourer for long distances
- Lots of space for passengers
- Dual A/C is effective across long distances
- The roof carrier can accomodate 5 suitcaces - easy and the 6th one could be squeezed in
- Does great at 100-110 Km/hr. I did not have an opportunity or the desire to go beyond 100 kms/hour
- Did not notice any braking issues - may be I have gotten used to the Sumo
- Fuel Efficiency - 13-14 km/litre with all passenger seats loaded, A/C on and then some luggage on the carrier. I think this average is fair.
Ranking of Tourist attractions - based on family vote
- Ajanta (must stay for 2 days)
- Mandu (needs 3 days to see)
- Maheshwar (must stay for 2 days)
- Indore (2-3 days are sufficient)
Omkareshwar & Ujjain are temple towns and are best avoided if you do not like temple touts and rude crowds/shop keepers.
The Yokozuna is now at 7900 kms and needs a oil change and some tightening of bolts and application of grease across joints. Before, I left for this trip, I had noticed leakage from the differential axle. This was during my tyre rotation/alignment at Darshan tyres at Baner. This leakage was most likely due underbody scratches during my Bhandardara trip. The friendly Concorde T.A.S.S at Baner applied a temporary sealant (good for 3000-4000 kms) - and asked me to come back (after the trip) for a gasket replacement. All this was free of cost - thanks to the 3 year standard warranty that the Yokozuna comes with.
Photos in my next post.