Part of the reason we ended up going with "Smart Motors” was because the Minxter had contacted multiple rental shops in India via email and Smart was the only outfit to return her email. Maja and I showed in Delhi a day early and toured the area where all the shops are located and we came across S.M. and went on in and talked for a while with Mohit Soni.
He is the co-owner of the Smart Motors along with his father Om Soni. He spoke great English and we felt good about the deal. He was not the cheapest in town, but he had all the right answers, racks for our bags and the bikes would be ready to go the next day. We gave him a deposit and told him we would return the next day with the rest of our crew.
The four of us returned the next day and spoke again with Mohit. He had both the bikes being completely looked over by his mechanics and said they would be ready to go later that night for pick up. He told us multiple times he was confident about his bikes and insured us they would be in top mechanical condition for our departure the next day.
That evening we ditched the girls at the Hotel and went to pick up the bikes. This is where we should have stopped and done a more thorough pre-ride inspection of the bikes. That was a huge mistake on our part and one we will never make again....I guess we were blinded by excitement and our trust in Mohit which was a very bad call. We grabbed some spare parts, tubes and cables and head into the crazy traffic of downtown New Delhi. As Joe mentioned before the bikes shift lever is on the right and you push down to advance to a higher gear unlike any other bike I have ridden. The rear brake is on the left and operates like you would think by also pushing down on the lever. It was all I could do to stay in traffic with Joe in sight and keep from being killed. The learning curve here was quite steep.
We had it all planned out that we would stop at the gas station on the way and top the bikes off for a early departure the next morning. We had taken the route back and forth from the hotel and we were both confident we had this in the bag. So off we went. Not only did we miss the gas station but we blew right through the intersection we needed to make it the Hotel. It was out of hand.
Luckily I had some situational awareness from spending time in the area before and was able to take an alternate route to the hotel. We pulled up to the hotel and the adrenaline meter was just pegged on the red line. We couldn’t believe it and we really couldn’t see ourselves getting back on those bikes to go get gas. It was starting to get dark and felt it would be a much wiser decision to just get the gas on the way out of town the next morning when traffic was light.
With the bikes now in our possession. The excitement level was also pegged at the red line.