China seems to be a more and more popular topic for conversation lately. That is no different for this story as the Middle Kingdom, a literal translation of the characters which make up the Chinese name for their homeland, is a protagonist herein. The other important subjects are the two brothers from Canada, Colin and Ryan Pyle, and their two motorcycles, both are BMW’s F800GS. The ride involves 11,589 miles (18,651 Km) and 65 days over some of the roughest terrain, the wettest paths, and the longest traffic jams on Earth. And the cause is for the SEVA Foundation, a group whose sole purpose is to help alleviate the suffering of people caused by disease and poverty. Interested yet?
The Pyle brothers departed Shanghai in August of this year and arrived in the same city 65 days later on 17 October 2010 at 14:00. It was a full five days longer than they had planned, though it is understandable given the obstacles they encountered. They ran into issues with a burned-out clutch on one of the BMW F800GS bikes in a very remote part of Tibet. Shortly afterwards the ride was delayed again due to being detoured around another part of Tibet to which they were forbidden access. Brothers Pyle were also involved in that world-famous 19 mile long traffic jam on the Beijing to Tibet Expressway.
By far the worst parts of the odyssey were the constantly shifting weather conditions. One example would be a day when they were riding along in 72°F (22°C) with bright sun, and within an hour it had become 41°F (5°C) with a pummeling rainstorm mixed with hail.
Luckily, the Pyle brothers are interested in doing things right and were well prepared for the journey. They were also smart enough to hook up with some very helpful sponsors. The list is very long, so head to the website for everyone involved: http://www.mkride.com/. It would also be a good idea to donate a little something for their efforts and the incredibly decent people at the SEVA Foundation; Colin and Ryan Pyle went through a great deal to help a large number of people, give them a hand.
Written by J.C. Current, Courtesy of AllAboutBikes.com