delhi --> Kathmandu

Discussion in 'Asia' started by wlkn_mn, Jun 22, 2013.

  1. wlkn_mn

    wlkn_mn out riding

    Joined:
    May 2, 2008
    Oddometer:
    99
    Location:
    In the belly of the beast
    I'm making a long trip to Kathmandu at the end of the summer and am thinking about taking some extra days on the front end for a ride from Delhi to Kathmandu. I'll be in Nepal for a couple years and would like to buy a bike to ride around Nepal while I live there. I'm thinking of perhaps buying a bike in Delhi and riding it in, then keeping it for the time I'm in Nepal. I understand that it'd be ideal to buy a Nepal registered bike, but I don't plan to ride out of Nepal and India, and so it's my understanding that a Indian registered bike would work for my situation. I also understand that I may be able to pick up a Royal Enfield cheaper in India (not that I'm married to the idea of a R.E. - really any reliable steed that'll hold up to the long distance would suffice - but then again something is to be said for the classic big thumper's style and character). My riding will not be around Kathmandu proper - but rather spent escaping the city's madness for some back road putting around up into the surrounding mountain villages.

    Thoughts and suggestions??

    FYI- I have about 20yrs riding experience with some good long trips under my belt. Never been riding in India nor Nepal, however. I'm a wrench and can take care of an old steed on the road...
    #1
  2. sarathmenon

    sarathmenon Armchair Adventurer

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,067
    Location:
    SFO Bay Area
    Quality with RE is a crap shoot. The older REs are notorious, but ridiculously easy to maintain if you are mechanically inclined. The newer ones have EFI, and Japanese FI and all the jazz, but if you're screwed, you are screwed big time since none of that is typically field repairable. Other than that, they are fun bikes, and have plenty of horsepower for Indian and Nepal roads, and have a nice exhaust.

    If you're buying used, you should be able to snag it for cheap, through prices for REs have gone up significantly. If you are prepared to wait, my suggestion is to get a KTM duke 390 for roughly the same amount of dough. Fun bike and plenty of power from the looks of it. Made by Bajaj, so the quality should be better than those from Austria :hide If buying new isn't what you had in mind, another option readily available would be the Hero Honda ZMR, which is a very decent, slightly underpowered tourer. You're not going to do above 100 km/h on Indian or Nepal roads, and 200cc should be plenty for the trip.

    If you're riding through into Nepal, the cops shouldn't pester you at all. To register with Nepal plates, it's a 100% or so import duty, which is pretty steep. It maybe different when an Indian crosses into Nepal for a short trip vs someone white looking for a longer term visit into Nepal, so I can't comment on how well that might work for you. In either case, good luck - you're about to embark on a trip of your lifetime!
    #2
  3. zachbrowning

    zachbrowning Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    der Schweiz
    Look into the Hero Impulse.

    http://www.motorbeam.com/bikes/hero-impulse/2012-hero-impulse-test-ride-review/

    http://www.heromotocorp.com/en-in/impulse#

    First "dual sport" bike in India. It's only 150cc, but I found it to be plenty of power most of the time. It struggled a bit at higher elevations, but mine was a rental and had been flogged. Pretty sure that one in decent shape, and maybe with some work done to the airbox so it can breathe better, would be fine at altitude. Some dudes from the Indian Army rode Impulses to over 6000m. Also, if you are looking at buying new, they now have a 5-year/70,000km warranty, which is definitely a first for Indian bikes.
    #3
  4. zachbrowning

    zachbrowning Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011
    Oddometer:
    91
    Location:
    der Schweiz
    Oh yeah, as far as places to ride between Delhi and Nepal, make sure to check out the Kumaon region of Uttarakhand. Beautiful views of the mountains and really nice motorcycle roads. Nainital is a bit hectic, but most of the rest of the area is quite mellow. The Ramganga river has to be the cleanest water I've seen in India, go for a swim!
    #4