Planning The Second Section (28th Dec 1996 to 29th Jun 1997)

Thailand , Bangladesh , India , Nepal , Pakistan , China , Iran , Turkey and Greece

The first section over and while at home I am planning for the second section based on what I have learnt.

I have decided to cover the painted areas of the motorcycle with thin vinyl plastic. The type they use for signs. It will be stretched over the painted areas to protect the paint from scratches and allow me to paint the vinyl using local artists. Similar to rickshaw art found in Bangladesh and India. I can also draw maps and stick stickers without the fear of damage to the existing paint work. The motorcycle will then look more like a travel vehicle rather than a normal Harley-Davidson. More travel character.

Latex compound will be added to the tires to immediately seal any punctures I may get.

Cold weather gear has been purchased. Travelling the Karakoram highway in Pakistan at 4700 metres, in May is no hot spot. Used in layers so its usefulness is increased and its weight reduced. Damart underwear and under gloves, over clothes, down vest and outside jacket so layers can be applied and removed where needed. Wet weather gear also added. This was not deemed necessary on the first trip. When riding in warm tropical climates getting wet is an advantage in keeping cool.

A tank bag and map pouch. None seem to have ever been designed for a Harley (despite it being a tourer) so it had to be a compromise job.

Security with the alarm, and other measures seemed adequate but two small padlocks have been added to the bike cover as an added deterrent to a casual opportunistic theft.

The carnet again the most expensive item. If you travel with an expensive motorcycle I guess the price must be paid. For Australians the bond required for India is 410% of the current valuation of the motorcycle. Despite other countries getting away with just a 200% bond in India. The first section, with the motorcycle valued at $19,000 Aust and bond at 150% $28,500 Aust was bad enough. I managed this time to have the motorcycle revalued at $15,000, but still the bond required was $61,500 Aust. The greatest fear is theft. Not only is the motorcycle lost, but the bond as well.

Planning visas has been a problem this trip. Travelling for so long means a visa will probably expire prior to arriving in the country. This is particularly disconcerting with countries like Iran where it can take up to a month to obtain a visa in Pakistan. And then there is no guarantee of success. Some visas are only valid for three months and others can take weeks to obtain. With six visas to obtain this trip there will obviously be problems somewhere.

How many spares to carry. This is a never ending problem. Too many too heavy, too few, long delays and expense getting them. I have added to my first trip supplies with wheel bearings. Tires and oils will definitely be a problem. I have always used Dunlop tires and Harley oils. These are unavailable and its either carry them or air freight them in. The prospect of carrying a tire 14000 km doesn't appeal. So I guess its air freight if I can't find one when needed.

You can now move onto the first country of the second trip if you wish. Leaving Thailand




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