Overland To India

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Rider Equipment


I'm really proud to wear my
Barbour International jacket. Made of 100% waxed cotton, the jacket has been in production since the 1930s when it was used by a succession of British teams in the Olympics of motorcycling; the International Six Days Trial. Johnny Brittain wore one on a Royal Enfield 500 Twin in 1953, the last time a British team won the event. His father, Vic Brittain, also sported one in 1930s events and when riding a 350 Bullet to victory in the 1948 competition held in Italy. I already have a well-worn black International jacket, which never seems to be off my back. Barbour have kindly provided me with a new sandstone coloured one for my ride to India. Contact: Tel: (+44) 0191 455 4444

I had no idea what kind of bike boot to use for the journey until I saw the
Alt-Berg Original Hogg Lites. They are designed as a dual purpose bike and walking boot, making them ideal for touring. The beauty of these boots is that they are made to measure, so the fit is perfect. For a fitting you can visit Alt-Berg, as I did, at their premises in Yorkshire. It's a bonus that their shop is surrounded with great motorcycling countryside. Alternatively, you can see their stand at one of the UK's major bike shows. I was very impressed to meet a fellow biker in their shop who had brought his 6-year and 120,000-mile-old Altbergs in for a resole. Now that's longevity! Contact: Tel: (+44) 01748 850615

I went straight to Draggin Jeans for my motorcycle trousers. A leather-clad motorcyclist can appear intimidating to some people and I have found Draggin jeans perfect in those situations. Leather trousers would also be too hot and I don't like wearing synthetics all day, which rules out nearly all Enduro pants. I chose a pair of Kevlar-lined Draggin cargo pants; the perfect combination of safety with easy to wear trousers. They look great and they're supremely comfortable. Of course, I plan to keep the bike upright the whole trip, but it gives me comfort to know my Draggin cargos will offer me excellent protection if I do have a spill. Contact: Tel: (+44) 01732 834 888

Lewis Leathers have a proud heritage of making leather clothing for aviators and motorcyclists and their quality is just as legendary as their styling. I have always owned thick, chunky biking gloves, which would be far too hot for this journey. The Lewis gloves are unlined and made from the softest hide imaginable. Now I know what it means when people say 'it fits like a kid glove'. A surprise bonus is an increased sense of feel and control of the handlebars. The company have now opened a specialist shop in London, which sounds like a great place to meet other motorcyclists as well as checking out their classic riding gear. Contact: Tel: (+44) 0207 4020863

I only have enough room in my luggage for one change of clothes. Rohan travel clothes are inimitably suitable. They are extremely rugged yet very packable and easy to care for. They also look smart however tough the conditions. I will be taking a pair of Bags, Rohan's iconic multi-function travel trousers. They weight just 335 grams and have a lightning fast drying time of 3 hours. I've also got a stunning short-sleeve shirt made from a mixture of cool bamboo and cotton. Rohan specialise in very well-designed travel accessories too. I'm wearing an All Terrain Money Belt that from the outside looks just like an ordinary belt to hold your trousers up. Contact: Rohan stores in the UK

My ride to India might be baking hot and dry all the way... and then again it might not! Global warming seems to produce unpredictably wet summers in parts of Europe, and it's just possible I might catch some late monsoon rains in India too. I'm packing a Jofama Wet Stop Rain Suit just in case. The suit is exceedingly well designed. It has zippers that come up to the knee for ease of getting on, and the main zip runs diagonally across the chest, almost down to the knee. The waist is elasticated for comfort and there is a fold away hood hidden in the collar. The large Hi-Vis stripes that run across the sleeves, back and chest area are a very nice touch. Chances are, visibility will be of the utmost importance if I'm wearing the rain suit. Jofama are made in Sweden to the highest standards and much of their gear looks in keeping with classic motorcycling. Contact: Dealers List

I wear Icebreaker pure New Zealand Merino wool clothes just about every day, summer and winter. They're just so practical and very comfortable. The beauty of Merino wool is that it's super warm when layered, yet remarkably cool in hot climates. It naturally breathes and resists body odours; you can wear it day after day in tough outdoor conditions without getting whiffy! Icebreaker are especially good for motorcycling. I'm wearing a BodyFit 150 t-shirt under my biking gear, with a Go Tiger 220 top to layer when necessary. These are great biking tops as you can zip the neck up and pull the sleeves down using thumb loops on colder days. I'm also using Icebreaker Merino socks for the same reasons.

I'm told I will need to drink at least 5 litres of water a day crossing Iran and Pakistan. Finding room to carry that volume of liquid, as well as stopping frequently enough to drink it, could be problematic. A lightweight backpack type hydration system is the perfect answer to both issues. Camelbak are market leaders in these products, whether they be for motorcyclists, bicyclists, walkers or general sports use. I'll be using a 3 litre Classic, which is simple in design and style and shouldn't look too out of place on the back of a classic motorcyclist. As I'm wearing an open face helmet, it should be very simple to drink on the go too. Contact: Retailer list Tel: 01845 521700

2015 Gordon G. May. All Rights reserved. | info@overlandtoindia.co.uk

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