Monday, June 27, 2016

Ducati Globetrotter 90: Vir Nakai

The news just came in and I made it to the 7. I cant believe it!!!  I will be riding the first stage that starts from Bologna on the 4th of July all the way to Moscow. I dont know much more will update when I do...

Wooohoooo !!!
Cant believe it ...

Sideburn issue #25

Go order the new heavyweight issue of Sideburn today. Specially if you want to read about the Royal Enfield Himalayan launch and ride we were a part of in Shimla.

BIKES: Mule Triumph Bonneville; Asterisk Harley XG750; Yamaha XS650 budget desert racers; BSA B50MX short tracker; 1991 Harley Sportster Hooligan racer; One Down Four Up SR500 & DT400

EVENTS: Country Mile Race; Yorkshire Ride-Out

HOW TO: Perfect your body English with Chris Carr

PEOPLE: Matt 'Arctic Monkey' Helders; Nuke-Leah Tokelove; Hank Scott; Dimitri Coste; Rusty Butcher

PORTFOLIO: The photography of Preston Burroughs

ADVENTURE: Royal Enfield Himalayan tested in the mountains

Sunday, June 26, 2016

We are going to World Ducati Week 2016

While Ducati is pondering over the tough call of the 7 riders for #globetrotter90 ride. I am off to Italy again on tuesday to be a part of WDW (World Ducati Week). 3 days of madness with over 50,000 motorcycles riding in from all around the world its going to be hell of a party. Some fun facts about the last WDW (they had me at 200 meters of BBQ)

So keep an eye on this spot for all the craziness that will follow as I am not going alone.  Sharvari Manakawad , Priyanka Kochhar and Sarge from Power Drift - Sagar Sheldrkar are going to be with me. Its going to be insane.

Follow these hash tags on social media and on Ducati India's social media : Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

#WorldDucatiWeek #DucatiIndia #IndiaAtWDW #WDW2016

Triumph Tigers to Ladakh

In May Harsh and I got the chance to ride Triumph Tigers to Ladakh. As it was early in the season we took the Kashmir route as the Manali one was still not fully open. It was the first time the Helmet Stories crew was riding big Adventure motorcycles in our summer playground. We took our time and ambled our way to to Leh and what a fun ride it turned out to be. 

Pick up this months edition of Evo India and read about it in the Evo Offroad section. You can get the digital version of the magazine here

Monday, June 20, 2016

Ducati Globetrotter 90: What a ride...

Its been a crazy last two weeks. The first email I got from Ducati I was in Manali. Harsh and I were on our way back from Ladakh on the Tigers. I had just opened a beer at Ride Inn and I found the email in my junk mail!!! It was exciting enough to have received an email we popped a couple of beers to celebrate and the had a great evening with Snehal and Godwin (we must have a chat about the mutton we ate that night at a later stage). The next morning there was another email that I answered and then forgot about. We took a few days to get back to the plains into Chandigarh and then to the oven that is Delhi and finally I made my way back to Mumbai and totally forgotten about the Globetrotter90 ride. 

On the night of the 7th I got an email saying you made it you need to be in Italy in seven days. I couldn't F!@#$%^ believe it I jumped around for a bit and then couldn't F!@#$%^ believe I was not going to make it. How the hell was I supposed to get a visa in 3 working days and be halfway across the world? Two letters from Ducati, lots of good wishes and the brilliant Italian Embassy got me a visa in less than 12 hours. Visa in hand it was time to fly. 

So I made it for the Bootcamp and it was a one of those experiences that is going to be very hard to forget anytime soon. All the 13 other participants are awesome people from around the world and I can totally imagine the team at Ducati huddled over a table after many coffees tearing out their hair not knowing whom to choose. (I have an idea if anyone is listening. Send out two bikes one red and one white with two riders. Problem solved and imagine the images and the stories). The experience has been awesome so far and whatever happens here onwards is just going to be the cherry on the top.  

Cheers and good luck to all 14 of us. Till we ride again 


Friday, June 17, 2016

Ducati Globetrotter 90: The Bootcamp

Top line from the left: Bhuvan Chowdhary, Hugo Wilson, Steve Fraser, Eduardo Generali, Timo Schafer, Camilo Quiroga, Terrance Duncan and Victor Ronco
Second line: Sam Bendal, Massimiliano Spostato Perrella, Jess Zekusn, Vir Nakai and Felipe Iturra
So totally shocking but I made to the top 14 of the Ducati Globetrotter 90. I was told to report to Tuscany in Italy on the 14th of June for the Bootcamp. It was hectic!  I had only 7 days to get there and being Indian with an Indian passport that is not an easy task when you dont have a visa. Without the help of Ducati India, Ducati and the brilliant people at the Italian Embassy there would have been no way I would have made it at such short notice.

Ducati plan was they wanted all 14 riders to come down to Italy for a Bootcamp to help decide who the final 7 riders will be. This is how that mad day went down in the words of Ducati. 

The magnificent Castello di Nipozzano, in the Chianti hills, provided a stunning backdrop to the rider selection bootcamp for Globetrotter 90, the round-the-world relay organised by Ducati to celebrate the company's 90 years of success.

Fourteen finalists from all over the world (India, Australia, United States, Malaysia, Chile, Colombia, Italy, the UK, Germany and many others) took part in off-road riding sessions and tests on the Multistrada 1200 Enduro in a breath-taking natural setting that is also the venue for the Ducati DRE Enduro riding courses.

At the start of this tough day the candidates competed in an (on-foot) orienteering trial in the grounds around the Castello to check out their navigational and problem-solving skills.

Following this physical test, the group mounted their bikes and, under the guidance of Beppe Gualini, went through a wide range of off-road riding challenges.

Following this test of their riding capabilities (made all the more difficult by the rain that greeted them as they entered the woods), the candidates enjoyed a brief rest and some great Italian food before getting stuck into the second part of the day.

In the afternoon the competitors were put through a test of their abilities in wheel-changing, puncture repair, brake pad replacement and handlebar/lever assembly: the tests were tough, but the skills are a must for solo globe-trotting.

Together with the mechanical trials, the aspiring Globetrotters also had to show they could be confident in front of the camera by putting together a brief video presentation and posing for a photo shoot.

Only seven candidates will make it through the final selection process, but all of them have already demonstrated passion, tenacity and preparedness, not to mention inspiring team spirit.

This heterogeneous, multi-cultural group immediately succeeded in getting on and having fun together, establishing a great rapport that made the day a rewarding one.

The selected Globetrotters will be announced soon, while the departure of our first round-the-world hero is set for 4th July, from the Ducati factory in Borgo Panigale, Bologna.

Follow the #globetrotter90 trip on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Now we wait...