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25-year-old Gaurav Siddharth is now the Guinness World Record holder for doing the 'Longest Motorcycle Journey In A Single Country'. Gaurav Siddharth achieved the record on a Hero Impulse. The entire trip spanned almost 1,22,000 kilometres and took around one year and nine months to complete.
Gaurav started his journey to the Guinness Book Of World Records on September 17, 2015, and ended on May 23, 2017. The record took another 9 months to be verified. Finally, it got approved on February 25, 2018.
The previous record for the longest motorcycle journey in a single country was set by American biker, Danell Lynn. He rode 78,000 kilometres across the USA. Gaurav Siddharth, on the other hand, has travelled a distance close to three times the earth's circumference.
Although he actually travelled 1.22 lakh kilometres, only 1,15,093 kilometres were approved by the Guinness Record officials. The officials claimed that the rest of the kilometres were repeated.
Gaurav has covered over 450 major cities spread across the 29 states and five union territories in India. The two union territories, Lakshadweep and Andaman & Nicobar Islands could not be covered as Guinness officials restricted him from travelling off the mainland.
Gaurav used to travel 200-500 kilometres daily at speeds of around 50-70km/h. He spent 7-8 hours daily just for travel. While travelling he maintained logs, took short video footages every one hour, collected statements from various people he met on the trip and also kept all the bills and receipts of his expenses. Guinness didn't allow him to halt for more than two days at the same place.
During the journey, he met a lot of dignitaries including Anna Hazare, Sri Sri Ravishankar, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, Mata Amritanandmayi, PT Usha, Kiran Bedi, Sourav Ganguly, Anandiben Patel, Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Raghuram Rajan, Ratan Tata, Arvind Kejriwal, Irom Sharmila, Shri Dharampal Gulati, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore to name a few. His journey was flagged off by Swami Ramdev.
Through the journey, Gaurav Siddharth promoted the ‘Swadeshi' message, which stands for Made In India. Along with it, he spread awareness on several issues and topics such as petrol pump frauds, highway safety, digital lockers for important documents, interstate vehicle transfer, blood donation etc.
Why Hero Impulse?
Gaurav initially had two choices for the motorcycle: Hero Impulse and Bajaj Avenger. Since it was a really long journey, mileage was an important factor. The Hero Impulse offered good mileage and came at a low cost. The high ground clearance was also a bonus. On top of all this, Hero MotoCorp has a good service network across India. This ensured that Gaurav's Impulse stayed well-maintained throughout the trip.
Gaurav calls his Impulse, Bawri 2.0. He hasn't done any modifications to it and used only Hero Genuine Engine Oil.
Some Memorable Moments
The incredible journey enabled Gaurav to meet a lot of people, witness different cultures, and most of all, enjoy the scenic beauty of India. But alongside this, he also got into some troubles. While crossing the rough Brahmaputra river, he fell. He was caught by the CBI and IB in Poonch, Jammu and Kashmir. He was detained by the border police in Rajasthan. The Maharashtra Police had chased and assaulted him. Also, at numerous places, he and his motorcycle were checked for any threats such as bombs.
Gaurav also added that most of these negative experiences were countered by several highly positive interactions with some top influencers in the country.
Thoughts On Gaurav Siddharth's World Record
While some of us might have gone on long trips on a motorcycle, it takes great courage and dedication to achieve something like Gaurav Siddharth did. The entire journey was self-financed by Gaurav despite several offers for financial support. Even Infosys's founder, Narayana Murthy offered to support his journey.
But, Gaurav decided to go forward on his own. He believed in the idea of exploration without any commercial goals while learning how to survive within limited means. Gaurav Siddharth is definitely an inspiration to all the youngsters in India.