Exploring Nepal on the TVS Ntorq 125 Race Edition and the Raider
The 125cc segment has been ever-growing in the last few years and TVS has had a major role to play in this boom of this class of two-wheelers. With products like the Jupiter 125, the Ntorq 125 range and the recently added Raider, TVS has something for everyone looking to start off their riding career. To celebrate the success of their 125cc range, TVS called a bunch of journalists to visit and explore the extremely picturesque landscape of Nepal. Saying it was rewarding and adventurous would be grossly understating it.
This was my first international trip as an automotive journalist and I couldn’t have asked for a better setup. The ride was planned meticulously by TVS in collaboration with event planning company The Nyka Experience. The Nyka Experience has planned some epic drives and rides that I’ve heard of so I was only excited about what we had in store for us. The ride was planned for three days and approximately 700-odd kilometres. We landed in Kathmandu all set to ride to Pokhra on day one. Day two was to see us riding from Pokhara to Bharatpur and day three would be a dash back to Kathmandu. But little did we know that mother nature had other plans for us.
On day one, we’re all kitted up and we head to a TVS dealer in Kathmandu to collect our Ntorqs and Raiders which was followed by a flag-off ceremony. We were told to carry our rain gear but in all honesty, I was hoping we wouldn’t have to use it. Then 10 minutes into the ride it starts to rain. The phrase ‘when it rains, it pours’ comes to mind. Before we could stop to wear our rain gear, we were all almost completely drenched. Stopped at the side of the road at a bus stop you could see a bunch of journalists ambling around wearing rain gear before setting off again. I was riding the Ntorq Race Edition which was great because I had enough space to store all my valuables and keep them from getting drenched in the rain. Nepal has a very scenic landscape almost through and through. In more ways than one, the place resembles India but has a distinct identity of its own. The first forty kilometres of the ride were extremely peaceful riding out of the city. It was all smooth sailing till there and we also stopped for a photo-op on a scenic secluded bridge that goes over the Trishuli river.
With the photo session concluded, we continued further with some 160km left to cover. As soon as we set off, we got word that some severe landslides have been happening on the roads ahead. At the time, we pressed on not thinking much of it but riding after for a bit we witnessed exactly what was up. It started off with a few small rocks and some debris on the road which led to rocks falling right in front of us followed by monumental traffic jams and excavators clearing off rocks and mud and dumping it in the Trishuli river. The TVS Raider and the Ntroq 125 Race Edition performed with outstanding composure through this entire ordeal without a single hiccup. We were riding on slush, over loose rocks, gravel, boulders and heck we even did some small water crossings. Both the scooter and the bike remained extremely reliable throughout. We had to snake through roughly 45km of parked cars and trucks if we wanted to make any progress. Those on four wheels were unfortunately destined to wait for a long time before getting to their destination. Some of us picked up the photographers and our route planners and we rode together till our stay for the night. Because of the landslides, it took us nearly 14hours to cover a meagre 200kms, such was the situation over there.
Now as adventurous as it was, it wasn't safe to continue with the ride as planned considering the weather situations in beautiful Nepal. So, we decided to cancel riding to Bharatpur altogether and decided to explore what Pokhara has to offer and to our surprise, it has a fair bit. We swapped rides for what was going to be day two and sadly, the last day of our ride. I was now on the Raider and as much as I love the Ntorq, the Raider just felt that much more engaging to ride. We started off by heading to a newly developed six-laned highway around Pokhara which treated us to some brilliant landscapes of some densely vegetated mountains in the backdrop. After a photo-op there and some of us journos cooling around and trying to do top-speed runs, we decided to head for lunch. The team from Nyka events had organised lunch alongside the pristine Phewa Tal lake in a nice cafe. After we polished up some divine local cuisine, we got back on our bikes and set off to do some more exploring. We rode along the Phewa Tal lake skirting it for quite some distance and then we saw a small island that we could access via a slight trail that cuts across some fields. The view from that Island definitely made the off-road ride completely worth it and it also seemed like a good spot to mark the end of a short but staggeringly beautiful ride.
Granted we didn't get to do all the things we set out to do but the TVS Ntorq Race Edition and the Raider proved to be tough, relentless machines with a proper adventure spirit. This perfectly explains why the company's 125cc portfolio is immensely successful. All that aside this was my first international trip and it is definitely one that I will remember for a long time to come. I got to explore a beautiful country, made some lifelong friends, ate some delicious food and most importantly got to spend quality time on two wheels. What more could one ask for!