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Ride the world

20,000 km for a cup of tea

Craig’s plan was brilliantly simple; “to ride a motorbike back home to England and have a cup of tea with my mum”. There were a few minor issues to consider. “I knew nothing about engineering or navigating. I didn’t even know how to ride a bike with gears. But you need to be nuts to want to ride overland!” Craig needed help to achieve his plan. “Since you can no longer leave with an Indian registered bike, Nepal was my only possibility. Everything happens for a reason, and fortune would have it that I found Hearts & Tears. They made it happen. My dream of riding home was possible.”

Build your own baby

“Most people assumed I'd go for an Enfield but, once I met Rick, my ideas started to change for the better” reflected Craig on his blog. “Their Yamaha RX 135cc bikes are very reliable, easy to maintain and (importantly for me) unique. I could have just bought one of their bikes, but there is nothing like designing and building your own baby. Rick managed it, and introduced me to all the skilled work men. After a few weeks, we had my bike purchased, kitted out, and on the road. All with that personal touch, and it didn’t cost the earth.

I could not have hoped for a smoother, more professional service. Rick & Moniek are honest, knowledgeable and friendly people with a passion for living the dream. They’re patient enough for the beginner, and experienced enough for the expert. Thanks guys I could not have done it without you.”

Not Australia, Austria!

Lukas joined the exclusive club of global adventure riders. “What can I say? I came to Nepal with not much more than an idea in my head - to ride a motorbike home to Austria.” Lukas had to give many geography lessons as Nepali people often thought he was heading down under to Australia! “I knew I would cross more than a dozen countries, through deserts, and over mountain passes. And meet many different people from very different cultural and religious backgrounds on my way.

Moniek & Rick helped me so much, and it was them who made my trip possible. We bought a motorbike, registered it under my name (a process almost impossible without their contacts at the local tax office), and completely rebuilt it for a 15,000 kilometre trip. I had a custom built, reliable and great looking bike of my own.

They told me a lot about adventure riding, teaching me how to ride properly on any possible road (it proved extremely valuable). They showed me how to fix my own bike. We went shopping for the right clothes and gear. The list of things they did for me is long. Thanks to the honest advice and excellent training, I felt absolutely prepared for what lay ahead.”

Lukas liked the way we do things. “I enjoyed every minute I spent with them – whether it was the lessons, or one of the many evenings at the bar. It was also very important to me that it was never just a business relationship with Hearts & Tears. It was a friendship that made my time in Nepal a first highlight on a long trip full of highlights”.

Kurdish hospitality

Lukas rolled triumphantly into Vienna 3 months after leaving Nepal. “Looking back, the best thing I experienced was the incredible hospitality of the people I met. If I was lost in a maze of small country roads on a foggy north-Indian morning, or if I needed a place to sleep in cold and mountain-packed Kurdistan, help was never far away. Riding a regular local bike is often the key to the hearts of the people. Whenever someone saw my bike and heard about my plans to ride it all the way to Europe, I could be sure of a certain degree of admiration followed by warmhearted support.

The jaw-dropping landscapes will also stay in my mind for a long time. Especially because it always feels like they are only there for you. No hordes of tourists to ruin your experience, no souvenir stalls, just amazing places with even more amazing people. Riding a bike from Nepal to Europe is not just a trip. It is not just another travel story. It is a life-changing experience.”

South-Asia's favourite bike

Alex had originally planned to buy a larger motorbike to journey from Nepal back to his home in England, but after talking to Rick he became convinced of the benefits of travelling light and the novelty and unique challenge of doing the trip on South Asia's favourite bike, the RX.

“Rick and Moniek worked closely with me to design a bike that would suit my needs and stand up to the considerable test that lay ahead. Alongside the bike design, the staff at Hearts & Tears drew on their great experience to train me in the salient points of motorcycle maintenance, helping me assemble the necessary spare parts and tools for my journey. Most importantly, Rick taught me how to ride safely and confidently on Asia’s roads, while also getting the best performance out of my RX."

Courage rewarded

His 4-month journey was incredible in so many respects, not only the people and places but also the bike. Despite the modifications, many people recognised his RX, and not just in Asia, even on the ferry from France to England. An Italian biker spotted it and could not believe he had ridden back from Nepal, while acknowledging that these bikes “will run and run forever”.

Back in London Alex looks back on an adventure of a lifetime. “It is not for the feint-hearted but your courage and conviction will be rewarded many times over in a journey to savour with pride and satisfaction for years to come. Thanks Rick and Moniek, for all your hard work, dedication, professionalism, enthusiasm, and great company.”

Impress your grandchildren

Phil’s job at the German Embassy in Kathmandu was coming to an end, and he had the crazy idea of riding home. “When I first called, desperately searching for a motorbike, Rick promised a proper bike for my journey, to help me with all the necessary paperwork, and to set me up for the trip of my life. He was right: a 16,000 kilometre RX journey halfway around the world; 12 countries; 0 flat tires; countless get-togethers; three intense months of colourful impressions; and memories so rich that you'd tell your grandchildren about them.”

Discover a different world

“Riding from Kathmandu to Berlin, setting my own pace and direction, I discovered a world beyond the usual attractions and sights” said Phil. “Like a ride up the stunning Karakorum Highway from Pakistan into China at 4,600 meters above sea level - just to share some dry fruits and cigarettes with the friendly guys from the border office.”

“After spending endless days in the desert, the culture and overwhelming hospitality of the Iranian people was so enjoyable. If my words can’t convince you, hopefully my photos can give you an idea of what's waiting to be explored somewhere between the Orient and the Occident.”

No alien invasion

“Who said the RX isn't the right bike for this kind of trip?” laughed Phil about his 135cc Yamaha. “It was perfect for me because it allowed me to d(r)ive into another world without being regarded an alien arriving on an expensive spaceship.”    

“Rick and Moniek were great in helping to plan the trip, dealing with paperwork, setting me up with a great mechanic, expanding my technical knowledge and giving me valuable riding lessons. But more importantly than any of this, they gave me confidence to ride home safely. I can’t recommend them highly enough. If you’re eager to do the same, the trip of your life could be just a click away.”

One hell of a journey

Phil was ecstatic when he arrived in Berlin: “I made it! The bike made it! The journey is over! I'm the first person to ride an RX from Nepal to Germany. But the life of a pioneer isn't always easy - I landed in prison within minutes. The Bavarian cops simply have never seen a Nepali bike before: "Nepal to Germany? On this? I don't believe you!" After they checked all my visas and shit they were convinced. It turned out the cops were bikers themselves. I was a free man again, but first I had to tell them EVERYTHING about my trip.

Every time I stopped at a trucker’s café, bikers offered me drinks and food. They even wanted to give me money! But in return I had to tell them EVERYTHING about my trip. It was fucking great. There you have all these cool bikers with their brand new bad-ass bikes, but nobody has ever done a 16,000 kilometre ride. It takes an RX to do such a thing. Fuck man, that was one hell of a journey!”

 

Craig?s personal escort in Iran
Our mechanics lessons prepare riders for the big trip
?It?s a life-changing experience? ? Lukas, Austria
Alex made the news in Pakistan
Thanks for your dedication - Alex (UK)
The German Ambassador wishes Phil a good journey
?The journey is over!? ? Phil, Germany
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