Riding in India can be fun and at times frustrating, here are
some tips, which we use to make our rides more enjoyable.
No matter how detailed your map on India is, there will always
be roads that you won't find on your map. A prominent red line
on your map indicating the road to be a national highway can
be 10 feet wide and so on.
Mostly all parts of India have Dhaba's (Road side food
joints), it is here that all truck drivers eat. These Dhaba's
are where you will get the best information on new roads,
best road to take to reach a particular place and information
on road conditions. Waiters or the truck drivers gladly
help you on all your queries, but before that be prepared to
answer questions like " Where are you coming from and where
are you going? :o)
India being a diverse country, food, language and customs change
every 200 kms. Make sure you have basic knowledge of the region
you are traveling to. Most of the regions in India are safe
to travel but some regions are in turmoil; hence avoid night
riding to these regions. Make a tentative note of the place
you would stay in the evening before you start a day's ride.
Information on towns with guesthouses or hotels can be gathered
Travel light, since spares, tools take up lot of space
and weight, carry minimal amount of clothes. Buy use and throw
clothes, they are cheap anywhere in India, but make sure you
have gloves, jacket and boots of your choice, which you have
tested and are suitable to the climate conditions of your intended
region of travel.
Avoid staying in big cities, not only are they expensive
but you miss out on the fun of interacting with locals. If on
your route you find a dam, an ancient temple or a fort on a
hilltop, make sure you ride to these places. Most of the times
these places will be remote with a great landscape with a superb
ride or a tough trek.
Distribute your money in different bags rather than just
one bag. If one bag is stolen or lost at least you will
have enough money to reach someplace where you can withdraw
more money. Always carry extra cash with you, for example, if
the ride is going cost you 15,000, carry 20,000. The extra
money is useful towards the end of the trip and also during
emergency. Store some money in the toolbox of the bike.
There are so many instances when a rider rides out for an errand
with little or no money and a breakdown happens. The extra money
in the toolbox is a lifesaver. You save time and energy to run
back to the hotel and bring in more money. Keep Rs.500 -1,000
in the toolbox, believe me it comes handy in unforeseen situations.
Withdrawing money is a big hassle; ATM's are a better
option over traveler's cheques, If you are traveling remote
than ATM card from State Bank of India is the best bet. The
bank has more branches with ATM than any other bank in remote
Carry atleast two torches/flashlights with you. First
one should be small enough for you to hold and work on your
bike in case of a breakdown, small enough to come in your waist
pouch or pocket. Second one should be a two battery/four battery
flashlight which will be useful for nights without electricity
which is common in remote parts of India. Carrying candles
and matchsticks is also helpful.
Carry essence sticks with you; not only they help in keeping
mosquitoes away but is a lifesaver when you are forced to stay
in a filthy hotel or guesthouse.
Camping is not only a cheaper way to travel but also gives
you the freedom to stay wherever you wish to. Avoid carrying
too much weight in terms of utensils and supplies, stick to
soups or noodles. Make sure you select a location where your
head position is higher or at the same level as your foot level
In case of a breakdown on strange places. Nearest police station
is the best place to park your bike and search for a mechanic.
Both your bike and luggage will be safe. If the nearest town
is far off, then you can ask the passing trucks for a lift.
If the truck is not fully loaded, truck driver can load your
bike and luggage inside the truck.
If on an average you cover 200 kms. per day, than your fuel
cost will be around Rs.230-250, that is if your bike gives a
milage of 27-30 Kilometers per litre.
expense for food and stay per day will not exceed Rs.300 that
is if you are budget traveling.
Rs. 100 for stay and Rs. 200 for food.
Stay: everywhere in India one can get decent accommodation by
paying Rs.100, exceptions are big cities.
Food: Rs. 200 covers all your three meals, mineral water and
So going by this calculation you can budget a month's ride to
15,000 to 17,000 Rs.
But if you are short of money and since you cannot cut on fuel
and basic food cost, target the areas you can save money. For
example : camp or sleep on dhaba's for free.
Avoid spending on Mineral water, instead buy a shaving water
heater, it's four to five inches in length and heats up water
Carry your own booze bottle from a wine shop rather than buying
it from restaurant where it is served expensive.
A common mistake most riders do is spend more money at the beginning
of the ride, spend moderately from day one. Avoid spend too
much on long distance phone calls. All the extra money can be
saved for developing the film rolls you exposed and servicing
the bike, two most basic things which a lot of bikers forget
Key to long distance travel is to spend less and travel more.
If you wish to add more tips which are not mentioned above,
kindly e-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will gladly add them to the list.