1060 km in 2 days with my Yamaha Aerox scooter: Ride experience

Reflected an overall fuel efficiency of 41 km/l after maintaining around 90 km/h speeds on the highway.

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I have never attempted a long ride on a scooter per se, and so wanted to know how this will be on the Aerox. Thought about visiting my home town in Thrissur Kerala struck and the opportunity came this weekend. I was getting bored at home with nothing to do and hence took the scooter out for a ride. Checked the fuel and and saw it was full. Started the trip at around 2 AM on 21st April as I wanted to avoid the famous Bangalore traffic. Headed towards MG road and then to Kengeri and hit the Bengaluru-Mysuru expressway. I enjoy my drives/rides at night when it is peaceful and the climate is much cooler, so night driving was not a concern for me.

I must say, the way the Bengaluru-Mysuru expressway has been constructed, is a pleasure to ride however I miss those old stops that I used to take on the old route which used to go through towns.

One thing you must remember while riding the Aerox on this expressway at night is that you cannot push it to the limit. It will consume more fuel and due to the size of the fuel tank and the lack of open petrol bunks at night on this stretch, it is a concern. There are not many eateries as well on the expressway, at least for now. I got the first fueling done just before reaching Srirangapatna. After refuelling, went ahead and took the Mysore Outer Ring road and took the turn towards Nanjangud- Gundalpete. Stopped for a quick cup of tea at the Hundy toll plaza.

After a quick stop of 15 minutes and a bit of stretching started the onward journey at around 6.30 AM. At Gundalpete, did a refuelling, although it was not required. Got the tank full as the road ahead is through the Bandipur forest and did not want to get surprises along the way. It was good that I took a refuel because the next open fuel station was at Gudalur. By the time I reached the forest check post, the usual crowd had left and it was pleasant to ride through the forest with its serene atmosphere. The weather was neither too cold nor too hot, the right climate for an early morning ride. Boy, this was about to change later on during the ride. I reached Gudalur town and by then it was business hours as most of the shops were open and there was regular and tourist traffic on the road. Took the turn towards Calicut/Kerala from Gudalur.

Had my breakfast at a nearby open restaurant in the Nilgiris however since it was only 8.30 AM, there was only Idli and tea available! That is when I felt that time does really move slowly in the hills. In Bangalore, you could get the entire menu in a good Darshini by 8 AM. I finished breakfast and after a good rest, continued the ride through the Niligiris and entered the state of Kerala. The winding roads through the hills were an experience as the Aerox was taking turns with ease. Met some police officers on the route who were doing their routine checks. Verified my papers and they were curious about the Aerox. Got regular questions on the cost and mileage and if it can take such long distances. It was downhill so had to park my bike on the side stand while I was talking to the officer. Suddenly, the supper smooth side stand gave way and the Aerox almost fell to the left. Thanks to the quick reflexes of the officer, he was able to stop the scooter in time. I need to do something about this side stand. This is the third or the fourth time this has happened to me. Any ideas, please let me know.

Moved on from here to Vazhikkadavu and then the normal town life started to appear. Since it was Ramazan, could not see much traffic or people on the roads. Speaking of roads, why are the roads in this part so poorly designed? I come from Bangalore and we are used to potholes. If I get a pothole, the muscle memory within me will manoeuvre through them without me realizing it however what I noticed on the Vazhikkadavu road all the way to Perintalmana is that effort has been made to fill the potholes with tar however has made the road all the bumpier. While travelling on a four-wheeler, you might not notice it however in a two-wheeler like the Aerox with the stiff suspension, you are going to feel it in your bones. It just takes the fun out of the journey. Along with this, is the heat. The sun was all out guns blazing that day and it was like if you slow down, you are going to burn. If you speed up, the wind through the mesh of the riding jacket would cool things down but the roads in this condition meant it would take a toll on your spine. I wanted to stand up and ride but the height of the handlebar meant I cannot do that as well and I did not want to be spotted for dangerous riding by those AI cameras that the Kerala MVD has installed recently.

Continued with my journey through Vazhikkadavu – Perintalmana – Kunnamkulam – Thrissur battling the excessive heat and bad roads. Finally reached home at around 1 PM. Took a nice shower to cool things down. Checked out the scooter and it was performing normally with no abnormal signs. Got a fuel efficiency of 46 km/l for this 430 kms journey. For speeds, it was in between 60-80 on the Mysore expressway, 50-60 within the forest and the rest of the journey in Kerala.

Spent the day at home with brief visits to local shops and since it was Pooram and temple festival time, had a run around the town for sightseeing. This scooter is not seen in my home town and so naturally there were a lot of questions and some of my friends wanted to try it out. Definitely a head-turner.

Started my return journey on 23rd April and took the Palakkad – Salem – Hosur – Bangalore highway. As always on this route, started at around 9 PM. Huge difference in the rides as the highways are smooth and not much of a diversion. I made it a point to take a 15-minute break after every toll plaza so that it would not be taxing on the body. I was familiar with this route so knew that there are 24/7 open fuel stations and hence maintained a speed of between 80-90 km/h. This was a longer route of around 560 kms to my residence in Bangalore and I was able to reach home by 6.30 AM. The fuel efficiency towards the end of this journey has reflected an average of 40.9 km/l for the entire 1060.8 kms trip in the last two days.

Touch wood, no niggles right now. Some things could have been better like the side stand and the headlight throw especially on a wet road at night. I am getting used to the seating posture of this scooter. In city driving I tend to sit forward as it is comfortable for taking quick turns but for long rides like this one, I tend to sit back near the centre ridge so that I get comfortable support on the rear.

If you ask me, do I have a sore back and butt, yes it does and for now I am avoiding sitting on hard surfaces, however, did I enjoy my ride?. I loved it. Even with those minor issues reported above, Aerox continued to surprise me with its performance and handling. You don’t need to be bothered about frequent gear changes and other parameters. Just enjoy the journey. Probably once the discussions at home settle down on why I went on this almost saddle-sore ride, I might plan for my next trip. Till then, Sayonara and happy riding to all!.

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