DARK AND MISCHIEVOUS
Kalmoohi – pronounced “cull-moo-he”.
The word Kalmoohi is from the Hindi language, meaning “Dark-Faced and Mischievous”.
This 4×4 Mahindra Thar CRDe, the second project build at Image Drivers, is a bit of unique one. Here’s the thing, this is a 6 year old vehicle, bought brand new by Director Nipun Srivastava, way back in 2014. Back then, it was a realization of a childhood dream for Nipun. A military kid at heart, he adored jeeps and still does. Even today, 6 years on, he uses this thing more than any other vehicle in his garage.
As a testament to his immeasurable love for his 4×4, TNT Garage took on this build to help Nipun truly fulfill his dream of kitting out his Thar to the teeth. Check out the video at the start of this post for the full build showcase and scroll on for a brief breakdown of the stuff we’ve mounted on the vehicle.
Off-Road LED Lights: DENALI Electronics D7 and D4 Light Pods.
Horn: DENALI Soundbomb Dual Tone Air Horn.
Winch: WARN ZEON 8000.
Tires: Cooper Tires Discoverer STT Pro.
Wheels: High Quality Imported 8J Steel Rims – 15″.
Hard Top: Bimbra 4×4 FRP V2.
Hood Latches: Mopar.
Spare Wheel Cover: ARMORO.
Door Hinge Steps: PRAD 4×4.
Bumpers: Mahindra Customisation (TNT Garage upgunned).
Rock Sliders: Bimbra 4×4 (TNT Garage upgunned).
Snorkel: Mahindra Customisation (TNT Garage Upgunned).
Custom Mounting Brackets: TNT Garage (@thenirvanateam).
Thermo-Acoustic Damping: DAMPMAT.
Some of the accessories you see in the build video are already mounted on the vehicle as it enters the frame, that is because, we wanted to make sure everything fits the way it should before the final install and shooting of the film. Not to forget, much of the protection like the bumpers, rock sliders and even the snorkel, have been heavily up-gunned to accommodate Nipun’s exacting requirements.
The Machine – A Mahindra Thar CRDe (2014)
This vehicle has been in daily use since early 2015. Indian driving conditions can make mince meat of even the most hardy of motoring machines and their bodywork, so we started by pulling off all the meaty stuff that this 4×4 rolled in with and sent it off to get grit blasted.
At TNT Garage, we’re extremely particular of the quality of tools we use. Be it hand tools or power tools, we only ever use the best that’s at our disposal.
OUR TOOLS – We are very proud of the tools we use and also the way we put them into action.
To us, our tools are worth their weight in gold.
Getting ready for a blast!
We began our build with a need based uninstallation of the bumpers, the winch plate and the rock sliders. Once off, every metal part went forward for a nice grit blast. Taking off all the old powder-coat and gunk that had accumulated since these parts were first put on the vehicle. This was followed by a quick wash of the vehicle, to remove any remnants of dirt that could impede the re-installation of these parts.
With the entire might of a world class fabrication facility at our disposal, we were able to design, test and tweak all the custom bracketing and mounting requirements that were handed over to us by Nipun.
TNT Garage up-gunned!
Here, you can see the front bumper, having been up-gunned with a custom auxiliary driving light mount, is now undergoing final finishing touches at the metal welding and grinding station. Post finishing, the entire front bumper was sent off for our internal quality check, where we compared the actual user requirement vs our fabrication work, we also suggested mild tweaks to the original design so as to further improve user experience and to ease out the install process. A good fabrication job for us not only makes working on the part easy for our team but also makes it a breeze for the end user to DIY mount his or her accessories as and when they please.
A huge part of this project was the installation of premium auxiliary LED lights from DENALI Electronics. With the help of their DENALI Automotive Wiring Harness Kits, we were able to wire in both the DENALI D7 and the DENALI D4 off-road Driving lights.
Making the journey from the actual Light Pod, all the way into the engine bay, through the firewall, into the cabin and finally into our custom made electronic switching module was made easy thanks to the DENALI wiring kits, although this takes a fair bit of finesse to get right on a vehicle such as the OG Mahindra Thar.
At this stage, we also created customized wiring for the DENALI Soundbomb Horn that was to be fitted also.
While we had the wiring being taken care of, all the metal was out getting powder coated.
Bearing gifts, comes the forklift!
As the parts arrived, all wrapped up like Christmas presents, the team got to work checking each part for the final finish, before these went back onto the vehicle. A time consuming, yet critical process here, at TNT Garage. Attention to detail is the name of the game.
Finally, with the parts clearing QC, we started the process of mounting things, front to back.
TNTG Up-Gunned front winch bumper goes on.
Starting with the winch-plate, now marked and drilled to accept the forthcoming winch install, the front bumper went on the vehicle. We have also created customized chassis braces for this bumper to further secure it onto the frame, making sure that the original chassis needed zero mods to accept our bracing additions.
The WARN Zeon 8 was one of the major add-ons to this vehicle.
WARN ZEON 8 Premium Winch.
The simplicity with which WARN winches go on and the pace at which a trained tech can wire in these massive pieces of kit surprises us every time! Here, we had pre-marked and drilled the winch-plate and front bumper to accept the ZEON 8, the Fairlead and the Steel Cable and Hook.
Then came the Rocksliders, Nipun swears by these hefty metal sliders on his Thar. They have already saved him a bunch of money on bodywork thanks to their design. Needless to say, they needed a fair bit of cleaning up, tinkering and powdercoat before they could go back onto the vehicle.
Rocksliders. Sliding on to the flanks!
With all the meaty metal back on the vehicle, it was now time to mount the shiny bits. First up, came the DENALI D7 Light Pods with DataDim Technology.
These DENALI D7s pack over 15000 lumens in their nifty and hardy 4.5 inch housings and feel the part too. One can get them with amber or selective yellow lenses as well and DENALI also offers smart looking and snug fitting covers for them!
DENALI D7 LED Light Pods with DataDim Technology.
With the D7 Light Pods mounted and wired in tight, we then picked up the aggressive DENALI D4 Combination Beam LED Lights. Close to 9000 lumens and absolutely mad performance on the D4 makes it an ideal add on for 4x4s or even for motorcycles!
Nipun loves the DENALI D4s so much, he has them mounted on his BMW R1250GS as well! Check out the BMW story here: THE SWASHBUCKLER.
DENALI D4 LED Light Pods.
As the D4s sport a combination Flood/Spot beam pattern and have a wider light throw, Nipun chose to mount these pods just off the windscreen, so as to give him maximum visibility on the flanks of the vehicle while still illuminating the front. With the DataDim Module also installed, the D4 pods would make for excellent DRLs too!
We customized windscreen light brackets for the D4 Lights install and also brought in a longer set of bolts as the stock bolts could not accommodate the thickness of the windscreen light bracket. This bracket also needed to keep the light pod clear of the Snorkel, installed on the right side of the vehicle.
DENALI SoundBomb Horn.
In close succession to the LED Lights, we mounted the DENALI SoundBomb Horn as a secondary option on this 4×4. The vehicle still retains its OEM horns for road use and has this new DENALI horn wired onto a completely new circuit with mounts that we customized for it.
Also mounted on the vehicle are the PRAD4x4 Door Hinge Steps.
These help with accessing the roof for routine maintenance or to access the roof rack or tent, if mounted.
DOOR HINGE STEPS
Tastefully built, yet super functional and easy to maintain, even if caked in mud, these nifty steps bolt onto the door hinges and are super simple install!
Flip them open and just climb on.
WHEELS AND TIRES
The Kalmoohi runs on 31″ Cooper Discoverer STT Pro Mud Terrain Tires, mounted on 15 inch 8J Steel Rims. These particular tires have been chosen as they do not need the vehicle geometry to be changed in any way. This 4×4 has no lift and runs a completely stock suspension setup. Something that may or may not be upgraded in the future as it works very well as is!
Cooper Discoverer STT Pro Tires – 8J Steel Wheels 15″.
With this wheel and tire setup, it is dead easy for the driver to swap out the up-gunned wheels and replace them with the stock wheels and tires in a matter of minutes. Nipun aims to maintain a set of 5 stock wheels and tires to use on the regular.
The Mahindra Thar CRDe comes stock with a soft top. Functional but super floppy and zero on cabin security and comfort. The Kalmoohi has a purpose built Bimbra4x4 V2 Fiber Reinforced Plastic Hard Top Mounted. This takes care of everything from the beating of the Sun to the pouring of the rain, while keeping the insides safer and relatively more secure.
FRP Hard Top & ARMORO Spare Wheel Cover.
This 4×4 also uses the ARMORO Canvas Spare Wheel Cover with the words ‘Lex Talionis’ printed on the back. Words to live by we think, words to live by.
Finally then, with all the work complete (for this session), it was time for the Kalmoohi to roll out into the night!
As Nipun Srivastava succinctly puts it,
“Like a proverbial machete in the hands of a tribal hunter, these beams have helped me chase my freedom. Cutting through dark nights and setting me apart when the sun is in the eye, every time I exercise my independence, my lights have been my foremost weapon.”,
it pretty much sums up what all these builds are about.
Out into the unknown!
Heading out into the unknown, chasing dreams that seem unreal, doing things that are considered impossible.
That’s what this attitude is all about, this attitude that makes people go out and catch the proverbial bull by the horns.
Our salute to them. Kudos!
PROJECT KALMOOHI – Going off-road soon!
Here’s also to our team at TNT Garage that built and showcased the Kalmoohi Mahindra Thar 4×4.
Stay tuned to our channels for the next chapter in this evolution where we take this beast of a truck off road and show you how it actually comes alive!
CHECK OUT THE FULL BUILD FILM BELOW
Contact TNT Garage to kit out your dream adventure machine!
CALL – +91 7028122708
What does it take to build the courage to put oneself out there?
Pushing hard, chasing our innermost dreams, making something out of nothing and most importantly, trying to figure out where the hell one is actually headed – all these pursuits are journeys that can take a toll even on the most hardened of people.
Emotionally, mentally and even physically, people who are change makers need to keep going beyond what their mind (and often body) is capable of. Once on such a journey, there’s no turning back. Even the mere thought of turning back, feels like one is giving up on the self.
What does it take then, to keep one reassured that one is moving in the right direction? To keep the wind in ones sail? What could give one the power to cast aside all doubts and jump, open throttle, onto the proverbial playground, chasing endeavors you could only have dreamed of just a few short weeks ago?
Well, for me, it has always been the pursuit of light. For if I have light with me, I can find my way. If I have light on my side, I can blaze any trail. Go any distance, wade through the darkest of times.
Over the past five years, I have traversed over fifty thousand kilometers of geography across India. My steeds have been varied, my destinations have been numerous but my journey has been constant.
Me – 1, Inhibitions – 0.
From riding motorcycles on easy highway roads, to diving into jungle trails like it was my own swimming pool, I have always taken on the path ahead of me because the lights I have chosen for my vehicles have always had my back.
DENALI LED Lighting – Optimized for 4×4 applications!
Like a proverbial machete in the hands of a tribal hunter, these beams have helped me chase my freedom. Cutting through dark nights and setting me apart when the sun is in the eye, every time I exercise my independence, my lights have been my foremost weapon.
Silently supporting me, when I am alone. Giving me the courage, to head out – time, after trying time.
I am Nipun Srivastava.
All DENALI Electronics products are available in India through the official distributor – BIGBADBIKES.
DENALI LED Auxiliary lighting is ideal for use on motorcycles, pick-up trucks, Jeeps, side by sides, boats etc, get yours today at bigbadbikes.com!
Nipun Srivastava is part of the DENALI Electronics Brand Ambassadors Team for 2021.
There are motorcycles and then there are motorcycles – and then there’s the GS.
Over the years our teams have ridden and used many a motorcycle but when it was time to choose our first ever ‘project motorcycle’ for Image Drivers ( India ), …it had to be the BMW R1250GS.
Watch the Project Teaser!
(scroll down for full film)
We pulled out all the stops when it came to Nipun Srivastava’s beloved new steed. We called in trained technicians from multiple mechanical disciplines to lend a hand with our build. This build was to be an intense one as the challenge before us was not just to outfit the motorcycle from start to finish, within 24 hours, we were to do it with an entire camera crew from @thenirvanateam pointing their lenses at the motorcycle and all the parts we had got for it!
It had to be the GS.
Everything had to happen like clockwork and right from the start, it didn’t. Early, on the morning of the BMW build, we got to the workshop at 5am, hoping to start by 6 but guess what, the shutters to the shop had jammed shut and refused to open. It took us the better part of an hour to figure out how to jimmy open the damn thing. We got it done, eventually.
Getting ready to load up!
Inside our workshop for the day, the boys from thenirvanateam got to doing what they do best, setting up all the motorcycle, camera and tooling gear required for the marathon assembly and video shoot which was about to start.
Here’s a list of stuff that we planned to get on the bike that day:
- Lower Crash Guards
- Sump Guard/Bash Plate
- Front axle Slider
- Side Stand Foot Enlarger
- Windscreen Reinforcement
- Brake cylinder Guard, Rear
- Rear brake Reservoir Guard
- EVO Tank Ring
- Daypack Tank Bag
- Gear Shift Lever
- Denali Light Mount
- Denali D4 V2 TriOptic – Wiring and Install
- Upper Crash Bars
- Rear Slider For Drive Shaft
- Aero ABS Pannier System
- Adventure Rack for Top Case
- Adapter Plate for Top Case
- Urban ABS Top Case
We caught the bull by its horns and started off with mounting the biggies – the lower crash bars and sump guard from SW-Motech. Then came the quickies – the front axel slider, quick lock tank ring and the side stand enlarger, then came the trickies – the windscreen reinforcements and wire routing for the LEDs.
Lower Crash Bars, Sump Guard, Windscreen Reinforcements, Axle Sliders & Side Stand Enlarger.
(Click on an image to see it up close)
Along the way, the brake cylinder and reservoir guards were also bolted on in quick succession. Fairly easy stuff.
Then came the gear shift lever from SW-Motech, which required rider input from Nipun Srivastava, who came in all decked up with his new KLIM gear, ready to show off for the cameras! (Watch the video at the bottom to check it out!)
Lunch for the team was a quick ‘Vada Pav’, which is basically an Indian veggie burger with a potato patty – our go-to snack during builds like these and while on rides.
Brake Reservoir Guard, Gear Shift Lever & Brake Cylinder Guard.
After lunch, as the lights came on again and the cameras fired up, came the job of figuring out how to mount the dutiful Denali D4 LED lights. The directions in the box are a boon but the lights were to go on in unison with the DataDim Module from Denali and also the Denali Light Mount for the R1250GS, which was to replace the crossmember on the upper crash bars from SW-Motech (phew! Just saying it out loud is a feat!), the 3-position-switch was also to be connected as we were not using the Can-Smart Controller. Not to forget the routing of wires all the way under the fuel tank cowl, making its way to the under-seat battery.
This part of the installation took time as so many bits were involved, however it was a fairly straightforward process, with a little back and forth on the routing of wires and ideal placement of the D4 light pods. We would also add a couple of S4 light pods with the help of ‘splitters’ (also provided by Denali) a few days later, so the time the boys took painstakingly snaking the wiring through, helped us bolt the S4s on in a jiffy!
Denali D4 V2 TriOptics all lit up with the new Denali S4s in tandem.
Finally then, as the Sun went under, came the luggage systems. Nipun had chosen the stunning new Aero ABS semi rigid panniers for his steed, an unconventional choice for the GS, but he swears by them as he’d been using the earlier version of the same boxes for years on his Kawasaki Versys 650, check out the Kwacker here: Sport Tourer for the Soul.
The Aero ABS panniers mount onto the new PRO Side Carriers from SW-Motech, even with the boxes off the bike, the PRO carriers look quite smart, giving the motorcycle a real rugged look.
The stunning Aero ABS Side-Pannier System from SW-Motech!
After the panniers, the Adventure Rack went on, with the adapter plate for the Urban ABS TopCase. This took surprisingly long as we found ourselves completely flummoxed by the adapter plate and its mountings atop the Adventure rack. Looking back, it was probably the non-stop 15 hours of standing and continuous working on the motorcycle that had taken its toll on the team, we stopped. We pulled out all product literature and read through the mounting sequence line by line. Our lead technician finally figured it out as the clock struck 11pm (remember, we started this gig at 6am).
And then the Top Case went on as easy as butter melting on toast. Check it out below!
The Adventure Rack & Urban ABS Top Case in action.
Finally, our list was complete and we rechecked every part installed on the motorcycle one last time and that was it.
PRO TIP: If, ever, like us, you are crazy enough to attempt installing so many parts on a GS all at once, take it from us, install the Tank Bag and Tank Ring absolutely at the end. We spent a lot of time installing the tank ring and then repeatedly taking it off to access the space under the fuel tank cowl.
The Daypack Tank Bag from SW-Motech.
Trust us, it sounds way less intense than it really was. Multiple takes and retakes for the video crew, actually trying to figure out how to mount the parts without losing any bits and bobs in the process. Bagging and tagging each bit to come off the stock bike, behind the scenes – it had all been a true marathon. But we delivered on our promise and Nipun got to ride his steed home that night, fully loaded.
Wondering how it all turned out?
Check out the short video below to catch the full reveal and see how @thenirvanateam went about their job.
Over 20 hours of painstaking work, showcased in just 4 minutes, enjoy!
CHECK OUT THE FULL ACCESSORIES SHOWCASE!
Do share this post with your buddies and feel free to comment and join the conversation!