Andy founder of Indiabikes.com went around the world on a 110cc motorcycle in the year 1995 in an attempt to create a new world record for circumnavigating the world on a the min cc motorcycle with a pillion. In All he covered 40,000kms in India before the International part and 19 countries and 36,000 kilometers in 240 days around the globe along with Ranjan Bharati his college friend. They were sponsored by TVS, (motorcycle and its parts and fuel), Air India for tickets & motorcycle flights in Air India sectors, SAIL (for food and paid leave) and 116 other smaller companies who took ad space in their journal they published before embarking and on their clothes and bike ad space. It took them 400 marketing trips in India to raise this sponsorship over 1 year.
Some titbits from the preparation in their own words...
1. Everyone in our childhoold laughed at us when as young boys from middle class background we would say that one day we will go around the world on a motorcycle. People ridiculed us in college too. When we finally did it and it was widely reported in national news ... everyone said 'Oh we knew it them." Their family stood by our belief that we would succeed.
2. It took us 1 year to raise the money required to go around the world. The Indian rupee weekend from INR 17 to a US$ to INR 22 to a US$. Initial estimate of US$10,000 per head had to be revised 5 times to US$50,000. This upward revision delayed our trip by 6 months and added the burden of raising additonal INR to the tune of 100%.
3. To get sponsors for 36,000km circumnavigating the world they had to travel 40,000 kms in India on a 100cc bike to prove to the would be sponsors that they have what it takes in them to do it successfully.
4. US and every country where they applied rejected their visa applications the first time citing that they would be potential immigrants as they get a salary of Rs.4000 in India as SAIL MTT and there with their engineering degrees they would easily get $4000. Mexico went to the extent of even denying them a visa application form saying they would run across the border to US as illegal immigrants and cause Mexico to have problems with US.
5. We wrote to Kings, Queens, Presidents and Prime Ministers of all the countries in the route to bless our proposed trip. 10 of them replied with blessings which was invaluable for getting visas and not getting parking tickets in their country!
6. Every minister in New Delhi Central Government refused to help us saying if they settle in US they will loose face except one man.. Hon'ble Minister of External Affairs (then) Mr. Salman Kurshid believed in them and called the US Ambassador who then called us to his house and looked at our biker fatigue and gave our visas in one min flat. Thankyou Sirs.. we remain forever grateful. And we did not settle in US but completed our world tour and set up a bike business in India employing so many people and generating forex revenue in India. Thousands of Americans have used our services in the last 16 years..
7. Every other coutry in our route fell over themselves to give us visa once US had.
8. Initially we had planned and prepared to take a Yamana RD350 as the circcumnavigating the world on minimum engine capacity record then was 400cc. Six months down the line we got a letter from Guiness that someone else had done it on a 200cc! Then begain the race to change the bike for a lower than 200cc machine.. and all preparation had to begin afresh.
9. TVS was about to introduce the Shogun a 14BHP rocket and agreed to sponsor the bike and fuel for our trip. Thanks Mr. Venu Srinivasan (Chairman) and Mr. PV Kulkarni (then Marketing Head).
10. SAIL gave sponsorship and helped us as their then Bhilai MD where we worked Late Mr. Vikrant Gujaral rode a Yezdi in his youth. That we learnt from his wife while doing charitable work in her NGO.
11. Every day of every week of every month for 1 year we prepared for the world tour before it became a success.
12. Our 4th sponsor (who was an International hotel chain) walked out of the sponsorship after the trip had begun.
13. Indians settled abrooad and biker around the world invited us with open arms to come and stay with them. In each continent we had some key person coordinating our stay voluntarily. Asia Guru from Singapore, US Santosh, Jitesh Patel & Rad Ganesh & Europe Indranil my brother.
14. Cops all over the world never gave us a ticket for any violation known or unknown. One look at our small tiny bike and our wether beaten faces they let us go.
Some titbits from the tour ..
1. People all over the world were amazed at the smallness of our motorcycle and the vastness of our mission
2. The motorcycle required 5 pistons and 2 complete engines to do this 36,000 extreme kilometers.
. On an average we changed tyres only twice.
4. The top speed of the bike was 135kmps acheived once in a 10km slope in Australia.
5. In Australia people are very helpful of motorvcyclist. Once stuck with a puncture in the middle of the Australian dessert in the dead of the night women with babies gone alone too stopped for giving us head light to work on the puncture!
6. Germans respected the engineering marvel of 110cc two people and a round the world trip.