Renting and Riding Enfields in India 2011 ... General Observations

Discussion in 'Asia Pacific' started by Bellinghamandegg, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. vulupe

    vulupe n00b

    Feb 4, 2015
    Cluj Napoca, Romania
    We have nearly met - we've been in November and December 2014. I have found your chasingsouth blog while researching for a bike rental for India and it was a great helping hand :D. We have covered roughly the same route as you did but the other way around: took the bike by train from New Delhi to Trivandrum and than traveled all the way back to New Delhi. We've had some really crazy 45 days but all in all I'll do it again in a hear-beat :D.
    So, I'm glad I managed to surprise you - it's well deserved since I've picked up quite some good tips from your blog ;). I'm waiting to read about the north part, which is also in the planning for us as well :D.
  2. werewasi

    werewasi Been here awhile

    May 28, 2009
    Lismore NSW. Orrrstrayleeya
    I don't want to ride an Enfield, although i do appreciate that they may be very robust and lots of guys can fix them . I'm just over all that old Brit stuff and never want to have to go near it again.
    There's a company (Bikehire Manali) which says it has Bajaj 220s for rental
    and although it would have less HP, I'd rather have the engine and lightness.

    Biggest worry would be if it karked it somewhere along the 23 day ride i want to do (say 2000kms)

    Has anyone had experience of one of these Bajajs or wants to give an opinion
    on bike choices.
  3. 1hp

    1hp Adventurer

    Dec 10, 2014
    New Delhi, Indi-yeah!
    What the OP described was one of the most accurate versions/impressions I have read on this forum. One thing I would add is that the extra (undue?) attention one gets on the road is not restricted to foreigners. Here's a picture of my bike. And I can assure you I look as Indian as anyone could. The attention was more to the fact that I rode an unfamiliar bike (Triumph Bonneville) and wore riding gear. However, it has been harmless even if unwanted.

    Public - Copy.JPG


    Bajaj (the co. that manufactures Pulsar 220) has a very wide network of service center across India. It is a basic engineered machine and you will find a lot of mechanics well versed to repair them. If you don't want to ride an enfield this is a good option. A lot of people I know have done Ladakh on this motorcycle.

    The enfields you get today for rent are unfortunately 5-20 year old machines and completely unrealiable. I would avoid them. The new EFI models are relatively better put together if you do really want to go the Royal Enfield way. However, the Bajaj Pulsar, Honda CBRs et all are much more reliable.

  4. octopusenvy

    octopusenvy gravel grommit

    Aug 29, 2012
    Aotearoa, Te Hiku o Te Ika
    Gday from better-than-ozzie-riding New Zealand mate. :rofl

    Just wondering when you are planning your Himalaya trip and for how long? A mate of mine and I are aiming to go this August (arriving late July, finishing early Sept) and neither want an Enfield! The Pulsar 220 isn't much more likeable...but we did see the Hero Impulse which is an ENDURO DESIGNED bike with a very common EFI hero engine powerplant. Only thing is its 150cc. That said, we are not planning on going crazy speeds, and form/function is more important than speed in the Himalayas.

    So I've been twice to India (spent 5months once in the north alone) and my mate is a Sikh from Singapore, so we should do well sorting things out. Both of us have ridden overseas b4 and he's a riot to ride with. If you happen to be planning the same time, we're looking for another ride buddy or two. The plan is Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh (Leh & Khardung La of course, but also others), Nepal and possibly Bhutan*. One option has us train east and ride there first, then return to the Indian Himalaya. The other has us head straight from Delhi to Amritsar and Kashmir/Ladakh/Himachal then to Nepal etc and train back.

    Bhutan is iffy, just because its 200USD a day to ride there. If at all, I'd check out Thimpu and Paro but undecided as of yet. Arunachal Pradesh (even further!) is meant to be amazing...

    I started a thread on the HUBB, same username, but keen to hear of your plans etc. Have u ever been to India? Amazy, which is to say amazing and crazy in one.:clap
  5. cleav

    cleav n00b

    Aug 16, 2015


    what did you end up riding?
  6. Rogue_Ryder


    Dec 8, 2005
    Pinewood Springs, Colorado
    I would recommend Mountain Fox in Rishikesh! I was highly satisfied with the RE Himalayan that I rented there back in early March of this year. I had the bike for just over 2 weeks and rode it in the vicinity of Rishikesh for a few days and then up to Dharamshala. Ashok even took the time to draw out the best motorcycle route to Dharamshala from Rishikesh. I needed to stop once to get the chain tightened and lubed but other than that no mechanical issues with the bike.

    One thing to keep in mind, most bike rental shops won't have decent helmets or even helmets at all. My Girlfriend and I bought new helmets in the Rishikesh Central Market for like 2,000 RS or less. Indian Motorcycle Helmets aren't near the level of Snell or ECE rated helmets and I would recommend bringing your own!


    Tony Bike in Delhi had great reviews when I was researching where to rent and if an Enfield is a must Lali Singh is the place that most Westerners have had great luck with for a many years.