Raid de Himalaya – A Mysorean’s dream

Raid de Himalaya 2015

This is a story of Vikas Bharadwaj working in a small kpo industry (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) and extremely passionate about rallying. His passion took him to the 2015 edition of Raid de Himalaya which is considered the world’s second toughest rally in terms of navigation as well as physical endurance and only next to the deadly Dakar.

Vikas at the Raid De Himalaya

After 3 long years of planning, Vikas was finally able to participate in the 17th Himalayan Raid in the Alpine Class. His machine was the modest Bajaj Pulsar 150 which went under heavy customization along with suggestions and support from many leading champions of the country like Nataraj from TVS, Vishwas SD (Banglore), Chirag Takur (Shimla) and Vijay Parmar (One of the organisers). 12825604_909379442490591_147656910_n

Landing in Delhi for the first time, Vikas spent couple of days roaming around Delhi, Agra and Chandigarh. He had the opportunity to visit the country’s first formula1 track at the Buddh Circuit and the famed Taj Mahal.

Vikas on an Indian Scout at Buddh International Circuit

At the Buddh International Circuit on an Indian Scout

Come October 9, 2015 things just got real. Vikas says, “I still remember that day. I woke up at 5am and awaited for a start slot of 7:29am. Finished the first Transport sector 20 minutes earlier and started my first competence stage. Managed to crossed the SS (Special sectors) and by the time I started the second Competence stage, I felt as though I had lost my breath and died. A few seconds later, I realized that that it’s not me but my ride. I had lost the throttle wire. Since I had already entered the sector, my time was already counting. Without any option and with some help from my co-riders, I literally started pulling the skinned wire for the next 365 kms. The roads were not kind either with dirt tracks most of the way till I reached Manali by evening. Even though I had lost a lot of time, I was happy that I finished Day 1 but felt sad that the preparation was not up to the mark.”

Vikas's Ride, Pulsar 150

Vikas’s Bajaj Pulsar 150 cc

“While my journey came to an end, it was a huge learning for me being a privateer without any support. I realised that preparing mentally, physically as well as mechanically well in advance is crucial for success. Biking is more than a passion and sport for me and I’m working hard to go back and participate in the 18th Raid de Himalaya.”

Raid de Himalaya 2015 RouteStandings Chart

Vikas is looking for support and sponsors to give his best this time. If you are keen to support him or know individuals and corporates who would be willing to support this Mysore lad, do reach out to us or Vishal directly on +91 9731864634.

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My First Bike – 1970 Jawa 250cc

My first blog is dedicated to my first bike Obiju and my father

This is what started my passion for automobiles and I’m glad that this bike is still shining in my parking lot. I’m talking about my the Czechoslovakian Jawa made in Mysore by the Ideal Jawa Company between 1960 and 1996.

This black beauty belonged to my father who used it since the 70s and was quite popular in the town of Dharwad for its distinct thumping sound. I would get to share his ride sitting on the petrol tank.
When I turned 14, I was very keen to ride this. All my father said was, ‘start the bike and I’ll teach u how to ride it’. And the rest is history. Not to forget all the bruises I suffered while experimenting with this mild beast 🙂

Slowly but surely I started falling in love with this machine even though it sported a meager 12 horses. This bike has never let me down and I even managed a rally on it. Ended up spending a lot of time and money to bring it back into its original shape though.
Even after all these years and having used many new bikes, my liking towards this machine never goes down. This prompted a few of us to start the Bangalore Jawa Yezdi Motorcycle Club to help other restore their bikes. Even to this day, when I bring this out for a occasional ride, people look at the bike and ask a whole lot of questions.

Update: Since writing this post, i’ve managed to acquire two more lovely bikes from the Jawa stable – a Yezdi Roadking on which we completed the Leh ride (click here to read all about it) and a rare Jawa 350cc twin (one of the 750 bikes produced in India).

Jawa 350cc Twin, 22 bhp