Over the last decade, I’ve been to the Himalayas over 10 times on a motorcycle. As is the norm, it was always on a Royal Enfield Bullet Classic 500 except this one time, which was on a Royal Enfield Thunderbird.
The Royal Enfields have always proved to be reliable and trustworthy on these treacherous Himalayan rides. They endure the harsh and bone shattering terrain without many issues and they have enough grunt to sustain you on these high altitude rides.
However, given that I’m over six feet tall and that I have a passion for enduro riding, the Bullet wasn’t the ideal bike for mu riding taste. I could never stand while on uneven terrain and the speeds are too relaxed for my comfort. The brakes and overall feel isn’t all that adventure motorcycling friendly either. It does a good job of getting you from A to B and that’s about all it does.
It has for long been the workhorse of choice for the daring Himalayan rider not because it is the best but because it is the only option riders have in India. During my last trip, I made a decision never to ride an Enfield up in the Himalayas again unless someone paid me handsomely to do it. My next time had to be on a big, capable and purpose built motorcycle.
Since my last trip in 2011, the Indian motorcycling industry has been turned on its head. The so-called big bikes have been introduced in numbers and every international player is not selling their best bikes in the country. I too managed to get a BMW R1200GS for myself in Dubai.
I pondered for a couple of years whether to take my motorcycle to India on a carnet or to buy a 800cc adventure machine in India. One option that wasn’t available to me was the ability to rent big motorcycles in India. There was no company renting out a 800cc or a 1200cc adventure machine.
All that changed at the start of 2015 when I stumbled upon a newly created handle on Twitter called @BeauxAdv. It turned out that they were about to start operations soon and rent out Triumph Tiger 800 XCX motorcycles in India.
I seized this opportunity and booked myself on a Tiger 800 for a Himalayan ride in September. Everything was smooth and in order with this company. It turned out I was the first rider they’ve rented out their first motorcycle to but never did it feel that way.
The team was very supportive and everything was arranged well. I got the motorcycle with panniers and that was a big, big plus. The rental cost was the best part, it is cheaper to rent a Triumph 800 than it is to rent a in India through Beaux than it is to rent a Royal Enfield from any of the current tour operators.
I’ve already planned a whole lot of other rides in India and with the hassle free rental of a capable Tiger 800, it looks like I will be doing a lot of riding.
If you want to join in on a Himalayan trip next year in June or July, drop me a line and I will let you know what I’m planning. It’ll be fun, for sure.