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Old 09-12-2008, 12:08 AM   #1
The Iceman OP
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Rediscovering India on two wheels

circa 2007. I was on my way to Leh (Ladakh). While on the highway, my pistons gave up. Got it done up and rode again. Too bad. By the time I reached the real mountains, I had less than 500 kilometers on the odo. And I had a ton of luggage. THe bike refused to climb. Like an angry girlfriend, it just said no. Fuming and oozing smoke. There was no argument. The trip of a lifetime ended right there. I had the option of carrying the bike on a truck to get over the really steep portion but then that would have taken the fun out of it. I was miserable but I came back. From the doors of heaven.

Cut to 2008. I am hell bent on going again. Unfortunately my investment banking requirements hold me back. But I am determined. I decide on something bigger. Why not go everywhere. Who knows what will happen next year. The country I have lived in all my life but never really seen. Its time to go. So I do whatever it took to get that window of opportunity. And finally the time has come. I am off in 5 days.

The plans are sketchy. First stop is Ladakh. Khardung La. The highest motorable road in the world. At a time when the only people up there are in beefy SUVs or are participating in a rally. Then on the options are endless. There are places to visit. Pilgrimages to make (in a strictly motorcycling sense). Wagah Border between India and Pakistan). Kanyakumari. Arunachal Pradesh. Dwarka. Sriganganagar. Sariska. Chilka Lake. Nepal. Bhutan. Goa. Dandeli (annual meet of Bike Nomads. Sigh! don't know if I will be able to make it). The Royal Enfield factory in Chennai. East Coast Road. Shillong. The list is endless.

The steed is ready and willing. It is so fresh off the pot that I don't even have its papers yet. The running in will be part in the city and part on the highway. Its a 500cc Royal Enfield Machismo. Tried and tested in India. Starting off with a retro silencer. Dual fog lamps. Probably a new air filter. Rest of the bike will be stock.

Off I go....

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Rediscovering India On Two Wheels

The Destination Is But An Excuse To Undertake The Journey.

Royal Enfield Standard 350cc (1974) - Sold
Royal Enfield Machismo 500cc (2008)
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Old 09-12-2008, 01:04 AM   #2
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Great plans, you will indeed find more that you look for :)
How long would this ride be for ?
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Old 09-12-2008, 03:25 AM   #3
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Old 09-12-2008, 07:23 AM   #4
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Old 09-12-2008, 11:08 AM   #5
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Bluhduh

The biggest problem in a long journey is not the actual going. Its the concerns and advice of those nearest to you. They are the ones getting most sentimental especially when one is going alone. Man it sucks. You can't even laugh it off (like you do when everyone else goes on talking with their eyes wide open not believing this is actually happening).

There is only one thing to do. Meditate.
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Rediscovering India On Two Wheels

The Destination Is But An Excuse To Undertake The Journey.

Royal Enfield Standard 350cc (1974) - Sold
Royal Enfield Machismo 500cc (2008)
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:14 AM   #6
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Eek Tinkering with my ride

So now I come down to brasstacks. The bike needs to be ready. Few things that I always missed on the bike. Fog lamps. Flashing all indicator lights. And most definitely the silencer.

Mind you these aren't really mods. They are more conveniences.

The new Enfields have these long silencers which (unfortunately!) actually work. I mean they tend to cut out the loud thumping noise of the single cylinder workhorse.
From Machismo 500


But then, what's the point of a thumper if it doesn't thump. There is, thankfully, the option of retrofitting the short bottle silencer on to the newer models. They give out that nice sound and, some claim, although I find it hard to believe, that they improve power output by a few notches. Here's what it looks with the short bottle silencer.
From Machismo 500


Then came the point of visibility. Fog lamps, I think, should be default for all vehicles made with an intention of touring. More than once would every biker have felt the need to have stronger, brighter lamps to see better or to force the oncoming freak to lower his beam. Unfortunately bike headlamps can do only so much. More so for the Enfield. So, I got two 55W fog lamps. Attempt was to install them on the holes on the side of the headlights but the headlamps were both for the same side (;)) and one of them didn't fit. So I fixed it to the frame. This is what it looks like now.
From Machismo 500


Then there were the indicator lights. Every biker knows that on the road, two wheels = invisible to the rest of the world. This is more so when the rain comes down nice and hard. So, all lights blinking is a good thing. Unfortunately, this little piece of luxury is not an option that cross the good ol' people at Enfield.

With the fog lamps on, its quite a nice sight.
From Machismo 500
__________________
Rediscovering India On Two Wheels

The Destination Is But An Excuse To Undertake The Journey.

Royal Enfield Standard 350cc (1974) - Sold
Royal Enfield Machismo 500cc (2008)

The Iceman screwed with this post 09-13-2008 at 07:36 AM
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Old 09-13-2008, 07:34 AM   #7
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One for the ADVRider...

From Machismo 500
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Rediscovering India On Two Wheels

The Destination Is But An Excuse To Undertake The Journey.

Royal Enfield Standard 350cc (1974) - Sold
Royal Enfield Machismo 500cc (2008)
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Old 09-13-2008, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Iceman

Great bike. Im thinking about the same one for myself. The only problem is the range. With a full tank you'd get about 300-350 kms.

But good choice indeed.
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Old 09-17-2008, 02:08 PM   #9
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Thumb Leaving in a few hours

The reality has started to sink in. I have just one more day left in Mumbai. Frantically, I am trying to sort out all loose ends in life. Rent paid. Interest payments arranged. Bike paperwork confirmed. Critical components bought. Riding equipment bought. Existing stuff fished out of cupboards. Parents convinced (or was it?). Early part of the trip planned.

RIDE PLAN

Day 1 to Day 6: Mumbai to Delhi. I will start with about 250 kilometers on the odo. I need to run in the bike for the first 750 kilometers. That's 5 days. Plus one day in Surat for the first servicing.

Day 7 to Day 10: Delhi to Manali. Includes breakdown day.

Day 11 to Day 17: Manali to Leh to Manali.

Day 18 to Day 37: Cover north India including the following places - Amrtisar, Wagha Border, Sriganganagar, Jaisalmer, Dwarka, Ujjain, Bhopal, Pench National Park, Ranthmabore. Any other places on the rough planned route are more than welcome. Leaning towards good waterfalls. And nice cities. Return to Delhi.

Day 38 to Day Day 42: Delhi to Bokaro (Jharkhand) via Nepal. Cross over at Mahendranagar near Pilibhit. Ride through the Terai region. Cross over in Bihar and ride through Patna and Biharsharif to Bokaro.

Day 42 to Day 44: Stay at home for Diwali.

Day 45 to Day 60: Sikkim. North east. Have some friends in Assam (Guwahati and Jorhat). Would love to explore North East. All states. GO as far east in Arunachal as possible. Shillong. Agartala.

Day 61 to .... we'll see

OTHER PREPARATIONS

The bike's papers finally got confirmed today. I am now the proud owner of a two wheeler number originally registered in my own name. It sort of tingles me. The only other time I had my name entered into a vehicles registration book was on the last page. This time around, though, I will be on the first.

Went and bought the Cramster Outback riding jacket. Bloody heavy lump of cloth it is. But I hope all the armor and rain proofing and winter lining will provide its worth.

Also bought all the stuff for the bike. Cables. Chain lock. Fuse. Bulbs. Still looking for a foot pump and puncture sealant. Mumbai guys, anyone know of any place for certain where I can find it? Otherwise Delhi guys, please help.

I am off to the mech again tomorrow. To get the intricacies of the Machismo 500 and understand essential repairs. I can handle the Standard now but Machismo has some added razzmatazz which I need to see.
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Rediscovering India On Two Wheels

The Destination Is But An Excuse To Undertake The Journey.

Royal Enfield Standard 350cc (1974) - Sold
Royal Enfield Machismo 500cc (2008)
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Old 09-18-2008, 02:59 AM   #10
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Have a safe trip :)

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Old 09-19-2008, 07:46 PM   #11
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As I sit here and await your journey, I am visiting my father and he relates of his "riding" in India on a Harley 45 in 1944. He enjoyed his ride, I hope you enjoy yours and share it with us.
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Old 09-19-2008, 08:45 PM   #12
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I had an Uncle who once rode from Multan to Rome on a Vespa. I wonder if I'll have a chance one day to retrace his journey.

Looking forward to reading of your epic adventure.
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Old 09-20-2008, 07:27 AM   #13
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Just talked to my dad and got the real story. Turns out I had it wrong.

My uncle and his cousin rode from England to Rome 2 up on a Lambretta to attend the 1960 Olympic games.

Now that sounds like an adventure. Almost Che Guevera-esque, minus the communist revolutionary thing. I'll have to dig through my parents pictures next time I'm home to see if they have anything from the trip.
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Old 09-20-2008, 07:34 AM   #14
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Lets meet in Delhi. 981.101.9273
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Old 09-20-2008, 08:04 AM   #15
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Is it possible to cross the Wagah border on a motorcycle? Would be nice to do my upcoming trip on a motorcycle. Early planning stages now. If no moto, sounds like bus travel to me.
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