Route was Leh-Jispa-Chandigarh-Gwalior-Nagpur-Hyderabad-Bangalore-Kanyakumari
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We knew it’s gonna be very tough and though lot of people suggested to take Jammu Srinagar route while going to Leh but we took Manali-Jispa route to Leh via which we had to come back for the record ride, to prepare well for the ride.
Manali-Jispa-Leh route has all the highest passes of the Ladakh region…so I wanted to take this route to test my bike and ourselves…
So while enroute Leh before the K2K ride we knew what all to expect in terms of bad roads, water crossings, weather…in fact even the dhabas on the way(at places where there were very few even on long stretches).
Day 1 Leh-Jispa:
Despite all the preparedness Tangalang on 16th Sept morning was toughest part of Day 1
While going to Leh we crossed Tanglangala around 2 pm…it was very cold and started snowing at the top so we had an idea that it’s gonna be tough. On 16th during K2K ride we had to cross Tangalang La around 8:30 am…the cold was unbearable even 10 KMS before Tanglang La…when we saw icicles for the first time…
Later we came to know that it was -4°(felt like -8°C) when we crossed Tanglangala La. There are hardly 4-5 dhaba stops on the entire route till Jispa so the stops anyways had to be minimum on day 1.
The roads from Pang- Jispa are bad with bed of stones and pebbles and the difficulty level doubled with a pillion.
The terrains were familiar as I crossed them barely a week ago so after crossing all the passes again we reached Jispa around 6:15 pm comfortably after 12 hours of ride.
Day 2: Jispa- Chandigarh
Each day of the K2K ride had a new challenge for us…
For Day 2 the challenge was crossing Rohtang with pillion due to slush and then Manali Chandigarh broken roads, landslides and traffic.
It seemed a never ending ride and it took us around 15 hours of ride time to reach Chandigarh from Jispa…
So after end of Day 2 we landed from snow(it snowed in Jispa the morning we started) to hot weather of Chandigarh around 12:30 am.
Day 3 Chandigarh – Gwalior
The heat along with Delhi traffic was a big hurdle on the third day…
Roads were good till Agra but it was already dark by the time we crossed Agra. The roads were bad and full of potholes and there was lot of cattle crossing at night too. On few stretches it was so bad that we stopped to check whether we are on NH44( Srinagar-Kanyakumari national highway) or entered some small village of UP.
We managed to reach Gwalior around 9:30 pm after 13 hours of ride.
Day 4 Gwalior to Nagpur
It was the longest day of the K2K ride with around 700 KMS to be covered. We started around 8:30 from Gwalior and we were going strong covering around 160 KMS in first 2.5 hours including the bad roads till from Jhansi-Gwalior.
Sagar was around 180 KMS more and we took a breakfast break around 11:30.
Planning to reach Sagar by lunch we started around 12 after breakfast…but after covering around 30-40 KMS my bike gave a miss for the first time and when I slowed down I heard some knocking sound from the engine. My bike gave a miss and my heart skipped a beat literally. I checked the oil level and decided to change the oil. It wasn’t a pleasant site to see pitch dark black oil from drainage that too hardly a glass full of quantity.
I immediately contacted my technician in Bangalore and he told that crank assembly and piston head is gone it seems. I need to reduce the luggage from the bike before continuing for the remaining journey and reduce the speed to 70-80. Till now I was riding around 110-120 comfortably with pilling and around 30 kgs of luggage. With Kanyakumari still 2200 KMS to go I knew it’s gonna be very very difficult to go at slow speeds.
It clearly meant that riding time for me was gonna be around 1.5 times more. If otherwise I could have covered the distance in 12 hours, now it would take 15 hours with break time reducing further.
Opening the engine for repair wont be possible as it would take 2 days of time, changing the engine oil and trusting Yamaha was the only option.
I needed 300V for my bike but despite searching for more than an hour in Sagar we couldn’t get it.
I managed to reach Lakhnadon around 11:30pm and that was the first time I called Ankit. Apprised him of the situation and within 15 mins he sorted things out and assured me that I’ll get 300v wherever I wanted in Nagpur (200kms from Lakhnadon). And hereafter me and Ankit were in constant touch about my ride. Thanks to BAC Nagpur(Akash & Nisarg) that everything(oil change & general checkup of the bike) was done super quick in Nagpur and I managed to leave on time from Nagpur. Before leaving the Yamaha service center in Nagpur I asked the technician there “Bhaiyya Kanyakumari tak koi problem to nhi ayegi na( looking at the half damaged engine sound) ”
He replied: ” R15 hai sir … Sath nhi chhodegi Kanyakumari tak jayegi” Asked me to ride around 70-80 and with a smile wished me luck for K2K dream.
Day 5: Nagpur- Hyderabad:
The plan for 5th day was to ride from Nagpur – Hyderabad but for us it was 200 KMS more at reduced speeds. The only way to do it was with more longer stretches of riding and lesser breaks. Hereafter we were riding for 240-250 KMS in 3-3:30 hours continuously and then take a short 10 mins break for a round of energy bars, tea, or ORS.
Continuing the same way we reached Hyderabad around 11:30 pm after 16 hours of ride from Lakhnadon.
Day 6 Hyderabad – Bangalore
After bearing bone chilling cold, snow, scorching sun it was time for some rain showers.
As I have done Hyderabad – Bangalore earlier as well I knew the roads are pretty good on this stretch and thought of starting early from Hyderabad.
We started around 8:00 am but it took 2.5 hours in Hyderabad traffic and incessant rains to cross Hyderabad and touch Bangalore highway. We took just one break since we started from Hyderabad and reached Ananthpur around 4pm. Though it was getting tougher and tougher but the excitement of entering Bangalore after 12 days kept us going. It rained heavily on few stretches from Ananthpur to Bangalore and then it was turn of Bangalore traffic to trouble us.
I had called Thomson(Apt Bike Point) a friend and my technician for the ride to just have a look at the bike when I enter Bangalore. We had a tea together and with a smile that he always has on his face he said ” It’s R15 that you could manage till here in this condition of the engine…don’t worry ride the same way and you’ll reach your Destination safely tomorrow”. We reached Electronic city around 12:30 and decided to take a 5 hours nap at home.
Day 7 Bangalore-Kanyakumari
I never doubted my bike but my confidence on the bike increased further as it had done around 1700 KMS already in that condition. We started early morning from Bangalore and somehow I felt the bike came to know that it’s our last day of the ride. The performance improved a lot and with confidence I started riding 90-100 on the last day. It was 4:30 pm and Kanyakumari was still 180 KMS when we stopped near Virudhunagar for a quick tea. I had plans to see the sunset of 22nd December in Kanyakumari but it rained heavily at few streches near before entering Kanyakumari and sunset happened when Kanyakumari was still around 50 KMS.
Finally around 7:50 we reached the petrol pump of Kanyakumari to take the last receipt of our K2K ride.
I almost had tears in my eyes on reaching Kanyakumari and the first thing after completing the dream ride was kissing my wife and kissing my bike!
And that’s how our K2K dream ride withering snow, scorching heat, rains, bad roads, black ice, slushy water crossings 12 states and 4000 KMS was completed on 22nd Sept 7:57 pm.
Note of Thanks:
I trusted Solace for entire riding gear as I have been using their jacket for over 3 years and I know the quality they make. A big thumbs up to Solace.