Journeys with Driza-Bone
Like most of my journeys, the idea to take on Northern India on a Royal Enfield motorcycle came about over a couple of ales one afternoon at our local pub. In this case, my brother and two good friends were discussing a two-month trip we had taken the summer prior in Tasmania on push bikes bought at the Hobart Tip shop. That adventure did of course come with it’s trials; the rusty bikes brought failures in the most remote corners of the state but it was the sense of the unknown and adventure that made it all the more worthwhile. So, with a yearning of more of the same, we decided to head off to India, this time on motorbikes.
India, its people and the extraordinary landscapes brought experiences that we’ll remember for a lifetime.
With a little information and the basic gear we were flying to Delhi ready to take on the Himalayas and some of the highest mountain road passes in the world. Our old Royal Enfield’s came with their challenges, well-worn to say the least, we’d be lucky to ride two days without one of the four having mechanical issues but this was all part of the adventure and for the most part, the bikes were simple enough for us to manage our own repairs. In just under two months we rode over almost 5000km’s. Covering a hundred and fifty kilometres in a day was good going on roads that varied from four lane highways crammed with tractors, trucks and cattle, to poorly maintained mountain side paths where we often had to avert collision when an army convoy or delivery truck would roll around a tight corner.
The whole trip I was damn pleased to be donning a Driza-Bone; I’ve owned one ever since I can remember, so to wear one on a trip like this seemed quite the sentimental experience. Temperatures varied from over forty degrees on the long dusty highways to zero in the mountains and the coats sure did their job in keeping out dust, wind and rain. They were hands down the most practical item we had on the journey. These coats, new at the beginning of the trip, took on their own character over the course of the adventure. Like India, its people and the extraordinary landscapes that brought experiences and memories to last a lifetime, so too will these hard wearing and quintessentially Australian, oilskin coats.
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