Mondo Enduro is the heart-warming story of a group of seven friends who took on a mammoth round the world motorcycle trip back in 1995. All the protagonists chose Suzuki DR350’s, each personalised with their own ad-hoc luggage systems, some of which, it transpired, even proved suitable. The plan was for a record attempt (in a new class), to be the fastest round the world by the longest land route; crossing the recently collapsed USSR and then riding the length of both the Americas and Africa.
Luckily for us, the team decided (late in the planning) to film the challenge with an unlikely collection of equipment; a fairly new Hi8 camera, a very retro super 8 cine camera and an old school microphone.
Meeting the characters early on, we get a feel for just how the expedition will play, and fun is the main ingredient interwoven into all the proceeding 43,000 miles. I just loved the riding kit they all chose – proper black biking leathers, open faced lids and Union flag patches proudly sewn onto sleeves.
Austin Vince narrates most of the expedition, not just giving an entertaining running commentary of the various scrapes they get into but also background history of places of interest they pass through. His repartee has become legendary of course, but Mondo Enduro was created very early in the days of ‘Austin Vince film-maker’ and now joint curator of the Adventure Travel Film Festival.
Obviously with so many bikes to keep running and a self imposed need to chock up the miles, breakdowns, ‘offs’ and punctures all become part of a days riding for the team. Everything is tackled with the same stoical sense of humour, even the assault on eastern Siberia, almost twenty years before Ewan and Charlie.
The slightly low budget look to the DVD cover should not be considered a negative; in fact I rather liked the raw edge to the whole production. After all this was not a sponsored expedition but a group of friends saving, planning and making sacrifices in order to realise their dream in the days before GPS and the internet. Inside the case there is a handy map of the route with bullet points of interest, plus a great little information booklet that outlines the trip through witty text and accompanying photos.
For me the last few lines in the booklet sum up the spirit of the production – ‘Whoever you are, wherever you ride, wherever you go – you’ll make it and you’ll have the time of your life’.
£16.99 available here
Review by Clive Cook