Deepak Kamath – World motorcyclist travelerAugust 22, 2020
Deepak Kamath – World motorcyclist, in short is the best introduction for a motorcyclist who has traveled across all seven continents at a time when most of us reading this were reading about them. In the recent past, his adventures with the Bajaj Dominar has made it the motorcycle to reckon with. Whe
1. How did your association with motorcycling begin?
For a perfect example, I would relate to the movie 3 Idiots in which there is a song and a few lines which define it for me in those days…. “Rishwat Dena Toh Khud Paapa Ne Sikhaaya”.
So, when I got good marks in my 10th Standard, my parents gifted me a new Bajaj Chetak scooter. The keeda (bug) in me was longing for a motorcycle. Nevertheless, that endearing dream I never gave up on and that dream never gave up on me…
Sometime thereafter Deepak Kamath – World motorcyclist acquired “The #3442”. And that number has not looked back since, here is a list of them:
- #Yezdi3442 – 2 whirlwind trips across India and Nepal and the Khardung La Pass back in 1990
- #YezdiRoadking3442 – Circumnavigated the world across 6 Continents in 47 days.
- #Benelli3442 – A comeback gift from my wife that clocked over 52,000 kms in less than 2 years across India, Nepal & Bhutan
- #DominarTrans-Siberian3442 – The Charyn Canyon and the Road of Bones. I believe, I led a team of 3 that redefined an altogether new benchmark in adventure travel when we flew the Tricolor in places where very few dared.
- #CanyonRedDominar#3442 – This is my legendary motorcycle after the Yezdi Roadking that took me across the American Continents. And finally landed in Antarctica, making me the only Indian / Asian to have ridden my motorcycle across all 7 Continents.
- #Yamaha3442 – My everyday city commute bike.
2. Tell us about your first motorcycle
I slept with the brochure of the all new Yamaha RX 100 “Authentic” under my pillow and craved for it. When in 2nd PUC (12th grade), I urged Mom to consider my request and again. If I get good marks, which I did, she preferred to gift me a second hand Yezdi from her colleague for INR 8000/-. A 1979 B Model that had just about 18,000 km on the ODO. MEY 3442 was my first love from a “motorcycle” viewpoint!
3. If you had to bring back a motorcycle from the past it would be
A Yezdi Roadking MEY 3442
4. Who is your inspiration/ idol in the world of touring and why?
I picked up inspiration to travel across the world from people driving a car. None from a motorcycle fraternity in my earliest days. Today, with social media, internet, websites and travel meet platforms, I have gained tremendous respects to (late) Hubert Kriegel. And I hope to follow him in entirety. His punch line “Don’t forget to take a risk today” will be a reminder that life is as interesting as you can make it.
I follow James Spencer Conway & Cathy Nel from a passion to travel perspective. From a travel photography standpoint, it’s Tim Burke. And from a Couple travel standpoint, it’s Andy & Alissa from Mad or Nomad. These names come up immediately though I do follow few more (not many) and draw inspiration. I have always wanted to create my own path and the people who I follow give me the ideas and the courage to tread on roads, which are otherwise less traveled.
5. If you were not a motorcyclist (as you are today) you would have been
A national level breeder of exotic breeds of dogs. I have been chasing this passion since the last 25 years. However, I have limited my expansion in view of my travels and commitment levels that demand in this line.
6. You are synonymous with the Dominar Odyssey series, why Dominar?
Why not the Dominar?
When I first approached Bajaj at the time the Dominar was just about launched, I had not even taken a test ride. Finally, when the Odyssey bikes reached Bangalore is when I hopped on to the #DominarTrans-Siberian3442 and realized what a fantastic machine it is.
Yes, the machine was purpose built with different tires. A little harder shocks and a silencer that took away the catcon for a better belly clearance. The machine did not spin at high revs. It was absolutely lethal in power delivery, (when needed). Just about what I wanted keeping in mind the roads that my travel takes me. Honestly, the machine “listens’ to me and not the other way round. The throttle response is what I like about this machine more than many more features that simply are a blessing for a long haul travel.
Yes,the rest is history on the Dominar. Today, I have 6 of the 10 most dangerous roads in the world under my belt. Charyn Canyon and a dream 7 Miles on Antarctica stand close to my heart. Amongst the entire length of the 2 Odyssey’s that I have led, which has so far done 21 Countries. Over 2,10,000 kms (collectively) across 4 Continents.
I don’t remember having a day down to address any breakdown…THAT makes me love this machine!
7. Your next journey (assuming the pandemic is over) would be to
I ain’t saying anything. But expect something bigger than what has already been done, and no I am not taking the Bajaj Dominar to the moon.. not as yet.
8. Your idea of your dream motorcycle (Do not specify any brand or type)
Think you can do it, and half the battle is won. Always trust the “NUT” behind the handlebar. Remember, I took the Yezdi 250, an air cooled machine, 2-up, across the world in 47 days. I don’t even have to tell you the rides that I have done on the Bajaj Dominar. I have had my adventures on pedal power too. So, give me a machine and tell me an adventure. “I Can” is my outlook towards it. It’s not about the machine. It’s NEVER about the machine! And I hope people realize it sooner than later!
9. You wear a helmet because –
“I listen to music all the time!!!” Just one of the reasons!!
I have helmet ridges on my head, which implies that the helmet has been worn for such a long duration. While music and intercom is one primary reason, for me, I feel complete. I have had a near miss and the way the helmet protected me is enough to thank my stars for a renewed life.
10. A message for budding cross country touring motorcyclists from Deepak Kamath – World motorcyclist
- Take up travel for your own satisfaction and not for social media.
- Enrich your knowledge on the culture, food and people from the places you want to travel to.
- Plan at least a new location each year and avoid repeats. It’s a big beautiful world out there and 1 life is JUST not sufficient.
- While you may seek sponsorships, (it is a win-win situation, and hence no harm in seeking them) please have a very clear understanding on the deliverables and ensure you meet them. Because in case you don’t, there could be someone who really can but may not get the required support because you didn’t. Sponsorships are difficult and the whole outlook towards your travel can be redefined basis the Brand’s need. Therefore,you should be able to make changes to suit a mutual agreement.
I know I have done some speed rides. But I encourage people to take it slow.
I regret the record of having circumnavigated the world in 47 days. If I can turn back time, I wish to do a similar ride that I don’t wish to end any time soon!
Hubert Kriegel is what I wish I become in the coming years Visit his website: www.thetimelessride.com