Our support vehicles follow the group during the tours. If your partner prefers, he or she can join our tour as a passenger in one of these vehicles which range from a SUV to mini-
ABoriginal Tours does not allow “own motorcycles” on the tours. Also, please note that motorcycle riding on our “organized tours” is done in a sort of “convoy” formation between the ride leader in the front and back-
No. ABoriginal Tours provides motorcycles on the tour, the rent for which is included in the price of the tour. Infact, if you compare our tour prices with others you’ll find that the motorcycles are coming virtually free !
For the Himalayan Tours, please read the “Important Advisory” on the Himalayan Tours web page.
To participate as a rider an individual has to be equal or above the age of 18 years at the time of the tour, holding valid full motorcycle driving license authorizing him/her to ride a 500cc motorcycle, in reasonable health and with at least 3-
To participate as a co-
To participate as a passenger in the support vehicle an individual has to be equal or above the age of 05 years at the time of the tour and in reasonable health. (minors will need authorization of adult/guardians).
Reasonably fit. In our opinion if you can go about your daily life (like climbing two flights of stairs) without getting out of breath then you’re “reasonably fit”. Consult your doctor in case you have any existing medical condition which can hamper a persons ability to participate in an adventure activity before joining the tour. Touring in the Himalayas involves being at very high altitudes and Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS) can occur in few cases. For the Himalayan Tours, please read the “Important Advisory” on the Himalayan Tours web page.
Touring through Rajasthan presents no such difficulties.
Yes, a valid full motorcycle driver license (authorising you to ride a 500cc motorcycle) and international riding permit are mandatory for riders to take part in our tours; however, they are not required for the co-
Passport (valid for at least 6 months past the intended period of stay in India).
Indian Tourist Visa: Citizens of several countries are now eligible for a e-
Travel insurance: Should cover you for riding of 500cc motorcycle in India for leisure.
We only accept Pillion riders along with a rider. It means if you are an individual looking to join our tour as a co-
9. Are the seats on the Royal Enfields comfortable enough for riders/pillions?
Based on customer feedback, we’ve had both opinions. Most have found the seats completely fine. But there have been some cases where the riders/pillions felt varying degrees of discomfort on long days. However, there is no doubt in the fact that you will be better off with some kind of “motorcycle seat pads/cushions” like the “AIRHAWK”. You need not buy an AIR HAWK seat just for a tour with us as we can provide these for a very reasonable rent for the duration of your tour.
Yes, pillions are most welcome to use the support vehicle. However, it is not possible to accommodate all pillions in the support vehicles at the same time so it is done on a rotational basis.
No. The main purpose of support vehicles is to carry the luggage, gear, support staff and a few accompanying passengers and pillions. Priority shall be given to a participant with an emergency; e.g. sudden and severe illness, road accident, bike breakdown etc.
If you want your friends/family to accompany you on the tour, they can reserve a place on the tour as passengers in the support vehicle. However, we urge you to book them on the tour at the time of your booking otherwise we might not be able to offer this facility at a later stage when the available seats are already taken.
For the Himalayan Tours, please read the “Important Advisory” on the Himalayan Tours web page.
We would prefer if you had at least 3 years of motorcycle riding experience. However, if you are confident enough of your ability to handle a 190 kg bike on Indian roads we will not turn you down even if you had less. Having said that, you need to remember that if you decide at a later stage to opt out of the tour there will be no refund and we might not even be able to accommodate you as a pillion or passenger at that stage.
At ABoriginal Tours we have kept aside half a day at the start of the tour for just that. Our experienced ride leader & support staff will take you on a familiarisation ride on this day before we depart on the actual tour the next day. A 2-
Yes, there are certain factors which make it quite different from other places specially the “west”. Firstly, remember that one rides on the left side in India and if you come from a country where the opposite is true then you’ll need to get acquainted to it. Secondly, road conditions can be classified anywhere from “ordinary” to “nasty” specially in the higher Himalayas where it’s a constant tussle between the road builders and the forces of nature. But that doesn’t deter an adventurer looking for the thrills of riding. Thirdly, other riders on the road are a nuisance since traffic laws are lax and most people learn their driving “on the road” with hardly any or no professional training. You’ll be learning the “Indian” way of handling that too.
Needless to say, Motorcycle riding comes with its risks no matter which part of the world you are riding. In fact, any adventure activity has its elements of “danger” but that’s what makes it an adventure activity in the first place. Calculating the “risk” involved is quite difficult as it is very subjective. The higher Himalayas is one of the most difficult terrains a motorcyclist will ever come across but “an experience of a lifetime” doesn’t come without its “highs”. Riding in Rajasthan is relatively easy when compared to the Himalayas. However, tackling big city traffic in India has its own “kicks“!
Yes, although we prepare for almost every contingency with utmost care, certain factors can cause “delays”, disruptions and possibly cancellations as well.
On the Himalayan (Spiti-
On the Rajasthan tours, since we cross bigger towns & cities, events like “strikes”, public protests and political unrest can cause unexpected disruptions to our intended itineraries.
Wherever possible, we make every effort to “foresee” & “by-
An adventure activity of any kind carries its risk with it and motorcycle journeys are no exception. A comprehensive medical & first aid kit (including bottled oxygen on the Himalayan yours), a ride leader who is certified in FIRST AID and loads of know-
Adequate travel insurance is mandatory at least for the duration of your tour with us and is not included in the price of the tour. If you are a Rider (motorcycle operator) or Co-
Make sure your travel/holiday insurance also covers you against cancellation charges, unexpected curtailment of the holiday, emergency evacuation expenses, medical expenses arising overseas, loss or damage to luggage & property and personal liability claims against the participant.
Please note that, our motorcycles are fully insured for third party damage only. For damage to the motorcycle itself, a deductible deposit of INR 40,500 (maximum liability is set at INR 81,000) is required before the tour departs and will be refunded in full at the completion of the tour provided no damage has occurred to the motorcycle. In case you don’t want to make this deposit in cash there is an option of filling & signing a credit card authorization form authorizing ABoriginal Tours to charge your card for any damage to the motorcycle. We also offer a damage waiver option (write to us for details).
It will be our greatest pleasure to return the entire deposit to you at the completion of your tour if there is only normal wear and tear of the motorcycle. But if there is damage to any part of the motorcycle or its appendages & accessories (including helmets) out of negligence or due to an accident/ fall, the price of repair and replacement part will be deducted from your deposit/or charged to your card.
You will be riding a Royal Enfield Motorcycle, (apparently the best touring motorcycle available in India). We have an entire fleet of the New Classic 500 EFI model for our tours. Check out our Bikes & Crew page for more details.
Please visit the Essentials section on our web site.
Please visit the Essentials section on our web site.
Proper Protective Riding gear is a must; namely, riding shoes, riding gloves, Knee & Elbow guards (if your Riding jacket/pants do not already include them) & CE protective clothing. Please visit the Essentials section on our web site. Since the Himalayan tours are certainly going to involve some “creek crossings”, water-
Yes, we have a regulation that makes it mandatory for both the rider and pillion to wear helmets during the ride. We prefer & urge participants to bring their own helmets for the tour.
No. We have a support vehicles for hauling your luggage. These vehicles follow the riders and aren’t very far behind. However, if there are certain things you want to carry with you which you might need regularly during the ride, you are advised to bring a small back-
An experienced Ride Leader from ABoriginal Tours will be part of each tour, leading from the front on his own motorcycle. In most cases Atul himself leads the tours. Our ride guides are well versed in English, besides being familiar with the local language, culture, routes and conditions. Besides, ABoriginal Tours ride guides are certified in Emergency First-
Our ability to organize affordable tours is dependent on numbers. However, we have to keep the numbers manageable (also considering the available resources & logistics of a region like the Himalayas). Therefore, normally, on our Fixed Departure Tours, we prefer min. 6 and max. 18 riders.
Our tours have been carefully designed keeping about 30% “non-
There is no such thing as a “fixed” itinerary when you’re touring a country like India that too on a motorcycle. Bad weather, landslides, damaged bridges and similar events beyond the control of the “mortals” can spoil any pre-
On the Himalayan tours the average distance covered per “riding” day is between 120 to 130 kilometers with 14 riding days in a 21 day tour. On Rajasthan tours the average per day is 185-
In our opinion, taking into account the road conditions in India, anything above 80 km/h could be “suicidal” irrespective of the kind of road. On the narrow single lane mountain routes even 50 km/h is swift. We run the tours at an optimum pace with respect to the terrain, traffic & road conditions.
We completely discourage anybody wanting to achieve personal “milestones” pertaining to speed & time from joining our tours. We travel strictly in a convoy formation with ride leader in front and support vehicles in the rear. Our tours are done in a steady yet relaxed manner in the “spirit of camaraderie” which not only ensures safety but also gives ample time for rest, exploration and observation. Any rider who is found to be riding in a manner which seems “dangerous” to either himself or others in the tour will be excluded from the remainder of the tour with no refund.
Transportation for local sight-
Although we call ourselves a “Affordable Motorcycle Tour Operator”, we have carefully selected some good Mid-
Not necessarily. Our regular tour prices are on “twin-
Altitude illness afflicts healthy men and women who accent rapidly to a higher altitude. It covers a spectrum of illness from the unpleasant, but relatively benign acute mountain sickness (AMS), to the potentially life threatening high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE) and high altitude cerebral oedema (HACE).
There are no specific factors such as age, sex, or physical condition that correlate with susceptibility to altitude sickness. Some people get it and some people don't, and some people are more susceptible than others. Most people can go up to 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) with minimal effect. If you haven't been to high altitude before, it's important to be cautious. If you have been at that altitude before with no problem, you can probably return to that altitude without problems as long as you are properly acclimatized.
Symptoms of AMS include headache and one or more of dizziness or light headedness, insomnia, loss of appetite or nausea or vomiting and fatigue or weakness in the presence of a recent ascent to altitude. The correct action to take in case of developing AMS is to stay where you are and wait, then to descend if symptoms worsen or fail to improve.
Yes, but only if you buy “Meet” & Greet and/or “Farewell” Add-
No, International airfare is NOT included in the price of the tours. We have found that most clients often prefer to arrange their own flights using frequent-
Yes, but you need to inform us about your plans at the time of tour booking. ABoriginal Tours is essentially only a “Motorcycle Tour Operator” but we provide certain services which are ancillary to and facilitate the smooth progress of our tours. Such services are included in our Add-
Principally, the tours start & end in New Delhi, the capital of India.
END – On the last day of your tour you will be transferred to a conveniently assigned location in New Delhi by a Train/Air/Car/MUV/bus journey as per the itinerary of the tour which shall be considered the “end” of your tour.
Incase you have purchased a “Meet & Greet” or “Farewell” Add-
We start taking Booking applications for the tours 12 months prior to the departure date of each tour till about 4 weeks from date of departure (if places are still available).
Send us an Email carefully specifying the tour opted & date of its commencement and we will dispatch an email to you with a Tour Registration Form. See Contact Us page for more details.
Atul Bhardwaj, along with his wife Shelja, is the owner/conductor of the outfit. The “AB” in ABoriginal Tours is the acronym for Atul Bhardwaj. Incidentally, so it is for “Absolutely Brilliant”, “Alleviation of Boredom” and “Audaciously Bizarre“! Read more About Us.
On the Rajasthan tours, such facilities are available at all hotels we stay. However, on the Himalayan Tours, on some days where we stay in camps, even basic telephone lines are not available.
It can't be guaranteed. In some places on the Himalayan tours there's no power or the supply is unreliable and power outages are likely. Thus, if it's vital you need electrical power every night, please speak to us before booking. Don't forget a travel adaptor if you need to recharge your electricals. Electric supply in India is 220-
In terms of duration, our "fixed departure" tours (pre-
Yes, we can create and lead custom private group tours by request. However, since our tour calendar is planned more than an year in advance, it is advisable to discuss / plan it with us well in advance so that your preferred dates do not clash with our fixed departure dates. Since we’ll be doing such a tour in place of our “fixed departure”, we require a min. group of 15 or more. Please book the tours well in advance. See Customized Tours page for more details.
Yes. We advise you to immunize yourself against harmful diseases such as Hepatitis, Typhoid, Malaria, Rabies and Tetanus. There’s a list of recommended vaccinations for travel to countries like India available on the Essential Info section on this web site, however we suggest that you should consult your doctor for country specific advice as there are certain vaccines which are not mandatory if duration of stay is shorter than 1 month.
At all hotels/night stops your dinners & breakfasts will be inclusive. All lunches will have to be paid by you, including packed lunches on riding days (if required).
We understand that local cuisine is an important component of a trip and everybody has different tastes. We have also found that our clients enjoy the spontaneity of discovering restaurants on their own. As a result, we decided to remove the lunches and provide transportation for local sight-
In India, availability & reliability of drinking water through normal tap supply is uncertain. Therefore, for all foreign tourists we insist “packaged drinking water” of renowned brands such as Bisleri, Aquafina, Kinley etc which is widely available at most places.
It is not essential but a suggested article in our packing list. Since a hydration pack serves both as a water carrier & a small day pack it will be handy during long drives. Filling up a 2/3 litre pack at the start of the day will ensure that you have enough water for the entire day since availability of “packaged drinking water” can be un-
We have mentioned “What’s Included” and “What’s NOT included” sections at the end of the Itinerary section of each tour.
Bringing Indian currency by any foreign national is prohibited. Therefore, we would advice you to bring currency of your respective country/domicile and get it exchanged into Indian Rupees (INR) here. You are authorised to bring foreign currency notes equivalent to USD 5000 (without declaration). If you are carrying debit/credit cards, please note that ATM’s & other such facilities will only be available at major cities. Specially on the Himalayan tours, you are best advised to change enough money to last the tour at major cities like New Delhi, Shimla/Leh. You may check the current exchange rate at http://www.xe.com
In India, conveniences along the road like rest stops with “decent toilets facilities” are either non-
No, you can't ride independently of the tour group. At some destinations we do the local sight-
As the space on the support vehicles is tight, we limit the baggage allowance on our tours to 25 Kg. We suggest you pack as lightly and in as compact a form as possible. Read more on the Essential Info page.
Yes. On our tours we can’t allow rain to spoil our travel plans (unless the rain gods are really angry!). If your riding kit isn't waterproof, then bring some good waterproofs. See Essentials section for more details.
No, its not mandatory. On the Himalayan Tours, we provide sleeping bags in case you choose not to bring your own. We set up our own camp at one location near Chandra Taal where you’ll be sleeping in camping tents (tents, mats, sleeping bags are all arranged by us inclusive in the price of the tour). At a couple of other locations we stay at, the accommodation will be in bigger camps (tents with double beds & all) but if you’re finicky about sleeping in a “used” sleeping bag, bring your own or bring a liner.
Proper protective riding gloves are essential for riders/co-
India offers plenty of sights worth capturing in the camera. Many past customers have mentioned that they wanted to stop every 200 M to take a picture. However, for navigation & other logistic reasons we travel in a “convoy” formation. The back-
You will need money for “Packaged drinking water”, all lunches, expenses of personal nature like laundry, Internet, phone calls, entrance to monuments & other such places, photography, tips etc. Roughly US$ 400-
There are several things you might miss when you are travelling in India, from your favourite cheese or butter to the soft mattress in your bed. However, practically speaking, we suggest bringing at least your favourite bottle of liquor & coffee. You might find Indian Made Foreign Liquor (oxy-
Unfortunately, no. In this day and age of Internet & mobile communication, we don't see the benefit to having a brick and mortar office or fancy brochures (which aren't eco-
We will be glad to answer any and all questions for you. The fastest way to reach us is by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org. To beat an overzealous spam filter add a CC to email@example.com. To catch hold of us in a hurry, you could also reach us over the phone. See the Contact us page for more info.