So, what is off-roading? In simple terms, off-roading is the activity of driving or riding a vehicle on unsurfaced roads or tracks, such as sand, gravel, mud, snow, rocks, or any other natural terrain. These can constitute of purpose-built tracks, a barren piece of land, or a trail through woods, a goat path, or even a jungle.

Riding your motorcycles off-road, off the beaten path, and tackling the routes less traveled can be a lot of fun, but you need to be careful you don’t get lost. I use a GPS tracker to back track in case I get lost.

While I am someone who believes that the best off-road motorcycle is the one you own, taking a purpose-built motorcycle helps add to the fun factor. Motorcycles in the adventure or dual-purpose category work best when it comes to tackling a trail. These motorcycles usually come with a larger front wheel, like a 19 or 21 incher, and a higher ground clearance to help with rocky surfaces. Currently, for beginners, the only purpose-built motorcycles I would recommend are the Hero XPulse and the Royal Enfield Himalayan. These have a low ownership cost and are easy on the pocket in case you crash one. In the modification category, people have been retrofitting the Hero Impulse with a Hero Honda Karizma engine to extract a hybrid for off road use.

It is best to avoid heavy low riding motorcycles as they will have a higher chance of getting stuck. To start with, you could rent or borrow a suitable motorcycle, while you decide if you like off-roading or not.

Off-roading can be unpredictable. It is best that you experiment with company for a short half-day ride and learn the ropes before going all out to embrace the sport. Take a friend along, you will want help in case of an occasional fall in the middle of nowhere.

A fall or a puncture is inevitable. Plan your time off the road. Darkness sets in quick in the bush, so keep track of time. Carry tools, parts like extra chain links, spark plugs, accelerator and clutch cables, some extra fuel, a puncture kit, and more importantly, learn how to use them. It is better to be over-prepared than not enough.

Protective riding gear like jackets, gloves, knee armor, and boots is a must, preferably something that is flexible as off-roading will make you move in ways you usually wouldn’t while touring on a motorcycle. However, make sure your gear is breathable. Wearing the wrong jacket can add to your dehydration.

Carry food and water with you. You will drain your energy and dehydrate, especially in India like weather patterns. I carry a hydration pack and some granola bars from Huda Bars, to help me with this.

Anytime is trail time, however, monsoons and winters are the best. Though you will need some skills to tackle slushy mud and rocks in rains. When doing longer trails across multiple days, it would a good idea to combine off-roading with some camping.

And if you are hooked and you would want to take it to the next level, I will suggest you do at least a level 1 course at an off-road training school. There are quite a few in India and I have listed few below from different parts of the country.

Feel free to add more in the comments from your part of India.

I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s

My Friend Alexa

One Year and 15000 km done. My motorcycle’s chassis frame is still intact, and I am still running the stock cone set bearing. I mention these on purpose as they are the most common complaints, people rant about the Himalayan. You take care of your motorcycle; it will take care of you.

I have used my Himalayan extensively on both highways and off-road trails. At no point did I feel that the motorcycle was not equipped to handle what I was throwing at it. While it does not have a ‘jump on the word go’ kind of acceleration, it does have enough low-end torque to crawl up steep inclines, deep slush, or rocky off-road trails. You can easily sit on it constantly at triple-digit speeds all day long when you are touring highways. And mind you, this can be done with an ample amount of luggage too. The engine does not feel stressed either.

Satisfied, is the word I would use to describe my one year of ownership. The motorcycle has done what it claims. Built for all roads, built for no roads. Initially, I did feel that it is a little under powered. I was moving from a twin-cylinder Benelli to this one. It was obvious. Then, this motorcycle grows on to you. It starts surprising you when you take it on off-road terrain. It feels at home there. The RPMs would read low, still, the motorcycle would chug along. That is when you realize how low the torque starts kicking in.

What about highway touring, you might ask? The Himalayan does well here too. The suspension is super comfy, and you would hardly brake for any bump or pothole on the road. Just stand and send it. But this is also one reason for minor discomfort. On highways, when you are doing triple-digit speed and you are taking a curve, the front suspension feels like a Pogo stick. Mind you, it holds good, though it can scare you a tad bit. I have kind of got used to it now. Though I hear that using a heavier grade fork oil solves this issue. I am yet to try that. I must mention that I am still on my stock suspension setup, as it came out of the dealership. There has been no oil seal leakages or suspension failures.

The stock seats are not comfortable. If you spend over an hour riding, the thighs and bums start hurting. Thankfully, RE has a solution as a touring accessory. The RE Touring seats, you can buy the rider and pillion seats separately. I got the rider seat only and it is fabulous. It looks the same, except for a RE logo embossed on it. You will notice the difference when you sit on it. Its firm and provides very good support to your thighs and buttocks. I have done nonstop runs from Chennai to Bangalore without any trouble.

That would talk about fuel efficiency too. I get a range of around 300 – 350 km on a full tank. The worst I have got to date is around 22 kmpl and the best was around 37 kmpl. I need not say that they were Bangalore traffic and highway runs, respectively. This might be a good time to mention that I could cruise at around 120 kmph effortlessly on the highways.

Maintenance wise, I have only done the routine service as recommended by RE as mentioned in their user manual. Except once when my clutch cable broke. I could have avoided getting stuck as the gear shift was showing signs and had I checked, I would have found the cable about to give away. As luck would have it, there was a local mechanic nearby who fixed it and I was on my way in a jiffy. It was not a genuine RE spare, hence I got it replaced in the next service visit. I have also changed both my brake pads and throttle cable once at the 10,000 km service as I was about to leave for a long road trip. On that note, I did not need to pay for the brake pads or the cables as I had taken the Premium Ride Sure package which includes replacement of all cables and brake pads for four years. The package also includes an Extended Warranty (2 years: 3rd + 4th), Roadside Assistance (3 Years: 2nd + 3rd + 4th). I paid an additional 6400 INR at the time of purchase for this.

Here is the break-up of Service & Cost till now (I will keep on adding as I service the motorcycle in the future):

  • 1st Service (Free) – 1021.00 INR
    • Kilometers Done – 485km
    • General Service
    • Engine Oil Change – Liquid Gun 15W50 1.8L
  • 2nd Service (Free) – 443.00 INR
    • Kilometers Done – 4828km
    • General Service
    • Engine Oil Top Up – Liquid Gun 15W50 0.2L
  • 3rd Service (Free) – 1310.00 INR
    • Kilometers Done – 8723km
    • General Service
    • Engine Oil Change – Liquid Gun 15W50 1.8L
    • Brake Pads Replaced
  • 4th Service (Free) – 1676.00 INR
    • Kilometers Done – 15017km
    • General Service
    • Engine Oil Change – Liquid Gun 15W50 1.8L
    • Wheel Alignment
  • 5th Service (Paid) – 3580.00 INR
    • Kilometers Done – 19500km
    • General Service
    • Engine Oil Change – Liquid Gun 15W50 1.8L
    • Brake Fluid Change
    • Fork Oil Change
    • Throttle Grip
    • Brake Pads Replaced
  • 6th Service (Paid) – 1719.00 INR
    • Kilometers Done – 25733km
    • General Service
    • Engine Oil Change – Liquid Gun 15W50 1.8L
    • Oil Filter Change
    • Chain Lube
  • 7th Service (Paid) – 3929.00 INR
    • Kilometers Done – 25733km
    • General Service
    • Engine Oil Change – Liquid Gun 15W50 1.8L
    • Oil Filter Change
    • Inner Race Drag Link & Inner Race Drop Link
    • Bulb
    • Speed Sensor Cable

  • 8th Service (Paid) – 4983.00 INR – Updated on Nov 24th 2021
    • Kilometers Done – 33696km
    • General Service
    • Engine Oil Change – Liquid Gun 15W50 1.8L
    • Oil Filter Change
    • Disc Plate Rear

Total: ₹18,660.00 | By Day: ₹19.802 | By KM: ₹0.555

Cost of Ownership – 2 Years 8 Months | 35000 kms

Some of you had asked about the mods I have done for the Himalayan. Things I had done to customize it as per my usage and need. I will share the details of the same on the blog soon.

I’m taking my blog to the next level with Blogchatter’s

MY FRiend Alexa

Soon we will step out of our homes and will start traveling. And there will be many questions coming to our mind.

Life does not stop, and we need to be at our best health to keep living life non-stop. However, as we keep on the move, we may be able to avoid catching the flu from our coughing seatmate or a sneezing travel companion with these tips I follow.

Let me share how to build strong immunity for traveling in India and abroad.

  • Sleep Well

If we do not have a healthy sleep cycle, it is as bad as eating poorly for long durations. Our body needs adequate sleep before, during, and after our travels. For a robust immune system, we need to focus on our sleep. It is one of THE most vital and often neglected aspects of our health. The more exhausted we are the more prone we can be to illness. At least seven hours of sleep are required for supporting the body critical processes in the body. These lead to our body rebuilding and repairing itself while we sleep. (1)

  • Drink Water & Eat Well

Balanced meals on the go can be a bit more challenging than cooking and eating at home. Focusing on nutrient heavy meals with leafy greens and proteins, while reducing processed food and sugar goes a long way in building a good immune function. India is mostly warm and humid. Hence, we should be well hydrated before we start our travel and carry a water bottle with us as well. We should ensure our intake contains vitamin C, this builds healthy skin and tissue to resist the entry of bacteria and other germs.

  • Move Your Body

When we reach our destination or even during our travel, if possible, we must involve our body in some movement. One does not need to do intense exercise, just some walking or cycling for sightseeing instead of taking a car or taking the stairs instead of the elevator helps. These movements initiate the circulation of the body’s lymphatic system, which in turn helps flush out toxins from the body and allowing the nutrients we are consuming to be put to good use.

  • Immunity Building Vitamins & Supplements

Between work and household chores, it may not be always possible to prioritize a balanced diet. Nutrition supplements come in handy in a big way in ensuring complete nutrition, providing the following in your daily intake:

  • Protein: it helps in building your immune cells.
  • Vitamin A: it regulates the immune system and protects the body, keeping it healthy.
  • Vitamin C: it blocks the entry of foreign microbes.
  • Vitamin E: it works as an antioxidant, keeping cell membranes healthy which helps keep foreign microbes out.
  • VitaminD: it activates and regulates immune function.

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Ensure has 11 such immunity nutrients that help create new immunity cells in the body. Ensure helps in immunity and strengthening bones and muscles in adults. I am consuming it regularly. Have you tried it yet?

Having said this, keep a positive mindset and have fun traveling and exploring new places. Godspeed! #StrongerTogether

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