- Jan 14, 2011
- Oldest 1931, newest 2016, numerous makes and models in between on several continents
There is an upcoming event for the advanced motorcycle adventurist lusting for more serious motorcycle pursuits in Asia than moaning about the economy, competition, lost business or the price of whiskey while swapping questionable tales over carafes of cheap wine: http://www.rallyindochina.com
Rather than go through the expense and hassles of getting a large displacement motorcyle to pilot in Vietnam (often unsuccessful and sometimes foolish, like when having to follow a guide on his 110 cc Chinese import with your 1200 cc adventure seeker), possibly an entertaining option would be joining 20-30 other like-minded fun seekers on this rally to raise funds for a worthy cause.
The motorcycles used make the April 11-23 event an adventure in itself: highly modified kick-start 650 cc Russian Army leftovers from the 1970's, the real Russian Army motorcycles, not the later Chinese knock-offs. Besides the unique motorcycles, and the experience of sharing quality time with other explorers, there are the jungle secrets of the Ho Chi Minh Trail down the Vietnamese side of the border.
The people you meet can be quite friendly, the food on the French side, and roads/trails/tracks an experience not easily forgotten.
One of the fondest memories of my recent adventure along the Rally Route was meeting a British couple on Minsks who were broken down on the side of the road. They had the Minsk Bible, a book written by Mr. Digby from http://www.exploreindochina.com. I suggested they check the spark plug, saying, "I used those Minsks twice before over here. Good bikes, but they like to eat spark plugs."
I gave them a business card and sticker, wished them well, and shifted the much bigger motorcycle into first gear and drove away.
A couple of hours later they caught up with me. We chatted, laughed, digitalized some memories, traded stories about people we knew from http://www.horizonsunlimited.com and then they said I was right, it was the spark plug. And one asked, "You're that Dr. guy, Frazier, that Dr. Gregory Frazier, the one who writes motorcycle adventure travel books, travels around the world, aren't you?"
"Nah, my name is Dave, like the guy in the movie, a look-alike of that guy Frazier. Right now I suspect the real Doc Frazier is sitting in some basement office bent over a keyboard posting away. He wouldn't be out here in the middle of the Vietnamese jungle on the Ho Chi Minh Trail driving some 40 year-old Russian Army motorcycle. He'd be on a free KTM all tricked out."
It stopped them for a nano-second, and then we all laughed.
I had serious fun covering much of this Rally Indochina route on similar motorcycles, enough to say, "It you're a two wheel motorized adventure seeker for Asia this could be high on your bucket list if you knew about it."
Now you do.