Exploring The Himalayas On KTMs: The Mighty And The Capable

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The Himalayas are calling and Drivespark is answering that call, which can be heard only by people with adventure fused in their DNA.

And such DNA is very much present as Jobo Kuruvilla-Chief Editor, DriveSpark has geared up to head to the mountains on a motorcycle.

Accompanying him on motorcycles will be two Indians living in Qatar-Georgy Mathew and Vinod Eosow, two riders from Bangalore, and two more enthusiasts who have offered support to the motorcycles in a Jeep. So, the riders will set off on an epic adventure across India, trying to help less fortunate children along the way at the same time.

So, for those of you who are curious about the reasons behind this trip, there are several, but you can be certain that the biggest one by far was the passion to ride motorcycles. Let's take a closer look.

Jobo Kuruvilla, the Chief Editor of DriveSpark. His passion for automobiles, and mostly motorcycles got him into racing Yamaha RD 350s at an early age. As age caught up, love for motorcycles grew as well.

Riders on this trip have extensive riding knowledge and experience. They have ridden motorcycles from an early age and everybody wants to quench their thirst for adventure and the Himalayas is the ultimate quencher.

Two of the three motorcycles being used for this trips are KTM Duke 390s. They have undergone a few cosmetic changes to cope with unforgiving terrain of the Himalayas. Most noticeable changes are the tyres, lights and the higher visor.

The third motorcycle on the trip is a Yamaha FZ that has been modified to look like a Baja racer. High forks, matte finished paint and the dual ‘owl-like' headlights. The visor is a very useful piece of equipment on the motorcycle as well.

The other two motorcycles on the trip are Royal Enfields, ridden by Vinod and Manuj from Bangalore. The riders will be backed up by two veterans-Roheen Browne and Ezhil Vasanthan from North by Northeast in a Jeep.

The two KTMs are equipped with accessories worth close to INR 1 lakh each. Accessories such as these are needed when you are on an expedition through one of the harshest environments on earth. Big Bad Bikes, the SW-Motech dealer in Bangalore, run by Sean Alexander has supplied the essential equipment that was needed.

The motorcycles needed a few modifications since they are not adventure bikes. The KTMs now run on knobby tyres and have been sealed with special slime to resist punctures. One of the KTMs also has an extended visor to deflect the wind away from the rider's chest. The motorcycles are equipped with GPS navigation too!

The route chosen by the riders will take them through the fabulous Spiti valley and into Leh. The riders will encounter a lot of off-road riding and water crossings. Terrain such as this will either make or break a rider. They will need to carry extra fuel as well since there will be no petrol stations on the way to Leh from a place called Tandi.

The riders came up with this plan as a precursor to their plans of travelling to all the football playing nations in the world before the World Cup that is to be hosted in Qatar. The riders' ultimate quest is to ride to the highest motorable pass in the the world-Khardung la. It has always been a dream to automobile enthusiasts and especially bikers.

Roheen Browne and Ezhil Vasanthan from North by Northeast will be in a Jeep, backing up the riders. The Jeep will carry various important things that include fuel, spares, luggage, and oxygen cylinders for any high altitude emergencies. North by Northeast Journeys offers Multi-day adventure and family tours across Northeast India. They conduct Cycling, Hiking, Multi-activity and Motorcycle tours with an authentic insider's perspective that only locals can provide.

The riders, along with the Roheen and Ezhil will have to tackle freezing temperatures, ice cold water and most importantly, the altitude. AMS (Acute Mountain Sickness) is something they will have to be very careful about. The only remedy is to go to a lower altitude immediately if AMS is detected.

The motorcycles will take a lot of beating on this trip especially due to the terrain. It has a mix of mud, rocks, gravel, snow, water, and fine silt that can settle into any corner of the motorcycle. The vehicles need to be as tough as the rider himself.

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