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

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  #1  
Old 29 Oct 2011
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Scooter Buying In Jaisalmer, India

I'm planning on doing the Rickshaw Run tuk tuk rally next September which ends in Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, India. About 6 weeks after that ends I need to meet my bicycle in Bangkok. My idea is to buy a cheap used scooter or small motorcycle and ride around the coast to Chennai, then fly across to Thailand.

a) How much would a decent used scooter cost? insurance?
b) Can an american legally buy a scooter or motorcycle in India?
c) Would this be a pleasant / fun / interesting / doable ride?
d) Would I be able to sell it easily in Chennai?

Sorry for all the rookie questions, but this will be my first trip to India.

Mike
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Old 30 Oct 2011
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From Jaiselmer its a nice run till you get to Ahmdevad then lots of roadworks till Mumbai. The coastal route is stunning but you will have to pay attention, my choice would to go over the Deccans , some lovely highways, the coast gets crossed by the railway time and again.
Bike ? you are planning a long trip. my choice would be the Enfield 350 comfortable to ride and the main part, solid. the roads ....ah the roads. The pulsars and the pretty plastic are too flimsy for a long ride, at least put some decent shocks and springs ( many Indians do this ) if you get one.
Make sure you get ownership papers ( no you can't legally own but holding papers is overlooked) that match all numbers on the bike arrange insurance (many bikes already have some , make sure you are covered)
Take your time, have fun
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Old 30 Oct 2011
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Thanks for the reply.

Any guess as to the cost of those various options?

Mike
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  #4  
Old 1 Nov 2011
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After initial bike cost, any mods, repairs etc. will be minimal there are many bike wallers. Insurance varies get a few quotes (remember motorcycle protection on travel insurance only allows for 150 cc)
Enfield $400 to $800 (US) second hand, Be prepared to take a bit of a hit on selling but there are many buyers everywhere it will be quick.
Pulsar around the same but every bike in India carries weight so check the suspension
Fuel and the same price as Europe Get a lock for your fuel tap ( I once bought the same fuel three times )
Bring your own helmet, gloves (hard to get and cold in Rajastan),toolkit, bunjee cords
On the expressways that allow bikes about 3-5 dollars, eat roadside to keep the costs down.
I spend less than backpacking but I stay in roadside dabbas so you may want to spend a little more on accommodation.
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  #5  
Old 1 Nov 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhelmuth View Post
c) Would this be a pleasant / fun / interesting / doable ride?
Mike:

I spent a few days in India (New Delhi) earlier this year on a business trip. The country fascinated me and I really want to go back there and do more or less the same think you are planning to do.

But... the traffic in India is 'incredible', just like the country. Words really can't describe it. There is a massive, never-ending flow of vehicles that is about as organized and predictable as floodwaters running down a ravine. 'Might is right'... the biggest and most threatening vehicle is the one that has the right of way, and rules don't matter at all. The only things on the road that gets any respect at all are the cows.

So, I do strongly suggest you take excellent protective clothing along, because I think you will have a higher likelihood of dumping the bike (being squeezed off the road, getting sideswiped, etc.) in India than you would have almost anywhere else. Fortunately, the traffic doesn't move very quickly, but it is very chaotic and very much 'every man for himself'.

Michael
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  #6  
Old 1 Nov 2011
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When traveling India there are various options to choose from - but yes the vehicle soze matters in India. So does the engine power and acceleration. But remember one golden rule guys..

You give respect onthe road - you get respecton the road. All seasoned drivers and i am safely counting the truck drivers as well, do this and honor respect on road. this might be a simple thing like - low beam driving at night to no honking when overtakes are just too messy.

So leave alone a few exceptions - drivers opposite side will be cool.
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Cheers
Rohan - Loving Indian Enfields
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  #7  
Old 3 Nov 2011
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mhelmuth There will be a difficult transition to the Indian way of traffic, I don't want to underplay this fact, but once learned, India, the real India is open to you. If you are ahead of schedule turn off for a while and find yourself in the joy of a welcoming farm household who thoroughly enjoy your company, ah..

Remember, that all "out of the way" areas carry some sort of risk in getting there.
Now, I could tell you, as many here, of the close calls and indeed scrapes and crashes, in re-telling they seem out of proportion, so I don't want to scare you with endless lists of avoidances, take it easy, ride only to where you can stop.
Patience is survival on Indian roads.
All of us here are envious of your plans.

Last edited by twobob; 3 Nov 2011 at 07:49.
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  #8  
Old 3 Nov 2011
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Rickshaw Run

Well, for better or worse, by the time I want to buy a motorcycle over there I will have completed this event, hence over 2k miles on Indian roads. . .

Rickshaw Run | The Adventurists

I'm doing the version from Shillong, Meghalaya to Jaisalmer, Rajasthan.

Mike
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