ABOUT THE CONTEST: Hero Karizma ZMR Wanderers is an ongoing monthly online contest hosted on Autocar India and Hero MotoCorp’sfacebook page. All participants are asked to answer some very simple questions, and at the end of the contest every month, three winners are chosen.
These lucky bike enthusiasts win an all-expenses- paid two nights, three days ride on three Hero Karizma ZMRs. The rides are planned well in advance and cover several beautiful locations across the country. Those interested in participating can enter the contest on Autocar India or Hero MotoCorp’sfacebook page. The contest and rides are organised and conducted by Autocar India.
The second ride of the Hero Karizma ZMR Wanderers series had the three winners Amol, Manish and Shreyas ride out of Mumbai, under the guidance of team leader VirNakai. They headed north from Mumbai towards Vikramgad on three brand new Hero Karizma ZMRs, courtesy Hero MotoCorp. The roads, the retreats where they stopped and the fantastic views along their route made this ride truly special.
They first headed out of the city via the Western Express highway which then becomes NH8. Unlike other routes out of Mumbai, this is an easy road to catch and ride out on because it goes absolutely straight. There are likely spots to get stuck because of traffic congestion, but the Wanderers made sure they got out early and beat the traffic. When they reached the Manor turnoff, they exited the National Highway towards Wada, and rode down a brilliant four-lane highway all the way to the small village of Pali. This four-lane highway was the sort of road these bikes were made for and they simply chewed up the kilometres. The riders maintained a speed of 90kph because at this speed, the bike is still stable and there’s enough power left over to overtake other vehicles, if required.
But, as we all know, you’re never too far from bad roads in India, and once our riders crossed Pali for Vikramgad, that’s exactly what they encountered. Luckily, it was just a short distance from the retreat where the riders would be staying. Once they checked in to Hideout, the superb farmhouse that had been arranged for them, and had their fill of a scrumptious, organic lunch, they took some time off to sit back and relax.
Later, armed with some directions and suggestions from the owner of the retreat, they went off to explore a lake by some hills. While it took considerable effort on their part to get to the destination, once there, they were rewarded with a view of an amazing sunset. There are few great ways to end a good day’s ride and this was one of them. After a leisurely start the next morning, the riders headed out towards Vikramgad and farther towards Jawahar. The tarmac on these broad roads seemed new and was properly smooth and made for a great ride all the way to Trimbuk. The lack of traffic helped too. Amol said that the twisty roads here near Jawahar and those near Kasaraghat made for fun cornering experiences on the bikes.
Then, thanks to a tip from a local dhaba owner, they found an absolutely fantastic back road. It was the most amazing little stretch of tarmac, running through some villages and by a lake, twisting around hills till it reached a spot where it ran between two dams. The riders were having the time of their lives. After satisfying the shutterbug in them, they headed to Igatpuri to check into a resort there. They weren’t done. Post check-in, they headed out in the evening for a little off-roading with the bikes and eventually reached the banks of yet another lake to witness another gorgeous sunset. The Hero Karizma ZMR handled well even here.
The next morning, it was a straight run to Thane via the Nashik - Mumbai highway. The bikes were finally handed over to Ranjeet Motors, a Hero MotoCorp dealership at Thane. After the amazing three days, the ride was finally over. But the memories, our riders say, will stay with them forever.
“It was great fun. Everything was very well arranged. Most awesome was the riding experience with ride leader VirNakai. His knowledge and experience of riding and the stories he shared made the ride even more special. The bike was good too. It’s a good choice for touring. And because it has two seating positions, it is good for the city and touring. The power was adequate too and acceleration was quick. The route chosen also gave us the chance to use the bike’s cornering abilities and that made it even more fun. It performed well and was reliable and I had no issues with it.”