About the contest: Hero Karizma ZMR Wanderers is an ongoing monthly online contest hosted on Autocar India and Hero MotoCorp’s Facebook pages. 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. 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’s Facebook page. The contest and rides are organised and conducted by Autocar India.
For the first of 12 rides across the country, Deven Jaggi from Mumbai, Venkata Teja Tadikamalla from Hyderabad and Vinay Dargan from Dehradun kicked off from Mumbai on December 10, riding three brand new Hero Karizma ZMRs, courtesy Hero MotoCorp, for the beautiful hill station of Mahabaleshwar. Twisty hill roads, powerful motorbikes and the cool, crisp December air all came together to give the riders the experience of a lifetime.
The three winners, with ride leader Autocar’s Vir Nakai, first headed out of the city towards Panvel. The roads, or what’s left of them, combined with traffic and road extensions that were under construction, put all riders and bikes to the test. Venkata, one of our winners, said that the bikes performed really well. He said the great handling, enough grip, substantial power and extremely steady and comfortable ride exceeded his expectations and made for a wonderful experience.
Thankfully, the roads weren’t all bad. Post Vadkhal Naka, the road progressively improved till Poladpur. And then, the forty kilometres up Ambenali ghat to Mahabaleshwar were absolutely brilliant. This beautiful ribbon of tar snaking up the mountains turned out to be the most scenic part of the ride. Here the riders found the perfect place to take a chai break, sit back and just enjoy the view.
The visual experience didn’t end there. As the riders got closer to Mahabaleshwar, they found themselves flanked by dense jungles and even spotted some low flying clouds. About six hours after they set off, the Wanderers arrived at Mahabaleshwar. But this group wasn’t one for sitting around or acting all touristy. These guys were serious bike enthusiasts and wanted to spend as little time as possible off their saddles. So, with the intention of riding as much as was possible, they headed down to a small village called Tapola about 25km away from Mahabaleshwar. This little village is made special by its location. It’s set right at the confluence of rivers Solshi and Koyna. Add to that the sparse traffic on the road here and that it’s mostly smooth, made the ride here properly enjoyable. Our Wanderers, though, were completely blown away by the confluence. A thin strip of land that juts out has the two rivers flowing in from either side and converging right in front of it. The sight had them awestruck for quite some time.
After picking their jaws up off the floor, they headed back to spend the night at Mahabaleshwar. The next morning, the Karizma ZMR convoy headed off to another fantastic location, Murud Janjira Fort. The road they used, the NH17, was equally amazing. Our riders were excited and the bikes responded beautifully. They experienced about 50km of pure bliss. That they arrived at the fort around sunset only added to their elation.
When Venkata found out that they were staying at a beach resort, he was over the moon. He said
that he had never stayed at the beach before. The next morning, Venkata and the rest of the guys
got out early so they could ride on the beach itself. They then headed up to Kashid beach, Alibaug and finally made their way back to Mumbai to conclude the ride at Ishna Motors in Andheri East. True Wanderers, they just couldn’t get enough.
“This is the best ride of my life. I’ve never seen such amazing arrangements made by anyone before. I’ve experienced roads like this for the first time. This ride had everything. In fact, I’ve never been on hills that weren’t cold. Riding over 250km a day was easy on those bikes. Throttle and brakes respond well and the ride is really comfortable. The bikes were perfect. Everything was perfect.” - Vinay Dargan
“The ride was wonderful. Everything exceeded my expectations. We stayed in great resorts and were treated really well. We even rode on the beach. Now, riding my old ZMR is difficult because the handling of the new one is so good. Very good on ghats. Road grip was wonderful. Power is more than that on the old bike. Extremely steady and efficient. An amazing ride on a wonderful bike.” - Venkata Teja Tadikamalla