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Old 05-23-2012, 04:26 PM   #1
alkirk89 OP
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India / Himilaya Tour

Hey All,

First post on adv, have been reading alot over the last few days though! Some of the trips look truly amazing.

An Irish mate of mine & I (sounds like a bad joke...and australian and an irishman get on their motorbikes...)are planning on doing a trip up in NW India, starting from delhi and finishing in Leh, aiming for a JULY 2013 depature. We've both got a fair amount of experience back here in Australia, cant imagine the roads will be similar though!

We've decided to go with a 'guided' tour group, purely for the fact this is our first proper bike trip, and we'd rather just sit back and enjoy the ride, instead of worrying about accom etc. I understand that this probably isnt what a lot of people on this forum will do, but it seems to be the best way for us to do this now. Once this trip is done, we both plan on doing bigger and more indpendant trips.

What would be really helpful is your comments on the route provided by this company/ the company itself/comments on weather & any general tips - anything!! I'm really enjoying reading all the current threads about this region, and will continue to do so.

This is the tour:
http://indianmotorcycletours.com/iti...urs-india.html

The route:
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:35 AM   #2
jumbee
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just for you'r information,
do you know what is 1600 pound (or euro?) for an Indian 20 day tour?
a complete rip off!

india is so cheap, people get there some 800 rupees per month of work (and even less) for 1600 euro (or around 112,000 rupees) you can basically buy a new royal enfield (the casual indian bike) and travel around 20 days with it including fuel, sleep and food!

so this is india on the other hand, tourists which are unfamiliar with the prices there are paying tons of it to greedy local tourist organizers, it is always recommended not to go to these agencies as you can do a lot on you'r own with much less money.

that's one thing,

the other is that the road to leh is not a road which a beginner rider should ride at (at least that how it was ~10 years ago), and especially not to the side valleys (as to 10 years ago again),
2nd, i wouldn't go with anyone on that road as a passenger (though the one to leh is far better than the one to Srinagar (from leh))
3rd, if you still want to do it, i'd argue the price, though if you don't mind paying so much, then just go for it and you'd have a great trip.

4th, why don't you and you'r friend, buy a motorcycle at home, ride it for a year or so (you have a lot of time till you go),
experience the ride, then after such a long period you could definitely do this trip (a friend did it on an Enfield he bought few month's earlier - first bike ever),
there are places to sleep and eat on the way, it's no issue, many stops for the trucks which goes there and tourists, no need to worry about that, also in the valleys around there should be no issue with sleeping/eating, you are not the first tourists in that region...

good luck!
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Old 05-25-2012, 10:23 PM   #3
arn
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The EFI RE500 costs close to 150,000, not 115000
The trip includes airfare, which in July cannot be less than 6-7000 INR, and may go up to as much as 15000.
It also includes fuel, attendant mechanics and spares, and back up vehicle (do check out the rental for vehicles in that area for 2 weeks!), as well as the cost of transporting all the vehicles back after a one way journey.

Considering all that + obviously accommodation and 2 meals a day + services of a "babysitter" (tour guide :P), it may not be dirt cheap, but is far from exorbitant.

PS: I've nothing to do with this tour group, don't know about their services and have not met the operators online or offline.
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Old 05-26-2012, 06:46 AM   #4
jumbee
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Originally Posted by arn View Post
The EFI RE500 costs close to 150,000, not 115000
The trip includes airfare, which in July cannot be less than 6-7000 INR, and may go up to as much as 15000.
It also includes fuel, attendant mechanics and spares, and back up vehicle (do check out the rental for vehicles in that area for 2 weeks!), as well as the cost of transporting all the vehicles back after a one way journey.

Considering all that + obviously accommodation and 2 meals a day + services of a "babysitter" (tour guide :P), it may not be dirt cheap, but is far from exorbitant.

PS: I've nothing to do with this tour group, don't know about their services and have not met the operators online or offline.
the bullet 350 (fairly enough for a single driver) costs between 90k-100k rupees http://www.infibeam.com/bikes/make/royalenfield.html
for an example, a friend trip to Italy with girlfiriend, including 2 way flights, week on a car - 2K km, hotels, fuel and food,
for ~2000$ and this is Italy, for one, 2 weeks would be ~2000$ (including flights) and this is Europe, not India...
they charge here 2000$ per passenger, seems way too high,

not here to argue alkirk's money of course that is his own issue, just trying to show him other perspective if might,
yet for India it seems terribly high,
115K INR or 108K after flights for a 3 week bike trip is tons of money for India,

lets say just for the example:

3 meals a day, 150INR for a meal * 21 days ~9500 lets say 10000 rupees,
1 day hire enfield - exaggerated 1000 rupees - 21000 rupees,
guide 1 day 150 rupees (high salary) - 3150 - " -
flight back - 13000 - " -
car with spares, mechanic, food etc. exaggerated 10000 rupees
hotels 500INR per night (nice hotel in India) - 11000
lets not forget this is for 1 person, if another comes then they earn much more...

we get ~65000 rupees exaggerated price, maybe there are more issues but it seems that the basic is here),
if they earn so much per one passenger, for the second one they will earn much more.


maybe i'm wrong but from my pov, they can do it easily in half the price.

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Old 05-26-2012, 12:52 PM   #5
arn
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Originally Posted by jumbee View Post
the bullet 350 (fairly enough for a single driver) costs between 90k-100k rupees http://www.infibeam.com/bikes/make/royalenfield.html

The bike mentioned is a 500EFI, and these cost a lot more. The cost above is more than 110000 anyways.
for an example, a friend trip to Italy with girlfiriend, including 2 way flights, week on a car - 2K km, hotels, fuel and food,
for ~2000$ and this is Italy, for one, 2 weeks would be ~2000$ (including flights) and this is Europe, not India...
they charge here 2000$ per passenger, seems way too high,

not here to argue alkirk's money of course that is his own issue, just trying to show him other perspective if might,
yet for India it seems terribly high,
115K INR or 108K after flights for a 3 week bike trip is tons of money for India,

lets say just for the example:

3 meals a day, 150INR for a meal * 21 days ~9500 lets say 10000 rupees,
Fair enough, for breakfast, but if it is a good hotel it can be thrice as much per head/meal. You and I may eat at a roadside "dhaba" which may or may not even cost Rs 150, but a tour operator is unlikely to arrange dinners there.
1 day hire enfield - exaggerated 1000 rupees - 21000 rupees,
For a 500EFI, it's minimum 1500, 2000 at times too
guide 1 day 150 rupees (high salary) - 3150 - " -
At that price, it's unlikely he'll speak English, and you are scraping the bottom of the barrel. Anybody with some standard - not less than twice as much.
flight back - 13000 - " -
car with spares, mechanic, food etc. exaggerated 10000 rupees
In the Himalayas, it's a LOT dearer than most places in India. No mechanic will be available for less than 7 -8000 for starters, and a car, if hired for three weeks (a MUV) will not be anything less than 1200/day, and probably double that under certain conditions
hotels 500INR per night (nice hotel in India) - 11000
Again, in touristy places, you will find decent places at 500/day, but many such places will not have hot water/power backup or basic mod cons. In a place like Manali, or Leh a room with all this may be nearer 1000, and in Rajasthan, even more than that. A tour operator has to choose a place with a decent restaurant, and having more than just skeletal staff - these places typically cost more .
lets not forget this is for 1 person, if another comes then they earn much more...

we get ~65000 rupees exaggerated price, maybe there are more issues but it seems that the basic is here),
if they earn so much per one passenger, for the second one they will earn much more.

Personally, I think that it costs rather more if you are looking at a certain standard of service, and there are other expenses too with regards to logistics. For example just shipping the bikes back from Leh will not cost less than 4000/bike, that too if a full truck is hired for the same. In addition, one has to cater for emergencies. For example, if the car/van has an accident and has to be towed to Manali from say, Jispa, you are looking at a bill of over Rs 20000 probably a lot more.

Besides, any tour is run to make some profit for the planning involved. It's not charity. There is a big difference between taking a hefty brokerage to forward a customer elsewhere and making the customer happy with your service.



maybe i'm wrong but from my pov, they can do it easily in half the price.
You and I can easily do the trip at less than what you have estimated because we can eat very nutritious, tasty and safe Rs100 meals at roadside eateries, do not need guides (mostly, except while sightseeing) or backup vehicles, mechanics and assorted servants, but when one wants to do a no headache, no planning required trip with everything being taken care of, it's not unreasonable to expect to pay a premium in lieu of all the hard work and time saved.
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:21 PM   #6
jumbee
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o.k, the earlier info and estimation comes from a tour in India (north too) ~10 years ago, maybe the prices went up, but what you'r saying, such as 20k for an ~100km? tow seems totally out of proportion, or either India has become much more expensive in the last years or rather people got terribly greedy!
food at dhaba's back then was ~50 rupees per meal with a drink (or even less 20-25 rupees for food and another 5-10 for the juice),
out of curiosity where do you get these prices?
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Old 05-26-2012, 03:06 PM   #7
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http://advrider.com/forums/showthrea...rjeet&page=193

This will give you some idea
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:40 AM   #8
arn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jumbee View Post
o.k, the earlier info and estimation comes from a tour in India (north too) ~10 years ago, maybe the prices went up, but what you'r saying, such as 20k for an ~100km? tow seems totally out of proportion, or either India has become much more expensive in the last years or rather people got terribly greedy!
food at dhaba's back then was ~50 rupees per meal with a drink (or even less 20-25 rupees for food and another 5-10 for the juice),
out of curiosity where do you get these prices?
I get these prices because I ride :). 25K km last calendar year, of which no more than 7K km would be my commute.

As regards the tow, the truck is in Manali, and the charge is for the round trip (AFAIK, it was 26K, not 20, to do the 260 odd km round trip). For almost 120km of hill offroading included in that, I'm not sure it's unreasonable as wear and tear is much higher than normal. How much does a 250km tow (over hills having 120km of poor or marginal road) cost where you stay?

I don't know where you got your Rs 5 juice even back then, unless it was roadside lime water. Today a meal at a dhaba (just rice, lentils and vegetables) including soft drinks will set you back around 100. A half litre soft drink (actually, 600ml) - anywhere between 25 and 30, depending on how far you are form the nearest town. Non veg -, be prepared to add Rs 50 to that budget. And this is not "hotel" fare.

Due to some remarkably incompetent "governance" there has been galloping inflation over the last few years.
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:26 AM   #9
jumbee
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the 5 (or 10) rupees per drink was the price of maaza bottle or other drinks back then.
chai was 1-2 rupees, at workers restaurants you could get a dal plate for 10 rupees or so, it was very cheap,
over here such a tow would cost probably around 100000-200000 rupees,
the fuel back then was 25~ rupees per liter and enfield in the 2nd hand tourist market was around 500$.
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:37 AM   #10
arn
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That explains it.

Fuel is now @80/ litre.

Chai - cutting (1/2 cup) = 4-5, full glass = 8-10

dal = workers footpath stall, maybe 20 (rice plate), dal fry at a dhaba 25 -30, hotel = 30 up

Old enfield = still $500, new EFI = 160000 ($1500)


Prices HAVE gone up. Better up your budget if you come here again :)
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Old 05-27-2012, 07:08 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by arn View Post
That explains it.

Fuel is now @80/ litre.

Chai - cutting (1/2 cup) = 4-5, full glass = 8-10

dal = workers footpath stall, maybe 20 (rice plate), dal fry at a dhaba 25 -30, hotel = 30 up

Old enfield = still $500, new EFI = 160000 ($1500)


Prices HAVE gone up. Better up your budget if you come here again :)
Enfield for 500$$ ?? 500$= 25000 rs.

Are you kidding... I don't think any one can get a working bullet for less then 50000 rs which equals to 1000 $$

For lesser then that you will get a peice of junk that may leave you on the highest roads of the world with a 180 kg paperweight

And 160000 rs means 3200 $$ not 1500 $... recheck your maths bro ;) :)




PS : I rounded the rupee doller exchange price at 50 rs = 1 $ though at present its 56 rs = 1 $ but that would change come down soon enough


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Old 05-27-2012, 07:32 AM   #12
jumbee
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Originally Posted by lovish View Post
Enfield for 500$$ ?? 500$= 25000 rs.

Are you kidding... I don't think any one can get a working bullet for less then 50000 rs which equals to 1000 $$

For lesser then that you will get a peice of junk that may leave you on the highest roads of the world with a 180 kg paperweight

And 160000 rs means 3200 $$ not 1500 $... recheck your maths bro ;) :)




PS : I rounded the rupee doller exchange price at 50 rs = 1 $ though at present its 56 rs = 1 $ but that would change come down soon enough


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no kidding at all,
500$ for an Enfiled at Goa flee market, went 7000Km with 1 clutch switch and rear work (outside of the rear bearings cover got ruined a bit, a road mechanic placed a piece of a soda can to fit in where it was shaking - 20 rupees) the bike went 5000 Km approximately afterwards before it was sold at 450$ to a guy in Delhi... :).

still arn, hotels at the north (a cabin was around 50-100 rupees or so at the small villages, you could find 150 in Manali)
never heard of 30 rupees, Enfield at the earlier link was ~87,900 - 97,800, the 500 version goes there for ~116,000...
there is no need apart from that for a 500 on the north ways, maybe on the hi ways,
2 can go on a 350 as well, the recommendation for the 350 was for a single person trip anyhow if the guys would consider it.

must say, India was a instant connection, felt like a home, really liked it from almost every aspect, or maybe even from every aspect, even though the trip wasn't always cheerful,
people there simply understand things differently, either you connect or either you don't,
very special place, sad it got expensive.
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Old 05-27-2012, 01:28 PM   #13
arn
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Yes, it's got "expensive" if that's the word for a $10 hotel room. Most cost more.

Rs 150 and 200 rooms are still let out by villagers and my personal experience at one such place was extremely good (300 for all 3 meals + stay 3 years back), it's not a good idea to plan as such. And no tour guide operator would plan for such a place, either.


@lovish: you da math whiz dude! $3000 it is.
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Old 05-27-2012, 02:18 PM   #14
jumbee
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Originally Posted by arn View Post
Yes, it's got "expensive" if that's the word for a $10 hotel room. Most cost more.

Rs 150 and 200 rooms are still let out by villagers and my personal experience at one such place was extremely good (300 for all 3 meals + stay 3 years back), it's not a good idea to plan as such. And no tour guide operator would plan for such a place, either.


@lovish: you da math whiz dude! $3000 it is.
yes, 10$ can get expensive when you have some 5000$ for an entire year trip,
no need to get arrogant, some of us do not live in india and can jump on a bike for a month or few weeks tour in the north then come back :P.

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Old 05-31-2012, 05:49 PM   #15
alkirk89 OP
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Thanks for your responses, just to clarify though:

Price: Yep, we are aware of it, in AUD its about 2400. For a 3 week trip, by our standards, this is dirt cheap. You can spend nearly half this on a long weekend in syd/melb by the time you factor in flights/food/accom/activities.

Passenger: We are definitley NOT doing this as rider+pillion. 1 bike each.

Experience: We currently have bikes & our motorbike licenses, with a couple years experience each.

Overall, i think you guys have confirmed what we already knew - it would be cheaper to do it ourselves, without a babysitter :-P . That said, we are happy to pay extra so we can enjoy the adventure.

Really appreciate all your feedback, imagine we will be booking it soon!

Also, whats everyones opinion on the weather at this time of year? Ive done some reseearch and it seems its just coming into monsoon in the north around when we want to go (early July)?
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