So the motorcycle is finally back after 3.5 months, the bill was huge but thankfully 75% of it was covered by the insurance.
Apart from the entire rear end the chassis and the swing arm were replaced.
The motorcycle rides smooth as ever. Have completed 2, 250kms rides on it, rides as before.
it still is incomplete as I am yet to get the new backrest and get the acc like lights and chargers attached back.
For now, I have removed the tank risers as because of them the range was reduced by almost 50kms.
For the uninitiated, Harley Davidson has a couple of challenges, which the riders can choose to complete in a year. One of them is the 21/365 challenge, this year we (wife and I) are trying to complete the 21/365 challenge which entails visiting 21 dealerships of Harley Davidson with your motorcycle spread across the nation in a year, hence the name 21/365. The other being the Big 5 challenge, which I will write about when we start that.
For the start of the challenge, we decided to begin with the closest dealerships from Pune, i.e. Nashik and Mumbai. Nashik has 1 dealership namely Wine City Harley Davidson and Mumbai has 2 one in Andheri and one in Vashi, both under the same name Seven Islands, although with different dealership codes.
We started off from Pune at 6:20 AM in the morning along with one other rider, it was still night time then, but the new lights came in handy, I had installed a pair of Gold Runway lights 50X, with 50Ws of LED burning at 6000 Lumens each. Start from Pune was cool as the temperatures were quite low and we were thankful for the Woolen liners of our riding jackets.
Sun started to come up by the time we reached the small ghat section, post which visibility was unlimited. Stopped for breakfast somewhere around 8:15AM had some Missal and Pohe, continued the journey from there on till the Nashik dealership, the dealership had just open. Another rider from Mumbai had also come to the dealership with the same motive. Got the stamping done stayed and chatted with the dealership folks for a while then started towards Mumbai, The roads were good all the way through except for some wobbly patches. As soon as we reached Bhiwandi the horrible and dreaded traffic of Mumbai started which made our bikes go crazy hot, thank the designers for the radiator fan to cool the engine down, but at the same time hate them for not providing heat shield for the rider’s legs, which started cooking in the heat.
Thankfully, we reached the Andheri dealership, which was next door, to the now shut down Maserati dealership, had our lunch there in the nearby restaurant and got the stamping done. By this time, we started to worry about getting out of Mumbai traffic, so we started for the Vashi dealership thankfully the traffic was not too horrible on the JVLR or the Eastern Express Highway, we encountered some traffic while crossing Airoli but that was it. Reached the Vashi dealership in time for stamping the log book had some charcha over chai with the dealership folks and started back.
Starting from there, the biggest dilemma was to take the Palm Beach Road and then the JNPT road uptill Panvel exit or go via the regular Mumbai Pune highway and go into Panvel and from there on the old highway. As per our info the JNPT road was pretty horrible due to bad patches so decided to take the regular Mumbai Pune highway. The traffic on the national highway felt like we have been forced into a bottle of a hot jam. After facing the unbearable traffic and heat we finally reached the Panvel junction where we took the right. Filled up the motorcycle, had a small water break at the fuel station and started again.
Night had set in by now and the new lights proved too useful as the motorcycle’s horn had decided it doesn’t want to talk anymore. Climbed the Khandala ghat in pitch black with people coming from the other side. We had lost our riding partner somewhere in the traffic on the Panvel highway whom we finally met again when we stopped for refreshments at Kamat’s in Lonavla. After the small dinner break starting again was painful as our bodies had started to go into relaxing mode during dinner, but we started and reached home finally without any issues.
Will post the review and pics of the light in sometime.
RIDE TO IHR — PART 1
Back to the place where it all began…
Goa is a favorite vacation spot for some, it means freedom for many others… For this South Indian Girl & a North Indian Guy, Goa feels like home…Its where we met our dearest friends, the place where we met each other and the place where we fell in love with bikes and with each other…
A trip back home and that too on the occasion of our 10th Valentines Day was irresistible! This trip was not just about celebrating our past, but also about new beginnings… Our first Zonal Rally ride with the HOGs, our first 1000+km round trip, our first visit to many of the famous food joints in Goa (which we couldn’t afford as students 10 years ago)..
We covered the approx.500km ride in about 14 hours!!! You must be wondering, who takes 14 hours to ride to Goa from Pune!!! Well, whats the rush! After all you are on a holiday, not attempting IronButt! (Atleast not yet!)
An almost 2hour halt at Highway Katta organized by the Kolhapur Chapter was fun – flavourful Kheema pav & missal pav and much more, combined with photoshoot & stamping for 21/365… (Yeey! 4th stamp done)!
For Non HOGs -21/365 is a challenge by Harley Davidson, where you have to ride to 21 out of their 33 dealerships in India in a calendar year and get stamps from them, inorder to earn a “21/365 patch”… Now dont say why do so much just for a patch with no monetary value. Its kind of a big deal in the HOG community, especially for newbies like us and yes, it will give you certain brag rights!
So after spending almost 2 hours at the Katta, we headed to Belgaum where one of our friends had arranged for a visit to Vega & Axor Manufacturing Plant… It was great to interact with the leadership team of Vega and we also got a tour of the manufacturing facility…Was happy to learn that Vega has come up with a communicator and are offering Carbon Fiber helmets at fairly reasonable prices, making safety more affordable for Indians!
Now was the fun part of the ride.. The beautiful Chorla Ghats… The rider was happy about navigating the curves and the pillion got to watch beautiful view of sunset through the trees! Once we hit Sanquelim, there was a lot of traffic, especially because of the bridge constructions and Google decided to have fun sending us through narrow (but good) interior roads… The most fun was a straight steep climb of about 400 Meters at an angle of atleast 45 degrees
Finally we reached Bogmallo, a small beach town near Vasco… Bogmallo resort is apparently one of the oldest resorts of Goa… A very well managed property with an almost private beach and rooms overlooking the sea.
Before anyone asks, this was done when things were normal.
SOLO RIDE TO SOLAPUR WITH 2 SOL HELMETS
Well, technically not Solo..
The pillion is always there! (Part of the bike, part of the crew)
Most of the fellow riders were busy and we were longing for a ride longer than the planned Bhigwan one. A quick google search showed promising pics of Bhuikot fort at Solapur. So off we went this Sunday morning at about 6AM..
The fort is about 260km from home, pretty much straight highway with moderate traffic. We wanted to check how long we can ride without break, and to our pleasant surprise we managed to reach the fort without break and feeling fine by about 9:15AM.
Being Women’s Day, the visit to all centrally protected monuments were free for women, thanks to Archeological Survey of India. They had even organised a tour of the fort with an Archeologist for all women! However, we decided to skip that and explore on our own to save time.
The fort was clean and had a beautifully maintained garden. Some of the sections were collapsing though. A 10-12 year old boy appeared out of nowhere to guide us where to go and where not to. Based on the little Marathi that we understand, he showed us a temple and a mosque and mentioned that the fort was built in the 18th century (We probably should’ve signed up for the tour with the Archeologist for a better understanding of the history!)
After roaming around and clicking few pics for about an hour, the rider was feeling quite hungry, so we asked suggestions from some local people about what’s Solapuri special food. Honestly, we were a bit sad when they said Idli Vada is a must try! Hmmm, anything special of Solapur other than South Indian? Kadak Bhakri with Shengdana Chutney & Dahi is also famous, said a fort employee.. OK, let’s try that!!
We found this old eatery called ‘Solapur Idly Gruh’! Looks like Idly is famous here… And trust me, the Idli Vada didn’t disappoint us at all. The resturant, which was established in 1984, felt like it nothing changed in the last 35- 40 years- same old building, same old people serving food, even rates seem atleast 10 years old! The only exception would be the plastic chairs and tables.The Kadak Bhakri which we were so eager to try turned out to be just Okish. It felt more like Papad, accompanied by yummy peanut Chutney. We also ordered house specials – Thalipeeth & Madras filter coffee. The Thalipeeth was superb, while the coffee has at least 2extra tableapoonsn of sugar for our preference.
And guess the bill – 2Idlis, 2 Vadas, 1 Batata Vada, 1 plate Kadak Bhakri, 1 Thalipeeth, 2 Filter Coffees, 250gms each Bhakarvadi & Shakkarpare – just ₹240!!
Having spent about an hour eating, it was time to suit up and start the return journey. It was sunny, but thankfully it was’nt that hot.. On the way had a small stop for Sugarcane Juice and later on for lunch. Lunch was at a Veg restaurant called Sheeleela, about 60km before Pune. We were pleasantly surprised to find one of the best Veg Biriyani’s we’ve eaten in a long time… and interestingly, it was served in a small pressure cooker!
Post luch we met the Pune traffic and it took us about 1.5-2hrs to cover the remaining 80kms! Finally after 523kms and about 10 hours later, we reached home!