The Journey: Delhi – Neemrana – Jaipur – Bharatpur – Fatehpur Sikri – Agra – Mathura – Delhi
Part of the Guns Motorcycling, members congregate at least once a month to keep our fervour for motorcycles alive. We discuss and create new, enjoyable challenges for motorbike riders to overcome.
During one such discussion, a spark of an idea culminated in a completely new concept in 24-hour motorbike riding. We called this new category of rides – safe yet moderately tough to achieve on Indian roads – the Guns Motorcycling Challenge Rides.
Of the four, one was the route covering Delhi, Jaipur and Agra on its three different nodes, popularly known as Golden Triangle of India. This route has about 700 milestones on its triangular peripheries. To make it a perfect one-day challenge ride, we decided to cover these 700 kms in a day, running 250 kms on each NH8, NH11 and NH2 or the Yamuna Expressway and named our new challenge ride G-TOD, the abbreviated form of Golden Triangle in One Day.
Ideal Time to Visit: Start and end of winters
Entourage Strength: During challenge rides we generally roll in packs depending on riding speeds. The Ninjas, CBRs, KTMs, RE 500 cc ride in one pack and Enfield 350 engines in another. For the G-TOD ride challenge, we set out as a group of 12 superbike riders.
Preps: Before setting out on any ride, long or short, it is customary and advisable to do a de rigueur check- up and get your motorcycle serviced a week before you plan to ride out to avoid technical hiccups and unwelcome surprises. Fuel up at a good fuel station. Keep a set of essential spare parts that may require a change e.g. accelerator, clutch wires, bulb, spark plug – these are a few things that might give you trouble along the way.
Carry essential tools to help you with quick-fixes en route and throw in some adhesive.
Last but not the least, maintain the ignition and combustion setting for better fuel economy and less strained engine running for a hassle-free journey.
Assistive Gizmos: We tapped into the GPS system once in a while for road maps and to keep track of our routes. Though for most trips GPS suffices, one can use Pirelli Diablo Superbiker app to track ride maps, average speed, stoppages etc.
Road & Traffic Conditions: Road quality of all of these highways were sound but sparse traffic and scenic surroundings on NH11 gives this road an edge over others. Please be very cautious while riding between Kichha – Khatima, you will encounter road mammoths i.e. Dumper trucks carrying boulders and stones.
Best & Worst Stretches: All highways that we rode on during G-TOD were amazing but riders who opted to travel by the Yamuna Expressway while returning from Agra to Delhi got a chance to push their average speed and experience riding on a world class highway. The surroundings on this stretch are slightly monotonous but with its four broad lanes, broad side shoulders, etc. this highway makes allowance for safety and speed, making it one of the best roads in India.
Weather Encountered: Early and end winters are best time to ride in northern plains of India.
Food Joints & Stopovers: Food is an important part of every journey. Eat hygienic food and drink plenty of water to avoid exertion. We stopped to dine at Mathura. There are a few good places to stop for food in between Jaipur to Agra.
Bike Care: Keeping a couple of things in mind always helps
- While crossing the Yamuna Expressway (during Hard Ride), don’t forget to keep ample amount of fuel in your machines because you will not get any petrol pump on this expressway except at Tappal.
- Don’t exert your machine; ride as per their competency.
- Make sure to get fuel from good gas stations. Try to get them filled at big cities because small pumps at towns and villages have a higher probability of selling adulterated fuels owing to negligible quality check and supervision. Bad fuel will not only harm your motorcycle engine but it can also hamper its optimal performance.
- If your bike is struggling or has less fuel then choose NH2 to ride between Agra and Delhi at night.
- At interim stoppages, make a quick check of your motorcycle and luggage fittings.
- Avoid off-roading on road shoulders and try to be on the tarmac as much as possible. This will significantly decrease chances of tyre puncture.
- Always ride wearing good helmets with good quality visor or riding goggles.
- Last but not the least. Beware of dogs, slow down and try to judge their intentions and directions.
Locals: The locals are an awesome bunch of people. Riding is all about discovering the beauty in people, places and life in general. While on this trip and each time I ride, my conviction that ‘journeys are more fascinating than destinations’ grows stronger.