Those among us who like to stud their motorcycle tires have been riding across frozen lakes since motorcycles have existed. Sometimes it’s for fun, and sometimes it’s because you need to get somewhere—but in any case, snowy, icy wonderlands are a completely different riding experience than anything else. Royal Enfield recently teamed up with Vintage Rides to bring us this amazing short film of a Bullet sidecar trip across frozen Lake Khövsgöl in Mongolia.
Even on three wheels, this clearly isn’t a journey for the faint of heart. These riders took their trusty sidecar rigs to meet with the Dukha tribe of Mongolian reindeer herders and accompany them for part of their journey. It’s an experience few of us will ever have, but seeing this footage is nothing short of breathtaking.
We’re sure that riding it was probably pretty breathtaking as well, in a literal sense—it’s the kind of cold that makes icicles form in your eyelashes, and makes the simple act of breathing feel unexpectedly crunchy. Could you do this in another sidecar rig built closer to the area? Sure, you could. How would the two fare in a head-to-head battle? Perhaps that’s something for another filmmaker to document in another short film in the future.
It’s not clear from the video precisely when the team visited, but January is typically the coldest time of year, and spring starts to warm Mongolia’s people, lands, animals, and crops in March. Maybe if the crew goes back when it’s warmer, they’ll break out the Himalayans next time, with or without sidecars.
In any case, there’s something incredibly special about this type of journey, which is probably why short films like this are always so fascinating and inspiring to see. It’s a good reminder that even in the coldest depths of winter, there’s plenty of joy and adventure to be had if you make the effort.