Trip Start Jun 25, 2013
63Trip End Dec 25, 2013
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Anyway, the Mighty Impulse.
It was purchased - on my behalf - from ARC motors PH II Okla on 21 - 06 -13 for the princely sum of 80,735 Rupees. This amount also included my years insurance (2139 R) and a new helmet for 675 R. This equates to 837 UKP all in - 22UKP for Insurance and 7 UKP for the helmet. Not the best helmet in the world and I could've purchased this one in the market for half that price easily
Anyway,............what's it like to ride?
Quite good actually. It's a basic 150 cc aircooled four stroke unit producing just enough power to pull the skin from a rice pudding. The handling is fine and it's popping along nicely at about 80 KPH and returning excellent mileage. Whilst riding in the company of enfields I usually fill up once to their twice. A cheap bike to ride but I don't ride like a loon over here - there's too much going on for that - and that extra split second might just help you avoid the collision with - delete as appropriate - dog/cow/child/camel/ cycle/ auto/car/truck/bus or Rolls Royce (Yes really - an auto I was in last week took a 'short cut' - against oncoming traffic - and there it was heading straight for us. I've never seen one over here before).
The riding position is similar to an XLR125, or similar, and this is the first trailbike in India and also the first bike produced by Hero since they parted company with Honda.
The after sales service from ARC has been terrible and I'm still currently waiting for my service book and registration document to be provided. I will need these documents - prior to heading off properly - but managed to get a typed out receipt type document prior to heading to Ladakh just in case I was stopped by the police.
On the first big trip to Leh with Geoff and Andy, I ran with a full ish tank from Delhi and filled up in Chandigarh before heading up the hill towards Shimla. The bike had been running fine up till then but as soon as we started to climb - about 5 kms after refuelling - the bike was coughing and spluttering and had much less power than before. I put it down to bad fuel and soldiered on in the hope that fresh fuel would return the bike to normal albeit limited power.
So it was with this mindset that I attempted to cross the Rohtang pass and soon realised that things weren't good. Clearly too much fuel - at altitude - was causing a problem so all I could think to do was keep turning the fuel tap off and on to reduce the fuel rate. This worked and kept me going but was hard and difficult riding as I could only use my right hand for balance and had to keep slipping the clutch on the switchbacks before returning quickly to the fuel tap
At one point I stopped and removed the airfilter as I thought it might've been blocked but on a new bike also thought this unlikely. On removing the cover the airfilter had a white fluffy coating on one side and the normal looking air filter element on the other. The fluff didn't look factory fitted so Andy scraped as much off as possible (there was loads) and on putting it back together realised it had made sod all difference.
So onto Leh and before riding up Kardung La I took it to a local mechanic. He had been recommended by a local bike shop that had an Impulse for hire. I had a quick ride on theirs and realised how bad mine was. Their mechanic fitted a new clutch as I'd burnt the old one out in less than 1500 kms and I tried to explain how I thought there needed to be a change of jet size / needle adjustment as running at altitude wasn't good. The carb got taken apart and I don't think there was any change of jet but there was possibly some thin wire shoved in. I'm not kidding. They then put it back together and on test riding I realised they obviously had done this before. I would love to see what they did but working on the principle of if it's going ok, leave it alone I'll leave that for another time
Apart from that little moment and a few adjustments of the headstock bearings and chain all appears to be good.
I'll obviously keep people updated on how it goes for the rest of the trip.
Ok, I need to go back to my painting, the first coats dry and it's saturday afternoon!!!!!!!!
Second coat then off for some more birdwatching............brilliant!