India is a beautiful country to go visit with a motorcycle. Besides its great diversity of landscapes, weather, fauna and flora, the country has a big two-wheels culture: motorbikes and scooters are everywhere. In India motorcycle tours are largely widespread, from full-package formulas to self-guided tours. Ride a bike there and you will feel like a local, living the perfect Indian life. So what are the tips to do this in complete safety? We help you get your head around the best practices.
- Observe and adapt
In this country rules on the road resembles to no other place. You will need some time (from a few hours to a couple of days – depending on your adaptability and experience) to understand how things work between drivers. What at first seems to be like a very messy way of doing things has actually its own logic and is in some way organized – it just has different norms than the ones you know. Keep in mind that in India the biggest vehicles prime over the smallest ones. Like many other things, it is a reverse logic compared to what happens in the western world.
To adapt as quickly as possible and make sure you don’t take any risks on the road, our best recommendation would be to allow yourself some time to observe the locals’ way of riding before getting on the bike. Go in a taxi or an auto rickshaw, take a ride and have a look at what is happening around. This is especially important if you will be riding inside big cities during your journey, or even at their surroundings. It is where you will encounter the most traffic.
- Wear a full gear
One common assumption when going to India and observing how locals ride bikes is to think that wearing a full gear isn’t necessary. This is not true! Regardless of how people behave, having a proper equipment on a motorcycle tour is always important. Here are the basics you should have with you:
- Helmet: this is a must-have, the number one safety item. Make sure you invest in a good reliable brand – even if you have to put a bit of money into it, it will always be a good investment. Certifications in India are not the same than in the occidental world, so we advise to buy a helmet at home and bring it on the plane with you. You can take it as a hand luggage on every flight company, without any additional fees! Please remember that you have to change it every time you experience a crash with it.
- Gloves: make sure you have thick gloves and always wear them – even if the weather is very hot. In case of an accident, your first reflex will be to hold yourself with your hands: they will be the first ones impacted by a potential hit.
- Jacket and boots: buy a protective jacket and high boots specially dedicated to the motorcycle use. Many bike dealers also offer this type of accessories: ask around you or have a look online to find your nearest shop.
Now pack up your luggage and set off for the ride of your life! Have fun on the road!