Are Burma’s bor­ders now open to ad­ven­tur­ers?

Motorcycle News (UK) - - Garage -

By Kevin and Ju­lia San­ders, World Record hold­ers for cir­cum­nav­i­gat­ing the globe. They now run over­land ex­pe­di­tion com­pany Globe­

Burma is slowly open­ing its bor­ders to in­de­pen­dent trav­ellers but it is still re­ally raw, pretty much closed off to the out­side world for over 50 years and only just open­ing up to tourism af­ter political re­forms in 2011. Tourism is in its in­fancy but they are try­ing hard. You can’t roll up to the bor­der, show your pa­pers and hey-ho, you’re in. An agency must or­gan­ise your pa­per­work and get per­mis­sion. This means sub­mit­ting copies of ev­ery­thing in ad­vance. Your agent then gets govern­ment per­mis­sion for en­try and gives clear­ance for cus­toms to en­ter your bike. Just to ar­rive at the Burmese Bor­der is a feat in it­self, but cross­ing Burma is like dis­cov­er­ing the Holy Grail of over­land mo­tor­cy­cling. How­ever, you still can’t cross the coun­try in­de­pen­dently, you need to be part of some­thing or­gan­ised. You can hire a mo­tor­cy­cle, but they aren’t al­lowed in the cap­i­tal so head to Man­dalay Mo­tor­cy­cle Rental to hire Honda en­duro bikes. In­stead you could al­ways take your own, but you will need govern­ment per­mis­sion in ad­vance and you must be ac­com­pa­nied by a Burmese guide. Use motofreight. com to get your bike to and from Bangkok and ride in. Al­ter­na­tively, you could join us on a tour; Globe­busters run a 38-day Delhi-to-bangkok ex­pe­di­tion which in­cludes Burma.

Do­ing all this means your stan­dard en­gine will make its de­signed power and runs the way it was meant to. But blueprint­ing is a painstak­ing, time-con­sum­ing and ex­pen­sive process. And the ef­fi­ciency of mod­ern man­u­fac­tur­ing meth­ods means th­ese gains aren’t al­ways worth the ex­pense, un­less you’re se­ri­ous about rac­ing and try­ing to free ev­ery ounce of power.

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