3. The bike begins to rebel.

Well…saw the Taj Mahal, very cool.

But then.

The trip back from Agra, things began to get interesting.

We got out of the city, maybe 15 kilometers out, when the bike began to chug and ignore throttle increases. I would slow down, the problem would disappear, and we would continue until it would happen again…usually around 40 k/hour or so.

Pulling over, I examine the bike and observe that not only are the cooling fins completely covered with oil, but the engine is remarkably hot. My immediate diagnosis….the oil leak from the head gasket is covering the fins so thick that they’re unable to cool down, maybe seizing up the piston?. Reasonable, I thought. I grab a toothbrush and manage to scrounge up some water, cooling the engine down and scrubbing the fins clean…in hopes of allowing them to do their job and cool everything down.

Can you picture this?

Imagine the scene; a guy at an Indian truckstop with a dysfunctional motorcycle scrubbing it down like mad with toothbrushes. This attracted a crowd of seemingly thousands.

2 minutes in and already starting to attract a crowd.


But it (kinda) worked.

After 15 minutes of scrubbing and cooling, the bike finally starts again and we ride out of there, waving goodbye to the 542 Indians that encircled us, and were off.

At a whopping 30 k/hour. I couldn’t take the bike up any faster than that or risk seizing the piston again. So ride time back to New Delhi went from 3 hours to 7, riding into infamous Delhi traffic and eventually crossing through a mile long market alleyway slightly wider than the bike itself, dodging artists, flute players and street-side barber shops. After 9 hours, we finally made it back.

Taking the bike back to the shop, we found out the oil pump failed, causing the overheating. Fitted with a new pump and a valve job, we were off again….this time, heading north.