Go Back   ADVrider > Riding > Ride reports
User Name
Register Inmates Photos Site Rules Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 01-02-2008, 01:58 PM   #1
powerpolly OP
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Innsbruck, AUSTRIA
Oddometer: 18
Wink my most adventurours trip ever...

hi advriders!

for those who are interested in a crazy, historic, insane, overwhelming, dangerous and funny motorbike story continue to read...

it was my most adventurous trip ive ever done. the idea was to follow the footsteps of a compatriot, max reisch, who was the first motorbiker in history who drove from austria to india in 1932.
i had two months to drive 15000km from delhi in india home to innsbruck in austria. to make the trip more authentic i chose an oldtimer, especially a royal enfield bullet 500 built 1968.
this bike made my trip not only more historic, it also made it much much much more exicting... other travellers on modern bikes hopped from hotel to hotel, but the enfield made me always stuck in between. if i tell you that my route drove me through pakistan, iran and irak, you may guess that there came along some very exciting situations...
the idea behind choosing an enfield was that it is a simple bike and i thought that every mechanic should be able to repair it. but what surprise at the first mechanic outside of india! the mechanic took a hammer and a screwdriver, sat next to the bike on the floor and awaited my instructions. hmm...

but all that troubles made my trip so great because i got in deep contact with the local culture. i was surprised by the not always efficent helpful indians and greatly impressed of the hospitality of pakistani people.
beeing propably the first motorbike tourist in irak for years made locals interested in me and my bike, but nobody gave me the feeling to be miswanted of misplaced in their country that is still in war.
a dangerous situation happend in the south of iran when locals thought i was an american because of the "A" on my numberplate. that "A" stands for "Austria" for sure. i never buzz off that fast ;-)

the route drove me through the highest driveable roads in the world, through so-called dangerous areas in the kashmir area, the battlefields between pakistan and india.
i camped in islamabad, passed bomb-blasted busses and drove along the historic karakorum highway. the enfield broke down in the deserts of pakistan several times but drove me safely through the mostly boring highways of iran, sometimes along with military escortes. i learned to know people in kurdistan and made a shortcut to irak. further i passed cappadocia in turkey and jumped over the bosporus to europe, landed in bulgaria. in belgrad little jovanna showed me some ruins of the jugoslavian war before i continued through kroatia and slowenia to italy and via the brennerpass home to innsbruck where my friends made me a warm welcome.

so, it was a trip that was very very great for me, if anybody asks, i would do it again. but to be honest, next time i would choose a little more reliable bike.

during these two months i continuously updated my homepage with route-informations, stories and a lot of pictures. stories are hold in german language but you can watch much much photos and the route...

have fun. matthias

pretty bike, isnt it?

invitation when i ran out of fuel...

first breakdown in manali...

there is only one rule when indians repair your bike. lean back, watch and dont worry...

what ever this is. it was broken, not only once....

i guess they had big luck...

pretty clear air on 4800m above sea...

a quite cheap hotel...

lonely rider...

lonely biker...

said to be the highest driverable pass in the world...

watch out... deep falling ;-)

not yet a taliban, still in india...

met monica and paolo from italy. a little bit dangerous, im loving it...

a houseboat on dal-lake in srinagar... our hotel for 2 nights.

military everywhere...

in pakistan the faisal mosque...

a hostel somewhere on the karakorum highway...

another mechanics in gilgit...

this one fixed the lightmachine...

this one fixed something else...

you know these trucks?

i wanted to sleep in the prision but they sent me in a hotel:

good morning, im still alive :-)


i think you call this a oversize vehicle? ;-)

enfield broke down in the desert of pakistan

but i had a lot of fun with the locals:

one of the 14 rearbearings i had to change:

friendly policemen gave me a lift ;-) but the bike got stucked inside the pickup

then they through me on a bigger truck:

next i changed to another pickup. theve loaded pigs before...

my policefriends from loralei:

not yet a taliban :-)

some dont have a truck to colour:

iran soldier:

sexy ladies in black :-)

great timing, i could change bearings and flat tire at once.

nice mosque somewhere in iran:

oh no, not yet another broken screw...

this mechanic was proud to repair my bike:

hmm, in kurdistan military does not watch its wappons:

ok ok, the nike t-shirt is a bit risked in irak :-) but...

whuuu... shes hot

another invitation, i had to, no way out, believe me...

relaxing on the black sea:

the last waterpipe

the best parkinglot for an enfield ;-) i dont know who is more balky...

crazy policeman at the turkish border...

i like camping:

in cappadocia it looks like this:

its raining man:

first time that i was speeding behind the police...

war museum in belgrad:

on the last days the enfield needed 1/2 liter oil on 500km.

ah, reached austria.
Attached Images
KTM 990 Adventure, Royal Enfield Bullet 500 - 1968
location: Innsbruck/AUSTRIA - lifes too short to sit @ home

powerpolly screwed with this post 01-02-2008 at 04:24 PM Reason: found out how to add pictures :-)
powerpolly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 07:42 PM   #2
Bumpy Backroader
RED CAT's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Western Canada
Oddometer: 2,756

Good ride report.
RED CAT is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 07:51 PM   #3
dreaming adventurer
Klay's Avatar
Joined: Nov 2005
Location: right here on my thermarest
Oddometer: 98,456
Thanks for the picture story. That's some scenery and it seems you made it through some hostile places.
Klay is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 08:09 PM   #4
Spicy McHaggis
Darth Peach's cracker...
Spicy McHaggis's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2006
Location: Kodiak, Alaska
Oddometer: 3,789

Oh man, what a ride!!! What a moto!!!

Is that really a 1968 Royal Enfield?
2006 DR650
Spicy McHaggis is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 08:24 PM   #5
Beastly Adventurer
idahoskiguy's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2005
Oddometer: 1,095
WOW.........thank you for sharing.

It is the governments and fanatics that mess things up, people the whole world over are pretty much accepting and easy to be with one on one.

idahoskiguy is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 08:25 PM   #6
FJ cruiser
peter13's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2007
Location: East of the Blue Mountains. Sydney Australia.
Oddometer: 338
that was great,,,I loved the chic with the birka head gear...
peter13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 08:32 PM   #7
Gnarly Adventurer
vanveen's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2005
Oddometer: 126
great adventure, those enfields follow the original design too close, vibration and all, you are tough man
vanveen is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 08:38 PM   #8
Beastly Adventurer
Dakar-Dave's Avatar
Joined: Dec 2001
Location: Salem Oregon
Oddometer: 1,373
A most excellent adventure - Thanks for taking us along with you!

Dakar-Dave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2008, 11:46 PM   #9
Jamie Z
Beastly Adventurer
Jamie Z's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2006
Location: almost Memphis
Oddometer: 7,667
Holy wow. That's awesome.

Do you have a map of your general route?

Can you elaborate when you say a dangerous situation occurred in Iraq when the locals thought you were American?

I'm the Tent Space Guy Sign up to host fellow travelers here.

Budget Travel the Jamie Z Way
Jamie Z is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 01:36 AM   #10
powerpolly OP
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Innsbruck, AUSTRIA
Oddometer: 18
route and so...


yep, heres the route. during my travel i moved a pin on this map, so people knew where i was.

the bike is indeed a model 68, i verified this by comparing the machine serialnumber in the internet.
but, to be on the safe side, i wanted some modifications to be done before i started in delhi. so i wanted new pistons and a new cylinderhead, new lights and blinkers, new calbletree and new armatures. aswell the painting was done by my suggestions...

a list of breaks:

# 14 rearbearings
# 3 flat tires
# 2 broken gascables
# 1 broken clutchcable
# 2 broken clutches
# uncountered weldings at luggagecarrier and main stand (i guess about 35)
# nearly every screw was loosen or lost, once i lost the oilremovalscrew from the bottom of the bike, didnt realize it a long time...
# lost the main and sidestand feathers
# lost the main stand with a big crack
# lost the exhaust pipe
# cabletree began to smoke after a silly mechanics in turkey washed all that beatiful dust and dirt from 5 coutries away...
# several thread fractures inside the engine, try to explain a bungler mechanics that you want a threadcutting tool. most of them did not even know what that was...
# clogged gas tap
# nearly every sealing was leaky

at the end of each day the enfield wanted a little service...

the dangerous part:

the only dangerous situations in india happen on the roads. they are crazy speeding and silly drivers and would kill to be first at the trafficlights. some children throw stones at the entrance of some villages between leh and srinagar.

well, in pakistan its not that easy for a tourist to get in trouble. there are militarycheckposts everywhere and they prevent you from entering really dangerous areas like the swat-valley for example. or they escort you through areas eg the way between deragazekahn and loralei. opposite to other tourists i had no problems with those escorts. they follow you, let you stop wherever you want and as long as you want.

in iran its a bit different. several kidnappings have been reported in the past so the military escorts you some arbitrary kilometres from the mirajeh border to zahedan and on some parts of the highway to Bam. petrol smugglers along the road gesticulate that they will shoot you..

sometimes i was glad to be escorted because they sometimes organized free petrol, free accomodation and gave me a lift when the enfield broke again :-)

somewhere around zahedan i stoped at a petrolstation. as nearly everywhere i was immediately surrounded by a crowd of interested people, but here it was different. one guy shouted "american american". he thought i was an american citizen because of the "A" at my numberplate. more people came and started to shout and push me around. to explain the angry mop the truth was impossible, so i tried to buzz of. one took my waterbottle that i used as fire extinguisher for the bike and threw it while i was driving away. it landed just next to me on the ground... that was the point where i decided to look for a companion through iran.

my traveltime was right before the beginning of the current political troubles in pakistan, iran and kurdistan. i learned to know those people total different as you mostly see on television.
and some of them wanted me to carry out a message to the world:

"all that bad impressions we have from those countries are advisedly produced from some single fanatics that are mostly sponsered by the government, press or fanatic islamists and do NOT reflect the real life of the majority of that religios citizens"

i may agree that i got a totally different view of these countries, at least pakistan was for me the most beautiful country because of its warm and helpful people. altough i do not want to spend my days there at this time...
KTM 990 Adventure, Royal Enfield Bullet 500 - 1968
location: Innsbruck/AUSTRIA - lifes too short to sit @ home
powerpolly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 02:21 AM   #11
Studly Adventurer
Budo675's Avatar
Joined: Jul 2007
Location: Houston, TX
Oddometer: 859
That was absolutely beautiful. I wish one day to have the time and funds to do such a trip
Budo675 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 03:30 AM   #12
Varadero Journeyman
Monsieur's Avatar
Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Wits End, England, Near Europe
Oddometer: 214
That was one special trip!
What bike did your fellow Austrian do the trip on? Did you follow the same route as he did?
Very enjoyable - thanks
Monsieur is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 06:06 AM   #13
powerpolly OP
Joined: Feb 2007
Location: Innsbruck, AUSTRIA
Oddometer: 18
traveling in those countries is not a matter of money but in fact a big matter of time.
hotels, if you find any, cost between 0,50-15. sometimes you may share a room with a couple of truckdrivers or share a mattress in a jurte tent with the family. it smells the first couple of minutes but my nose got acclimating very soon. ;-)
traveling alone makes you interesting for lots of people around you, not only once i had to decline an invitation because i already had one :-)

food is during ramadan tricky to find, but very very cheap aswell. i learned to eat goulasch soup with only my fingers. haha, watch their faces when you lap the fingers of your left hand while eating :-)

the most critical thing during the trip was the time, i could say that i was on hurry the last weeks. after 3/4 of time i had only 1/2 of the track. best would be to quit the job to have endless time.

my austrian fellow, max reisch, did his trip in 1933 together with a companion heinz tichy on the back of a Puch 250T built 1933 with 6hp.

i was glad to see that even a puch looses that much oil :-)

i was not able to follow exactly his route because they did not allow me to enter afghanistan "just for fun".
But if i compare my trip with maxs trip i can say that max must had the bigger challenge to do. easy getting fuel, mechanics on each corner and the internet made this trip possible for me, but in 1933 i think there were much more challenges than mine.
nevertheless the enfield and me found the way into the hall of fame of the austrian expeditionsist, the musuem of maxs cars and bikes that he used to explore africa and asia.

some of maxs other vehicles:

KTM 990 Adventure, Royal Enfield Bullet 500 - 1968
location: Innsbruck/AUSTRIA - lifes too short to sit @ home
powerpolly is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 06:43 AM   #14
TigerStuie's Avatar
Joined: Oct 2007
Location: Tejas
Oddometer: 13
Great great post!

TigerStuie is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-03-2008, 06:48 AM   #15
Roro's Avatar
Joined: Jan 2007
Location: Sotteville-ls-Rouen, FRANCE
Oddometer: 28
how did u manage to have carnet de passage

it was impossible for me this summer to go to pakistan (india to france) with the same bike (i recognize madaan motor)!!! so i had to send my bike by sea! but i really want to try again!!!

ps : i can recognize my white bullet in your website, maybe we met us in june in delhi
India 2007 ride report

1967 Royal Enfield 350cc
Roro is offline   Reply With Quote


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump

Times are GMT -7.   It's 04:53 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.5
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ADVrider 2011-2014