Readers this post is not about any trip and neither do the photos, this post is to let you know what would happen if the vehicle is not checked before a long journey.
The trip was to Gandikota, Andra Pradesh and the entire TLTians gathering for this trip. Had a bit down of confidence level while driving the Pulsar, mistaking the difference in sound from front disc resulting in spoil sport of the trip.
8:30 43km ahead of Lepakshi, Andra Pradesh, two RE and FZ marching ahead, followed by Apache and the Pulsar. Had an eye on the Pulsar in my rear view mirror since the doubt was quite alarming. All of a sudden Pulsar was out of my view. I slowed down from 100kmph to 50kmph, stopped at the RTO check post, waited for a min, with the speed we were in Pulsar should have reached me within a min. With the benefits of doubts, took out my phone and as I suspected I had a missed call a min back. Called him back and yes, his voice told “my Pulsar had given up”. We would be just a KM separating us, just to alert, he advised me to have my headlights on, as I was about to drive in a wrong direction on the NH. Even I had no thoughts of it since my mind was questioning myself what would be the cause.
When I reached the spot, my first check was on the Engine oil. Took out the tool box, with the spanner, managed to open the engine oil opener, he yelled out, hey it’s full of smoke coming out. Alright then it’s oil the suspect, let’s check the level, found a stick near by, let it in and took out, no difference. It was completely dry, and the core was red hot. Checked the gear, stuck at neutral, engine seize confirmed.
Informed the fellow riders on the situation and enquired for a near by petrol station or village. They told they will check and call us back. In the mean time learnt what happened in real time, suddenly the engine power got down the good thing that he did was he pulled in the clutch breaking the tension on the engine and managed to pull the vehicle to safety. Presence of mind matters. With that said I saw a check post nearby, decided to tow till there before reaching out for help. Learnt from the official that Penukonda village is a KM away.
On reaching Penukonda junction saw a small mechanic shop, he asked us to go to the village since he had no equipment’s.
9:00 reached the mechanic (Babjaan) shop. Explained the situation and mentioned there is a doubt on engine seize. He also confirmed that and started to work on it. Initially even he thought that only the engine had seized and he would make it ready for the drive but there would be slight smoke coming from the silencer and the engine bore needs to be fixed on return. Fellow riders reached us, time was just ticking on 10:30 and it was then we both decided that we will fix the vehicle and either get connected at Gandikota or we will return back to Bangalore. Everyone were disappointed but because of one the entire crew should not be disturbed. With two of us staying back the rest of the crew continued to the Grand Canyon.
11:00 Engine seize released, oil filled, the mechanic tried to start the vehicle. No signs of life from Pulsar. He told us need to open the bore to check. In those moments the rider face reaction showed the rest, never seen him so tensed like that before.
Mechanic told the bore has been damaged, the ring has been broken, and the head that connects to the piston is also broken. The only question I had was what’s next?
He told need to replace the bore. Me asking him for the cost, replied as 2600. We were cautious on it since we had limited fund with us, month end crisis 🙁. He checked for secondary bore in his shop and fellow mechanics but they were not matching the Pulsar version. We asked the mechanic for any available service centres and shall we try it. He guided us, we went and explained our situation, he advised us to bring the vehicle and when asked for the estimate
Lathe work 1000
Timing set up 500
Engine fitments 400
And bla bla bla the estimate was around 10K. We were what?? The mechanic told its enough to change the bore, but your saying lots. He told its risk and the vehicle would not even cross 80km distance you guys can’t even reach Bangalore. We both had fair amount of knowledge about bike engines, but a second opinion is always an advantage.
Leo George college mate, from Chennai who is good when it comes to these situations. I called him and explained the situation, he just replied confidently change the bore and the vehicle will be perfectly fine. The mechanic is right, in the mean time service center guys are trying to earn from your situation. Proceed with the mechanic decision itself.
12:30 With that said I went to the mechanic and asked will everything be fine on changing the bore? Thambudu, nenu guarantee isthanu, meaning Brother 100% I guarantee you this bike will be back to normal. Nothing else I spoke, just asked him to proceed, here came another twist, he told we need to get the new bore from hindupur, and its 35 km away from here 😲, what else enquired on the shop name and phone number and off we went to Hindupur, 70 km to and fro from Penukonda for the purchase.
Hindupur Anji Automoblies, all genuine Bajaj parts, no bargaining, strict at the MRP rate. We were worried on the cost as per the list, thank goodness total was within our budget, 2873. Then we went to Omkar lathe shop, to fit in the new valves, 30 min wait time 180 cost.
Refreshment in the mean time, Dawood Juice Shop🍹
Sharing the thought, had no idea of taking my Apache for the ride as I wasn’t in complete shape instead to share the ride as a pillion, but I still don’t know why I took my Apache in the morning for the ride. Also investigating on the seriousness of the damage, from how the engine oil got drained out within 1400 km , actually it wasnt drained it was burnt in the core.
15:30 Back to the mechanic shop handed over the new kit. He also showed us the broken pieces that he found inside the engine. We were tired, back to the mechanic shop was a government school, and off we started our power nap. I slept for 2 hours, on the other side Harish wasn’t able to.
With the new valves fitted – Lathe work
17:30 Fighting hard with the piston head to clear the path for the ring to move smoothly over the piston head. This is where it took time, had a brief talk with the mechanic about his history, he belonged to Penukonda and 22 years he had been running this mechanic shop, shared his family background and his short span in Karnataka before moving to Penukonda. 18:30 We were back after short break, the engine started to get its shape,
Pulsar tasting its fresh set oil, the final touch.
20:30 The first sight of Pulsar getting life and so do for the rider.
21:00 After 12 hours of battle, we were praying, mechanic with full confidence started the vehicle, Pulsar was back. He took out for a test drive and back again, tightening the chains, brakes and few stuffs and handed it over to the rider, he took out for the spin and a huge smile, finally the Pulsar was all set for the ride.
With the crew that worked on the Pulsar.
We were left with 2000 rs in our hand, with low voice I asked what’s the service cost? The service charge he asked was 1200, we were what 😯 (it was less what he said) we didn’t bargain since we were aware of the truth, gave it all we had, gave extra 300, he denied that but we wanted him to accept it, if for others it would have taken a minimum of 2 days but this guy just killed it, completed in 12 hours by understanding our situation. Happy and with full satisfaction handed over 1500 to him, hands of a clean money. Everything that the service center manager told this mechanic did inclusive of genuine parts at the right price. From an estimate of 10,000 to a working machine for 4553.
Since being the new bore the mechanic asked not to rev high until first oil change, got all the advice and just before leaving Harish asked the mechanic shall I take this bike for 1000+ KM ride 😂, he replied, this is a new bike now drive to the extreme I assure you on its performance. 21:30 A big thanks and wished goodbye and started our journey back to Bangalore. 150 KM driving within 50 KM speed, even our engines were not getting heated up with the chillness, it was freezing out, wearing two shirts to battle with the cold, chatting while driving – in the morning per minute we travelled 1.8 KM now we are travelling just 0.8 KM per minute and when a biker crossed us with high speed we used to see each other and laugh, that laugh had a long history behind. Finally Oct 29 2:30 Reached Bangalore.
If your vehicle gets stuck anywhere on the Hyderabad NH check your maps and if Penukonda is within reachable, just give a call to this guy
Mechanic Name: Babjaan
Phone Number: +91 99480 17059
Just sit back and relax, your vehicle are in the good hands, a 22 year experienced hands.
Lesson learnt, primary checks on vehicle is mandatory like engine oil, brakes, air, clutch wires, chain stability and always don’t rely on service centres, they are just like the Bird of Prey waiting to prey on our innocence. All the happenings were like a planned one, pulsar stopping just 2 km away from Penukonda, me taking my vehicle for the ride, we two were the only riders without pillion, finding the right mechanic. Thinking back of the entire day is just astonishing.
A black day in TLT.
Other TLTians had a great trip by the way, we were a readers of Gandikota unfortunately wasn’t a part of the memory.