Many of us dream of going around the world, and why not? Getting to know the gazillion types of people, beliefs, places etc. is always an enriching experience. But a trip around the world is not like a walk in the park. In fact, bringing this dream to fruition is so difficult, that this plan doesn’t see the light of the day for most people. Now, when it comes to us motorcyclists, we want to go around the world too. But we want to do that on our motorcycles. Because motorcycles are not just machines for us, they are extensions of us. A trip around the world is difficult enough but a trip around the world on motorcycles is a completely different ball-game. But the fact that it is difficult does not deter some people from making an attempt.
Bharadawaj Dayala is one of those people. He brought this dream to reality as he travelled around the world on his motorcycle, he started from Iran and went around the globe and finished in India. In addition to fulfilling his dream, what he also did was to inspire a lot of people to try it. And that inspiration pushed two more Indians to give this dream a shot. Debasshish Ghosh aka Debu and Dharmendra Jain aka DJ from India are the newest members of the ‘Let’s go around the world on motorcycles’ club.
Debu hails from Mumbai and has a company and YouTube channel called ‘One World, One Ride’. He is passionate about bikes, has loads of experience under his belt and uploads vlogs of his rides on his channel. He has successfully completed some of the hardest rides such as the ‘Ladakh Ride’ which goes to the world’s highest motorable road. Debasshish also rode from Mumbai to Singapore. DJ, the evergreen companion of Debu, belongs to Indore. He started riding bikes in 2013. He accompanied Debu on the Ladakh and Singapore rides as well.
Debu and DJ decided to call their ride ‘One World, One Ride’. They started on the 10th of June 2017 from Mumbai. He returned to India after going around the world on the 14th of March 2018 therefore completing the ride in around 9 months. BMW Motorrad GS1200 served as the bike of choice for both Debu and DJ. During their trip, they covered over 50,000 miles, crossing 32 countries and 5 continents.
We spoke to Debasshish Ghosh, the only Indian to ride around the world, starting and ending in India, about his experience and what it takes to live your dream!
What motivated you to do this ride?
I saw this documentary called ‘Long Way Around’ by Ewan McGregor. That is what motivated me to take on a ride like that. And then I googled if any Indian has done it. I found out that Mr. Dayala has done it. I saw that he started from Iran and I wanted to do it from India to India. So we just took it from there. I did the ride with a very close friend of mine. We had previously ridden from Mumbai to Singapore and back. We had done that ride 3 years back on Harley-Davidsons. That was the time we decided to take on a ride like this.
Did you have any specific message or theme for the ride?
The basic motive was to promote Indian tourism. That is what I wanted to do. We have such lovely places to ride and if you go looking for adventure, then India is full of it. There are a lot of people who are ignorant about the culture of India, the history of India. The world tour was also because I want more Indians to ride around the globe. The ride was to inspire people and tell others what Indian motorcycling is all about.
What was the reason for choosing the GS as your motorcycle for this ride?
I wanted the KTM 1290, which was my first choice. But it was not available here. So I chose the GS, because it is a tried and tested vehicle and also because it is a shaft driven. The shaft drive works strongly in favour of the BMW. It is an all terrain bike and it is time tested. The KTM is not shaft driven but then it’s got more power than the GS. Many people have completed a tour like this on the GS, so I decided to go with a BMW.
On the Singapore ride you had ridden Harleys, that wasn’t in your list this time around?
No. The Harley is a cruiser. It is meant for good roads. There are places where there are no roads; we were exposed to all kinds of terrain. So I didn’t want to risk my Harley on those roads. By the time my Harley came back from my Singapore ride, it was not in good shape. I didn’t want to get stuck. During the Singapore ride on the way back it started to give up.
For how long was this ride in the pipeline?
Two years of planning. The main thing is to time your ride, so the initial plan was long way round and long way down both in the same ride. I wanted to go round the world and from north to south, which is Alaska to Argentina. But we got delayed and we couldn’t go to Alaska because of the weather conditions. The main thing about planning such kind of a ride is to time it properly, so you reach at a particular time at a particular season.
Did you need to ship parts or have any parts arranged in advance during your ride?
Parts were not an issue. Since BMW is all over the world, we didn’t have any problems.
What was the biggest challenge for you?
Our biggest challenge was food. Because the both of us are vegetarian. Finding vegetarian food in most parts of the world is rather tough. And in Europe I had to become non-vegetarian!
And the most memorable section of this trip for you would be?
The lovely people you meet and the conversations. Maybe, you go out for dinner and talk to random strangers. You are almost certain that you are never going to meet them again, but the final goodbyes are something else. So much over a dinner and then a goodbye. You know that you are never going to meet them and even then you build relationships with so many people along the way, some of whom are still in touch with you. That is really fantastic.
Did you get any difficult terrain on which your adventure bikes shone?
We got rough terrain in Mongolia, Bolivia and India of course. Especially, when you are go from Imphal to Dimapur. It is horrible. That was probably one of the worst stretches that I have ridden across.
Any advice for someone who wants to do a similar ride?
First ride your country properly and then go visit outside!
Which country would you want to go ride in again?
I think I should go and ride in USA every season! It is a lovely place to ride. It is so rider friendly. There are so many facilities in the US. If you want to camp out, you can, it is very safe. I think US is the safest place to ride.
Were you at any point of time homesick?
I was constantly in touch with my sister and my mother. Technology really works; video conferencing helped me a lot. Usually we would get at least slow internet. In Bolivia and Argentina border areas we didn’t get any network. In Mongolia as well, there were sections where we didn’t have internet. If I was headed into a stretch with poor connectivity, I would tell my family in advance that tomorrow I might not get internet so that they were prepared.
Any message you would like to give our readers about the importance of safe riding on a trip like this?
When you are riding a motorcycle, make sure that you have proper gear on, because good gear can save your life.
While going around the world, they also visited 4 Wonders of the World: the Great Wall of China, Chichen Itza in Mexico, Machu Picchu in Peru and the Taj Mahal in India.
A journey around the world on motorcycles is not something to be done in a day or without planning. So the ride was divided into 3 legs. The countries they covered in the first leg are listed below in order of their travel.
After Portugal, the duo returned to Spain and got their bikes shipped to New York, USA. Thus kicking off the second leg of the journey in which they covered the countries listed below.
- Costa Rica
From Argentina, Debu and DJ got their bikes shipped to Australia.
From Australia Debu shipped his bike to Thailand, while he flew to Vietnam and rode down to Thailand where he was united with his motorcycle and ready to the home run.
Like we mentioned before, a world ride is never easy and even more difficult on motorcycles. This ride was also laden with difficulties and hardships but Debu and DJ kept on going and successfully completed their ride. We salute their adventurous spirit and wish them many more miles on their motorcycles!
xBhp had met Debu in 2016 as part of #100Motorcycles where we had featured his BMW