“The Guy with the Fuel”
A couple of years ago, in the summer of 2018, I was doing a tour of Europe on a motorcycle by myself. The plan was it to start from my home London and ride up to my birth place in Tg Mures, Romania, from there to the black sea and back.
When I was on my way back, somewhere in Serbia, in beautiful Serbia, my fuel light on my Harley light up which means I have left around 30 miles until I will run out of petrol. Then the only problem was it that I was somewhere in the mountains and no sign of a petrol station. I went already 25 miles, my level of anxiety increased considerably but luckily, I found one in the middle of the mountains. I went to the station which both of the pumps where diesel, so I went to the second one. On the second one I saw a green one and was writing something in Cyrillic alphabet, but underneath was 95 so I was positive that is petrol. In the last second, I decided to treat my Harley with some better-quality fuel, so I tried the better version of petrol. After I paid, I jump on the bike and continued my journey. The only problem was it that after 200m, my bike started to chough. In my mind I had a couple of options: one, the fuel is so bad, maybe has a lot of water in it so the bike needs to adapt, or the second option, I put diesel in it. I revved the engine and a huge white cloud was coming out through my engine, air filter, a moment when I freak out. I stopped on the side of the road and start to push my bike back into the petrol station. After a short “interrogation” I found out that actually, I put diesel in my bike instead of petrol, a moment when I collapsed on the ground but relived in the same time because I found the problem. Now, every single time when I heard about someone that put the wrong fuel into his car or bike or whatever, I was thinking “how big of an idiot you must be to put the wrong fuel?”, apparently this big of an idiot.
My biggest luck was it that over there almost in the middle of nowhere (Serbians, please don’t take offence on this one), this guy which was around 40 years old was speaking a bit of English. This guy ensures me that we will sort this out. He starts to make some phone calls and in approximately 30 min. he comes and gives me the good news: “ Hey, I couldn’t find a garage nearby, but I found some guys from a town close by which they have a platform and they can take you to the nearest city.” Like he said in 20-30 min. a recovery vehicle stops next to me, two guys jump out of the truck and they asked me: “you are the guy with the fuel?”. We put the bike onto the platform and we decided to go to Harley Davidson dealership in Belgrade which was 3 hours away.
When we arrived at Harley dealership the driver walked with me in just to explain in Serbian what was the problem (I have to mention they talked on the phone prior to us arrive just to make sure that they have time for us). As soon as the driver tells the mechanic what was the problem, the HD guy turns to me and asks me: “oh, you are the guy with the fuel?”. At that moment I felt like the most stupid person in the world, I felt like I had an arrow above my head pointing towards me and screaming “look at this idiot”.
After I put my bike in the back of the garage, I walk into the shop again, but this time through a different entrance. I walk and the lady from the counter said something towards me, I guess she said hello or something similar. I looked at her, I apologised that I don’t speak Serbian, and English is the language which I speak and her answer was “oh, you are the guy with the fuel?”
Florin M. Masca- Harley Davidson Sportster 883
“The guy in need”
It was this hot August day and I was ridin’ towards Hungary after visiting Croatia on my little Yamaha Virago XV535 and with my friends in their car. It’s been a short while since we passed the customs check and we were heading to the Balaton lake. As I was riding on my motorcycle with all my thoughts and almost hypnotized of the dashed lines painted on the highway to separate the lanes, I somehow noticed a desperate motorcyclist waving to me from the emergency lane.
As you could expect, I stopped to check out my fellow motorcyclist brother’s problems. He was from Ukraine and he just ran out of gas. My friends also stopped and after we checked the nearby gas stations, we decided to help the poor guy by taking him to buy himself some petrol. Needless to say, the fellow Ukrainian rider was grateful that he could continue his journey and my friends and I was happy that we could help a rider in need, showing once again that the brotherhood of motorcyclists around the world is still strong.
Emil Bodan- Yamaha Virago XV535
Charley is an angel
In the summer of 2019, me and a couple of my friends we were on a motorcycle trip round Europe. After we’ve witnessed some of the most incredible views, we were heading towards Budapest to spend the night. On our way, somewhere close to the border between Austria and Hungary, my beloved bike decided that we need a break.
While I was riding, leading, I hear the horn from the bike which was behind. Immediately I pull over and I realise that the bracket from my number plate collapse. Without messing around I am taking my toll box out and try to fix it, but soon enough I find out that it cannot be fixed without a proper welding machine, so I decide to find a solution to improvise until the first city. I have to say that I spend around 5 minutes next to the bike fluffing around when a car pulls behind us and this guy, Charley, come to help us. Obviously, us, like majority of the English travellers we are able to speak only English, luckily, Charley was able to speak more English than we were able to speak German. Soon he realises that is nothing what can be done over there so he is telling me follow him. At this point I have no idea where I am going to follow him, but without asking any questions I jumped on the bike and we are riding around 5km.
We arrive at his house where he has a full motorcycle shop, straight away we put the bike on platform and Charley with one of his mates start to work on the bike. Because we had a short brake, we started to discuss about our trip and our motorcycles like you do. At that time, we found out that he is the president of a local motorcycle club, I would like to tell you the name of it, but because of my gold fish memory in combination with my German language skills make this utterly impossible. When Charley heard that we are on the road for about 5-6 hours he offered to go inside in his house to have a lunch, he offered us drinks (not alcohol obviously) and on top of this the bike was ready to go in 40 min. At the end when we preparing to leave and I tried to pay for the labour and for all his effort, he didn’t even want to hear about money. The only request what he had was, in the evening when we arrive to Budapest to drink a beer for him.
So, if you ever wanted to go on a trip, but you are scared bout the people what you will find, don’t be. People are amazing, the world is a much brighter place than we are led to believe.
P.S. If you ever find yourself somewhere close to Winden am See and you need a good mechanic, I will give you his website https://www.zweiradklinik.com/
Florin M Masca- Harley Davidson Sportster 883