Coast to Coast 2021 – Getting Ready for the Big One.

It was back in 2019 during our Golden Quadrilateral ride that the idea of doing Coast to Coast had dawned on me. It was indeed a great ride covering more than 6500+ kms of Highway roads.

The tour was going to start at Lakhpat in Gujarat till Bakkhali in West Bengal taking roads running almost parallel to the sea shore.

2020 was a total waste for people like us as no rides could be planned due to the pandemic and as a result, when 2021 arrived, I was left with a huge number of privileged leaves which had to be taken. My company did a good job of extending the timeline to Feb 2021. So, whatever mandatory leaves were pending had to be taken before Feb 21 ended. I had 15 of them!

During my planning, Mountains did not call me! Personally, I did not wish to visit the Mountains at this point in time. And like others, no other places in India interested me which was worth taking 15 days of leave. The Coast to Coast route was weighing heavy in my mind and heart. If any trip would happen now, it would be this, I thought.

I applied for leave which got approved in no time. So the trip dates were starting 6th Feb to 28th Feb. But, due to some family reasons I had to postpone it for a week and so the new dates were from 13th Feb to 7th March. The next big task in front of me was the Bike!

This was my first ever big trip traveling Solo and covering more than 7500+ kms. The Indian coastline spans roughly around 7500kms I knew the bike had to be in good condition in order to take on this arduous journey.

In Dec 2020 month, I had gone to Hampi for some work and it was during that trip, I have noticed that the bike was consuming a lot of oil. In the middle of the trip, I had to stop abruptly and had to top up engine oil as it was very low. The odo was running at 93000kms and it was high time I got the Bore and the Piston replaced! Adding to the misery, on the same trip, I got my Battery mount broken as well as one spoke from the rear tyre was ripped off!

The removed Bore and Piston.

As soon as I came back from the trip, the bike was handed over to my service guy for a major overhaul. But, apart from that, and since I knew it was going to take a long time for the bike to get ready, I threw in additional list of changes and modifications to be done on the bike. I wanted the bike to look brand new when it would come out of the service station. The bike was handed over on 6th of Jan 2021.

After the major work of replacing the Piston and Bore was done, I drove it for around 1000kms over many short trips so as to set the piston and bore correctly and make the engine healthy. After almost every trip, the bike went to the service station to carry on with other modifications.

Custom made battery box.
Twin battery setup for my Classic 500DS. They are originally to be used for Interceptor 650cc.

The bike was finally ready only a day before my trip started. I received it on 12th Feb and even AVRIL’s (my bike’s name) 6th birthday was celebrated at the service station itself (10th Feb).

The main team behind all the hardwork.

The bill amount was close to 30,000rs for the entire work done on the bike.

Major modifications and changes were as follows:

  1. New Piston and Bore
  2. New Front Brake Disc and Brake pad.
  3. Handlebar modified and separate wiring harness made for all the electrical accessories.
  4. A new set of Batteries (Put in an Interceptor one with 14 AHr X 2) along with a custom-designed storage mount.
  5. OXFORD heated grips installed.
  6. New Front Headlights with glass.
  7. Head Lapping.

With regards to luggage, I was carrying the bare minimum along with critical spares and my tool kit. Since it was a long haul, I intended on washing clothes at the end of the day. This idea was going to save a lot of kilos on my clothes. I was even carrying a spare Odometer as I was going to cross the 1,00,000 km mark on the current one and I wanted to keep it as a memento.

With everything set, I was ready for the trip.

Categories: Coast to Coast 2021, TravelTags: , , , , , , ,

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