If you ask people why they travel, most of the times their reply would be to set their soul free or to explore the unexplored which will give them an all new sense of adventure. The essence of travelling, for some, is not just a passion but a lifestyle. Same goes with motorcycles; there aren’t just two wheels slapped onto a machine that runs on fuel. Motorcycles are machines that provide the rider with freedom and riding one is the closest that you can come to flying without leaving the ground. One thing that both travelling and motorcycles have in common has to be the thrill of adventure that both deliver. Then there are some, for whom, that only one is not enough, so they decide to travel half way around the world on motorcycles just to quench their thirst for adventure.
Can Kungor and Erkin Yesil are two people that have given in to the passion of travelling on motorcycles and these people can vouch on the thrill that we just talked about. Just recently, these two have travelled all the way from Turkey on their CF Moto 650MTs to Nepal. So, while they were here, we decided to have a chat with them for the passion that they have for travelling on motorcycles. It was indeed a pleasure to listen to their stories of their experiences and lets see what they have to say about the whole adventure.
FIRST OFF, HOW DID YOUR JOURNEY START WITH CF MOTO AND HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH THE BRAND?
First, Erkin used to ride a CF Moto 400NK and about eight months back, he met with the people from CF Moto. Erkin then went on a tour in Turkey, covering almost 7000 kilometers on the 400NK. After the tour, there was a dealers’ meet of all the CF Moto branches from different cities which was held at Antalya and even I was invited to the event. There we got to interact with the people from CF Moto, got acquainted with them and talked about their motorcycles; it was an interesting session. Later on, during a motorcycle exhibition in Istanbul, we got to meet with the personnel from CF Moto China and they talked with Erkin about a new motorcycle that they were coming up with that time, the 650MT and they wanted us to do a tour with the motorcycle. CF Moto Turkey was also in on the idea and we eventually started planning the tour from February.
WHAT SPARKED THE DRIVE FOR YOU GUYS TO TRAVEL ALL THE WAY TO NEPAL FROM TURKEY? WHAT ROLE DID CF MOTO PLAY IN YOUR JOURNEY TO NEPAL?
Initially, we planned to go to China, but sadly our driving license is not accepted there and also, getting a visa for China is pretty difficult for us. So, we skipped that plan and decided to come to Nepal instead, as its close by to China. Also, we love this part of Asia and have heard a lot about Nepal, so we just thought why not go to Nepal.
Actually, the idea to travel to Nepal came from Erkin because he had been to India before and wanted to visit Nepal as well. So, we talked with CF Moto Turkey regarding the tour to Nepal and they gave us the green light on the idea. After everything was discussed, CF Moto Turkey brought in two 650MTs just for us. This has to be the first time that a motorcycle company has given motorcycles to riders to go on an extensive trip half way around the world. We have to say that CF Moto have helped us a lot in this tour. We were even really impressed by CF Moto Nepal and were overwhelmed with the hospitality that they provided us with. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support from CF Moto.
HOW LONG WAS THE JOURNEY FOR YOU GUYS TO REACH NEPAL? ALSO, WERE THERE ANY OTHER COUNTRIES THAT YOU VISITED ON YOUR WAY TO NEPAL?
We started our tour on the 9th of June and we reached Nepal on the 15th of July. We didn’t directly come to Nepal but we stopped at different countries. First, we went to Iran then to Pakistan and after that we arrived at India before finally arriving to Nepal. We even went to Ladakh while we were in India, so, we covered a lot of ground on the whole tour that’s why it was almost a month-long tour. By the time we reached Nepal, we had already covered more than 12,000 kilometers.
WHAT WERE YOUR EXPECTATIONS OF NEPAL BEFORE ARRIVING HERE AND HOW WELL WOULD YOU SAY THESE EXPECTATIONS WERE MET?
Actually, the main expectation that we had was to go to the Himalayas, to Mustang. We just wanted to see the nature and experience the beauty of the Himalayas. So, that’s the reason why we wanted to go to Mustang and explore Nepal. We have to say that we weren’t wrong to have high expectations from Nepal because we definitely have had an amazing time travelling to Mustang and getting close to the nature and mountains.
WE’RE PRETTY SURE CF MOTO NEPAL HAVE MADE YOUR STAY AMAZING IN NEPAL. WHAT WERE THE PLACES YOU VISITED TO AND COULD YOU SHARE SOME OF THE UNIQUE EXPERIENCES THAT YOU HAVE HAD IN EACH OF THOSE PLACES?
After crossing the border and getting done with the customs, we went to Butwal and stayed there first. After that we went to Pokhara and visited the Lakeside there. We must say Pokhara is quite a beautiful and peaceful place to be in, we really enjoyed going around the city. But the best and the most unique experience that we have had throughout the whole trip has to be at Mustang. The waterfalls, the landscapes, the scenery and the nature are just amazing at Mustang. We really enjoyed the local food there and everything was just so beautiful. We took a lot of videos and photos there, and we definitely had one of the best experiences there.
OVERALL, WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE ROAD CONDITIONS IN NEPAL AND DID YOU ENJOY RIDING HERE IN NEPAL?
After India, if we compare the road conditions from there, it is much better in Nepal. The road conditions are much better and even the traffic is better; the trucks, the drivers and people are all better in Nepal. In India the traffic is very hectic and every one is honking their horns everywhere. But in Nepal, it was more peaceful in terms on traffic and we didn’t have much of a hassle riding in the roads of Nepal.
IF YOU HAVE TO STATE, WHAT WERE SOME OF THE BEST MOMENTS THAT YOU HAVE HAD DURING THE WHOLE JOURNEY?
We think that the best moment for us throughout the whole ride has to be the ride from Pokhara to Mustang. That is something that we will remember for the rest of our lives. We were actually really surprised with the road conditions there; it changed every time from one scenario to the another. It was like the roads were changing every 5 minutes and there was a river that we needed to cross, so we put our bikes on a tractor and crossed it. It was such an enjoyable place to for us to be riding. Even the scenery was always changing; we got to see a lot of beautiful landscapes and everything was just incredible. Mustang will always keep you excited that it will make you curious and want to explore even more.
DID THE DECISIONS OF TRAVELLING AROUND THE WORLD HAVE AN IMPACT IN YOUR LIFE AND HOW HAVE YOU BEEN MANAGING TO GO ON SUCH RIDES?
Professionally, Erkin used to teach electrical engineering but now he has left his job. Now, he is all about riding and going on adventures. I am an animation and motion designer and work with different agencies; advertising companies, event management companies and production companies. I work with them to make 2D and 3D animations and I am even into photography and videography. But I work as a freelancer so it isn’t difficult for me to manage my time to go on rides. What I usually do is that I work really hard during the winter and save up money to go on rides as such.
HOW DID THE CF MOTO 650MT PERFORM DURING THE WHOLE JOURNEY? WHAT WERE THE ASPECTS THAT YOU LOVED ABOUT THE MACHINES AND IF THERE WERE ANY, WHAT ARE THE ISSUES THAT YOU FACED?
When we left from Turkey, we had packed a lot of spares parts in bag. But we didn’t even have to open that bag throughout the journey. There weren’t any problems and the motorcycles didn’t give us any issue out on the road. The motorcycles were always in perfect condition and we really loved it. Because if something goes wrong then we will have to fix it, which only means that we would end up screwing up our schedule and delay our ride. But thankfully nothing happened as such and it was a treat to ride the 650MTs. The bikes were really comfortable and they didn’t give any problem throughout the whole journey. Maybe one issue in the motorcycle is the weight, it is actually really heavy. But overall, the motorcycles performed exceptionally well. We rode in like 50 degrees in Pakistan but still there weren’t any heating problems and when we went to Ladakh, nothing happened there as well even with the harsh road condition and even in Mustang; the 650MTs didn’t give us any problem.
WHAT FUELED THE PASSION IN YOU TO START RIDING AND EXPLORING NEW COUNTRIES ON YOUR MOTORCYCLES?
Initially, Erkin used to go on backpacking trips and explore to experience different places to seek adventure. And then he thought that travelling on motorcycles would even be more adventurous and that’s how Erkin started going on motorcycle tours. Whereas, for me I started riding motorcycles about 6 years ago just as a means of commuting in Istanbul. At first motorcycles were just a means of transport for me but eventually, it turned into a passion and it has been no looking back ever since. Then I felt like I need to explore more with the motorcycle, going to different places and meeting new people and riders; that’s what got me into riding and going on long tours.
IS THERE ANY ADVICE YOU WOULD WANT TO GIVE TO PEOPLE ASPIRING TO TRAVEL CROSS COUNTRY ON A MOTORCYCLE?
First of all, you need to be aware about the route and weather conditions, and plan your trip accordingly. They have to manage it very well because everything depends on those two things. Also, you have to be very careful about what you take with yourself so that you aren’t carrying too much of load with you on the motorcycle. You also need to make sure that your motorcycle is maintained and in good condition so that you don’t have any problem during the tour.