Part of our ride-Indian-bikes-in-India plan had always been to sell them again at the end of the trip. We had read online that other people had done this, and had made sure we were given all the relevant documentation upon buying them. But there wasn’t much info on how exactly it’s done. So we had left ourselves a generous four weeks to do it, even if it meant having to miss the Motorcycle Travel show in Goa. If there is one thing we have learned on our travels so far, it’s that things go seriously wrong if you rush and stress, and you don’t enjoy the journey any longer.
The ride from Agra to Delhi was full of mixed emotions. We were excited that the next part of our travels was in sight and Aidan can’t wait to ride his more powerful Pippa again. But this was our last ride on the little runarounds and this busy road through an ugly, dusty, built up area was unfit as a last memory. We were craving the twisties with awesome views and challengingly fun roads of the mountains. It was tempting to shoot straight past Delhi up into the Himalayas.
Those were the days…. We wish we were back here already!
Of course reason won the day and we fought our way through chock-a-block Delhi traffic instead and pulled up super tired in Main Bazaar road. The hotel is down some small alleyways with little room for bikes. But the shop owners on Main Bazaar defend the space outside their shops and no one is allowed to park there. Luckily the guys at Koshla Cafe remembered us and kindly watched our bikes pulled up in front of their outside tandoori grill while we unloaded and went to check in.
just off Main Bazaar Road
We’d booked the same hotel we’d stayed at upon arrival. It’s one of the cheapest and has WiFi. When we saw our room, it was much cleaner and nicer than I remembered. Had they improved? Or was I just seeing things with different eyes, now well adjusted to Indian standards?
As we checked in, a Polish couple; Marcin and Izabela, walked in with big grins on their faces, saying hello. They had seen us outside Koshla but had left their purse in a shop and had to run back for that. So they had hoped to catch up for a chat. They too were riding around India on a bike. Two up on a blue Bajaj Avenger, a cruiser style 220cc bike. We agreed to meet up again in the evening.
As we returned to the bikes, shop owners were asking about the bikes and said they would buy them. But that just seems to be an Indian way of showing interest in ‘your cool machine’ as they back out as soon as money is mentioned. Oh well…. we rode off and parked up outside Ramkrishna Ashram Marg station; the only place we knew where we wouldn’t get chased off by defensive shop owners.
Just hanging out after washing all the travel dust off 😉
Our clothes had taken a beating on the journey. Aidan’s jeans had been disposed of in Kochi. My bike Jeans were well and truly worn through, new holes appearing almost daily. When I took them to one of those little fix-and-alter-your-clothes shops I got a laugh and a “Not Possible!”. (Does anyone wanna sponsor new Kevlar Jeans for us? 🙂 ) My summer bike gloves are on the way out too, but luckily a new pair is awaiting me in Berlin.
We were curled up in bed with some drinks when Marcin knocked on the door Luckily for us they didn’t fancy going out either, so the guys fetched more drinks and Izabela brought her sewing over (a pretty dress bought at a bargain cos she had to fix a tiny hole – that’s my kind of shopping 🙂 ). Over drinks we swapped stories and they have a pretty awesome one to tell. They basically up and left Poland to live in Norway in a caravan. With a cat 🙂 Surviving on very little and scraping cash together painting people’s houses.
Just now they had come back from a trip to Nepal where the struggle on difficult roads was rewarded with stunning mountain scenery. It confirmed for us, that we will definitely have to go there too one day… (A trip across the length of the Himalayas is forming in our minds.) In a couple of days Marcin and Iza would ride to Rajasthan and Pushkar and we’d see them again when they return. Ingeniously I failed to take a single picture with them 😦
Over the next couple of days it was pissing with rain and water crept through a gap in the window. Perfect excuse to hole up and catch up with diaries and blog posts. Eventually we posted an ad for the bikes on Indian websites and let everyone know we were selling. The calls started coming in almost immediately. We had to hurry. The bikes were super dirty and dusty from the trip and needed a good wash. A short trip to Karol Bagh sorted that out. The bikes have never been so shiny!
We had other business here too. The original owner (in whose name the bikes remain when a foreigner buys one) wanted to make sure Khiimori would be re-registered to a new owner this time. Black Pulsars are favourite bikes for chain snatching gangs. So each time an incident is reported and no-one took down the number plate, all owners of black Pulsars get harassed by the police.
It wasn’t really our problem, but we wanted to help if we could. The owner had contacted Saraswati, where we’d bought the bikes, so we popped over. The guy seemed adamant we come back tomorrow and meet with the owner, who may even make us an offer. He wasn’t his usual nice self and seemed quite panicky that we might already have accepted a deal and said under no circumstance should we sell to another tourist (to whom the bike couldn’t be registered).
It was all a bit strange. We had thought a new owner would want to register the bike in their name. And we had all the paperwork required for this, so where was the problem? Maybe some people just don’t bother with re-registration, since it costs around 1800Rs…
On the way back to Paharganj the heavens opened monsoon style and we were drenched within seconds. So much for washing the bikes! Back at the hotel a puddle formed on the floor as we tried to peel out of our clothes and we changed into our last set of dry, clean clothes. It had been so damp recently, that none of the washing had dried.
A while back we’d been contacted by a friend of an acquaintance on Facebook, Ali, who lives in Delhi. In true Indian style he has said Hi and Hello on FB messenger a hundred times as soon as we logged in. Now we were in Delhi, we finally met him over breakfast and he turned out to be a real nice guy who loves to share stories and help out.
He spontaneously decided to ride with us to Karol Bagh today. Saraswati told us to take Khiimori to a shop a couple of metres up the road. Khiimi’s owner was friends with the shop owner. The guy made an insultingly low offer. And even Ali’s best haggling skills only brought the price up a little higher. It was far less than we could get for her. So we were off.
We popped into Saraswati quickly to say so and the first thing the guy asked was whether the owner would now stop calling him. Ali explained and a big smile returned to the guy’s face. “It’s ok, I have done my duty. You are free to sell to whoever you want!” My suspicions had been correct. The owner had exerted huge pressure on Saraswati. It felt good to show that any mistrust that we would not come back as promised was unnecessary We were happy to help.
That evening a couple of guys came round to view the bike, now parked in a safer spot Ali had shown us. They test rode it and Aidan and Ali haggled a good, fair price. A quick dash to the bank had the money in our hands. Then they realised they hadn’t brought a helmet and it seems compulsory to wear one in Delhi, even if many still don’t. No matter; a hood was pulled over the head making the guy look dodgy as ever, and they jumped on Khiimi and rode off. We’d all meet tomorrow to sort out the paperwork.
After we had safely hidden the wad of rupees in our hotel room Ali invited us to the rooftop bar at the Shelton hotel where we sat on cushions round a low table curled up under blankets (14 degrees at night seems super cold to us now). We’d joined a bunch of German kids busy rolling one joint after the other. They’d been to Australia, but instead of working and travelling round, they’d got stuck in Nimbin (the Australian Amsterdam) getting stoned. When the money was getting low, they had returned to cheaper India and were off to Goa in a few days. Shame, I doubt they get to see much of the countries they visit. I guess at least they meet lots of like-minded tourists.
Ali accompanied us to meet the guys who bought Khiimori the next day and we headed off to sort the paperwork. I am not sure why they wouldn’t just take it off us last night, since we didn’t actually have to do anything but pass the forms and papers to them. Some sort of security that all is ok maybe? The guys at Saraswati were happy the bike was being transferred, relieving them of any kind of duty to the owner. We left them to it, and headed back.
Settling down for a Limca at Koshlar Cafe we soon received another phone call. A guy wanted to view Nila even before we could finish our drinks. This guy was much more fussy. He circled Nila, umming and ahhing about every scratch and dent. I was beginning to think this wasn’t the right bike for him. He obviously wanted a trophy bike to show off to his mates, not just a bike that works.
We knew that was all part of his bargaining strategy angin mind, and in the end we gave it to him for that. It was a very good and fair price for Nila’s condition and he got his cheap Pulsar, even if he’d have to spend a bit on making her all pretty again.
He too wanted to make sure all is as should be, so him and Aidan rode two up to Saraswati to sort out the re-registration. It took a bit of running around, but in the end Aidan returned with another wad of cash. We celebrated the successful sale with a couple of beers at a roof top restaurant before curling up with some whiskey and Old Monk in our room. Suddenly the guy who’d bought Nila called. We had given him Khiimi’s insurance papers! Shit! Must’ve been mixed up when they got checked by the traffic cops in Nagpur….
Old Monk Rum to celebrate 🙂
Luckily we still had photocopies. So super hung over we returned to Karol Bagh the next day to meet the guys and swap papers. Luckily the other buyer had left his with Saraswati for the re-registration so it was easily sorted. We apologised and Khiimi’s buyer was pretty cool about it laughing at how the other guys hadn’t even noticed. We had now met both buyers after they’d had a chance to ride the bikes and both seemed happy 🙂 We were free to enjoy Delhi.
Just Helping you collect it all mummy, honest! – Yeah right Hatti! 😉