VIKTORIANZ L TO R: BOBBY, BHANU PRATAP, PRITHVI CHAUHAN, NEELIMA JASWAL, SHIV JASWAL, PARAG NIKAM AND MANOJ KESHWAR
1. Seven heavenly days, thrilling, challenging and thoroughly satisfying. We were six bikers, and my wife who toured North Thailand with the Viktorianz. Col Manoj Keshwar, a Bombay Sapper, and an old friend, we had served together at Kota, was our leader. Bob the charming Irishman and mobike expert would set the pace and lead us through hill and dale. The very spirited Col Prithvi Chauhan presently posted at Mount Abu and his nephew Bhanu Pratap, from the Film Industry, and young Parag Nikam a computer engineer from Pune, comprised the the bikers, with Neelima who would follow in a car. Parag has driven on his bike a Honda 650 from Pune to Leh.
RECEIVED AT CHIANG MAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, AND BELOW OUR BIKES
2. We were, on arrival, received at Chiang Mai International Airport by Manoj, and drivento the Sheik Istana Hotel. At about four in the afternoon we were introduced to our bikes, which were a mix of Hondas and Kawasakis. Manoj had a Kawasaki 650 cc, Bob a Honda 750 cc, Prithvi a Honda 800cc, Parag and Bhanu both had Honda 650 cc bikes, while I had opted for a Honda 400cc. I have been driving a Royal Enfield Bullet for over 46 years, where the brakes areon the left and the gear lever on the right. My Honda NV400 Custom, (twin cylinder, shaft driven) bike had the gear lever on the left and the brake pedal on the right. Whereas in theBullet the first gear is engaged by lifting the gear lever to the highest position and as you shift to higher gears the lever is pressed down. In the Honda it was the other way round. Fortunatelyin Thialand traffic drove on the left side of the road, as in India.