Home CAR & BIKES Solo road trip on my Dominar 400: Covered 2,400 km in 5...

Solo road trip on my Dominar 400: Covered 2,400 km in 5 days

But everything changed the moment I woke up an hour later than I had intended to.

BHPian Karthik1100 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

How it started

The idea to travel to Mumbai for business and social gatherings marked the beginning of a journey. I had spent several months in Mumbai during my previous visits. I took buses, trains, planes, and cars to Mumbai. This time I chose to take my Dominar 400 because it was a quick visit with only me.

What was the need to ride

In a metropolis like Mumbai, having an own vehicle is an extra benefit for time-saving while considering distance and traffic. I’m not sure if travelling solo is a reason to ride or if riding solo is a reason to travel. Deep in my mind, I badly wanted a long ride, of course, professional meetings were important too.

What made me do this

My prior trip to Rajasthan and the Runn of Kutch from Bangalore, covering 6500+ km, and many multi-day rides to central western ghats in a group and solo ride to Murudeshwar covering 900+ km gave me more self-assurance.

The preparation

The packing list I prepared for my trip included things like:

  • Motorcycle Documents
  • Tools & Medical kit
  • Chain Lube & Air inflator
  • Action Camera
  • \Protein Bars, Water & Energy Drinks
  • Rain Gear & Extra Gloves
  • Bungee Cords & Plastic Covers
  • Extra Fuel & Spare Key
  • Laptop and Personal Belongings

The fact that I forgot to carry a tubeless puncture kit is the worst part. I mostly prefer to stay on liquids while riding to avoid dehydration and eat protein bars rather than heavy food.

The execution

I slept for 4 hours the previous afternoon and 5 hours in the night as I planned to leave very early in the morning expecting a long day on the highway. My original plan was as below:

Journey Date :6th November to 10th November

  • Katriguppe – 0km – 4 am
  • Davanagere – 264km – 8 am (Breakfast)
  • Hubbali – 150km – 10:15 am (Refreshment)
  • Belagavi – 100km – 11:30 am (10mins Break)
  • Karad – 180km – 2.30 pm (Lunch)
  • Pune – 160km – 6 pm (Tea Break)
  • Goregaon -170km – 10 pm (Halt)

But everything changed the moment I woke up an hour later than I had intended. I was starving after crossing Hiriyur. Close to the Guilalu toll, I made a pit stop for a bun and some tea. After that, at around 9:30, I made a quick stop at Haveri for a filling brunch.

Dawning on the highway near Tumkur

Bun and Tea Time

First Landscape

Tallest flag pole of India (361ft) in Belagavi

Despite using Sujith Thomas’ (Sujith1100 in Team-Bhp) weather forecast report, I still had to go through a moderate drizzle up to Belagavi from Hiriyur. I spotted the sun when I was having my lunch break close to Nippani. I just ate a protein bar and carried on with my travel because I was running late.

I arrived in Pune well ahead of schedule due to the excellent roads, so I took a lengthy (30-minute) stop. I set out again at 5:02 pm, intending to be in Mumbai (Goregaon West) within the next two hours. However, I discovered that I had entered the zone at the incorrect time, as there was a severe traffic bottleneck. I took short breaks at Khalapur junction and Khandala Ghat viewpoint in between, and at 8:50 pm, I finally arrived in Goregaon West. It was incredibly tiring to go from Pune to Mumbai.

Khandala ghat view point

I was in Mumbai on November 7 and 8, where I signed a new project, and met my senior from my prior web series, a new crew, and a few old friends. On the 9th, I had an appointment with two more friends from my field, and on the 10th, I had an early departure from Mumbai.

My new workplace

The strategy changed once more. While the other friend remained in Vapi, one of my buddies left Mumbai with his family. Vapi, in the state of Gujarat, is about 160 kilometers from my place in Mumbai. Vapi is located about 14 km distant from Daman. I, therefore, decided to stay in Vapi for the day and depart in the evening or at night as it would be simple to get across Mumbai.

Just before taking deviation to Daman

In accordance with the revised schedule, I left Mumbai at midday and arrived in Daman by 3:20 pm, stopping for tea at Manor en route, as I had a 4 pm appointment with my buddy. I was unable to spend much time in Daman, and it was obviously not a good idea to spend the afternoon on the beach. Reached Starbucks in Vapi in a matter of minutes. I went to see my friend and we had a great conversation about movies and future endeavors. Additionally, we intend to collaborate in the near future.

Got exclusive parking place in front of Starbucks

I decided to take enough rest and set out for Bangalore at 7 in the evening. It was almost 9 pm when I got to Fountain Circle and got stuck in a serious traffic jam at Vasai. Delicious food was served at the Fountain, a well-known hotel. I chose my favorite Kheema Pav because I didn’t want a heavy dinner, I knew that biking would make me drowsy.

Kheema Pav from Hotel Fountain

I was going to bypass Mumbai’s rush hour traffic by taking the Thane route after my 40-minute break and spent some time trapped in traffic as it quickly began to pour severely. I hid out for 45 minutes at a neighboring temple. Even though it didn’t stop, I could still ride in it. Since it was almost drizzling, I decided to take the chance rather than remove my luggage and wear rain gear. Traffic decreased as it got closer to Panvel. It was still raining when I arrived at the Welcome Restaurant, which was bustling even at midnight. I took a sip of iced tea. I changed into rain gear and restarted.

I always cherish my nighttime rides. Unfortunately, the lengthy ride became a little monotonous, and a companion soon arrived in a modified Suzuki Celerio. We traveled together for about 100 kilometers at speeds between 70 and 100 kmph. The rain entirely ceased as we got closer to Pune and right before the New Katraj Tunnel, I stopped. I enjoyed Domi’s exhaust tone in a deserted tunnel.

Long exposure mobile photography

I was hungry, and it was getting close to three in the morning. I continued searching for food on the side of the road and came across a bread omelette stall close to Shirwal. That’s where I met this guy. Anmol is his name, and he appeared to be seven or eight years older than I was. Who drove his Hyundai i20 with his spouse from Pune, where he runs a start-up business. While I ordered a bread omelette, he began asking questions about my journey because he was so curious. He was shocked that I was riding solo from Vapi to Bangalore. He said that he used to ride a bike but stopped after getting married. He had fond memories of his time spent riding a bike. After talking about bikes and long journeys for a while, he departed.

My phone was nowhere to be seen when I attempted to pay the food stall guy. I was looking at my surroundings and near my motorcycle. I tried using the shopkeeper’s phone to contact my own phone, but I couldn’t see my phone anywhere. It was ringing. I saw some guys drinking tea near my bike, and I had suspicions about them, but I was unable to confront them without any evidence. I made an effort to inspect every pocket again. I couldn’t fit it in my jeans pocket because I was wearing rain pants over my jeans. Eventually, though I located it inside my riding jacket. Perhaps I kept it when it was pouring and the phone entered the silent mode.

I was feeling a little sleepy, even though I’m used to being awake at night. It was almost 4 in the morning. My drowsy state vanished entirely after this experience. I could easily ride for the following two hours as a result. I didn’t take any risk after arriving at Tasavade Toll Plaza. I made the decision to ride my bike further after a 30-minute power nap. I learned how to take power naps from my 14 years of experience working double call sheets and night shifts with 16–18 hour schedules in the film industry. This was really very helpful to me.

I could see daylight approaching as soon as I woke up. After a couple of minutes of travel, I arrived to see a stunning sunrise over a landscape. It took me a few minutes to get a good picture of it.

Sunrise in Green field

I carried on travelling until I reached the border of Karnataka. I stopped at a hotel at about 8.30 to have some vada and sambar. Although it wasn’t as amazing as the vada sambar I had in Bangalore, it was still good.

The bike, including the chain, was very dusty due to the rain, and I decided it was time to apply chain lubricant. Putting lube on a bike’s chain in this kind of circumstance can make it worse, so I drove to Belagavi at slower speeds and kept looking for bike washing.

As soon as I arrived in Belagavi, I noticed a 1960s Plymouth Valiant and it caught my eye. I went to take some photos of the beauty.

1960s Plymouth Valiant

I casually asked about it, as well as asked the garage for assistance in locating a two-wheeler washing center. The person who washed the bike took his time and did a great job. I went to get badam milk from a store while he was washing. Upon seeing me in riding gear, the shop guy asked me which bike I was riding. He was quite excited and I mentioned it was the Dominar.

To check out my bike, he accompanied me to the washing center. His eyes were filled with a biker’s love and affection. He also helped me to put the chain lube and wished me a pleasant and safe travel.

Suvarna Vidhana Soudha – Belagavi

After making a photo stop in front of Suvarna Vidhana Soudha, I continued on towards Haveri and rested at the Hotel NH4 Grand.

Since there was nothing light on the menu, I decided to eat chocolate and ice cream.

When a typical uncle saw me standing in front of the hotel, he started asking me annoying questions like what was the box on my bike and what I stored in it. How much mileage does my bike offer? Why do you people travel on bikes so frequently? I got on my bike and headed to the Sira toll before I lost patience.

I stopped before Tumkur once again to refill my water bottle. The sign that said “100 km to Bangalore” made me joyful because it made me feel like I was finally home. While a Bulleteer riding beside me for some time approached me for chain lubricant. He identified himself as coming from Pune on his RE Classic 500, and he was from Madhugiri, which is close to Tumkur. He took good care of his bike even though it was about 15 years old. He took great pride in being its owner.

It was 6.30 pm, and it took me an hour and fifty minutes to get home from there because of rush hour traffic. I took a very little break smelling Bangalore before I left for home.

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