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Non of the gear and less idea - Royal Enfield India
I'm off to Delhi at the beginning of September and plan to ride around the country on an Enfield but panic has just set in, it's 3 weeks till i'm off, and I have little idea (other than what i've absorbed from this fabulous website) about what the hell i'm going to do once I arrive at my hotel.
My basic plan is to stroll down to Lalli or Pardesi point at a 10yr old Enfield say I'll have that one, pay the fella and set off.
Is anybody in Delhi around the beginning of Septmber to point me in the right direction/offer any advice?
I have no plan about which direction to head off in first.
The only thing I must do is be in Goa at Christmas to meet by girlfriend. Does anybody know how long it takes to travel to Goa?
or how far it is?
Any advice, tips, suggestions that anyone feels they could pass on would be greatly appreciated, please feel free to patronise me.
If you haven't already done so, read "Bullet up the Grand Trunk Road" (think that's the title). You'll learn the bureacracy involved in a foreigner buying a vehicle over there.
I particularly like the bit where the author notices that whenever he's dealing with a bureaucrat, he's always asked, "I have a brother in Manchester, do you know him?"
So one day he decided to answer "Yes!"
Immediately he was given full personal service, escorted to the front of the queues at all the windows he had to visit for whatever it was he was trying to do, and the whole process took one tenth of the normal time.
Be prepared for some suprises on Indian roads, take a helmet with you, and wear gloves, and it's wise to have boots too. The Indian Bullet is a 'blast from the past', definately a love or hate machine. Goa is a real rip-off in Christmas/New Year, so if your girlfriends travel plan is too tight to manouver you should book, and get a written confirmation. Nothing is quite what it seems in India, they are in 'Harry Potter land' 20 % of the time, and don't loose your temper, which can sometimes be very difficult.
Peter, in Oslo
In Delhi, find a place called Maadan Motors, it is located close to the tourist area. These guys have good english, are the gurus of Enfields and can even build you an 'old school' Bullet out of brand new parts...awesome!!
In India you can't register an Indian registered motorcycle in your name unless you have lived in India for 3 years. When you buy a motorcycle you must get the original registration papers and a reciept for the purchase and carry them on you at all times. Technically the holder of these papers is the owner of the bike, even if it's not your name on them.
One tip I can give you is that if you ever get pulled over for a rego check, tell them you hired the bike, it saves mountains of time.
We just bought an Enfield from another traveller, this seems the easiest way (in Manali anyway).
Planned on getting one from Delhi but the place is just too big.
Ill sell my on and even if i cant sell it wont lose too much (they are quite cheap).
The bike comes with insurance as well.
Would definetly recomend the bus to Manali (its a great place) and the mountains are away from the heat. Anu seems a good guy but wouldnt sell any and hiring is expensive.
We rode a Jap bike from Wagah (Pakistan border) to Dharamsala-Delhi-Agra-Mumbai-Goa-Kerala-Chennai. Spent about 7 weeks in India, and for us it was probably the most demanding country during our 6-month trip to Australia.
Lots and lots of traffic on the main roads, as well as roadworks, means just 200-300 kms per day can feel like 1000 kms on the road in Europe. Side roads, you´ll really need a good map, and I wouldnt count on travelling very fast on them, either. Its village after village after village most of the time. Roads may be paved, but can be full of huge crater-like holes.
Delhi to Mumbai should be around 1400-1500 on the road, and then another 600 to Goa (this stretch from Mumbai to Goa was quite pleasant actually). Those who live in India may have a different opinion, but as a tourist, who isnt 100% used to riding/driving in that traffic, I wouldnt normally plan on doing more than 200 kms per day. And also good to keep in mind the country is about the size of Western Europe.
With reference to your fifth paragraph it takes 10 hours and 21 minutes to fly from Manchester to Goa and the distance is around 5000 miles. If you are setting off in September she will probably be there in time. Hope this helps and have a good and safe journey. Bob350.
I'm not sure if you've already made your plans as yet but thought I'd offer some advice anyway. I've ridden around India off and on for the last 9 years and have been living in New Delhi for the last 3 years although leaving during the VERY hot summer months. The bike area is in Karol Bagh and this place is easily accessible on the Delhi Metro. Have a wander around and you'll see some interesting sights (and smells). Avoid madaan motors for the reasons contained on this site Madaan Motors is a Thief - Homeand for my own reasons of being supplied a less than decent 500 bullet years ago. A bit more expensive (but not much) is Inder motors owned by Lalli Singh. The books say good things about him and he is the only person I would recommend. Find his basement shop (if you look out for a row of aircooled RD350's you'll be close), pop in have chai don't be in a rush and enjoy. Say hi from me and tell him Richard and I will pop in on our arrival in early November (Index). If you haven't sorted out your accomodation email him and he'll organise that for you. He knows for a good one in the Phar ganj area and that's an area well used to travellers. Good boots a motorcross style lid and some goggles and off you go. You can buy all your kit there but if you have it already take it. Travel in India is fine but remember the rules. 1. Biggest is best and has priority 2. Avoid night travel (people save the bulbs by not using them) 3. Don't hit a cow 3. Delhi is 'interesting' to drive in but the countryside is relaxing. 4. Don't head too far north as it'll be cold 5. If you're running late for your meet in Goa put your bike on the train for about £5. 6. Enjoy!
If I wasn't over in the 'sunny' uk at the mo I'd offer you my couch. Have a safe and enjoyable trip and if you need any more info get in touch. Simon
Enfields have a very short service interval (as I'm sure you know). Often, this service interval will arrive in the middle of nowhere.
There's an enfield mechanic on every street corner in India, or so I'm told. But you aren't always in a town! Go to Hitchcocks Motorcycles (Google 'Hitchcocks Motorcycles') and have a look at the manuals available. They do a good service manual which would be worth buying. Its not expensive I don't think. It's got me out of trouble in the past and is quite easy to follow. It's the one with the green cover. Also, unless you are sure the bike you'll buy will come with a tool kit, I'd take a small one with you. Enfields are a bewildering array of thread sizes, so a quality adjustable spanner is a good thing. Pliers (or leatherman), medium sized philips and flat screwdriver, zip ties, duct tape, fuses... and lots and lots of inner tube patches!
Have fun, I'm very jealous. That's something I've wanted to do for a long time.
*Disclaimer* - I am not saying my bike is better than your bike. I am not saying my way is better than your way. I am not mocking your religion/politics/other belief system. When reading my post imagine me sitting behind a frothing pint of ale, smiling and offering you a bag of peanuts. This is the sentiment in which my post is made. Please accept it as such!
You won't need one as everybody knows the way, even if they don't they'll happily tell you! Once the crowd surrounds you and they've all discussd it go with the majority! Seriously though, you can buy a map there and they're not that bad or just pick up a general one of India before you go and that'll give you an idea of your location. All roads lead somewhere (apart from one I found in the western ghats). Pick up your books and stuff from Lalli as it'll be much much cheaper. Hitchcocks Enfield stuff comes from India! Carry a few tools that are special to you if you like but Lalli will send you off with tools tubes cables etc etc etc. So much in fact you'll have no room for your clothes!
If you want to chat about your trip send an email to me at 'my name' @hotmail.co.uk and we can do the phone number bit.
If you ever get a chance to go there again, go to Manali in the north. It is at 6,000 feet in the pine trees. You can rent an Enfield there...so fly into Kullu if you get the chance, its an hour from there. Look for a fellow named Anu...he has a fleet of Enfields for hire. You can do the Spiti River Valley loop, or go all the way to Leh, which is the dropping off point for the highest motor able pass in the world Khardung La, which is at something like 17,600 feet.
Get in and out of there by October, since it can start snowing in September. But the first part of September might be the best time...not too hot, not too cold. Just plan ahead, and be sure to run for cover if the snow flies!
here's a pick from the Spiti River Valley to give you an Idea:
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