Motorcycles were invented for the same reason roads were – to travel and tell stories. When I started backpacking full-time, one of my biggest fantasies was going on a long solo motorbiking trip in the Himalayas. And there was a time when I was totally hooked on it, resulting in many motorbiking trips across New Delhi, particularly in the Himalayas.
I think people who own a two-wheeler but don’t go on road-trips are unlucky and are definitely missing out a lot. So if you’ve always wanted to do the same and experience a motorcycle road-trip, make 2018 your year and go on that fantasy road-trip across India.
Update: In 2020, I did an All India Motorcycle Trip. Here’s a blog for Delhi to Bangalore Road trip. And here’s a quick vlog of one of the days I was riding in Kerala:
But before anything, here are a few tips you need to keep in mind before you hit the road. These are the tips that I learned from my experiences of riding in India.
Get yourself a proper luggage system
If you think investing in proper luggage for a trip is a wastage of money, you’re mistaken. A proper luggage system not only improves on your luggage carrying capacity and organizing things better but also distributes the weight evenly for increased stability. While looking for a luggage system, choose a hard-shell bag over soft fabric bags.
Get a proper GPS system
Investing in a good GPS system that provides good coverage would be a wise decision when heading out on a road trip. Apart from going on trips, it can also come handy in daily traffic and intercity travel. You can also buy a capable GPS software on your smartphone itself. Smartphone mounts are available in the market that offers steady hold and waterproofing as well.
Good riding gear is a lifesaver
You should think about investing in a good touring gear that will keep you safe on the road. Getting a good helmet should be on your priority list. Good riding gear not only protects you from accidents but also helps you stay confident while riding – not to mention, it also provides pockets for extra storage and makes for a less dehydrated touring experience.
Get yourself a hydration kit
Touring long hours can make you dehydrated and tired. You become prone to accidents as your body tends to lose focus due to lack of water. And to save yourself from this, it is very important to take fluids while riding regularly. A hydration pack will serve you by making it easy to access and carry sufficient fluids for your ride and keep the water level in your body normal.
Always carry spares
Bikes are prone to wear and tear on long tours, and you should always carry some essential spares with you. Clutch/accelerator cables, headlight bulbs, etc. are spares that always come handy. You should also take classes from a capable mechanic in making basic repairs and fixes by yourself. Don’t forget to always carry a puncture repair kit with you.
Always carry some spare cash
In case of emergencies, cash is required to fix things up. No matter how many cards you’re carrying, put aside some cash for emergency situations, and you’d be surprised how helpful that stash can be.
Always plan your day in advance
No two days are ever the same when you’re on the road, travelling long distances. You may be riding on a lonely highway one day while the next day you might find yourself riding through a forest or a rocky terrain. Knowing what lies ahead goes a long way in helping you plan accordingly and be prepared. Planning helps you stay stress-free, enjoy your ride, take pictures, eat on the way and make the most of the trip.
During my solo motorbiking trip in Spiti Valley, I always planned my days in advance and not only did it help me complete the circuit without any difficulties on the road but also let me stop on the way, click pictures, and enjoy my ride more. During the days when I had long distances to cover, I would get up early and start early, and when the distances were short, I’d catch a few more hour’s sleep. Planning your ride in advance helps, and it helps significantly.
Fuel up in the morning
Hitting reserve before tanking up is not an advisable strategy on long tours. You should always fill up in the morning before heading off. This helps you save time on fuel stops and maintain the pace. You could be going through stretches with no petrol pumps and having a filled tank will save you from a lot of trouble.
Make sure your bike insurance policy is active
While you are planning to have a gala time, unfortunate events like accidents can arise to halt your journey. So make sure that your bike insurance policy is active. Comprehensive two-wheeler insurance can help you in case your bike involves in an accident with another vehicle or person. Not only the policy will compensate the other party, but it will also pay damages caused to your vehicle. In case, the policy lapses, reach out to your bike insurance company and get your policy renewed.
If you are buying the policy for the first time, it is advised to go for a long-term bike insurance policy and free yourself from yearly policy renewal.
Also, read about my Sach Pass road trip itinerary.
Now that you’re ready, it’s time to hit the pedal and start zooming on the roads. Don’t forget to stop and click pictures wherever possible. After all, it’s the memories that let you cherish your experiences for a lifetime.