Most of us are not satisfied with the level of illumination our bikes provide. For few it might be “OK” type for their daily commutes. Different people, on different bikes of different Brands, all on the road. For all those people who possess a Pulsar 220, the headlight is really good, and most of them are satisfied with it.
But for the lot, which includes me as well, there nothing known as enough light! Even before testing a P220, I had thought of using both the beams together and finally, I have successfully tried and tested, such setup.
The usage idea is simple. The low beam works as a single beam, but when switchover to high beam, my low beam remains on, along with the high beam. (With a toggle switch to go back to stock setup)
The modification makes use of a relay, because the 220’s BCU does not simply allow both the bulbs to work, simply by shorting the two. Still, the mod is simple, and is fully reversible and does not need any kind of wire cutting, hence no problem with warranty with the bike or HID. The BCU is not all bad, as it automatically switches of the light in case of overload or severe battery drain.
This mod applies only to HIDs. As combined load of 2 HIDs is just 70W.
We need to replace the Pilot Bulbs to LEDs saving 10W.
So in stock mod our bulb setup consumes 2X5=10W + 55W = 65W.
Where’s as twin HID’s consume 35W X 2 = 70W.
Setup is simple. The (+)Ve of the Low beam Bulb, goes to the relay at A. When the Low beam is selected the relay is not activated and low beam completes the circuit through point B and goes to the socket of Low Beam. When the High Beam is selected, the High Beam glows as well as the Relay get activated, and hence the low beam completes the circuit at C, and the low beam gets power through High Beam Socket. A Toggle switch, keeps the Relay deactivated even if high beam is selected.
So go ahead and have the best possible illumination on any Indian Stock Bike!
I have been testing it for last few days, and it does not affect the battery. In case of a problem with the relay, the bike simply returns to stock system (Single Beam HID not Halogen).
So finally after all those hectic schedules, I got a ticket for a ride. It was quite a time since I was back on highway. I missed those lanes, the peculiar smell of tires & engines. Though I just had a day and could do something like 300+ Kms, so I decided to get the best of day. I was confused on the path I would like to drive in. I ended up making 2 routes.
1. Kathmandu to Pokhara (Davis Fall)
2. Kathmandu to Ram Nagar (I had been hearing that there was an awesome beech)
With my brains working at the speed of light, I finally opted for No#2 with a good reason my mind i.e. summer is somewhere round the corner. Its 8.30 and I am late on my setup. Finally within 20 mins I was through hustling roads of city and stride on highway. It was just 30 mins that I came to Naubise. Please be reminded that there is a way to Hetauda, the oldest highway of Nepal. I changed my mind, I am going for Plan B, took the lonesome highway. Lucky enough to get less traffic. I was loving each and every corner of this highway.
After hour and half ride through twisty mountain, I landed up in Daman – a spot well known for snowfalls and its panoramic views. Sunny day, cool breeze on your face, a ride to define you the best, what else do you ask for. Its was my butt- break so I went to the View Tower Resort. I had been hearing that on a very good day you get a excellent view of Mt Everest. Thrilled and excited, I made myself to the top of the tower to get up close and personnel with the iconic Mt Everest. It was a sunny day so I was quite positive to get the shot, but very little did I knew that the place where I stood had clear day and mountains were busy hiding behind the clouds. Gazed wide to the clear landscape, green mountains with very less population and not to forget the clean air that I was breathing.
Time to get back to the track, after few kilometers I was placed in twisty part. I was doing good until I found a spot for some photographs. Parked the bike on the edge and start going click click. (Counted In as my hobby). I had shots for time of my life. The sun at noon was quite warm enough and passing through those villages really made me feel good about my country and its men.
Small children playing with all they have, few selling flowers. Did get few but I could not afford to by the whole as there were more then 10 kids selling me those bouquets of flowers. Played with them for a while and got back to my path again.
So finally after 5 hours of steady ride I made my self to Hetauda, one of the industrial hub of my nation and not to forget the main junction connecting east with west. Had my lunch, as my dose of Red bull was about to extinct in me. Now, half part of my ride done; belly filled with delicious lunch, time to take break. As I was planning to be with water at the start of my journey, I drove to the river to chill out. Unleashed myself to expire on water, though I had no plans to swim in there but then having a spot inside the river sealed the deal in me.Placed some rocks to make myself a Rock Couch, feets soaked in moving water I was making myself energized. A pleasant time out and now headed back to where I belong.
Since the road was broad and daylight still hanging on, I had to make the best of it before dark. I revved a bit more then my usual speed and landed at Narayanghat. Now its 5 hours drive to Kathmandu, the uphill route. I wrestled with strong winds all the way to Mugling, to keep my stomach fueled as I still had a long way to go and I needed some strength to keep me going . Its already 8.30pm. I was feeling quite lazy after I took my dinner. After much of long ride of the day, I still had few more hours to proceed before I land myself on my cozy bed. With all the twist and turns, strong winds wrestle, overtakes I came to very distinctive point. I saw a milestone that read “Kathmandu – 46 Kms” and it had a right hander turn. I named it as “Rossi Corner”. Since he is good at turns with his legs out I wanted to do the same so I made a U turn and revved all the way with my right leg opened till I move past the dedicated corner. Trust me, it was fun, tryna be a part of Rossi on Enfield. With that grin on my face, I finally made my way through Kathmandu.
I always wanted to ride a major long distance trip, but somewhere I was always meddling with my work and time. With the passing of time, my wish was awarded, this time I am going to Mahendranagar and back. We planned the trip on very short notice and just packed off. We left Kathmandu at the dawn so that we could get the best of the day. The trip has to cover 100 bridges, uphill, slopes, off-road, the wild dense jungle, long stretch, and much more exciting view to be glanced. We got started at around 3:30 AM with P-220 as “the ride”. We took the opening 25KMs very steady as this was the most annoying part at the start. The speed was reduced and we cruised at relatively slow speeds to avoid any crash or potholes. What this meant was we lost some valuable time right at the start of the journey! I wished for free road ahead. But heck, there were some traffic especially the trucks coming to valley. We were literally doing the Zigzag mode. Finally we passed the first irritating phase and revved at our cruise speed to meet the timing we set for. After 70KMs of ride we took a butt break at Malekhu, checked the tires, wiped the visors and lamps and continued on.
The next spot was towards Mugling, that’s 110KMs down of Kathmandu, we did not stop and kept on riding till Narayanghat. It was 5:35AM in the morning and the city was already startled with people boarding vehicles to their respective destinations. The pack men were busy with peoples around and streets were already opened with shops, selling tea and regular stuffs. We stopped for 10 minutes and got our self over the big Narayani River. Now that we were on plains we decided to cover as much as we could before the mid day as this part of highway maximum traffic in first hours, vehicles from short distance and around going to Kathmandu is a usual part. We passed Naranyanghat in no time and headed straight to Kawasoti which is like 40KMs. We were riding and enjoying the every single part of until we were welcomed by this huge mist and fogs. We could hardly see what’s in front and our attire all soaked with early dew. We again stopped and cleansed our primary essentials. The mist around was induced of Arun River and we were close to it.
Now when we stopped this time, we detected a problem. No, the bike is in good order, it’s the bag pack. The bottom part of the bag pack had made little bit of scratches on the top of tail-lamps and we could not take it lightly. We arrived to our habitué gas station and re-fueled. Since we started in early hours we were covered with heavy duty clothes on. Time to get rid of it as the weather was mild and we could ride with simple Tee. Washed, changed and got back to the track again. We made it in Butwal at around 11AM, searched for accessories shop, got a smiley red sticker and patched. With many beautiful scenarios across, i was simply having the best of my times on the road and suddenly we had to take this uphill road. This part of road was quite similar to that of Hetauda-Daman-Naubise. We noted that the vehicles on this part were very low and got ourselves in off-road. The track was incubated with thick layers of fine dust particles of the rocks and recent landslides. We had hard times but finally we passed thru this rigid mountain of dust and rocks. We took our lunch at 1PM, well the food was OK type, but as we were hungry we took it as much as we could. We decided to ease ourselves for awhile.
Back on the road again cruising thru one of the most beautiful country side I ever came across. The shiny green meadows at one side and tress at the other. The cattle’s grazing and very few people walking. At a point, I just thought to reside at this place. It was such a beautiful place and with amazing view and resource, but thoughts are always a part and not a reality.
As we kept on riding, we traversed many small towns and villages, kids waving, people smiling. The gesture itself was so warm and comfortable. We were moving ahead, we saw a group of foreigner stucked. They were planning to go to Pokhara. There were 10 of them with their Indian No registered Enfield’s and one of the bike had issues with crank shaft, though they had a mechanic but I found him quite dumb and these foreigner looked pretty annoyed. We suggested them to head Nepalganj, 70KMs ahead and get it fixed; it was near and could be restored easily as of availability of resource then to head Butwal which was like 170KMs from that spot.
Eventually we came to the much awaited place in the middle of jungle. Arrowhead roads for more than 20KMs, this was the place we decided to test our Bajaj Pulsar 220 to its last resort. Butt-break for us and time out to the bike. We tested the P220 for its max speed, the rpm, vibrations, tires and few more test. Results were simply awesome; we headed back to what we were there for. After cruising for few hours, we ultimately found ourselves in front of Bardia National Park. With big bushes and long grass on the side of the roads we were cruising like anything. The dawn at a side and destination still hundreds miles far now, we had to rev a bit more then the rest of the day and thanks to all those photography shoots. So, finally at 9:15PM we reached to the most extreme point in west and of Nepal, Mahendranagar. We checked in a hotel had our dinner and dived on beds.
We were planning to head towards Dharan, a city in east which was 1100KMS far from us, we had our breakfast and headed straight towards but ended ourselves in Dhangadi, which lies 50KMs south to Mahendranagar. We met my uncle and since India was few minutes away, we decided to drive in there. So we went to the border, got a ticket for next 15KMs. Once we crossed the border we found ourselves in an Indian National Park named Dudhwa, it was amazing, though we had seen all of those in Nepal, the only difference was the International Border line and Indian Language. While coming back to where we belonged we saw a male antler, it almost rammed me. In the end at 3PM we were back to Nepal and we had a long distance to cover up so we canceled the trip to Dharan and headed to Kathmandu, which off course was 700+ away. Riding for next 3 hours was fun as we had decided to be at Chisapani at 6, no matter what for few photo shoots and for the change of attires. We made it at 6:10PM, good light for photo shoot and time to change. We now had to cross almost 90KMs which was through the dense jungle of the National Park. We were advised to be alert for wild elephants and few animals. We heavily relied on the projector lamp of the P220. So, now we had no option then to gush ourselves through. This was one of most thrilled ride I ever been to, riding at the speed of 80+ wrapped with the essence of a dense jungle area with two souls. I was eagerly waiting for few thrills but my bad luck. Few security check and we were out of the jungle in 2 hours, no encounter with any wild animals, just a blissful ride. The night was calm and really beautiful, the twinkling of stars and cold air trickling my face was one of the best thing. The road was good one, no potholes, no hinder and very less traffic.
We stopped for another butt-break but then we found a small mishap, we had to escort this guy to near by town as he had a minor misfortune. This guy was on Pulsar 200 and as we started off, he was still speeding. So we thought why not try as its in middle of clean highway with less traffic and seriously this guy had to be tamed (I know, its not a good idea but then we just let go off our essential guide lines for a while). With the difference of 20cc I could see him being lost at RVM (Rear View Mirror) many times. We arrived at his town, offered a tea and then we set off again, riding all the way long on a solitary night we finally reached Butwal at 5AM.
We were now eased as we knew this part of highway pretty well. Had some omlettes and tea, laid back for a while and then finally set off. We reached Narayanghat at 9AM, now the traffic was high as this city is a major hub for the flow of transportation across the nation. You can go to any part via this city. We were pretty much reduced with our energy level, its almost 24 hours that we been riding. We barely had enough of energy to take us to Kathmandu, which was still 200KMs away. We took it slow and steady till Mugling, as we enjoy our travel food on this very spot. We were starving from last night dinner, so we just could not wait longer. Finally the food’s here and we could not concentrate anywhere else then our delicious Thakali- A Nepali Cuisine. With the short hand of the watch perfectly at 1PM we headed back to Kathmandu. With flowing of rivers, children on streets and people busy with their schedules we moved along the highway. Slow and steadily we drove through the town on the highways, sometimes for a tea and sometimes just passing them with a smile. We were making our self back to where we were few days back and to the same old routine but hey we had much of fun and a ride to remember for life.
How was your last ride? Did you crash in something just because you marked it “redundant”, I believe you must have cursed that moment like hell. Well, trust me, I did the same when I was just out of my shell. Hence, I just compiled a list to help my fellow riders or some amateur, while & after a long drive. Hope it delivers a high end message to first-timers about how to prepare for a long ride
Preparations Before The Journey
1) Vehicle Check up: I will skip the regular check tire pressure, engine tune up, electrical check up stuff which all of us know.
2) Get a good Map: Ideally get map book which has the maximum information, quick reference, and location of fuel pumps & eat out places.
3) Schedule your journey: Use the map to schedule your days of journey. You must schedule it in such a manner that you always reach a place where you can lodge (preferably a city) before your sleeping time i.e. avoid being mid way at nights you must be near towns at night.
What Stuff To Carry?
>> A long nylon rope: It will be needed for toeing or even for tying any extra baggage you might have acquired during the journey.
>> A pack of engine oil & coolant: These two are the most probable components which you may run out of in a journey or you may not found the one you use regularly
>> Additional tire tube: In case of puncture in an area where you don’t have any mechanics
>> An air pressure gauge & if possible a foot air pump:
>> Extra toolkit i.e. the one besides the standard ones:
>> Swiss Army Knife; You may need it, you never know
>> A Proper Riding Gear
>> Music and extra battery: Gotta Keep those ears plugged!!!
>> Camera: Just in case, when you feel like to go click-click
Tip: Learn some basic repair like adjusting chain slackness, puncture repair etc. If something goes wrong in the highway and there are no mechanics nearby you don’t have to panic. You can do it yourself with the tools you carry.
On The Road
1) Follow the signs: Very important especially in case of road diversions.
2) Driving at Nights: As said try driving at night only on the roads known to you (by that I mean where you have been before). Driving at night has its own advantages & disadvantages
– Engine at its best less heating hence can be revved more so less time more distance
– Minimum number of two wheelers & bullock karts, again less time more distance
– Good signaling with headlights without honking, you know whose coming & who’s behind you
– Most dreaded you may fall asleep
– May miss important road signs & end up at an altogether different location
– May hit pedestrians or vehicles which do not have proper indicators or reflectors
3) Clean all the RVMs & glasses regularly:
4) Take proper halts: It’s necessary to give both the vehicle & yourself regular break, you’re not on a racing circuit so enjoy the scenery on the way & make your trip more memorable
5) Keep checking the fuel level: Very important check fuel level & refuel it as & when possible unlike in city where you fill up at ‘E’ mark, also keep asking people how long is the next fuel station.
6) Use proper signaling: The signaling on the highways is in way or the other different than that in city.
Some of the signaling techniques used on highway
a) Most of the bus\truck drivers who are going at constant speeds keep their right indicator blinking, this means that the person from behind may not need to honk & can simply overtake that bus\truck
b) Never overtake any vehicle without getting a clear signal from him the signal could be either a right go ahead signal or a right indicator, he may also ask you not to overtake & that could be due to various reasons such as an oncoming vehicle, he might himself be trying to overtake a vehicle in front of it
c) After overtaking try to give a left indicator if you are going back to the left most lane this is necessary specially in those cases where your overtaking a vehicle & the oncoming vehicle is nearing you fast.
d) an exemption to point b could be that sometimes when you can see that there is no oncoming traffic & the vehicle in front of you is not giving you any pass signal to go ahead, you can safely overtake it as he may not be giving signal due to no oncoming traffic
e) During Night rides use the headlamps to pass for overtaking & also for stopping or slowing an oncoming vehicle which is overtaking & you feel is coming direct towards you
f) Use proper high or low beam while driving
g) You may keep your headlights on in daytime if you are on a road where you have to overtake frequently
h) Do not honk unnecessarily if the vehicle in front of you gets pissed then he may not let you overtake
The jaunt sparked with triggering of alarm at 3AM, washed and got prepared for the ride. I reached to my brother’s place. We went thru our check list for 1 last time, fueled up the bike. Check list is upto the mark
4.30AM, We have Ignition On!!!
We were on our way to explore the day filled with surprise and lots more.
5.30AM – Nagdhuga
We sneaked out while the entire city was wrapped up in their warm cosy sleep. Well the dawn of the day itself was much more pleasant to ride off.
6.30 AM – Naubise /Covered KMS – 20
The road was quite disturbing and quite slippery, with loads of twist and turns to go thru but then finally we made it there. A cup of tea and few clicks. We met 2 guys on their way of Manakamana. They praised our ride, in return we offered few riding tips and formal handshake and both bikes on the road once again.
7.00AM – Kurintar
Stop to re-fueled up again (heard there was some kinda strike or so… better to go smooth). Basanti took 5 ltrs in her tank though she brought us here for 2.1 ltrs (ie 1.7 for 25KMs). We had made her go slow as we could not offer to spoil our day.
8.00AM – Hydro Power Staion (on the way to Pokhara from Mugling)
Took some good snaps, checked out the view and winding river below. Somewhere in middle i was reminded that it was indeed a right option for a ride on a such a beautiful day. The road smooth as always and little bit of pace in it. We are quite pleased with our Basanti
10.45AM – Pokhara /Covered Kms – 210 (from Home)
Pokhara welcomed us with its snow capped mountains, as its was Teej (a festive day celebrated by hindu woman in Nepal), the city was quite covered up with reds and green. We took a rest, quenched our thirst, looked around and packed off again.
We reached various places on the way at times as we went thru rigid mountains. We took few pic and shot some videos of the variant landscape. We enjoyed every piece of this ride till we saw our first accident occur right in front of our eyes. Local Amateur boys on their Yamaha R15 slide right in front despite regular warnings that we gave them but they did not follow as a result the pillion rider suffered most.
Finally we arrived Butwal at around 4.00PM covering almost 410Kms through up and downs, off road and pitched road. The street was flooded with locals celebrating Teej and the view was amazing but sadly we witnessed one more accident where we could see the front tire of truck right on top of a Pulsar Bike. We had no option then to move on as there were chances of highway being shut down (Thats what the locals do when they encounter a tragedy)
We moved on till we found a good gas station, fueled up again, took a shot of Redbull and omlette and packed off again. As we were making our way thru Narayanghat, Chitwan we had to reduce our cruise speed due to rain. We changed our gears, as i was planing of complete dry tour i was turned unfortunate. We gushed ourselves thru and finally made to Narayanght at 8.18PM. Another shot of RedBull to keep us energized, now we took the 36 Kms of raod to Mugling in high speed. As a result we did the 36Kms of track (off track in few places) in 40 Mins.
9.00PM – Mugling
We took our dinner, made few strategies and then back on highway once again
We started out quite a good until we reached Kurintar (10KMs ahead Mugling). We were again welcomed by rain, but we kept of fighting and headed straight.
FYI: Mugling is 120KMs away from Kathmandu and it can be conquered in about 3-4 hours, depends upon the speed.
11.00PM – Malekhu
Finally we reached Malekhu, the town was almost gone to sleep as everything around was closed. Restes for awhile, eased our legs and backs and went back to highway once again
11.30 PM – Galchi
As soon as we reached Galchi, the drizzle was quite loud. We could rarley see the road, followed on the translucent shadows of whatever vehilce infront and follow their tire path (A trick to use when you get struck in heavy rain).
Now the rain was like anything spanking right infornt of our face, our clothes all soaked in water. At time we almost hit a bench lying in middle of highway (ie villagers).
1.30AM – Naubise
Finally we reached Naubise, we were little relaxed as we now have 20KMs more and then we are thru Kathmandu. But very little did we know what this 20Kms would had in for us.
As soon as we hit the road corssed few turning, there were huge fogs right infron of us.
FYI: This part of the road is the most destructed with lots of turns uphill.
Again we took the help of our fellow truck drivers, some of them even helped us showing the way with the help of their fog lamps installed. There was a point were we could hardly even see a metre ahead.
2.15AM – Nagdhuga/Thankot
With all those fogs and heavy rains still on us we made thru, We avoided the ditch as much as we could and Basanti (Royal Enfield 350 Yellow) did not let us down.
3.00AM – HOME
Finally i reached home at 3 in the morning, completely soaked in rain for 5 hours. Changed and slipped thru my warm cosy bed after that 640KMs ride.