Touring India with an Enfield
It had been a heavy morning already. Last night, we'd been forced to camp off road due to a delayed start owing to minor problems with the Enfield. We had been told not to camp between towns in this part of India as it was considered quite dangerous, due to bandits etc. However, with all the experience I'd had driving on Indian Roads, I knew that driving at night in India was not a sensible alternative anywhere, so we really had no choice but to camp overnight.
Awakening to gunshots at dawn, (in the distance thankfully) we'd packed our bags onto our trusty Enfield Bullet and attempted to make a swift getaway. However, as we manoeuvred onto the road, the rear tyre careered all over the place - we had not one but two holes in the tyre. The only tool kit we had was the Enfield's 'Famous 5', and they weren't exactly 'precision made' tools. Despite being 'in the middle of nowhere', we soon attracted attention and an old van pulled up. The driver then proceeded to get the tyre off, took us along to a tyre repair stall, and promptly directed us to where we could hitch a lift back to the bike.
After repairing the Enfield, we drove on towards Ahmedabad, hoping that this would be our one and only breakdown of the day (wishful thinking). We stopped further along the road at a beautiful location for lunch, and we both remarked that if this is what motorcycling was all about, then we should do more when we returned to the UK.
We left our beautiful lunch spot and roared down the road, feeling totally revitalised. Only a little further on, the bike started to cough and splutter and simply died. Again we were in the middle of nowhere and again a local who happened to expert in the field of Enfield mechanics turned up to assist.
He spent the next hour or so tinkering with the carburettor and eventually, between spitting and cursing, the bike was running smoothly again. One further breakdown (and the help of a twelve year old boy), and we were well and truly on our way again. Just a little further and the accelerator cable snapped, and a small piece of metal sprung off the bike into the road somewhere. After spending an age trying to find it, we eventually got the bike started again (without that piece of metal) and got at least 10kms down the road before my bush mechanic bodge job came apart. At about this time, the de-compression cable started to play up, it was obviously stretched but I had no way of remedying it. Thus after I'd stopped to re-fix the accelerator cable, the bike just would not start.
We had numerous 'dubious looking' mechanics who stopped to help, but all ended up just looking at us and sighing, as if we were just another pair of typical tourists who really shouldn't be on the road. So there we were, stranded again. What did we do? Well that's another story.