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Thread: North by North-East: Katoom goes to Sikkim and Bhutan

  1. #1
    Addicted sudhir222's Avatar
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    Default North by North-East: Katoom goes to Sikkim and Bhutan

    PROLOGUE

    It all seems surreal. Incredible. A wild dream.
    Three weeks have vanished from my life and now back to the same old chaotic routine.
    Am still wondering what just happened but it's really difficult to explain the current mood or the confused state.
    In my mind, am still over there, at Gurudongmar, kneeling down for a prayer and gasping for breath, hearing the roar of waves at Puri's beach, watching the sun rays kiss Mt Kanchenjunga at Pelling, drinking dozens of chai at Calcutta in earthen glasses.. Dipping my feet in Ganga mata's waters..
    And at Thimphu, relishing the place with Druk 11000; Every morning's routine of applying sunscreen on my shabby face, wearing the gear, black tea to start off, smiling at people's wishes, shuddering because of the cold gusts of wind.

    This all started on October 6th when I got down from the Yeshwantpur-Gauhati Kamakhya express train along with my Katoom, Tashi.
    Since then about 4500kms have been covered and rode through Sikkim, West Bengal, Orissa and Andhra Pradesh. For the first time in my life, rode on an international circuit and that feeling alone is inexplicable.

    When I started the solo journey, there were zero expectations since I knew that would be realistic. No, it is not a pessimistic way of thoughts but lessons taught the hard way tell me that staying uncluttered and a clear mind was the only way to complete this insane ride. I was okay with obstacles, things going wrong since we do not live in Shangrila and in real world, riding alone, too many possibilities for screw ups.
    Now, having said that, I am humble and offer heartfelt gratitude for that spirit beyond us for helping me do everything I thought of and manage the adverse situations. Still unable to comprehend that how on earth could I do most of the plan!

    As you all might be knowing my last big one was in Oct 2012, the fantastic Spiti ride with Sumantra(god bless). 2013 somehow turned sour and couldn't do any BIG ride despite having everything set for Nepal. So I was at my restless epitome and this had to happen. The planning started around May and I drew up a route. Almost every day was spent reading logs, staring at pictures of the places and dreaming. Back then it was not supposed to be a solo though. Karthik and Sumeet were supposed to join but both encountered issues with leaves from work.

    This time I decided to ride on the Katoom(KTM 390) and leave my Flyin Machine(Machismo 500) back home. He was pissed off at me but I believed the EFI and high speed cruising was necessary for the long long return ride from Calcutta to Bangalore.

    Let me give an overview of the route before I start off my rant:
    New Jalpaiguri > Pelling > Gangtok > Gurudongmar Lake > Yumthang > Zuluk > Phuntsheling > Thimphu > DochuLa > Paro > Phuntsheling > Siliguri >
    Calcutta > Puri > Bangalore.

    The katoom had clocked about 13000kms before the start and had been serviced well.

    Few pics to set the mood

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    Prayers to start off..

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    Tashi, the lone ranger!


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    Tiger's nest monastery, Bhutan


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    Gurudongmar Lake, North Sikkim

    The task of completing this log, processing all the pics and editing 64GB of videos seems quite an uphill task but I hope to complete it soon!
    If you ride like there's no tomorrow, there won't be...
    https://www.facebook.com/sudhir.lb500

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    Moderator The Monk's Avatar
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    Default Re: North by North-East: Katoom goes to Sikkim and Bhutan

    Travelogue Approved

    Please do complete it soon. Looks good !!
    sudhir222 likes this.
    Biking is not about what you have between your legs, its all about how well you use it!!!!!!!

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    Default Re: North by North-East: Katoom goes to Sikkim and Bhutan

    WOW!!
    Bring it on..!!
    sudhir222 likes this.

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    Default Re: North by North-East: Katoom goes to Sikkim and Bhutan

    Superb start!
    Bring on the rest.

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    Addicted sudhir222's Avatar
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    Default Re: North by North-East: Katoom goes to Sikkim and Bhutan

    Quote Originally Posted by The Monk View Post
    Travelogue Approved

    Please do complete it soon. Looks good !!
    Thank you Full effort is being put to finish it!

    Quote Originally Posted by pranav.k View Post
    WOW!!
    Bring it on..!!
    Quote Originally Posted by krishna77 View Post
    Superb start!
    Bring on the rest.
    Thank you gentlemen


    PREPARATIONS

    The first thing I wanted to get done was the pannier rack to hold the saddle bag stable. This was done from scratch and I
    rode the bike home to Mangalore as a test run. Seemed good, came back and did a paint job with aerosol spray cans.
    Next was to get hold of some essential spares. I dint want leave to many things to a chance factor.

    -Installed new clutch cable for the sake of peace of mind.
    -New brake pads on the front - old one was totally worn out.
    -Hazard warning lights installed - did this myself as I do not trust mechanics.
    -Spares bought - spark plug, side stand sensor, throttle cable, few nuts and bolts, headlamp bulb, brake and clutch levers,
    brake and gear shifters(alloy, hence delicate). I wanted to carry a spare battery, keeping in mind the mess during the
    Spiti ride but the service center folks said not to worry. This would haunt me dearly later!
    -Bike had just undergone the third free service. But went to the service center couple of days before the train journey to
    get the chain adjusted and re-torque all the nuts.
    -Packed a minimal set of tools - Allen key set, few spanners, digital tester, wire, pliers, adjustable wrench, chain lube,
    WD40, electrical tape and few important nuts and bolts.

    My personal items included:
    Sunscreen SPF50, 6 shirts, 3 denims, sleepers, loads of undergarments, shawl, leather jacket, first aid kit, toilet kit, DLSR, GoPro borrowed from the clutch baba Suraj, riding gear.
    So it was Rynox saddle bags and a tail pack for all the things to go in.
    Carried all bike documents in original and my passport, keeping Bhutan permits in mind, along with few photographs.

    Need to mention a special thanks to Vasant again for getting me an EQ train ticket, just like during the Spiti ride
    I owe you one brother!

    My riding jacket's zipper had gone kaput so borrowed Gaurav's and also his tail pack. Decided to leave behind my tank bag
    as I wanted maximum freedom at the handlebar area. Thank you Karlitoz
    Its become a tradition to borrow one of his things - the pannier for the Machismo during Spiti ride. So Gaurav you need to
    thank me for taking your things places!

    Anjan dada saved my ass by helping with the permits for North Sikkim and Zuluk beforehand. I did not want to reach Gangtok and then get into this babugiri, wasting time.
    Manish bhai, xKmph founder member and rider from Gangtok for getting the permits done, all the help while in Gangtok and arranging for my stay there at his marvelous guest house.

    Cheers to you all!
    If you ride like there's no tomorrow, there won't be...
    https://www.facebook.com/sudhir.lb500

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    Addicted andy0104's Avatar
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    Default Re: North by North-East: Katoom goes to Sikkim and Bhutan

    Great start
    Keep it coming!
    sudhir222 likes this.

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    Rusted krishna77's Avatar
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    Default Re: North by North-East: Katoom goes to Sikkim and Bhutan

    Superb so far.

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    Default Re: North by North-East: Katoom goes to Sikkim and Bhutan

    So far so good...bring in some clicks...:thumbup:

    Sent from my GT-I8262 using xBhp Connect mobile app
    sudhir222 likes this.

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    Default Re: North by North-East: Katoom goes to Sikkim and Bhutan

    woow man i just today came in from bhutan ride itself,,,,,,, ,, whole bhutan specially road leading to Paro is exceptionally beautiful and man o man any biker's paradise ,,, just the dream like twists and turns are there,,,,,,, amazing,,,,,, bring it on man,,,,,,

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    Rusted princesirohi's Avatar
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    Default Re: North by North-East: Katoom goes to Sikkim and Bhutan

    nice pics...post the rest of it.

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