Places to buy riding gear in Delhi

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by Yamahuh, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    64
    Hi all - it’s almost 2012 and my friend and I are getting in the ‘trip planning mode’.
    we will be in Delhi in September to start a three week trip up into the mountains. We need decent gear and helmets and were thinking it may be easier to buy them there than pack and carry them. Does anyone have any good suggestions for places we can buy insulated, armoured Textile jackets with zip out liners and street or motocross helmets? What are the prices like compared to U.K or US prices?? I've been looking on E-Bay and there are some good products there but shipping to Taiwan (where i am currently) almost doubles the cost and I cannot find anything locally to purchase that is a reasonable price.

    I’ve read a lot of talk about the Karol Bagh area being the bike area of the city and assume that means there will be plenty of gear stores too but can anyone confirm this? What kind of prices could we expect to pay for a jacket like the one I described?


    Also - One thing that concerns me is the accommodations when we get high up into the mountains – we don’t require luxury or anything but are there basic places available for a reasonable price – do we need to bring a tent?? Camping at altitude would require a lot more equipment and gear than we are planning on bringing right now.

    Finally - my Canadian International Driver's License has been expired for years - the only way to renew it is to fly home and do it in person = not happening. I have my proper Canadian license and may have a Taiwanese license by the tiem we do the trip but will no Int'l license be a serious problem when trying to rent bikes?

    Thanks.
    #1
  2. Spuds

    Spuds On my way home

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    516
    Location:
    SoKal
    When you say "up in the mountains" you need to be a little more specific so some advice can be given about accommodations. If you are speaking about the Kashmir region there are places to stay even in the smallest villages....My experience with that area is 10 years old so someone else may want to chime in.

    As for gear I would bring my own if you care about quality or fit. I took this photo about 6 months ago and is an example of what is available there. [​IMG]
    #2
  3. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    64
    Yeah sorry about the lack of info - my bad - the routes we are considering are below:

    #1 Shimla - Leh - Manali

    Delhi to Shimla
    Shimla to Narkanda
    Narkanda to Manali
    Manali to Jispa
    Jispa to Sarchu
    Sarchu to Tso Moriri Lake
    Tso Moriri Lake to Leh
    Leh to Nubra Valley (inc Kardung La)
    Nubra to Hemis
    Hemis to Sarchu
    Sarchu to Manali (inc Rohtang Pass)

    #2 Shimla - Spiti - Leh

    Delhi to Shimla
    Shimla to Narkanda
    Narkanda to Sangla
    Sangla to Kalpa (inc Chitkul)
    Kalpa to Nako
    Nako to Kaza (inc Tabo)
    Kaza to Keylong (inc Kunzum-La)
    Keylong to Sarchu
    Sarchu to Tso Moriri Lake (inc Lachlung La)
    Tso Moriri Lake to Leh
    Leh to Kardhung La to Leh

    As for the pics of gear you posted - seems pretty comparable to the helmets I can get in Taiwan - but how much would it cost to buy a lid like that and how about jackets? Are they generally available all over the city or only in certain areas like Karol Bagh?

    Thanks for the help,
    Yam
    #3
  4. Aargee

    Aargee Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2011
    Oddometer:
    194
    Location:
    Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India
    Delhi, I don't think you get any international models nor I'm aware of their genuineness; You can get it shipped from Performance Racing Store Mumbai or PlanetDSG Pune or Bachoo Motorcycle Company Mumbai or Cramster Bangalore.
    #4
  5. koh kood

    koh kood Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    141
    Location:
    Koh Kood, Thailand
  6. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    64
    So - it looks like I'd be better off buying something before I arrive or getting something shipped from home??

    Don't really wnat to be buggering around trying to order jackets and pants - getting them delivered here to Taiwan or to a store close to where we will be staying - hoping they fit etc, etc - might as well just get somethign off of E-Bay or get my gear from Canada shipped to Taiwan...

    Any info on accomodations or the International Drivers License questions I asked in my first post??

    Thanks guys

    Yam
    #6
  7. koh kood

    koh kood Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2011
    Oddometer:
    141
    Location:
    Koh Kood, Thailand
    It looks like 2 stores in New Delhi carry Cramster stuff. Prices and selection look good to me.
    ADVENTURE-18
    #18, Satya Niketan,
    Opp Venkateshwara College,
    New Delhi - 110021.
    Ph: 011-32970400/26878888


    Meandering India
    D 4/B, Masoodpur,
    Opp Sec B, Pocket 8, Gate No. 2,
    Main Road, Vasant Kunj,
    New Delhi– 110070
    +91-9810168402

    Can't help you on the international driver's license. Maybe check the CAA equivalent in Taiwan, or who ever issues them there? CAA issues the international driver's licenses in Canada.
    #7
  8. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    64
    Great info!!

    Thanks for posting up the details - I'll definitely try and check them out.
    #8
  9. Spuds

    Spuds On my way home

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2007
    Oddometer:
    516
    Location:
    SoKal
    I once got an International Drivers licenses. I took two photographs of myself and a $10 bill to AAA, also known as The Automobile Club of America. AAA checked my current licenses, took my money and then stapled my photo to a piece of paper that listed many countries that I could now drive in. It was worthless. I've rented motorcycles in many places of the world ( check my profile for a list ) and I have never been asked for an international drivers licenses or any drivers licenses. If I would have shown my international licenses to someone they probably couldn't have read it anyway as it is all in English.

    Your mileage may vary.
    #9
  10. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    64
    OK - Good to know.
    I'm definitely hoping it won't be an issue but I have seen on a couple of rental sites that they want them ...
    #10
  11. arn

    arn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    368
    Location:
    Traffic jam capital of the world, Mumbai
    Does anyone have any good suggestions for places we can buy insulated, armoured Textile jackets with zip out liners and street or motocross helmets? What are the prices like compared to U.K or US prices?? I've been looking on E-Bay and there are some good products there but shipping to Taiwan (where i am currently) almost doubles the cost and I cannot find anything locally to purchase that is a reasonable price.

    Yes, you can get internationally branded items as well, but their cost would be full retail price in USA + a 20-30% markup. Not much of a range either, but stuff where you will not have much of a fault with quality. Apart from Karol Bagh, you could go to KRP, who stock quality items including jackets, helmets (brands such as HJC and Daijya) and other gear. Locally available brands can start from as little as INR 3000, but many will be "water resistant", not waterproof.

    I’ve read a lot of talk about the Karol Bagh area being the bike area of the city and assume that means there will be plenty of gear stores too but can anyone confirm this? What kind of prices could we expect to pay for a jacket like the one I described?


    Yes there will be stores selling gear too, but do you really want to spend a couple of days of your precious vacation shopping for gear?:D



    Also - One thing that concerns me is the accommodations when we get high up into the mountains – we don’t require luxury or anything but are there basic places available for a reasonable price – do we need to bring a tent?? Camping at altitude would require a lot more equipment and gear than we are planning on bringing right now.

    Don't even dream of it. You'll get accommodation without any issues for practically any budget, ditto with food. Some of the accommodation, for example at Sarchu can be pretty basic, but else where, you should get fairly clean ahotels without much issue. Besides, these places will supply blankets as well, so you do not need to bring bulky sleeping bags, other camping paraphernelia either

    Finally - my Canadian International Driver's License has been expired for years - the only way to renew it is to fly home and do it in person = not happening. I have my proper Canadian license and may have a Taiwanese license by the tiem we do the trip but will no Int'l license be a serious problem when trying to rent bikes?

    Renting bikes, this is not likely to be a problem. However, if some official wants to harass you.... maybe once you get the Taiwanese licence, you could get an intl licence based on that?


    There is a very good site called BCMTouring which has a lot of members from North India and focuses on travel in the Himalayas - it's a resource you may want to go through.
    #11
  12. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    64
    Hey - thanks for your very informative reply - great info.
    I've actually been posting upon BCMT since I posted here - stumbled across it following links - and it's another great resource. Regarding the Intl Driver's License - it turns out I can mail in my application after all so I'll definitley be getting that taken care of before arriving.
    #12
  13. arn

    arn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    368
    Location:
    Traffic jam capital of the world, Mumbai
    Regarding booking bikes, you could take a quote from Indiabikes.com - they are very expensive when booked at the last moment, but can be cheap if booked well in advance. I believe they have a good range including Pulsar220s, Avengers, and I think even CBR250R, apart from the usual Enfields. No harm in asking rates. While they are based in Mumbai, I think they will also let you start/ finish in other cities.
    #13
  14. Bellinghamandegg

    Bellinghamandegg Bellinghamandegg

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Oddometer:
    7
    Location:
    Bellingham WA
    .....
    #14
  15. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    64
    OK - Very good to know - I've been looking at BullettWallas website and their rates seem reasonable (Rs 600 a day for up to 21 days) - anyone have any experience dealing with them??
    #15
  16. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    661
    You have a very limited amount of time. Don't waste it running around town looking for gear. What you find in Delhi will be terribly overpriced or very low quality or won't fit you or offers questionable amount of protection.

    You should prep and get all your gear before the trip. If it's exclusively a bike trip, you probably don't want to have any more stuff than you can put in your luggage as that is more than you will be able to carry on your bike anyway.

    Are you a rider? Do you not have gear already? I'm confused. :huh

    There are several blocks of motorcycle dealers, renters, and shops in Karol Bagh.

    They all pretty much sell the same junk. When I looked for a tank bag, all of the 15 places I found offered the exact same crappy one I didn't want and getting something else would be more involved - it's that way with everything in Karol Bagh. Either every store has it, or none of them will. Most of the stuff you find there is quite frankly, junk. (with very few exceptions)

    I did not see even one piece of Cramster stuff in Karol Bagh and it seemed like a pain to get it via those shops. Later in my trip I did see riders with Cramster stuff and they were happy and the stuff looked good. What you could do is tell the rental place to get items X, Y, and Z for you for X price and get them to somehow guarantee that they will have it ready for you (small Indian businesses basically suck in terms of promises vs delivery issues - they generally over-promise and once money is paid, they under-deliver or not deliver at all.)

    Accommodations are available everywhere. However, you need to know where you are going as sometimes accommodations are far apart. For example, if you got to Tso Moriri lake, you know you can get accommodations at the lake, but until then - a good day's ride - accommodations will be scarce. (Same with Srinigar-Leh road)

    The easy and best answer is that you should be able to get a real license in half a year's time that you have to plan your trip. Then get IDP and you're set.

    That said, if you are doing the standard loops, the chances of you getting randomly pulled over are slim to none. The only security out there is border security where you will need to get permits and show your passport. If you haven't taken care of this stuff in half a year, then I would at least carry some official looking documents with official letterheads and official looking stamps that can look like a substitute for IDP.

    Ultimately, these sorts of things are never a problem until an accident with a local at which point it could all escalate into a potentially huge problem.
    #16
  17. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    64
    Yes, I am a rider and have been for over 30 years - unfortunately all my good gear is in Canada and I am in Taiwan where the only stuff available sounds very similar to what is available in Delhi - hideously overpriced 'name brands' like Dainese and Alpinestar or absolute junk...

    re: the Int'l Drivers Lic - found out that i can mail in my info and they will send it here for about $38 total so that will be getting done in the next week or so once the Christmas holidays are over.

    BTW - I was looking around on E-Bay and followed a couple of links to this place - it seems to have pretty good gear and outstanding prices!! Anybody ever dealt with them or bought one of their jackets off E-Bay?

    http://himalayaleather.com/products.php?cat=29
    #17
  18. Witold

    Witold Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    Oddometer:
    661
    Also, I purchases my bike and therefore I am not sure about absolutely having a driver's license to rent.

    Also, you need to be very careful with ALL Karol Bagh businesses (and all tourist businesses in India). Their business ethics suck. Aside from overpricing, they will almost always over-promise and under-deliver. You need to be super-super clear on what you are requesting and do your best to never prepay or give advances that leave you stuck with what they finally give you. Make sure that you have bargaining cards in your arsenal at all times - you will need them over and over again in India. That said, they are not horrible or anything, but I would not take much stock in any recommendation.

    Lastly, the Bullets most of these guys rent out are antique pieces of junk that fall apart quickly and frequently. If you have lots of spares and decent mechanical skills and won't venture too far off the beaten path, this probably won't be a huge problem. But I have seen tons of these things stranded - sometimes ending that rider's trip. If I were to do North India again on a budget, I would rent a Pulsar 220 and have good tires put on. (Siroc) That is the best budget bike to do North India - dirt cheap, and pretty good performance. You should be able to get this bike for 600/day for 3 weeks rental.
    #18
  19. Yamahuh

    Yamahuh Adventurer

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    64
    Good advice Witold - We'll bare it in mind, although the idea of doing India on an Enfield still has pretty high appeal. BulletWallas seems to have been bought by a couple of Kiwis so I don't know if their rental bikes are any better than they were but they seem to have a pretty good rep from what I've read ..
    #19
  20. arn

    arn Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Oddometer:
    368
    Location:
    Traffic jam capital of the world, Mumbai
    We have some of the deadliest traffic in the world if you are not used to it (or good at recognizing impending disaster early enough). Sure, you can still handle it with a slow, sluggishly accelerating bike with 2' of rear suspension travel (plus I guess another couple of inches of frame flex) and mediocre handling, which has all the potential to hijack your itinerary from that originally planned by you to one hopping from mechanic to mechanic, with all the potential to visit more garages than the places you originally intended to see.

    Sure, not all Enfields are like that but ENOUGH are. Why not reduce the "unplanned adventure" element to a bare mininum, considering your limited time. The Pulsar 220s and Karizmas will get you to your destination with little fuss, and on reasonable roads, at an average 20kph faster, leaving you more time to explore places instead of garages where your steed demands attention.

    While there are enough posters here who claim to have "enjoyed" the adventures thrust upon them by the Enfields and seen unplanned places (garages) and met "interesting people" (basically, lots of mechanics) you might actually want to see the rest of India instead.:wink:
    #20