This week we take a closer look at our India “Touch the Sky” Adventure. The words “motorcycle” and “India” together often paint a picture of crowded streets with chaotic intersections. While this is an accurate description of many cities in India, most of the riders we talk to are surprised to learn that our guided motorcycle adventure largely avoids these areas. Instead we take groups through the magical landscapes of the northern part of the country, where bustling cities are replaced by tiny villages. We ascend the Himalayas, traversing some of the world’s highest roads, and stand in complete awe of the world around us.
But don’t take our word for it. Below are some stories written by riders that have ridden India with us. We invite you to read their words and get their perspective on this one-of-a-kind trip. Please contact us if you are interested in learning more about this adventure. If you’d like to talk it over with one of the riders below, we can put you in touch with them.
John, from Boston, writes:
MotoQuest’s “Touch the Sky” trip is the best supported motorcycle adventure I have ever been on, without exception.
Every day delivered new challenges and experiences that I will never forget. It took us to a place in India that is very different than what I had imagined before going. I saw vast landscapes with not much more than a goat herder, maybe a small village with a shopkeeper that is happy to serve a traveler, or a monastery perched on the side of a mountain where it has been for hundreds of years. The visual bounty of India is fantastic.
The highest motorable road in the world. How cool is that? There is only one place on earth that holds that title and MotoQuest takes you there.
Touch the Sky was not an easy undertaking but I think anyone with a few years of riding under their belt and not afraid to get outside of their comfort zone may have an unforgettable experience.
Al, from Los Angeles, writes:
I have taken several MotoQuest adventures and this has been my favorite. India is a different land. You feel its timeless nature and beauty thought out your journey. You are not traveling through the densely populated areas commonly associates with India but the complete opposite. Villages instead of cities, mountain ranges and valleys instead of congested highways.
Anu our guide became our best friend. His knowledge of northern India and its people made this trip a very special one.
And believe it or not but the Royal Enfield was the star of the show! Most us question the choice of this classic motorcycle in the beginning having come from more “technically” advanced modern bikes. But soon into our journey we all realized this was indeed the perfect bike for an Indian adventure.
I would highly recommend this MotoQuest tour to anyone looking for magical couple of weeks of amazing and memorable motorcycle riding. I know it’s far but it’s well worth the journey.
Tim, from Colorado, writes:
I believe a trip is, or should be, just as much mental as it is physical. For me, this corner of India conjures images of riding in the fastnesses of an ancient mountain kingdom where the interests of three major powers – India, China and Pakistan – still play out on the world stage.
While not for the faint of heart, if what you are looking for is cultural alienation, challenging riding amidst breathtaking scenery and the comradery it engenders, than you should consider this MotoQuest offering for a truly memorable experience.
Bill, from Toronto, writes:
Sky and mountains, more sky and more mountains. The only change is the angle of the horizon as you crawl up and up, switchback after switchback. Scratching along the ledges of the Indian Himalayas on a motorcycle is a blindingly monochromatic experience, but one peppered by intermittent flashes of colour, complexity and fear.
A byproduct of the remoteness is that you feel immersed in it—the vistas, the culture, the history—even before the catalyzing effects of good beer, altitude, and the comradery of the other guys. As for all the clichés that people carry around about India, give it two or three days in the saddle and I guarantee they’ll fall away.
Did you ever dream of winding the clock back and travelling the old Silk Road? What about riding on the surface of Pluto? An interest in welding, perhaps? Well, this ride is as close as you are going to come to weaving these three into one experience. As an adventure—pure and simple—it doesn’t get better than this.
Chad, from Vancouver, BC, writes:
Checking off the highest motorable road in the world from your bucket list is nice and all, but there’s so much more to this tour.
If you want a real adventure you need to ride the Spiti River Valley. These are roads that shouldn’t exist, and they wouldn’t without constant manual maintenance by BRO. It’s hard to describe the experience of riding a road notched into a constantly eroding cliff with no guard rail and a 500ft drop on one side. The hand painted signs with the message “Shooting stones – Stop, Look, Go!” are all the advice you’re going to get, and it’s good advice.
The camping was a definite highlight. There’s nothing like hanging out around a fire in a remote Himalayan valley, lit by the moonlight under an unbelievable canopy of stars. And then, waking up to your tent surrounded by sheep and goats, with their shepherds on horseback. The road into this paradise looks more like a creek bed, but it’s shown on the map as a national highway. Only in India!
If you’re seeking a true adventure, do yourself a favor and sign up for the India Touch the Sky tour with MotoQuest. Once you get there, the locals will tell you all you need is “a good horn, good brakes and good luck!”