Feature: On BMW Motorrad India's first Deccan Safari
BMW Motorrad India organised their first Deccan Safari that took BMW motorcycle owners from Bangalore about 270km away to Kabini. Kabini is the name of a river and the name refers to the forested area that borders that waters of a dammed reservoir that by turns, breathtakingly pretty and full of wild life. Of course, this area is nature central - Nagarhole National Park is next door and Bandipur not so far away.
This idlyllic scene greeted us when we exited the forest onto the plains that border the Kabini reservoir. What animals can you see?
The Deccan Safari ride began from Tusker BMW Motorrad, the showroom in the middle of Bangalore with nearly 30 motorcycles, mostly R 1200 GS' with a couple of S 1000 XRs added to the mix. The sight of the expensive, German machinery at dawn is impressive, especially given the heft and presence of the iconic BMW GS.
Peter Sperlich, area manager India and China and Shivaprasad Ray, head BMW Motorrad India along with Srinivas Reddy of Tusker Motorrad pose with the riders just before the flag goes up for the BMW Motorrad Deccan Safari
BMW owners get ready to leave on the Safari on Friday morning while Shumi talks to Peter Sperlich, area manager India and China from BMW Motorrad. Sperlich is also a certified BMW instructor and evidently rides the wheels off GS' as calmly as the flag he waved to set the BMW Motorrad Deccan Safari rolling
Ears open and mouth closed? Best way to be at the ride safety and rules briefing for India's first ever BMW Motorrad Deccan Safari
The initial part of the ride was through light early morning city traffic out to the Mysore Road which wasn't having a light traffic sort of day.
A BMW GS Adventure may not need a break but the rider definitely did. Many tender coconuts were demolished on the Deccan Safari
The traffic thinned after we crossed over on to the Mysore byepass which is an excellent four-lane road infested by large metal barriers that dot every single intersection. It's kind of strange that speeding is blamed for people crashing into things, and the default mechanism to control it seems to be be to add more things to the road to crash into.
This beauty was my ride for the Deccan Safari. The stickering points to the fact that this particular BMW R 1200 GS was used for the BMW GS Trophy qualifier earlier on
The wonderful single-lane roads that were the final 50km stretch to our hotel were extremely welcome. Traffic was light, tarmac was excellent and the ride was wonderful.
Beautiful resorts on the banks of the Kabini were ideally rest spots for the BMW R 1200 GS
I were a less jumpy sort this would be a nice place to grab a cuppa joe right? I could only stop long enough to take this photograph. Next time...
That afternoon, our safari into the Nagarhole National Park proved extremely fruitful. We spotted Gaur, wild boar, spotted deer, sambhar deer, giant Malabar squirrels and more. But the high point of the safari, apart from the serenity of the jungle itself was the sight of a Tusker right on the highway as we left the jungle. And did I mention that we saw three tigers. Three!
The Nagarhole National Park is one of the prettiest forests I've ever seen. This is a trail used by forest vehicles for their wildlife safaris. Boat safaris are also possible here
It might look like a greener scene from the Masai Mara or something but this Kabini. Spotted deer and sambhar deer freak out about the tiger who's bascially too cool for school
After nearly 22 years of looking, we sighted three tigers including this beautiful one
The next day, BMW Motorrad India and Tusker BMW had created a short off-road school taught by Suprej Venkat who won the BMW GS Trophy India qualifier and will represent India at the 2018 BMW GS Trophy in Mongolia shortly. Indimotard's Anand Dharmaraj was also on hand to help the riders gain confidence in the abilities of their BMW motorcycles as well as find their dirt feet.
It wasn't a GS fest either! This S 1000 XR and its rider took no notice of its road tyres
I was drafted in to help with the off-road training program. Since I know nothing about that, I helped line the bikes up on the starting line correctly
The quick u-turn timed test produced some spectacular riding on the BMW Motorrad Deccan Safari. This GS Adventure was dropped multiple times but it survived unscathed
The BMW R 1200 GS and a S 1000 XR pose by the Kabini
The next day was a fun one as the Deccan Safari headed back towards Bangalore, taking a slightly longer route with more twisties and less traffic.
The mood was upbeat and everyone agreed that the BMW Deccan Safari, both the ride and the short school was a great idea and that BMW Motorrad should do more.
Tusker Motorrad told OVERDRIVE that more Safari events are being planned with the Rann of Kutchh, Bhutan and Ladakh likely to be the destinations.
The BMW Safari event format was invented in Australia and BMW Motorrad India is amongst the first markets to adopt and host the event for Indian BMW motorcycle owners.
Images: Tusker Motorrad / BMW Motorrad India and Shumi
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