Road trip with a motorcycle in India

What comes to your mind when you think about India? Bright colors? Spices? Sarees? We all have our own idea of what India is like. As each one of us has its own representation of the country, they can all turn out to be true. Because this is exactly what is India like diverse and coherent, contradictory and fascinating.


From the Mumbai businessmen to the Rajasthan farmers, through the Keralan rickshaw drivers and the slit-eyed children of Ladakh, your road trip will be filled with spontaneous and meaningful encounters.


So why not making this road trip even more unique by transforming it into a motorcycle ride? Two-wheels engine are so popular in India that visiting the country with a motorcycle will allow you to do it the local way.


The motorcycle


One thing is incontestable: the most widespread motorcycle in India is Royal Enfield. You will soon see (and hear it!) by yourself when spending time in the country’s big cities. Indians take a great pride in riding this motorcycle, the most emblematic model being the Bullet 500cc.


Other local motorcycles which you can ride include brands such Bajaj, Mahindra…

Or you can prefer international brands which also find their place in India: Suzuki, Harley Davidson, Yamaha…


The itinerary


With a surface of 3 287 000 km², India is the 7th biggest country in the world. Planning a road trip there takes times, so making sure that you take some time to do it before travelling is important.


To build up your itinerary, study the main roads and the secondary ones. Major networks between cities will allow you to drive fast, but you will come upon dense traffic zones when crossing big towns. Secondary roads require a better motorcycling experience as they can get sinuous and winding. There’s also more chances that they won’t be in good condition. But it is a good way to discover offbeat tracks.


Don’t hesitate to plan your road trip by combining it with other transports: train, truck, boat… In India motorcycle tours can be achieved in many ways!


Taking into account the several climates of the India’s different regions will help you create a coherent road trip. And save you from the pain of riding under 45 degrees or during monsoon season…!


The equipment


As you are on two-wheels with no protection around you, having a protective equipment is essential in the smooth progress of your road trip.


When choosing a helmet, don’t hesitate to choose a very good one. This can be the higher investment you make, and you won’t regret it. Make sure that it comes with a removable protective glass, as you will encounter many dusty areas. If it’s not the case, you can buy an individual one too.


The rest of the equipment involves a pair of gloves, some boots, and a jacket. The best material to choose as a motorcycle gear is leather: it can be scratched and re-used afterwards. Taking some time to build up your “rider look” can be a fun first step in preparing your motorcycle tour !


The rest of the equipment to prepare is all about the precision of unhappy events: basic motorcycle tools and pieces to repair broken ones, and a first-aid kit with adhesive bandages, antiseptic spray, eye drops, anti-itch cream, etc.


The budget


To plan out your budget, divide it between food and drinks, accommodation, fuel, entries to monuments and souvenirs.


Evaluate your budget according to the type of meals you are looking to. Indian food made in “dhabas” (the local street restaurants) are the cheapest way to have a full meal. When looking for more occidental food such as hamburgers or pastas, you will have to spend a bit more money.


You can find a room in a hotel or guesthouse at very low prices in India - starting from 300 INR/night. 


Keep in mind that most prices displayed come without taxes.


Also, buying things in India is a great way to practice your negotiation skills! Don’t hesitate to spend some time bargaining with the locals – it’s completely part of their culture and habits. Learning a few words of Hindi in can be a good way to ease relationships with locals.


Ride safely and enjoy your trip!

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