One of the best things about being a resident of the Northeast is that even a short ride can work wonders if it’s unwinding you seek. There are so many beautiful places all around and all a few hours away. So a simple weekend ride of a day or two can be the getaway you need. While I keep myself engaged in motorcycling and related activities, it had been a while since I had ridden just for the sake of riding, wandering just to enjoy the ride and relax.
While pondering over all this, I came across xBhp’s #CEATxPlorer project. Ride to wherever you want while getting to review a pair of tyres from CEAT Tyres? Who can say no to that? So, I filled out the form, shared my itinerary with them and waited. Soon enough, I got a response that I was shortlisted and so began the preparations for the ride.
First order of business? Motorcycle. I went with my trusty Bajaj Dominar 400 for this ride. It is dynamic, agile, sporty, and yet, extremely comfortable. You can cruise around for hundreds of kilometres without getting tired… or bored! But then, a cruiser can do that too, right? But a cruiser won’t be a lot of fun in the twisties that were waiting for me. So, it was set; Bajaj Dominar 400 it was.
The next step was to sort out the bike tyres. CEAT Zoom Rad X1. First of all, they look so beautiful and sporty. I know they’re just tyres but sometimes the tread design can serve as a visual treat as well as being a functional attribute, as was the case with these bike tyres. After getting them installed from a nearby CEAT Shoppe, it was time for me to head out for my short getaway.
Before that though, I made sure to run the tyres in. I knew that I was in for a treat when it came to the twisties and I planned to make the most of it. So the tyres had to be scrubbed in to ensure optimum grip. After that, away went the #CEATxPlorer
The destination for this short trip was Meghalaya and many of the hidden gems that it houses. The trip was not that long but as it turned out, it was a decision that I am willing to make a thousand times over. Since it was the last week of January, the weather was nice and chilly, just the way I liked it.
I started my ride from Guwahati and the destination for the day was Sohra (Cherrapunji). I started early in the morning and decided to have my breakfast before Borapani. A nice roadside Dhaba, scrumptious food and a lovely cup of Chai; nothing sums up the life of a biker better. Especially if the Chai is enjoyed in the winter with a lovely mountainous backdrop.
After that, it was a straight jaunt to Borapani but with a few photo breaks in between. My destination was just around 150 km away so I could afford a leisurely pace. The green hills, the beautiful oak trees, and the cool breeze; I had more than one reason to take a break often- sometimes for photos and sometimes… just for chai!
As I was inching closer to my destination, the twisties were getting more and more serious. I had run in the tyres and from my ride up to this point, they were warmed up too. So, I let it rip for a little while. The grip the CEAT Zoom Rad X1 bike tyres have on offer is simply astounding.
While stitching corners, I could easily tell that I was limited by the bike’s and my own abilities. The tyres seemed like they could go on endlessly. The grip in a straight line, the edge grip and the transitions from one side to another; I have rarely had so much fun and so much faith in any pair of bike tyres before.
After a few bouts of spirited riding, I reached Sohra at around 4 PM. I had a decent amount of time at hand so I wandered around for a while before finally checking into a hotel. The place was called Seven Sisters Falls View Inn and rightly so because it was situated opposite the magnificent Seven Sisters Falls. I had enjoyed the ride so much and now I could call it a day with a beautiful sight too. It does not get much better than that.
Since this was more of a relaxation trip, I was in no hurry to wake up. I was already at my destination and I had a whole day to explore. So, it turned out to be a lazy Saturday morning. A lazy morning to which I woke up with a mesmerizing view of the Seven Sisters Falls. It was fairly chilly, so I decided to have breakfast and chai in the hotel itself. This is actually the way I like exploring, in a relaxed manner and not in a hurry trying to stick to the schedule.
Once I was done with the breakfast, chai, and the beautiful view from the hotel, it was time to ride. There were some places that I had decided to visit and the first one was Nohkalikai Waterfalls. It is not only one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the region but also the tallest plunge waterfall in India- A dizzying 340 metres!
The sight of the water plunging over red cliffs engulfed in a lush forest before ending up in a clear turquoise pool… the sight is enough to make anyone’s jaw drop. Natural beauty is at its peak in places like these and they have a certain effect on the onlookers. Soothing, relaxing, and serene. I spent a reasonable amount of time around the Nohkalikai Waterfalls just sitting and drinking in the beauty of the place. Predictably, I clicked a few photos too.
After admiring the beautiful falls for an hour or so, I decided to head to my next destination- Sohra Eco Park. It is one of the most beautiful parks you can visit in and around Cherrapunji. A peculiar feature of the place is that it was designed and constructed on a plateau. Sitting higher than the places around it, the park offers viewers the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful green hills and valleys of Sohra and even the waterfalls originating from it. If you are a nature-lover, this is one of the best places to visit.
After spending some more time at the park, I ended my day enjoying the stunning sunset from the park. Every time I visit Meghalaya, I get to see so many new things, learn so many new things, and meet so many new people. And each of those experiences is an unforgettable one. There are just so many things, big and small, that make you fall in love with nature.
‘Meghalaya… you never fail to amaze me and you never fail to get a promise from me that I will be visiting you again soon.’ Ultimately, this ride granted me the opportunity to spend an amazing weekend with nature. And so this is the end of this short roadtrip I took up. The next day, I found myself back at home doing the same stuff I do but with new vigour and enthusiasm; all thanks to this small roadtrip. A big thanks to xBhp and CEAT Tyres for giving me this opportunity. To all the readers, I will be back soon with another travelogue.
Tyre Review: CEAT ZOOM RAD X1
Now, let us talk about the tyres. CEAT Zoom Rad X1 is one fantastic pair of bike tyres. I loved the amount of grip they provide be it in a straight line or in the corners. Starting with the straight-line performance, these tyres leave absolutely nothing to be desired. The Dominar 400 is meant for sports touring and these tyres are like the definition of sports touring. The stability on offer is amazing and things get even better as you encounter some corners. First of all, the profile of the tyres makes it really easy to tip the bike into the corner. It also aids the side-to-side transitions. Then there’s the use of a soft compound that lends these tyres phenomenal grip when the motorcycle is leaned over. Another thing that I loved a lot was the performance in the wet. The tread design helps these tyres dispel water from under the surface really quickly, therefore, providing the rider with confidence even in sketchy conditions. They are good in a straight line, they are good in corners, and they perform reasonably well; that is all one can ask from bike tyres. So based on my experience, these are some of the best tyres for the Dominar 400.