Sunday, September 28, 2008

Where motorcycles go to live

Woke at 4 a.m. got sick of staring at the ceiling by five and hit the pavement with my camera. I only got a few pics before my battery ran out(rookie) and I could concentrate on watching the city wake up.

It didn't take long after the 5 a.m. morning prayer call for the hustle to catch up with the bustle. I took a leisurely stroll across intersections to get to the middle of a roundabout so I could set up a tripod and get some shots of the 108 foot high statue of Lord Hanuman. Ten minutes later I was out of battery and decided to move on with the morning. My easy walk had turned into Frogger Level Five.

I made it splat free and got to watch three dogs chase a cow through the streets of Delhi. As forecasted, vehicles gave the cow a wider berth than they had given me.
Now we're chilling in the room waiting for shops to open so we can buy some pigstickers and get a haircut or the Brits that arrived at 3 am to get up so we can go to a Triumph restoration shop, which ever comes first.

The Brits got up so it was off to the motorcycle rescue farm. The van driver told us that it would take two hours to get to that neighborhood. We drove for at least two hours in the same direction and the city looked the same, packed dirty neighborhoods over and over and over. The drive gave the city a sense of scale.

Finally it was time to take a left but each intersection was barricaded and sandbagged and guarded by army soldiers with the world's most popular firearm, the AK-47,because of yesterday's bomb blast. Our driver asked soldiers at one roadblock how in the wide world of sports we could get into the neighborhood.

It took a couple hundred rupees and some time but they sent us to a side gate and as soon as we were on the other side it became apparent that we were in a nice neighborhood. It was all one lane, twisty, and gated homes.

We found the place and asked our driver to wait while we got the tour and Jason did the interview. Turns out it wasn't really a restoration place but a manufacturing shop for classic bike geeks all over the world.

For example: Johnny Gumchewer has a 1968 Norton that he's rebuilding in his garage so he doesn't have to spend evenings with his wife and he needs a gas tank. He calls Rocky in Delhi. Rocky goes out to his motorcycle graveyard, finds the tank, takes it to the shop, makes a jig, and manufactures 1000 of them. Then he calls Johnny and asks him what color he would like and if he needs the cap or not. If Johnny needs the cap, he'll build a thousand of them too.

Pick a bike, pick a part, and the Mad Bull Motor Works division of Eversure Auto Agency has it or will make exact to spec. We walked past mountains of tanks, piles of sprockets, buckets of bolts, rooms and rooms full of bike geek drool.

No comments: