I was born in and did my schooling in the city of Belgaum (Karnataka, India). A few friends decided to meet up in Belgaum (340 kms from Pune) and so I decided to ride down on Saturday morning. For this trip, I purchased the Viaterra claw
for Rs. 2900/-. It was very easy to mount on the rear seat. It has a 3 mount system. The good thing about this bag is that it also supports your lower back. I could kinda rest my back on it.
Anyways, I just packed clothes for a day, a rain jacket and left at 6:00 AM on Saturday (26th September 2014). The Pune - Satara stretch was a bone jarring stretch. The road used to be such a good road but I don't know if it's because of the rains that part of the road were eaten way. Some of it was filled in but then no level with the normal road. So everytime my Therapist went over such stretches, she would complain and pass on the bone jarring effect to me. I have highway footpegs installer on the engine guard. While my legs are stretched out, it is difficult to lift yourself while going over these bumps. I took over around an hour and a half to cover the Pune - Satara stretch. Here are some snaps that I took while I stopped when I got to Satara to call my friend in Belgaum to leave from his house. He decided to ride to Kolhapur to give me company from Kolhapur to Belgaum.
I then set on towards Kolhapur which was another 100 kms away. On the way from Pune, I passed this group of big bikers (a Honda Goldwing, a Triumph Rocket iii Roadster, several Ninjas, a CBR 1100). I guess they were riding to Belgaum or perhaps Goa. Since they were in a group, I was able to pass them easily. Satara to Kolhapur only took me 1 hr which means that I averaged 100 kmph (very good for Indian roads). There were a number of tolls on the way but since I was on a two wheeler, no toll for me.
. I guess this was one of the highlights of the ride. No tolls and the pass through was a breeze. When I got to McDonald's at Kolhapur, my friend was already there. He rides a Honda CBR 250 with some mods.
After a quick breakfast at McDonald's, we stopped at the nearest petrol pump, filled fuel and set off. The road from Kolhapur to Belgaum is one of the best roads to ride on in India. As far as I can remember, this friend of mine (Ishaan Singh of KnK Karts
) has been an excellent rider. The bike doesn't matter to him. He'll just push any bike to the limit and so he did his modded CBR 250 on the Kolhapur - Belgaum stretch. Since he has the slower bike, he decided to set the pace and assumed the position of the leader. I could keep up with him only because I was on a Harley. Straights were okay. However on bends I found it very difficult to bank the Harley. The distance between us would increase on turns and then I would catch up. On one long stretch, there was almost no traffic, both of us were in a crouched down position, he must have done 150 kmph while I took my Therapist to 160 kmph (100 mph). She was really stable at that speeds too. That's the fastest I've done on her. Half way through the ride, the aftermarket exhaust that Ishaan fit on his CBR 250 came off and the CBR made a racket. Luckily he was carrying his toolkit and could get it back in place after 5-10 minutes because of how hot the exhaust was. We got to his place by 11:15 AM. I had "My Tracks" - a Google app on my phone running to cover the entire route... If you are interested in seeing details, see this
I rode back the next day. The wife's conditions to let me ride to Belgaum and back were:
1. It should not rain
2. I should return before it's dark.
Fortunately while leaving Pune it did not rain. Actually it did not rain throughout the ride to Belgaum and back. At 12:45 PM on Sunday, I left Belgaum with a friend of Ishaan's who would accompany me until Nippani (60 kms from Belgaum in the direction of Pune). This friend was on a Pulsar 200 NS
. We took it easy, did a constant 100-120 kmph. After Nippani, I was on my own all the way till Pune. The low fuel indicator came on rather early since I pushed the Harley to the limit while trying to keep up with Ishaan. She must have averaged 15-16 kmph due to that.
Here are some photos from the trip back to Pune. Nice open straight roads.
I stopped for fuel two times on my way back to Pune. I got into Pune by 5:15 PM. So a 4.5 hr ride. Here
is the details of the ride back to Pune as plotted by Google's My Tracks application.
My observations on this ride:
1. She is very quick to reach high speeds. No car on the road could catch her.
2. She can reach 170-180 kmph given the right conditions. I took her up to 160 kmph. She's very good on straight roads.
3. Banking is rather difficult for her or it may just be me
4. Fuel average of 22-25 kmph on highways at constant speeds of 100-120 kmph.
5. Highway foot pegs are a must on long ride.