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Old 03-16-2011, 09:15 AM   #286
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Yeah, I'm a jackass!! It's spring and I just did my first venture into the deserts of Utah. Between that and work I've neglected the end here. Got some time today so....

DAY 19:
It was raining as we departed Chandigahr for our final push. We started out with no major bike issues and were feeling pretty good about getting the bikes back to Delhi and catching our flight by the following day. The rain ended up being pretty intense to the point where we had to slow way down for a bit. We were not looking forward to trying to navigate Delhi with heavy rain. The rain prevented us from taking many photos but the ride from Chandigahr to Delhi isn't the most scenic anyway. We all had adequate rain gear so the ride wasn't too bad.

The rain backed off as we approached Delhi. It was mid afternoon and things were busy.

We were on the same route in as we had left. It was much busier then when we left at 6 in the morning. I'm sure there was a better route but we weren't going to try and find one at this juncture.

Back into the dirt and poverty of Delhi. This is something else to experience. I've been told that in Calcutta and Mumbai the poverty is much worse.

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Old 03-16-2011, 09:43 AM   #287
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We were just crawling here. We were praying that the damn Enfield clutches weren't going to go haywire.

This is not the place you want to have a break down. TOTAL CHAOS!!

We were pretty sure we were on the right track and continued to maneuver through the maze of madness!!

There were some guys who seemed to be some sort of self appointed traffic cops. They were stern but were getting the job done and people were obeying their orders.

WE MADE IT!!! We had COMPLETED THE LOOP!! We couldn't believe it!! We decided we were going to splurge and spend $50 on a hotel for the last night.

It was a brand new hotel and pretty nice. However, we could already see signs of the classic Indian style of neglect starting. Little stuff like smudges on the walls and minor broken things. I suspect within a few years it will be like all the other places.

We cleaned EVERYTHING including our backpack/saddlebags. Next it would be the return of the bikes to Smart Motors.
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Old 03-16-2011, 09:56 AM   #288
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Life is dangerous. Not doing what you love makes life even more dangerous...
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Old 03-16-2011, 10:48 AM   #289
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We decided to go clean the bikes up for their return. Nothing was broken, they were running fine but looked like crap because of all the mud and dirt from the last few weeks. We thought it would make a good impression if we brought the bikes back looking good. We tried to find a water hose that we could use to clean them up to no avail. We ended up going to a gas station where there was a car washing service. It took a little convincing for some reason but we got the guys to hose off and polish up the bikes for some rupees. This would be one last chapter of "Enfield break down madness" that we had thought we closed the book on.

After the wash, the bikes looked great. We were psyched, payed the guys, hopped on the bikes and started kicking them. NO DICE!! I was worried about this as I was watching the guys blast the bikes with a high pressure hose douching water into the ignition parts which were now wet and wouldn't work. In classic form, the Indian gas station attendants started "repairing" the bikes. THIS WAS A NIGHTMARE COMING TRUE!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!! NOT AGAIN!!!!!!

I wasn't that worried as I've had to dry out ignitions after dumping bikes during river crossings. I knew we'd get them started again and we did. First mine. It took a bit with an air hose but mine coughed and ran rough for a bit and then it was back to it's normal slow Enfield chug chug. Buuuuuurrrrrrts came to life next but didn't fall into line so quick. It was kinda running but not well enough to get it to move. We fussed around and fussed around. Again in classic form numerous India "motorcycle experts" offered their assistance. After thoroughly drying the ignition I suspected something else was wrong. The gas caps on the tanks aren't exactly what you call a "Precision Fit" and I started to think that water had blasted into the gas tank. The owner of the gas station was there. He was a good guy and had gone to school in the States. Of course we hit it off with him. He didn't think there was water in the tanks but he had a method that he uses to check for water in his fuel supply. They are some sort of glass stick that you insert into the fuel. If there is water present, any portion of the stick that passes through water turns pink. He inserted it and said "see, no water". I said "hold it, do it again" and he inserted it once more. As he was pulling it out he again said "no water" but as he pulled it out, the tip was pink. He saw it and we knew what the problem was. Water is heavier then gas so it goes to the bottom of the tank. All we had to do was drain a little fuel out and the water would be gone. We also drained the carb and the bike fired up and we were off. This was like a two hour ordeal all together.

We stopped by the hotel and told the girls we were going to make the transaction and we should be back in a couple of hours. Myheap's wasn't that far away and we navigated through the afternoon traffic like we were locals. Myheap wasn't there right away even though we had just talked to him and told him we were coming so we waited a while. He showed up and tried to make a little small talk about the trip blah blah blah. We told him the trip went well but the bikes he sent us out on were in bad condition from his shop. He couldn't argue much about all the problems we had with them. We pulled out all the receipts that we had, just as we had agreed to do when we first got the bikes. He agreed that it wasn't good that we had all the trouble with the bikes. He slowly looked over the receipts and kinda drug his feet a bit. Finally he says "so what should we do now?". I thought, "what the fuck do you think? you give us our deposit and the money for the repairs!" I didn't say it like that of course but we reminded him of our original agreement.

That's when he said "you payed too much for all the repairs". There was already some tension in the air and this statement set things in motion. We figured this was the way it was going to go down. We started arguing first in a calm manner then things escalated to yelling. Mostly from us. Myheap knew he was going back on his deal and couldn't really produce any good reason for not doing as he had agreed. All he could say was that he wouldn't make any money off our rental because of all the repairs. I said he could've avoided that by making sure the bikes were good to go in the first place. I also suggested that this is the cost of doing business. If your product fails, you don't push off your bad luck to your customers. Well, I guess this isn't the case in India.

Myheap tries to give us less then half of the cost of the repairs. We about blow a gasket!! I'm yelling that I want my damn connecting rod and bearing back in that case. "You've got MY connecting rod and bearing in YOUR bike and I want it back if you're not going to pay for it!!" This was ridiculous of course and was just a result of the heated exchange that was going on.

We went at it with him for well over an hour. He knew he was in the wrong but wasn't going to give. He was trying to settle the situation by offering chai. We were going to get our deposit back. I think there's some sort of law that actually the shop keepers have to obey so at least we had that coming. We were going round and round not getting anywhere when Buuuurrrtt decides to go see Myheap's old man who's his business partner just down the street. We were thinking the old man wouldn't have his son running a dishonest business. Turns out we were dead wrong. The fruit doesn't fall far from the tree as it turned out. The old man tries to butter up Buuuurrrt with some Coke, "sit down and we'll straighten this out". Buuurrrt explains what's going on at the shop. The old man agrees that it wasn't good about all the bike trouble and says "but the repairs are a lot of money for us and not very much for you". Buuuurrrrt immediately saw how it was. CONVERSATION OVER!! Buuuurrrt said something like "I see how you do business" and walked out as the old man was trying to get him to stay saying "no no, it's not like that".

By the time Buuuurrrt got back to Myheap's the old man and Myheap had chatted on the phone. Now they would give us almost half of the repair money. They knew they were in the wrong, it was clear. We told them again that they were dishonest and that they knew it. I kept telling Myheap "do the right thing". He knew what to do but wouldn't do it. We told him to produce what ever money he was giving us NOW and we we'd be gone. He hands us a wad which is even a bit more then he had said but still didn't come close to covering the bill. You could tell he was feeling bad about the deal but just wouldn't do the right thing. We basically said "fuck you and good job making your people look bad". We left with a poor impression of Indian shopkeepers. It was too bad.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:32 AM   #290
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There is a trick to dealing with this kind of situation.

Don't go WITH the bikes, just the receipts, and don't tell where the bikes are unless he is prepared to pay. If the person finally agrees to pay, you collect the money and tell him to come with you to pick up the bikes, if not, you tell him that you will meet him the next day as you are short of time, and walk off.

People WILL buy the bike without the papers, and if you don't need the money, you can simply trash the bikes wherever they are parked and move on.

It will be difficult for that guy to get a bike for the usual deposit amount
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:35 AM   #291
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Thanks for taking us all along with you on your most excellent adventure!

Looking back I see the agreement was $500 deposit and $17/day per bike, and keep any repair receipts for reimbursement.
Curious, how much out of pocket repair costs were you claiming and how much did Smart Motors end up paying out?

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Old 03-16-2011, 11:39 AM   #292
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Originally Posted by mcnut View Post
Thanks for taking us all along with you on your most excellent adventure!

Looking back I see the agreement was $500 deposit and $17/day per bike, and keep any repair receipts for reimbursement.
Curious, how much out of pocket repair costs were you claiming and how much did Smart Motors end up paying out?

This was the big repair, no? $180

Annoying but in the global scheme of 4 airfares to India, probably not the end of the world.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:44 AM   #293
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Thanks for the report. If I were you I would send that bloke a turd in the post every day for a year.
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Old 03-16-2011, 11:48 AM   #294
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For sure, not the end of the world. I don't really recall what the total amount was. I think we were out a couple of hundred $.

That wasn't what bummed us out. It was the way things were handled. I was disappointed that we were leaving with a bad taste in our mouth. It was too bad that these guys made a lasting impression on us about Indian's honesty. Well, we have people who are dishonest in our country as well and I guess you got look at it as they don't portray everyone.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:21 PM   #295
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Well, it was an excellent ride report, and I'd like to thank you for taking the time to write it up.
"So what makes this protest different is that you're set to die, Bobby?"
--May well come to that.
"You start a hunger strike to protest for what you believe in. You don't start already determined to die or am I missing somethin' here?"
-- It's in their hands. Our message is clear. They're seeing our determination.
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Old 03-16-2011, 01:31 PM   #296
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Thank You!

I've just finished reading this RR from beginning to end in one sitting. You four should be so proud of your accomplishment! What an amazing journey. I envy you all in many ways. For being adventurous, patient, brave, and optimistic. Thanks again for the inspiring report...

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Old 03-16-2011, 02:17 PM   #297
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DAY 20:
We woke up on the last day and planned to just take it easy and take in Delhi. We all got a good nights sleep and were happy to have completed the journey. We took Smart Motors for what they are worth and put it behind us. The camera missing was no big deal either. Time to go look around. The girls decided to see if they could find a few things to bring back to the states.

We just wandered around and took in the people and the commotion of Delhi. We stopped off for lunch and ordered a couple of beers. I guess the place didn't have a license so they went and got some beer and poured it into tea pots to "disguise" it!! Too funny!!
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Old 03-16-2011, 04:40 PM   #298
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Riding is a fine reason to avoid writing.

Shame about Myheap. On the other hand, you've got more than a few great Indians in your quiver of stories, most especially the guru of Enfields. What a great trip overall and a story well told. Thanks for putting all together for us to enjoy. I certainly did; three cheers!

"I almost got side swiped by a guy on a Honda Shadow that was wearing an H-D tassel laden jacket. I was on my H-D at the time and wearing a Kawasaki T shirt. I wasn't sure which came closer to killing me,the near accident or the irony." wishin4woods

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Old 03-16-2011, 05:03 PM   #299
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I am sorry you folks has to go through all this.
Being an Indian I am extremely ashamed of what Soni Motors did to you guys.
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Old 03-16-2011, 05:58 PM   #300
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Airline tickets to India - $1200 pp

Connecting rods and bearings for a Royal Enfield $200, Drinking beer out of a tea pot $3, This ride report - Priceless!

Your ride has made me grin from ear to ear throughout. In years from now you will laugh every time you are reminded of India. Thanks for finishing it up. Absolutely brilliant!

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