Road trips are awesome. Road trips on a motorcycle are an experience that will let you experience, fall in love with and reminisce about all aspects of a trip in a way you have never even imagined.
While cars provide AC and space, bikes give you an adrenaline rush that is only felt when the wind hits you at highway speeds. They give you the freedom to be alone with your thoughts and the speed to get away from them when you feel trapped in those very thoughts. They give you the opportunity to actually look around and see the road as you travel, not just the destination.
That being said, India is full of roads, leading to places that need to be traversed upon so that you have amazing stories to tell your grandchildren when the only thing you can ride is a wheelchair. So, here’s a list of places for the best bike trips in India that will tire you out, test your skills and patience, make you want to fly back home and keep you coming back every time you think of them.
You knew this was coming, right? Leh-Ladakh is a haven for bikers. Everyone who has ever dreamt of taking a trip on a motorcycle has planned one to this place a thousand times. For all the right reasons, too! With its rugged terrain, snow-clad mountains and soaring peaks, motorcycle rides in Leh-Ladakh are a perfect combination of challenge and fun.
There are two routes to choose from to get here. One route goes through Jammu and Srinagar before getting to Leh and takes you to Sarchu and Manali on the way back. The other one starts from Manali and goes the other way around. However, you’ll go through different places on each side and all of them are spectacular.
This trip, via either route, should give your wallet a INR 35,000 rupee knock, approximately. There’s a little bit of paperwork involved when it comes to entering Ladakh. So do your research properly before you leave. Last, but not the least, we recommend a motorcycle that has an engine capacity of 250 ccs or more.
Lately, there has been an upsurge of bike tour organizers taking you to Leh-Ladakh. Check them out in order to make it much easier in terms of the logistics involved.
Also read: The Himalayan Odyssey - Abhinaya Natarajan
Meghalaya is known for its lush greenery, rolling hills and the roads that cut through them. If you’re a biker who wants to go on a week-ish long trip that has a relatively relaxed terrain, beautiful sights, and a great combination of straight roads and hairpin turns, exploring Meghalaya would be among the best bike trips in India!
The best route that you can take to explore this state is the one that starts at Guwahati in Assam, takes you to Shillong, then Cherrapunji, turns around towards Shillong, through Kaziranga, finally ending where it started - in Guwahati. This route is about 500 km long and takes you on some of the most scenic roads that Meghalaya has to offer.
Being honest, even a year wouldn’t be enough to see all the beautiful places in this state. However, we recommend you to spend at least one week traveling through Meghalaya in order to see the route suggested. This trip, including fuel, food and stay, should set you back by about INR 30,000. Since Meghalaya has an easier terrain, any bike above 250CCs would do. But, a cruiser would be preferable over the long windy roads.
This section of Arunachal Pradesh is known for its rugged, untouched beauty. Virgin forests, snow-clad mountains and challenging terrain are what make this among the best bike rides in India. That’s not it, though. Western Arunachal Pradesh lets you see a very untouched version of life. The tribal population scattered around the entire route and their majorly traditional ways of life leave you with a different, maybe grateful, perspective towards life.
While a lot of people start in Guwahati, the actual expedition starts in Nameri and we don’t think there are many options better than this one to start a trip like this. The route takes you from Nameri to Dirang, then to Tawang and Zemithang before turning around towards Dirang, ending right where you started, in Nameri.
You can do this entire route at the pace of one location per day. We suggest you take your time though. Spend a day in all of these locations to actually see them. If not all of them, we recommend you to spend a day in Tawang and Zemithang and check out the nunneries and monasteries that dot the map in these two places.
This trip is about 850 km long if you start from Nameri. If you start from Guwahati, that is another 450 km to add to the trip. It will also take you about INR 35,000 rupees away from a heavier wallet if you decide to escapade on your own. An organized road trip through the area can set you back anywhere between INR 20,000 to INR 65,000.
The terrain, while easier compared to Leh-Ladakh, is fairly challenging. So, prepare yourself and your bike accordingly.
From forts, to palaces, to lakes, colourful markets and traditional desert villages, all set up with the grand Thar Desert as background, Rajasthan is going to have your jaw dropped the entire time with everything that it has to offer. One of the best parts of a motorcycle trip in Rajasthan is riding through changing terrains, from cities to desert to actual forests. It’s bound to make you feel like Aladdin with a newer and better carpet.
The most popular route through the state starts in the capital city of Jaipur and takes you through Ajmer, Jodhpur, Jaisalmer, Mount Abu and Udaipur before you loop back to Jaipur. Since Rajasthan is a desert state, you’ll find huge stretches of straight highways that will give you the opportunity to cruise and to do top gear pulls until you’re out of fuel, tires, or energy. That being said, we do not condone unsafe riding!
All of these places require at least one day to explore, making this a six-day trip at the lower end. We suggest you give this state at least nine days, though. Take a day to just explore a few places like Ranthambore and Jaipur. Take a detour to Pushkar and definitely spend a night camping in the deserts of Jodhpur.
This trip around Rajasthan will take 12 days, approximately and take you through about 1,800 km of exhilarating calmness. Recommended time frame to take this trip is about 15 days, however. After adding up fuel, accommodation, food and other miscellaneous expenses, you need to have about INR 20,000 - INR 25,000/- rupees on a solo trip. However, if you go for an organized trip, that can stretch you back anywhere between INR 18,000 to INR 35,000.
The Rann of Kutch is one of the biggest salt deserts in the world that also turns into one of the largest salt marshes in the world during the monsoon. The northern end of the Rann also serves as a border between India and Pakistan. The most interesting thing, however, is the three-month-long festival organized by the Government of Gujarat every year, between December and February. Which falls spat-bang in the middle of the best time to visit the place - late October to early March!
All set for a bike trip to Rann of Kutch? One awesome trip would be starting the trip from Ahmedabad, the city best known for its food, clothing, and diamonds. It then takes you through Bhuj, into Dhordo before entering the Rann of Kutch. After visiting the salt flats, you can either make your own route home or head back to Ahmedabad, giving an amazing trip one last stretch of road before it ends.
This suggested route should take about 4 days of travel to get by comfortably and it should cost you anywhere between INR 9,000 to INR 20,000, depending on where you choose to stay.
One of the best parts of this trip is the relaxed terrain and the fact that it is NOT a super-long ride. About 800 km spread over four days of long, mostly straight, highways is relaxing and fun.
Karnataka is a state that has everything for every kind of traveler, regardless of whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or a party animal. This state has some of the best spots for everyone and in a manner where you can cover some percentage of all aspects on a single route.
The best route that we could map starts in a place where everyone is longing for a vacation - Bangalore. Then, it takes you through Mysore, Mangalore, Gokarna, Hampi and ends in Badami. This route, covering approximately 1,380 km, goes through one of the best coastal roads in India and takes you to places that offer a huge variety of things to check out.
While you can cover the entirety of this route in two days, we suggest you stop at all the spots and spend at least one day there, bringing your total number of days up to six days. However, one thing to note here is, all of these locations have beautiful spots around them. Do your research and see which of these spots you want to visit and spend a day extra in locations of your preference.
This bike trip in Karnataka should set your wallet back by about INR 30,000 rupees approximately. There might be a few organized trips on this route. However, it’s a fairly easy route going through a lot of cities and towns. So you could just plan things by yourself and see what works best.
Tamil Nadu has one of the oldest civilizations in the history of the world and it is very evident in the culture and sights you will see there. While it’s a state that is known for its discipline and adherence towards its culture and language, you’ll meet some of the nicest people as hosts in all of the spots you can visit.
The route through this state starts in the city known for its amalgamation of its history, culture and technological/architectural advancements - Chennai. Then, goes through Mamallapuram, Tharangambadi, Karaikudi, Rameswaram, Tiruchendur and Kanyakumari before ending in Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala.
All 1,100 km of this bike trip in Tamil Nadu and Kerala are dotted along the beautiful coastline that follows the state. All the destinations in this trip offer an amazing cuisine that includes lip-smacking seafood dishes, a combination of British and ancient Indian architecture, and mind-blowing performances of Carnatic music and Bharatanatyam.
This trip should take about seven days minimum. However, we recommend staying a day or two extra in Rameswaram, Kanyakumari and Thiruvananthapuram and taking a few detours around the places. Tamil Nadu will set you back by about INR 26,000 on an average if you choose to adventure through the state flying solo.
Also read: 6 Best Road Trips From Chennai
Goa is one of the most searched states when it comes to two things - beaches and booze. But Goa is so much more than that! It has some of the most beautiful architecture, vibrant towns and even more colourful people! It’s not just inside the state that you’ll experience beauty, it’s evident and absorbing on the ride there, too!
There are multiple routes that you can take to get here and all of them offer amazing riding experiences on national highways and the ghats connected to them. The lush greenery, smooth roads and the availability of enough good places to halt at make every road to Goa an experience to be had.
Once you get there, you can divide the state in three parts and adventure through all three parts, one part at a time. We would suggest you spend two days in North Goa, three-four days in South Goa and two days in the non-coastal parts of Goa. Some highlights of this state are Calangute and Baga beaches, Vagator Beach, Cola Beach, Butterfly Beach, Fontaihas and Vasco City. Other than these spots, you can check out our Goa Travel Guide to know what to do in this state!
The costs for this ride will differ from rider to rider since the way you divide the state and map your way through it will be different. However, on an average, considering your point of starting to be approximately 600 km away and that you spend about five days in Goa, visiting and revisiting a few spots, we would put the expenditure for this trip in the range of INR 23,000 to INR 40,000.
Reading an article about the best bike trips in India can be the push you need to finally get on your motorcycle and leave for a multi-thousand kilometer long trip. A few things that you need to remember though is to ride safe, wear proper riding gear, and most importantly, have fun!
Which Bike Is Good For An All India Trip?
Honestly, any bike with an engine capacity of over 250CCs should be just fine. However, people have done the most insane road trips that the country can offer on 100CC workhorses too. Do not let the size of your engine or the make and model of your bike dishearten you. Just make sure to be critical of the maintenance and preparation of your motorcycle.
How Should I Prepare For A Motorcycle Trip?
In order to properly prepare for your trip, you need to research heavily. The routes you want to take, the places you want to stop at, if you need any paperwork you need to visit someplace are the things that you need to be sure about before you leave.
How Do You Physically Prepare For A Long Motorcycle Ride?
Start working out at least twenty days before your ride. Have cardio sessions and build a stretching routine for your back, neck, hips and legs in a manner that you can follow through when you take breaks on your ride.
How Do I Pack For A Long Motorcycle Trip?
The easiest way to go about packing for a trip on a motorcycle is to get appropriate equipment. Invest in a good pair of saddlebags and a couple of bungee cords. Make sure you distribute the load evenly on both sides of the motorcycle and you tie down all extra bags properly. Also, travel light. You know what we mean.
Are Motorcycles Safe For Long Trips?
Well, motorcycles are just as safe as the next best thing. Yes, motorcycles do put you in direct contact with the elements and that can be a scary thought. However, they offer maneuverability and are generally easy to maintain. Regardless of what vehicle you choose, the one thing that is going to decide safety is the way you handle it. Ride with patience, keeping in mind that the idea is to get there happy and safe, not to get there fast.
Can I Travel The Whole Of India With A Bike?
Yes, you can cover the whole of India by bike which is about 22557 kilometers.
How Do I Plan A Solo Bike Trip?
Firstly decide on your route and pack light with essentials. Then make sure to inform your family and friends and keep them updated on your daily travel. Check your bike every day before you start the day. Ensure to eat and drink right, and indulge in some form of exercise to keep up your stamina. Start off your day early and finish early, do not push yourself beyond your limits.
Is A Solo Bike trip A Good Idea?
Solo travel is something everyone should indulge in atleast once in their lifetime. While traveling solo simply make sure to keep your loved ones informed of your route and daily happenings. Check up on your vehicle every day if you're driving and take good care of your health.