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Monday, July 27, 2009

Nakoda Isuzu LT1 bus review : Pune to Bangalore

We first told you more about the new Swaraj Mazda Isuzu LT1 bus last year - READ
Last week, I decided to take the bus, operated by Nakoda travels, to Davanagere. For this, I had to take the Pune-Bangalore bus.
I booked a ticket online at and got seat no A, or basically the first seat behind the conductor / co-driver.
The bus had to leave at 5:45pm but the guys at the office told me 6pm. Fair enough. However, it only turned up at 6:30pm.
Normally, a Volvo takes around 9.5 hours to Davanagere including a dinner break. I had no clue that our bus would stop at two places on the highway to pick up more passengers, and then enter Kolhapur to pick up more! All this meant we wasted 30-45mins. With a 30min dinner stop outside Kolhapur, and then another 30min stop to lend a spare tyre to the other Isuzu bus coming from Bangalore side, we still made it to the Davanagere bypass by 4:30am!!

Thats like 10 hours! Had the bus not taken diversions to other cities including Kolhapur and then 30min wastage to lend the spare tyre, the Pune-Davanagere distance would have been dispatched in just 9hours.
The reason for this the high speeds the driver was doing. I being on the first seat could see him going beyond 110km/h on various occasions easily. The Swaraj Mazda Isuzu bus has a 7 speed gearbox (yes, seven!) that lets the engine spin at lower revs at high speeds. Though this does mean that the bus can cruise at 110+ and sip less fuel, the downside is that due to a smaller engine as compared to the Volvo and Mercedes buses, inclines give a tuff time to the bus.