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Old 01-18-2011, 06:18 PM   #61
crazybrit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flaldrider View Post
How are the guys at Smart Motors taking all of this with regard to the constant repairs you have to make on the trip. I am assuming that you have been in contact with them especially with this latest mechanical failure----rod bearing +.

Mike
This was going to be my question. The previous repair was like $8 plus $8 for the machining, so I assume no contact was made and you just wrote it off as a day lost. I was waiting for the next post to see if you tried to contact the bike shop. Maybe the fact that Yogesh is Nepalese was a language barrier or maybe it's gets even better Can't wait.
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Old 01-19-2011, 01:28 AM   #62
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This video wasn't ours but it REALLY captures what it's like being on those roads.

Too funny for this vid to end up here, I am the guy you can see riding ahead in the video. India is an amazing place to ride and I will follow your posts closely to see how you get on. I am planning a return unsupported trip in the future so your experiences will be good to see.. Got to agree with your assessment of the Enfield so far, but what else would you want to ride in India, warts and all? Thanks Rich C.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:08 AM   #63
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To answer Zain's question and throw my 2 cents in. If i wanted to tour India i would do it on a modern 100+ cc bike .Never on an Enfield. Nostalgia is well and good but with the road conditions and driving habits the last thing you want is to worry about the reliability of your bike.
I spent 8 years in India and my house mate rode a Bullet. Half the time he couldn't start it and the other half was spent in the workshop.
And there is an even bigger POS i.e the Yedzi road king which is actually a Jawa 250cc. THe longest i spent trying to kickstart one was 30mins non stop. I don't know if they still have it nowadays.( i left India in Jan 2000).
Looking at the honda India website a brandnew base model is around 36800Rs = 2,400 Malaysian Ringgit(for Zain ) = 811 USD .
I would make a deal to resell it back to the dealer and get some cash back (at a loss of course) . Peace of mind for me is more important esp if my wife is along.
Great adventure BTW.
Ride safe guys.
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:29 AM   #64
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Originally Posted by Joe Motocross View Post
Our plan was to rent a couple of Royal Enfields in Delhi for the journey. There is a slew of places you can rent bikes. We went with Smart Motors who I DON'T RECOMMEND! More on that in a bit. Here's the owners son and one of the bikes we'd get. It looks pretty sharp right there doesn't it?
That looks like Sunny from Smart motors. Rents out good bikes usually but too bad...
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Old 01-19-2011, 02:42 AM   #65
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Originally Posted by griffin146 View Post
To answer Zain's question and throw my 2 cents in. If i wanted to tour India i would do it on a modern 100+ cc bike
Been there, done that, not much fun.

Ever pushed a light weighted nimble looking minimalistic 100cc bike over a 17000 ft pass?? Thats when you'll like the Bullet. Its got enough torque to cross any pass with any amount of stuff you put on it.
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Old 01-19-2011, 05:14 AM   #66
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Its got enough torque to cross any pass with any amount of stuff you put on it
True ...................................as long as its running .


The question was never about the Enfield not being to perform but about its reliability.
And finally ...its what "I" would do i.e a personal opinion.

Quote by bunnypunia here
-http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=284529
Which says
Quote:
Indian bikes?
Most people coming in to India prefer the good old Royal Enfield and for good reasons - the old world charm. But, ride one only if its in a very good conditions coz bad ones can be a pain in the ass. Modern day machines like the 223cc Karizmas can out run the enfields very easily, drink less fuel, are smoother and easier to handle, but lack the old world charm, and soul (for some). Oil change costs around USD 4 (castrol oil) and general service with a wash around USD 6 at authorised service centers

Do able on these bikes without too much problems or pushing
-http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=73614
-http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=180595
-http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192961
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griffin146 screwed with this post 01-19-2011 at 05:26 AM
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:37 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by griffin146 View Post
And finally ...its what "I" would do i.e a personal opinion.
It's always good to remember that this thread is in "ride reports", it's not in "trip planning"
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:59 AM   #68
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Checking the Honda India site, the 223cc Karizmas seems no longer available - although the CBR250 is coming (no price yet) it's probably less suitable. Looks like there's nothing in the lineup bigger than 150cc and smaller than the 1000CBR-R.

Anyway, bugger touring on the things, it's a good away to get the girls!

Now back to the broken-down Enfields (which is a good way to KEEP the girls once you have them - they are not going anywhere!)


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Old 01-19-2011, 10:58 AM   #69
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Is anyone of the opinion that a small concern renting out maybe 6xHonda crf250x's and 3xHonda crf450x's would be a good idea?

India is somewhere that's always fascinated me and I'd love to do it, so presume, because I'm not a total oddball, that a lot of you guys and girls would too. But not one one of those piles of shit.

Good report, did you go for a holiday when you got home?
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:11 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Chanderjeet View Post
Been there, done that, not much fun.

Ever pushed a light weighted nimble looking minimalistic 100cc bike over a 17000 ft pass?? Thats when you'll like the Bullet. Its got enough torque to cross any pass with any amount of stuff you put on it.
So logic is out of the window when a Bullet is involved? Why does it have to be 100cc or Bullet? The torque of the Bullet is barely enough to push its own weight, the rest is just myth. The newer 220cc's, Pulsar et. al., are much better for touring in India. The new Honda CBR250 will be even better, once it becomes available, I heard for only about $3000 in India.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:33 PM   #71
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Day 6: continued
We weight our options. The first is trying to get the bike back to Manali and leaving it there for repair while we rent another bike. The second is pulling the engine out and doing the repair here in Keylong. We make the decision to do it here and go for it. So it's back down to Yogi's to start tearing into the engine. While I'm prepping the bike for the engine to come out, I notice that both of my sprockets and chain ARE TOTALLY COOKED!! There's nubs where the teeth should be on the sprockets. We're lucky we made it this far on these piles of crap!!



We get Myheap at Smart Motors on the phone and inform him about the state of the bikes. He says that wearing out brake pads and chains and sprockets is normal and this should be expected. I'm not an idiot. I know this stuff wears out, I've owned and maintained bikes on my own for 20 years but I know this stuff doesn't wear out in 700km!! The guy must think I'm a fool! These bikes left Delhi in poor condition. Myheap also says don't split the case, just put oil in it and continue on. This is not an option and we refuse as I know the bike won't go much farther without dying once and for all. He says fine but wait until a friend of his comes into Keylong tonight from Manali who is leading a motorcycle tour. He'll take a look at the bike as well. Myheap doesn't trust Yogi and my diagnosis of the shot connecting rod bearing. I can't totally blame the guy. So we take a break and wait.



It's dark and getting late and we don't think Myheap's buddy is going to make it. Buurrt and I decide we need to get a handle on the situation and get this done. We decide we are on our own and will not consult Myheap any more for the rest of the journey. We go buy some beer and inform Yogi it's time to split the case without consulting Myheap's boy. Yogi likes our style of offering beer and agrees and it's on!! We pull out lights and tools and start going at it!



We drop the engine out and re-up the beer supply. Things are getting LOOSE!!



The night time scene at Yogi's is something that is burned into my brain that I will never forget. We're all getting drunk working with Yogi's sub standard set of tools with shit scattered everywhere!! There are random dudes who swing by to watch and shoot the shit. Some of them are TOTALLY WASTED before they even show up and have got some bottle of raunchy hootch that we're pulling on.



Things have shifted with our adventure now. We are buddies with Yogi and his crew. We've gained their respect by showing them we know how to wrench on bikes and are not afraid to get at it plus getting drunk while we do it! We are no longer weighing options on what to do with these beater bikes; it is now a challenge that we will conquer NO MATTER WHAT IT TAKES- we will push these piles throughout the Himalaya's and complete our loop!! It's no longer a question of IF we'll make it, it's HOW we are going to get it done!!!



We're thinking that there's no way that we're going to find and reassemble all the parts that are literally strewn everywhere!! This is one of the LOOSEST SCENES!! However, we have faith in Yogi who we start to realize has some sort of weird photographic memory skill allowing him to remember where each little nut was thrown.\



Next thing you know, Myheap's bro walks around the corner with his sidekick. They made it over Rotang pass with their group and pulled in late after dark. I think his name was Amit (shown on the right) and he runs a bike touring outfit out of Manali. He speaks pretty good english and let's us know right off the get go that Myheap rubs him the wrong way and he's only stopped in as common courtesy to his fellow motorcycle tour/rental entrepreneur. Myheap has not treated him fairly on some past deals is what he says. Amit know's the Enfields also, grabs a beer and a pull and becomes part of the scene. We like this guy. It's about midnight and we're splitting the case and it doesn't want to just fall apart. The studs have a little rust and won't slide through very easy.



Amit's had this issue before and tells us to scrounge up some wood (we find a stump shown in the left corner)\



Next thing you know he's got the case up in the air and is slamming it down hitting the crankshaft on the wood. SPLINTERS ARE FLYING EVERYWHERE AND WE ARE LAUGHING OUR HEADS OFF, BUCKLED OVER HOLDING OUR GUTS!!!\



A little more persuading and the case comes apart. There's the crankshaft with the shot connecting rod bearing. We yuk it up a bit more and people start to disperse, thoroughly lit!! Yogi informs us that the crankshaft needs to go to a machinist back over Rotang Pass down below Manali in the town of Kulu. He'll send one of his apprentices over in the morning on Yogi's own personal bike (not an Enfield I might add, funny that the Enfield mechanic's choice for a reliable bike is a Yamaha!!). The crank will get machined and his boy will ride back returning to Keylong in the evening. We think this is nuts as it took us a full day just to go one way from Manali.
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Old 01-19-2011, 06:51 PM   #72
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Taking Control

Glad to see that you have taken your destiny into your own hands. I am sure that Smart Motors knows all about the problems with these bikes and figure that you being from "Out of Town" that you would bow to their instructions.

Keep it coming !!! Can't wait for the next installment.

Mike
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Old 01-19-2011, 07:57 PM   #73
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Well alright, then. That's the way to get it done.
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Old 01-19-2011, 08:01 PM   #74
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Great ride report Although I am confused, you planned to just wing it, pack light and try to really experience India. You decided to rent known unreliable bikes, and then seem surprised that they really are POS's. I presume by the foreshadowing that something really bad happens to the bike.....

On the bright side, you seem to have met some amazing local people and experienced them in ways not usually experienced by westerners; been invited to sit in their shops, drink their chai, get drunk and flog an old bike apart by moonlight, commiserate with them about the shady guy who rented the bike to you, and were able to make major repairs for less than $16 dollars so far. You got accepted into their shop as an equal, not just a western "mark" and enjoyed some local street food without getting sick. You have been surrounded by amazing sights and sounds, some unbelievable landscapes and escaped death probably a thousand times in those few hundred kilometers....that sounds to me like a true adventure...and exactly the kind of trip I'd love!! Overcoming adversity and being welcomed as a traveler...not a tourist

If you had been in a new car, or totally reliable motorcycle, you would have covered many more miles, but you would not have met any of those people that have left an indelible mark on you...and I seriously doubt you would have had such an authentic, Indian adventure. I can't wait to see what else happens and read how you got through it with the help of...and in spite of, the locals. If everything went smoothly, it would have been a vacation...not an Adventure!! Cheers!!

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Old 01-20-2011, 09:17 AM   #75
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I guess we were'nt really too surprised about the Enfield reliability. I think we were just hoping for better luck in getting bikes that might not break down.

" I presume by the foreshadowing that something really bad happens to the bike....." Yeah, we had to drop the engine and split the case!! I don't know if anything worse can happen aside from crashing the thing!! ;)

The overall experience was out of this world and I wouldn't change a thing. Next time, no Enfield though.
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