Sept'16: Spiti Circuit / Chandratal Lake on a Yamaha R3


So its that time on the forum when I'm ready to create a worthy thread. Worthy, because while I've done several trips in the past, none of them match the level of experience on this forum. All those rides fall pale in comparison. But not this one.
This is a travelogue of a trip that started at Delhi with 4 bikers and would cover the full Spiti Circuit over 9 days. The planning was done 4-5 months in advance, and was originally supposed to have 7 riders. Cancellations and last minute ill health meant, only 4 survived.

The four riders and their rides were

1. Nishant Jha - Royal Enfield Electra 350 (Modified)
2. George Varghese - Royal Enfield Classic 500 (Stock)
3. Rubal Chawla - Honda CBR 250 (Stock)
4. Me - Yamaha R3 (Stock)

The ride started on 10th September, 2016.

I am assuming this was the first Yamaha R3 to cover the circuit. Correct me if that's not true.

Here's a short glimpse of what lies ahead. Going to complete the travelogue soon. The ride was a total of 1880 kms with some detours and moving back and forth adding up to 1980 kms of total riding over 9 days.

The kit
Protective Jacket: Cramster Breezer
Protective Lowers: Lewis
Gloves: Some brand from Karol Bagh (There was no mesh, so wind and dust protection was impeccable).
Shoes: Timberland (Water and dust proof)
Helmet: LS2

Day 1 - Delhi to Rampur via Chail.

We started from Mukarba Chowk, Delhi at 3:30 am (actually 4:00 am) to ensure that we reach Rampur in time. We managed to reach at 6: 30 pm the same day after being followed by rain all along the way.


First Toll on Delhi Ambala Road


Somewhere along the Ambala highway, we caught the sun rising.

On the road to Chail. In my mind, Chail is way way better than Shimla.


A panorama along the way.


A small teaser of the Kinnaur region.
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Day 2
Rampur - Chitkool - Kalpa (180 kms)

Day 2 was spent travelling from Rampur to Kalpa, while going to Chitkul on the way.

We entered the Kinnaur region on this day, from where the mud roads started. Chitkul is the last inhabited village along the Indo-China border and we enjoyed some decent roads along the way thanks to the PM Gram Sadak Yojna..

We also got our first view (backside) of the Kailash parvat. Lots of greenery along the way and some beautiful valley views.


Posing on the way to Chitkul with Nishant Jha (Bulls on Parade Fame).



The customary pictures.


Cloud formation behind the hills. This was a breathtaking view.


A view of the Sangla valley.


Clouds everywhere around and below us.


Bad sections of the road to Chitkul.


A waterfall along the way.


Welcome to Kinnaur.


Chitkul Valley view.


Another bad section towards Chitkul.




New Member

Could you please give more details of the trip? I'm really interested to know how the R3 performed. Essentially, how good a bike is it for touring and off roading.



Could you please give more details of the trip? I'm really interested to know how the R3 performed. Essentially, how good a bike is it for touring and off roading.
Hi, sorry for the late reply. I was totally off forums for some time..

The bike performed really well. The ground clearance is good, so going over bad roads isnt a problem. There are times when the excess power would cause the tyre to slide in slushy areas, but that can be overcome by picking up the bike in second gear.

The engine warms up well, handles air and altitude issues well, and even delivers good fuel economy on the hills. I managed an easy 25 to 28 kmph most of the time in the hills.

You dont need to ride on the first and second gears most of the time, even when going uphill thanks to the powerful engine.

Strapping your luggage on the bike could be a challenge. I managed it by using a ViaTerra saddle bag alongwith a backpack I strapped on top of it.

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Regarding how comfortable the bike is, I ride with very less weight on my wrists, so i never had those issues. As a group we would take a break every 40 to 50 kms, sometimes even more frequently when the roads were bad. There is no vibration felt from the engine or the handlebar, but on extremely bad sections, some jerks will follow through to your spine..

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