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Old 02-14-2012, 09:23 AM   #1
ggemelos OP
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Planning a trip to India and the Himalayas

I was planning a trip to India, Nepal, and around the Himalayas. I am hoping to start the trip mid August and I am pretty open ended on the duration, I am tentatively planning to travel for a couple years and this is the opening act. Ideally I would like to buy a bike and ride around at my own pace. The only plan I had was to start off in Nepal at the tail end of the monsoon season to do some treking and then work my way down to India where I would probably spend 6 plus months traveling around before picking my next destination. I was interested in hitting up the stans, but I have not had a chance to look into them yet. I have done a lot of backpacking travel, although never in India, and I have done long motorcycle trips throughout the US and Canada. I figured I would try to combine the two on this outing.

Does anyone have any suggestions, advice, or pointers? I am particularly interested where to get the bike, I hear it is best to buy it in India? What kind of bikes I can expect to fine? Whether I should bring my own gear or just buy gear there? Does anyone have experience in the area and have suggestions on itinerary? Thanks in advanced for any help.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
wanderind
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You are going to India ...Big Welcome ! (though I live in the U.S)

First, the timing. Your idea of starting off in Nepal seems good. You might be better off starting your trip in late August or early September. By the time you finish Nepal, most India will have the perfect weather for riding. I would strongly recommend to buy a bike. Unless you are a fan of Royal Enfield, I would also suggest to stay away from it. You can get a new BAJAJ Pulsar 220 or the new KTM duke for about $2000. For about the same price, HERO sells a 150cc dualsport called Impulse - might be worth checking out. You will rarely do three-digit speeds (in kph) in India, so forget big power. For new vehicles, the manufacturer provides a set of free services, so you can forget maintenance for the 6 months you spend in India. For panniers, I believe you can think of getting them custom made in Delhi or some big city for cheap. Not sure how the registration works, but if you have a friend in India, you might be able to buy the bike in their name.

post if you have more questions...
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Old 04-06-2012, 10:14 PM   #3
Motobueno
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My wife and I rented Pulsar's last year in Delhi.Spent a month riding in the hills.A 220 and a 150.More than adequate for the roads . You can get them fixed anywhere! You can buy a bike and do a sell back at the end of your trip.ANYTHING is possible in India. ANYTHING!
PM me and I can share more with you.
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Old 04-07-2012, 08:13 AM   #4
Witold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ggemelos View Post
I am particularly interested where to get the bike, I hear it is best to buy it in India? What kind of bikes I can expect to fine? Whether I should bring my own gear or just buy gear there? Does anyone have experience in the area and have suggestions on itinerary? Thanks in advanced for any help.
You do realize there's like 10 threads on riding in India already? I would suggest you learn to use search feature before you go.

Indian bikes are good for India and for people on a very limited budgets. In India, shops know how to fix these bikes and have the parts. You're probably screwed when you leave India when your bike will inevitably break or need parts. Indian bikes break... usually break a lot if you take them on rough roads.

Paperwork for buying Indian bike that you can actually take outside the country and cross international borders with will be tricky. I'm pretty sure you can't even buy a new bike. I think you have to buy a used bike (with previous owner's registration papers) and have the previous owner write you a letter of no objection or something like that.

There is a tiny bit of gear in India. Most of it is junk compared to what you can get in the USA. If you want good quality, expect to pay more than in the USA and spend a lot of time running around trying to find it. If you ride in the US, presumably you already have gear. Just bring your current gear.

India is cheap, but not good value. Things are cheap there for a reason. Rarely did I think something was actually good value.

Personally, I loved Leh/Ladakh the most, enjoyed Kashmir as well. It's really beautiful there. (The stans are probably similar.) Rest of India is like a giant garbage dump - people either hate it or love it - primarily for the strangeness and chaos of it. Some people will enjoy looking at women laborers digging ditches as their infant kids play on the work site near all kinds of dangerous and sharp objects; others would rather skip it...
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Old 04-16-2012, 08:31 PM   #5
Aargee
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ggemelos - Welcome to our Country :)

This is a country where the law can be flexible for those with powers in Government & for people with Cash ; like Motobueno said, anything is possible!!!

I'm not sure if you have any plans on riding out or with respect to the number of days; if you want, may be we can lay out the plans for you. Regarding the route conditions & warnings, you don't have to worry & you really don't need GPS for all those (infact GPS shows incorrect data )

North of India is completely different from South; South is pretty calm & more safe place to ride. If you plan to rent a bike for more than a month or so, forget it!!! Better to buy a new one. You CAN do triple digit speeds on superb 6 laned National highway (watch out though) or enjoy the country side with state highways.

There're plenty of options available to buy a new bike; like Duke 200/Ninja 250R where there're only 13 service centers across the country; CBR 250R where you can find a service centers almost in every city, but the spares are rare though; or the Pulsar 220 that we affectionately call Pee220 or the good old school motorcycle Karizma or the modern day thumper Royal Enfield (better known as C5)

You can see some of my longer rides here apart from day tripping - http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=727815
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=781740
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=759554

July/Aug will be ideal to start with Leh/Ladakh & there're quite a few guys from our group (www.xBhp.com) making there this year during the same time frame.

A rough sketch would be to start from Delhi-Pathankot-Srinagar-Leh-Manali circuit; go visit Uttarkhand & then venture into Nepal & then make to Assam - Meghalaya & then keep coming down towards the South via Kolkatta - AP - Tamilnadu - Kerala - Karnataka - Goa - Maharashtra - Gujarat & then a must visit Rajasthan & then back to Delhi

Feel free to ask if you need anything more

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witold View Post
Indian bikes break... usually break a lot if you take them on rough roads
My dear friend, that's highly incorrect statement; With the changing times, we've a few international motorcycles like CBR 250R, Ninja 250R, Duke 200. I've done some of the longest endurance riding with my CBR, FYI, has done close to 20K Kms (12500 miles) in 10 months & the vehicle is still going strong.

More about India & riding to Himalayas here...
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=695479 - Take suggestions from tsk1979, he's very very experienced on taking his Tata Safari to mountains on drop of a hat
http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=741372

http://advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=731977

If you plan to import your own motorcycle, this is all you need - http://www.xbhp.com/talkies/superbik...ng-carnet.html

Aargee screwed with this post 04-16-2012 at 10:50 PM
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Old 04-18-2012, 11:39 AM   #6
Witold
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aargee View Post
My dear friend, that's highly incorrect statement; With the changing times, we've a few international motorcycles like CBR 250R, Ninja 250R, Duke 200. I've done some of the longest endurance riding with my CBR, FYI, has done close to 20K Kms (12500 miles) in 10 months & the vehicle is still going strong.
I stand by my statement.

CBR 250R, Ninja 250R, Duke 200 are not Indian bikes. They are foreign bikes that very recently became available for sale in India - at a price much, much higher than local alternatives.
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Old 04-19-2012, 11:04 PM   #7
Aargee
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^^^ You are entitled for your opinion with your short tenure but, I live in this country
So be it CBR 250R & Ninja 250R & KTM 200 are international motorcycles, but KTM is manufactured in Chakan plant, Pune, CBR 250R at Manesar, NCR & distributed to the world

If you talk about reliable Indian motorcycles...
- The UCE engine RE
- Yamaha R15
- Hero Honda Karizma
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Old 04-21-2012, 11:48 AM   #8
arn
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http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=755447

You may find this thread informative. Apart from Leh Ladakh, there is a lot to see, to do. You could spend a lifetime here and not see it all. Maybe if you could post an idea of what sort of places you want to see, I may be able to give a more focused reply.

Oh, BTW - The new improved UCE enfield has...crankshaft/main bearing failures, most other problems - reduced. Older Enfields ... pot luck. Lucky = just daily tightening and adjusting , unlucky = mechanic shops>places visited
Karizma - poor quality clutch springs, plates, expensive hard to get spares. (fix - Unicorn plates, a direct fit, thicker springs) otherwise good.
Pulsars - cheap, reliable, service EVERYWHERE.
CBR250R - slightly expensive, but bulletproof reliability, EFI, practically NO maintenance needed.
KTM200 - as above, but a couple of cases of wheel rim failure (and you will hit plenty of irregularities at speed)

arn screwed with this post 04-21-2012 at 12:07 PM Reason: bike info
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