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Old 25th May 2011, 13:57   #1
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Default The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

Hi everyone.
Recently I met this guy, Teun Melis in Pune. He hails from Amsterdam. His ride was an attraction for almost everyone who happened to see it. He rides a two seater car with a 163cc, air cooled engine. The car is named Sulky made by a company named Cassalini in Holand. Now what surprised me is that he is on a tour in his Sulky from Amsterdam to Myanmar. He quit his marketing job in an IT company and set off from Amsterdam in Jan 2010. He has constantly been on roaming since then. Also, the route selected by him, known as the Silk Route, is not the shortest route selected to Myanmar; but Teun is exploring every country he is visiting. Major part of this route was used as an ancient route for the trade of silk, hence known as the Silk Route. His personal motive of the trip is to explore different places and meet different people and see their cultures. His social motive is to raise awareness about poor and dependent people in Burma and raise some charity so that these people can start a business to employ themselves.
The best thing he liked about India was his stay in the peaceful village; Malvan on the Konkan coast. He stayed with the fishermen and also did some fishing along with them. He enjoyed driving along the beautiful scenery of the Konkan coast. He enjoyed a warm welcome he recieved everywhere in India. He says the roads in India are very bumpy, but he found India to be the only country where Sulky could overtake other cars. According to him the traffic in Delhi was very aggressive but the Mumbai traffic showed more respect to his presence on road. He loved the cultures in India. I felt pretty good that a visitor liked India and got a chance to admire India from a visitors point of view.
Teun had many bad experiences along the way which include an engine seize, stalled vehicle, many repairs etc. But this one would qualify to behis worst one. His car stalled on a highway somewhere in Iran. He got a pickup truck driver to tow it. This truck guy gradually went on increasing speed even though he was warned against doing so. At 60kmph, Sulky started wobbling. Teun tried to signal the driver by honking and flashing lights but in vain. In a few moments the car toppled and was dragged on the highway for 100 meters. Luckily there were no serious injuries. The carrier on the car opened and all the stuff was scattered accross the road. The damage can be seen all over the right side of the car.
He had to skip Pakistan as he couldn't manage the visa and shipped his car directly to India from Afghanistan. He has done about 15000 km in the Sulky. India will be the last country for the Sulky to travel as it might not be able to cross the mountains in the was. But Teun will be completing the journey.
Just thought of sharing this experience with T-BHP.
Attaching pics.

Regards,
Tejas.
Attached Thumbnails
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The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!-dsc04924.jpg  

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Old 25th May 2011, 16:29   #2
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Default re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

Whoa! He didn't get kidnapped in Afghanistan?!! Lucky man!!

Quiet an adventure. What are his engine/auto specs? Is it a DIY?

If you are reading this - Good Luck Teun and Welcome to India!!

--Ragul
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Old 25th May 2011, 16:38   #3
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Default re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

Thats quite a distance to travel with a 163cc engine. Admire his spirit.

Was wondering about his posture while driving the car? The clutch/accelerator do not seem to be in alignment with the steering wheel.

He has done this entire journey alone?
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Old 25th May 2011, 16:39   #4
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Default re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

Well the man appears to have steel nuts. And not just on his car.
Now I feel foolish for cancelling my Bhubaneswar-Bangalore drive because our spare car, a 10 yr old Zen has 'just a 1 litre engine'.
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Old 26th May 2011, 12:54   #5
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Default Re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragul View Post
Whoa! He didn't get kidnapped in Afghanistan?!! Lucky man!!

Quiet an adventure. What are his engine/auto specs? Is it a DIY?

If you are reading this - Good Luck Teun and Welcome to India!!

--Ragul
No, the car is made by Cassalini which makes such cars for people who cannot afford bigger ones. The type of engine used is usually used in boats.


Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
Thats quite a distance to travel with a 163cc engine. Admire his spirit.

Was wondering about his posture while driving the car? The clutch/accelerator do not seem to be in alignment with the steering wheel.

He has done this entire journey alone?
Its brake/accelerator. Both are operated with right leg so not a big problem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy.S View Post
Well the man appears to have steel nuts. And not just on his car.
Now I feel foolish for cancelling my Bhubaneswar-Bangalore drive because our spare car, a 10 yr old Zen has 'just a 1 litre engine'.
Teun has had many problems including engine seize. I dont think you will have those problems on your Zen. So you may reconsider your trip.

I had a chance to drive the car around and here is a quick review.
The car is powered by a Honda single cylinder, 163cc, 4-stroke, air cooled engine which is placed in the rear. The power is transmitted to the rear wheels by a variator belt. Hence the clutch is centrifugal and no clutch lever is present. The car can seat 2 people comfortably, a third person can be cramped over the engine compartment if needed. The body of the car is strong and sturdy (It bore the impact when the car toppled at 70kmph with very little damage). The design is very basic, but still well placed. It looks very decent and cute. The interior feels like a box of glass, since there are no blind spots and the occupants get a complete 360degree view. The dashboard has no design element but gives you all the necessary information.
You have just 2 gear lever positions- Forward and Reverse. It starts with a jerk as soon as you shift to forward. This requires a bit of getting used to. Once started, the car does not feel under powered in heavy traffic. It can easily keep pace with other traffic. The suspension setup is a bit soft and it does protect the occupants from bumps. The steering too is responsive, but the car sways latterally on turns. That is because of the loaded carrier on top, but it will be fun to weave trough the traffic without the carrier. The brakes too are effective. There are no noises of lose parts. It does feel very slow on an open road and it must be tire some travelling accross countries, but I guess it is the sense of adventure that is driving Teun.
To sum it up, the makers of this tiny car have got the basics right. It is fun to zip trough the traffic in this super small car.
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Old 26th May 2011, 14:02   #6
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Default Re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

A cute little car and a massive feat..Hats Off to Mr. Teun. May he have all success in his journey.
And now I know how they made the first Reva, it looks a reva sibling except with a real heart. 163cc is like touring in a Pulsar from Amsterdam to Myanmar, just with a roof on top. Indeed the makers of the car have done a great job.
Now who said Nano was underpowered, give it to Teun, and he may well go all round the world.
Thanks Tejas for the report.
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Old 26th May 2011, 18:13   #7
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Default Re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

This definately is massive. I would say doing it on Pulsar would be much quicker given that the top speed of the car is around 50kmph.

@Amit: He has done most of the journey alone. He was joined by his Girlfriend in India.
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Old 27th May 2011, 04:24   #8
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Default Re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

Found some videos on his youtube channel.
YouTube - ‪fraaieplaat's Channel‬‏#

What sounds like a dabba, runs like a dabba, is a dabba. What one can accomplish with a dabba is amazing. He is one crazy bird!
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Old 27th May 2011, 06:44   #9
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Default Re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

A great car indeed. Remember ths Sipani Badal, powered by an air cooled 175 cc Villiers engine. This engine bay looks neat compared to the Badal
This car can be a competitor to the Nano if made here.
What that rogue of an Iranian driver did to the car is unpardonable.

Last edited by rajeev k : 27th May 2011 at 06:51.
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Old 27th May 2011, 06:48   #10
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Great work by him in his epic journey. I am sure he must have missed rolling on the famed Khyber pass

Where is he now? If he is in/ around Pune I and my Nano would like to meet him
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Old 27th May 2011, 07:41   #11
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Default Re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

@Tejas - You seem to be giving Teun some competition. Was viewing your profile and can see a self built 175 cc car listed there. What is that all about. Maybe a different thread on it if it is already not present.
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Old 27th May 2011, 08:11   #12
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Default Re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

Wow, amazing feat. Most of us just dream on doing cross country drives in (comparably) premium cars. Way to go Mr. Teun.

P.S. If he is in town over the weekend, do invite him for the team-bhp Pune meet -
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Old 27th May 2011, 14:17   #13
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Default Re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by prasadee View Post
Found some videos on his youtube channel.
YouTube - ‪fraaieplaat's Channel‬‏#

What sounds like a dabba, runs like a dabba, is a dabba. What one can accomplish with a dabba is amazing. He is one crazy bird!
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
A great car indeed. Remember ths Sipani Badal, powered by an air cooled 175 cc Villiers engine. This engine bay looks neat compared to the Badal
This car can be a competitor to the Nano if made here.
What that rogue of an Iranian driver did to the car is unpardonable.
This car is definitely too small for a big job kike this. And also congrats to Teun for his courage and a successful trip.
The Irani driver did help Teun out of the car and collect all his stuff, but was scared that Teun may sue him and hurriedly left the place. He should had been careful.

Quote:
Originally Posted by selfdrive View Post
Great work by him in his epic journey. I am sure he must have missed rolling on the famed Khyber pass

Where is he now? If he is in/ around Pune I and my Nano would like to meet him
Quote:
Originally Posted by moralfibre View Post
Wow, amazing feat. Most of us just dream on doing cross country drives in (comparably) premium cars. Way to go Mr. Teun.

P.S. If he is in town over the weekend, do invite him for the team-bhp Pune meet -
Sorry, he has left long time back now. He must be nearing his destination now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by amitwlele View Post
@Tejas - You seem to be giving Teun some competition. Was viewing your profile and can see a self built 175 cc car listed there. What is that all about. Maybe a different thread on it if it is already not present.
A thread is already on the Forum. Have a look.
http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...out-scrap.html (Made a car out of scrap)
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Old 27th May 2011, 21:39   #14
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Default Re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

Did he traverse alone? In the second photo another person is also seen.
Is 45kmph the max safe speed of the Sulky.

Last edited by rajeev k : 27th May 2011 at 21:42.
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Old 28th May 2011, 00:42   #15
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Default Re: The Silk Route-Journey. In a two-seater 163cc car!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rajeev k View Post
Did he traverse alone? In the second photo another person is also seen.
Is 45kmph the max safe speed of the Sulky.
Teun travelled alone for most of the journey. He was joined by his girlfriend in India. The person seen in the pic are his friends from India at whose place he stayed. If you watch closely, you will see a third guy cramped in the back.
Sulky can be stretched to about 50 which is safe. It is unsafe at 60 especially with the loaded carrier on the top.

Last edited by Tejas Ingle : 28th May 2011 at 00:48.
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