A better Transmission

  • Restoring a motorcycle to its former glory is a hard job for Royal Enfield mechanics in small towns. Firsly, lack of precision machinery, secondly, scarcity of spare parts and thirdly, lack of information.

The key to a Royal Enfield working to its potential in the Himalayas is a strong transmission. I am talking about pre UCE engines and mostly 90s and 80s Standards and Electras. We were really struggling for a bit as every motorcycle we had was just a little under powered. On a straight road, it seems fine and as the slopes get steeper, old women on foot started passing us by.

Royal Enfield Amchissimo 500cc Clutch plates, motorcycle tours Dharamshala

  • After trying out a few options, we came across a spare set of Machissimo 500cc clutch plates. These are a set of 5, thin clutch plates, and they fit most clutch housings perfectly. The difference is amazing! You get a good pick up, doesn’t burn out on steep hills and has a long life.

The Joy of Riding

To defend the joy of riding a motorcycle can sound like bashing cagers and totally denying the need for any other form of transport. It is edgy, it is fun, it is cool and if you have a vintage motorcycle, then it is sexy.

Royal Enfield, Vintage, Electric Start, Wimbledon

We live in the Himalayas, and ride motorcycles everywhere. It is amazing as each time you ride you feel happy. Going for a coffee means putting on your gear, banging down the checklist, making sure everything works and then starting up your favorite bike. At the Cafe, people look at the bike and take photos and at least one person asks more about the bike. When you are riding long distance, it is just thrilling to go fast on the curvy roads and let your motorcycle loose.

In India, we have the blessing of having a few vintage British made motorcycles still running around and the Royal Enfield still in production. You can find old cast iron motorcycles and fix them up to do epic rides. I myself have 7 of the finest and every day I decide which one to ride to get that coffee.

It’s a revolution, baby!!

Pimp My Bike – Denis Part 4

 

Denis’s bike being pimp’d is a done deal!, The black and white stripes make this bike altogether striking.The team has completely restored the engine, added a 5-disc clutch system for more pick up, and the breaking system and electric cabling was also newly installed. Denis took his 500cc for a test trip around the mountains of Dharamsala and is happy and satisfied with the job done. He mentioned that he has never felt the bike so powerful before!

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True Romance: Bear Necessities in the Dhauladhar

Rhododendron in DhauladharI was trekking in the hills above Dharamsala with my better half the other week when a man offered me a beautiful red flower. Standing next to my man I felt kind of awkward that another man had produced a floral gift, however this feeling soon subsided.

What he’d given me was a rhododendron (known locally as Guras) and little did I know it was a tasty Himalayan snack. Apparently it is used to make jams, juices and chutneys by the locals and it is even thought to have properties that help with heart ailments and blood pressure. It tastes good, slightly bitter but yeah, nice. And here comes the best part – bears love it. No, we aren’t talking Winnie the Pooh here. Forget your cute red-t-shirted bear with a sticky honey pot. We’re talking about the Himalayan brown bear folks, otherwise known as ‘Dzu-The’ or yeti, and yes he likes to eat flowers. Badass.

So, there are two lessons to be learned from this incident…

Firstly, if you’re trekking in the Dhauladhars or some other part of these here mountains, you know what to do if you come across a big brown bear: pacify him with his most favourite delicious snack, then recover from your heart attack and lower your blood pressure by partaking in some guras yourself.   Not sure what to advise you about your soiled undergarments, mind you.

Secondly, a flower is not always a romantic gesture. It could very well turn out to be a great chutney ingredient. Get over yourself.

Know your physical sustenance from your emotional sustenance; they are but mere morsels for us mere mortals.

Rocky Road Trekballs

Sustenance is of huge importance when you’re out on the trail.  Anyone who’s ever trekked knows that keeping your body energised and hydrated can make or break your trip.  With this in mind we’d like to share a series of recipes for delicious and energy-boosting food for the road.  We’d also love to hear from you if you have any favourite trekking/riding snacks, please share your recipe!!!

Rocky Road Tsampa Trekballs

Tsampa is roasted barley flour from Tibet and is a top choice for the trail due to its nutritional qualities and ability to fill you up.  Tsampa is widely available here in Dharamsala due to the fact that it is the principal Tibetan settlement in India.  Tsampa is beginning to be a bit more widely available in the West also.

Here’s our recipe for quick and easy tsampa snacks:

1 cup tsampa

2-3 tablespoons melted butter

3 tablespoons crushed peanuts (or other nuts)

3 tablespoons crushed oreo cookies, maltesers, butter biscuits (or chocolate/biscuits of your choice)

Handful of chopped marshmallows

2 tablespoons honey

Cocoa powder for dusting

Desiccated coconut (for coating)

Combine all the above ingredients (except the cocoa and coconut) in a bowl (or food processor if you have one) and mix thorougly.  Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls and roll firstly in the cocoa powder to coat, then in the coconut.  Voila, some Himalayan-inspired Rocky Road, for the road.

Rocky Road Trekballs