London resident Sushanth Shetty is attempting to set a new world record for the fastest overland journey from the United Kingdom to India, making the 5600-mile journey on a Suzuki Hayabusa.
Shetty, an Indian native who moved to the U.K. when he was 22, plans to travel through Europe, entering Asia through Turkey, crossing Iran and hopes to cross Afghanistan and Pakistan to India. Shetty is still awaiting a travel visa for Pakistan, but failing that, he has planned an alternate route from Iran to Dubai in the United Arab Emirates before crossing by sea to his homeland. Shetty will depart London on Oct. 25 and hopes to arrive in Bangalore, India, on Nov. 18.
“I’d always fancied riding a bike from the U.K. to India and came up with the plan in Bangkok while travelling through Asia,” says Shetty. “I’ve also done a bit of riding across Europe before. But I didn’t think I was cut out for six months or so of riding and ‘finding myself’; I wanted to do it as fast as possible. So I tried and thought about a few different bikes, but it had to be the Hayabusa.”
Shetty purchased a 2002 Hayabusa for the journey and gave it a new paint job to resemble Suzuki’s new GSX-RR MotoGP racer. Shetty also named the Hayabusa Patrick Star, after Spongebob Squarepants’ dimwitted starfish sidekick.
An engineer for Ford Motor Company, Shetty is an experienced traveler with a colorful personality, as evident by the webpage he set up for his journey, TheEastIndiaExpress.com. Shetty competed in the Raid de Himalayain 2006 and 2007 and it was last December while traveling to India on the Trans-Siberian Railway that he came up with the idea for his next adventure over several pints of cheap beer in Bangkok.
“It should be a good journey and I’m looking forward to setting off. I’m looking forward to going to Sofia in Bulgaria, Ljubljana in Slovenia and Istanbul in Turkey,” says Shetty. “I’m also a bit apprehensive of Eastern Iran and Pakistan, but I’m also really looking forward to riding through Iran as a whole, and hoping I can do the whole thing to set the fastest overland journey time between the two countries, and that’s sticking to speed limits too.”
[Source: Suzuki, TheEastIndiaExpress.com]