As far as long motorcycle rides go, this one is worth mentioning. Mario Iroth has embarked on a journey riding his Benelli TNT 600i from his home country, Indonesia, across 14 countries to Pesaro, Italy, Benelli’s factory. Sounds long and it will take him nearly 6 months to accomplish this astounding feat. Currently passing through India, we get a few minutes to chat with the man and understand his view of the journey.
The Rider and his wheels
The man aboard this Benelli is 29 year old Mario Renato Karel Iroth who was born in Tomohan, Indonesia. The motorcycle he chose for this long and grueling challenge is the Benelli TNT 600i. Upon asking his choice of a naked sport motorcycle over a purpose-built touring motorcycle was that the TNT 600i has got it all that he wants for his trip.
Also being a 600 it sits in bracket which is more manageable by most riders. Back in Indonesia, Japanese motorcycles dominate the market scenario and Benelli being an Italian brand offers exclusivity. “Wherever I ride this motorcycle, everybody ogles and asks where I got it from. I happily report it is an Italian brand and is on sale in Indonesia” says Mario.
“And look at the reliability, I have ridden it from Indonesia and it has not given me many problems apart from a brief suspension issue. The only problem is the range on one tank and fuel quality which I work around by keeping it at a steady speed thus keeping constant circulation”, he adds.
The route that Mario chose is not the obvious Indonesia-China-Kazakhstan which is about 16,500km long. Mario will ride through Indonesia-Myanmar-Nepal-India-Pakistan-Iran-Turkey-Italy which is shorter 11,000km but through much tougher terrain as these countries tend to provide lesser quality tarmac.
Mario loves the changing scenery and culture around him on these long trips. He also loves to try different cuisines and thus faces lesser problems when travelling. Riding through India, his mention was the outstanding beauty of Taj Mahal which turned out even more than he imagined.
First and foremost challenges are the roads themselves. Cruising tarmac highways is a breeze but difficulty rakes in when the surfaces gets rutted or disappears completely. Riding through Nepal was a problem as tragedy struck country is incapable of offering roads at this point of time.
Also Visa and currency issues crop up while crossing borders. For example riding through India was a two day affair, but Mario got stuck for a week as Visa problems cropped up from Pakistan. Language is an obvious hindrance and he has to resort to sign language most of the time where English is an alien means of communication.
It is an amazing journey and an education. Mario is one of those who still put his faith in riding a motorcycle and experiencing all the elements on the journey. And also we are amazed by the Benelli TNT 600i. Who would have thought an Italian craft loaded with complicated and delicate electronics will be able to take so much punishment, but it is still going good.
With 84bhp of power pused out of that in-line 4 cylinder engine, it makes more than enough grunt for most occasions and has adequate ground clearance to make it through the worst of roads. We will not say this TNT 600i is the best choice for the journey, but it certainly is a very good one. Mario’s journey started on the 21st of April 2015 and will conclude by the end of October of 2015.