Monday, September 2, 2013

Interview : Avinash Thadani

Who are you? 
Avinash Thadani. Born and Brought up in Bombay. Went to Doon for boarding, back to Bombay, then to the States for 12 years. Now back in Bombay to work in Advertising.

When did you first get interested in bikes? 
When I was 10 years old, I saw Top gun. Thought he was the coolest guy because he flew planes and rode bikes. After that there was no turning back.

GPZ 900r, Leather Jacket and Aviators cool we approve but Tom what happened to the Helmet?  

What was your first bike you ever owned?
I was in the States, turned 21 I saved enough money and bought myself my first bike. A 1988 Honda Rebel 450 cc.Its got to be the coolest bike I ever had, and the way I felt when I rode it is still unmatched. I learned to ride while testing the bike out.

What is your favorite bike?
This is tough one.
KTM's will always be my favorite bikes, because they are just abnormal. They are fun and they give me the power to feel I can go anyplace in the world. My goal is to go where the streets have no name, and a KTM always takes me there.
The newer KTM's are not doing it for me, but the new 200 Duke is fun.
The KTM Supermoto is something I have been eyeing.
The KTM 2010 Dakar Speck is just too much to handle, and I want it - badly.
But the ultimate bike - hands down is my 2000 KTM 640 adventure.

However I would love a Ducati Sports Classic. It is the most beautiful bike I have ever seen. Next on the list is the Sports 1,000 Paul Smart addition - just sex on toast.

Would like the Enfield Desert Storm, think its quiet stylish.

Harley Street Bob. Its the best Harley out there, and it feel like a rough bike, unlike all the other bike which are built for the weekend pansy's.

I would kill for an old Norton.

1954 Nortan Manx

What bike would you like to see in India?
Ducati Sports Classic.

What was the first real trip you and your bike took?
The first trip was 1 month after i learned to ride. I bought my first bike (Honda rebel 450) on 28th August 2001. I learned to ride. Then September 11th happened. By the end of September I was itching to ride out. I had long hair and a big beard and I looked scary.

Once evening I got up at 8 PM, and said I am going. Got on the bike, and took 3 days to ride 1,000 miles to Washington DC. I had planned to go to NYC, but I got scared because everyone was freaked out by people like me. So I made it to DC, and chilled there for a week.

It was freezing cold, and I was scared going 80mph. I learned everything there is to know about myself, riding and motorcycles on that ride. I reached Wisconsin frozen, wet, almost frost bitten but happy as hell.

You spent four month in South America on your KTM how did that happen?
Saw a map, realized there was just one road from the top of N.America to the bottom of S.America. So obviously I wanted to ride it. Took 10 years of dreaming about it, talking about it, and planning it in my head. In July 2010 i got engaged to my girlfriend. We went to see a movie called Knight & Day (Tom Cruise, seems to be my inspiration) crap film but the character played by Cameron Diaz talks about how she always dreamt about driving to the Cape Horn (bottom of South America). Tom was like "if you keep dreaming it will never happen".

Thats when I realized my dream would never happen. I Told Pritha I had to do it, she promised to join at some point.

So I went back to NYC, sold our company, decided to return to India, but not before taking 4 months off to do the ride first.

As soon as I bought the bike the trip was on. From then it was just a matter of going through the motions. One thing lead to the next and finally in October I was off.
Flags of the world on the Bolivian Salt Flats

What kind of preparations did you make your ride?
Got the visas.
Got Wolfman luggage and a few spares.
I had read many travel books like Jupiters travels etc, so I know what the deal was.
Saw the Horizons unlimited DVD on what to take.
Got a lonely planet, and that was it.

Most importantly what bank did you hold up to pay for the ride? 
It didn't cost as much as you might imagine.
I did it in $30k. Most of the money went in Flying my bike to Colombia, then shipping it back to India. While on the road you manage in $20-$50 a day. South America is really cheap.
My company got sold, I had a small part in it, so I have a bit of cash for the ride.

What is the ultimate dream ride for you ?
Road of bones, but with no back up.
Trans Siberian Pass

Whats parked in your garage right now?
KTM 640 Adventure
KTM Duke 200
Enfield 500 Machismo

Where are you riding to now?
Don't get to ride much, just working most of the time.

Do you have any advice for all those aspiring motorcycle nomads?
Its not about the kms or the countries you make it through. Its a state of mind. If you want to travel on a motorcycle, then you have to be ready to be exposed to the world. Once you do that then your on a different plane.

Take some time off to expose yourself to the world, and then the world will give it back to you.