Either taking a short or long trip, motorbikes are probably one of the best and fun ways of traveling but there’s always some risk involved. Taking a motorbike on an offroad trip is one of the most dangerous and thrilling experiences for anyone and in the case of Nepal, it is no less.
Nepal is famous for the remote places due to the geographical difficulties and the offroad trails leading to them, districts like Manang and Mustang being the most popular of all. Yearly, a large number of tourists visit such destinations and people who seek thrilling experience choose motorbikes over other means of transportation to reach there.
I’ll be sharing some of the things you should consider before just packing your bags and hopping on your bikes for someplace you haven’t been before.
Research and Plan the route
Yes, the first thing you should do is to research the place you’re visiting. Most of the roads leading to famous destinations of Nepal are often far away from the black-topped roads, let alone the highways which means the chances of them being in a good condition are few to none. The Internet has made it easy for you as there are a lot of videos and blogs are available so that you know what you’re up against.
If you feel confident about the roads, you should then plan the route ahead of time. In these destinations, there are rarely many hotels you can stay at. Therefore, you should make a plan as to where your destination after each ride will be and probably ask someone who’s already been there but references from the vlogs and written articles should do too.
Make the trip in a group
The roads to remote destinations of Nepal are often hard to ride through and often unpredictable. On top of that, there’s always a risk of your motorbike breaking down midway. Within cities, it’s not a big deal, but on those roads, it might cost you a lot of time and you might even have to cancel your trip because of this reason. Therefore it’s always a good idea to go in groups so that you don’t get stranded somewhere remote with a broken machine.
For instance, the road to Sandakphu, Ilam is one of the most difficult roads I’ve ever seen. We went there on a four-wheeler but some people were crazy enough to reach the place on motorbikes and while we were staying at a hotel, two motorbikes arrived at 3 in the morning. Turns out, one of the motorbikes broke down on the way (damaged clutch plate) but lucky for them they were from a riders club in Chitwan and they happened to have a spare with them and skills enough to change the part by themselves. The point is, not everyone is a mechanic and it’s just easier to go in groups to such places to face those situations or avoid them altogether.
Make reservations ahead of time if possible
Most of the places that you make trips to are probably famous tourist destinations and it’s probable that people are flocking the place before you even reach there. One of the most important things for such trips is enough rest after a long day on road and you should make sure to get it. As most people who reach such places go on holiday packages or through an agency, their accommodation is already booked and it’s a good idea for you too to inform the lodges or hotels beforehand to avoid the hassles of searching for a place to sleep after a tiresome day.
Know your machine
The least you should be aware of before going on a long motorbike trip is how the parts of your motorbike work and if the bike is suitable for the roads ahead. Sometimes, even a minor problem might become a huge one on such trips. It’s a good idea to at least have someone who knows enough about motorbikes in the group as workshops are far away and might cost you a significant amount of money even to fix a small problem as you might have to call them to come to you.
Always visit the workshop before making a trip
It’s one of the things you should never skip, no matter how perfect your motorbike is. Even when it’s running perfectly fine, it’s likely that it has at least one problem which can cost you a lot on the trip. It’s better to get your oil changed, tires checked and parts like brakes and clutch examined before you get on the road.
A workshop mechanic had warned me a few months back that my gear lever might stop working and to change it and I completely ignored it and even forgot about the issue. When we went to Sirubari, we had a small issue about the same part and had to call a mechanic, who unfortunately didn’t have the part and he just fixed it. The problem showed up again even before we reached Sirubari. We got it replaced only after returning to Pokhara and it altogether cost us double the price of the replacement at the end. After a few weeks of returning from Sirubari, I had to change the rear tire after it was punctured and became unfixable as it had degraded so much.
When I think about it now, it was one of the biggest mistakes I made on the trip. Just imagine how big of a problem would it have been to have a punctured and unfixable tire in the middle of nowhere. Therefore, it’s just better to check every single thing and consulting a technician on getting it repaired or replaced.