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Old 01-28-2011, 08:26 AM   #121
kootenay kid
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I'm loving this! Please keep it coming.
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:44 AM   #122
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Ah! Thank god -- I was going through withdrawal.

Thanks for taking the time to make the pictures, write the RR -- the whole bit. Congratulations on a great trip; I really appreciate you sharing it with us.
"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

"Riding a KLR in an enduro is like trying to put a bear in a wetsuit."
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Old 01-28-2011, 06:17 PM   #123
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NO FEAR should be the title of this courageous RR...Love it baby...
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Old 01-28-2011, 10:15 PM   #124
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Wonderful ride report! I've spent 5 weeks in India in the last 2 years (including some time spent working in a school in south Bangaluru), and been plotting an adventure like this. Love it! Coolgoose2, what kind of Old Monk rum is that Avatar ? The stuff I'm getting from from my Indian friends is Special XXX 7yr Old. Is this better?
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:22 PM   #125
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Best armchair adventure I've had in ages!! Keep it coming.
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Old 01-29-2011, 11:48 AM   #126
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I tried to show the pics here to my wife this morning but they almost all have the dreaded Photobucket message: Bandwith Exceeded.
This is a great RR, I hope the pics will be viewable again.
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Old 01-29-2011, 06:56 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by beverclan View Post
Wonderful ride report! I've spent 5 weeks in India in the last 2 years (including some time spent working in a school in south Bangaluru), and been plotting an adventure like this. Love it! Coolgoose2, what kind of Old Monk rum is that Avatar ? The stuff I'm getting from from my Indian friends is Special XXX 7yr Old. Is this better?
I think that is the 7 year stuff - pretty good.
Just spent 3 weeks in India drinking this 10 Gold Reserve version - very nice!

To keep on topic.
Love the RR. Having lived and ridden in India - I have to say - kudos to you - flying into Delhi, renting Enfields and taking off for the Himalays! Just awesome!
In fact, you stopped in my home town - Chandigarh.
And yes, Sikh's are the best - but I am biased!

Keep it coming!

That my friends is a Nihang Singh, a Sikh warrior class that generally hangs around Anandpur Sahib.
They are known to indulge in Bhang (marijuana in drink or food form - Sikh's' don't smoke) to facilitate their interactions with God. As they say - you talk DIRECTLY with God once you join them in prayer!

ADVer screwed with this post 01-29-2011 at 07:06 PM
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:07 AM   #128
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Ha! Thanks for the tid bits there. We sampled the old Monk a bit and your info on the Sikh warrior class was cool. Very interesting and, yes, we were in Anandapur Sahib. Good stuff!

More Day 11 shortly....
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Old 01-30-2011, 08:37 AM   #129
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DAY 11 Continued
Well, we stopped off here to refresh. Splashed around in the water and just took it in a bit. It certainly worked but we still had way too far to go. The day was going great but we were worried we weren't going to make Leh. I dumped a bunch of oil into my my bike that had an insatiable thirst. We saddled up for the next stretch and Burrrtts kick stand broke! Great. Well, it didn't totally break, just the pin that holds the spring. We had to strap it so it wouldn't drag along. We use Voile straps which are by far the best strap ever built. They are made out of rubber so when you cinch them down, they never loosen. Every motorcyclist should have them. Click HERE to check them out.

We traveled down the drainage for another hour or so and T'd into the Indus River. There was a military check point and we asked the guy how far to Leh. I think he said something like 190km!! It was late in the afternoon and we figured we weren't going to make it.

We started down the Indus which was still VERY swollen from the flooding that occurred recently. It's obvious in this picture where these power lines I suspect aren't usually in the water. Just looking at the flow of the river, you could tell it was raging.

We came across this recent landslide. HOLY CRAP!! They'd pushed a dozer through it where it took out the road. This was the first real glimpse at the destruction that occurred up here. There would be more.

The flooding really jacked the road pretty bad. It was only re-opened just a few days back.

This was pretty impressive. It's a bridge of sorts that actually stood up to the torrent of the Indus. Why it didn't wash away is anyone's guess. We couldn't imagine crossing it right now. Suicide.

We wouldn't have come down this gorge had it not been for the detour. The gorge was incredible!! We were so psyched that we got to ride this route.

This was one of the coolest routes.

Finally we came across a small village where there was a store and a restaurant. We stopped off but all they had was Ramen noodles!! We all gladly ate an order each. The day was really starting to wear on us and the food helped but not much. We still had a way to go and the shadows were getting long.

This beautiful section lasted for a long time. This was really incredible terrain winding through the river gorge.

We came across some sections of road where we actually got moving a bit faster. As we approached where the gorge opens up to the valley that Leh sits in we were actually traveling along at a pretty good clip!! Look, that Enfield in the picture is actually LEANING just a little into the corner!!

It was starting to get dark and we were within striking distance. The road was now very busy. We'd been warned not to ride at night and we hadn't had to up till now. This is when I found out the battery to my bike is TOTALLY SHOT and won't light up the headlight!! The stator that charges the battery would make it glow just a bit if I revved the engine hard but the headlight was basically nonexistent. Sweet, just what you need heading into a more busy city. Well, things could be worse like maybe GETTING A FLAT TIRE!! Crap!! We were about at the end of our rope at this juncture. (on a side note, check out all the oil that Burrtt's beater is spewing all over! It's coming out everywhere!!)

Minxter was at a loss about what we were going to do. Buurrt and I knew but didn't want to accept it. When we told Minxter that we were going to fix the flat, she said, "oh, of course, duh!!" and proceeded to take the edge off!! It really helped having a little something to sip on when things go too far.

A couple of sips and just accepting our fate put us right back into the game. We just started pretending we were back in the Utah desert when someone gets a flat. What happens out there is when you flat, you're responsible for fixing your own tire as the rest of your bros find some shade, break out that beer from their backpack, take photos and heckle you as beads of sweat poor off your forehead. Nothing different here. We take pride in our tire changing ability and Burrtt started the stop watch.

Back in Utah, we have put the different types of flats into categories. Each category has a class, 1 through 5 depending on the severity. For example, a simple single unexplained hole would be classified a "class 1 puncture". If you slam something and pinch the tube between a rock and the rim and it's got two side by side holes that would be a "class 2 snake bite". You can have a "slash", "nail", "sidewall failure" all which would be classified 1 through 5. You can have a "patch failure" where an old patch comes loose or a more rare type where you might have a "puncture" or a "snake bite" right on an old patch.

This one turned out to be a "class 5 valve stem failure" where the whole valve stem was ripped off the tube. What's tricky about this is that you can't inflate the tube to check for any "pre-stem failure" issues that may have originally caused the tube to go flat which then in turn leads to the stem getting ripped off.

I got our new tube in, we pumped it up with our bicycle pump and got it back on the bike. 32 minutes. Not the best time but not bad considering we aren't that versed at the Enfield rear wheel/suspension.

We were able to continue with Burrrttt and Maja leading us with the only working headlight. After a few wrong turns and asking some directions, we rolled into Leh and inadvertently right to the Hotel a friend of ours told us about. We were thrashed!! We didn't see our Indian friends who we last saw back in Pang.

Buurrts odometer never worked from the beginning and mine was on it's way out with the speedo starting to only randomly work. I'd expect nothing less from these bikes!! Best I can tell from a map, we did about 280km which I think would be the biggest day of the trip. Let me tell ya, on those roads, that was a VERY long day!!
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:51 AM   #130
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Oh man is this ever good. I was already thinking of going over there and rent an Enfield, then my sister told me she is going with my nephew next fall for 3 months, now I really want to go.

Had a little practice a few days ago sitting on a new Enfield in Vancouver.....

I think I'll bring my tools. Whithworth or SAE ????

The Rum well.....30+ years at sea and Lamb's Overproof have cured me of that demon, but I am sure there is others over there.

Keep them coming.
Have tools, will travel!
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Old 01-30-2011, 09:54 AM   #131
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Ride Report: Canada North to South 2008 here
Drive Report: Ice Road Trucking 2005-2014 here

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Old 01-30-2011, 10:08 AM   #132
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H96669, we couldn't really tell which sizes the nuts and bolts were due to lots of them being worn off from the sub-standard tools that were put on them. I'd just recommend as many tools as you can bring!!

If I were going solo, there's no question I'd rent one of the smaller CC jap bikes and bring a decent little metric tool kit. We ran into a number of people who live in India and tried to own Enfields. Many of them were current smaller CC Honda owners.

As far as I can see, it's a total crap shoot with the Enfields. Not recommended, good luck!!!
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Old 02-01-2011, 04:53 PM   #133
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DAY 12:
We decided to stay two nights in Leh. It almost felt like we were on a vacation here. The hotel rooms were not bad but the court yard was really nice. We were cleaned up and having a leisurely morning.

We actually looked presentable!!

The court yard was really nice with "hops" vines climbing up the building.
It almost felt luxurious!!

Well, that feeling wouldn't last long thanks to our bikes of choice!! Remember, my bike had a broken rack and was still bottoming out. Burrtt's clutch was screwed, kick stand was busted, engine wasn't running just right and we both thought we'd do an oil change. Buurrt's right front fork was spewing oil out of the top which was spraying all over him. Upon further inspection, Buurrt needed new drive sprockets. We also needed a new spare tube. So, we'd spend a good portion of the day making the rounds to various welders, mechanics and parts stores.

We got my rack welded up. The welder was using the "squint" technique instead of eye protection. He was good though and charged us a minimal amount. $3 or something.

Then it was over to the Enfield mechanics shop where, you guessed it, he was performing the "Enfield mechanic triage technique". Here he was going over the top end of a customer's bike.

The owner was another one of those cats who knew the Enfields intimately.

We were actually the "low hanging fruit" and our minor adjustments and repairs took precedence over bikes with more serious issues.

Huh, another Enfield with the clutch cover off?! I'm seeing a pattern.

We went back up to the hotel mid day and this is what we saw. Someone had parked a nice KTM where our bikes were parked. Some sort of sick joke. What we would've done to have a bike like that.

Then we took care of my rear suspension issues and checked the valve clearances.

Next it was back down to the welder to take care of Buurrt's broken kickstand. The stick welder ground was a piece of rebar laid so it was touching the welder and the bike. I liked this.

It was only mid day and we were satisfied that the bikes were ready for the next leg. Wow!! Looks like we actually get to relax a bit this afternoon and check out the town!!
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Old 02-02-2011, 02:13 AM   #134
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This is awesome,keep it coming
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Old 02-02-2011, 07:13 AM   #135
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Day 12 Continued: The flooding

The girls were trying to get some cash from an ATM that apparently wasn't working. None of the ATMs were working in Leh. It seems that every ATM we went to in India was super busy. Can you find Maja in this picture?

We stumbled across our Indian friends who somehow had made it to Leh the night before. They were also doing some Enfield maintenance and were going to push to the highest motor-able pass in the world at 18,000'. We really wanted to go there but with the condition of our bikes we thought it was best not to. We had a long way back to Delhi and were getting a little tight on time. We hopped on the bikes to go take a tour of Leh and the surrounding villages. On our way into town we had seen a hint of the destruction caused by the recent flooding.

Now we understood the extent of it.

There was still something like 1000 people missing. Lots of them were buried in places like this.

The flood happened at night and struck with no warning I guess. It was a sad scene. There was a guy in this building scratching around with a rock trying to dig, possibly looking for family or friends.

This was kinda ironic we thought.

We went back to the hotel and parked the bikes for the night. They were running fine. The Yak Tail hotel let us push them into the courtyard.

We went out for dinner and had some more really good Mo Mos. A little stroll around town and we'd call it a night. As I understand it, cows are sacred in many areas of India and they roam wherever they please.
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