Yesterday Drew and I had a fantastic Skype call with David Madell, author of A Mad Ride, who earlier this year did the exact same trip as us but in reverse.  Not only did David offer some great inspiration for our trip, but being a mechanic who now works in insurance he was able to offer some great insights into looking after our bikes as well as risk management.

Some things he suggested that we hadn’t yet put much thought into:

  • Using washable/reusable air filters so that we can clean them on the road
  • Installing the low octane plug so the bikes will run better on low quality fuel
  • Take a fuel bladder so that we can fill up with better quality fuels in bigger towns, to avoid putting dirty fuel in from smaller roadside stops. David rode a GSA, which had a 34 litre capacity (12 litres more than we can fill!), which gave a range of 500kms. He said this was really helpful
  • Run 10/60 oil in the bikes – it’ll be better for the hotter countries
  • Cash only in Iran! No access to ‘western’ banking facilities
  • The Pakistani and Iranian people were some of the nicest people he met along they way, who’d do anything to make you feel more welcome in their countries
  • Get vaccinated, and be prepared to pay for it
  • Buy and use a big camel back  for water. You can go a day on the road without food, not water
  • Check rainfall data of each country before we leave, and don’t plan to ride during the wet season!
  • Store camera valuables in a Pelican case, so that they’ll survive a fall
  • 3-4 pairs of jocks and sock should be more than enough. What are we going to do with a week’s worth of dirty laundry whilst we’re on the road?!
  • Ship tyres to Dehli for the ‘halfway’ service. We won’t be able to buy them off the street

We can’t thank David enough for the time that he gave us – what a legend! Now it’s time to get to work…