Monday, September 1, 2008

Overland odyssey challenges antique Enfield

Gordon May's overland odyssey from Manchester, UK, to Chennai, India on a 1953 Royal Enfield Bullet has reached across Bulgaria to Turkey. Not without adversity.

First was two hours to cross Central London. In Germany the motorcycle's electrical system stopped charging reliably, while the speedometer incongruously insisted the pace was 120 miles per hour!

Encouraged by a clerk at an overpriced Hungarian hotel to "sleep in a field," Gordon sought accommodation elsewhere: "It's not until I find a reasonably priced room and look in a full length mirror that I see another side of his suggestion. I look like a scarecrow! My riding clothes are black with oil and road grime, as are my hands. My face is the worst; I have smeared factor 50 sunblock all over it, which has congealed with SAE 50 blown back off the engine. In all my life I have never looked such a sight."

May has benefited from the kindness of many along the way, from garages to fruit vendors to Hungarian Royal Enfield fans who guided him. Still, there is nothing easy about this. May's antique Enfield is leaking serious quantities of oil, has electrical problems and he is about to enter Turkey, where he presumably will have less recourse to help through the internet. You can follow his posts here.

The founder and editor of the Bullet-In magazine and author of four books about Royal Enfield motorcycles hopes to cross Turkey, Iran and Pakistan, ending his trip at the Royal Enfield factory in Chennai.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9/03/2008

    Has a Royal Enfield EVER gone 120 mph?!



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