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Motorcycle travel in Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, India...

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Old 6 Dec 2013
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Riding from KTM to Chitwan/Pokhara

Hi guys,

I have just come back from Nepal (just a 2 week trek) but want to go back in a years time for a different trek. Next time I'd also like to rent a bike in KTM and ride to Chitwan (my guide friend lives there) and then to Pokhara and back to KTM.

After witnessing the KTM traffic, I'm hesitant. The pollution I can handle as I'll be taking the quickest route out of KTM but I'm more concerned about, you know… dying from being hit by a car, or something. Although amazingly there seems to be very few car crashes. What are peoples thoughts here?

Also does anyone know what the main (direct) roads are like between KTM and Chitwan, and Chitwan and Pokhara? Are they paved? Would a 150cc Pulsar do the job? Are there enough gas stations?

I know it would be much cheaper just to get the tourist bus but 1) i get bus sick and 2) where's the fun in buses when you can take a bike???

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Old 6 Dec 2013
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The roads between KTM and Phokara and Chitwan are eh.....kind of paved. Very worn tarmac at times, lots of potholes at times, parts and bits of road someplaces washed away by the monsun. But its doable without doubt. Thousands of Nepalis do it everyday.....

Gas stations? No problem - plenty!

Pulsars? I havent been riding those myself, but since half of the Nepalis do and millions in India do as well - my guess would be that they are near to perfect for the job.

A Enfield would be a tad more comfortabel and a Honda Crf 250L would maybe be better though.....but probably a Whole lot expensiver. Go for the Pulsar.....
In the end everything will be fine. If its not fine its not the end....
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Old 6 Dec 2013
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I did that exact route 2 years ago and did it on a Pulsar and it was a awesome trip. I ended up going to Pokhara from KTM and the pollution is your biggest problem. It is kind of hard to believe a city of a million or so people and not a stop light. Well almost but you really do not have to worry about them running into you but just keep yours under control and do not run into then. I spent a month riding there but it is trekking country and you will hardly run into any other foreign riders at all. Lots to see and do and I thought it was very safe. They live on tourist income but again mostly trekking related. Ride safe and I would recommend the Pulsar as if you have trouble you can get anyone to work on it and get parts anywhere.
Larry Davis
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Old 6 Dec 2013
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Thanks Larry and Snakeboy. Sounds like the Pulsar is a good option especially since I'm not planning to do any serious riding, just using it as a way to get from A to B in an interesting way. Plan to evacuate from KTM as rapidly as possible!
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Old 6 Dec 2013
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We rode along H02 /Prithvi Hwy(H04) - out of Kathmandu to Pokhara - yesterday, Thursday-5th.

[Actually, we're in Bandipur right now, therefore still some 75 km until we get to Pokhara.]

We encountered two major hold-ups along the way. The first was caused by an articulated truck that went over into the ditch and shed its load. This was on the twisty mountain section going out (west) from the KTM valley.

The second accident, about an hour or so further on .. was bad. Fatal, in fact. Makeshift stone barriers either side of the incident halting traffic in both directions. Police, Army in control of the scene, which, seeing we were foreigh travellers, waved us to drive-on through. We could clearly see that a motorcycle was involved. A smashed-up bike with two lifeless men lying alongside with their faces covered. No-one attending to them, so they were obviously both killed. Not nice.

We saw at least three other vehicles abandoned in the ditch in addition to the above along the way.

Summary: mostly the road is in reasonably good condition and shouldn't be a problem, but the mountain downward twisties west out of KTM appears to be in a state of constant repair/disrepair. Be cautious on that stretch - and watch out for a few more broken sections. Otherwise it's no problem. Indeed, incidents excepted, it's quite an enjoyable ride.
Right Way Round ...

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Old 23 Dec 2013
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I rode Kathamndu to Pokhara in about 5 hours on a Royal Enfield in nov. 2012, no major issues on the road.

It took me about 7-8 hours to ride from Chitwan Nat.l Park to Kathmandu via Heutada, twisty mountain road with amazing landscapes, the road was in quite good conditions.
Nick and his 2010 Yamaha XT1200Z Super Ténéré
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